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Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Thursday, June 9, 2022

GeekSpeak subject for Saturday 11th June at noon SLT: Can we get rid of oil? Should we?


We have all heard about the problems of oil: climate change, pollution, wars.  So perhaps we should all stop using it?  Or do you think that we should continue to use it while we have it because there is nothing that can take its place?

What can replace oil?  Solar power, nuclear power, wind, or water power?  Will attempt to live without oil increase poverty?  Is that too high a price to pay?

If we do get rid of oil what will the world look like politically?  Which countries will be dominant in the new world?  Will the new political arrangement be an improvement?

How long will it take to get rid of oil? Ten years, fifty years?  And what waits for us on the other side?

Come to GeekSpeak at noon SLT on Saturday to discuss the end of the most dangerous time in the history of Earth.  Let’s celebrate together.  Bring your friends!

IM Vulcan Viper, who teaches a meditation class every Wednesday in the GeekSpeak auditorium, if you have ideas for new subjects.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

GeekSpeak subject for Saturday 28th May at noon SLT: How do we fight misinformation?


Misinformation is the problem of our era.  All the time people post untruths for political, ideological, or financial reasons, or just for fun.  Millions of people believe things that are not true.  The situation will get worse as technology improves and deepfakes become common. 

The worst examples of false information come from North Korea and Russia but there are plenty from the West as well.  How can we trust anything?

How do we fight it?  Could AI help, perhaps by checking everything posted?  But why would we trust AI?  Or the people who program AI? Are there other solutions?

Will there ever be a time when people can rely on information?  Was there ever such a time?

Come to GeekSpeak on Saturday at noon SLT to ask if we are lost.  Bring your factsheets and your friends!

IM Vulcan, who teaches a meditation class every Wednesday in the GeekSpeak auditorium, if you have ideas for new subjects.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Ukraine vs Russia, Settled The Old Fashioned Way - Stacey Cardalines Reporting


"You can't do that, it is an act of depravity!"

"'Controversy creates cash.'"

You are a fly on the wall at a meeting of Show Managers for Divas Wrestling sim. In the interest of full disclosure, this reporter is a "Spokesmodel" at this sim. One of the managers, who may be a Spokesmodel with a newspaper job on the side, is proposing a particularly brutal main event for one of the Divas shows. Before we go further, we must explain a few things about wrestling on SL.

There are two kinds of SL wrestling. One is done with a hud, and is a sport/game. Two wrestlers use a hud to have an actual competition against each other. The Virtual Wrestling Alliance, who advertise with this paper, are this sort of league. While they may use some sort of plot contrivance, they are selling the sport more than the spectacle. I do not know if the wrestlers are paid by the league, paid by tips from the audience at shows, or not paid at all.

The other sort of wrestling is poseball wrestling, which is more of a Performance Art. The matches, while not fixed, are contrived, and the opponents cooperate rather than compete. There is a heavy emphasis on personality, conflict, good/bad girls and just making a scene. The wrestlers live off the tip money from the crowd, so whatever they do to draw attention to themselves is fair game. Divas Wrestling is this sort of wrestling.

Pro Wrestling in general is a sketchy business. Her roots lay in barnstorming carnival shows, the anything-that-draws-attention motif was in full effect as far back as when Grover Cleveland was the President and elements of it stretch back to the Dark Ages. When your show is two people fighting, you don't really need to waste as much money/time/effort on developing scripts or hiring gifted writers. You can be very ham-handed with the presentation.

Thusly, wrestling tends to have broad, easily understood storylines. The dastardly Mean Girl is fighting the adorable All American girl, stuff like that. Wrestlers can be cowboys, European royalty, cheerleaders, bikers, musclemen, axe murderers, surfers, college boys, cannibals, karate guys, etc... pretty much anything that can be painted with a broad stroke and understood by children.

One easy way to perform this task is the Ripped From The Headlines motif, where your storyline reflects some current news event. This motif is good because FOX or CNN or NBC News do the backstory for you, all you need to do after is provide the militia guy or the evil comic book heroine ripoff and your story pretty much writes itself. 

With that in mind, it was almost inevitable that, at some point in 2022, this (see below) meeting among wrestling show producers was going to happen:

"We need a main event that gets people riled up."

"I have one."

"Do tell..."

"It's ripped from the headlines."

