The Future of Religions/Religions of the Future:
Dialectics of Faith and Technology in the Third Millennium
June 4-5, 2008
The first day’s session will focus on changes within the major world religions, with a particular focus on Islam. It will be held in Extropia, a community within Second Life dedicated to fostering a creative, collaborative community around a positive vision of the future brought about by human ingenuity, and will be moderated by Michel Manen, founder of The Al-Andalus Caliphate Project, a Second Life attempt to reconstruct 13th Century Moor Alhambra and build around this virtual space a diverse, multicultural community shaped by authentic Islamic principles which include universal ideals of democracy and human rights. The day’s session will conclude with a dance party hosted by DJ Nicki Petrichor, playing the finest in world electronica, techno and electro body music.
The second session will survey new religious movements, from the indigenous religions of game worlds to Second Life spiritual communities, and potential religions of a transhumanist future. This session will be hosted by Sophrosyne Stenvaag, Director of Marketing & External Relations for Extropia, and held in Al-Andalus. The conference will conclude with a Middle Eastern dance party hosted by DJ Cynthia Wilder [subject to confirmation].
For more information: The full conference announcement is here.
Hamlet Au, New World Notes blogger, former Linden and author of the outstanding new book The Making of Second Life (seriously – it’s maybe the very best book on synthetic worlds out there – it’s smart, gripping, sensitive and insightful – go buy a copy!), was our Salon Spotlight Guest today.
We had a terrific crowd – a peak concurrency of 42 – but the Salon room looked strangely empty after seeing 84 people in there last week!
Hamlet dealt well with the outspoken Salon crowd, told some great stories, shared his insights on the Lindens, the state of the industry and the future of synthetic worlds, and stayed into overtime to chat with all of us.
No Salon next week! I’ll be gone all week. Back in two with a second try for JoJa Dhara on Virtual Holland, which we had to cancel a few weeks back due to logins being shut off…
David Brin’s appearance as Salon Spotlight Guest was the centerpiece of Yuri’s Night celebrations in Extropia. Dr. Brin packed them in: we had a peak concurrency of 84, and stayed right around 80 for most of his two-hour appearance. Thankfully, sim stability was excellent, considering the circumstances.
It was certainly an unusual event! We got off to a ragged start, with many of the audience trying to talk at once – which works fine for backchat at events like Metanomics, where the speaker is in the Voice channel, but which completely overwhelmed our guest, who was in text chat, struggling with the interface and the speed of threaded conversations.
After our shakedown, Dr. Brin got into the spirit of the thing in fine form, challenging us to look critically at internet-based communications tools, including those we were using, and led us in a rough-and-tumble exchange that left us all thinking, and hungry for more.
Many thanks to Dr. Brin for his time and engagement with us, and our thanks to Zeroe Auer, who created Dr. Brin’s photorealistic skin, and Zada Zenovka, who built his shape. He was looking fine!
Next week: Hamlet Au (Wagner James Au), founder of the influential blog “New World Notes,” and author of the terrific new book, The Making of Second Life.
Photos by Boc Cryotank (Stephen Euin Cobb)
What an incredible event!
SF Writer (Robert J. Sawyer) was so kind as to join us for nearly three hours of intense conversation today! We drew a decent crowd for our unusual timeslot, 33 people, all of whom were talking at once at some points! The crowd enthusiasm was great, and SF jumped right in for a spirited discussion of transhumanism and its discontents. Religion, elitism, uploading, the singularity, American and Canadian cultural differences – we hit it all in a cheerful and vigorous discussion.
After the Salon, SF stayed to join the Extropia Book Club for a discussion of his Hugo Award-nominated novel Rollback. We had if anything an even better time in this small venue. It was the treat of a lifetime for many of us to sit and chat with such a gifted novelist. It was hard to let him go, and we kept him till the point of exhaustion, I’m afraid.
SF is adorable, generous, terrifically funny, and just a natural fit in Extropia.
While we wish all the other excellent nominees well, if Rollback wins the Hugo at the World Science Fiction Convention this August, we hope SF will come back for the absolute blowout party we’ll throw in his honor!
DJ Nicki Petrichor anchors Extropia’s Space Party!
We’re still finalizing the DJ lineup for Yuri’s Night, but our all-day party will be anchored by Extropia’s good friend, DJ Nicki Petrichor! Nicki was on the decks for Extropia’s Grand Opening last November 11, playing our national anthem (:45 of modem sounds!) and mixing the world’s finest electronica.
She’ll be back for Yuri’s Night with a very special set of Russian and space-themed electronica, electro body music and more! Nicki’s a huge space fan, and she’s going to rock this set like never before!
Second Skies Hosts Dogfighting, Flight Demos!
Extropia proudly hosts a Second Life legend, Gaius Goodliffe’s Second Skies, the premier home of aerospace craft and combat! Based in Extropia’s Skies of Tomorrow region, on Yuri’s Night, Gauis will host an open air combat game – fly, dodge and fight across Extropia’s six sims (400,000 square kilometers!) of open skies!
Be sure to visit Gaius’s facilities in Low Earth Orbit in Extropia Core, for the best views this side of the International Space Station!
Saturday, April 12 is Yuri’s Night, the commemoration of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight to space. All over Earth, parties will celebrate the legacy and hope of spaceflight, from Alaska to Antarctica. In Second Life, party central is Extropia!
We’ll host a full day of events, but the cornerstone will be a special appearance as Spotlight Guest at Sophrosyne’s Saturday Salon by novelist, futurist and gadfly David Brin! Soph will interview David in an open discussion event in the Central Nexus in Extropia Core, from 1 to 2:30 PM Pacific Time.
David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.
His 1989 ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web*. A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on The Postman.
Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy. His non-fiction book — The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? — deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Prize from the American Library Association.
As a speaker and on television, David Brin shares unique insights — serious and humorous — about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives. Brin lives in San Diego County with his wife, three children, and a hundred very demanding trees.