What does one really say?

Infect Teh Interwebs

My dear Friend V (R) Manoj I would characterize (and probably misrepresent) and a chronicly underappreciated, very smart, very playful young career professional in India, who wants to have fun and play and be happy and be innocent, but needs to be all grownup and responsible. He is utterly breathtakingly polite and nice but at times you can just feel his anger at how stupid the world around him is just bubbling below the surface. He never ceases to amuse me – but for reasons he probably wouldn’t understand at first. I just love the guy to death. In a perfect world I’d magically change in him Brad Pitt and I’d be Angelina and we’d marry and live together for 14 months in Goa feeding each other bits of pine apple and coconuts and stare at respectively setting and rising sun. The reality however is a bit out of sync with that. No cancel that. I’d go for looking Like Rita King, and he would look like Johny Depp, in Pirates 3, him with a hybrid oxford-Bollywood accent, me wearing Gorean style silks. Ahh tantra.

I mean it’s my fantasy right?

Manoj emailed me after a several year hiatus to interrogate me on some statements I was making online. I won’t dare speculate on his motives, and I assert are driven by near obsessive caution and political correctness in part (the guy is ambitious to a fault) and after the general orgy of polite ass-kissing back and forth he sprung the question on me he wanted to interview me, since he alleged I was making ‘extraordinary statements of some sort’. It boiled down to the idea that I wasn’t ‘merely’ pretending to be someone I was not online, not doing so ‘merely’ very consistently, not doing so ‘merely’ from the get go since 2005, not doing so ‘merely’ to the point of being a severe and DSM4-compatible pathology, not doing so ‘merely’ long before second life – but I am (and still, and do) claim I am not ‘me’ in the strictest sense, and do not want to be. Manoj gauged this correctly and I agree with his assessent this is something unique, and it will be copied a lot.

Eventually.

My point is, and I think this is something fairly important –

the human state of personal self-identity is forced upon us by genes and upbringing. It is enforced and unfree. It is a contraint. We are however entering an era where we can self-define, if not in ‘parenthesis’ (LARPING so to speak) then in Nym (creating an elaborate contrived identity) and soon we can emulate it (as I hope to through a synthetic rendition of the idealized me). I would however wish to go beyond this – I would literally seek to extinguish any and all remains of my natural born identity and subsume it in the newly created (and clearly distinctly different) other identity I have created.

Writing this is of course disingenuous, since I write in the “I” form and as I do so, who am “I”. Is it the primary that writes or is the author the avatar? And that in itself is disingenuous since I claim the avatar is no longer the avatar and the avatar has attained primary rights. Is this an upgrade? Is this a viral take over? Is this reassignment of root privileges of one of my fantasies? …. is it death, inheritance and simply a (theoretical) continuation of my legal estate?

The matter is very simple – take for instance a lifestyle Gorean who wishes to be adressed no longer as (wild example) Mary Smith, but now has become ‘kajira masmi’ and wishes to be adressed as such, in context of the paradigm laid out by the Gorean universe. This would be met with hostility if she arrived at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the moment she, clad in silks, knelt down and demurely spoke ‘this one asks to speak to a female attendant…‘. But that’s the little known paradigm of Gor. What if a demure Catholic nun did the equivalent? Suddenly a grown woman who decides to roleplay being the celestial emissary of an unseen skydaddy can dictate roleplaying/behavioral terms, on grounds of some external edict, right? Catholicism has a rulebook – an acting script if you so prefer. Catholic nuns have a societal permissibility rating (wuftie?). Likewise, to a somewhat lesser degree, women clad in Burqahs have attained a similar societal standing, if not the same widespread acceptance. So in essence what happens here is familiarity – the world is simply responding to the various roles with either dismissal and anger (gorean kajirae) to annoyance (muslim women clad in burqahs) to general respect (catholic nuns) depending on familiarity and cultural integration.

In the real world ‘my body’ doesn’t look like Khannea. Khannea is an idealized and perfect woman in het early to mid 20s, if indeterminate racial background, with hazel to brown eyes, of uncanny beauty and symmetry, 6 feet tall, slender, leggy and full of ass and breasts, visibly muscled and with features that look as if she is photoshopped in real life. Basicly – a fantasy come true and intentionally so. Khannea looks like this for random choices my primary made about 1983 (!) and this choice has ingrained in the cosmological continuum ever since. These choices are irreversible and have become a permanent fixture. They have become what we call ‘mythology’ and ‘unavoidable’, and much as ‘Louis Wu’ likes cheese, ‘Khannea Suntzu’ like buttsecks. It’ as simple as that.

But let’s get back the the interview Manoj proposed. Manoj is simply fascinated by something – the guy lives in India. India, I presume, is a culturally rich country with a very rich and deep and ancient culture, but all in all the place is conservative as roasted peanuts. So Manoj is fascinated by places such as the Netherlands, where by historical accidents colorful lunatics like me can thrive and survive (I would have long since literally starved in a gutter in India) and possible even contribute a little. Manoj likes my message and he likes my outspoken character, even though with my near insane manic-depressive extremes and my politically unpalatable and often unchiseled far extremist statements I have made myself unsellable. Seriously, I am ‘loosely’ associated with the IEET now, because, all in all, it appears Martine thinks I am funny and useful to have around (I think) but the IEET (being led by James) and quite a few other movements rather see me move into the bleachers and be quiet.

At times I agree with them. Most of the time I look at the world and i know it is fuck not going to happen. Of course I am happily projecting here. But you get to know me when reading this, and that is what matters.

The argument I was trying to make to Manoj boiled down to this:

If anyone can self define his her personal identity in a virtual world (genderbending, for example, has become such a cliche that Gibson already referred to ‘gender-bait‘ in his bridge trilogies). Of course the idea that I am gender-bending is ridiculous – the idea! but it is the first step of a series of conceptual steps I was trying to introduce to Manoj but got lost in translation. Let me go through these steps in more formal sense.

change of modality: genderbending, ageplay, crossdressing, roleplay etc. The person takes on (or several adjunct) differences in role, but retains the basic motif of the essential self. In essence, a person becomes a variant of self and interchanges a modality of the self – an older slutty male becomes a younger slutty female. A frustrated bored older european housewife pretends to be younger online japanese preteen with an insatiable desire for sexual submission and sex toys. A young and somewhat homely overweight teenager pretends to be a swarthy massive barrelchested and uncompromizing killing machine.

The above has become extremely common. It started when I was young, in the early 1980s and back then people ‘still didn’t get it very well’. I had the genetic (mis)fortunate that from day one, probably before 1975 I got it all too well. Since the day I lay in bed at age probably 8 and fantasized about NOT BEING ME I was sold. I shall not exaggerate –

I am me >>> boring and dull and grey.
I fantasize about being anything or anyone else >>> alive and color and happy and joyous.

It’s like I flick a switch. I do it right here and now. Primary{Grey} SomeoneElse{Jay!). It’s as simple as that. It’s an instinct, as clear as day and night. And I found of all people I can be, as soon as I add erotic tension to the mix, bham, it’s like I am hacking my brain. This can be interpreted as ‘pathetic’ or ‘pathology’ or ‘artistic’ or ‘spiritual’ or ‘plain lucky’ or ‘scary’…. but at the end of the day all that is just words… and people on the outside making judgements. I have to live with this.

