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Showing posts with label SL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SL. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2019

Trust and Transparency: Digital Citizens share about the edge of Real and Virtual Worlds

Shiny Journo Reporting Twitter: @ShinyJourno

artwork by NarayanRaja

Many issues of digital life are explored in the film “Ready Player One,” based on the novel of the same title written by Ernest Cline, and brought to cinematic life by Steven Spielberg and Industrial Light and Magic, not the least of which is the blurry yet inherent line between reality and virtual reality. In a pivotal scene which takes place deep within a digital multiverse, two fantastical avatars swim and dance with each other in a zero gravity ether at a digital disco called he A.V. Club.

While these two avatars share this intimate occasion, their physical selves, existing in a seemingly failed reality, are enmeshed in technology which enables the virtual moment, and they experience it through this projection and are given a respite and much more. But soon the boy behind the avatar Parzival, overcome by his romantic feelings for Art3mis, risks everything when he does what many fear in this world to do.

"So, I've been thinking. Maybe it would be cool if we met up in the real world," suggests Parzival.
"No, you'd be disappointed," Art3mis replies cooly.
"No, I wouldn't. I would like you," he retorts.

"You don't even know me. This isn't what I really look like. This isn't my real body or my real face," Art3mis somewhat pleadingly answers.

"I don't care. I wanna know your real name," he says in a more serious tone.

"Stayin' alive, stayin' alive ah, ha, ha, ha" by the Bee Gees pumps from the digital sonic temple while they do their levitation-dance. Parzival hesitates, knowing that he will pass a point-of-no-return if he speaks and yet still crosses a line and simultaneously opens a door. He blurts out, "My name's Wade."

"What?!" Art3mis asks in a tone of shocked disbelief at his admission.

Of course, a villainous mercenary, i-Rok, who has them under surveillance, overhears this and with little empathy and a lot of condescension says, "Well, Buckaroo blows it. Shocking."

Then Parzival (and/or Wade) continues, not understanding the rhetorical nature of her question. "I said my name's  . . ."

"Stop!" Art3mis demands. "Are you crazy?! You don't tell anyone who you are. You can't use your real name!"

"You're not just anyone." Parzival pleads, lost in the moment.

Art3mis pushes back, "You don't know me. You don't know anything about me. We've never met."

"I do know you Arty. I'm in love with you," Parzival says without reserve.

At that moment the antagonist's goons, the Sixers, explode into the room with guns blazing and the heroes are forced to shoot their way out. Meanwhile, Parzival's secret identity is passed on to the nefarious who plan to leverage this knowledge over him in the real world. This scene captures anxiety that all will experience in digital life.

The line that separates real life from virtual life is as much a connection and a path as it is a border. The promise and perils of digital identity create a range of choices and responses, raising the concern as to how much personal information is safe to share across "real life" and the virtual one.

Asking citizens across the grid how much information about real life is safe to share in Second Life reveals opinions and advice that is wide-ranging. Most suggested a cautious approach built on trust, but even that trust is tempered more often than not.

"I have shared personal information with others after a few months of knowing them, and others a few years.  It's a really touchy subject because you never know. You kind of have to trust your gut in most situations. I am a very private person and when I share my personal information I have to know that person is safe," one long-time resident shared.

A resident of 10-years and business owner said, "Very little (personal information should be shared) and it's a challenge to not do so, particularly in close relationships. Keeping in mind that everyone is an angel in the beginning and it's only later, if things go badly, that there is (a) reason to regret sharing too much."

Another resident of 11-years, who manages a SIM, and details high-quality and provocative appearances for her avatar states, "Most everything, even my address, and real-life Facebook if I know the person very very well. But I am extremely wary of most people I meet randomly online and that info is not easily given. Especially if they are asking a lot of real-life questions."

Many residents revealed the intentional and prolific cross-reality aspect of their work and play, explaining how more transparency and openness is useful to their work life. Through education and media literacy, these users actively move their relationships and communities from a fear-based reaction to a proactive model, one where digital citizens make conscious choices about privacy and transparency in order to empower and enrich their lives inworld and out.

