Virtual Community

This must be discussed elsewhere on this site.

Just to get the ball rolling I'll quote from an email KaiCarver (that's me) sent recently to his friends HarryVelez and GregWelch?:

There's a book out, "TheTransparentSociety", that makes some of the same points I've been telling people recently, that maybe the high degree of privacy and isolation of our modern life is just a historical blip, that the internet and webcams etc. are what's going to change things, and that maybe that's not a bad thing.

This is actually a side point of my latest (maybe not very original) "idee fixe" -- that contrary to some earlier dark predictions (my own included), ubiquitous computing is not going to plunge us into a virtual world where we never leave our home and order everything delivered by robots and deal with our friends only over the videophone. No, that's scary, boring, and it's not going to happen (please).

What's more interesting than VirtualReality is good ole plain reality, discreetly but powerfully augmented by "RealVirtuality", that is, manifestations in the real world of computer constructs (themselves often images of reality). Like the phone, but better. Um, right, I need a beer to explain this properly.

My point is that computers/communications can make our real lives, like going to get a beer, more interesting. Ordering a beer delivered is very very boring. Going to my neighborhood bar is better, but might still be boring if I have no one to talk to. Ok, so I pull out my Palm/GPS/phone/wearable gizmo, and I check out who's around. Hmm... It says I have an 80% chance of sleeping tonight with the girl 3 tables over. Sound far-fetched? Privacy problems? Hey, maybe she chose to have this information displayed, we're part of some high-tech dating service, which just had an IPO that makes Amazon look like losers. So anyway, it says that our chances of ever becoming a steady item are 20%. Oh well. However, it turns out that she's interested in Chinese calligraphy, so I can at least talk to her, right? Or actually her boss is looking to hire a lazy manic computer programmer like me. Or she's a disciplined conscientious programmer, and I'm looking for one to help me out. Or she's dying to go to the catacombs, etc., etc.

Please add references to Barney, Webcams, Gutenberg.
Over at PyWiki there is an effort to write patterns for the building of virtual communities. It would be nice if some pattern experts interested in virtual communities could join the effort. Check it out at: http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?VirtualCommunityPatterns .
I'd be interested in comments on my theory for a FuzzyCommunity. Similar in idea to a wiki, but allowance to include other community/writing type sites e.g. blogs, discussion sites, (like http://www.kuro5hin.org or http://www.slashdot.org), fiction. It is trying to be a mixture of CommunitySolution, LegalSolution and TechnologySolution.

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