Over four years facilitating the Roadside Philosophers.Two years at our current location, under the sea, on the Agile 3D sim, associated with Rockcliffe University Consortium, in the virtual world of Second Life.
Quite an address to tell people who have never visited a virtual world.
"You meet with cartoons?"
No, the cartoons represent people. People from all over the world. They talk in voice, type in chat, send me notecards and share links on the web. We sometimes watch videos to stimulate discussions and we explore elusive concepts with vantage points globally, contributing in real time. A brain storming group responding and examining together as a unit.
We sit watching the turtle swim, try to move our camera out of the way of the random school of fish or ride the puffer fish as we talk and discuss. We are there. We feel together. We are a cohesive group of people that could never have been united in any other way.
The membership is around 400 people internationally at the moment. We have our regulars but always a shifting clientele available at any one time. The attendance ranges from 15-37 at any one meeting. People willing to give up two hours of their Saturday every fortnight to come and share their thoughts on a volunteer basis. They take their turns contributing their insights & their reasons for their viewpoint.
The anonymity that is allowed in this medium gives people freedom to truly express their thoughts. No grades, No boss, No Ex.. just their observations and beliefs. They come as dragons, opposite genders, tinies, furries, nekos and all the range of beautiful life like creative representations of themselves.
Why when this was only started as an exploration of a menu item has it persevered and grown?
I AM the Roadside Philosopher and my heart and soul is in this group. They are my teachers and my eyes & ears around the world. I am humbled and deeply grateful to have them touch my life and my understanding. Thank You!