These people are real-world artists, professors, counselors, musicians, and business people who use the virtual world to expand their network and exposure in hopes of sales, growing audiences, sharing knowledge, resources and collaboration. How do they manage “crossing the line”?  Their confidence seems to arise from their etiquette. These users generally keep a positive presence online, are responsible users that keep others’ confidence, abide by terms of service, never forget that virtual spaces that seem private are still essentially social networks, and conduct themselves accordingly. They behave professionally and build brands that are at the same time personal, often supported with blogs, websites, and resources linking their real and virtual identities clearly.  This strategy they hold closes the gap and builds trust with those they encounter or choose to engage.

In a thread in the lifestyle & relationship category of the official Second Life Community Forum, resident BJayy posed a similar question in 2011.  "How much do you mix your RL with your SL or do you prefer to keep the two totally separate? Is that even possible?"  The answers here ranged from "no information at all" to "I'm an open book!"

Resident Bree Giffen in response to the thread’s variety said, "I categorize people in SL in three ways: the roleplayer, the average gamer, and the facebooker. The roleplayer is someone who is completely playing a character.  The average gamer is someone who chats as they do in real life, pursues things that interest them, acts as they would in real life, and generally are just playing SL to enjoy it. The facebooker is exactly like the average gamer except they are playing with their real-life information tied to their avatar and want to know the real-life information about others."

Knowing or being ignorant of what kind of users we are and how we are moving inworld at any moment seems to be a fault line of missteps and drama. Pamala Clift is a teacher and the CEO of Virtual Handhold, LLC. In a lecture called “State of Being” about "Avatar Perceptions" which she has shared extensively inworld over the years, Clift helps others understand this potential rift she sees as a "conflict of perspective" by categorizing three types of viewpoints: immersive, augmentative, and disassociative.  

Slides from her lecture (available on her website) define describe the characteristics of the three aspects. Some qualities of the immersive user are more intense care and concern for the virtual environment and other virtual beings, deserving of as much care as any physical reality, whereas the e disassociative user sees it all like a cartoon without consequences. The augmentative generally uses the virtual world as a place of social value and consequence, but also a tool that can be utilized and put away. Clift also argues that users can change or possess all of these perspectives, that they are all valid, have a purpose, and have advantages and disadvantages.

 artwork by NarayanRaja

From these models, the intention driving the sharing of personal information (or not ) across the digital divide varies as the disassociative troll might hide behind anonymity to avoid real-world consequences to their abusive behavior, whereas a harmless roleplayer may choose a veil to enhance a therapeutic and/or playful fantasy.

Preventing drama associated with mixing real and virtual worlds is a question of perspective and that includes each one's idea of what is a drama. Saoirse Heart, a SL resident for five years, journalist and travel blogger has no problem sharing personal information after trust is gained and has several friendships that have moved from virtual to physical life. She sees the digital divide as an arbitrary one and challenges the "no drama" profile cliché asking, "What IS drama?  That is really key to this question. Some SecondLifers use the word drama to mean they should be able to behave poorly and the recipient of the behavior should suck it up. But really drama means exciting or emotional experiences, yet what is emotional to one person may not be to the other person in the exchange. My daughter was concerned about my time in SL initially and she wanted to visit SL. She did and then told me she wasn't worried anymore. That is the closest to "drama" I have experienced. Drama is created by two or more people.  That means that all share ownership for the event/experience. It has been my experience that those who cry "no drama" are the ones the least likely to take ownership for their part in an emotional moment."

As the film Ready Player One  
culminates, the protagonists known as the High Five including Art3mis, Parzival, Aech, Sho, and Daito are all drawn into the fray that has escalated into the physical world. They join forces physically, and in doing so, their real faces and names are shared. Now known now to each other as Samantha, Wade, Helen, Zhou, and Toshiro, together they spoil the villain’s plot of domination. and the real world consequences that an evil corporation has set to control and oppress the Oasis, the virtual world that has become the center of life. Even with their actual faces and names revealed, their united friendship and heroic selflessness, in either real or virtual, masked or transparent, is the reality that bridges all the worlds and saves the day.

Second Life Community Forum Link:
Avatar Perceptions Lecture
Virtual Handhold, LLC
Ready Player One Official Movie Site
Ready Player One Wikipedia

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Surf Camp, Champs and the Surfing Community Keep Catching the Virtual Wave - Shiny Blackheart Reporting...