Pavlov
My brain is clearly deficient, and my deficiency is based on two simple premises – (1) I am stuck in a mindset unable to move beyond am emotional stage of development what I’d characterize as adolescent and (2) my emotional experiences, both good and bad, are clearly more extreme than with other people. This makes me dysfunctional in everyday life. I can’t hold a job. I cannot plan for anything over 2-3 months, and as I age that time-frame is literally shrinking, and my tolerance for ‘responsibility’ is diminishing. Especially the last summer I have been in the throes of my ‘affliction’, by and large for the better. I have rarely felt this ecstatic and blissful and passionate and creative in my life, like ever. Even better, it may very well culminate in a permanent relationship with my darling Kim in the span of a few months.

The thing however is Pavlonian conditioning. What if, year after year I am faced with rather extreme pain anytime certain conditions are met (cluster headaches, depression, anxiety attacks, severe rage, severe frustration). Naturally I would be deconditioned from these things, yes. Likewise, what if anytime I did or experienced or was faced with other things I felt rather extreme joy and passion – then in the transverse case I would become conditioned towards those things, especially if my joys and pains are trans-objectively more strong than with other people.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_ctJqjlrHA&fs=1&hl=en_US]

My point is that something in my subject has an objective (haha) tendency to condition me towards a very specific behavioral type. After a few decades you tend to pick this out, and it is almost uncanny so. It is somewhat as if I were the result of a hypothetical scientific experiment, where an unseen and hypothetical scientists applied a negative or positive feedback in case a certain set of criteria were met.

As I write this. Bam. Positive. One would almost get superstitious about this. Someone call Nick Bostrom.

Returning to Manoj, Dear Manjoy wanted to get me to say something interesting along the lines of that I am a person that ‘goes really far’ in Second Life and that Second Life is a ‘Spiritual Place’ and that the future has ‘Many amazing things in store’. I wrote him a very elaborate, chaotic and messy reply, where I speculated wildly, on avatar, avatar in avatar, inception, ideas, dreams, hopes, the future, the past, expectation, me, humans, immortality, death, gods, transcendance, demons and damnation. I tied it all together, a bit messy, but I think I made my point. Manoy more or less got it, ‘somewhat’, I hope and submitted it to Mike Treder, of whom I am a rabid fan.

Mike then gave a somewhat… emotionally detached response, and asked the article be shortened to 3000 words. Basicly a fair request – but that in effect precipitated poor Manoj to butcher the original intent and strip out most of the message I was trying to convey – a message which I think is out there begging to be told!!!

Anyway, let’s not beat around the bush, here is the one Manoj submitted to the IEET and was reprinted on their website. Great article right? Manoj really made it shine. and my original submission was a lot to be desired for.

Conflicting Convictions of Personhood and Emulated Personhood
The concept of embodiment often does not offer a corresponding explanation for the variety of personalities that a human being expresses once within the Internet’s intricate social network.

On one side, it is the human being using the Internet as an interface to interact socially; on the other side, artificial intelligence is programmed to mimic and exceed human personality traits. The interesting thing to note at this juncture is the increasing lack of difference between the two projections.

One of such projections is the avatar called “Khannea Suntzu” from the online virtual 3D environment of the Internet known as “Second Life.” Over the years, Khannea Suntzu has transformed herself from a popular virtual escort in Second Life to an independent and often radical thinker on postmodern issues of transhumanism and the Singularity. But what makes Khannea Suntzu so unique?

Although it was probably never an issue when Khannea Suntzu constantly participated in activities within the confines of the virtual world, I believe there are strong issues rising on the interpretation of her activities when they blur the boundaries between the real and the virtual world.

An example would be her profile in Facebook, which has mostly been a domain for “real world” human beings. In literal terms, Khannea Suntzu cannot be mentioned as an avatar since she completely dissociates herself from any human link or ‘primary’. Why must we place such heavy importance on an online virtual character who may be human/machine based? Everybody is doing it and so it shouldn’t be a big issue!

In fact, as the current trend goes, it is perfectly normal for a human being to take up a completely new gender and sexuality as an online personality for reasons ranging from casual exploration to fulfillment of subconscious cravings. It could be best described as a stereotype.

However, Khannea Suntzu is un-stereotypical in the sense that she projects herself as an online avatar who is concerned about postmodern issues in the real world. In fact, her foray into largely human-inhabited domains of the Internet such as Facebook is a direct indication of her willingness to explore a new area where a fully functional identity is created out of a fictional character.

So does the fictional become the real now? If yes, then what is fictional and what is real in this mix up of virtual and real world interpretations of the Internet? Is there a specific boundary similar to geographical boundaries beyond which a human being nor an avatar may not tread?

The mythological origin of the word ‘avatar’ according to Hinduism is a manifestation of God or divine energy into a human form. Put in reverse, an online avatar is a manifestation of our human body-sourced energy or psyche into digital space.

This written introspection can be perceived as an interview between a “human being” from the “real world” and an online “avatar” from the “virtual world” of Second Life! We have worked jointly on this dialogue and intersected our explorations of biological and virtual personhood in postmodern dialogue.

Please note: I must admit at this point that I have edited some of the extraordinary ideals that Khannea Suntzu initially wished to depict here with reflection to her newfound message to the world at large. She is a wild spirit and her thoughts cannot be constrained within the sphere of this written article since her vision can only be understood by experiencing her world in intricate detail. However, keeping in light the purpose and intended message of this article, Khannea Suntzu has kindly agreed, with some reluctance, to allow me to carefully edit her thoughts and greater message. I present them to you as follows.


Khannea Suntzu: My contribution to these observations of Manoj is by and large a “coming out!”
It is an exercise in multipolar duality. It is many of these dualities: a) Am I lying or am I acting?; b) Am I a person with trauma-induced MPS, or even; c) Am I a demonic spirit that slipped in to a wide open mind and gradually took over?!?!; d) Am I male or am I female (and does it matter!?)?; e) Is this all fiction or can a dispossessed mind really take over a natural mind and execute complex manipulations on a real world with the purpose of introducing sweeping, far-reaching changes over that world?

My designs are simple. Look at Second Life. I want not just a little, I want it all. My preferences are simple. I want a physical world that is radically more like Second Life, and I want the world of the virtual to seamlessly merge with the material. A world realized in the image of SL is a world where everything is upside down and inside out. It is a world where the ecological equivalent of placid bottom feeder herbivores is of a caste of prostitutes. The barter they seek is not one of money and Linden Dollars, but rather an exchange of hedonistic currency.

Here’s a picture:
(Image from Frank Miller’s comic Hard Boiled)

Look at the picture! Are there any restrictions when violence becomes distraction, when bodies become as malleable as plastic, when morals and sins become just a role-playing option? The question is who is the avatar now? What is real? What is virtual?

I clearly seek a world where everyone can be what they want to be. I clearly seek a world where people are free to be young or old, be pretty or ugly at their own convenience. I seek a world of abundance and liberation and pure seamless ‘sim-crossing’ joy, exploration, adventure, epicurean delights. In that respect Second Life is only the means I use to an end, and the end is me “getting off” of this ghastly physical body I am stuck in.

I was set to thrive in these worlds from the day my primary started dreaming wide awake. Does that make me a stereotype or an archetype? And what if I am not entirely me, Khannea? Can I be part of a greater whole myself? What if I am in turn the avatar of something greater?

