Monday, June 04, 2007

Last's year's pop-culture observations, today!


So, we just saw off Paul, Amynah’s former thesis supervisor, visiting us for the weekend from Montreal. We took him on the usual tour of Strasbourg, drove for two hours get to a historic Black Forest steam locomotive that we then did not ride and then on to Kaysersberg, one of the prettiest villages in Alsace, (though I am more interested, probably unhealthily so, in the enormous pile of human remains in the basement of their local chapel).

Paul was his usual eccentric self. We had dinner with him and my French teacher, her husband David and their friend Agnes. At one point in the evening, David started talking about Second Life, the “virtual world” about which he’d just been reading about that afternoon, I believe because Sweden has opened a virtual embassy there. He was fascinated that the place has developed a legitimate economy, with banks, a currency and marketplace. Apparently there is even talk they may need to hire some economic expertise to set interest rates and control inflation. We speculated it would reach the point where people would actually need to do work to keep the virtual economy going.

All of which would suck, not only for the obvious reason that no one – even if they’re a purple-haired Pamela Anderson look-alike in Second Life – would sign up in order to do whatever sort of work purple-haired Pam’s do in the virtual world (much the same as in the real one, I would hazard to guess). Such virtual drudgery seems even less appealing if the only place one could go on vacation was Sweden.

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