Inventing the Present

Here is some new-media content about Information Week’s Mitch Wagner and Gartner’s Steve Prentice vs SL’s CFO and even Prokofy Neva. It is mostly about Second Life’s power and problems and how that relates to others. Croquet’s Qwaq Forums comes up a lot.

You can probably get out of this whatever you’re predisposed to. (I took away that Geoffrey Moore is right.)

Do follow the link from there to the video. It’s long and not densely packed, but it is a good tour of the non-technical state of virtual worlds — i.e., the things that matter to most of the world. Ten years from now, this is going to be how archaeologists remember today.

About Stearns

Howard Stearns works at High Fidelity, Inc., creating the metaverse. Mr. Stearns has a quarter century experience in systems engineering, applications consulting, and management of advanced software technologies. He was the technical lead of University of Wisconsin's Croquet project, an ambitious project convened by computing pioneer Alan Kay to transform collaboration through 3D graphics and real-time, persistent shared spaces. The CAD integration products Mr. Stearns created for expert system pioneer ICAD set the market standard through IPO and acquisition by Oracle. The embedded systems he wrote helped transform the industrial diamond market. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stearns was named Technology Strategist for Curl, the only startup founded by WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. An expert on programming languages and operating systems, Mr. Stearns created the Eclipse commercial Common Lisp programming implementation. Mr. Stearns has two degrees from M.I.T., and has directed family businesses in early childhood education and publishing.


  1. Howard,

    Thanks. For the first time I understand what all this stuff is more-or-less about.

    I find looking at the “avatars” to be very distracting. They are so very zombirific! So I’m just listening & looking at other stuff. Now, I know, I’m looking at a canned movie, not an interactive experience. But still, as somebody who has spent years working from home and spending a lot of time in phone meetings, I wonder when this stuff will get to the point that I would rather use one of these virtual worlds instead of, say, telephone and (Adobe) Breeze or Webex. I have not seen Qwak yet, but I expect you’re many steps ahead of these (Second life, etc) guys from everything you’ve said and these guys are saying in this talk.

  2. Not really, at least in the way you’re describing. But you’ve inspired me:

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