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Weeknotes

192 :: Techno-Pastoral Frontier

I’ve spent most of my week: inside, thinking about, or writing about the 1990’s era MMO/ metaverse game Active Worlds.

I’m in the middle of writing a chapter for a book about my visit. I think once its all done and delivered, I might head back in to active worlds and livestream it on Twitch as there’s so much more to see.

Just when I’d come up for air and begun writing about my experience spending time in Active Worlds in 2021, this link got dropped in the trust.support discord.

Does the Metaverse Need a Zoning Board? As new crypto investments flood online worlds, conflicts between virtual neighbors are on the rise.

I replied with the following:

> If you treat the metaverse like a techno-pastoral frontier for users to manifest destiny into, its always going to end like this
> Just seems all very American. Both in attitude and the fact these online spaces make the same mistakes over and over again

Thats basically the takeaway from my 10 hours in Active Worlds, and a wider reflection on other online worlds of this type. Saves you reading the whole essay when the book comes out. lol

One of the weirder things I saw whilst I was there, was this in world Gorean beef.

I’m not going to get into the Gorean fandom, the beef and the drama. If you know you know.

Goreans are such an OG internet fandom that my palms itch in a way that suggests I may be in-danger of summoning one of the elder gods of the web if I were to write about it.

I’m also not sure I’m going to have space to get to it in my piece, but I had honestly forgotten about Goreans online. Unfortunately Warren Ellis’ old reportage column from Second Life for Reuters seems to have succumbed to bit rot. But stumbling across this vintage beef, it seems that Goreans were everywhere in early online worlds, not just restricted to Second Life.

Curious, I came across this fantastic paper in Australian Folklore 25, 2010 by A. Asbjørn Jøn: The Development of MMORPG Culture and The Guild.

A primary difference however, between the Gorean subculture on SecondLife when compared to IRC, revolves around the very nature of the SecondLife platform, and the way that it allows participants, or players, to interact. In addition to the ability to create deeply visual aspects of interactions—through the use of 3D avatars and environments—SecondLife includes built in features such as voice chat and an open computer scripting language (LSL) which enables players to create and trade content. This has led to the development of a real market, where things such as Gorean virtual clothing or Gorean animations for avatars can be bought and sold in Linden Dollars (which can be purchased with, and then exchanged back into real life currency).

The Development of MMORPG Culture and The Guild.

Jøn seems to suggest that the way the Gorean fandom used early spaces like IRC and online worlds for role play shaped the conception of what it means to Role Play Online. Influencing MMORPG design, Video Games and a variety of other spaces.

Really interesting. It wired up a whole bunch of things i’ve been reading about with regard to MUDs and Interactive Fiction recently.


In other news I was on a panel at LuxCon this morning with Francesco Verso (IT) and Ana Rüsche (BR). We had a really great chat about Solarpunk and I really enjoyed myself.

I forgot to take any screenshots / documentation but I did snap this during Francesco’s presentation as I haven’t seen any of these movies.

If the panel get posted online. I’ll update my post from earlier this week.


Permanently Moved

Create Something (Every Week)

Create something every week. Maybe I made an episode about repetition and rhythm in the end anyway?

The Ministry Of My Own Labour

I’ve been smashing out words. I think I’ve written over 15k words this week?

Got a metric fuckton of shit to do.

Dipping the Stacks

Neo-pastoralism with antibiotic characteristics – Deliberate efforts to live out – Pastebin.com

Deliberate efforts to live outwardly low-tech lives for improved quality of life in a primarily pastoralist (herd-raising) context (though doesn’t exclude farming). Everyone knows their place in the structure but also little room for advancement or growth. I allow that certain technologies (such as medicine) are maintained.

Is Jazz Dead?

The root of the “Is jazz dead?” question perhaps lies with conservative jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis. Denying the jazz moniker to experimental and free jazz, jazz fusion, jazz hip-hop, neo-soul and other modern forms, Marsalis severely limits the music’s lifespan to a mythical golden age that lasted from the 1900s to the 1960s. 

Artaud: To Have Done With the Judgement of god

Having spent much of his final years in various mental asylums, Artaud resurfaced in 1947 with a radio play To Have Done With the Judgment of god. Although the work remained true to his Theatre of Cruelty, utilizing an array of unsettling sounds, cries, screams and grunts, it was shelved by French Radio the day before it was scheduled to air, on February 2, 1948. Artaud died one month later.

Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says | Salon.com

humans who ventured into these subterranean enclosures during the Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,000 years ago) would have needed to light torches in order to see what they were doing. In the process, they would have reduced the amount of oxygen in the caves, inducing hypoxia (oxygen-deprivation) in their brains. That, in turn, would have put them in a state of altered consciousness, experiencing euphoria, out-of-body experiences and perhaps even hallucinations.

On the Literature of Rewilding… and the Need to Rewild Literature ‹ Literary Hub

We tend to sleep badly on the first night that we sleep somewhere new. Apparently, this is because somewhere in our evolutionary makeup we are playing watchman. Sleeping lightly we are alert to the sounds of the house adjusting to the night—to the soft burr of a fridge or a branch scratching at a window—we drowse on the skim of sleep in case, I suppose, we hear the movement of a creature, or see the loping silhouette of a wolf.

Reading

I read ‘Heart of the Original‘ by Steve Aylett this week.

Aylett is on of my favourite authors. When Heart of the Original went up on unbound a a few years ago, I wasn’t in a position to back the project. But I’m glad I read it this week. It’s got some fantastic lines in it. A really inspirational text from start to finish. Just what I needed to read.

Some of the sections on synesthesia were the first time I’ve ever seen anyone else write down experiencing the world in a similar way to me.

In a weird sync this week. I’ve told two people to read Steve Aylett’s biography of Lint. Which I why I bought Heart of the Original on kindle.

Then on Friday, I saw my old housemate for the first time in months – another Lint fan – for a beer in the park and he gifted me a belated birthday/xmas present.

Lint’s Caterer comic!

Sweet!

Music

thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist 

Misdirection – Goreshit and Hitori Tori

Oh my goodness, Goreshit and Hitori Tori have dropped a split LP. I’ve been listening on repeat!!! whilst I’ve been working this week.

Misdirection is (to my ear) a maximalist ambient album … but only if like me, you can let breakbeats and sonic madness wash over you like a texture.

If you are easily distracted or overwhelmed by glitchy breakbeats then this album is probably not for you…at.all.
My favourite track is alleau! (embedded below) by Goreshit.
But Hitori Tori’s Ahoy My Boy is a real chill track. Like sipping 1950’s cocktails on an Atari powered space ship.

Using words like chill and ambient to describe this album probably aren’t the right words at all. I had it on the hi-fi earlier in the week and Eve called it a ‘Headache Engine’.

YMMV with my review on this one.

p.s subscribe to Hitori Tori on youtube for Renoise craftmanship.

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About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, and Strategist for hybrid environments. His concerns are with culture, humans and technology and the environment. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

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