Second Life: What Do We Learn If We Digitize EVERYTHING?
What is real life coming to owe digital life?
After a couple years in the flat part of exponential growth, the steep part is now arriving for the massive multi-player online world construction kit called "Second Life." With 1.7 million accounts, membership in "Second Life" is growing by 20,000 per day. The current doubling rate of "residents" is 7 months, still shortening, which means the growth is (for now) hyperexponential.
For this talk the founder and CEO of "Second Life," Philip Rosedale, tried something new for him - a simultaneous demo and talk. His online avatar, "Philip Linden," was on the screen showing things while the in-theater Philip Rosedale was conjecturing about what it all means. "This is a game of 'Can I interest you more in what I'm saying than what's going on on the screen?'"
He showed how new arrivals go through the "gateway" experience of creating their own onscreen avatar, explaining that because intense creativity is so cheap, easy, and experimental, the online personas become strongly held. "You can have multiple avatars in 'Second Life,' but the overall average is 1.25 avatars per person." The median age of users is 31, and the oldest users spend the most time in the world (over 80 hours per week for 10 percent of the residents)- The Long Now Foundation
Philip Rosedale is Founder of Second Life and High Fidelity.
Good evening, I am Stewart Brand from the Long Now Foundation.This is the Third World Builder we've had in this series.Jimmy Wales was here almost a year ago, talking about how Wikipedia came together,basically is becoming matched with the world and its scale and its content;and then we had combination of Wil Wright and Brian Eno down at the Herbst Theaterbecoming friends in front of that audience many of whom are probably here tonight,and they're building Spore where not only the users are making it, but the programs themselvesare generative both for the graphical elements and that dynamically systematic functioningof it much like SimCity, only richer. And also the music that's what Brian is bringing to it.Brian's approach on that, just to mention a thing that came up afterwards,is that he wants the music instruments which you use as a user in Spore to be so goodthat people will get the program just for the musical instruments.That's the kind of thing that happens in these worlds that are built,just happening in Second Life, it's a wonderful situation where the creator himself or herselfgets to be surprised by what the creation does once it's occupied by a lot of creative people.But there is also our first creator and tonight we have one of them, Philip Rosedale.Well hello everybody. Thanks for having me. I am Philip Rosedale,otherwise known as also known as Philip Linden, that's me in Second Life.And what Stewart asked me to talk about here tonight to the best of my abilitiesand I'll try to do, tell you something about Second Life, is about what it tells us about the real world,you know what've we, what'd I, what have we collectively learned from Second Life so farabout the real world or about ourselves, so I thought I would do a...let me see here and... I'm in this yogi position...There are lot of sounds in Second Llife.You always take your chances when you walk away from the screen there,for that amount of time... I don't know why I am sitting, isn't that interesting?All of the Second Lifers out there are like, "That is so strange..."I'm going to start up here again.I've got a story here in 3 parts, and then what I wanted to do is take some questionsand get everybody to direct to me a little bit in terms of what you want to seeand what we can talk about. I wrote some notes down, I wrote them down with a pen todayand then I uploaded into Second Life then I stuck them on a piece of paper here,and I am holding it my avatar's hand, so we can take a look.So instead of Powerpoint we'll just do this. Here we go.I'll keep referring back to that but I thought we'd do three things, I thought I'd kind of tell youabout the Yin of the digitizing everything which is the world around you,and then I would tell you so I'll spend a little time on that,then I thought I'd spent some time on the effect that it has on us,so digitizing the world means that you digitize the space and then you digitize yourselfand I think the standpoint and discussion those two things are different enoughthat they are sort of two different parts and thoughts here.And then finally my thoughts on what Second Life tells us about the future, what's to come,I guess that's the hardest part. But I thought I'd start with this issueof digitizing everything... you know, we have been digitizing this pretty aggressivelyfor the last couple of decades, audio and video.In general when we digitize things we generally do it, because it makes them easier to manipulate,easier to share, easier to modify, we've seen that happen with media.And so Second Life in a way asks the really big question,"Well do we have enough computing power to just go all the way rather than, you know,starting with these little things like media, and just digitize everything, digitize the whole world?"And so starting about 7 years ago that's what we Linden Lab started trying to do,we started writing a lot of software to try and digitize the whole world.You know, why would you do that? Why would you digitize everything?Well the world as the physical place that we always thinking people are embedded inwas here before us. Physics, in some sense made us--you can see all this IM-ing, by the way. This is all people talking to me, can I see them busy.We had a terrible -- for those who are in Second Life in here