Gaia Online is an English-language, anime-themed social networking and forums-based website. It was founded as go-gaia on February 18, 2003, the name was changed to GaiaOnline.com in 2004 by its owner, Gaia Interactive. Gaia began as an anime linklist and developed a small community, but following a statement by founder Derek Liu, the website moved towards social gaming, became forum-based. In 2007, over a million posts were made daily, 7 million unique users visited each month. Gaia won the 2007 Webware 100 award in the Community category and was included in Time Magazine's list of 50 best websites in 2008. In January 2011, the company won the Mashable Best User experience Award for 2010. Members of Gaia Online, known as Gaians, receive a customizable avatar. Users have the ability to customize their avatar in many ways, including skin tone, eye style and color, hair style and color, gender and attire. Numerous clothing items and accessories for avatars can be purchased from a range of NPC-run stores using the site currencies, Gaia Platinum and Gaia Cash.
Avatars appear next to posts in the forums and profile comments, in Gaia Towns and other environments the avatar appears as a movable character that can travel from place to place, interacting with the environment and other users. Forums are the public message boards. There is a large variety of forums in which users can post, such as forums for general discussion, topics regarding the Gaia community and NPC story lines, casual conversation and lifestyle discussions, various types of role play, general entertainment, featured games on Gaia, artist discussions. There are forums for users to buy and sell items, as well as a forum for user-run businesses, e.g. art commissions and thread-bumping services. Users may make threads in every forum, as long as they follow each forum's guidelines. Users have the option to add polls to their thread. Posting and replying to threads, as well as voting in polls, yields platinum; the currency used in Gaia is known as "Gaia Platinum" referred to as platinum. Platinum is distributed to users as they browse around the website, post in the forums, play games, participate in other various events and contests.
The former virtual currency was known as Gaia Gold, after a rapid increase in inflation after gold generating items were released, Gaia created Gaia Platinum and gave users the chance to switch to that currency. In July 2007, Gaia released another virtual currency called Gaia Cash, which can be purchased with real money. Gaia Cash can be bought through cell phone payments, or directly from Gaia itself. Paying Gaia users spend about $30 USD per month to purchase Gaia Cash, used to buy virtual things such as evolving, chance and limited edition items. On September 13, 2010, Gaia announced the introduction of AutoCash. AutoCash is an optional feature where GaiaOnline members can sign up to buy Gaia Cash on a reoccurring monthly schedule; the current cost per month for the feature is $10. AutoCash can be charged to a credit card or debit card and members may pay for the feature using a PayPal account; the service can be canceled at any time. The benefits of using AutoCash include: Sales within the Gaian market can be divided into four areas: Gold Shops, Cash Shops and Marketplace.
Gold Shops: Items from these stores can be bought with Gold or Gaia Cash, can range from regular store items to upmarket items. These are various NPC-run stores which sell a variety of items, such as avatar clothing and accessories, furniture for Gaia Houses, parts for Gaia Cars. Items found in the shops can be sold back to the shop for 50% of the shop price. Cash Shops: Items from these stores can be purchased with Gaia Cash only; the majority of Gaia Cash sales are from an NPC-run store that only accepts Gaia Cash. It specializes in high-end items such as "Evolving Items", "Random Item Generators", "Monthly Collectibles". Most items from La Victoire are continuously rotated out of the store. Other Cash-Only stores include "Phin Phang", "Back Alley Bargains". Trade: Users can trade items and gold with other users. A majority of these trades are settled in the "Gaia Exchange" forum. Marketplace: The Marketplace is a separate area of the site for users to buy and sell items. Rather than self-auctioning an item through a thread in the Exchange forum, users can either put their item up for immediate sale with a "Buy Now" price, or leave their item for auction with a starting "Bid" price.
