Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Immediacy of Rhetoric: Definitions, Illustrations, and Implications, by Steven D. Krause

The Immediacy of Rhetoric: Definitions, Illustrations, and Implications, by Steven D. Krause


Cuadernos Azul y Marrón. Estructura y función (1968:1) Titulo original: The Blue and Brown Books Editorial Tecnos Madrid 1968,

“para comprender el significado de «significado» es necesario comprender también el significado de «explicación de significado». En pocas palabras: «preguntémonos que es la explicación de significado, pues lo que esto explique, será el significado». El estudiar la gramática de la expresión «explicación de significado» enseñará algo sobre la gramática de la palabra «significado» y protegerá contra la tentación de buscar en torno de uno algún objeto al que se podría llamar «el significado»” (1968:1)

Further Readings

The Internet Enycolpedia of Philosophy

Stanford Encyclopedia University


The Cambridge Wittgenstein Archive

Filosofía Comtemporánea

Multimedia de Mac Evoy que integra frases de Wittgenstein, frases sobre él y su vida

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Persuasive Effects of Presence in Immersive Virtual Environments, by Dan GRIGOROVICI

Persuasive Effects of Presence in Immersive Virtual Environments, by Dan GRIGOROVICI.
Being There: Concepts, effects and measurement of user presence in synthetic environments G. Riva, F. Davide, W.A IJsselsteijn (Eds.) Ios Press, 2003, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let your finger do the walking: The space/place metaphor in on-line computer communication

Let your finger do the walking: The space/place metaphor in on-line computer communication, by Bjørn Sørenssen.

XX. IAMCR Conference.Sydney. August 18-22, 1996. Commmunication Technology Policy Session.

How traffic is measured at Second Life

Linden Lab Official:What is traffic (formerly known as dwell)?

"Traffic is a numerical metric calculated for every parcel of land inworld. This score can be summarized as "the cumulative minutes spent on the parcel by all visitors to the parcel within the previous day, SLT." It's calculated by taking the total seconds spent on the parcel, dividing by 60, and rounding to the nearest whole minute. For example, if your parcel has a cumulative seconds total of 121s over the course of a day, your score will be 2".

About Traffic at Second Life

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan

The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan, Playboy Magazine (March 1969 ©)

Some parts of the interview

PLAYBOY: What do you mean by "acoustic space"?

_. MCLUHAN: I mean space that has no center and no margin, unlike strictly visual space, which is an extension and intensification of the eye. Acoustic space is organic and integral, perceived through the simultaneous interplay of all the senses; whereas "rational" or pictorial space is uniform, sequential and continuous and creates a closed world with none of the rich resonance of the tribal echoland.

Our own Western time-space concepts derive from the environment created by the discovery of phonetic writing, as does our entire concept of Western civilization. The man of the tribal world led a complex, kaleidoscopic life precisely because the ear, unlike the eye, cannot be focused and is synaesthetic rather than analytical and linear. Speech is an utterance, or more precisely, an outering, of all our senses at once; the auditory field is simultaneous, the visual successive.

The models of life of nonliterate people were implicit, simultaneous and discontinuous, and also far richer than those of literate man. By their dependence on the spoken word for information, people were drawn together into a tribal mesh; and since the spoken word is more emotionally laden than the written--conveying by intonation such rich emotions as anger, joy, sorrow, fear--tribal man was more spontaneous and passionately volatile. Audile-tactile tribal man partook of the collective unconscious, lived in a magical integral world patterned by myth and ritual, its values divine and unchallenged, whereas literate or visual man creates an environment that is strongly fragmented, individualistic, explicit, logical, specialized and detached.


PLAYBOY: But literate societies existed in the ancient world long before the phonetic alphabet. Why weren't they detribalized?

MCLUHAN: The phonetic alphabet did not change or extend man so drastically just because it enabled him to read; as you point out, tribal culture had already coexisted with other written languages for thousands of years.

But the phonetic alphabet was radically different from the older and richer hieroglyphic or ideogrammic cultures. The writings of Egyptian, Babylonian, Mayan and Chinese cultures were an extension of the senses in that they gave pictorial expression to reality, and they demanded many signs to cover the wide range of data in their societies--unlike phonetic writing, which uses semantically meaningless letters to correspond to semantically meaningless sounds and is able, with only a handful of letters, to encompass all meanings and all languages.

