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					Social Issues

7 April 2008
   Schedule changes
   Grading rubric
Social Issues
 Culture of simulation
 Problems of overuse (Internet
 Social networks
Culture of Simulation
   Sherry Turkle, “cybershrink”
       MIT initiative on technology and self
       Seminal work on people and technology
       1996 interview reading
   Questions
       What about the Internet has changed
        since 1996?
       What is a simulation?
Simulations in Physical Space
   Shopping mall: simulation of main street
       Streets of Southpoint!
   Neighborhood developments?
       Sustainable village communities
   Television locations
       Cheers
       … and bars that are simulations of the simulation
   Zoos and theme parks: Busch Garden, World
   Disneyland Main Street USA
   The reality
And more specialized
 – Military
   • Army simulations
   • War games, simulations, exercises

 – Medical
   • Center for Medical Simulations
Simulations in Cyberspace
   Games
   Training: flight simulator
   Medical: Virtual human
   Social networks
   Chat rooms
   Multi-player online environments
   Instant messaging

   Why are these simulations?
Define “Simulation”
      The imitative representation of
         functioning of one system

   by means of the functioning of another

    What variables are important?
What is good about simulations?
   Safe place to
       Learn
       Experiment
   Opportunity to try things that you couldn’t
    otherwise try
       Different places and times
       Expensive facilities
       Danger
What is bad about simulations?
   False sense of capability
       CPR without real practice
       Flying an airplane in bad weather
   Can spoil the real thing
       “Disneyland effect”
       Nature videos or zoos
       Travelogs
       The Veldt (Ray Bradbury)
           discussion
Psychologically Speaking…
   Desensitization
   Psychological distancing
   In real life:
       War: Cold Evil (pilot’s dilemma)
       Enron?
Impacts in Cyberspace
   Stalking, teasing, …
   Rape in Cyberspace (1998)
   And now crossing into the real world
       Internet hunting
       Click Click you're dead
   Returning to more ordinary examples…
   How did early man communicate?
   Progression of tools
   What seems more personal? More real?
   “Immersive simulations of real life social
   “global classrooms”
How communications has changed
  “We build our ideas about what is real
  and what is natural with the cultural
  materials available.”
                    high school student, 1996
How would perception of reasonable ways to
  communicate differ over the years:
      phone (1930s)
      Internet (1996)
Simulations in Cyberspace
   With your own persona:
       Create communities and societies
       Communication with friends
   Are these really “you”?
   Do you have different persona?
       In “real life”?
       In cyberspace?
   Is cyberspace “real”?
How humans react to simulations….
          Aibo vs. real dog
          KISMET!

   • What does the Uncanny Valley refer
     – The Undead Zone…
     – Crossing the valley
Meeting people online
   Facebook, Myspace, blogs, chats
Virtual World Assignment
   Zwinky

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