Maria Lantin | definitions
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Is this a coffee cup?

This is a followup to my post about the definition of reality from November. Last night I had a dream about virtual reality and objects.

The Setup:

Three characters in a virtual world. I am one of them, an avatar. Two other characters, one is an AI and the other an avatar like me. A disembodied voice says there is a newcomer in the philosophy of VR and objects and he’s all the rage, young, naive, brilliant, yada yada yada. This newcomer is the other avatar (not the AI). He’s in a virtual kitchen set with the AI and he’s holding a coffee cup. I’m slightly away from where they are in a kind of blank space.

The Conversation:

“Is this a coffee cup?” says the brilliant new guy to me.
“Aah…Maybe.”
“Is this a coffee cup?” he says to the AI while moving the coffee cup towards the her.
“Uhhh..Yaa…” the AI replies in a disbelieving teenage duh voice. Takes the coffee cup, takes a sip of coffee, and hands it back to the brilliant new guy.
“Is this a coffee cup?” says brilliant new guy as he now moves the coffee cup towards me, breaking some kind of fourth wall as he does so (visual force field effect to make this more pronounced).
“Mm..Less so.” I say.

The dream ends.

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What is (virtual) reality

My quick definition:

Reality (as opposed to virtual reality) is what is able to be shared in its essential quality. Virtual reality is shareable but is missing some  of the essential quality.

So it’s a moving target — subjective and context specific. If I’m having a conversation with you in a multiverse, the conversation is real and affective but the avatar is not. A chair in a VR environment may be real or not. It depends on how my intentions towards it match its affordances. BUT it is always real to itself and can become more real to me as I adjust to its being.

more later.

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