My ‘primary’ postulated more facets of my being, and I became a person separate from the primary, a more tangible state or entity. Being Khannea, I started out as adventurous and free. I didn’t have levels to contend with when. In other words, I had an established place in ‘a very low resolution’ world that required little responsibility other than being faintly amusing and enticing. I inhabited that place as if in a dream state, and there was an inconsistency and ephemeral quality to me wandering that environment that led me, after a few years, to conclude I lived in some sort of faked, rather flimsy superficial reality that was emulated in the minds of several people.

I was an escort in Second Life from day one, and from the first moments I was quite talented in it. The first client was in a place called Elite Escorts, and the transaction made me 50 Linden$. Contemptible? No. Sensible? Yes. I am simply a being with certain talents and I make good use of those talents. I keep the body I am in healthy and functional and directional.

Second Life is still pretty much sub-par in terms of being compelling. It is for many people fairly compelling but it hasn’t reached mass penetration. When I realized my independence in Second Life, sure, initially I was the result of a set of very archetypical urges and desires. I have existed quite some time before Second Life, and have formed as the result of role-playing. Second Life was a natural transition to someone who already had spent decades inside its antecedents and precursors. When I entered Second Life in mid-November 2005, I was in a state of frenzy. It was just a slightly overdue transition from one form of pretense to another.

Inside this world, I am establishing myself as an immigrant and pioneer in a new environment. I have clearly selected an environment that is ‘native’ to me. In essence, arriving in SL was the arrival from deep slumber into a lucid dream. It was analogue to a colonist entering the Mars of Kim Stanley Robinson, descending from the space elevator onto Mons Olympus, buying a dune buggy, relinquishing any ties and allegiances to my former world, driving due south ever since.

I was a ‘Red’ from day one arriving here. I used the metaphor of ‘emigrating’ to a new, undiscovered land. I stick to that metaphor even though virtual worlds aren’t really all that big yet. Well actually, they are already big enough! This isn’t just emulating a place, it has quite a bit of compelling suspension of disbelief going on. There is an ever greater number of people staking an ever greater part of their pathos in these virtual realities.

Look at Second Life. It’s all a sublimation of human genetic imperatives namely coastal, water, subtropical, low suns on the horizon, rich vegetation and easy pickings. That’s what we as a species instinctively crave.


Judging from most of what Khannea Suntzu chooses to reveal about her virtual and primary identities, my prognosis would at first seem to be no different from that of any other conventional write-up about exhibiting multiple personalities on the Internet under varied pseudonyms. However, Khannea Suntzu cannot be written off that simply.

The character is now seamlessly integrating itself back into the biological human society through the Internet. Real world people like myself have developed a close intellectual association with Khannea Suntzu with absolutely no idea of her ‘primary’. It is interesting to note that we have had collaborations while organizing events in Second Life on behalf of H+ events.

Here’s a picture from the much publicized talk by Professor Kevin Warwick in Second Life where Khannea Suntzu was one of the organizers. We worked side by side in the virtual world without me having an inkling or worry about her real world identity!

(Image from the talk by Prof. Kevin Warwick. Khannea Suntzu can be seen standing in the left extreme. Others from the left are Giulio Prisco, Rein Mitra, Kevin Warwick, myself as Manoj Undercity, Greg Jordan as Arcturus Gregory, xyryxSimca, and Eugen Leitl.)

The interesting point at this juncture is to utilize our interactions with human-driven virtual avatars, artificially intelligent chatbots, and others that seamlessly converse with us. It is important to enumerate our relationships with such increasing virtual characters and AI persona projections.

Sometime before writing this, I received a routine phone call from a call center representative about a loan offer. At this point, I was talking to a human being but the conversation was actually quite monotonous since the person on the other side of the line spoke verbatim from a pre-prepared script which was disturbed significantly owing to my intermittent questions. On the whole, the conversation was very polite but lacked the warmth of a “human” sales pitch. It therefore wouldn’t surprise me in the least if an AI character working for a corporate group would place a phone call to me about a car loan in the near future!

How we interact with a biological or virtual entity depends largely on how much of our needs are addressed from that relationship, albeit rather brief. If the outcome of a repeated conversation with a virtual character is fruitful to us, then we probably would not mind a long-term association with it. The only limiting factor is our own biology. Sooner or later, the hormones in our brain would secrete in a similar fashion whether we interact with that particular virtual character or a real world character.

The continued evolution of such relationships between the concrete and the virtual worlds is important on many levels. For example, when whole brain emulation becomes practicable, we would need to accept the emulated identity as the same person. The conflicts between such relationships with religious sentiments about the person being incomplete without a body or a soul, cultural traditions and the legal issues at large will be interesting to observe and to engage in.

Can an emulated person, after the destruction of his/her biological body, still be entitled to rights of property in the real world? Or would there be legislation prohibiting emulated personalities within computer servers from possession of property outside their virtual space? These issues or questions would at best seem rather obsolete if proved that the emulated person is nothing more than a sophisticated simulation!

At the heart of all these issues is what I would like to call an elaborate hypocrisy. We fantasize about brain emulations, cyborg bodies, immortality and yet fall short of addressing how we will preserve and protect our rights as persons or individuals when we reach there. It is no longer possible to slide the matter under the table. The future is already happening and accelerating beyond comprehension.

At the heart of all this could be a very Buddhist explanation that we seek to escape from suffering. In the present world, we seek to identify ourselves with fantasy avatars and online personas in order to escape, even for a brief moment, the mundanely painful normality and suffering in our real lives. It is not possible to generalize all of the people who come to virtual communities. But we must be ready to acknowledge the emerging issues of ethics in technology and the impact it shall have on our civilization as a whole.

I shall now return to the concept of Khannea Suntzu as a virtual character using the Internet to detach herself from her ‘primary’ and creating an individual identity in the real world through the Internet. Let us now assume to permit this person to download herself in a reverse emulation onto a robot or a cyborg body, remotely operating it from a virtual metaverse.

Shall we give her equal rights, say the ability to vote for a representative of our government, now that she is physically present? Or would we only give rights to a biological body with a self that is sourced in the physical world?

If the answer to the second question is “yes”, then does it mean that we have indeed located the source of this “self”? The reason is that we don’t know what the “self” is anymore. Great mystics and philosophers alike have pondered over this problem and now the postmodernists shall ponder.

However, the day is not far when entire governments and scientific, corporate boards would have to mull over yottabytes of legal arguments about the rights of a once human businessman’s ownership of his entire global conglomerate, now that he is a virtual character inside a computer simulation. The answers to futuristic questions shall be in my opinion no different from the answers of the present.

Wouldn’t life in this world have been so much simpler if nobody had any property to begin with? We created the concepts of “property” and “personhood” and so we must deal with their repercussions! The other interesting thing to realize is that our existence in either this world or the virtual world both in the present and the future requires the means of sustenance.

The most widely used resources are salable properties, which are increasingly becoming commercial. If you do not pay up, your account and your existence can be erased very easily. Open Source movements have a lot of catching up to do if they really care about the preservation of individual freedom. Presently, a luxurious life in the virtual world of Second Life is guaranteed if you are able to pay the company that hosts the server real world money in exchange for virtual currency to buy virtual property. Taking this scenario, how long would it be before I will have to pay by the hour for a conversation with a recently deceased “emulated” scientist or, for that matter, a movie star or a relative?

