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Happy 2010!! New Years Thoughts

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A community of artisans welcoming 2010 with a Samoan fire dance.

E ala e is a Hawaiian phrase which is used in a song to greet the sunrise and enchants the vision of new beginnings.  It is roughly translated in common use as “WAKE UP!” and has a deeper meaning, which is explained at this link.

This song was sung to me by avatar of a Hawaiian native of royal descent who, in my opinion, has transcended the pixel dimensions of Second Life, with an energy that shows that this new medium is essentially a digital form of communicating more than words, more than images, and has given me more than once the reassurance that this virtual world is a community builder, a glue between the global participants, leading to a future of untold and amazing connections.

A few times, I have been been at a point in my travels in this new world where I questioned the validity of the effort.  It is not easy to convince a non-user of the value of a video-game based technology which applies to non-game thinking.  Experienced users can attest to the difficulty of accepting the virtual world as a business utility, or fundraising service, or countless other uses by the uninitiated.

As the new year comes over the horizon, I want to express deep gratitude to those people behind the keyboards, the users of Second Life, for helping me develop an understanding of new ideas, new places, and skills that will carry on and evolve as we go into the next decade.  Indeed, we are pioneers in this place; a new territory in the minds of the people who reach out and grab onto the future in such an intangible way.

Not always do we feel the comfort and support of our comrades, and through the challenges we are learning to adapt and adopt a new way of thinking.  There have been visionaries of the past who have felt this isolation due to a lack of awareness from those around them.  In the end, we discover a new facet of our psyche, and Second Life is just the first in a series of virtual worlds which ultimately will be thought of as everyday and mundane, as the World Wide Web is to us today.

It seems not so long ago, a younger version of myself was working through a similar effort with something called the “Information Infrastructure”, and this nascent idea was transformed into an international base for commerce, communication, and relation to others in the world we could not dream to meet or share ideas with using the old paradigm — today this industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue, connecting disparate extents of families and communities, providing support, delivering new ideas and products that shape our very existence.

2010 will bring us closer to the time when virtual worlds are considered an invaluable part of our daily existence.  If you can see this happening today, we are a fellowship of adventurers into the next generation of strange and wondrous places and ideas.  May we share this in peace and harmony; and though this is an ideal, it is one worth pursuing.  Nuff said.

Rj Cote,
Avatar: RJ Kikuchiyo in SL™ OSGrid, ReactionGrid, SpotOn3D, Legend City Online, and many others to come!

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