After years of Virtual Surfing appearing in Second Life, a robust community continues to surprise and inspire in a way that only virtual reality and the limitless creativity of the artists and residents of SL can conjure.

In the spring of 2007, a surf SIM called Chi, owned and created by Sally LaSalle organized the first ever SL surfing competition. The popularity and success led to the culmination of the Second Life Surfing Association formed to facilitate and formalize a growing community of surfers and events.

This past week the 2nd Annual Surf Camp, offered a comprehensive schedule of talks, workshops, and surf lessons that brought veteran wave riders and nervous newcomers alike together to explore surf life in SL.

“This particular event is not affiliated with any organization or team.” says its organizers.  “It is designed to unite the soul surfer, the novice, and the competitor in one mutual love of surfing. It's never too late to get involved! No fee or sign up, just show up to the below beach at the below time.”  The events took place at a few of the over 70 Sims, beaches and breaks SL virtual surfers can choose to explore.

The SL Surf Association’s SIM is a tropical island inspired SIM, with crystal blue waters, beautiful swells, sandy beaches, green palms, and fun shacks and hatched info huts and shops. Along with that casual beach-life-feel is a proud legacy expressed in the exposition and exhibitions at the SL Surfing Hall of Fame where a lineage of SL Surfing greats are honored and remembered as well as a detailed book of history about Second Life and virtual surfing’s co-creation.

 At a Surf Camp talk Mick Lunasea, a long-time RL and SL surfer, and an SL Surfing Hall of Fame inductee began the history talk saying, “In the beginning, God created the earth in 7 days according to the bible. Many god-like earthlings disagree. After attending a burning man festival, godlike Philip Rosendale created Linden Lab’s Second Life. By 2007 surfing arrived big time. It has taken years for all of us to create it.” 

 The surfing community is vibrant, expressive, and savvy. From highly developed tropical surf environments to just a fun wave tacked onto a water holding parcel, the surfing SIMs of SL demonstrate vast collaboration and creativity so every surfer can find different waves and communities to ride with.  The community has general, moderate, and adult locations with varying rules and guidelines. Some very family friendly, non-human/fantasy friendly, and others strictly human, adult, and even—unattired!

Recently spotlighted in SL Enquirer, Surfer's Bay VIP, owned and created by Duncan Blackburn, is an adult exotic beach surfing SIM that its group description says offers “adult fun, DJ’s and parties. Try surfing or explore the tropical island and meet new friends.”  But even with all the other possible activities, Persia Bravin, the SIM’s landscaper seems to have a special fondness for the surfing itself.

Bravin first surfed in Second Life precisely a decade ago in August 2008. Persia has also surfed in RL since childhood and admits she’s somewhat “obsessed with it [surfing]. A surfer and builder by vocation, she naturally sought the virtual surf beaches of SL, and at only four months old as an SL resident Ms Bravin had a full surfing SIM at a surf estate called JJ Lane where some early surf contests were held.

 Bravin can describe many changes from her decade of experience stating, “When I started surfing in SL, the waves and boards were made of prims. This meant extra lag and also less realism than we have now with mesh.”

Despite the tech and programming challenges, the surfing community still thrived, and there were frequent celebrations and events she recalls.  “Like anything in SL, surfing has evolved and many of the great SL surfers from those days are still here – and surfing,” she said.

The foundation created by the generations of surfers, SIMS, and technology swelled the development and continued growth of SL surfing, but it is the activity of surfing itself that is the fascination. Persia describes the attraction stating, “SL surfing offers you freedom and peace; when it is just you, alone, facing a huge wave…it can be very meditative and a great release from real life pressures.”

When asked what is so attractive about surfing Julz and Vally, the creatives and surfers behind the breathtaking, Indonesian inspired surf SIM, Cloudbreak, answer, “Simple. Riding the wave...nothing more...nothing less.”  Julz added,  “I really love the disconnect - you can't IM or email or text when surfing, it's you and the wave, it's the most peaceful part of my SL day.”

The set of waves at Cloudbreak are epic and keep on coming. The expansive pink-kissed sand meeting mirror-like turquoise waters, overshadowed by immersive jungle canopy is a surf location designed with surfers, creative and community in mind, says its creators and a visit fulfils expectations.

