reblogged: A Reality of Presence States

2007.08.09 (Thursday, August 9)

Re-reading Vernor Vinge’s 2006 novel, Rainbow’s End, plunged me back into an insistent but unclear reverie concerning the What? & Why? & Where? of the convergence between mirror and virtual worlds. In the book’s first scene, four of the book’s protagonists, 3 government agents of the Indo-European commission and ‘Mr. Rabbit,’ a potential contractor, are meeting in avery real Barcelona. Of the scene’s 4 actors, 1 is actually present on the terrace of a busy Barcelona café, while the other 3 are represented by avatars. Mr. Rabbit is a brown haired hare in a top-hat, last seen provocatively hopping away through busy midday tourists, as the other 3 sat around discussing the meeting [Metaverse Territories]The three agents sat for a moment in apparently companionable silence, Gunberk bet over his virtual wine, Vaz sipping at his real Rioja and admiring the stilted puppets that were setting up for the afternoon parade. The three blended well with the normal touristy hurly-burley of the Familia district–except that most tourists paying for café seating on C. de Sardenya would have had more than a one-third physical presence.

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