Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative —
Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative —
“It’s a matter of finding balance,” he said. “Upgrade the technology skills of older ‘digital immigrants,’ and help young kids improve social skills.”
On one hand, we’re trained not to think deeply about subjects when we text quick snippets, Tweet short thoughts,
On the other hand, technology trains the brain to be nimble and to process new ideas quickly. We become more open to new ideas, and communicate more freely and frequently.
“A good society contains many different artists doing many different things. A bad society coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths.”
“Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want.” Ursula K. Le Guin
philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919–February 8, 1999) — one of the most lucid and luminous minds of the twentieth century — explored in a long, deep, immensely insightful 1977 conversation with the British broadcaster and philosopher Bryan McGee, which aired on McGee’s television series Men of Ideas.
Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature (public library).
the fundamental difference between the function of philosophy and that of art — one being to clarify and concretize, the other to mystify and expand.
A century after Nietzsche examined the power of language to both conceal and reveal truth, and several years before Oliver Sacks’s trailblazing insight into narrative as the pillar of identity, Murdoch considers how we, as storytelling creatures, use language in the parallel arts of literature and living
Hemingway’s admonition against the dangers of ego in creative work. distinguish a recognisable style from a personal presence.
bridging William James’s landmark assertion that “a purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity” and Tolstoy’s insistence that “emotional infectiousness” is what separates good art from the bad
There is always more bad art around than good art, and more people like bad art than like good art.
James Baldwin wielded the double-edged sword of the artist’s duty to society, Murdoch insists on this largeness: The artist’s duty is to art, to truth-telling in his own medium, the writer’s duty is to produce the best literary work of which he is capable, and he must find out how this can be done.
In consonance with John F. Kennedy’s exhortation to a propaganda-smothered society — “We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”
(My note: Lenin – Art is always political. He did not distinguish art and propaganda. http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1924-2/socialist-cinema/socialist-cinema-texts/lenin-on-the-most-important-of-the-arts/)
after the teenage Sylvia Plath precociously observed that “once a poem is made available to the public, the right of interpretation belongs to the reader,”Murdoch examines the laboratory for reflection and interpretation
My note: on Sylvia Plath, see Elif Shafak’s Black Milk: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9923549-black-milk
Susan Sontag’s beautiful wisdom on storytelling and what it means to be a moral human being, Murdoch weighs the relationship between morality and truth, as mediated by language
Rebecca West on storytelling as a survival mechanism,
more on storytelling in this IMS blog
dear Hollywood, I demand you make a Gen Z Manchurian Candidate reboot where all the brainwashing programming/delusive fantasies take place on TikTok https://t.co/sgSekDuK6l
— Zhan Li 🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@thezhanly) July 21, 2019
The bottom line: While the Big Tech behemoths of the U.S. are barred from making inroads in China, the inverse doesn’t apply. That could mark an opening front in the ongoing technological and economic war between the two rivals.
more on cybersecurity in this IMS blog
Mindfulness has become a core social and emotional learning strategy in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Texas. The district has even created a mindfulness specialist position, filled by James Butler, the district’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.
There are various understandings of mindfulness, but most focus on being nonjudgmental and present in the moment.
As part of a presentation at SXSW EDU
Teo, the first-grader, recommends the books “Your Fantastic Elastic Brain”and “Listening to My Body”; the website GoNoodle and Destress Monday, especially the gifs; the apps Stop Breathe & Think Kids and Super Stretch Yoga.
Addison, in fifth grade, recommends the books “What Does It Mean to Be Present?”and “Listening To My Body”; the website GoNoodle and Mind Yeti; the apps Calmand Smiling Mind.
Xavier, the 11th-grader, recommends the books “Cure: A Journey Into Science of Mind Over Body” and “The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success”; the websites Pocket Mindfulness and UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center; the apps Calm and Smiling Mind.
For educators seeking to start a mindfulness practice, Butler has a list of recommendations he hands out to educators and a #mindfulAISD YouTube channel.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.
We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.
It is time to break up Facebook.
America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible. That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.
More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.
Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism. Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones. Their gospel was simple: “Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.