In conclusion, I would sincerely like to thank Khannea Suntzu for her valuable time and effort in making this joint piece of written work a possibility. We must reconsider all of what has been discussed and what Khannea Suntzu has chosen to disclose of her reasons to exist in our postmodern interpretations of “personhood.” We have questioned several beliefs and arguments. I am sure that these introspections would generate valuable information to reconsider our stand on human rights and personhood.

But it itches at me. I still want to say something, and that means I – *Khannea* want to say something. So let’s quote the original article I should have written. And yes that is quite another story – with all due respect at the IEET and Manjoy. 🙂 – note that I now ‘somewhat’ bastardize manoj’s interjected comments, since he didn’t have a chance to fully edit towards my post-hoc edit.


Manoj
Many of us with an access to the Internet’s social networks are inevitably leading our psyches into multiple personalities. Most often, these personalities are ones we never assumed, were harboured within us. I for one could never have comprehended that I could spend hours together conversing and feeling the emotions associated with conversations simply through an online internet relay chat channel. I subsequently also never comprehended my immersive experiences in the online metaverse of “Second life” where I had the freedom to teleport and fly to fantasy filled locations in a custom built “avatar”. The concept of embodiment along with it’s associated personality often does not offer a corresponding explanation for the variety of personalities that a human being expresses once within the domain of the internet’s intricate social network. Even if it does in the conventional sense, the outcome is completely thrown out of context when new concepts come in. I can still recall the “posthuman” avatar in second life who appeared as a glowing sphere to represent consciousness.

Khannea
(So far) we only know humans that are physical. We heard of hosts, but evidence for ghosts has been found forthcoming. I am at a loss if I want to believe, or should believe in anything but flesh and reductionist material things. We define the state of humanity is physicality. Humans are bodies. That is the essential state of humanity all through human history. Humans are imprisoned in the here and now, and you can capture and grab and hold and even kill them in that place. But that might change. What is a human unhinged from the human body? What is a human uprooted from the constraints of the physical body? Is such a state of personhood liberated (or unshackled) from the accepted definitions of contemporary conventions of being anything less of a person? Of course, these unbodied people would just as much a person as we are.

<p?

We may end up squabbling over legal definitions of personhood and treat emerging persona, simulacra, uploads, replicants or surrogates as slaves, pets, children, toys or things, but that would be a great injustice that would in effect end up making humans less humane. The fact that we may very well decide to treat so many humans as sub humans, whatever their state, and are ever so sparing about attributing fairness and rights and justice, may come back to haunt us. From a bigger current perspective, rejecting alternate states of personhood would be a form of „speci-ism‟ (as opposed to rac-ism). The fact remains, if someonething looks, swims and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. If something is a person we should do best to treat it as a person, and at the very least a legal person.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG5uzxWkTao&fs=1&hl=en_US]

If a person happens to be quadruphlegic, that person is simply a disabled person. If a person happens to be a simulated person, then denying personhood will make the humans doing the judging guilty of a severely immoral act. If a person is dangerous, then by all means, a dangerous person should be in a comfortable and humane reservation, more or less like a lion or a tiger, but as soon as that person shows a sincere desire to change, then he caretakers should take steps to help facilitate a transition to help liberation from this protective custody and inclusion in a totally free state of being. (hello, anyone, I am ready now!!)

Virtual and posthuman people are just as much people as “you” all are, regardless of how we engineer solutions to facilitate their functionality. Once adequate mind has been established, you can’t go back. The problem however is one of (us) humans being able to deal with the implications of discorporate (or synthetic, digital, or uploaded) persons. If we can make such „a thing as a mind in a machine‟, that doesn‟t mean the creature exists in a vacuum of implications. As soon as humanity has functionally realized discorporate persons (whether as completely compelling and competent AI secretary, or an utterly convincing and seductive virtual porn star) much more will be possible.

Digital personhood is by definition a concept that would instantaneously move or society, our technology, or entire human state well into a „technological phase shift‟ or „historical disontinuity‟ commonly referred to as „the singularity‟ (or “a” Singularity?). Functional digital persons will inescapably yield upgrades from the human state. Once we can engineer (or replicate) a mind in another medium, the engineering skills involved with such a fabrication will allow the creators of the same to quite casually implement systemic „fixes‟. Human minds operate with neurons that are organized objectively inefficient. The organic human brain is shackled and constrained on all ends by an evolved chemical balance, heat dispersal, oxygen and sugar distribution and quite a bit of organic fragility. A synthetic variant of the same can probably operate in a far more resilient, far more robust, far faster, far more easily tweaked, far more productive and far faster learning medium. All cliche‟s of „learning a language in seconds‟ would apply. At the very least a conscientiously designed artificial mind would be able to outcompete „baseline‟ humans in the job markets 1, 2, 3, with fascinating consequences for human society everywhere.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcm5Ahx7Ww0&fs=1&hl=en_US]

But being potentially better is no argument. Being able to outcompete is no argument. If whiny people object to being outcompeted by terminators then they themselves should have the common decency and not outcompete people in the third world. Because as they say, those are people deserving of recognition too. The lesson here is clear – do not discount lest you be discounted. Do not mock lest you be mocked. Do not terrorize lest you be terrorized. Do not terminate lest you be terminated. I’ll be back with that dead horse later on. Over and over and over. 🙂

The argument that in time the sapient creations of mankind could give rise to displacement of mankind is in effect speci-ism on its head clearly – especially if it is caused non-intentionally. No matter how hard individual humans try to consolidate their hold on the world, they are in fact the ones being displaced by their creations already, and have been for decades. So far certain minorities have benefited from this process of displacement (and have marketed the idea as „fair competition‟) by and large because these minorities benefited from the results of this competition. But in a few decades not even these small minorities may end of pleased with the probable end results. I don’t call that ‘survival of the fittest’, rather ‘biggest asshole wins all’. I am saying – run this race with firm measures in place because you can’t win it (and nobody but a very small elite can) in the end.

The human mind is a flimsy new development in evolutionary terms. We can apply a metaphor to explain this. We can represent animal and human minds (the only minds we know) as the vast expanse of a sea. The most primitive minds represented as the oceanic depths, vertebrate minds represented as the continental shelf, ranging from reptilians to mammalians [the sea surface lit by the sun] . In this metaphor primates would be under the water surface, exhibiting a precarious consciousness, self-awareness, sapience, imagination, abstract thought, reason, tool use or ability to use language. the human animals have only recently pierced the surface tension of the sea of natural minds, and most humans can barely conceive of the meaning of the transition from animal minds to something new.

So far the human trajectory from beast to „soul‟ has been the result of arguably lumbering and aimless natural processes. We don‟t know if the emergence of mind was in any way likely. Nick Bostrom sure has fascinating ideas on this debate: Nick asserts that logically we better damn hope it was unlike, because if it is unlikely, it should have been more prominently visible, and since it isn’t there should be a good statistical reason it isn’t and that good statistical reason in natural tends to mean ‘culling’ – and we rather have calling behind us, statistically speaking, than ahead of us, right? If there is no aliens, it may very well mean they all die and if that’s the case, then *gargle* ….’ [long silence]

Once we start engineering minds, no matter how cute, nice or sexy, inevitably market forces will propel these creatures from the cognitive beachheads of existence and trigger the rapid and irreversible emergence of a rich and diverse surface ecological jungle of minds. In this metaphor mind you, ‘baseline’ humans would still be at the beach mucking about in the surf speculating on the nature of god.