This achievement demanded the separation of both sights and sounds from their semantic and dramatic meanings in order to render visible the actual sound of speech, thus placing a barrier between men and objects and creating a dualism between sight and sound.

It divorced the visual function from the interplay with the other senses and thus led to the rejection from consciousness of vital areas of our sensory experience and to the resultant atrophy of the unconscious. The balance of the sensorium--or Gestalt interplay of all the senses--and the psychic and social harmony it engendered was disrupted, and the visual function was overdeveloped. This was true of no other writing system.


._PLAYBOY: Why do you feel that Gutenberg also laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution?

._MCLUHAN: The two go hand in hand. Printing, remember, was the first mechanization of a complex handicraft; by creating an analytic sequence of step-by-step processes, it became the blue-print of all mechanization to follow.

The most important quality of print is its repeatability; it is a visual statement that can be reproduced indefinitely, and repeatability is the root of the mechanical principle that has transformed the world since Gutenberg.

Typography, by producing the first uniformly repeatable commodity, also created Henry Ford, the first assembly line and the first mass production. Movable type was archetype and prototype for all subsequent industrial development. Without phonetic literacy and the printing press, modern industrialism would be impossible. It is necessary to recognize literacy as typographic technology, shaping not only production and marketing procedures but all other areas of life, from education to city planning

._ PLAYBOY: You've discussed that constellation in general terms, but what precisely are the electric media that you contend have supplanted the old mechanical technology?

._MCLUHAN: The electric media are the telegraph, radio, films, telephone, computer and television, all of which have not only extended a single sense or function as the old mechanical media did--i.e., the wheel as an extension of the foot, clothing as an extension of the skin, the phonetic alphabet as an extension of the eye--but have enhanced and externalized our entire central nervous systems, thus transforming all aspects of our social and psychic existence.

The use of the electronic media constitutes a break boundary between fragmented Gutenberg man and integral man, just as phonetic literacy was a break boundary between oral-tribal man and visual man.

In fact, today we can look back at 3000 years of differing degrees of visualization, atomization and mechanization and at last recognize the mechanical age as an interlude between two great organic eras of culture.

The age of print, which held sway from approximately 1500 to 1900, had its obituary tapped out by the telegraph, the first of the new electric media, and further obsequies were registered by the perception of "curved space" and non-Euclidean mathematics in the early years of the century, which revived tribal man's discontinuous time-space concepts--and which even Spengler dimly perceived as the death knell of Western literate values.

The development of telephone, radio, film, television and the computer have driven further nails into the coffin. Today, television is the most significant of the electric media because it permeates nearly every home in the country, extending the central nervous system of every viewer as it works over and molds the entire sensorium with the ultimate message. It is television that is primarily responsible for ending the visual supremacy that characterized all mechanical technology, although each of the other electric media have played contributing roles.

._PLAYBOY: A good deal of the perplexity surrounding your theories is related to this postulation of hot and cool media. Could you give us a brief definition of each?

._MCLUHAN: Basically, a hot medium excludes and a cool medium includes; hot media are low in participation, or completion, by the audience and cool media are high in participation.

A hot medium is one that extends a single sense with high definition. High definition means a complete filling in of data by the medium without intense audience participation. A photograph, for example, is high definition or hot; whereas a cartoon is low definition or cool, because the rough outline drawing provides very little visual data and requires the viewer to fill in or complete the image himself.

The telephone, which gives the ear relatively little data, is thus cool, as is speech; both demand considerable filling in by the listener. On the other hand, radio is a hot medium because it sharply and intensely provides great amounts of high-definition auditory information that leaves little or nothing to be filled in by the audience. A lecture, by the same token, is hot, but a seminar is cool; a book is hot, but a conversation or bull session is cool.

In a cool medium, the audience is an active constituent of the viewing or listening experience. A girl wearing open-mesh silk stockings or glasses is inherently cool and sensual because the eye acts as a surrogate hand in filling in the low-definition image thus engendered. Which is why boys make passes at girls who wear glasses. In any case, the overwhelming majority of our technologies and entertainments since the introduction of print technology have been hot, fragmented and exclusive, but in the age of television we see a return to cool values and the inclusive in-depth involvement and participation they engender.

This is, of course, just one more reason why the medium is the message, rather than the content; it is the participatory nature of the TV experience itself that is important, rather than the content of the particular TV image that is being invisibly and indelibly inscribed on our skins.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mobile Communication and Society Mobile Perspective, 2007

The space of flows, timeless time and mobile networks, in Manuel Castells, Mireia Fernández Ardèvol, Jack Linchuan Qiu and Araba Say, Mobile Communication and Society Mobile Perspective, 2007

The Status of Objects in the Space of Flows, by Felix Stalder, Ph.D.