American industries, from airlines to pharmaceuticals, have experienced increased concentration, and the average size of public companies has tripled. The results are a decline in entrepreneurship, stalled productivity growth, and higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.
From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.
Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics. About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products. Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp. By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat. What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.
The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp. In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction. Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.
The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos. That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network. The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.
unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out. So Facebook simply copied it. (opyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)
As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines. This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon). Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).
The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice. Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.
Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see. Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.
Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.
As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.
Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power. The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.
The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good
Colin Horgan, May 13, 2019
Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made
Nick Srnicek, author of the book Platform Capitalism and a lecturer in digital economy at King’s College London, wrotelast month, “[I]t’s competition — not size — that demands more data, more attention, more engagement and more profits at all costs
more on Facebook in this IMS blog
McMullan, T. (2018, April 26). How Technology Got Under Our Skin – Featured Stories. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from Medium website: https://medium.com/s/story/how-technology-got-under-our-skin-cee8a71b241b
Like the circle-bound symmetry of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the meat and bones of the human race are the same in 2018 as they were in 1490. And yet, we are different.
Michael Patrick Lynch, writer and professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut.
“The digital revolution is more like the revolution brought on by the written word. Just as the written word allowed us to time-travel — to record our thoughts for others, including ourselves, to read in the future — so the internet has allowed for a kind of tele-transportation , breaking down barriers of space and physical limitation and connecting us across the globe in ways we now take for granted, as we do the written word.”
In the book Self-Tracking, authors Gina Neff, a sociology professor at Oxford University, and Dawn Nafus, a research scientist at Intel, describe this phenomenon as a shuffling between physical signs and observed recordings: “The data becomes a ‘prosthetic of feeling,’Advocates of this “prosthetic of feeling” argue that self-tracking can train people to recognize their own body signals, tuning the senses to allow for a greater grasp of biological rhythms.but what if the body-as-data is exploited by the state, or by an insurance company that can predict when you’ll get diabetes, or a data analytics firm that can use it to help sway elections? The Chinese government is going so far as to plan a social credit score for its citizens by 2020, giving each of the country’s 1.3 billion residents a reputation number based on economic and social status. What is particularly subtle about all this is that, like a scientific épistémè, our way of thinking is perhaps unconsciously guided by the configurations of knowledge these new technologies allow. We don’t question it.
Hannah Knox. Computational machines are “shaping what we expect it means to be a human”, Knox wrote for the Corsham Institute’s Observatory for a Connected Society.
Facebook goads us to remember past moments on a daily basis, the stacked boxes of tape in Beckett’s play replaced with stacks of servers in remote data centers in northern Sweden.“There is reasonable evidence that [the internet] has reduced our internal memory ability,” says Phil Reed, a professor of psychology at Swansea University.
Moderate tech use correlated with positive mental health, according to a paper published in Psychological Science by Andrew Przybylski of Oxford and Netta Weinstein at Cardiff University, who surveyed 120,000 British 15-year-olds.Again, the crucial question is one of control. If our way of thinking is changed by our intimacy with these technologies, then is this process being directed by individuals, or the ledgers of private companies, or governments keen on surveilling their citizens? If we conceive of these systems as extensions of our own brains, what happens if they collapse?
Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) are coming in leaps and bounds, with companies like Neuralink and CTRL-Labs in the United States exploring both surgical and noninvasive processes that allow computers to be controlled directly by signals from the brain. It’s a field that involves fundamentally changing the relationship between our minds, bodies, and machines.Kevin Warwick, emeritus professor at Coventry University and a pioneer in implant technology
In a 2016 longitudinal study of 497 Dutch teens between the ages of 13 and 18, researchers found that cognitive empathy skills help teens regulate their emotions, improve their listening skills and strengthen their ability to tolerate conflict. They also found that these skills can help kids work through disagreements with their parents more constructively.
Research on teen stress by David Yeager, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, shows that cognitive empathy skills can also help adolescents to realize that people and situations can change, which allows them to face social challenges more easily.
p. 74 serious games, Carrie Heeter. p. 49
p. 52 guided meditation VR GMVR
p. 61 Hedgehog Love
engineering feelings with social presence. p.64 remember presents? This is the beginning of social presence. Mindfulness is cool, but making eye contact with Henry is the first step into the future.