we had a terrible upgrade yesterday,so you'll see the chatter here in the background.How many people in the room like have a Second Life account?That's really cool, so we're getting there. So that world the physical world was here before usand we as thinking people can obviously imagine it a lot better, ideas like who owns what,are things that are not written into the basic atomic physics of the world.The world works in a way that, it doesn't say who owns things, the world works in waysthat we can easily imagine improving on.And so I think that was a lot of genesis of Second Life, at least for me, was this question of,well you know, can we take a computer or a lot of computers, and try and simulate the whole world?And so how would we do that? So that's the...So I'll try to tell you just at a high level, so you can kind of imagine the capabilities here,how we actually did that, digital atomics, what did we do?So the world is made up of atoms; atoms are too small to simulate with a computer nowadays,and so we imagined from the start that we were going to do something where,just like you see us now -- I'm going to fly here...Everyone can fly, of course, in Second Life, why not?You know, I'm flying around the little island here, in Second Life,and this island is actually being simulated on one computer,it's being simulated on one server machine. So we had this question,"Well how can simulate a world that is interesting enough for us to be willing to engage in,and do things and but not too complicated for us so that we, so that the computerswould actually be able to simulate it?"And so what we did, and I'll play around a little bit and show this off,was we built kind of an atomic system; we said that all the pieces of this world,like just little chunk of that tower bar over there, each one of these little pieceswould be our atoms. And so we would sort of built things like legos,we would build this whole world in place, out of, using atoms that were... oh, about this big.So we'd kind of, we'd start with a basic, you know, cube in this case.So this is the atom in Second Life -- that's the sound of creation, isn't that great?I love that. Takes a second to load.So this is an atom. So what can I do with that?Let me show you that because it's kind of fun. Now part of what's really fun hereis that all of what I am doing here I can do with other people, I figure I'll show you that,I'll show you that at the end, but it's really crazy, the incredible thing hereis that all of this is built in real time, with all your friends sitting next to youtelling you what to do, or even working on it with you together.But this is a digital atom. So what can I do with it?Well, I can do it bunch of things with it. I can change --I can certainly, you know, do simple stuff like change what color it is, you know, I can I show you,I'll show it stretching it there are little bit, I can make it shiny, I can cut it --and this is important, you ask, like, what are, you know, what is the shape of an atom?The idea here in Second Life was to make the whole definition of this object here take up,you know, 20 or 30 bytes, so it would be a very compact little genetic representationthat would tell me what this, what this object looks like. I can shear it, I can twist it,I can even make it... I can do just about anything I want with it.So that's kind of an atom, now let's...Now it's also physical, so it exists in a real world here so, I can pick it upeven though I've got something in my hand, here, I can pick up and throw it over there,I could throw it at somebody else and you can imaginethere is a whole world of experience that comes with that. So, there is a physics enginethat is animating the environment here, everything is being continuously simulated.The other thing I can do...In the real world objects have all these unusual interactive capabilities.A thing like a personal computer in the real world is built out of electronics, you know,some mechanical physics and then electrons moving around. So we sort of said,"Well, how are you going to make things interactive? If I want to make this big,weird object here do something interesting, how am I going to do that?"Well, again, to kind of cheat, not use so much computing power,we created a scripting language, a programming language that lets me, nowtake that little object and attach a little bit of programming to it.So now what am I going to do is, I want to say that when I touch that objectI want it to change its color, so I'm editing its code right now.Again, somebody could be sitting next to me while I do this.So that says, when I touch that object I want it to say, "Touched!"Let's say, "Hello Stewart." And I save that...That little bit of code is now transferred to the server where we are,and that object is now also running this little piece of program.And so if I touch it, it changes its color, and it says "Hello Stewart."Now this object can also talk to the web, so it can talk to intelligent systemsthat are running on machines on the internet, not just on Second Life.It can exchange information with them, it can communicate with other people,it could tell you when your friends come by, act as a door bell,send you an e-mail when your friends in Second Life come by to see you...It can do just about anything. The language that we wrote is pretty fast.In fact, on this island right now, there are probably about 3,000 or so objects like that.They're all doing things. In fact this whole islandis about as many as 15,000 or so of those little tiny objects,all being continuously simulated by the computer.If you look up in the air, you'll see some clouds.The clouds in Second Life are a fluid simulation, also