Connections, Wave Fields and the Butterfly Effect in Second Life

I was surfing the Map this morning and went to see what the LEA↑ sims looked like.  There was this really interesting pattern on LEA20 and, being the curious individual I am, a visit seemed like a good idea.

Wave Fields by Oberon Onmura↑ is a landscape of movement and alignment/chaos which I found mesmerizing.  My fascination was a result in part due to the intricacy, scope and skill he displays and in part due to how it resonates with recent mental gyrations I’ve been working through.

In the physical world our sense of “community” revolves around those we see and touch and with whom we communicate (yes that’s an over simplification but it will do).   The internet and Second Life expand our reach and, therefore, our social wheel to a much broader geographical and cultural horizon – and it includes many more individuals than we might have previously considered part of our lives.

We know that we have connections with the people around us.  We see them and interact with them.  We know that the decisions we make or actions we take impact on them because, even if we’re totally self absorbed, we see the results on their faces and in their lives.  Our virtual network requires more conscious thought.

The Butterfly Effect↑ is something I try and keep in mind when I move in any direction in my lives.  I’m not always successful but remembering that my “community” is non-linear and what I do affects individuals both close and distant is important to me.  I’ve been on the receiving end as often as anybody and I don’t want to be careless in return.

I’ve had to make decisions lately which I know affect others.  Some of the impact is obvious but I know that there will be ripples I won’t see.  In Second Life it’s very easy to ignore the ripples.  Those people aren’t standing in front of you and their faces can’t show you the pain or anger or confusion we cause.  It’s also much too easy to just “mute” or ignore them and pretend it doesn’t happen.

I think being careless of other people and their feelings is too easy an escape from responsibility for our actions or decisions.  I’ve watched individuals lie and play games and I resent that their personal agendas are an excuse for messing with my life and others.  The steps I’ll take to remove myself from their influence will impact people around me – but, at least I’m weighing the options with that in mind.  This doesn’t make me a saint but it means I don’t feel guilty of the same things I condemn in others.

Go visit Wave Fields↑.  Teleport to the center and take the elevator or just sit in the middle, contemplate your many connections and watch what happens when a small change takes place at a distance.  The virtual butterfly is a powerful beast.

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