My friend is exasperated with her younger sister, who’s been crashing on her couch. Recently she asked her sibling to get up early to let the electrician in, but the sister slept through the appointed hour. She’d been up until dawn, playing World of Warcraft.
What was she doing for so long inside the game?, I wondered. She might have been counting out bloody coins for a nice new tabard, or sifting through Silverpines in search of spellbooks. Maybe she was extracting a gas cloud for raw motes a kind of raw resource, or taming sporewalkers a type of beast. Or maybe she’d been chatting with some other player, one encountered among the 6.8 million that inhabit the Warcraft universe. These are all things you can do to develop your character, build relationships, and make money there.
“When will she learn?” my friend groaned. But some researchers are asking an inverse question: What can the real world learn from what’s happening in virtual ones?
Massively multi-player online games MMOs like Warcraft, EVE Online, or Everquest are synthetic environments, but they function in ways that parallel real ones, socially and economically.
Ferguson is about many things, starting first with race and policing in America.
But it’s also about internet, net neutrality and algorithmic filtering.
It’s a clear example of why “saving the Internet”, as it often phrased, is not an abstract issue of concern only to nerds, Silicon Valley bosses, and few NGOs. It’s why “algorithmic filtering” is not a vague concern.
It’s a clear example why net neutrality is a human rights issue; a free speech issue; and an issue of the voiceless being heard, on their own terms.
I saw this play out in multiple countries — my home country of Turkey included — but last night, it became even more heartbreakingly apparent in the United States as well.
For me, last night’s Ferguson “coverage” began when people started retweeting pictures of armored vehicles with heavily armored “robocops” on top of them, aiming their nuzzle at the protesters, who seemed to number a few hundred.
i think, therefore i instagram. cyberpunk novelist j.g. ballard, predicted social media in i-D 27 years ago [i-d.vice.com]
2014 may not resemble the sinister visions conjured by the dystopian literature of the mid to late 20th century, but that’s not to say none of its dark futurism has come true. Society may not have become as brutal and amoral as Burgess conceived, or as tyrannically governed as the picture Orwell painted, but our ever-growing obsession with documenting and curating every aspect of our lives online was something predicted on the very pages of i-D by esteemed and controversial cyberpunk author J. G. Ballard in The Fear Issue, No. 53, November 1987.
Psychologist and Noble Prize winner Professor Daniel Kahneman has made the claim that we, the ‘Instagram generation’ now “experience the present as an anticipated memory.” How many of us now construct situations purely for the purposes of exhibiting it to others, writing ourselves favourable scenes purely for the sake of the audience? Furthermore, as a result are we losing sight of how to enjoy ourselves in the moment, more concerned with a desire to give a good show?
When approaching this retail franchise scenario from a technology implementation standpoint, the enterprise social networking tools may need to be modified or customized to ensure managers use the systems effectively. In concept, all social business software applications are similar enough. However, the lack of capability to respond to Operational Objectives is where Yammer and similar off-the-shelf products fails to address the requirements in large organizations. Matching a social networking tool to an Operational Objective and ensuring it becomes useful and sticky often requires ongoing configuration and customization throughout the adoption process.
Think that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their ilk are out of control, and you would like to regain some of the privacy you once enjoyed? Help may be at hand in the form of “antisocial networking” – a clutch of new apps and websites designed to hide you from the seemingly irresistible march of technological intrusion.
Proudly billing itself as “the antisocial network”, Cloak works by turning social media against itself, mining real-time geographical location data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare accounts to warn you if your “friends” are nearby.
Until recently, I kept all my secrets to myself.Sometimes I want to share my thoughts online, but find them too personal for Twitter, and not necessarily appropriate for Facebook. I want to share these thoughts anonymously, either because they’re raw emotions, or because I find them embarrassing for some reason, even if theyre funny and true.
But then theres Secret, the anonymous social networking app. Its notes and rumors have led technology reporters like me on wild goose chases, trying to confirm bits of gossip, from the true “Nike is shutting down their wearables division” to the false “Evernote is getting acquired”, sparking heated debates among entrepreneurs and investors.
Secret is a bit like a high school bathroom stall, where anonymous comments are etched with the tips of sharp pens, but carry questionable legitimacy.
When Secret launched in January, early adopters were mainly the tech elite, journalists, startup founders and Facebook or Google employees seeking an outlet for gossip, snark and the occasional lie. My Secret feed—formed by posts from friends in my phone book, posts they had liked, or posts near me—was an endless stream of garbage about funding rounds, sexual conquests, or outright character assassinations and even gossip about some of my good friends. But then something happened.
Out in the Open: An Open Source Website That Gives Voters a Platform to Influence Politicians [wired.com]
This is the decade of the protest. The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. And now the student demonstrations in Taiwan.
Argentine political scientist Pia Mancini says we’re caught in a “crisis of representation.” Most of these protests have popped up in countries that are at least nominally democratic, but so many people are still unhappy with their elected leaders. The problem, Mancini says, is that elected officials have drifted so far from the people they represent, that it’s too hard for the average person to be heard.
“If you want to participate in the political system as it is, it’s really costly,” she says. “You need to study politics in university, and become a party member and work your way up. But not every citizen can devote their lives to politics.”
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