One of ours talks to one of … a different group with which I associate myself. Edward Castronova of Terra Nova fame spends 72 minutes with Russ Roberts on the economics and sociology of online worlds. I think the early parts make an appropriate sacrifice of specificity for clarity (for a lay audience). I was surprised to hear that Prof. Castronova has never used the Linden Exchange.
An early topic is whether and why people are moving to Permutation City. Online worlds are designed for human happiness, community, and a large degree of meritocracy and equality of opportunity. Why wouldn’t you want to spend time in a world designed for your happiness, surrounded by like-minded people? Permanent flow.
I do not know that I support the view of virtual reality as a “fantasy world,” as opposed to a new world of our creation. I interact with people around the world through the internet, often with more meaning than the social pulp I have in meatspace. If we can create artificial intelligences, the majority of conscious minds in existence may not have carbon-based bodies. Will the children of our minds pity the children of our genes, bound to mortality? We may yet shed these fleshy fetters and join all our children at Omega Point.
Russ Roberts uses the phrase “going to the next level.” I choose to interpret that as “leveling up” rather than liquid evil.