LEA Grants, a Move & Lists in Second Life

Imagination on Guana Cay (moderate)

If you go visit the current incarnation of Imagination on Guana Cay you might be shocked to see the note that it’s closing on July 27th. Don’t panic! She’s moving to a sim called Dark Bay and the new build is under construction.

I’ll get over there when it’s open for visitors and see what she’s up to.

Imagination on Guana Cay (moderate)

The Linden Endowment for the Arts has announced the latest round of Artist in Residence Grants and the next group of grants for Core sims will be coming soon. Remember you can apply for the latter at any time.

Most of the 20 AIR installations will remain open until the end of this month. Go to the Welcome Area on LEA3 and you’ll see giant posters which will give you teleports to some very cool immersive exhibits.

Imagination on Guana Cay (moderate)

I’ve mentioned my lists before, all those things I want to get done. Some are short-term urgent, some are important but not as high a priority.

Livio reminded me that one thing on my list is to calibrate my monitors. This became apparent to me when I set up the second one – they aren’t the same. I’m moving calibration higher on the things I’ll get done even though it means navigating more techie stuff. He’s right though – knowing that object really is red (for example) would be valuable. :)

Imagination on Guana Cay (moderate)

I’ll go tackle the urgent things – I hate the guilt if I get too far behind.

You should check out the current build on Guana Cay and make a note to visit her new sim once it’s opened. I’ll start an additional list of landmarks I have to change …………..

Imagination on Guana Cay (moderate)

Delicatessen in Second Life & (yes) Tea Towels

Delicatessen (moderate)

One of the regions I have to check regularly is Delicatessen, the home base for Meilo Minotaur and Capcat Ragu. I revisit this location fairly often and not only because I admire them as artists.

Remember, I’m an avatar junkie and their Meta-Body project has resulted in dozens of amazing creations – all of which are freely available to us. Teleport around (you’ll find the controls in one of the strange objects at sea level, along with some cool options in a big tree) to find a vast array of odd things and beautiful beings.

On one of the platforms you’re told to “follow the teapot”. This reminded me of a story I was going to tell you – because, real life can be just as strange and mysterious as the virtual.

Delicatessen (moderate)

Let’s consider tea towels for a moment. I know there are people (I’ve met one) who not only have a drawer full of them, but they place the newly laundered ones at the bottom of the pile so they all get used equitably. I don’t.

This means that when I’m reaching the bottom of the drawer, trying to find a towel to use, something is not right. When the drawer is completely empty I know there’s a serious problem here.

I mean, come on, they’re tea towels. They don’t just walk off and people don’t steal that kind of thing.

Delicatessen (moderate)

So I do the logical thing. I ask my 93 year old mother if she’s seen the tea towels. “No”, she says. “I was going to ask you where they all went.”

I ask, “Well, is it possible they’ve wound up in your bedroom with your laundry?” “Don’t be ridiculous!” she replies. “I don’t have them!”

I waited until she was outside on the patio and went searching. I found tea towels under her bed, tea towels in her sock drawer, and tea towels laid out carefully on her chairs.

Delicatessen (moderate)

I told her what I’d found and she said “Oh, well I need those.” When asked why, she explained that she puts them on her chair so that after her shower the seat won’t get wet.

I pointed out that she has a huge basket full of bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths, and could use some of them. Apparently she doesn’t want to get them dirty. sigh

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need more coffee. I have to count the spoons again – something is happening in the cutlery drawer.

Delicatessen (moderate)

A Second Life Backdrop to the Reality of “Why Should We Have To?”

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

This will be a short (considering the subject) and (therefore) superficial rant. I do just want to look at one tiny aspect of the much bigger issue.

One of the topics my brain insists on pondering, in idle moments, is that of women in technology. If you spend any time on teh internets you encounter the “girls don’t game” and “girls don’t code” mythos. You also witness brutal attacks on social media targeting females who say and do things which contradict those “truisms” and dare to stick their heads up and object to what they see as offensive behaviour. That sucks.

