Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why I Still Second Life, Well, One Reason!

I don't talk about it much here; I mainly confine virtual world discussions to my Second Life blog, "Oh! Virtual Learning!" But lately I have been becoming interested in reviving my membership in learning communities there. I know, people think I'm nuts, and there are 10 (binary) kinds of people when it comes to understanding the value of 3D virtual "sense of place at a distance," those who are inworld(s) and those who aren't. I logged into SL this early Sunday morning to visit my new little shoppe (you have to pronounce the final "e") at Guthries Folk Club, which I blogged about recently here.

I was greeted by an instant message from one of my literally hundreds of "friends" in Second Life. Although many of those friends ("friends" in the social media sense) have become real-life actual friends over the years I've spent as an educator in SL, this one is really just a virtual acquaintance--think Facebook "friends." She dropped me a notecard in her instant message, and it is this that prompted this blog post. Perhaps it will help some of the 0 people (binary again) "get it."

Note that when Nymf says she read my "profile," that is simply one way to learn more about the people you meet in a virtual world. All it takes is a properly located right-click. Sometimes I wish real-life were so simple...

A picture of the Science Circle HQ (click to enlarge):

Here's Nymf's notecard, repurposed here with her permission:
Good day Scottmerrick,
Couldn't help reading your profile :)
I would like to inform you about “Nymf’s Science Circle”.
The Circle is an alliance of RL Scientists from various fields who gather twice a month. At each meeting a member of the science circle, will give a presentation on a subject of the presenter's choice. We normally seek offers from members of the circle some weeks in advance.  Each presentation is followed by a Q&A and discussion session.  The discussions are  lively and informative, as our different perspectives inform the discussion. They are, however, also conducted with mutual respect and courtesy. 
It is our aim to connect different disciplines, tickle creativity & inventiveness. Share knowledge globally and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas from our different disciplines. This is why we encourage members from all scientific disciplines to join us.
 We aim to create the atmosphere of those fun,  free-wheeling seminars of our early careers.
Until now we have had a wide variety of topics and participation;
1. “The Anthropocene Epoch” by Vic Machalak
2. “The Chinese Room and Strong AI” by Boythorn Ironclad
3. “Religions and Rome” by Perfututor Janus 
4. “Technology and Evolution” by Darkeagle Darkstone
5. “Stem cells” by Alfa Roux
6. "Perception and limits of reality" by Deepthinker Oh
7. "Genome Expression and Internet Communications: An Interdisciplinary Comparison" by Vic Machalak
8. "Search Engines" (about the new Wolfram Alfa conceptual knowledge engine) by Vic Machalak
9. "Extending the human life span" by Deepthinker Oh
10. "Particle Physics" by Vic Machalak
11."Virtual World using OpenSim" by Darkeagle Darkstone
12."Aspergers, Autism & the Rainman" by Deepthinker Oh and Arisia Vita
13."The Monty Hall problem" by Deepthinker Oh
14. "Interdisciplinary Science in Second Life" by Vic Michalak
15. "Computer and Network Security" by Darkeagle Darkstone 
We run a website as well, for uploading the seminars in PDF, interviews with our  members, events, documentaries, weblinks, the Magazine "Gray Matters" and much more, have a look at
 If you are a RL Scientist… consider joining the Circle!
We are hosted at Nature Publishing Group 
 If you aren't a scientist but would like to be kept informed about Circle-meetings... join Nymfs Forum. Go to Search, button Groups, Type; Nymfs Forum and join.
For information and memberships IM Nymf Hathaway or email
P.S. Whilst crafting this post, my avatar Scottmerrick Oh received yet another announcement from yet another group of science educators, announcing a community gathering happening in 15 minutes (from this writing). It's rich inworld, ya'll...

As summer drifts into autumn in the northern hemisphere, temperatures drop, and our thoughts turn to cryogenics.  Join us today at 10AM SLT to listen with us to the live BBC radio show, The Naked Scientists.  Bring your mittens and earmuffs.  SciLands (104,136,28)

1 comment:

Emilia Cornwall (SL) said...

Hey Scott,
Great post! I'd also like to say that many of the groups that exist, seemingly, to support specific state or district folks are usually open to join. For example, the VSTE Island group, while formed to support Virginia educators, is a fabulous group that is open to all. They have events, classes, book talks, and are even supporting a college class that meets on their sim this semester. SLEEC is another example of a district-centric sim from Escambia County FL, but if you join the group, you get access to their island and notification of their great classes and conferences. I've met incredible folks from all over the world in SL.... including you!