The innovation of waves and boards has created a more realistic, dynamic, and emotive surf experience in SL. Waves at SIMS  have much variety both in the type of wave and how they are arranged and randomly appear and oscillate, creating a variety of conditions and lengths of rides. Fluffy waves are small waves about 2-3 ft. high or there are waves like the Maverick, which are big and steep with a ripping, curling, face.

These factors along with a variety of boards with options for speed, manoeuvrability, and tricks give a rider the ability to personalize their ride and be creative with their expression on the wave much like RL surfing. Most SIMS have ‘rez points' where one can choose a board to appear there in the water for them to ride. Grab a C-3 for a good balance between control and dynamics, or select the coveted HP5, long since unavailable for purchase, for a high flying session of airs and dynamic tail sprays and cutbacks, like the LSD or choose the SSI for what surfer resident, Emma says, “is a pretty honest board and an equalizer.”

Most surfers tend to collect boards and many end up with a ‘quiver’, and at Surf Camp Mick set up his array of boards in a beautiful exposition of innovation and history of the board’s development over time. He even showed a board that was given out for free (to the chagrin of many SL surfboard dealers) by Linden during the 2011 Spring Break event. He called it a real ‘turkey’, and after surfing this board, this journalist verified and understood ‘turkey’ to mean ‘a poor performer.’

 The sun has set on this year’s Surf Camp but next years event is already in planning. Despite this, there are many opportunities to take lessons with group or private instructors. Major competitions are upcoming this month, and the many revellers of these SIMS are all practising their ride, partying, dancing and lounging on the miles and miles of sandy beaches.

To explore the world of SL Surfing use the most recent version of the Surf SIM List, available at the TP board at Solace or Bluff Cove or go to the SurfWatch Blog as well as some other places inworld.  A TP board is freely available upon request even!  Copies are automatically sent whenever the main board is updated.  To receive a TP board send an IM with a request to, Kantbe Thursday.

Like a good a set of waves the state of SL Surfing also has its changes, surprises, upsets and disappointments. For this reporter, I’ll be surfing everyday, in my birthday-suit at Surfer’s Cove Playa Parida, or duck-diving under friendly sharks and whales after I hang glide down to the beach at El Diablo, or I’ll be hanging-10 and showing off to the voyeurs at Surfer’s Bay, wherever and whenever, catching waves, in the sea, under the SL sky. Aloha.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Feeling Safe: A look at babygirl safety on Adult sims - Pen Dragon reporting...

The relationship between a Daddy Dom and his babygirl is very intimate and close, with a level of trust that can only be gained through a deep knowledge of one another both physically and emotionally. Because of this bond the emotional safety, as well as the physical, are of the utmost importance to the Daddy Dom. Adult Sims can be filled with predators and people, both male and female, that do not comprehend basic courtesy and the meaning of the word no. This can create an environment that doesn’t allow a babygirl to feel safe or welcome. While this can be true of a sim with any rating, it’s especially true for adult sims.

The question then arises, what makes a babygirl’s safety any different than any submissive or anyone in general? The answer to that lies with the babygirl herself. Most, but not all, women that identify as a babygirl do so because they find a release in being free of stress and the worries that are associated with the struggles of everyday life. This release is achieved by allowing themselves to surrender control to their Daddy and creating a mental space in which they feel comfortable and almost childlike. This does not mean they regress into a child, by no means is that true. It simply means they find a headspace in which they are free of those concerns. Sometimes called “little space,” this state of mind often leaves babygirls feeling vulnerable when someone they are unfamiliar with speaks to, or contacts them.

When you combine “little space” with a predator, the results can be disastrous and may, in some instances, leave a babygirl mentally scarred. Because of this potential danger, it’s very important to a Daddy Dom to ensure his girl’s safety. As a Daddy Dom myself I know that it can be impossible to be everywhere that my girl goes, so I investigated several babygirl friendly and themed sims to see what policies and rules they have in place to help keep their members safe.

I was surprised that the vast majority of the sims I visited didn’t seem to take this threat seriously. Many have a simple policy of “mute and block” the individual doing the harassing. This, however, leaves the person free to find someone else on the sim to target. While that policy will resolve the issue for most people, a babygirl needs more. She needs to feel safe and know that someone has taken actions to protect her in these instances. Some of the sims had better measures in place, such as giving the girls a contact reference, usually a member of management who can take further action if needed.