"Aren't they all?"

"We get a Russian girl and a Ukrainian girl to fight."


"It'll rule."

"You can't do that, it is an act of depravity."

"Controversy creates cash."

"Thousands of people are dying over there, we can't make light of it."

"The crowd will love it."

"Where would you even FIND a girl from Russia or the Ukraine?"

"I have a Ukraine t-shirt and shorts."

"You're French."

"Close enough."

"Where do you plan to get the Russian?"

"My friend Courtney, she does some model work for me with the SL Enquirer."

"She's from the Ukraine?"

"Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA."


"We'll get her a Soviet Union gymnast outfit I saw at a store."

(second pause)

"She's blonde... she'll look Slavic."

"The idea that someone might be offended by this never popped into your head."

"I have a filter which blocks things like that."

"This idea has been terminated with extreme prejudice."

The road to the castle gates is not always the high road, and one has to step on a lot of nice people as they claw their way to the top. The person proposing the fight wasn't a monster. She was just ahead of the curve.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

NIC- The People Behind the Government-Nomad Aries reporting...

  NIC is a company that designs, implements, streamlines and manages electronic business solutions for local, state and the federal governments of the United States of America. The CEO and chairman of the board is Harry Herington.  NIC describes their business as that of public servants because they enable governments to be more accessible and user friendly to their constituents.  NIC's  slogan is “ Making Good Governments Better”.

 Often, the complaints about government processes are;  they are too slow, tedious , generate reams of paperwork and are too complicated for the average person to negotiate.  NIC aims to streamline government processes to reduce wait times, travel to different agencies, time constrictions, reduction in  volumes of paperwork and make business with the government more user friendly and accessible.
Everyone in business knows time is money and streamlining these processes saves money for the government and the people. NIC does not use public money or money generated by taxes to provide any of their solutions, it is a private company that was listed in Forbes magazine as one of the top 100 successful small businesses in 2014.
 Technology has changed the way people and businesses act with government agencies. NIC has taken advantage of technology by integrating government processes so anyone can access government portals from their computer or phone in real time. 
One example of the type of integration of government forms can be found in the Arkansas Scholarship portal.  A person can use their computer to access the portal and once there, they will be prompted to enter certain information about their qualifications. After entering the information the site brings up all scholarships that match the information and gives you only the ones you qualify for. You do not have to be tech savvy to use the portals, they are user friendly.  Arkansas has found that more people can attend college because they now can easily access the scholarship programs that apply to their particular needs.

How Do the Use of the Government Portals Improve the Average Person's Business with Government?

  Through government portals a person can access their local, state or federal governments. All someone has to do is enter the information they need into a search bar or click on a topic. You will be directed to the web page and you can begin entering your information, depending on your need, you will be able to ; fill out government forms,register to vote in an election,  pay property taxes, pay traffic fines, car tag fees and even fill out the required documents to start a new business.

The new business start up page is a Onestop application that combines all the different forms from the five agencies needed and you can pay the fees right away.  Onestop has reduced the wait times for new business approval from a ten week waiting period , down to two days. Utah, has a wizard approach on their new business app that recognizes the key forms necessary for certain businesses so it will bring up all the necessary forms to be filled out. New businesses generate income for the state and hire workers. Making it easier to start new businesses has helped boost local and state economies.

 The list of available services will vary from state to state . All are available online but currently only some are available on mobile application to your phone.  NIC is working to get all apps available on all phones in the future and applications , once available are free. 

  In the state of Indiana , Law Enforcement is using an app for temporary plates on vehicles. In the past, there was no way for an officer to know from the temporary plate on a vehicle, if it was stolen from a dealership or involved in any crime.  With the Temporary Plate Check App they are able to access all information on the vehicle with the temporary plates and know if they are approaching a dangerous situation.  All officers in Indiana are equipped with a laptop inside their vehicles.

There is also a mobile bus safety inspection application available to police officers.  An officer can inspect buses transporting school children.  Should an officer find an infraction they report it with the application and also check to make sure the repair has been made. This has resulted in fewer buses breaking down and buses are being repaired more quickly ensuring greater safety for school children.

NIC in SecondLife

NIC is located in SecondLife at NIC - .
 The sim is comprised of three main buildings; The Corporate Head Quarters, The Hall of States and the Innovation Building. 