running on the same computer.And that fluid simulation spreads across the whole system.In fact there are at this point around, closing in on around 5,000 computers,about a million watts, about a Megawatt of continuous electric powerthat runs the entire world of Second Life.Zooming in on the map here you can see this little area, and then as I zoom back herewe get to the whole of Second Life which is actually about the size, at this point,of about two San Franciscos, it's about a hundred square miles,and it has tens of millions of user created objects in it. Which brings me to another point...Let's look at my notes here...So, more is different...You know, when we started with Second Life, and when you look at one of those little, tiny,you know, cubes that I was playing with there, you're struck by the thought that this,in and of itself isn't very interesting. That one little object with a little bit a code on itisn't going to do very much. But what you want to keep in mind is thatthings take on very different properties, emergent properties as you scale them up.And so right from the get-go we built Second Life to be this tiled simulationwhere you could just basically start with dirt-- Second Life was initiallysixteen of these server machines and nothing but sort of some grass...This island that we're standing now, obviously--I just chose it to start out showing you things here, it's an island that was entirely builtby the one person who owns it. You know, there's close to 5,000 of these islands nowfrom that original 16. When you looked at those 16 simulators --and lot of investors, say in 2002, 2003, that kind of time frame did,they'd look this dirt and grass and they'd say, "You've got to be kidding me, you know,you are guys are... First off it takes all this computing power for you guysto run this ridiculous thing, and second of all you're expecting a bunch of peoplethat you don't know to build everything, and from what you're showing me so farI see a stupid box that you can click on and change colors, none of this stuffis going to be very pretty..." But there we get this idea of emergent properties,and of very, very large systems, and you know in the words of the physicist Philip Anderson,"more is very different." And so as this thing grew, and as it came to contain millions of objects,you started to see things really come to life.You started to see people competing with each other, one person would make somethingand the next person to come into Second Life was obviously be struck by how pretty it was,and ask themselves the question of whether they could make something that was nicer than that.And so what we told those investors, and this convinced none of them to invest in us...But what we told them was, "Just wait, it's all going to get betterand this is eventually going to look good." I read a blog post from somebody, an investor,earlier today saying, "Well this Second Life thing is cool,but it doesn't really have the kind of mainstream appeal of something like 'World of Warcraft.'"Everybody seems to misunderstand this concept of emergence.Second Life was so ugly in the beginning you wouldn't have believed it.It looked like a cardboard shantytown as you flew around the mainland,looked at what everybody was doing. We haven't changed the technology all that much,but it's gotten more and more compelling-looking as it's grown.So... very, very different when you do something like this at the scale that we're doing it.Again, you know, a million watts of power and 5,000 machines, it's a lot of equipment.This is a different kind of thing.The other thing that's interesting, and you really saw that when I was... Whoops.Still learning my Mac, here. And yes we run on Mac and Linux.The other thing is that, all of this is done in one contiguous space.As I've said before, you know, the web has the metaphor of hyperlinking,it has this idea that you can always jump from one page to the next,and in that sense all the pages are connected. Some of the attempts that people have madehistorically to create, you know, the metaverse, to create 3D spaces online,have failed to recognize that what's so critically importantis that all of this stuff happened in one big space.If you are going to have a emergent properties, if you are going to have people able to,at every scale, if you will, create something amazing, you have to make it all connected to itself.And so Second Life is connected in a couple of different ways;one is that, it's literally right to next to each other. Each one of these little squares,by the way, that we see on the screen -- I'm circling one there -- each one of those,you know, is another one of these little server machines.You can walk everywhere from everywhere in Second Life, it's all connected.And so what I think that did was, that fueled that emergent growth,holding it at the maximum level, because you were just always encounteringwhat your neighbor was doing. Now the "one world" thing is another reason why, like,nobody ever wanted to invest in this. People said, "But wait, you know,if I'm putting up a night club, I mean, I want control, I want to set where the sun is in the skyand I want, I don't want any neighbors, I don't want some goofy neighbor with, you know, a tiki hut.I want to control the whole experience, and when you come to my night club,I'm going to show you everything." And somehow, strangely,and I think we had the right intuition about this, that was just, that just isn't the right idea.It's what everybody individually wants, it's not what makes things happen,it's not the way the real world works. And so from the very get-gowe believed that the economy, the objects, the,literally the physical terrain