There were a couple of exceptions. One sim, called Daddy’s babygirl Haven, offered more in the way of safety measures. I spoke with MisCandyPink, owner of the sim. I asked what she did to help protect the girls.

“Many things, one of which is that of the community’s support, understanding and positive outlook on things. We have been able to build an amazing support system. My "rules" are simple. Treat others with respect, or you will not last long here,” she said.  She went on to say “This is a babygirl haven. Therefore, the girls here are my priority. We have all gone through something similar here in SL, so there are usually people here who a babygirl can consult after having similar circumstances happen to them.”

The other sim that took care of the babygirls is called Daddy's Secret Garden & Mu Phi Omicron Sorority. I also spoke with the owner of that sim, named Melly Fleming. She explained to me that the safety and wellbeing of the babygirls were of tantamount importance there. Every issue brought up to her, or any other member was taken seriously and investigated. If someone overstepped their boundaries, immediate action was taken, and the consequences all depended on the severity of the infraction. As a Daddy, I was very impressed at the lengths Daddy’s Secret Garden went to provide a safe environment. Melly explained that the more serious issues were discussed with other staff members to ensure that no personal bias was involved with a decision that would involve one of the girls or even someone harassing them. The sim also had a set of rules clearly posted at the landing zone that was very clear and easy to understand. This is a place I would feel my girl would be safe.

Second Life has its dangers. Predators are everywhere and can target anyone, but a babygirl is typically the most vulnerable. Because of this, it is important for places that call themselves a babygirl sim to take extra precautions to keep a safe environment.

Daddy's Secret Garden & Mu Phi Omicron Sorority
Daddy's BabyGirl Haven

Friday, February 23, 2018

Renew your soul - Curei's Floating Gallery - Lacy Muircastle reporting

Curei’s Floating Gallery - Grand Opening this weekend Sat., Feb., 24th & Sun., Feb. 25th. 

Second Life is amongst other things a platform for individuals to set their creativity free.  Curei’s Floating Gallery is just that, creativity set free…

 "Curei's Floating Gallery"  is a dream that has come to fruition.  It floats high above Inspiration Island one of Second Life’s longest running sims.

 So who is Curei?  "Curei" (pronounced: CURE-ee-eye) Is a photojournalist in real life.  “Or, in what is left of photojournalism in the retreating form of current "hard copy" publishing,” she said.

She looked around at many of the galleries in SL and discovered that there was no shortage of them.  Curei found that some of the art and photography was original and very creative. However, it seemed to her that most of the works were still being displayed within the "other world" concept of pictures on a wall.

She wanted something different and to share her soul with Second Life, to reach for new vistas of creation and display.  The end result is exciting.  She has tapped into the talents and capabilities of other artists such as Gee (GeeJAnn Blackadder) who is a sculptor.  It is far from being all about Curei, she said, “often the best that can be done is not going to be all about me, but about a number of us together, working as a great creative team.”

Curei’s dream was made possible by many SL residents, and she would like to thank them as without them her creation would not have seen the light of day.  Pluto Fairey, of The Forest, gifted the basic "floater" as a beginning, and Curei said it was most certainly a wonderful place to start.

Wisdomseeker, the founder and director of the Inspiration Island sim, and the rest of the incredible leadership of the island gave them an exceptional home in their sky.

So many residents, from all aspects of SL, helped get the gallery up and floating.  There was Francisco Koolhoven, the tech expert of Inspiration Island, Wordsmith Jarvinen, the Chancellor of Oxbridge University, and Tooyaa from Inspiration Island.  And there was Ari, and Par, Catseye Tennen, Khamon Fate, and the hosting volunteers, and many others.

The team from Curei’s Floating Gallery hope that everyone will enjoy the fact that there will be much to see.   There is the Central Plaza area, the little model sailboats, a lovely Meditation Alcove, a magnificent one-of-a-kind spiral fountain, strolling peacocks, the Little Jazz Corner, as well as a relaxing music stream.  And who knows what else you might discover.

