Why Is ‘Second Life’ Still a Thing?

Emanuel Maiberg at Motherboard:

To an outsider, Second Life may look like a crappier version of World of Warcraft. It’s a vast digital space many people can log into with their virtual avatars, only instead of going on wild adventures, slaying dragons and collecting epic swords, it just seems like a bunch of people hanging out in bars, offices, galleries—normal places. That’s a fair assessment of Second Life, but what makes it special and lasting isn’t as apparent.

Yes, Second Life, which first launched in 2003, looks incredibly dated. Thirteen years is an eon in the technology business. There are massively multiplayer games that look prettier, bigger social networks that are better integrated to our daily routines, and video games that are far more fun to play. So why is it still hanging around?

The short answer is that there’s nothing else quite like it. Second Life was never just one of these things. It was a unique combination of all of the above—plus some weird sex stuff—that no other company has managed to displace. Even Second Life’s developer Linden Lab is hesitant to compete with it.

Also:

Second Life is still a thing because despite its age and the easy jokes, it owns an entire market it invented itself.

Why Is ‘Second Life’ Still a Thing?

That last point is key. Back nine years ago when we though “virtual worlds” might be bigger than the World Wide Web, we thought there would be many varieties of virtual world, with Second Life just one of them.

That was wrong. There is no such thing as “virtual worlds.” There is only Second Life. It is unique. It’s similar to a social network, multiplayer online game, virtual reality, augmented reality, user-generated content site like YouTube, online marketplace, and sex fetish site. But it is not any of those things. Nothing else is like Second Life, and Second Life is like nothing else.

How to beat procrastination, in 26 words.

First, forgive yourself.

Then recognize that you don’t have to be in the mood to do something to do it.

Then concentrate on the next action.

The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop [Ana Swanson – The Washington Post]

Two notes about this article:

  1. It’s incredibly long-winded and most of the top part just summarizes another, even longer article on the web. Not cool, Ana Swanson at The Washington Post. If you just read that article, then go back to the Washington Post article and skip down to the part that begins “Present Homer vs. Future Homer,” you’ll be fine.

  2. I should have been doing something else while I was reading the article and composing this blog post.

Fantastic interactive 3D rendering of Don Draper’s “Mad Men” apartment 

Mad_Men_-_Archilogic

Walk through Don Draper’s apartment as if you were Don himself, only sober.

Archilogic:

Inspired by the 1965 book Decoration USA, by Jose Wilson and Arthur Leaman, and the bestselling books of Betty Pepis, this is pop design, no high modernist masterpiece. It’s about pretending you’re happy, rather than about civilisation. In a small indicator of depravity, the living room is over twice the size of the dining room. Who cares about table manners when your wife is half your age?

Perhaps the most retro design decision, one that would never be made today, is screening off the kitchen from the living and dining spaces. Thanks to the popularity of the island, today’s kitchens are about public performance. This kitchen, which neither Don nor Megan spend much time in, was designed for efficiency. The most social thing about it is the bar which Draper, in his spiral into alcoholism, utilizes often.

Via Curbed, from whence I stole the joke.

Dogs hate hugs. Don’t argue with science

The Data Says “Don’t Hug the Dog!” says Stanley Coren on Psychology Today, who did an Internet image search on the terms “hug dog” and “love dog” and examined 250 pictures of dogs being hugged. He found more than 80% showed signs of canine anxiety.

In all, 81.6% of the photographs researchers scored showed dogs who were giving off at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety. Only 7.6% of the photographs could rate as showing dogs that were comfortable with being hugged. The remaining 10.8% of the dogs either were showing neutral or ambiguous responses to this form of physical contact.

Why?

Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running. That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away. Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County: police car window smashed, roads blocked

Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County: police car window smashed, roads blocked

This is just the beginning. It’s going to be a long spring, summer, and fall.