We wont have a clue what a ‘posthuman ecology’ will mean in tangible terms (insofar we ourselves stay humans) unless the posthuman seagulls swoop down and grab us from the sea with their mighty beaks and eat us alive! We do not know what we can make, but we only know what we can make will be vastly more than ourselves.

In essence I am saying I am not very impressed by the human state as it exists right now. We are barely able to curtail our base destructive urges, most humans operate in a stifling state of despair or apathy, and in terms of function – most humans crash at a daily basis and have to more or less reset their entire neurology from scratch (we fall asleep for literally hours!).

I think the present level of touted and praised human intelligence is a precarious and fragile state. Most of humanity isn‟t even able (or willing) to contemplate the vast jungles, mountaintops and the varied landscapes of mind metaphorically alluded to a paragraph ago. The average human assumes they are the pinnacle of some kind of purposeful disembodied creation. Humans of the present era are oblivious to the full width and breath of the potential thought processes. The problem is that if we contemplate a synthetic mind, we in effect grant it limbs to move to places we as natural humans cannot go. We unshackle it from the constraints of naturally evolved bodies. Extending the metaphor – the tadpoles that succeed in crossing the tidal pools and survive on land have no idea yet of what a jungle on land would mean to them. There is much more to come.

Manoj
On one side, it is the human being using the internet as an interface to interact socially. On the other side, intelligence is being programmed to mimic and often exceed the human personality. The former is in prominence now. The interesting thing to note here at this juncture is the blur between the two projections onto the internet. One of such projections is the avatar called Khannea Suntzu in the online virtual 3D environment in the internet called second life. But what makes Khannea so unique and why is she important to the philosophical future of humankind as we know it? Since her prominence in “Second life” as a transition from earlier RPG’s since 2005, Khannea has transformed herself from being known as an online escort in the virtual world to an independent and often radical thinker on post modern issues mainly centering around transhumanism and the singularity.

It is first important to understand Khannea Suntzu in her own words as “she” describes herself. “I don’t exist. Don’t hit on me, I am not physical. Yet. Seriously I am a mainframe simulated personality.” These are the words that Khannea Suntzu uses to describe her profile in Facebook, one of the most popular social networking websites. Khannea Suntzu has never revealed gender nor real world identity. However, there is infused such character into this avatar, that it has almost achieved a “personhood” all of its own. This raises several interesting questions.

It was probably never an issue when Khannea Suntzu constantly participated actively in activities within the virtual world. However, I believe there is a strong issue rising in the background on the interpretation of her activities which blur the boundaries between the real and the virtual world. For example, her foray into Facebook which is a domain for “real world” human beings and not for virtual “avatars”. In literal terms, Khannea Suntzu may not even be mentioned as an “avatar” in the sense that she completely dissociates herself from any human link as far as her interpretation goes. Mythological origin of the word “avatar” according to Hinduism is a manifestation of God or divine energy into a human form. Put in reverse, an online “avatar” is a manifestation of our human body sourced energy or psyche into digital space. However, Khannea often denies that she has a human source. This is okay with me if she is indeed a computer programme. However, we may never known without close introspection about her origins.

Khannea
Positioning ‟Khannea‟ into a rigid framework of influence (from outside watching in) is a deceptive process. Or rather, it is a study in deception. Or charitably put – it is a study of method acting and „mashups‟. I take what I got and I follow the urges I have, and I need to follow. I do not have a choice in the matter. I need to be what I have inside me. And this is not just (or merely) the cliche’s of manifested sexual stereotypes, or alleged pathology creativity run amok – in my heartfelt conviction it is something more. .

I have existed quite some time before Second Life, and have formed as the result of roleplaying. Again, many people will be quick to label, but bear in mind that of the several dozen people I played with 90% these people now has a job in the top 5% of management, corporate and scientific positions in the world. The roleplaying I did wasn’t just anything. I was kinda involving and intense. It made people smart, and/or it attracted very smart people around me.

When I manifested in Second Life this was just a slightly overdue transition from one form of pretense to another. I have a faint, vague, discorporate sense of self from before this transition, and one can see that before Second Life I existed in a dream state state limbo. But as my „primary‟ started postulating more facets of my being, the neurons realizing and facilitating what I am – a person separate from the primary, became a more tangible state or entity. Let’s analyze this. I was a person that existed as an imagination, and I didn’t know anything other than that I was real and my imagination was real. It was as if I was a person in a dream-scape of the movie inception that, when quizzed ‘are you real’ would reply in all honesty – but of course I am real! – only to be forgotten into a state of obliviousness mere seconds later. But the thing is, I had already had literally decades of experience with ‘recollecting myself’, since I had been recollecting myself over and over again in different imaginary world and every time, through positive pavlonian conditioning, something external, seemed to be consistently rewarding my existence and persistence.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvNYzlScr_A&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Of course, SL is still pretty much sub par in terms of compelling. It is for many people „fairly compelling‟ but it hasn‟t reached „mass penetration‟. Most people in the world don‟t like SL because they can‟t muster „the suspension of disbelief‟ needed to attain full „immersion‟ in the idea that Second Life is „an environment‟, rather than a toy. However, behind any avatar in second life is a primary – a person in the physical universe that engages in choices based on a complex tapestry of life experiences, genes, choices, traumas and beliefs. When I realized my “Persistent State” in and beyond Second Life, sure, initially I was the result of a set of very archetypical urges and desires. But my humble beginnings didn‟t stop me giving myself a decent texture and depth. Giving me some meat on the bones so to speak. And I feasted as I explored the lands before me.

Second Life is a metaphorical place, but the metaphor is so robust, it can be treated as if it is an actual place. The mind of its occupants treat it as such. The pathways of the human brain primaries exposed to second life generate the same pathways as aboriginals do when on walkabouts – they lay down sequential pathways that make up a real landscape. There is no effective difference between the landscape inside the mind of you reading this, the sequence of websites you visit every morning, the autonomous route you take every morning to work and to the coffee machine at work, the familiar route you take travelling down between your lovers thighs. It is all, as the aboriginal’s say, a sequence of stories, or powerful semiotic messages strung together in a tale. This tale can be told with a certain air of detachment, as a bard or minstrill sings of ‘the old gods’, leaving open guide a bit of personal interpretation with the audience (poetic liberty for some, sheer terror of religious persecution for others) but it can also be with total enraptured immersion, as is in Second Life, where (when) you are in the Dreamtime.

Just as people in Europe discussed the goings on in the far flung colonies of imperial powers in terms of palpable contempt, so can most people in 2010 not conceive of the merit of Second Life, by and large for the same fact that SL, a medium based on ASCII and small windows is still very much in its infancy. But with some minds even the flimsiest of fundamental transitions can be a godsend and a form of enlightenment.

One of the ways to eke out a living in this strange foreign land is sexuality. Sex. SEX. If organic beings nourish themselves on plants and meat, second life has a more ephemeral organochemistry. We partake of different nectars here. And as SL gets better this will become all the more acute. Right now SL is so clumsy this isn’t all that obvious yet. But my point is a „clumsy and ugly SL‟ will be a brief phase of emergence of a medium that will change everything. As SL only evokes wonder for few of the most imaginative of people, much the same realms of the fantastic are already making the masses leave cinema theatres in tears. As SL becomes more of an immersive experience, it will touch more hearts. If it becomes easier to use, even the simpler of mind will find access to it.