The Status of Objects in the Space of Flows, by Felix Stalder, Ph.D.

Cityspace, Cyberspace, and the Spatiology of Information By Dr. Michael L. Benedikt,

Cityspace, Cyberspace, and the Spatiology of Information
By Dr. Michael L. Benedikt

"The continuity of these two kinds of space, I will argue, is that they are both ultimately constituted by information, information spread through space and seeking, almost of itself, to maximize its own complexity and organization. The most basic discontinuity between cityspace and cyberspace exists because cityspace is bound up with the principle of least action, with energetics, with friction, gravity, occlusion, and mechanical contact. Cyberspace and what happens there is all but free of these constraints. Of particular interest to me, however, is this fact: because each space can—indeed must—be experienced at some level spatiotemporally,cyberspace, like cityspace, can be inhabited, explored, and designed. Indeed, I am going to argue
that community, economy, art, design, commerce, recreation, and other urban amenities are possible in both worlds, in the real and the virtual, in cityspace and in cyberspace" (....)

"We are in cyberspace every time we are “on the phone,”every time we use a cash machine or log into a networked computer. We are there every time we drift through a magazine, go to a movie, listen to the radio, or watch television. Indeed, virtual
worlds in the form of communities of interest and of the imaginal lives of institutions like corporations and religions have long captivated our attention as fully as has the real and“unmediated” world." (page 3)

about definitions of space

"For Plato, space was the totality of geometric relations possible, i.e. the totality of numerical facts applicable to distances and directions, and vice versa; in short, proportion. The attention to proportion that characterizes classical architecture to this day, as well as the link that still exists between ratio as a comparison of two quantities and ratio- as the prefix to words denoting reasons itself, derive from this Platonic definition. For Aristotle, space was nothing other than place, or the generalized sum and place of all places.

If Plato’s definition was geometrical, Aristotle’s was more topological: (the) place (of something), he said, was the inner surface of the first stable, environing container. The place of a chair is the room it is in, the place of a river is the riverbed, the place of the moon is the next outward celestial sphere. The Medieval period saw these views commingled; but a new and spiritual element was added. Space was light, or Spirit, or God Himself. Whence, and why else, the apparent infinitude, insubstantiality, immanence, and permanence of space? (Henderson, 1983)

By the time Descartes put his mind to the problem, space per se had become an impossibly mystical notion. Descartes brought back to it a dynamic and mechanical aspect. In classifying space and everything physical as “extension” and by opposing this to “thought,” Descartes reasoned that space was simply that which permitted mechanical motion. One atom impinged upon the other directly, like so many ball bearings but without any empty space between them. Vacuum, void, was impossible; space was full of atoms-in-contact.

Rather than specify what space is, he specified what it did: space allowed motion. Dissatisfied with only mechanical terms, Leibniz was to extend this kind of operational definition further. Space, he argued, was that which permitted not only atoms and motion but the very existence of identity and simultaneity as such. Without space, he argued, things could be neither unique nor countable. Everything would be collapsed to a single “point,” to one thing,
which is to say, to no-thing, since there would be no room for an-other thing to distinguish itself from the first.

Moreover, in order to introduce change, such as motion, and in order for there to be more than one object in motion, not only simultaneity, but also an object-identity-thatsurvives- motion is required so that the motion can be said to have happened at all. With his principle of the “Identity of Indiscernibles”—as this doctrine is called, and which we will discuss presently—Leibniz probably came closest to what we could call an information-theoretical view
of space.

Newtown, for his part, thought of space as pure vacuum, Absolute and unmoved, a plenum of nothing but positions—points—continuous and empty in every direction. This view remained largely intact for a hundred years. But by the twentieth century, space could no longer be thought of without time.
After Einstein in particular, the project enlarged to understand spacetime as the four-dimensional, fundamental “unified field” providing both the totality of all cosmic frames of reference in relative motion as well as the “substance” of reality itself as the ultimate weaving of light with gravity." (page 5)

Relationship between space and information

"The question naturally begins to arise: is information in space, or is space in information? I submit that this is a pivotal question. In fact, we are ready to take the next step, which is to explore the more radical idea that space and information are one and the same “thing.”" (page 7)