I recently bemoaned the lack of women on the long list of speakers and panel members at a Virtual World Conference (there was 1 out of a total of 44). Philip and Ebbe were asked about the absence of women in the industry (by that 1 on the list) and I assume they misunderstood the question. They both responded by saluting the accomplishments of females in Second Life. The actual question, and the issue, concern the industry as a whole – the programers, architects, designers, developers, executives, visionaries – not the situation inside the virtual world.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

The solution, of course, is to get more girls interested and more women active in the profession. However, this is not an easy path. A prevailing culture that reflects a frat-house view of life is not exactly female friendly.

Having said that, one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in various discussions on the topic has been put forward by some young women. When discussing the difficulties of entering and progressing in tech, having to deal with misogyny, sexual harassment, offensive comments and actions, their attitude is:

Why should we have to? Just get rid of the creeps!

um, let’s talk.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

Why should we have to?

Nobody should have to put up with personal and physical attacks. You are entitled to the same treatment as everybody else in any profession you wish to enter.

Now, guess what happens when entitlement meets reality.

Malala Yousafzai is not the first female to have to fight to receive an education you’d expect would be her right. Oxford University actually allowed women to attend lectures beginning in 1870; they could do all the work and take the exams but, until 1920, they didn’t get their degree. Getting into something like medicine was even more difficult.

The academic world’s thinking can be summarized by “Harvard professor Edward H. Clarke (1874) who proclaimed that women seeking advanced education would develop “monstrous brains and puny bodies [and] abnormally weak digestion.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

It was also 1920 when women got the right to vote in the United States. Getting it wasn’t easy – campaigners were tortured, killed, and imprisoned.

Try being a firefighter, jet pilot, astronaut, or Head of State today. It’s not exactly smooth sailing.

Tech is a newer profession – that doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to behave like an adult.

Just get rid of the creeps!

Just get rid of them. Well, I appreciate fantasy as much as the next person, but there’s that whole reality thing.

What you seem to be looking for is a hero – somebody who will clear and smooth that path for you. I assume that person will have a sonic screwdriver and magic glitter.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

Here’s the thing, creeps never disappear. They remain in every profession, no matter how forward thinking and equitable it appears to be. What happens over time is that they get marginalized and silenced, but they never go away. I think there’s a secret breeding program somewhere. I don’t like to dwell on that because the images are too scary.

The tech industry has some new wrinkles though, as far as creeps are concerned. First they can take advantage of all aspects of social media and its inherent anonymity to launch aggressive and sick campaigns – they can be as base and ugly as they want and giggle about it. This makes what you have to deal with very public and painful.

Second, that whole garage skunkworks mentality just feeds into the boys’ club culture and they never get past puberty. Think of them as Orcs with pimples.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

The good news is the third wrinkle – there are a lot of educated, intelligent, men in the industry as well. Many of them speak up.

Don’t look for a hero … find allies.

Look for men and women who will stand up in the middle of an offensive presentation and say “This is unacceptable” before walking out. Writing a blog post later is great, but having the creeps lose face in front of the alpha male they’re hoping to impress, or the woman holding the key to the investment they want, is better. When they lose funding and career opportunities, when their startup fails because of their assholery, they start to change their behaviour.

Look for the people on social media like one current and one ex-Linden I follow who respond to the creeps appropriately.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

Why should we have to?

Because you want to be part of the industry. Because you want to help build it, create things, realize the possibilities. Because dealing with creeps comes with the double X chromosome package; like childbirth and PMS.

I’m not saying grow “Rhino Skin” to deal with these issues. Frankly, that would lead to considering the behaviour acceptable. I will say, have a big first aid kit. Report the abuse, mute the creep, slap on a bandage and keep moving forward.

The industry will evolve but, much like all others, the creeps will abide. They will become smaller, fewer, quieter, and easier to ignore.

You have to because the industry needs you. It will be much harder than it should be, but your future granddaughters will thank you.

Haveit Neox’s sim ACC Alpha (moderate)

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