Gaming for good

Here is Jane McGonigal TED talk on “Gaming can make a better world”:

This is an inspiring talk about using the drive of gaming to useful ends. I have mused before on weather games can be used for education and believe this is an untapped way of motivating people to better themselves and improve their performance.

One of the points she talked about in the “lack of feedback” (winning points) in real life for actions. Then there is Jesse Schell (scary) talk “When games invade real life” and he suggests with sensors and wireless connectivity becoming ultra cheap it will start to pervade everything and thus point systems for things you do in reality will become normal:

I think with ones entire schooling, if turned into a game could be far more rewarding for kids and teachers. You might have whole classes in school competing as one against another class or even another class in another school. In Jesse Schell talk he already mentions that one lecture, Lee N. Sheldon who changed the grading system and gave out experience points for assignments which increased attendance and quality of homework.

“If you want to build a ship don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A definition of Consciousness

Suppose ‘consciousness’ could be defined as the ability of a ‘being that can learn’ to understand how its self learns. Thus it then has to ‘decide’, a rudimentary idea in our perception of ‘consciousness’.

I think this explains to a degree then our ‘personality’ which we use to direct our experiences in the world and thus our learning. We, in a manner, feed our learning what it likes best: pleasurable experiences.

If this is true, what does it say about the ‘Turing test’ and there for the way forward for AI research.

Nationalism is so last century

Giant soccer ball in the skySo I’m in Berlin and things are going well. Have a large unfurnished room on the 1st of May with at least one über cool flatmate (the other to be found in the next few weeks) and a broken arm due to my experimenting with “bicycle catapulting”, a new sport I hope to put my name to. I have also made progress on the social front and have meet many super friendly, young Germans, all busy doing their thing and doing it well, as far as I can tell. Also, they have painted the TV tower at Alexander Platz like a giant pink ‘fussball’ (see photo, thanks to bollin @ Flickr).
Continue reading “Nationalism is so last century”

MetaWeb is born!

Ideas for using comments on del.icio.us bookmarks and how this could add a layer ontop of the web.

I use Sage to manage the RSS feeds I like to track. I track my friends del.icio.us links RSS feed. When you add a URL to del.icio.us you get to leave a comment on it, like a note. This note comes up with the link in Sage. What I’d like to do is reply to this comment. Comments on del.icio.us bookmarks. Could be in interesting idea.

I heard about a technology that lets you leave notes on URLs for you friends. A Firefox extension could be developed to get all the comments that have been left for your current URL.

Also would be handy is if del.icio.us let you bookmark RSS feeds and then acted as an aggregator for you. I guess this would be pretty server intensive, like a universal cache for all the webs feeds worth bookmarking. People could then leave comments on all the articles coming though. It would be like a web on top of the web: MetaWeb!

Amateur media

As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

I remember I had a long and ugly debate with Bernard and Sara one night over a couple of bottles of wine. I proposed that with the advent of cheap media devices, and internet community sharing sites, we would not have to rely on the commercial main stream media completely anymore for information on current events. As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

Examples from the recident London bombing:

  1. The London Bomb Blast Pool
  2. Wikipedias ‘7 July 2005 London bombings‘ entry was up to the minute
  3. London Explosions @ Londonist

Update: Seems I’m not the only one thinking this way.