Why everyone should care about video games

I've primarily been blogging about social media and technology, but I'm going to start to blog about videogames as well. Bizzarely I'm slightly concerned about this, part of me feels I should apologise to those people who have ended up on the site to hear me talk about other things, that you won't care about videogames, and you'll tune out, that you'll roll your eyes and sigh "videogames" and close the browser.

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Social Media with personality

​So what's one of the the biggest challenges facing social media over the next few years?

I think it's all about personas.

We all have multiple personas, we wear different hats, some more than others, but everyone amends their behaviour when in different groups of people, out of familiarity, respect, or necessity.

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Disparate connections and diaries for lazy people

For a while I've been playing with Foursquare, it's a location based social networking tool that I use to track where I've been, and keep track of where my friends are. I also tweet quite regularly, and occasionally post pictures to Flickr.

A few months ago I discovered Momento, it's a rather clever little app that pulls together feeds from various social sites and displays them in a nice calendar view, as shown in the pictures.

It got me thinking, how many apps would you need to update and agregate in order to create a complete record of everything you do?

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Bandwidth

Sometimesintodaysworldthereissomuchinformationcomingatyoufromsomanydifferentdirectionstha
​titfeelslikepeoplearetalkingwithoutspacesandyouarefightingtokeepupthenthingsgetworseASTHEIN
​TENSITYOFTHEINFORMATIONINCREASESANDITSEEMSLIKETHEYAREALLSHOUTINGTHEBIZZA
​RETHINGISTHATAFTERAWHILEYOUSTARTTOGETUSEDTOITANDEVENTUALLYITSALLYOUCAN
​READ.

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Composure

​So, where was I, ah yes...

I stopped blogging because it was too difficult; it isn't really all that hard, but attempting to coordinate the inspiration with the willingness to sit and write and my outside life, just wasn't happening. It's like replying to email from friends, it should be fairly straightforward but is actually rather difficult to manage (well, for me anyway).

But I'm here now and want to make an effort, I have stuff to say, and it doesn't really bother me that no-one is listening because it just feels good to talk :)

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stuff & things

6 months pass in the blink of an eye and before you know it you've stopped blogging! well hello there, how are you doing today? hope you're well, and if not, hope you're getting better :)

heheh, this is the problem when you start a blog post with no idea of what you're going to say, bloggers block!

been playing around with some great new web technologies recently, check out

www.google.com/calendar

the more you use it, the more you realise it's potential, especially once you start sharing.

I'm currently playing Brain Age for Nintendo DS, it's quite unique, a computer game that improves your memory and thinking power! certainly the start of a new type of game. until now games have been viewed as fun, but in no way good for you, well here's a game that's fun, and healthy! bizzare.

OK, just a quick post to get me back into the swing of things, I'll be more frequently on again now.

Byee

I can't run, but I can fight

I've been ill for the past few weeks, and it has been a bizzare experience, I had my appendix out and so have been in quite a bit of discomfort from the operation and my uvulva swelled up, which apparently is not serious, but so I couldn't speak or move about much.

So I spent the time laying on my sofa with my monitor at the edge of the desk, playing everquest 2, which is one of these massivley multiplayer online fantasy world games.

The bizzare bit is that, in the real world I was an invalid, but on the PC I was jumping, running, fighting, talking to people and generally being very able bodied. It's interesting now that games are starting to get quite realistic, I havent had the impression that I've been stuck indoors because I've been running through green fields and big open spaces.

I'm sure it won't be long before this sort of experience is used in the medical world for therapy (probably already is in fact) and for treating things like agrophobia, hundreds of thousands of people play EQ2, their are Cities and Towns, but you can turn it off at the flick of a switch if you get overwhelmed...

Anyway... back to the game, need to kill some orcs!

Grow Up

In the wake of the London bombings I've been asking myself a scary question, What next.

It seems that in this sensational media based age, we need more and more to really shock us and, in that respect, September 11th will set the bar for a while yet. But surely the terrorists are anticipating this, planning bigger and more shocking attacks to assault our numbed senses. In many ways the london and Madrid bombings could have been a lot more horrific than they actually were.

My girlfriend made a stunning observation;

"there's no going back, there will never be a time when these sorts of things dont happen"

So are we doomed to a life of ever escalating disasters, the ultimate arms race, will this just naturally end up being an ongoing war of terror? I don't think we can answer that, but I like to think not. I think we need to grow up, as a race. We're stuck here, on this tiny planet, billions of us struggling to survive, and it always amazes me to think what we could achieve if we worked together.

There you go... sorted...

heh, if only. But seriously, the more of us who make ourselves aware, who talk and reason, who live life with passion, and purpose. The more of us who question, communicate, who love, we can have an impact. Over 400 people have read my blog, 400 that's the beginings of an army, we need to start to move, I have no idea where, or how, but the Internet is opening up channels of communication that never existed 20 years ago. we must use them.

All of us, we need to grow up...

Google Earth

A few pictures that will hopefully inspire you to check out google earth. Its a completley free 10MB download that (providing you have broadband) allows you to roam around the entire earth looking at hi resolution satellite photography that's mapped onto a 3d terain model of the planet. On top of that you can add roads, 3d buildings, points of interest, and a plethora of other goodies. The interface is simple, and the program is really easy to use.

