Sales and Social Isolation

You choose your setting in Alcove, author’s photo

The personal is political. I am an old folk or at least a semi-old folk.

AARP is onto you at 55, [Spoiler Alert] which is a rude shock when it happens. I am 72 so they have been onto me for decades

AARP is into VR. AARPVR. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it.

They’ll be offering you their version of Virtual Reality at 55.

If not before — you want to stay in touch with your grandparents and parents in their assisted living community, don’t you? Well, we’ve got just the thing.

It’s called Alcove. Who says all the…

What if Plutocratic networks have always been the instruments of power because other network forms couldn't be supported -- but now maybe non-Plutocratic networks are feasible thru blockchain and particularly higher level formats like DAOs. Isn't the network that just gave $350,000 to the gorillas (not the guerillas) something new that never could have happened before?

Once a Week, Every Week, in VR

The Black Lady Theatre closed, March 2020, Collin Knopp-Schwyn, on Wikimedia

It was pretty obvious that we’d all be losing so much so fast we wouldn’t be able to keep up. Wouldn’t even be able to Say Goodbye the way we’d want to and need to.

Someone would just get irritated and tell you to stop being Debbie Downer.

A lot of people just need permission; that’s the part I figured out in late March, 2020 when I started organizing and hosting events in the only place we could be close— a virtual reality place, with its superpower of shared presence.

Just to make sure it was completely clear, I named…

In a Virtual Reality Community

Sunrise over a Lake, Novato, CA, unattributed at Pixexid

Routines help, especially in insecure and unpredictable times. The routines we construct stake out a little order where there isn’t much.

When we go somewhere new, or don’t go anywhere because of a pandemic, we establish new routines very quickly. There must be some value.

Sure enough, just Google something like, ‘Routines Helpful’ and you’ll immediately see that the Jury came back on this one a long time ago and unanimously reported, ‘Yes;’ for all the obvious reasons, that mostly come down to cultivating a sense of control or at least some degree of agency.

Except for one counter-thread. Scanning…

Selected Articles and Commentary

Mythical Library, AltspaceVR

I am 72, which I consider to be semi-old, and I am very active in social VR.

This article is a brief collection of readings, set in an overall commentary about virtual reality, primarily intended as a backgrounder for semi-old friends and colleagues who may be interested.

VR is growing but it is still a niche area, within which the non-gaming social platforms are another embedded niche. Furthermore, my involvement is primarily confined to one particular social VR platform, AltspaceVR, owned by Microsoft, making most of my experience the product of a niche within a niche within a niche.


Getting Just One Second Right

It comes down to one second, like the universe in a grain of sand, if we could only see it.

If we could just get that one second right, we’d know something:

How many bullets hit the President and where did they hit him

How do we know anything? Who would wade into one of the most contentious topics of modern history and claim that anything can be known?

The two biggest enemies of knowing anything are:

  1. thinking that we already know something
  2. thinking that we can never figure this one out

When Josiah ‘Tink’ Thompson started writing, ‘Last Second…

On-Location Storytelling in AltspaceVR started as a simple idea. Find delightful worlds in Virtual Reality and tell stories that relate to them in some way.

The Museum of Archeology in VR helped kickstart the events. I used Balcony House, part of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, as a setting for The Gambler, an old legend with many versions among the indigenous people of the southwest. …

Armchair Anything is not a designation to be proud of.

It’s a form of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, pontificating on top of Mount Stupid. It suggests oversimplification, facile explanations and theories.

Still, I sense coming out as an Armchair Quantum Physicist is increasingly acceptable, even popular. I think Armchair Quantum Physics is A Thing.

I am one of them and I have been for a long time.

I’ve never taken a formal course in Physics. But I’m a Learning junkie and I’ve read and watched and listened and followed my own path through thousands of hours of physical science material.


1. Have a Big Party

2. Form a VR Task Force to Analyze the Opportunity

This has to be the way, right? Look before you leap. Integrate multiple perspectives and develop a strategic plan.

But hesitating is also linked to losing and no one wants to do that. Plus there’s the old standard I learned in first year Latin:

Festina Lente [Make Haste Slowly]

Sounds more like a Zen Koan.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. 9 Must Have Skills To Become An AR/VR Developer (With Course Recommendations)

2. Top 17 Augmented Reality Statistics, Facts and Trends for 2021 and Beyond

3. How Augmented Reality Will Improve Your Next Travel Experience

4. What Photographers can do with Augmented Reality


Contents page, opening graphic

The premise is simple and important. The trials and tribulations of Facebook and the reconsideration of social networks in general might have some people believing that the whole concept of Social is sooo pre-Pandemic.

Andreessen-Horowitz disagrees. The venture capital firm known as a16z released a very imaginatively presented report, December 7, 2020, on the next-generation social networks projected to be emerging soon. According to a16z, we will experience them mostly as new social layers added onto the way we do just about everything.

The opening text underneath the striking intro graphic provides five examples of important areas where we will…

Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos

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