Tales of the unexpected

Life is full of little surprises. There was i, thinking that the days of ever hearing anything from those tight-lipped Lindens were well and truly over, whilst incidentally thinking that the chances of ever seeing the architecture of sl overhauled were slimmer than Keira Knightley, when out of the blue, into my inbox drops an e-mail from Oskar Linden…

Linden Lab has made some changes to the way regions handle network traffic. We need your help to test. This will help us insure that regions are communicating appropriately over the network. Mainly we are concerned with agents entering via direct login, teleport, and region crossing. As well as other functions such as IMs, Voice, and Group chat.

Can this really be the Lab asking for residents to get involved with checking and testing? And, do my eyes deceive me? – quite possible, since they’re all gummed up with the effects of my monstrous cold – but are they really concerned about not breaking things such as login, TP, region crossing and… no, it can’t be… group chat!

And then i woke up!

Only joking – ’tis absolutely true. Just goes to show, you never know what you can expect – it’s a funny old life.

Coming to think of it, there are quite a few people in sl i know for whom life recently has thrown some decidedly unexpected curve balls at, (has anyone else noticed that i seem to be turning American, by the way?): everything from ailments and accidents, through to moving home, changing job and unveiling hitherto suppressed talents, and i wouldn’t mind betting that most of them had absolutely no idea about what life had in store for them.

A normal day in sl

Perhaps that’s a good thing? If we knew what lay just around the corner, we might spend all our lives mortally afraid to get out of bed, or dreading the day the inevitable is going to happen. Then again, being in blissful ignorance tends to ensure that when things take an unexpected turn, we’re just not ready for them: we haven’t made alternative plans, and we could kick ourselves for not foreseeing the difficulties we might face should circumstances change. However, you can’t plan for the unexpected… i find it difficult enough planning for the expected and routine! Coming to think of it, if you’re going to get paranoid about what might occur then you’re equally likely to be living in mortal fear of the unexpected, with the whole not wanting to get out of bed thing, all over again.

Most of us go about our lives reliant upon a healthy dose of pragmatism – happy in the knowledge that, for most of the time, our days will fit neatly into the middle bit of a normal distribution curve, and will rarely creep into the realms of unmitigated disaster. (i used to think maths was hard, until i discovered it’s really easy… mathematicians just use those crazy symbols to confuse us. i worked this out when i found out how astoundingly easy the problem that supposedly kept Harvard professors busy for two years in Good Will Hunting was to solve! If you can’t work it out, the solution is at the foot of this post 😉 ). In simple terms, sh*t happens, but not very often, and not to everyone.

i suppose we all need that ability to ground ourselves in reality – that way, even if the worst should happen, we can still fall back on that good old pragmatism, shrug our shoulders and make the best of a bad lot. That’s not to say it’ll always be an easy matter to do so, but if we remain realistic and grounded it can certainly help us.

Then again, there’s unreality… for all it’s faults, changeability and whimsy, sl can be a pretty stable platform when we’re being buffeted by the winds of change or the unexpected storms of life. There are those i know, for whom life has dealt unexpected blows, and those who have found themselves – in some cases, quite literally – in a whole new place… when the things that happen in life leave us struggling, without the usual comforts we’re used to relying on, or far from friends and the familiar, sl is reassuringly unchanged. The same places, (sometimes), are still there; the same faces and friends; the same crazy weirdness and – in a very real sense – it’s very much our home-from-home.

If there’s one thing we can expect in life, it’s the unexpected, but hopefully when it happens, we’ll still know exactly what to expect when we log into sl.

(And now… the solution!)

s. x

You can’t always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find 
You get what you need
The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

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