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The Media Science

2003 Edge.org World Question 161

Posted by timothy
from the what-would-sauron-do dept.
murky.waters writes "The responses to this year's Edge.org question have been published; basically, people were asked to imagine they were nominated as White House science adviser and the President asked them what are some important issues in science and what we should do about them. There are 84 responses, ranging in topic from advanced nanotechnology to the psychology of foreign cultures, and lots of ideas regarding science, technology, politics, and education. The responses were written by academics (e.g. Roger Schank, Marvin Minsky), journalists (Kevin Kelly), Nobel Laureates (Eric Kandel), and others (Alan Alda). Some of responses are politically loaded but the majority has either a more specialised proposal, or general remarks about our world. Many are absolutely fascinating: funny, insightful, interesting, hell even informative. ... One of the most public supporters of the Singularity 'religion', Ray Kurzweil, is a regular at Edge, and currently discussed issues range from said transhumanism to early-universe theories, and many other kinds of exciting and novel science."
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2003 Edge.org World Question

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  • Re:Ecology! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2003 @07:50AM (#5024372)
    Yeah, whatever.

    I bet you were one of those red-green leftwing hippies who protested against bringing US nuclear missiles to Germany and UK. Too confrontational! Pure warmongering! Star Wars? Utter insanity!

    And now, after the totalitarian Soviet communism has collapsed, it has turned out that Reagan and the hard line Presidents before him were right. Confronting the evil by a convincing show of force as well as isolating it led to its downfall. All those missiles, all that Star Wars spending paid off. Democracy prevailed.

    Within two decades when the confrontation with the Islamic world is over and the Western democracy has again prevailed and the global warming has been revealed as a left-wing scam, you will see that President Bush was right all along.

  • Re:Ecology! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zathrus (232140) on Monday January 06, 2003 @10:18AM (#5024945) Homepage
    You realize that Clinton rejected Kyoto first, right? This is not a Bush administration thing. Kyoto pretty much screws the US while letting the worlds biggest polluters off scott free. It also has a time period that just so happens to exclude the emissions from the Eastern Bloc nations -- which would utterly screw most of Europe (especially Germany).

    The reason the US won't ratify it is because it's not a fair treaty.

    As for Mr. Goodwin's suggestions -- I'd love to know where he got the Iraq bit, since it's not like the US is going to have outright control of the oil supplies regardless of what occurs in the next few months (and while I'm not in favor of an invasion currently, I don't see how we're going to avoid it... Bush has Iraq on the brain, and all I can hope is that there's some intelligence information that's supporting the inanity currently going on).
  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@earthlin k . n et> on Monday January 06, 2003 @01:33PM (#5026237)
    That could work... but not in recent commercial games. The amount that is learned on a commercial game is, frankly, trivial. The games are intentionally designed so that extra-game activities, e.g., auto-players, are discouraged. Even something as basic as hacking the items carried is no longer entry level. (Yes, I understand the reasons. The reasons don't change the facts.)

    So... video games aren't technical learning experiences. They mainly test/devlop? (depending on the game) reaction time or strategic sense. And even these are quite limited in nature.

    Rogue, NetHack, FreeCiv ... those are games that could be learning experiences. But they aren't designed to be so. Robo-Wars (build a fighting robot, and play it against others -- I may have the wrong name) is a real learning game. Perhaps too much so, as this makes it less popular.

    Were you to assert that video games could be quite educational, I would agree. But as long as they are commercial and market driven, then don't expect it. "Thinkin' Things" is probably as good as you are going to get. Or, perhaps, "Julliard Musical Adventure". I have to admit that it was pretty good. But it wasn't anything that I would have played for fun, where I've seen Thinkin' Things played for fun.

    Or for a really good game, how about "HyperCard!". The color was only black and white, and the sound was add-on, but it was a pretty good game. Good players got the true feel of programming as an adventure, and it was an easy transition from HyperCard to C or Java ... well, fairly easy. What? You say that wasn't a game? See how good it was!

    What is a video game? I used HyperCard to roll dice on the screen, to sail ships across the screen. Etc. But I did it in a way reminiscent of extreme programming (a term that hadn't yet been invented). OTOH, I was a programmer before I ever sat down to HyperCard. So perhaps it was only a game for programmers? No, there were lots of easy entry points.

    Letting HyperCard slide was one of Apple's worse mistakes. Not integrating color and sound was misunderstanding the nature of what they were selling. And ceasing to include it... the only plausible justification is that they'd let the code go unmaintained for too long. But this killed a large market for Apple, and drove away a large number of people who could have been developed into an environmentally bound set of programmers. They may be starting this up again with Carbon, I don't know. But the costs of building the community up almost from scratch are potentially quite high. And Apple no longer has the market share that it had.

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