Monday, August 12, 2013

Schrödinger's Selkies

It's fitting that on Schrödinger's birthday I was jarred out of my morning pre-coffee stupor by the message, "It's alive!" 

The message came from Fred Beckhusen, a crazy-smart tech-wizard and master of metaversical impossibilities. He has been working on making a universal  shape-shifting avatar and his test model was to be a selkie--a being that can shift between human and seal forms. I couldn't wait to see it.

However, our selkie, being a higher order being than a cat, refused to collapse into a viewable state of alive or dead. He preferred to remain an orange cloud, thumbing his nose at Schrödinger.

This, as most things are, is probably the mother avatar's fault, as Nara Malone has always been an orange cloud at her Mad Scientist laboratories over in Transmedia Learning. She'd never bothered to put a body on. The selkie Fred put there for her was the only thing in her inventory.

When you log into a virtual world, you need an avatar body if you want other people to see you. Otherwise you're just an orange ghost. When wearing the selkie avatar didn't remedy Nara Malone's ghost status, giving the selkie to her alternate identity, Nara Mistwood, seemed the fastest way to solve the problem. Nara Mistwood had both a body and a massive inventory from which she could draw any needed parts.

 Unfortunately the selkie's creator, Fred,  forgot to give Nara Malone permissions (a programming thing) to give away all the parts of a selkie and  she was warned that ten items of the selkie's anatomy would be deleted if she tried to hand off the responsibility.  At that point both Naras decided more coffee was in order.

Tension escalates. Will a selkie, who is both human and not human, be born and take his first swim on Schrodinger's birthday?

Fortified with caffiene, the Naras performed a bit of quick magic involving something called an iar file. Having circumvented the permission issue, on the first attempt to rez the selkie as Nara Mistwood, he agreeably stopped being mist.

 A head emerged. Not just hair, but a head, with face and neck. They waited, breathless with anticipation.

But that was all that emerged. 

Nara Mistwood clicked the controls, raised and lowered the head, threatened him with a magic wand, all to no avail. The rest of the body refused to take shape.

After a lengthy discussion, consisting of me talking to my alternate self, we were more confused.

You too?

Both Naras decided the best thing to do was to carry the selkie head to the water region and give him a good dunking. He was a seal. Seals like to be wet. It was the best idea they could come up with.

As they were crossing a dimensional barrier (also known as a sim crossing--the metaversical version of the Bermuda Triangle) the head popped high into the air and reformed as a seal. After that all was well and a new selkie was born. Birth video below.

 Flush with success I decided to test the female selkie Fred sent.

Those of you who know the real life me will get the humor here. I'm face blind. While I see just fine, the save function in my brain does not save pictures of faces. Name a friend and the mental picture I pull up will look just like this, the face a big blank. The female selkie rezzed as a replica of my internal view.

My conclusion: Spooky things happen in the metaverse on Schrödinger's birthday. I've logged off until tomorrow.


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  2. I need to steal Denise Golinowski's words (possibly from an earlier post) and applaud your CRAZY MAD SKILLS. Not to mention patience! That is so cool!!

  3. Woah, Nara! Crazy mad skills - scary cool skills! That's a new super power I'm going to add to my list.

  4. OMG! That's awesome, Nara! I'm floored, simply floored. And while I'm down here, I'll add a few bows "I'm' not worthy. I'm not worthy." to your superior patience and technical skills. Congrats on your persistence and am looking forward to seeing more.

  5. Late, as usual, Nara, but I have to say - it's like trying to understand a foreign language, still, I was able to get an idea what you were doing here. This is fascinating, and I loved how the selkie transformed to human and back again. I actually gasped, it was so cool! Thank you for a wonderful delight.