corporeal virtual reality

[abstract: ] This paper considers the experience of embodiment in current and (possible) future virtual reality applications. A phenomenological perspective is adopted to explore user embodiment in those virtual reality applications that both do and do not include a visual body (re)presentation (virtual body). Embodiment is viewed from the perspective of sensorial immersion, where issues of gender, race, and culture are all implicated. Accounts of “disrupted” bodies (for example, phantom limb and dissociation of the selffrom the body, paralysis, and objectified bodies) are advanced in order to provide a context for understanding the ways in which embodiment in virtual reality … Continue reading

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pfaffenberger on society

Today, most sociologists accept that communities arise, not necessarily from face-to-face interaction, but rather from shared meanings. Because they are capable of promulgating shared meanings on an unprecedented scale, new communication and media technologies (including newspapers, motion pictures, radio, television, and computer-based communications) are capable of creating communities that vastly transcend the limits of face-to-face interaction. (Pfaffenberger 2008: 651) Durkheim’s understanding of society was informed by likening its constituent elements to an advanced, highly differentiated organism. Scientific and technological advances in the twentieth century made new metaphors available to sociological theorists. Drawing on the emerging fields of cybernetics and systems … Continue reading

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jet age machinery

With all the hype around information technology in all its guises as our times’ core technology, about virtual worlds and social media, Tim Heffernan’s ‘↑The machines that made the Jet Age‘ (a follow-up to his ‘↑Iron Giant‘ in the Atlantic) comes handy as a healthy reality check. Heffernan explains and stresses the role of gigantic forging presses as the machines that made the jet age possible. ‘This is the ↑story of the birth of the Jet Age—but it’s anchored firmly to the ground:’  Isn’t it a wonderful irony [pun not intended] that in order to make machines as light as … Continue reading

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do anthropologists dream of electronic savages?

anthropology, technology, and new worlds The ‘↑Ethnologische Salon‘ in January ↑Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München—Foyer Friday, 27 January 2012, 19:00h —‘Do Anthropologists Dream of Electronic Savages?’ lecture by Alexander Knorr, lavishly illustrated by projections —‘Man and Machine’ Reading from the book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ by Alexander Knorr. Read by Karin Sommer and Stefan Eisenhofer —Independent Short Films: ‘↑World Builder‘ by ↑Bruce Branit (USA 2007) ‘↑Fragile Machine‘ by ↑Ben Steele (USA 2005/2007) … Continue reading

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technology fundamentally human

↑The Next Web links to the ↑Study: Robots inspire new learning & creativity possibilities for kids (the LEGO Group is involved). Here are The Next Web’s closing paragraphs: Taking a deeper look at the stories the children created, the survey found that unlike many adults who see technology as separate from humanness, it seems that “kids tend to think of technology as fundamentally human: as a social companion that can entertain, motivate, and empower them in various contexts.”     While this dreamy perspective is partially the result of childhood imagination (something kids from any generation can have), it is … Continue reading

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church of kopimism

Oh, how I do like this—first ↑The Pirate Bay was a website tracking torrents, then a ↑political party sprouted from it, now there’s a religion. In Sweden ‘Det Missionerande Kopimistsamfundet’ (‘↑Missionary Church of Kopimism‘) is officially recognized as a religion since late December 2011. Especially I do embrace the reference to ↑Aleister Crowley via the slogan ‘Copy and Paste what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’ [all in all there are five chapters on Crowley [rhymes on holy] in my old book ‘↓Metatrickster‘ (2004)]     At last year’s biannual conference (14-17 September in Vienna, Austria) of … Continue reading

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lolspeak thesis

That’s just wonderful and remembers me of ye ole days when I was still compiling a ↑dictionary of online lingo … ABSTRACT: Lolspeak, which I characterize as an internet dialect of English that is used in conjunction with images of cats, exhibits distinctive variations and patterns which differ from those of standard English. Lolspeak has influenced other language use and may have a significant impact on the English language, due in part to the internet’s role in the evolution of English (Crystal “Language and the Internet,” 2006:26-27). To approach this data, I created a multi-modal discourse transcription technique for analyzing … Continue reading

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orwellian documentaries

In the sidebar of his blog ↑Dialogic blogger Thivai Abhor maintains a nice list of documentary films which are available online. After having skimmed through a bit, my personal interests were most matched by the three shortly described below. But Dialogic also points to ↑Top Documentary Films, a blog reviewing, commenting, and linking to 1800+ documentary films, all available online, and ↑sorted into categories. ‘↑All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace‘ (Curtis 2011) A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realize it, the way we see everything … Continue reading

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distrust that particular flavor

The first anthology of essays by ↑William Gibson is out: ‘↑Distrust that particular flavor.’ GIBSON, WILLIAM FORD. 2012. Distrust that particular flavor. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. via ↑entry at ↑boingboing … Continue reading

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barefoot into cyberspace

↓Barefoot into Cyberspace is an inside account of radical hacker culture and the forces that shape it, told in the year WikiLeaks took subversive geek politics into the mainstream. Including some of the earliest on-record material with Julian Assange you are likely to read, Barefoot Into Cyberspace is the ultimate guided tour of the hopes and ideals that are increasingly shaping world events.     Beginning at the Chaos Communications Congress of December 2009, where WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg first presented their world-changing plans to a select audience of the planet’s most skilful and motivated hackers, Barefoot Into … Continue reading

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