When you premiered at the Cannes film Festival in early 2017, it was housed in an airplane hangar; viewers were a shirt, barefoot, into a room with a sand-covert floor, where they could watch and interact with other people trying to make it over the border. Arrests, detention centers, dehydration-the extremity of the human condition happening all around you. India announcement, the Academy of motion picture arts and sciences called the peas “deeply emotional and physically immersive”
p. 83 empathy versus intimacy. Why good stories need someone else
p. 84 Chris Milk
p. 85 empathy vs intimacy: appreciation vs emotion
Both of these words are fuzzy, to say the least. Both have decades of study behind him, but both have also appeared and more magazine covers in just about any words, other than possibly “abs”
Empathy: dear Do it to do identify with and understand dollars, particularly on an emotional level. It involves imagining yourself in the place of another and, therefore, appreciating how do you feel.
Intimacy: a complex sphere of ‘inmost’ relationships with self and others that are not usually minor or incidental (though they may be a transitory) and which usually touch the personal world very deeply. They are our closest relationships with friends, family, children, lovers, but they are also the deep into important experiences we have with self
Empathy necessarily needs to involve other people; intimacy doesn’t. Empathy involves emotional understanding; intimacy involves emotion itself. Empathy, at its base, isn’t act of getting outside yourself: you’re protecting yourself into someone’s else experience, which means that in some ways you are leaving your own experience behind, other than as a reference point. Intimacy, on the other hand, is at its base act of feeling: you might be connecting quit someone or something Else, but you are doing so on the basis of the emotions you feel. p 86. Any type of VR experience perfectly illustrates the surprising gap between empathy and intimacy: life action VR. p. 87 unlike CGI-based storytelling, which full somewhere in between game in movie, live action VR feels much more like the conventional video forms that we are used to from television and movies. Like those media, people have been using VR to shoot everything from narrative fiction to documentary the sports.
Nonny de la Peña Hunger in Los Angeles at Sundance
p. 89 Clouds over Sidra Chris Milk
p. 90 SXSW south by southwest Austin Texas
p. 92 every single story has only one goal at its base: to make you care. This holds true whether it is a tale told around a campfire at night, one related to a sequence of panels in the comic book, or dialogue-heavy narrative of a television show. The story might be trying to make you laugh, or just scare you, or to make you feel sad or happy on behalf of one of the characters, but those are all just forms of caring, right? Your emotional investment-the fact that what kept us in this tale matters to you-is the fundamental aim of the storyteller.
Storytelling, than, has evolved to find ways to draw you out of yourself, to make you forget that what you are hearing or seeing or reading isn’t real. It’s only at that point, after all, that our natural capacity for empathy can kick in. p. 93 meanwhile, technology continues to evolve to detaches from those stories. For one, the frame itself continues to get smaller. Strangers still, this distraction has happened well stories continue to become more and more complex. Narratively, at least, stories are more intricate then the have ever been. p. 94. Now, with VR storytelling, the distracting power of multiple screens his met it’s match.
p. 101 experiencing our lives- together
What videos two cannot do, though, he’s bringing people together insights VR, the way re-McClure’s sinking-multicoloredat-blogs-at-each-other tag-team project is VVVR does. That’s why even V are filmmaking powerhouses like Within ( https://www.with.in/get-the-app) are moving beyond mere documentary and narrative and trying to turn storytelling into a shared experience.
Make no mistake: storytelling has always been a shirt experience. Being conscripted into the story, or even being the story.
p. 103 like so many VR experiences, life of us defies many of the ways we describe a story to each other. For one, it feels at fonts shorter and longer than its actual seven-minutes runtime; although it’s seems to be over in a flash, flash contains so many details that in retrospect it is as full and vivid is a two-our movie.