I've been playing with it for about a week now and it's truly amazing, a great one for kids as it's educational to boot!! so head on over to earth.google.com and give it a go, like I said above, it's completely free, no strings attached.

The pictures seen here are of the grand canyon, above, the sedan crater in the nevada test range, and the "boneyard" a usaf base used to scrap planes that are no longer in service.

Google Earth also has a BBS feature where people can share their favourite places, or post a request and let other people find it and direct you to it. Happy globetrotting folks!

Seeing is easy with eyes closed...

This is what I see when I close my eyes, or in a dark room at night, I used to think the dots were little ufo's when I was a kid :)

I spent a while getting it right, and it's spot on, exactly what I see :)

Click it to see it proper size, and imagine it's all you see in your field of view pulsing and moving gently about

Here are some pictures that

Andy Coulter

used on

a blog post

as an analogy of what he see's with his eyes closed, definite similarities, please send me pics of what you see!!

I'd love to hear if you see the same, please click comment and let me know. You dont need an account with blogger.

Trees and things

I've been asked to discuss a particularly interesting question.

If a tree falls in a forest, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound.

I suppose I'll start by saying that there are many ways to look at this question, and it leads on to many others. The question, in it's simplest form, seems easy to answer, yes you may think, if a tree falls it makes a sound, regardless of whether there is anyone there or not.

But there are complications, what do we mean by sound, and how can we prove that the tree makes a sound. We can define sound in many ways, the oxford english dictionary defines sound as:

• noun 1 vibrations which travel through the air or another medium and are sensed by the ear. 2 a thing that can be heard. 3 music, speech, and sound effects accompanying a film or broadcast. 4 an idea or impression conveyed by words.

All of a sudden we see that the tree, by this definition does not make any sound, as there are no ears to sense it. The tree, we assume, does make vibrations in the air, but these are not sensed.

So the question brings complications based on our use of common words like "sound", and the more you think about it, the weirder it gets, imagine the tree falling now, and making that loud cracking sound, but that sound is made by the vibration of your eardrums and your brains interpretation of that vibration, and here there are no eardrums to vibrate, no ears to hear it, and because there are no ears, the tree falls in complete silence, hitting the ground without making a sound. It is only once we introduce a pair of ears that there is sound, but before, just silent soundless vibrations in the air!

However there is an even more thought provoking side to the question.

How can we be certain that an event occurs, if we do not observe it.

This question was summed up by a physicist called Schroedinger who put forward the idea for a rather interesting experiment.

Put a cat in a box, with a vial of poison, and a radioactive isotope... the isotope has an exactly 50% chance of giving of a certain particle which will be detected inside the box, and the poison will be released. The box is soundproof and there is no way to see the cat, so you have no idea if the cat is alive or dead, until you open the box.

Schroedinger postulated that the cat was neither alive or dead... but that it remained in a bizzare state called quantum uncertainty, and it wasn't until you opened the box that you brought a resolution to this state and the cat became alive or dead...

It sounds pretty far fetched, and I'm not going to go into the details (google: Schroedingers cat) but what's even more bizzare is that this so-called "quantum uncertainty" and the "collapsing of quantum waveforms" has actually, on much smaller scales than that of a cat (try individual particles) been proved correct!!!

experiments have shown that particles, in certain situations hang in a sort of limbo untill observed, and once observed snap into their observed state.

This doesn't happen on larger scales like cats and trees, but it's worth remembering that while the cat in the box does either die or live, and the tree in the forest does make vibrations in the air... things are not always what they seem, and our observing them can have implications and, on a quantum level, we cant say that something happens, even if it should theoretically have done so, unless we observe it.

To finish then, the question challenges us on many levels, it challenges our perception of reality, it's very hard to imagine that tree falling in colmplete silence, yet it does, because noone is there to hear it, and it's harder still to imagine that the very act of observing something can change it. that by us looking at the world, we alter it.

The ultimate extension of the question is this.

If there were no observers in the universe, noone to see anything happening, would the universe exist.

hehe...

Interesting

A clip from a conversation

> Imagine a detective. His job is to find the truth, who dunnit. Then one day
> he becomes a philosopher and now he asks "what is truth?". The discussion
> lasts for decades and does not get resolved. How does philosophy help
> him to do his job?

Philosophy is the means by which we understand how to think. And to make sense of the world around us.

> What is your purpose in doing philosophy? Do you have a purpose for
> doing philosophy?

To understand the world around us and to learn how to think better. To find meaning to my existence.

> If a question in philosophy did get resolved, what would you do? Would
> you keep on arguing? Would you find a practical application? Or what?

I've always considered myself a 'commercial philosopher,' in which I want answers to solve my own pressing issues and the issues around me. I'm not interested in 'ivory tower' or 'intellectual' philosophy, I want things that work here and now, not discussions of what 'here' and 'now' are and whether or not they exist.

If a particular software package gets developed, it doesn't stop someone from developing something else. There are lots more questions.

What happens when we die?
Is there life after death?
What happens before we die?
Is there life before death?
Why does it feel like I am the only person in the universe?
Is there more than one universe?
Is there intelligent life outside of earth? (Is there intelligent life ON earth?)
What is my purpose in life?
What is the purpose of life in general?