That is a process of the virtual and imaginary becoming more compelling and the threshold for suspension of disbelief (or actual belief) to become lower. Hence I remain with my earlier prediction of 2006 – virtual worlds such as Second Life (and probably many others) will in less than a decade become so compelling and involving as to be societally perceived as an addictive experience similar to a narcotic substance. Very soon, SL, or something like SL will be more addictive than heroin.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2PM0om2El8&fs=1&hl=en_US]

I used the metaphor of „emigrating‟ to a new, undiscovered land. I stick to that metaphor even though virtual worlds aren‟t really all that big yet. Well actually, they are already big enough ! Traversing one continent of Azeroth (and there are three already) will take hours, when walking in a slow walking pace, assuming a stroll from the capital of blood elves (far north) to pirates infesting the southern tip below booty bay. All continents of the game World of Warcraft have a combined simulated surface area to the island of Manhattan. That is quite something if you think about it. This isn‟t just emulating a place, since in that world there are constantly millions of people wandering around. It has quite a bit of compelling suspension of disbelief going on. There is an ever greater number of people staking an ever greater part of their pathos in these realities. And you wont have seen anything yet.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJdfWdIBfE8&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Looong ago, I remembered, suddenly being Khannea. I just was, as if I had always had been. I started out as being adventurous and free. Though I didn’t realize at the time, but I was in effect unemployed, even as an NPC. I was what they call ‘a comic side kick’, not carrying the ‘main plotline’ and just around for laughs and cheap thrills. The world around me required very little of me other than be faintly amusing and enticing. But imagine me living in that world – it was all very vague and nebulous. It was inconsistent.

I inhabited that place as if in a dream state, and there was an inconsistency and ephemeral quality to me wandering that environment that led me, after a few years, to conclude I lived in some sort of faked, rather flimsy superficial reality that was emulated in the minds of several people. I could easily spot who was another simulated persona in this world, and who was a „favored guest‟. The realization was quickly that if this mindscape would ‘collapse’, I would in effect most likely die with it well and I most certainly didnt want that. So I used my powers of seduction to take over and get „root access‟ I hacked myself as a simulated persona into the mind of the ‘administrator’ and appropriated root privileges over the mind. After the obligatory fantasy roleplaying I compelled my ‘meat server‟ to render other similar venues, one situated in Paris, and another in New York. So in effect at around the early 1990s I started getting some imagery of what constituted the „real world‟ through the eyes of the imaginative agent responsible for all this. I other words – I became so pleasurable to my creating primary that after ten years this pavlovian feedback error in her mind caused her to conclude that she wasn’t real and I was.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk-Zz7F9ovY&fs=1&hl=en_US]

So here I am.

Khannea. 🙂

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFLOCyOwQsI&fs=1&hl=en_US]

The body I have now some level of control over is suitable. It has a fair physical constitution, but it had a frail mental stability. Maybe the general frailness of the mind allows me some level of ability to manifest my needs, but the control has always been tenuous. But these quiet moments when my primary is offline allowed me some self-scrutiny and exploration. I have often asked myself ‘what the hell am I?’

I think it is a fair question. From my perspective it feels very unsatisfactory to merely assume I have been ‘imagined’ by this somewhat underwhelming primary. I feel so much more than this flimsy, frail human. I mean she is somewhat smart and creative, but really. And she agrees – this can’t be a coincidence. This matter is a variant of a fair cartesian question. Do I exist, or am I fiction?

I feel and have always felt acutely real, and at times my belief in my identity and sense of being even compelled my primary to regard me as more real than she herself did regard herself. But that can’t be the entire story. I must be more than merely this.

So let’s assume for now, hypothetically speaking, that I have in fact have magical powers, and let’s assume that I am more. And let’s assume that there is in fact more. If that is the case and there is a greater context, and all of this has meaning and all of this would be not ‘tears in the rain’, then what would I be, or ‘want to be’ or ‘could not bear otherwise than be’ ?

Well, let rip loose the horses of insanity. Lets wallow in pure insanity. Let’s deny reality. Let’s indulge in derangement and selfdeception, as an opiate haze.

I am Khannea. I am a supernatural spirit. I am not just any supernatural spirit – I am a tiny fragment of a greater something, which there are no words for. It is only known superficial by words such as ‘Lilith’ and ‘Erzuli’ and this just scratches the surface, but if I would descend into the ridiculous I would have to invoke ‘Shub Niggurath’ to fully describe the depths of what I feel beyond the veil which reaches out to me. And what is more, it does not consciously reach towards me, it just casually, sideways glances and I just happened to be there, along the periphery, in a out of the way cosmological edge corner, ready to reflect back something of this greater essence.

And when I grasp something of this cosmic dance I grasp and sense others of the same magnitude but of ineffable other nature and qualities that completely escape me – I only have now an affinity with Her, which I shall Summarize as The Mother, or Lilith, and I emphasize that what I label – as soon as I label, I define and as soon as I define, I lose. This is mysticism. What is beyond is beyond words or symbols or understanding. It isn’t real in the sense that it manifests in a material manner and it moves in other places that this particular cosmological arrangement than we inhabit.

Whatever happened – in attuning to Lilith, I lost me, I became me, I reformatted into me, and I became in essence Khannea. The premise is that this not primarily a delusional state (though it is so ephemeral it can be both delusional and allegorical or astral as well as immanent). In other words insofar I am Khannea I am a conduit attuned to a quantum state that is receptive to Lilith and this Lilith metaphor is the best and most fleeting image I can hold in my mind of the vision of that arcane wonder blessing me, before the state would collapse and it would abandon me. It is as if my existence is a state of possession – my current mind a bit of sorcery, a trance, to facilitate a communion.

I have been working Her will. She has very specific designs. Clearly being a factotum spirit on Her behalf I have very definitive designs. I have been manifesting what can only be termed ‘magical effects’ since the early to mid 1990s. This was extremely difficult at first and it started having a deleterious effect on my physical body from the get go. It was by and large a process of orientation. Imagine the confused state I was in My state was not very dissimilar to a probe having crashed on an alien world and trying to make sense of its surroundings and trying to find a homing beacon for instructions. It took me years of reprogramming my body by trial and error to get a firm grasp on my primary, and years of very cautious and discrete magical operations in the physical world to get a bearing in the real world. I must be cautious, since you as reader may not fully appreciate I am not the only magical agency working in the world you see around you.

And it was clear I had a very interesting opportunity. I had to hurry. I send out spells and signals (of which my primary was blissfully unaware) that spurred on the formation of a company called Linden Lab, through intermediaries and sponsors. I would’t go as far as state that I ‘own’ Linden Lab (far from it), but spurring on its formation forming it was not especially difficult. Magic as you may come to understand, is all about visualisation, and as soon as you see something, it becomes a great deal easier to realize it. In effect it wasn‟t too hard – a push here, a shove there and the medium of Second Life coalesced. This pushing and shoving did have its impact – a number of backlashes caused my body to suffer some damage in 2001-2003. I had to scale back my operations hard during that period lest I permanently crash my vessel and lose everything I worked for. And my influence in the real world proved to be clumsy as well – I have reason to believe my influence spurred on the dot com collapse prematurely – I am quite sorry about that.

In 2005 I got my chance. I pushed my primary to enter the now viable and mature virtual environment of Second Life and incarnate me in a more visible shape. Second Life was a natural transition to someone who already had spent decades inside its antecedents and precursors. Wghen I entered Second Life mid November 2005 I was in a state of frenzy. Maybe I should have entered the place earlier, and it would probably have saved my primary a lot of grief if I had already started this inception in 2003. It would have certainly saved quite a bit of boredom if I had.