There is another think, though, that sets life of us apart from so many other stories-it is the fact that not only was I in the story, but someone else was in there with me. In that someone wasn’t a field character talking to a camera that they some calling about it, or a video game creature that was programmed to look in ‘my’ direction, but a real person-a person who saw what I saw, a person who was present for each of those moments and who know is inextricably part of my old, shard-Like memory of them.
p. 107 what to do and what to do it with . How social VR is reinventing everything from game night to online harassment.
Facebook Hires Altspace CEO Eric Romo
p. 110 VR isn’t given Romo’s first bet on the future. When he was finishing up his masters degree in mechanical engineering, a professor emailed him on behalf of two men who were recruiting for a rocket company there were starting. One of those man was a Elon musk, which is how Romo became the 13th employee at space X. Eventually, she started the company focusing go solar energy, but when the bottom fell out of the industry, she shut down the company and looked for his next opportunity. Romo spent the next year and a half researching the technology and thinking about what kind of company might make sense in the new VR enabled world. He had read Snow crash, but he oh soon you get our hopes for DVR future could very well end up like gay themed flying car: defined-and limited-bite an expectation that might not match perfectly which what we actually want.
p. 116 back in the day, trolling just trim forward to pursuing a provocative argument for kicks. Today, the word used to describe the actions of anonymous mobs like the one that, for instance, Rolf actor Leslie Jones off Twitter with an onslaught of racist and sexist abuse. Harassment has become one of the defining characteristics of the Internet is for use it today. But with the emergernce of VR, our social networks have become, quite literally, embodied.
p. 116 https://medium.com/athena-talks/my-first-virtual-reality-sexual-assault-2330410b62ee
p. 142 increasing memory function by moving from being a voyeur to physically participating in the virtual activity. embodied presence – bringing not just your head into your hands, but your body into VR-strengthens memories in the number of ways.
p. 143 at the beginning of 2017, Facebook fit published some of its. New Ron’s in internal research about the potential of social VR. Neurons INc. The agency measured eye movements, Brain activity, and pools of volunteers who were watching streaming video on smart phones and ultimately discovered that buffering and lag were significantly more stressful than waiting can line it a store, and even slightly more stressful than watching a horror movie.
p. 145 after the VR experience, more than 80% of introverts — is identified by a short survey participants took before hand-wanted to become friends with the person they had chatted with, as opposed to less than 60% of extroverts
p. 149 Rec Room Confidential: the anatomy in evolution of VR friendships
p. 165 reach out and touch someone; haptics, tactile presence and making VR physical.
VOID: Vision of Infinite Dimensions p. 167
p. 169 the 4-D-effects: steam, cool air, moisture,
p. 170 Copresence
p. 171 Zhao laid out two different criteria. The first was whether or not to people are actually in the same place-basically, are they or their stand-ins physically close enough to be able to communicate without any other tools? To people, she wrote, can either have “physical proximity” or “electronic proximity” the latter being some sort of networked connection. The second criterion was whether each person is corporeally there; in other words, is it their actual flesh-and-blood body? The second condition can have three outcomes: both people can be there corporeally; neither can be there corporeally , instead using some sort of stand in like an avatar or a robot; or just one of them can be there corporeally, with the other using case stent in
“virtual copresence” is when a flesh and blood person interacts physically with a representative of a human; if that sounds confusing, 80 good example is using an ATM call mom where are the ATM is a stent in for a bank teller
p. 172 “hypervirtual copresence,” which involves nonhuman devices that are interacting in the same physical space in a humanlike fashion. social VR does not quite fit into any of this category. Zhao refers to this sort of hybrid as a “synthetic environment” and claims that it is a combination of corporeal https://www.waze.com/telecopresence (like Skyping) and virtual telecopresence(like Waze directions )
p. 172 haptic tactics for tactile aptness
Of the five human senses, a VR headset ca currently stimulates only to: vision and hearing. That leaves treat others-and while smell and taste me come some day.
