Planning for the Future

According to Statistics Canada, the average life expectancy for Canadian men is 80 years. I am now 55, which means (if I am lucky) that I can expect another quarter-century of life ahead of me.

I was curious and I ran a recent photo of me through the old age filter on FaceApp, and this is what it came up with:

Ryan at 80 (from FaceApp)

Seeing this picture was a wake-up call for me. It’s time to be thinking ahead, planning for the future. I still need to draw up a will and a power of attorney, for example. I don’t have a lot of material possessions to leave to other people (my biggest purchases have been my computer and my car). But I do need to set something in place with my final wishes clearly spelled out for my next of kin to follow.

And I am still working on which Second Life avatars I will leave to other people in the event of my untimely death, via my will. You can read the entire saga hereherehere, here, and here on my blog to see how this quest got started! I know it might sound really silly to some of you, but I consider them perfectly valid possessions, and it would please me greatly to know they will still be providing entertainment and enjoyment to others after I am gone. (If you’re interested in inheriting one of my avatars via my will, please contact me and we’ll talk. I still have a selection for you to choose from!) In fact, when the time comes, I may have some Sansar avatars to pass on to others as well (and I am assuming that Linden Lab will set up similar procedures for Sansar as they already have for Second Life). My lawyer is going to have a ball drawing up my last will and testament!

But I will also need to think about much bigger issues that will impact my life. For example, global warming. I will live in a world impacted by climate change, with warmer temperatures overall and increased volatility in the weather. How will that impact my life? Canada’s universal healthcare system is under stress as the Baby Boomers age and make heavier use of doctors and hospitals. What if I develop mobility or vision issues later on in life, or have some other serious medical problem? How will that impact my life? Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to see the future.

The important thing is to make plans for the future, but to be flexible and prepare for any eventuality. For example, if I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow, I currently haven’t left any sort of instructions to let people know my wishes concerning my blog and my show (which I would want to be archived for future historians to pore over). I also have an experience called Ryan’s Garden in Sansar, that I would like to be kept in perpetuity as my personal virtual memorial in the event of my passing. I haven’t given anybody else access rights to my blog to post a message in case something should happen to me. I need to set all these things up. Strawberry Singh (whom I admire greatly) wrote an excellent blogpost on these topics, which I recommend you read. You should be thinking about all these things too.

I also still expect that, at some future point, virtual reality in general and social VR in particular are finally going to become popular and widespread. This will mean I will have to work even harder at providing “news and views” on those subjects on this blog. Yes, I do plan to be here for the long haul! The good news is, at that point I will most likely be retired from my academic librarian job and I can devote myself full-time to blogging, my show Metaverse Newscast, and perhaps other endeavours (a podcast, perhaps?). Social VR and virtual worlds are my joy and my passion, and it’s so important to have something to live for and look forward to after you retire.

How are you preparing for your future?

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Google AdSense Follies (Part II): Hitting a Brick Wall

Well, I got back another automated email from Google about my Google AdSense violations. It looks like I got absolutely nowhere in requesting a review, which is what I was expecting:

In the last 24 hours: 

4 page-level review requests were received. You’ll be notified when the reviews are completed.
4 pages were reviewed at your request and found to be non-compliant with our policies at the time of the review. Ad serving continues to be restricted or disabled on those pages.

What I find really annoying is that I cannot access the list of violations using my desktop computer (it gives me an error message), so I have to use either my iPad or my iPhone to check the exact wording of the policy violations to see what’s going on. Pain in the ass!

I also found it amusing that, the past three times I checked the Utherverse blogpost, that Google AdSense did not disable ads on that post. Instead, it simply served advertising for the cheating-on-your-spouse website Ashley Madison! So it would appear that, rather than disable ads outright, AdSense will try to match adult content with adult ads. Interesting!

So, for the most serious offender, the Utherverse blogpost, it looks as though I am going to have to remove a couple of images and the link to Utherverse, then resubmit it to see if it passes muster. Frankly, this automated, terse warning system, with its lack of specifics, is irritating. You don’t get an opportunity to talk with a real person to find out what’s wrong (if there’s a person involved in this system at all). It makes you have to guess at what’s wrong, and you have to keep submitting it for review until it is approved. Again, pain in the ass.

As for the other three blogposts, well, I guess I am going to have to put black boxes over naked avatar boobs and asses to get them cleared. So ridiculous!

Were it not for the fact that my Google AdSense ads are bringing in more money than my WordPress WordAds, I would seriously consider just cancelling my AdSense account altogether. But, for now, I’ll make the changes and resubmit all four blogposts for review—AGAIN.

And I will now be checking my email regularly for any future reports of blogposts that have run afoul of the fickle Google AdSense policies.

Decentraland University Offers First Course on Building in Decentraland

Carl Fravel (whom I first met in Sansar), is spearheading the development of the Decentraland University, which will offer courses for people who wish to learn how to create in Decentraland.

He says:

Enrollment is open for the first offering of the new course “Building in Decentraland” We will begin when we have reached 6 to 10 enrollments.

I will host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) this Saturday, July 27th. See details in course description

The course description is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AF9l3lYzQsiwFcIexGKP3TI-FFUcMVE34Su6U7FuhZo/edit#

ENROLLMENT HAS BEEN MOVED to VR Academy channel in the Decentraland University Discord Server: https://discord.gg/C3hrNmZ

So, if you are interested, please sign up! This course is free.