Sometimes it is good to write a long piece. Sometimes it is good to write a short post. One important thing to remember out Second Life being virtual, is that most of our "Real Lives" are virtual as well. We run our real world by virtual facts, and have for a very long time. religions are virtual facts, so is money. So are novels, mathematical equations and laws. They do not have physical existence an sich, but are our constructions. When someone accuses SL of being virtual, well so is our real life.
This means that many things which we think happen in "real life," don't. They happen in the same place that Second Life happens. Second Life is merely a new way of visualizing and interacting with the virtual reality. that place where much of what we have from the past happens, where much of our lives is lived, and upon which we place our hopes and dreams.
We are, and always have had, virtual selves, from the moment we could create. The self in words, in writing, is a virtual self. It behaves by different rules. We do not know Socrates, only the virtual Socrates that Plato wrote about. We do not know Plato, on the the virtual Plato, that he and others wrote about. The future and the present will not know us, but only the virtual self. Every time you send a college application or job application in, before your real self has a chance to be admitted or hired, your virtual self must pass the test first.