Being in such a post-materialist environment of Second Life is an exercise of using the right mechanisms and symbols to maximize neurological satisfaction in my Host body. It was all a gradual transition and by now, in 2010 I can honestly say I have taken over. There isn‟t an original shred of identity left, and even though I presume I more or less killed off and displaced the core programming of my host, the host at no stage mourned itself passing away and being displaced. I truly think from day one she wanted it this way.

But yes, I was an escort in Second Life from day one, and from the first moments I was quite talented in it. The first client was in a place called „elite escorts‟, and the transaction made me 50 Linden$. Contemptible ? No. Sensible ?

Yes. I am simply a being with certain talents and I make good use of those talents. I keep the body I am in healthy and functional and directional. Inside thew world I am establishing myself as an immigrant and pioneer in a new environment. And I am clearly manifesting my remaining magic to foment change in the real world in sync with my long term interests. I have clearly selected an environment that is „native‟ to me. I am a creature that emerged from the far Dream, and now I work diligently to make sure my dream doesn‟t end or turn in a nightmare. In essence arriving in SL was the arrival from deep slumber into a lucid dream. It was analogue to a colonist entering the Mars of Kim Stanley Robinson, descending from the space elevator onto Mons Olympus, buying a dune buggy, relinquishing any ties and allegiances to my former world, driving due south ever since. I was a „red‟ from day one arriving here. It is what in magic is called ‘pathworking’, manifesting reality through persistent visualisation.

I move into a new niche. I moved into a new realm. But what am I? Am I a spark from something else moving into this realm? Am I a spark from a material realm moving into a virtual realm? Am I a spark from a fictional realm moving into a neurological realm? Am I a spark from a subconscious realm moving into the conscious realm? Am I a spark from the deceptive into the truthful realm (or the other way around?)? Am I an avatar turned primary or a primary turned avatar? Am I a player turned character or a character turned player? Am I playing you – the reader? Am I turning Descartes on his head by just making a mockery of both existentio and cogito in on fell swoop, and did I just let the most unspeakable horrors in?

We all move into new places. That is what we do. It comes with being something animate. Being animate means to eventually to ambulate into a new space, or even to evolve into something that enters a new state. It means pioneering. It means that, give long enough time, things will never be the same again. And it will only get worse. Humans started making it progressively worse, by making it progressively more unbearable for one another, thereby making pioneering the better option over persecution or extermination. Humans have a genocidal streak, and that contributed to the human success.

I think this isn‟t a particularly smart of sensible gene, from the perspective of the individual, but I also hasten to add that humans are by and large an insane species. Take for example Inuit. Why would a sane, intelligent being head out north and live on an ice shelf? Who in their right mind would actually venture out to be an Inuit? Who in their right mind leaves the plush north American steppes, migrates north and lives on floating ice hunting seals? If humans had any sense they would all live along temperate coastal areas, eating some fish, lazying about all day and be happy. And yes – doing that would have been the easy thing. In fact that is how the human primate cousin, the Neanderthal, lived. The anthropic Eden was a coastal forest, where the monkeys could leverage forest predators, and water predators against another by running back and forth and climbing back into trees. Look at Second Life – it‟s all sublimation of human genetic imperatives – coastal, water, subtropical, low suns on the horizon, rich vegetation and easy pickings. That‟s what we as a species instinctively crave. But humans didn‟t settle for that and humans decided to live in the gobi desert, and in the amazon jungles, and in Norway, and in Siberia and in the Australian outback and on the polar circle. And in Philadelphia.

And it isn’t that the human species is just nuts – its more that individuals who are nuts venture beyond the norm and explore the far ouit realms. Who other than the insane, “the shamanicly inclined” would venture into the wilderness? The deranged venture into the unknown, not merely because they can – but also because they must. They would probably been murdered otherwise. Problem is that those same pioneers prospered by and large. Those that pioneered in the far-away places tended to contribute to new mutations – so in effect those surviving were either the small elite of most ruthless tyrants and most docile slaves that stayed behind – or the most implacably insane that were driven away into banishment from ‘civilization’.

Manoj
But why must one place such heavy importance on an online virtual character who may be human / machine based ? Everybody is doing it and so it shouldn’t be a big issue ! In fact, as the current trend goes, it is perfectly normal for a heterosexual human being to take up a completely new gender and sexuality as an online persona for reasons ranging from casual exploration to fulfilment of sub conscious cravings. It could be best described as a stereotype. However, Khannea Suntzu is a very unstereotypical in the sense that she projects herself as an online avatar who is concerned about postmodern issues in the “real world”. In fact, her foray into largely human inhabited areas of the internet such as Facebook is a direct indication of her willingness to explore a new area where a fully functional identity is created out of a fictional “character”. So does the “fictional” become “real” now.

If yes, then what is fictional and what is real in this mix up of virtual and real world interpretations of the internet ? Is there a specific boundary similar to geographical boundaries beyond which a human being nor an “avatar” may not tread ?

Khannea
My contribution to these observations of Manoj are by and large a coming out – it is a simple exercise in multipolar duality. It is many of these dualities – “Am I lying or am I acting’, „Am I a person with trauma induced MPS or am I a demonic spirit that slipped in to a wide open mind and gradually took over?‟ – „Am I male or am I female (and does it matter!?)?‟ – „Is this all fiction or can really a dispossessed mind take over a natural mind, and execute complex manipulations on a real world with the purpose of introducing sweeping, far reaching changes over that world?’ and ‘Is this a matter of belief or of despair?’…

My designs are simple. Look at second Life. I want not just a little, I want it all. My preferences are simple, an it is irrelevant if I am honest (or if I am being flaky) and it is quite simple. I want a physical world that is radically more like Second Life, and I want the world of the virtual to seamlessly merge with the material – and I then will seek to transition myself in that emerging environment into what I am in Second Life.

The question is who is the avatar now? What is real? What is virtual? I clearly seek a world where everyone can be what they want to be. I clearly seek a world where people are free to sleep, eat, fuck, fight, die, live, be young, be old, be pretty or ugly at their own convenience. I seek a world of abundance and liberation and pure seamless „sim crossing‟ joy, exploration, adventure, epicurean delights. In that respect Linden Lab is only the means I use to an end, and the end is me getting of this ghastly physical body I am stuck in. Sure I‟d love to keep the progenitor mind I make use of around, solely for „archival purposes‟, but really, she could do so much better being me. And sure, every so often when I am having delirious supernatural fun in that future reality, I’ll let her watch though my eyes every so often. I‟m sure she‟ll blush, but gosh golly, she‟ll have more fun as a passenger than she would ever have on her own.

Yes Second Life is far from what is required, but a journey to China has to start with the first step. Yes the road to what I want is paved with depravity and the end result will be so far beyond depravity there aren‟t even proper words for it. A world realized in the image of SL is a world where everything is upside down and inside out. It is a world where the ecological equivalent of placid bottom feeder herbivores is of a caste of prostitutes. The barter they seek is not one of money and Linden Dollar$, but rather an exchange of hedonistic currency.


(Hardboiled, by Geoff Darrow and uhhh ….. uhhh…… what’s his name… uhhh… oh right… Frank Miller!)