P. 174; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley Brave New World. tactile “feelies”
p. 175 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Michael_Noll, 1971
p. 177 https://www.pcmag.com/review/349966/oculus-touch
p. 178 haptic feedback accessories, gloves. full body suites, p. 179 ultrasonics, low-frequency sound waves.
p. 186 the dating game: how touch changes intimacy.
p. 187 MIT Presence https://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/pres
p. 186-190 questionnaire for the VRrelax project
p. 195 XXX-chnage program: turning porn back into people
p. 221 where we are going, we don’t need headsets. lets get speculative
p. 225 Magic Leap. p. 227 Magic Leap calls its technology “mixed reality,” claiming that the three dimensional virtual objects it brings into your world are far more advanced than the flat, static overlays of augmented reality. In reality, there is no longer any distinction between the two; in fact, the air are by now so many terms being accused in various ways by various companies that it’s probably worth a quick clarification.
Virtual reality: the illusion of an all-enveloping artificial world, created by wearing an opaque display in front of your eyes.
augmented reality: Bringing artificial objects into the real world-these can be as simple as a ” heads-up display,” like a speedometer project it onto your car’s windshield, or as complex as seen to be virtual creature woke across your real world leaving room, casting a realistic shadow on the floor
mixed reality: generally speaking, this is synonymous with AR, or eight at least with the part of AR that brings virtual objects into the real world. However, some people prefer “mixed” because they think “augmented” implies that reality isn’t enough.
extended or synthetic reality (XR or SR): all of the above! this are bought catch old terms that encompass the full spectrum of virtual elements individual settings.
p. 228 https://avegant.com/.
p. 231 in ten years, we won’t even have smartphone anymore.
p. 229 Eve VR is these come blink toddler, though, AR/MR is a third-trimester fetus: eat may be fully formed book eat is not quite ready to be out in the world yet. The headsets or large, the equipment is far more expensive than VR Anthony in many cases we don’t even know what a consumer product looks like.
p. 235 when 2020 is hindsight: what life in 2028 might actually look like.
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.”
By Suzanne Scacca June 25, 2018
What is truly impressive, however, is how we are now able to use design to tell a story. In other words, we no longer need to use long scrolls to set up plots or describe what a company does. This is especially great when designing for the mobile experience, which already sets pretty strict limits on how much we can “tell” versus “show.”
Develop user personas before you do anything else when strategizing and planning for a website. Your personas should have a key “problem” they face.
In video game design, there is something known as “ludonarrative dissonance.”
the unpleasant situation where we’re asking players to do something they don’t want to do… or prevent them from doing what they want.
Here’s an interesting fact: people are 22 times more likely to remember data when it’s presented in a narrative form.
The brain digests visual content 60% more quickly than written content, so your web designs and other visuals (like video, animation, and so on) are the keys to doing this.
The Airbnb blog always does a great job of this type of visual storytelling.
As of August 2017, 52.64% of all visits to websites were done via a smartphone. And, starting in 2017, the most popular size for a smartphonewas between five and six inches and will only continue to grow in popularity as the years go on.
That’s not a lot of space to fill with content for the majority of site visitors, is it?
Functional minimalism is already something you’re doing in your own web design efforts, but have you thought about how it can tie into the storytelling aspect as well?
Here are some ways in which you might use symbols to declutter your site:
In video games, you can use light and darkness to draw attention to important pathways. On websites, it’s not always easy to employ the use of lightness or darkness as too-dark of a design or too-light of text could lead to a bad user experience. What you want to do instead is create a “spotlight” of sorts. You can do this by infusing a key area of your design with a dramatic color or a boldly stylized font.
If you’ve ever played a horror video game before, you know how critical the element of sound can be for it.
That said, while you might not be able to direct visitors down the page with the sound of something playing down below, you can use other elements to lead them. For one, you can use interactive elements like animation to draw their attention to where it needs to go.
For some brands, it might make sense to employ the use of an actual mascot to guide visitors through the story.
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.” Ideally, your web design will do more showing of that story instead of telling, which is how video game design tends to succeed in this matter.
Remember: Storytelling isn’t just relegated to big brands that can weave bright and shiny tales about how consumers’ lives were changed with their products. Nor is it just for video game designers that have hours of gameplay to develop for their audiences. A story simply needs to convey to the end-user how their problem can be fixed by your site’s solution. Through subtle design strategies inspired by video game storytelling techniques, you can effectively share and shape your own story.
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