Monthly Archives: December 2006

Nietzsche Quote


“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

This quote has been stuck to my parents’ kitchen wall ever since I can remember. Whenever I see it I feel rich.

What’s a Metaverse?

I became interest in a project called Second Life (http://www.secondlife.com/) – initially just out of curiosity. Broadly, the idea is a whole virtual world, with residents, money, shops, houses, businesses and so on.

I tried it out, and lasted about 10 minutes before I was inspired enough to leave. This is because, the actual second life, the one that exists is little more than a so called-Massively Multiplayer Game (such as World of Warcraft). The major difference is there is no game element underpinning the thing, so essentially the whole experience is dull.

However I really do like the idea. Utilising the Internet (in particular) and technology to get many people interacting, playing, creating things are the exact projects, games or works of art that enjoy and also represent an area that I would love to have a role in.

Simulated reality is the idea that reality could be simulated — usually computer-simulated — to a degree indistinguishable from ‘true’ reality. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not know that they are living inside a simulation. In its strongest form, the “Simulation Hypothesis” claims we actually are living in such a simulation.

This is different from the current, technologically achievable concept of virtual reality. Virtual reality is easily distinguished from the experience of ‘true’ reality; participants are never in doubt about the nature of what they experience. Simulated reality, by contrast, would be hard or impossible to distinguish from ‘true’ reality.

Practical or not, the idea raises three vexing questions:

  • Is it possible, even in principle, to tell whether we are in a simulated reality?
  • Is there any difference between a simulated reality and a ‘real’ one?
  • How should we behave if we knew that we were living in a simulated reality?

An interesting aspect of Second Life is the parallels to social networking dedicated websites, like Facebook.com or Myspace.com. These websites take the lion share of internet hits, if you disregard key areas like email and pornography. They’re a modern (internet enabled) phenomenon.

Maybe it would be possible to create a non-graphical virtual world that would seamlessly link with sites like Facebook and Myspace. I used to play an internet game, where you were the leader of a planet and had to use your resources to live and expand your empire. Planetarion I think it was called. The game takes place in real time and had about 500,000 participants all existing on their own planet, invading other solar systems, amassing hundreds of space ships. The point is, it was very successful and absorbing, was “real” to extent (there were real people playing it) and took place outside of the graphical world. All that was required was numbers and figures representing how your world was progressing. Maybe I should explore a text-based, socially-networked Metaverse (more Metaverse reading on WikiPedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaverse and also http://www.metaverseroadmap.org/)

I really enjoy all of the philosophical ponderings that are born from this subject.

The philosopher Nick Bostrom investigated the possibility that we may be living in a simulation. His argument attempts to prove the disjunction of three hypotheses (that is, that at least one of the following three propositions must be true), that:

either
  1. intelligent races will never reach a level of technology where they can run simulations of reality so detailed they can be mistaken for reality; or
  2. races who do reach such a level do not tend to run such simulations; or
  3. we are almost certainly living in such a simulation.

At the time I thought the concept behind the Matrix was inspired, with hindsight its obvious that the writers had plenty of back-thinking to turn to for inspiration.

Ask why? Live

My girlfriend Caiti said to me, very profoundly for her intoxicated state at the time, “To ask why, is to live” and whilst counting traffic last summer I wrote some words that were meant to reflect that sentiment. I ended up with something that was pretty heavy-going and not very good reading/listening – I don’t think. But I’m still in love with the turn of phrase, it rolls from the tong beautifully and is full of philosophical meaning. I guy I used to work with would refer to it as “a poser”.


I used a few sections of these words in a bouncy dark dance track, with a highly distorted vocal track. It sounds pretty good I think and may well end up on the album. There’s no way you could tell its me either.

Why is alive; why survive. To ask why is to live”

Learning Agreement: "Classic" Photography

I’ve become very aware of my (lack of) bank balance recently, especially due to the proximity to Christmas.

On a trip to Chorlton water park (South Manchester) and various other expeditions I’ve been over the last two months, it struck me I could possibly make some money selling prints of my images. I haven’t a particular speciality in my photography.

I’d like to explore different kinds of subject (nature, architecture, people etc) and different techniques. I’d especially like to experiment with different types of lens (zoom, macro and wide-angle) and also with the different ways (and costs!) of printing and framing photographs.


Goose; This image is a turning point, looking at this I thought “I could sell these….” This has had some digital manipulation, post-exposure, to increase the contrast in the image. However I think I took this a step too far, when printing the image looks too unreal.

Learning Agreement: Time

Whilst working on my VJ project I’ve become very interested in different ways of taking photographs over a period of time, as well as representing time with photographic methods. Combining the two is a goal but I’m not quite sure how wide the posts are.