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Rumor has it that some big companies who have ventured into Second Life for marketing and exposure purposes have gone away disappointed. I'm not surprised. I think they would likely be hampered by the shortsightedness inherent in any organization. Companies and organized entities don't meander, they go in with agenda and purpose. That's the right tool for many things, but not, I suggest, for exploration.

The upheaval in today's economy of resources, (brought forth by the internet but not even in its toddlerhood yet) is an economy of abundance rather than scarcity, outflowing rather than hoarding. It differs from our accustomed focus on the flow of capital which is a zero-sum, win/lose resource.

"Money" is deceptive, since it can appear to have worth of its own rather than as a medium for obtaining and creating things of real value. But it's easier to see the contribution of information and creativity -- its value is precisely zero until the right information meets the right creativity that will make something of it. So it's to the benefit of society as well as the individual that information, expertise, ideas, tools, and points of view flow freely with as little friction as possible.

In Second Life, we see a vivid illustration of where that might lead us in real life. None of us would have survived the initial learning curve in SL without freely-offered advice, recommendations, clothing and (if we were lucky) a decent walk replacement. In that way, amid the dross, some of the most significant contributors within our world made their way inside and became willing to stay.

How do people become value-creators of merit in SL? By learning (i.e. receiving knowledge freely), becoming skilled by practice (in a free sandbox on this free grid which does not charge for time used or anything stored in inventory), and then starting to offer their creations to others, either for free enjoyment or for sale. How do you develop a market for your sale goods? By offering high quality freebies so people will learn about you and return to purchase.

I don't know how much of this will ever be able to be translated into RL, but for this writer, it's a positive experience to participate in such a society here. The outlet for creativity, diversity of experience and learning is amazing, but it is good for my soul to give without hope of return and, similarly to be blessed with the generosity of others.


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