December 20, 2006

Rageing Against Ageing

This monday I held a talk for the first time in Second Life, at the Uvvy Island conference center. The subject was the scientific, ethical and economical case for life extension, as well as some of my thoughts on how to create a life-affirming "culture of longevity". Eugene Leitl helpfully posted the transcript of my talk and surrounding chat.

It was an interesting experience lecturing in SL. I have relatively little experience with the system, but it has some promise. I think scripting gestures as part of cut-and-pasting a prewritten talk might be very useful, although I found it relevant to also direct the avatar's gaze by the mouse. The hardest part was keeping up with the general discussion. Chats tend to be messy since everybody are essentially talking at the same time. We might need some tools for organising this, for example by threading chats. Some of the questions were the typical "but what about overpopulation?" doubts, others quite high-level and intriguing. It seems that chat is not the best mode for actually thinking deeply, but might be a good way of voicing concerns that can later be analysed at more length on mailing lists or in updated versions of the paper. Overall, a stimulating experience although I think I'm a better lecturer in real life rather than second life.

Thanks to Giulio Prisco for the photo.

Posted by Anders3 at December 20, 2006 11:45 AM