of Second Life had to be one world that everybody could be a part of.So that was something very important as well.So let's see... So that's kind of the world. So that's the--and frankly my background is Physics and Computer programming.The piece that we sort of started with, as I said the Yin,environment of Second Life was this world simulation, we were trying to build a world simulator.What I think we have learned a lot about, I know I have learned a lot about as time has gone by, is,now what happens to you, when you put yourself into that place?Not just, you know, the digital representation of me as an avatar here,but what kind of, you know, who am I?What is it mean to, sort of, inject yourself into a digital space?So, and I think before we do this I am going to try to go somewhere...So that first line there is "the gateway drug."Stewart and I were just talking about this with respect to Burning Man.There is a property inherent in the experience of projecting one's identity,in one way or another, into the computer and then interacting with other people in real time.There is this magical thing that Second Life takes advantage of that text chatbefore it took advantage of, which is that, when the environment has the property thatyou're sort of there, but you're not really there, you're not really making eye contactbut you kind of are, and so you're close but you're not close, so it has this fascinating kind ofindirect property, you get this gateway drug effect. And what I mean by thatis that you're willing to connect with people and share information with themand create bonds and create friendships in a very rapid, potent way,that I don't think in real life we can ever achieve except under unusual circumstanceslike Burning Man, to people that have seen that, gone to it.So to show you that, let me see here, where was I....?What I'm going to try to do right now is see if our...You can look for events in Second Life,and to talk about what it's like to be a person in Second Life,I thought I'd try to find us some live music to go listen to. This is pretty cool.Okay, let's try this. I just teleported, jumping to somewhere new.The other thing that's amazing about Second Life is, it's,if we have to ship this environment to you like as a video game,if we had to put it on DVD and send it to you, it would at this point...it's about 25 or 30 terabytes of data, so it would be a big shipping carton of these thingsand you'd get really sick of changing the disc. What I'm looking for, is--oh, look all the little green people over there.Oh, this is great. This is a club called Cecilia's, and this is a live music club,so I figured this is a perfect place to talk about...We'll see what's going on here for a second and then I'll probably mute this.That's live. I'm trying to find who's singing here, and I'm going to...This is so cool. And I'm going to explain...The person who's playing here, and I'm looking for-- oh, there she is. Okay.This is just crazy. (unintelligible), who I've seen in Second Life before, in fact...I can say, she's singing right now, live, wherever she is,and everybody's dancing and listening to her.I'm going to take off my little translator here, we've got too much cruft on the screen.So what's she's doing right now is sitting in her house, or her home studio,and she's playing this music for us, for all the people that are here in the club,and she's streaming it live, at 128Kbps as an MP3 file and we're listening to it,so I can ask her to actually... When she's done I'll ask her to give us a shout out.One of coolest things I always enjoy as Philip Linden-- everybody knows my name,because Linden is the last name of the Lindens, the company--So I'm telling her... She was actually, I think, at our community conference,which was this summer, which was right here in this room for anybody who remembers it.So that's weird. But... so wait a minute now, what was I going to talk about?So what is it... The jacket, yeah. I don't know... Oh, the jacket...You mean, my leather jacket? There's only one of those. She knows that.So I am going to sit down in the chair here for a moment,urrounded by all these people and talk about a couple of things about being virtual.One of the things that people-- This is game of "Can can I interest you more than the screen?"This stuff's all streamed so everybody'll kind of come in here, but...When people think about being digital, they, I think, traditionally regard itas being a little bit anonymous and in some sense, in the sense that your true name,your physical identity is hidden behind your virtual identitythere is a degree of anonymity. But actually--So, the thing that's so interesting about this sort of an environment is,there's actually an opposite thing that happens, there's a,what is the opposite of being anonymous with respect to your digital identity?It is so easy to create the world around you in Second Life,it is so easy to say who you want to be. I mean, if you look at my clothing here,I mean, now I'm something of an icon, because I sort of left these clothes onafter I made them a couple of years ago because people came to know me as having them on,and so I never change my clothes. But if you meet people in Second Life what you will see...Now I mean, let's just take a look, you know, at these two.The choices that people make about their identities here are easier to makethan it is in the real world to say who we want to be.And so when you walk up to somebody in Second Life, if I sit downI could walk over here and sit and talk to this person.But when you look at the jewelry here, and you look at her, you know,pink lips and you look at the, the fact that she's wearing an earring