China Bamboo Ink & a CBK for Second Life

China Bamboo Ink (moderate)

Assumptions are part of everyday life, whether we’re in the physical or virtual. I realized yesterday that one of the things I always assume is that if I know something then pretty much everybody must know it.

If I actually think about it then I know it’s a stupid belief, but we get lazy and casual about things.

China Bamboo Ink (moderate)

I was having a conversation with a group of people and, I’m vague on the details but, I said something like “being able to walk through a Chinese brush painting” when talking about the wonders of Second Life. They didn’t know what I was referring to.

I’ve posted on the China sim a few times over the years, my first visit to (what at that time was called) The Bamboo Grove was in January of 2011. It’s still there. The installation is now called China Bamboo Ink↑ and it’s moved down a few hundred meters, but it’s still there. It’s also still sublime.

China Bamboo Ink (moderate)

The sea level build was always fabulous as well. I’ll try and get back there tomorrow to show you what it looks like these days. In the meantime, if you haven’t experienced this work of art I would strongly suggest you go visit.

This led me to one of my odd musings. Back when I was working on professional development (think of it as real life mentoring for newbies in my line of work) we tried to impart one of the key components in any profession, the Common Body of Knowledge.

It doesn’t matter what their specialty, you would expect a doctor (for example) to know their code of ethics, the way to conduct a physical exam, anatomy, etc. That would be the CBK for medicine.

China Bamboo Ink (moderate)

There’s a CBK for virtual residents, or at least I’m proposing there should be. We all assume the avatars we meet know certain things, the problem is that it doesn’t exist except in our minds. It should be documented in one central, accessible location and used as part of (what is loosely called) orientation. A combination of the basics imparted by mentors and the institutional memory carried around by the rest of us.

I don’t mean the Wiki where somebody can try and research stuff. I mean a core set of skills, history, ethics, that all residents should know.  More than “this is how to fly, now go forth grasshopper and use trial and error and maybe somebody will mention the important stuff that isn’t easily obtained”.

Somebody get on that, k?

China Bamboo Ink (moderate)
Leave a comment


  1. DamaLiliana

     /  December 18, 2012

    I agree with you 100%. But let’s not forget that people on SL come from all walks in life and, I dare say, every level of education.

    • That’s true, but I’m not suggesting they need to learn surgery. :) I can remember a couple of years ago somebody being shocked a Linden didn’t know you could click on a chair from a distance and sit down, putting yourself into that room. I didn’t know that either and I had been around for a while.
      I’m suggesting there are things we assume, because we’ve learned them, that we could pull together and make available as a core introductory lesson. Like – don’t pounce on people when they first logon. Or this is how you jump over that fence (*cough* which took me 5 years to figure out). I do recognize that this “lesson” might involve a couple of days of active learning time. It might be something to consider.

      Something more formal than is currently available. Maybe offer a two day course every week with instruction offered by a variety of people. In a variety of languages.

      I’m just brainstorming.


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