10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Literacy in the Context of an MMORPG

Let us begin with the New London Group (1996) definition – the notion that literacies (plural) crucially entail sense making within a rich, multimodal semiotic system, situated in a community of practice that renders that system meaningful. Figure 1 shows the interface of the MMOG Lineage II, one of the primary virtual world contexts in which the ethnographic data described herein was collected. We might ask ourselves, how many adults (let alone tenured professors) can ‘read’ such a sp...
  1  notes

A game screen is a complex collection of symbols that are meaningless to traditional literacy, but they do comprise a literacy that tells a story for those who can read it.

26 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Role-Playing Game Manifesto

These rules are written on paper, not etched in stone tablets. Rules are suggested guidelines, not required edicts. If the rules don't say you can't do something, you can. There are no official answers, only official opinions. When dice conflict with the story, the story always wins. Min/Maxing and Munchkinism aren't problems with the game; they're problems with the player. The game master has full discretionary power over the game. The game master always works with, not against, the p...
Folksonomies: rpg role-playing game
Folksonomies: rpg role-playing game
  1  notes
 
24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Soviet Union, Von Neuman Predictions, and Computers

I have a friend, a young American physicist, who spent a year doing theoretical physics in the Soviet Union. He likes to go to the Soviet Union, not because it is a good place to do physics, but because it is a good place to observe the human comedy. When he went back to Leningrad recently for a shorter visit, he received a proposal of marriage and was called in twice for questioning by the KGB, all within the first week. He speaks fluent Russian, and the KGB people find it difficult to belie...
  1  notes
 
15 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Russian Transhumanism

Russia has always been considered a hotbed of utopias, both from above and from below, that is: State and intelligentsia (think of Peter the Great, Nikolai Chernyshevskii‘s socialist-utopian novel "What‘s to be Done" or Dostoevskii‘s ideal man Count Myshkin, the Idiot) – and at the same time there was a strong milleniarism among the people, a religious zeal leading to a variety of sects, peasant and folk beliefs resulting sometimes in bizarre mass movements. (Skoptsy) (This history h...
Folksonomies: transhumanism cosmism
Folksonomies: transhumanism cosmism
  1  notes
 
03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Scientific Bias Against Promotion

I agree that a dreary comprehensive litany of who made what suggestion and which project official rejected it would be tedious (although me fact that the same idea arose in the minds of many different people - both in the science and the engineering teams - is worth noting), while at least some indication of the resistance to "nonscientific" data might be quite interesting. The battle is, of course, being played out again with regard to the two Galileo Earth encounters, where there was partic...
  1  notes

Carl Sagan recounting the resistance to having Voyager take a photo of Earth from deep space because it had no scientific value.

17 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Fun With the German Response to a Sneeze

Do you guys in the US really say ‘Gesundheit’ ? It is so cute to see one of our words (particularly one unrelated to war or anything like that) put to good use in a foreign language. As somebody pointed out, ‘gesundheit’ just means ‘health’, and I am sure that this is already an abbreviation of an older habit of saying ‘may you be in good health’ (which just takes too long to say). There are some other interesting cultural differences: I had no idea that ‘achoo’ is the s...
Folksonomies: culture language german
Folksonomies: culture language german
  1  notes

Gesundheit, Schonheit, Klugheit: Health, Beauty, Wisdom.

02 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 "No investigation no right to speak"

Everyone engaged in practical work must investigate conditions at the lower levels. Such investigation is especially necessary for those who know theory but do not know the actual conditions, for otherwise they will not be able to link theory with practice. Although my assertion, "No investigation no right to speak", has been ridiculed as "narrow empiricism", to this day I do not regret having made it; far from regretting it, I still insist that without investigation there cannot possibly be ...
Folksonomies: empiricism
Folksonomies: empiricism
  1  notes

People who speak without first gaining understanding are not providing anything constructive.

29 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 When Memes and Genes Conflict

Memes and genes may often reinforce each other, but they sometimes come into opposition. For example, the habit of celibacy is presumably not inherited genetically. A gene for celibacy is doomed to failure in the gene pool, except under very special circumstances such as we find in the social insects. But still, a meme for celibacy can be successful in the meme pool. For example, suppose the success of a meme depends critically on how much time people spend in actively transmitting it to othe...
  1  notes

Memes can override genes, which means a meme like 'celibacy' can prevent the genes from reproducing.

11 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Confucianism's Lack of "Magic" Made it Endure

Confucius (B.C. 551-479) must be reckoned, as regards his social influence, with the founders of religions. His effect on institutions and on men's thoughts has been of the same kind of magnitude as that of Buddha, Christ, or Mahomet, but curiously different in its nature. Unlike Buddha and Christ, he is a completely historical character, about whose life a great deal is known, and with whom legend and myth have been less busy than with most men of his kind. What most distinguishes him from o...
  1  notes

It was a code of morals by human beings for human beings, with no supernatural elements to make them unrealistic. As a result, it made life in China more pleasant for thousands of years.

08 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Secrecy Led to the Loss of Chinese Technological Achievem...

While these state records survive, most of the ancient Chinese literature on astronomy has disappeared. Because astronomy was so state-oriented, so security-bound, and so secret, the old astronomy books have left few traces. By contrast, the early books on mathematics, which were used by merchants, directors of public works, and military commanders, have survived in considerable numbers. Repeated imperial edicts enforced state security for calendrical science, astronomy, and astrology. In A.D...
  1  notes

The state guarded its understanding of Astronomy and Time-Keeping so that history has little record of the details of how advanced it was. In contrast, public science is known and revered by historians.