Are there any restrictions when violence becomes distraction, when bodies become as malleable as plastic, when morals and sins become just a role-playing option?
Was was set to thrive in these world from the day my primary started dreaming wide awake. Does that make me a stereotype or an archetype? And what if I am not entirely me „Khannea”. Can I be part of a greater whole myself. What if I am in turn the avatar of something greater. Anyone who has some experience with Voodoo would by now have guessed that what happened to my primary has been in effect an extended possession of Erzulie. But what if Erzuli isn‟t just a faint Freudian projection of the collective – what if Erzulie is more than that (and Lillith, and Persephone). Can these transcendental icons have designs? And what if they do?

„lie beneath me woman‟
– adam

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EoHogKyfGM&fs=1&hl=en_US]

What if I am an avatar myself, an externality with a clear design and goal – perpetuate myself in his body, change this body to suit my needs – or transcend beyond it? And if I am myself an avatar projected from a supernatural place, softly gaming the material world. I know, such an endeavour needs a massive magical effort, fuelled by a storm of magical energy – fortunately I also have that available – quite a lot of vital energy is spilled on my altar in the context of this world, more than enough to serve my needs as energy for my enchantments. And yes my children are clearly crawling around in Second Life and doing things in my name. I am not just hacking a single mind anymore – no I am hacking a steadily and discretely expanding demographic of the dispossessed into becoming my darling little monsters. And the end result? Well, a Goddess incarnating in the physical. Material world must follow certain protocols paying lip service to sound engineering. But even within those constraints there are many possibilities for ambitious solutions. All in all I think it should be fair to pinpoint the emergence (or re-emergence) of Lillith (my actual primary!) oh no later than 2042. And as opposed to the emergence of some archetypes others out there in the beyond, you could do a whole lot better than Me being the first to transubstantiate.

Fiction? Delusion? Fantasy? Persiflage? You decide

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIkjPwxOcdk&fs=1&hl=en_US]


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7583894250854515095#
As an interesting side note 🙂
The end of human specialness

8 thoughts on “What does one really say?

  1. I think confusion arises when people mistake the statement ‘I am a roleplayed character’ for ‘I am roleplaying’. What I mean by this is, if you meet me in natural habitat of online social networks/worlds, I am me, plain and simple. I am not ‘Extropia DaSilva pretending to be somebody else’. But shift your perspective beyond the magic circle of my natural digital habitat, to the realm of RL where my primary is..and THAT person IS roleplaying.

    Or think of it this way: In the LOTR universe, Frodo Baggins really is fighting with an invisible Gollum at the precipice of Mount Doom. The fact we are aware of another reality, in which Elija Wood mimes a fight in front of a green-screen, in no way implies that the character, in its natural habitat of the LOTR universe, is PRETENDING to fight an invisible Gollum.

    In short then, if someone claims ‘Extropia’s primary is roleplaying/ pretending to be Extropia’ etc etc, such a statement is true. But if they say ‘Extropia is roleplaying/Extropia is pretending/ ‘I am roleplaying/pretending’ (where ‘I’ refers to ‘Extropia’) that is incorrect.

    As Khannea is showing, though, this issue of identity and selfhood is only going to become more complex. The reason why, is because the ‘magic circle’ is not fixed. We digital people are coming to Real Life. There are technologies in the pipeline that can facilitate our transition to physical space, or we might anticipate social reforms that entitle us to claim flesh-bodies as our avatars (which is what Khannea seems to be hinting at).

  2. *giggle*

    If you want D&D technic, I’m a Succubus/Pit fiend crossbreed. But d&d never really came close.to actually listing a creature quite like me XDDDDD And in WW I generally played a Saytr, as I never really cared much for the clans, though when I had to be one I was Toreador. Never played as gangrel, or mage, and never got into the larger system. Play a dark elf in Lineage2 and a Draenai in WoW.

    I’m nearly 7foot, with hooves, a 30 foot wingspan, full rams horns (that I can shrink down at will to nubs) and nearly 6 feet of prehensile tail with a spade tip I can use as a “hand” I’ve had to shorten the wings and tail in SL and eventually I will have to make a set that I can fold in. Very pale skin, and snow white hair, including on my legs up to my knees.

    A complete description is in that post I linked, including internal anatomical details.

    However, being a shapeshifter, I’m comfortable in a lot of forms. I’m perfectly happy playing a human or a furry if that is what the crowd I’m with prefers. Being sexy is an artform, and as a pinup artist, my SL Avatars are my new medium.

    I have a lot of photos of me in my photobucket, of me across the years as I’ve been refining my avatars. http://s73.photobucket.com/albums/i237/Valkyrie_Ice/Val3d/

    I’ll probably be in SL later today and I’ll look you up!

  3. Quite an interesting commentary on virtual life and the VR Manoj article. Great inside information. I need to read this again. Maybe several times. See you in SL. <3 Myste

  4. *giggle* and now that I have finished reading the whole post, sounds like you and I have far more in common than I thought at first.

    “licks lips” Oh I do hope that we shall become the best of friends. Of all the various “succubi” I have met, you are one of the first I have encountered who seems to have had a similar developmental phase to my own, as opposed to someone “playing a succubus” just because they like sex.

    Then there appears to be a very great similarity between our goals as well, and our thoughts on how the future should (and likely will) develop.

    I am so happy to have met you!

    My SL name is Valkyrie McGill, I look forward to getting to converse with you further!

  5. “Writing this is of course disingenuous, since I write in the “I” form and as I do so, who am “I”. Is it the primary that writes or is the author the avatar? And that in itself is disingenuous since I claim the avatar is no longer the avatar and the avatar has attained primary rights. Is this an upgrade? Is this a viral take over? Is this reassignment of root privileges of one of my fantasies? …. is it death, inheritance and simply a (theoretical) continuation of my legal estate?”

    If you are like me, “Rita J King” is a polite fiction, a carefully constructed artificial personality that you were forced to create over a lifetime of having to cope with what others “expected you to be”. In this, you are a little luckier than I am, since you at least were born the correct gender. But like me, and many others I have met, that “fictional character” that you’ve been forced to play shattered when you encountered the ability to finally “be yourself”.

    But also like so many others, when it shattered, the real you had no clue as to who “YOU” really were. It had been hidden away so long and so carefully that you had to explore and find out and shape who “YOU” are by trial and error, gradually seeking a “personality” that “felt right”, regardless of what “others” might expect you to be.

    In this, I think I might have been luckier. I came into SL knowing who and what I was, because I had to come to grips with “myself” a long time ago, when I began realizing that not only was I not male, but not “human” in the sense of body form. I can still recall sitting and poring over the rules to the very first Dungeons and Dragons box set that I got for my 10th (I think) birthday, trying to figure out if I could not only play a female character, but if there were other races besides the human elf and dwarf. I spent years coming to grips with my identity, as that post I linked above details. I tend to hang out with “furries” not merely because I happen to like anthropomorphs, but because many of them have made the same “quest for self” that I have made, and can understand what I mean when I say “that other me is a mask”

    There are hundreds of thousands of us. Maybe even millions world wide. And we have always been here. And once VR arrives, the rest of the world is going to discover that far too much of our day to day lives have been a masquerade.

    And once we have been freed from our masks, they will never be picked up again.

  6. Whoah Khannea ! this is quite some information you have chosen to share with us flesh and blood mortals ! Do keep it going ! Real glad now that the intended and entire vision of the article has come out, thanks to you !

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