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Category: Uncategorized

Be more open

Recently I have been struggling with being told to be “Open”. The blog I am hoping to post this on used to be very popular and I would write every week. In that period, I used to write under a daft name to hide the fact is was me who was writing it, I’m not sure if that effected how open I was being, but I used to feel that it meant that spelling mistakes or poorly though out ideas where not mine, but belonged to my character. Around five years ago it became quite clear that I was going to lose my job, and the advice from colleagues/job centers/careers staff was ‘to be more open’. In a panic, and wanting to have something to show to potential employers, I changed all my online profiles from my characters handles of Paddytherabbit to my real name. Since changing from Paddy to…

Simulacra or Surrogates?

Facebook reminds me of my commitments. I noticed there are a few birthdays today, I haven’t seen many of them in years, but I still must say Happy Birthday and leave a string of cake emoji’s. There are some other prompts too; it has been 5 years since I went to place X with person Y, I should share this memory. Somebody else has just downloaded the messenger app, Facebook reminds me this is a person I know and should send them a message. I barely recognise them, they were a friend at school but they look different now. Off the top of my head I can remember about 5 birthdays, there are about 15 birthdays that I know the month but not the exact day. In the offline world it is my knowledge that creates a commitment. I know people’s birthday, who they are, what they look like. I…

Hate

drivel   Back in September, I remember reading this Guardian post detailing the shenanigans of Palmer Luckey, The Oculus Rift founder who had been funding users of social network site Reddit to post pro-trump images and text. What struck me most about the article, was just how little information was actually in it, the gist was ‘young tech guy funds hate and he doesn’t care that his technology might not be used for good.’ The pro-Trump and anti-Hilary images were posted on Reddit, which is a ‘forum of forums’ and has a wide range of users with different opinions. What I find really interesting about forums and sites such 4chan and Reddit is that while the communications on there are very complex, they generate a simple narrative that explains what the forum represents, but by the time that narrative reaches a wider audience it is part of an in-joke that…

The ascent

“Through the prescience of the great oracle (then known as Prism), Donald Trump saw a threat to humanity. The dependency on algorithms would create a lack in exploration and growth of our souls, creating a stagnation that would eventually mean the end of the humanity. Trump decided that the way forward to surviving was to teach the humans new skills through bad example and came up with a strategy he called ‘El oro de la pared’.  While the Trump rule had many bad examples that taught the human race well, there are two main ones that saved humanity: The first stage of the plan was to refuse action on climate change. Trump set the stage for an age of suffering, which would become known as the ‘Gran Hambruna’. Without any action from the United States the world fell in to a mass climate change. A great famine on Earth led…

Us and Them

I don’t have a point, writing drivel just helps. I had hoped we would stay. Britain woke up on Friday morning to be congratulated by racists and fascists, they thought it was great news that we were leaving the EU. Hate crimes rose, the market crashed and the Leave campaign started to simply deny that any of the things they promised were actually promises. Within hours on social media the response from the Remainers was to shove this in the faces of Leavers. The angry posts followed a two step thought process: Either Leavers were racist/fascist, because the French National Front approve of your actions Or, if they were not racist then they must be stupid, as things had happened just as experts had told them. The promises have already unraveled and markets already crashed. Leavers said ‘we are not racist or stupid’ and logged off. While offline, some Leavers…

The classroom panopticon effect

This was supposed to be a response to the best and worst of educational technology, But ended up a ramble. In 1999 I was in my 3rd year at a high school that despite having a couple of tennis courts, swimming pools and various state of the art drama/music rooms somehow only managed to fund a single computing suite with machines running Windows 3.1.   In your 3rd year at high school your parents are called in by different tutors to discuss how you are doing in their class and the possibilities of you picking it as a subject for GCSE . Despite the school refusing to believe that computers had a place in the future, that Windows versions past 3.1 were clearly unnecessary and there actually being no I.T options to pick, I was dreading my parents seeing my I.T tutor. All I remember from the I.T classes at this…

Things I’m not sure I want to share. #1. Salt and Sanctuary

This post originally had lots of images, videos and screenshots. I’ve taken them out because you will have more fun in Salt and Sanctuary without seeing them. I’ve recently been playing a game called Salt and Sanctuary and I’m absolutely loving it, in fact it’s been a long time since I’ve played a game and thought to myself ‘I’m really enjoying this’. The feeling has made me wonder, what exactly makes me really enjoy a game and why do I play games if I’m not really enjoying them? I don’t play games as much as I used to, and in some ways I think I enjoy games more because of that. When you lap up every big AAA title you really see just how similar they are, how little difference there is between FIFA 12, FIFA 13, FIFA14, FIFA, 15 and FIFA 16 except the latest monetization technique, when game…

Scrapping data from dbpedia for trivia game snippet

I’ve been trying to write scripts that can automagically create revision games for a while now. One of the problems I have is getting datasets of questions together. I’ve been sniffing around wikipedia/dbpedia as a way to populate revision game questions. Recently I’ve been interested in building ‘What is it games?’ where you are given a series of clues and then you try and play a hangman style game to guess what the thing is. Wikipedia seems a decent data source for this because you can get data about relationships between things very easily. I’m still in the process of getting my unity game together, but I thought I’d get my spreadsheet ready early so I have something to play around with. Sticking with the wrestling theme I’m leaving my query here for later. SELECT * WHERE { ?person rdf:type <http://dbpedia.org/ontology/Wrestler> . ?person rdfs:label ?name . ?person dbp:birthPlace ?birthplace .…

Glamorous Games

I’ve had a few attempts attrying to describe a view on gamification in my blog, but never really felt like I’ve got it across very well. Many academics talk of persuasive games and draw on the themes of rhetoric, but I’m not sure that is the same thing. Plus I’m not sure how I feel about the term, especially since the people deploying them have taken the term as a badge of honour. After a long discussion with my professor I was simply told to look up the word ‘glamour’ in a dictionary, “scratch that” he then said and proceed to recommend the Jamieson’s Dictionary of the Scottish Language and that I look up ‘glamer’, the word he claimed it derives from. I did:   To be honest I’d never really thought what the word ‘glamour’ really meant. I just thought it meant something was really cool you know –…

Who are the Fine Brothers and why is there a fuss?

If you ever procrastinate on Youtube you may have come across ‘reaction’ videos, these videos rang from setting somebody up to do something and recording their reactions, such as making them play a scary game , recording reactions of audiences at events  or simply recording yourself playing a game/watching a movie and reacting to it. The most popular reaction videos belong to a bunch of performers called The Fine Brothers, they have a popular format where they show kids/teens/elders pop culture stuff and then ask them questions about what they have just seen. for example their last video was entitled TEENS REACT TO FULLERHOUSE, was released 2 days ago: At the time of writing YouTube reported that this video had slightly over 2.3 million views, that is 2.3 million views over 2 days. The Fine Brothers release 3-4 videos a week, each getting millions of views. One of the ways…

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