12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Pantheon of Cyberspace

Although the dictionary definition of "pagan" simplply describes someone who is neither Jewish, Christian, nor Mos lem, a more practical working definition might encompass a religious philosophy of immanence—that the divine is present in all creation, but in manifold forms. Thus the Roman hearth belonged to Vesta, the threshold to Janus, and the power of communication to Mercury, each representing a specific domain of influence, and each with separate rites and rituals. We think of these go...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Web Enslaves Us With Convenience

In The Matrix, Neo learns that humanity is enslaved by machines. The populace “lives” in a virtual world, unaware that their body heat is being used as an energy source. I see a sort of low-fi parallel of this in our relationship with Facebook. Every member operates in that “free” forum, largely unaware that they’re powering the thing by relinquishing their user data. This scenario is in stark contrast to what we once hoped the web to be. We imagined it as a means of liberating peo...
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Video Games Require the Scientific Method

Video games aren’t as easy as they seem to the uninitiated. One cannot simply sit down and immediately begin shooting those aliens. One must first learn how to play the game. Gee (2003) suggests that skilled players learn to play using a four-step probing process (p. 90): 1. The player must probe the virtual world by looking around the current environment, clicking on something, or engaging in a certain action. 2. On the basis of the probing results, the player must form a hypothesis abou...
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21 JUN 2014 by ideonexus

 There is a mass exodus into the virtual world

The real world just doesn’t offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding afforded by virtual environments. Reality doesn’t motivate us as effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximize our potential. Reality wasn’t designed from the bottom up to make us happy. And so, there is a growing perception in the gaming community: Reality, compared to games, is broken. In fact, it is more than a perception. It’s a phenom...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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24 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 MMO Players Use the Scientific Process

In MMOs, individuals collaborate to solve complex problems within the virtual world, such as figuring out what combination of individual skills, proficiencies, and equipment are necessary to conquer an in-game boss dragon in the example above. As part of developing efficient and effective solutions, players are customarily expected to research various game strategies and tactics by consulting on- and offline manuals, databases, and discussions, as well as by using such knowledge as the basis ...
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They hypothesize, collaborate, experiment and test their ideas in the virtual worlds to learn how they work.

11 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Can All Computer Code be Reduced to Pure Logic?

As we move from the "low" level to the "high", say from the domain of machine code all the way up to, for instance, a rich, expressive Ruby DSL, the question arises, as it does for all language: have we acquired a surplus of content that cannot be simply reduced to core rules? At this point things get less Wittgensteinian and a little more late-Heideggerian, i.e., less analytic and more eidetic/phenomenological. To remove the fuzziness from this notion, think of how, for instance, a first-pe...
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Everything in a computer program is built on low-level binary operations, but at the higher levels we deal with fuzzy objects. Does the fact that those fuzzy objects are built on concrete logic mean they can be understood concretely?

09 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Holiness of Monarch Butterflies

As we reached the tiny clump of trees festooned with butterflies as thick as jungle foliage, we Yanks buzzed about, snapping pics, taking notes, storing up impressions with which to later regale our friends back home. The Mexicans by and large sat silently in the forest, kids in laps, eyes somberly fixed on the massed monarchs. It was difficult to read their emotions, but 1 believe that many of the Mexican visitors to the Chincua Monarch Sanctuary were driven by the same urge that might have ...
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A reverence instilled by appreciating nature is the only thing that will save it.

09 FEB 2011 by ideonexus

 Not Everything is On the Internet

The Internet shows me more and more about those who participate in it, but I worry lest I forget that not everything or everyone in the world has a home on the Internet. Missing are those who cannot read or write, who have no access to a computer, or who chose to remain disconnected. There is a danger of coming to think that what cannot be found on an Internet search doesn’t exist, and that the virtual world is the world. It isn’t. However bizarre and incredible the people populating the ...
Folksonomies: internet society
Folksonomies: internet society
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It's easy to forget that there is a large portion of the population that is not online or not contributing because they cannot afford it or outright reject it.