Speaking of discovering things, a mysterious object has been hidden somewhere on the floater.  It is an interesting surprise.  Come and see if you can find it?  Hint:  It’s a thing, and it has but one moving part.  If you find it, please don't tell anyone what it is and don't tell them where they can find it. Let them explore and find it for themselves.

This is a place to renew one's soul, a place for relaxation and enjoyment.  You are invited to join in the adventure of discovery and to return to as often as you wish.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How to make friends. Start a conversation - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

  1. a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.

    "she picked up the phone and held a conversation in French."


Second Life fulfils different roles for different people and that is how it should be, but at its very heart, it is a social platform. Socialising can and is interpreted in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately for many people, it's as tricky in SL as it is in RL to strike up a conversation with some random person.

Many of you will have had to attend cocktails parties or events in RL where you don't know anyone, and so you hug the walls sipping your Gin and eyeing out who's who over the rim of the oversized glass.

All you want to do is to meet new contacts and make connections. However, the problem is figuring out how to approach people, no matter what the situation.

In my opinion, it's even harder in SL to make new contacts.  There are no visual cues or body language to try and read.

I picked up the following threads in an SL forum:

Speaking from a guy's perspective, most guys would be happy to receive a random IM.  I have gone many months without a random IM and when I do get one I usually will ask the person if they are actually speaking to me?  Hehe.  I think the last random IM I received was in early 2017 from a horse avatar asking me where good grazing land might be in SL...  Jameson2001

I profile stalk... if I find one that has something I can start a conversation over, I might go ahead and send a message. But the thing is you never know if someone really wants random people messaging them. I really like when people state in their profile 1. If they are open to private messages from new people and 2. If they are only interested in platonic or sexual relationships. I don't like to waste anyone's time.  Nalytha

I think this is the sad part of SL that when a guy IM's a girl, it is only for sex.  Whatever happened to just chatting with someone about where they are from, complimenting them on their avatar, or asking them what is their favourite part of SL?  Conversations are fun between all different types of avatars:)  It seems to me that was not as much a problem back in the early days.

Usually, you can tell within the first two sentences if the person you are chatting with is a good conversationalist.  What amazes me is the diversity of people I have met this way and the enjoyable conversations that can be had.

If you can get a conversation going it is usually a whole lot of fun and who knows where it may lead.

Let’s take a look at how you can master your people skills to start conversations with anyone, anywhere, anytime in Second Life.

How can you make dazzling conversation with anyone you meet? There is both an art and a science of effective communication.

1. Be Anti-Boring
Everyone starts off conversations the same way. They say, “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” Instead, ask someone, “What passion projects are you working on?” or “What gets you up in the morning?”

2. Start off Strong
Start off the conversation with a “how” or “why” question. People will give you more thoughtful answers and really think about why you’re asking them. Say, for instance, “How did you find this venue?” That way you’ll learn about the person you’re talking to, as well as possible other places for finding events.

3. Exploration and Adventures
Ask people if they have explored any interesting sims or have had any fun adventures in SL.

4. Foster Excitement
Ask people if anything exciting happened to them that day.

5. Stories
Tell a story. People love funny anecdotes, and it makes your conversation more personal right off the bat.

6. Break it Down
Break down a question for someone. Instead of being general and saying, “How are you doing?,” ask, “How’s Fall treating you so far?” Frame it in the context of time so he or she can thoughtfully answer the question.

7. Be the Highlight
Ask a person, “Have any highlights today?” Not only is this person going to feel good because he or she gets to talk about him or herself, but it also starts off the conversation on a positive note.

8. Like-Dar
Ask a “like radar” question. This is a question that will highlight what you two have in common. For example, you might ask, “Keeping up with [certain sport] lately?” or “What are your favourite venues around here?” These questions and things in common will foster instant connections.

9. Smile
How do you smile in SL (with Bento of course)?  Be positive  People are attracted to positivity, not negativity.

10. Authenticity
Be authentic in your interactions and not sarcastic. People want to start conversations with you because you’re being real, and not facetious.

11. From the Heart
When initiating a conversation, give him or her authentic compliments from the heart.

12. Be Passionate
Add excitement to your conversations. Talk about what your passions are both in SL and RL.

The bottom line is you have to take the risk to put yourself out there when initiating a conversation.  There will be those who rebuke your attempts, it will be their loss.

“Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.” 
― Guy de Maupassant