Art, grief, love and remembrance in Second Life

Cybele Moon: Will We Meet Again No More

No matter whom we are, where we live, or what we do, there is a constant in life that transcends all others we may share or have in common: the passing of those we love and / or hold dear.

Losing someone close hurts – the realisation  that someone we have always had in our lives or who has grown so close to us they have become a part of us is simply no longer there to touch, hold or just look at – can be devastating. that it is almost inconceivable we should ever be without them; that they will never again be seen, heard, spoken to or touched. The accompanying grief we feel is something many have tried to quantify down the years – hence the so-called “five (or seven) stages of grief”; which may have unfortunately given rise to the idea that grief is just something you have to “go through” and life will be “normal” once you’ve done so.

But the reality is that grief is a much more complex state of being. As Simon Shimshon Rubin notes, bound within grief are biopsychosocial aspects, those which the so-called “stages of grief” tend to focus on: anxiety, depression, traumatic response, our reactions to those around us, etc. But there are also other aspects to grief, what Rubin called “Track 2” aspects: our connection with the deceased, the closeness shared and emotional involvement. These are harder to quantify, because they are unique to each of us; they both define the depth of our grief and drive the more outward biopsychosocial aspects, as such they are central to any clinical understanding of grief, again as Rubin notes.

More particularly, these “track 2” aspects help structure how we maintain that connection with the deceased, retain that sense of closeness, and come to terms that while we may never physically see them again, they are, nevertheless still a very real part of us. And this in turn can give rise to moments of deep and personal revelation, understanding and even creativity which in turn help us reach an internal sense of equilibrium following our loss – something that cannot be measured by marking “stages” (in whatever order they are encountered), or in terms of time; but whish are so experiential, they are with us in varying degrees and ways throughout the rest of ours lives.

Cybele Moon: Will We Meet Again No More

Such is the case with the current exhibition and setting CybeleMoon (Hana Hoobinoo) has created at her Dark Wood GalleryWill We Meet Again No More is both a memorial to, and celebration of, the life of her partner Nick, who recently passed away, and a means for Cybele to help herself express her loss through the positive act of creativity. Stepping into it is very much of stepping into the world they shared, and opportunity to understand their bond of love and companionship, and to help Cybele remember Nick as her fellow traveller, lover of photography, gifted creator (through his cooking), confidante and friend.

From the recreation of the garden space she and Nick made at their home, through to the images on the surrounding walls, to all of the little touches – the ship’s wheel (referencing Nick’s time in the merchant marine and their mutual love of sailing), the globe (representing their travels together), the pint of Guinness… – offer us the opportunity to know Nick just a little bit, and share in Cybele’s time with him, and better understand her loss. It is also presents Cybele with the opportunity to maintain contact with her own creative core at a time when doing so is unlikely to be easy – hence why the exhibition also frames some of her more recent pieces of digital art as well as remembrances of Nick.

Cybele Moon: Will We Meet Again No More

Personal, an opening of the heart, rich in images from the physical and digital realms, Will We Meet Again No More is engaging and moving. Through it, and the words Cybele offers with it, I find myself feeling not so much the loss she undoubtedly feels, but a sense of having to come to know Nick just a little. My thanks and warmest hugs to Cybele for, respectively, allowing us this to share a sense of her time with Nick, and for her loss.

SLurl Details

P.S. If you are unfamiliar with Cybele’s work, I cannot recommend it highly enough; she is an extraordinarily gifted teller of tales through her images, photographs and words. With regards to the latter, I thoroughly recommend taking time to read her blog / website, if you have not previously done so.

2021 SUG meeting week #42 summary

Rivendell – Lord of the Rings, July 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting; where there is something to report, the video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

See the current server deployment thread for updates

  • Tuesday, October 19th saw the simhosts on the SLS main channel restarted without any update. for some this may have seen the server release number increment to 564759. However, there were some issues, so some simulators on the channel were refreshed with release 564394.
    • LL is working to get to a state where version numbers only increment when there is a deployment and rolling restart, rather than incrementing as a result of a rolling restart alone.
  • Wednesday, October 20th should see the deployment of  simulator version 564610. This includes the following feature requests:
    • SL-15994 Add “force” option to estate_environment command (non-public Jira).
    • BUG-231158 Allow llGetNotecardLine to return more than 255 bytes.

Operating System Upgrade

As I’ve recently noted, following the current server tools update, the Lab plans to update the underpinning operating system. This work is now on the horizon. Or, to put in in the words of Mazidox Linden:

Do you all remember back in the Before Times when we were still in the colo and offices were still a thing and we did simulator operating system upgrades? Well, we’re in the cloud, I’m still working from a cramped desk in a corner of my guest room, but guess what we’re doing!
I know an OS upgrade is not the most attractive thing nor fun to hear about, so I’m willing to offer you a carrot. We’ve seen at least 10% more scripts running per frame on the same hardware with the same starting state for a simulator. [SO] the sooner we get this os upgrade tested the sooner it gets out the door and into your hands.

Those wishing to test their scripts, etc., on the new OS version can currently do so on the following regions on Aditi (the beta grid): Cale, Gothlauth, Jigglypuff, Leafeon, London City, London City Gateway, Mauve, Moonberry, Riccione, Sapas, Smithereens, Snark, Testylvania Sandbox, and Woods of Heaven.

Mazidox also stated:

If you have a region on Agni that has some significant script load, or unusual characteristics like lots of physics utilization, pathfinding… Regions that really stress aspects of the server without people being on them, please feel free to IM me here on Agni and ask for the region to be copied to Aditi on a first come first serve basis.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop on official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: version version, formerly the Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer, issued September 24 and promoted October 15.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version, on September 21.
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version, dated September 17, issued September 20.
  • Project viewers:
    • Performance Improvements project viewer, version, dated October 12.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • There has been a lot of discussion about the viewer’s bandwidth slider on the forums again recently, which has also touched on default cache sizes
    • As noted in that thread, the bandwidth slider in particular is less useful nowadays than once was the case, prompting the question on whether or not it should be retained within the viewer.
    • During the meeting, the question was asked if the simulators are liable to become defensive if the setting were to be fixed (presumably relatively high) within a viewer like Firestorm, which could provoke “microburst contention” due to the volume of UDP message requests hitting the servers.  The suggestion has been to go ahead and try, which is easier said than done inasmuch as increasing the default is easy – rolling it back perhaps not so (given it would require a further update, which people might opt to ignore unless part of a larger release – which then might not appear for several months after the original change).
    • In terms of cache, that is also a problem, as the limits do tend to be low (based on older computer specs), plus the viewer tends to have multiple and distinct caching structures, none of which are particularly efficient – although the Lab is trying to address some of them (hence the Simplified Cache RC viewer).
  • There is a very short discussion on Voice options, given Vivox will be ending the Vivox 4 API. As this in more a viewer question, no conclusions could be drawn.