"With our modest thought experiment we found ourselves engaged in increasing the
amount of space (or time) available in order to lose no data to limited intrinsic dimensions. To the extent that each N-dimensional data-point was unique—if only by one numerical value on one dimension—we sought to maximize the display of its uniqueness. If the conservation of information necessitates the conservation of space, then the production of new information in addition necessitates the production of new space" (page 9)

about which elements gives form to space

"Space itself can have no shape of course; light scattering objects and surfaces can, and certainly this is what is really involved when architects and urban designers work so hard “to shape a space.” Walls and ceilings, buildings and trees, are positioned in such a way as to modulate experience: not just the experience of those very walls and ceilings (and buildings and trees), but the experience of the people and signs, images and machines, and so on, that move about and populate the room or cityscape. In other words, the disposition of enclosures, screens, and plays of elevation and light, etc., do more than make architectural spaces, they regulate the
presentation of the rest of the world’s contents to its inhabitants, pacing it, segmenting it, ordering it in importance, controlling its density.
Any “grammar of forms” that would hope to help designers do their job would have to be one that took into account both of these functionalities: space as form(ed) qua space, and space as a medium of information transmission, where that information is itself sedimented in space in a way that tells of its sources-where they are, what they are, and even why" (page 12)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Asking to a Akemi Mochizuki, a professional scripter in S.L about how she finds scripting software of open source environments

Akemi Mochizuki (Draceina Pinion avatar) is a professional scripter who makes scripts for several individuals and enterprises and who also design educational tools which can be seen and tried by using the demos that she has displayed on her shop, Dracy´s Virtual Shop at Second Life.
She designs devices oriented to satisfy several needs and purposes in Virtual Environments, especially, intendeed to facilitate the learning/tecahing process of a language in this Virtual Worlds. Thus, their tools are being used by Schools set in Second Life as ESL (English as a Second Language, SL) or by marbachgerman2go.

Because Akemi Mochizuki is the best scripter I meet, I wanted to know her opinion about how she finds scripting at Virtual Worlds of Open Source. I have entered in some of them and, for me are pretty similar to Second Life but I have not enought knowledge of scripting for knowing if that Virtual Worlds are offering the same options than Second Life.

G._Akemy, as professional scripter at Second Life, can you enumerate for the problems, if any, you find when scripting at Virtual Worlds of Open Acesss?

A._Actually S.L script is better than the one which can be used at Virtual Worlds of Open Source but this seems logic because these Virtual Environments are under developing. When comparing Second Life with Virtual Worlds of Open Source from the scripter perspective, I found that the order of linking changes in Virtual Worlds of Open Source differs from the one used in Second Life. Apart from this fact, it is important to point out that some function of LSL cannot be used now in those Virtual Environments. For example, if I use 'llDie()' in the script, objects often fail to vanish in opensim. One example of other option which does not work is the touch_start one.
Furthermore, in SL I could use many notecards in one prim. This feature is very important.For illustrating what is for, I give you an example: Using many notecards in a prim, allows ne to save many questions in one tool. For example, in S.L. DRACY CROSSWORD PUZZLE can has 30 puzzles saved but in open source just one.

As Akemy has stated, the fact that scripting of Open Source Virtual Worlds is not so developed as the one used in Second Life, is not of surprise when taking into account that these Virtual Environments are under development. Taking into account the possibilities that these virtual environments are now offereing as allowing to import/export items by using Imprudence viewer (we must have all the permissions of the items) or as permitting to be teletransported between grids by using the hypergrid protocol. (this means, using one avatar, with its inventory), allows to think that these platforms will have more users each day and perhaps we see, a convergence of platforms whereby we can use our avatar with its inventory for entering in all of them, without need to follow a long process. In this way, the communication between users, facilitated by channels as the mail lists as Opensim users mail list would make the process easier.

On the other hand, it seems not fair that for exporting all the items we have in Second Life, we must use a device as Stored Inventory which, surprisingly or not is done by Linds and for which we must pay for. Would be more reasonable to can export our items and our contacts freely between these Virtual Environments because there are many time invested and experience obtained that is needed to protect.

Further readings:

Mochizuki, A.(2009) Description of two educational tools for Second Life:
Memorize and Categorize.
IV Congress of Cibersociety

Mochizuki, A. (2009) Notes about Linden Scripting Language (LSL) and its possible applications. IV Congress of Cybersociety.

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