that--Oh, that's people clapping. There's whole (unintelligible) here, this is so great.Like a great conference you get the side chatter going on while I'm talking here.If you look at the details that each person, and the time they takein choosing who they want to be, what you begin to realize is thatan opposite sort of thing is happening: you are projecting your identity into this spacein a more facile and detailed way then you typically do in reality.In the real world we can make these excuses like, "Well, I'm busy,or I don't have enough money to really dress the way I want to dressor put the art in my apartment the way I want to. That's not the real me,what you're seeing is just an issue of convenience."But in Second Life and in these digital worlds to come we don't have that level of difficulty.There is no cost of goods. It doesn't cost anything to make things here.There are tens of thousands of clothing designers in Second Life;if you fail to find clothes that you think suit you in Second Life, you're,there's something wrong with you. There's so much stuff here. So you know, ditto...People always want me to come and visit with them.Your house, who your neighbors are, all the details of your life are so plastic herethat you find yourself externalizing your thoughts and your intentionsmuch more then you actually do in the real world. We should come back to thatwhen we talk about, kind of, you know, futures and the meaning of things.Let's see, do I have to stand up to see my notes here? I just love this.I've never had the opportunity just sit and wonder around and goof off...I usually have to use the Powerpoint slides."The Sum of Our Dreams." So one of the questions I get,and it's really cool for us to have made the progress that we have in this and, you know,have people actually seriously ask us this question is, they say, "Well, science fiction,The Matrix, Snow Crash, you pick it, has imagined..."Oh, are you guys laughing at the missing invisible person?Yeah, that's actually a bug.That's not an intentional projection of identity, it's an accidental projection of identity.People ask me a lot, "Well, you guys built The Matrix. What's different?What's different about The Matrix than the one that we've imagined in film and in fiction?"You know, the imagined metaverse in the movies,it always has a consistent aesthetic style, right? We all wear black trenchcoatswe're all kind of deadly and, you know, our hair is slicked back, you know.It's a pretty common theme there, you know, the cyber-dystopia.Actually, if you think about it, if the digital world is a world that belongs to us,and if it's to be real in this important sense that we are able to create it,then what you expect is that it's this sort of, "sum of all our dreams,"it's the statistical average of everything we want.So what people have built in Second Life is a world, you know --I'll pull the camera back here -- you know, it's a world that is what they wantedand it's a world of everyone's aspirations, you know, it's a world of old shipsand it's the world of scuba diving and it's a world of, it's a world that's has bathrooms,because we value bathrooms. It's a world that has Ferraris and Rolexesand it's a world that, as I've said lots of times, what we all want is a sort ofFrank Lloyd Wright, cantilevered house on that cliff, Los Angeles,there's some palm trees and below there's a dock where we have little power boatand we watch the sunset from the deck. That is in some sense the statistical averageof our dreams, and so I think that's really interesting that the more plastic we make the worldthe more it resembles whatever it is we want. So that's another thought about identity.So... I'm trying to think if I've missed any of the basic sort of enabling capabilities...As I've said before, a lot of these people's identities, (unintelligible) for example,where is she? Everybody's a (unintelligible) fan.We got another guy up here on stage singing now. I don't have him on, but...Let me kind of walk out of the madness here.I don't know why I am walking like that, either.The bugs, they come when you do the demos.So let me take a of bit time and, having shown you the world and what it is to be a part of it,let me mediate a little bit on the things that we're learning. Now again,everybody who looked at this thing kind of conventionally would say, historically would say,Well, you guys had got this wacky kind of thing like 'The WELL' or somethingwhere there's all these incredibly creative thinking people, there's only few thousand of them..."This was like, in 2004. "...and the character of this thing and the feature setand the sensibilities of it are all driven by this crazy bunch of creative people,that have been nuts enough to figure out this complicated UI and get a really fast computerand everything so they can run it."And so people have always said, "Well, there's going to be this split...In the beginning there's going to be, 30 to 40% of the people are going to be making the contentthat everybody else is consuming. In other words everybody's going to be a creator,and then as things grow, it's going to be like the real world --almost nobody makes anything, and everybody, almost everybody,almost all of the time is just a consumer, like we consume media and we consume clothingand we consume houses and everything else." What if that wasn't true?There's a lot of... There's actually been some suggestion of this,if you look at things like the sort of Web 2.0, you know, YouTube and videoand what people have been doing is, they've been given increasingly the abilityto create things online. But in Second Life you probably see this broughtto a point of focus that you don't see