Bainbridge, Second Life, January 10, 2016

VIDEO – William Sims Bainbridge on spaceflight and cosmic religions – Second Life, January 10

William Sims Bainbridge – the renowned sociologist and author of seminal papers on space colonization, virtual worlds, and new cosmic religions – gave a talk at the Turing Church meeting in Second Life on Sunday, January 10, 2016, followed by a Q/A session. I recorded a video via Facebook live streaming.

Bill Bainbridge is persuaded that commercial interests aren’t strong enough to motivate real space exploration beyond low earth orbit, not even novel proposed applications such as asteroid mining. Emerging propulsion technologies could permit colonizing the planets, and new highly imaginative propulsion technologies based on emerging physics could one day take us to the stars, but we need stronger motivation than the market can provide. Therefore, Bill proposes to create a new cosmic religion, a powerful social movement for galactic colonization, which could offer a “Second Life” among the stars to those who contribute.

The new religious movement would use emerging personality capture technologies to archive whole human personalities, as data waiting to be beamed to star colonies. So, those who contribute to galactic colonization with their scientific, engineering, artistic or organizational work, would have the opportunity to participate in the future cosmic adventures of future generations. Bill has written many related articles and books, see the meeting announcement post for quotes and references.

Bainbridge, Second Life, January 10, 2016

Having recently got a “verified badge” on Facebook and access to the Facebook Mentions app, which permits broadcasting live video to Facebook, I decided to make a first quick and dirty experiment and live streamed Bill’s talk (without the Q/A at the end) to Facebook via Mentions. It’s simple: just point your iPhone or iPad to the screen and start broadcasting. Those who watched the live stream and/or the final video, which appears on the Facebook profile of the broadcaster at the end of the live stream, told me that the video and audio were clear enough, so I think this is a quick and easy way to webcast and record events in virtual worlds.

Viewers on Facebook can comment and ask questions that can be relayed to Second Life, which gives them the possibility of limited real-time interaction. If the Facebook live stream is “Public” everyone can watch, but it isn’t clear to me who can comment when the stream is on air. Can everyone comment, or only the broadcaster’s friends? I will investigate and report.

The original video is here on Facebook. I also downloaded the video and posted it to YouTube. The version embedded above is from YouTube because I had a problem with the Facebook embed code.

I will continue using this technique for future Second Life meetings, and broadcast whole events with a better setup including better lighting and a tripod for the phone. I will also experiment with Periscope live streaming and check how it works compared to Facebook live streaming.