Users can have up to 10 items for sale at once until getting the Tycoon achievement. After that, users can sell 20 items at once, each item can be listed for a maximum of 14 days; the cost of this convenience is a 5% tax on all gold earned from sales. The site's virtual economy is experiencing hyperinflation after the introduction of more gold into circulation. However, former COO Jason Loia didn't consider inflation as a significant issue. Monthly Collectibles are special ite
Technogaianism is a bright green environmentalist stance of active support for the research and use of emerging and future technologies to help restore Earth's environment. Technogaians argue that developing safe, alternative technology should be an important goal of environmentalists; this point of view is different from the default position of radical environmentalists and a common opinion that all technology degrades the environment, that environmental restoration can therefore occur only with reduced reliance on technology. Technogaians argue that technology gets more efficient with time, they would point to such things as hydrogen fuel cells to demonstrate that developments do not have to come at the environment's expense. More directly, they argue that such things as nanotechnology and biotechnology can directly reverse environmental degradation. Molecular nanotechnology, for example, could convert garbage in landfills into useful materials and products, while biotechnology could lead to novel microbes that devour hazardous waste.
While many environmentalists still contend that most technology is detrimental to the environment, technogaians point out that it has been in humanity's best interests to exploit the environment mercilessly until recently. This sort of behaviour follows to current understandings of evolutionary systems, in that when new factors are introduced into an ecosystem, they tend to maximise their own resource consumption until either, a) they reach an equilibrium beyond which they cannot continue unmitigated growth, or b) they become extinct. In these models, it is impossible for such a factor to destroy its host environment, though they may precipitate major ecological transformation before their ultimate eradication. Technogaians believe humanity has reached just such a threshold, that the only way for human civilization to continue advancing is to accept the tenets of technogaianism and limit future exploitive exhaustion of natural resources and minimize further unsustainable development or face the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species.
The destructive effects of modern civilization can be mitigated by technological solutions, such as using nuclear power. Furthermore, technogaians argue that only science and technology can help humanity be aware of, develop counter-measures for, risks to civilization and planet Earth such as a possible impact event. Sociologist James Hughes mentions Walter Truett Anderson, author of To Govern Evolution: Further Adventures of the Political Animal, as an example of a technogaian political philosopher; the theories of English writer Fraser Clark may be broadly categorised as technogaian. Clark advocated "balancing the hippie right brain with the techno left brain"; the idea of combining technology and ecology were extrapolated at length by a South African eco-anarchist project in the 1990s. The Kagenna Magazine project aimed to combine technology and ecology in an emerging movement that could restore the balance between human and nature. George Dvorsky suggests the sentiment of technogaianism is to heal the Earth, use sustainable technology, create ecologically diverse environments.
Dvorsky argues that defensive counter measures could be designed to counter the harmful effects of asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions. Dvorksky suggest that genetic engineering could be used to reduce the environmental impact humans have on the earth. Technology facilities the sampling and monitoring of various environments and ecosystems. NASA uses space-based observations to conduct research on solar activity, sea level rise, the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans, the state of the ozone layer, air pollution, changes in sea ice and land ice. Climate engineering is a technogaian method that uses two categories of technologies- carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. Carbon dioxide removal addresses a cause of climate change by removing one of the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Solar radiation management attempts to offset effects of greenhouse gases by causing the Earth to absorb less solar radiation. Earthquake engineering is a technogaian method concerned with protecting society and the natural and man-made environment from earthquakes by limiting the seismic risk to acceptable levels.
Another example of a technogaian practice is an artificial closed ecological system used to test if and how people could live and work in a closed biosphere, while carrying out scientific experiments. It is in some cases used to explore the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, allows the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's; the most advanced technogaian proposal is the "terraforming" of a planet, moon, or other body by deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, or ecology to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans. S. Matthew Liao, professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University, claims that the human impact on the environment could be reduced by genetically engineering humans to have, a smaller stature, an intolerance to eating meat, an increased ability to see in the dark, thereby using less lighting. Liao argues. Genetically modified foods