anywhere else.When people are given the ability to make things, to create,when we're all given the ability to be quite creative compared to real life, we take it.We seem willing to be creative to a degree that there doesn't appear to be any end to.We will sort of make our environment and share it with others and meet peopleand make things with them, be creative to a degree that doesn't appear that have an end.We have gone in nineteen, in the beginning of this year we had 100,000 people in Second Lifethat had signed up, many less people that were actively using it;now we have 1.7 million people that have signed up, so that's a 17 factor growth this year.It's still 30%. The statistics we have that indicate how much timepeople spend making stuff is not changing significantly.People are still taking advantage of the plasticity of the environment and making it their own,and that doesn't seem to be changing as more and more mainstream peoplecome in to Second Life. So that's my first point about the future,if we use technology to enable the world to be deeply mutable by us,we will, it seems, to a degree that I think we've sort of forgottenbecause of the technology of media and the difficult, how expensive it is to built a car or,you know, or a computer chip, we have sort of lost, in a sense, in modern technologyour ability to be creative, and these digital worlds are going to bring it back.And what that means it that the world is going to have a lot more variety.Second Life hasn't gotten any less nuts as it's grown, one bit.There's just as much stuff as ever.So plasticity, plasticity is something that we all seem to--Ow. We should go on, there's like, sky diving, there's all kinds of crazy things I could do here.It is so funny to try and challenge myself to run a presentationwhile I'm simultaneously using Second Life and talking. There I go...I've got to take this darn thing off here and put it on the ground. I keep sweeping it into my leg.The "time machine" idea there... Everything happens a lot faster in Second Life becausethere is much more facile communication, there is an ability to rapidly prototype things,try out new ideas, find a business partner, get married... Everything happens faster there,so there's a generalized property of Second Life, and I believe also of virtual worldsand virtualization in general that suggests that yes, we are going to continue to sort ofaccelerate the time scales associated with virtually everything we do.I guess for some people that's a depressing or stress-causing thought,and for others it's very exciting, but it definitely seems to be the case here.So people tend to use Second Life today for things like sort of taste-testing and prototypingand things where you can sort of use that "time machine" quality.Starwood, for example, put a hotel in Second Life --we could go see it, it's the aloft hotel -- they haven't built this hotel in the real world yet,they built it in Second Life with the idea being that people would comeand wonder around, they actually had an artist, Ben Folds, play a party at the --in the lobby of the hotel with the idea that people would come to the hotel,wander around, go into the rooms and give them feedback on whether it was good hotel.They built it very accurately, and they got 25 or 30 meaningful reviews from people,you know, emails and stuff, after they did that. So they were able to exploit the factthat it is just cheaper and faster to do things in there than it is to do them here."Everything's Free," so... You know, with media today,we've got this thing we are contending with, it says that if you're an artist,reproducing your music is technologically trending towards being zero costand unless you try to legislate against that which is,seems fruitless given how many countries there are and how many different approachespeople can take to this, you are not going to be able to stop the physics, so to speak,of that cost equation, that things are going to become freer and freer.Well, Second Life is the ultimate extension of that because everything is free.In fact the only scarce resource, and Stewart was reminding me earlier that,I think Jaren Lanier perhaps said this almost 20 years ago,he only natural resource in this future virtual world is creativity.As a pragmatic technologist I put a little comma and then say,"and also computing resources," as people sadly know in Second Lifethere is only so much grid here to extract simulation power from, but pragmatically and,or strategically in the limit of computation, the only thing that's precious in this environmentis creativity, and so things like you as a brand,you as a famous person in Second Life is meaningful.The idea of you charging a fixed price for every copy of an article of clothingis probably not as meaningful long term. So again there is a pressure there toward diversity.So that's another thing we learn about the future.In the future where the cost of goods descends and descends and descends,think it's less likely that there will be big mass market concepts.I've always found it amusing that the sort of dystopias imagined by science fictioninevitably made the world more gray, made it more monochromatic.That's so very unlikely to be true, because these costs of production,of prototyping and distribution are reduced to virtually zero by this type of an environment.And again I think Second Life, we focused on making that, empowering that,because we so wanted emergence to drive everything, but this is just going to beintrinsically true of any of these systems. Because there's only bits moving around here.I wrote down there, I wrote "Orgy and Rebirth."You know, there's a funny thing about Second Life... Everybody