  Corporate Headquarters
In this building you will find the Lobby ,The auditorium , gift shop and corporate offices. The auditorium is used for shareholder meetings and company meetings. The offices are for sales and monitoring state portals.  The building resembles the NIC building in real life.

The Hall of States

The Hall of States is where you can find the portals.  Inside this building there are huge interactive maps of the United States and on those maps are the states.  You can click on a state and your web browser will open to that State's webpage.  The webpage will either be a search bar asking what you wish to find or tabs to click on to , for instance, pay a property tax bill or get tags for your vehicle. It will prompt you as to what county you reside in .  You can also pay traffic fines from these portals.
As previously mentioned ,the services available depend on the state .You can apply for hunting licenses in states like Arkansas and Mississippi and regardless of all the forms needed you only have to fill out the information once.

Is it Safe to use the online portals for money transactions?
 Yes it is as safe as it can be. NIC handles government money and accounts, for this reason they have a full department of accountants and lawyers to constantly check transactions. They are trained to look for fraud or scams and monitor sites constantly. When a portal is set up for an agency this team makes sure payments can be made across multiple channels, build custom check out pages, and check to make sure all portals are in compliance with convenience rules, security and the PCI council and report refunds and chargebacks.

Through these portals you can also see where money has been allotted through the state budget -where and how your tax dollars are being spent.
There is also another portal where you can click on any state and it will give you the population of that state. 

The Innovation Building

The Innovation building is where the “next best thing” is produced.  It is a place where like minded creative thinkers come up with the next application and how to apply it across all media.  This is where the bugs get fixed and all apps must work in all media before they are adopted and put into practice at NIC.
 Inside this building are conference rooms, group huddles and labs to discuss and test new information.
This is a recreation of the real life group in production at NIC. These are the people who come up with a way to integrate more features into their existing apps along with new ones to reach more people .  Essentially NIC is doing on SL exactly what they do in real life and all other media . NIC using all media , facebook, twitter and youtube for all their apps.  The virtual world is just another medium that NIC is using to make government more accessible to more people at all age ranges. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Avie Poll: Are Politics and Religion Important Topics in Second Life?-Becca Drascol Reporting

Are these topics important in SL?

Ask most club owners if politics or religion are a welcomed topic of conversation and you will most likely hear that no, they are not. Why is that? Perhaps because not only do people have their own beliefs and views on both, but both are hot button issues for that very reason.
Religion comes in many forms, and each of us has our own thinking on it. Some are not
Religious at all. Some people could care less about politics.

Love me or hate me, I choose not to discuss either topic and do not feel they are important or
even have a place in Second Life. To me SL is an escape, a place to be whatever and whoever I  may want be and to do things I enjoy. I like to live a little more on the wild side of things in my second life. I can have jobs I'd never do or cannot do in RL. I don't think about RL things like religion and politics while inworld.

Now with all that said that does not mean that some may not seek a challenging convo on
Politics and /or religion. And that's not to say that some may even seek out religion in-world.

For some these two hot button issues very well may hold an importance even in one's virtual
life. For others there are far more controversial views and beliefs they give importance to within SL.

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
NeaFarspire Resident: I suppose it can be but from experience, those two topics still get heated even on SL. I try to stay away from discussing both...smiles.

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
BarricWolf Resident: Not really.
Becca Drascol: Ok can I ask why you feel they are not?
BarricWolf Resident: I do not come here for it.
Becca Drascol: Many don't.
BarricWolf Resident: I come here to do the things I can not in real.
BarricWolf Resident: I can talk Politics and religion in real.
Becca Drascol: Great Thank you. Well thought out answer.

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
ExklusiveMamii87 Resident: I think to some on SL it could very well be, but for me... It doesn't seem that important... Not as much as it would RL…

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
EvanDarkblood Resident: Don`t get me wrong a person can be political or religious all they want. That being said I am neither and feel that there is no place for them in SL and with all the differing views on both they just cause drama.

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
LaceyNightshade Resident: No they aren’t religion and politics have there place but it isn’t within SL. I feel people are too passionate about both and it’s just an issue waiting to happen when you incorporate either here.

Becca Drascol: Are Politics and Religion important topics in SL?
Nicholle Inglewood:  I don't think those topics are important unless you’re in some type of political or religious group. To me they shouldn't be discussed because from previous experiences, it just causes everyone to fight lol.