says,Oh my God, if I see another dance club I'm going to puke," or,you know, all the jewelry or the bling...We haven't seen that, I don't know if anybody noticed,you know that all the jewelry all scintillates with little reflections. It's just funny.Another interesting thing I'd say about digital worlds is thatthey provide this cathartic environment in which we can work through all the stuffthat we always wanted to do. You know, we can have as much sex as we want to have,we can have a Ferrari, we can fly an airplane, we can go skydiving,we can have that house on the hill that I talked about earlier, and then --nd I think this is the uplifting and inspiring part --we can kind of move on and start thinking about what's next.And so when you go to Second Life, and I encourage you to try it,you see this interesting superpositioning of people that are kind of just doing that,"I'm going to live life to the fullest, relative to the desires that I have now in the real world,"and then on top of that, and in the margins and the spaces in-between things,you find these odd and interesting people who are kind of,ow they've reached that zen-like calm where they've satiated themselveswith all of this stuff and they are sort of thinking what they're going to do next.So that's another thought about the future here; maybe we're going to becomeless materialistic in a way, just because we're going to have so much."The future of work..." To a great degree,and this is actually really been pioneered in some of the massively multiplayer games,like World of Warcraft... In World of Warcraft if you have 200 peoplethat are in your guild that are willing to go and fight battles for you,they're all paying you to be a part of your team. They don't have to be there.They can walk away at any time, and so inherently, management and organizationhappens differently in an environment in which people have so many optionsand are so much fundamentally freer. And so I think that's something that's very important.There are 20, 30, 40 person companies making, you know,approaching multimillion-dollar annual revenues in Second Life, building content,things like that hotel that I mentioned earlier.For the most part those are companies organized of people that met in Second Life.They don't even necessarily know each other's physical identities.They work together entirely in the environment.There is a profound decentralization that's being tested, as an experiment if you will,here in this world, and what it is showing is what I think a lot of modern thinkershave already told us, which is that decentralization generally works better,that business can operate more efficiently, that people could operate together betterwhen they are very, very free to make their own strategic judgments about they should do,and then you sort of see the emergent sum of, who's able to be effective as a manageror an organizer under those conditions, rather than these sort ofmonarchic work environments that we have today where the CEO, you know,you live in that town and there's four or five companies you can work at but, you know,you're better off not telling off the CEO.As a corollary to that, a lot of people are starting to do a lot of business meetingsin Second Life, a lot of business meetings. Real world business meetings.I mean, like, IBM having a team meeting. And the reason that they're doing that,I don't think is necessarily because those meetings are empowered fundamentallyfrom the content perspective by being done in Second Life,but instead because they're more fun, and you're more likely to, you know,speak the truth in those meetings. So that's a fascinating thing to think about.Again we all came into this thinking,"Well, we're going to use this technology to somehow make business meetings better."I think most business meetings aren't of any value, so you can't improve on zero,but you could make them more fun.So "The Museum New York." So therefore I say that if digital environmentsare likely to be premier environments for collaboration and creativity,if we're going to move lot of intellectual energy in to Second Life,into things like Second Life, into cyberspace, then what is actually going to happento the real world? So my last thought before we take some questionsand go in whatever direction we want here, look at some other stuff in Second Life is...I really believe that particularly the places where we have conventionally gathered to work,the skyscrapers of New York... When I look into the future, people say,"What's going to happen here?" I get this feeling, and it's a weird thought,but I think it's true, that these are going to become kind of like museums,kind of like how we visit the old, like, we visit the old, paper mill that's down the way at...You go and see it now, you still go to it, there's still people wondering through it,but they're wondering through it as a museum, a memory.We're going to move the most facile collaborative creative aspects of our intentionsand our thought and our actions into the virtual worlds,for all the reasons that I talked about here. They are just... It's easier, it's better,it's higher resolution, it just has all these amazing properties.And I think what that means is that, fairly quickly, probably quicker than,as is usually is the case with these exponential technology curves,slower at the beginning and then much faster than any of us thought, towards the end...I think we really are going to fundamentally change the nature of how we look at the real world.I think we are going to look at it as historical in a way that is exciting and difficult to imagine.So let me transition there to questions, goofing around, whatever we want to do here.