As for In-World…
For some religion and politics hold their place within Second life.  For if they did not, churches and other religious venues I visited would not exist and have traffic as high as four thousand. Or places for deep discussions on these very topics but also on such things as atheism. I do believe even in SL that people will discuss hard hitting issues and they will discuss ones that some people wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. However, for those I interviewed Religion and Politics were not something they wish to include virtually.

Are these topics important to you? Comment and let us know how you feel.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

University of Delaware Center for Political Communication- NATIONAL AGENDA 2014

National Agenda 2014 focuses on the battle for control of congress midway through the Obama second term, with some of the biggest and most experienced names in American politics. We span the transition from an earlier era of political strategy to the age when social media can make or break a candidate.

These events are live simulcasts of guest speaker talks and interviews taking place on the UD Campus in Newark Delaware USA.
They are moderated by Ralph Begleiter, Director, Center for Political Communication and former CNN World News Correspondent.
Questions will be taken from the Second Life audience. 

Join us on the following Wednesdays at 4:30 slt.

Coming Up

***   Nov 19 - 4:30 pm    *** 
Post-Election Analysis
David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt return to their alma mater for incisive analysis of the election and their political outlook.

Plouffe is a former White House adviser to President Obama, and helped lead his successful campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
Schmidt is an international political strategist who was John McCain’s campaign manager in 2008. He is Vice President of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm.

*********      More information at the website *********

National Agenda is Presented by
Institute for Global Studies,
Department of Communication,
Department of Political Science & International Relations
Center for Political Communication
Moderated by Ralph Begleiter, Director, Center for Political Communication

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Politics: Could Big Brother Be Watching You?- Mackenzie Abbot Reporting...


In everyday life, politics shapes our world.  From how high the curb must be to how much taxes you pay. Someone, somewhere, makes the laws of the land.  

There's no getting away from politics.  Turn on your television or open any newspaper and you will see some member of government talking about the hot topic of the day, or defending the latest proposition to change the law.  Every government in every country control banks, the economy, the various security forces and make sure that everyday life is peaceful and fair for all.  But this is Second Life.  We come here to get away from day-to-day troubles and cast aside who we really are.  We live, love, fight, dance and just be who we want to be; carefree and happy to do exactly what we want in our ideal, alternate life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monumental Election Day -11.6.12 Obama Re-Elected

Momentum has been building up until Election Day 2012 with campaign debates. mudslinging, piles of campaign postcards and brochures, signs in yards, posters and billboards. No matter where you looked, you were reminded of this day and just how important it is to vote.

Voters across the United States sat tight when polls closed at 7:00 pm on the eastcoast and for each time zone. Americans and the world turned to TV, radio,cell phones, the internet, and many flocked to their social media outlets to express themselves. What made this as well as the 2008 election so important for President Obama, was the strength of social media, young voters,women and those concerned for the protection of women’s rights, health care reform and moving forward!

Did you know 70,000,000 Americans use Twitter alone? 70% are under the age of 44 and 60% are women.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Politics: Epic Lyrical Smackdown. Who will win the F#@%*$# Election?

This rap battle sums up the debates, check it out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

POLITICS- University of Delaware Sim: Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe tells U of Delaware crowd that innovation is “a little bit easier when you’re not a democracy.” - Ramon Federal Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Thursday, November 11, 2010
David Plouffe, campaign manager for President Obama in 2008 and, presumably, in 2012, addressed an audience brought together by the Center for Political Communications at the University of Delaware and in Second Life at 4:30 SLT on November 10, 2010. 
Talking about recent innovation in computer technology in China, where the world’s fastest supercomputer was recently unveiled, he said of such progress: “It’s a little bit easier when you’re not a democracy.” 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

POLITICS: University of Delaware Panel Discusses November 2, 2010 Elections ~Ramon Federal Reporting...

Staff Reporter
• Thursday, November 04, 2010
A panel of University of Delaware professors talked about the results and implications of the November 2, 2010 U.S. elections

On November 3, 2010, Ralph Begleiter, host of National Agenda and former CNN world correspondent, presided over a panel discussion of recent elections at the University of Delaware’s sim, at: .

Professor David Wilson explained that some pollsters, such as Pew, were more accurate in predicting the results than others, such as Gallup.