Yesterday I joined an ISS research seminar. I have been out of the loop in so many things while writing my dissertation including what is happening in here. Yes, I lived in a complete volunteer exile. So, it was enriching and help me to actualize to hear about the work of diverse colleges, such as what Hanna Vrzáková, Victor Gonzalo and Harri Karhu have been doing.
Also the seminar allowed me to realized new game developments. I knew about their existence, but to hear from the developers its more enriching. Consequently, the session fed my energy on the preparation of my course on game design so that it can serve them 😉 Yes, I know, it is A LOT of work but I know it is WORTH it!
Another special insight was given on the talk of Dr. Debbie Watson from the School of Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. In addition to remind my time in Bristol at the GSoE, thanks to STELLAR :), the talk re-enforced the reflection I am having lately:
As important is to understand the bottom-up situation of phenomena, as it is to raise one’s voice with police makers, i.e. pay attention to the situation from up-bottom.
In other times I would say the week was busy, but actually all weeks are busy in different ways. In this week, my surroundings where at charge to teach me a lot of things 😉 As a summary:
Manzanita’s graphic card pass away (manzanita = my mac). But with Mikko we opened it and I can say I have seen a Mac inside. Mikko saved my data!!!!! 🙂 The future of manzanita still is uncertain.
In-depth week work with Christian. He came for one week visit, with the aim to help us to grow. Oh man! he really helped me to understand different angles of my research I have not think about first. Thank you! Here some memories of his trip.
On Wednesday I joined Mikko to the first workshop of the LieksaMyst’s editor. I enjoy how people is creative!!! and I also notice that my questionnaires are not the only LONG ones 😉
On Thursday we I was invited to meet some Monzambique visitors to my Prof. house, between the surprises is that I found Erkki was here (for some days), and I really connect with the guests. I hope we can do some stuff together in the future. One of our guests, has been living in Mexico, that was a connecting point, I admit! 🙂
On Friday a full day work at the Museum of Technology in Helsinki. I have write about this last September but I haven’t post it still. I should. I will do it soon. But I always learn with them 🙂
I submitted for publication the paper “Designing Hypercontextualized Games: a Case Study with LieksaMyst” YES!!!!!!! When I know the the bibliographic reference I will post it 🙂
Three main points create me conflict and/or impotence:
1) Digital technology is a powerful and fragile tool.
One of the reasons why I see it powerful is because it can connect ideas, reflections, experiences, without physical boundaries. One reason why I think it is fragile is because without infrastructure (besides accessibility and know how) is useless.
A pencil or even a crayon is less fragile than a mobile phone. For example it can survive better natural disasters than a whole wireless or electricity network require for a mobile phone to work. Things to think about….
2) We see only what we want to see, and what media allows us to see.
In the transition from Sept to October 2009, millions of lives have been changed due to natural disasters just in Asia alone. My records only have the following events:
Earthquake: 30 Sept and 1 Oct – Earthquake Sumatra Padang. This one shocks me specially after I lived the earthquake of Mexico 1985, Yes, I have a trauma about it, but one can’t forget these type of events. This video of the land-sliding from the earthquake in Padang just freezes me, wondering if deforestation played a role.
Typhoons: Late Sept. Ketsana hit specially the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. Even countries with “strong” infrastructure are being affected as Japan with another typhoon.
Those are only few tragedies, no idea how many are present. And yes I know natural disasters are always present, I shouldn’t get that surprise someone could say.
But what makes me wonder today is the press (at least the one that I usually read) hardly cover these events. Those sources of information are focusing in other matters as politics and fraud. Hmmmm…. if I remember well in December 2004, with the Tsunami where citizens of several western countries were victims, the same press I read had bigger coverage about this. I do not want to speculate, but…
… from what we are “allow” to see, we only see what we can see and want to see.
3) We have information about climate change through digital and not digital formats. But how many of this information indicates how to change our behaviors to diminish this.
Wondering who generates most of the CO2? who are the ones who demand more raw material to produce “x”? Who are the ones who flight? who are the ones who waste heater and air conditioner in their houses? Who consumes most of the meat produced overseas? Who are the ones who use driers? who uses a car only for one person? how many products wrap with layers of plastic do we buy?, who produces most of the e-Waste? ….
Each one of our actions are like a grain of sand. One grain might look insignificant, but all together form wonderful beaches. The same happened with disasters.
Even that I am a privilege person and have access to quality of information about how to be a better human for my planet, and I want to help and do things right. My trace of CO2 surely supports the actual disasters in Asia, and other countries….. I declare myself guilty 🙁
No related to environment, but related with lack of understanding to take proper action. This year I have 8 papers rejected in a row. I appreciate the referees’ feedback as they had stressed that focus is my main problem. I knew it, but I can’t fix it yet. Should I declare myself guilty too?
*** All these makes me think….
It is not enough to get the information on how to improve something. It needs to be adapted to the reality of the listener, to support as much as possible the understanding of such information. Learners are smart, and if it is close to their ZPD they will do fine and get into proper action.
But how can I change/improve “X” if the information that I seemed to understand is not linked to my reality?, less to the ZPD. The clearer this information is adapted to my reality, the possibility increases to get close to my ZPD, and then move in some direction instead to follow an inertia.
It is not matter that others do my job or live my life, or lecture me about something. I want to understand how to improve and do things. I would imagine this happens with all the topics, and with all the persons.
*** Do not give up….
If I succeed with myself one day, I am optimistic that maybe I could support others to success by themselves afterward.
My research, baptized as Hypercontextualized Game, seeks to create awareness in-site about specific subject matter. It is paradoxical, right? I want to be an expert of my weakest side.
Then, my conflict makes me feel helpless when I know with my mind and my heart that something must be done. I kind of figure it out a proposal to take action to solve something, but I can’t succeed to make my message clear neither match my actions with my intentions.
My conflict makes me feel helpless when I see how humans are working constantly to make of our planet a mess. I do not understand humans and I do not want to do the same, but at the end I am one of them doing the same 🙁
My believe is that all what surround us interacts with us at some level, but it is not that simple to listen to it or be aware about this. E.g. within humans we can find that some people is louder than others, then it is easy to hear (no necessarily listen) some individuals than others. The same happens with all what surround us. E.g. a flower can “talk” to us and tell us that it has not enough sun, it takes us some days to understand its message but it talks clearly about it. Of course a dog will be louder than a flower. Sadly enough, we humans are not train to listen to different frequencies and rhythms. We focus on our senses in a very narrow bandwidth (we make it even smaller than what it is).
Even with our lovely technology, we are not “train” to listen to it carefully, give time to it. E.g. when suddenly one of our applications is not working in a way I expect, (aka it is not being interactive and friendly with me from my perspective), I can say: it does not work. Then patiently Mikko and Teemu say: “what is the system telling us?”. We go to different (debug) windows to see what our system complains about.Then the NO-INTERACTIVE system from MY perspective, actually is an INTERACTIVE system when we listen to it from another perspective.
This starts to be interesting….
Maybe even Newton could fit here. His third law is my favorite one: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. One of the main concept to understand within this law is friction. Btw friction is not a simple concept, but it is crucial in order to understand the balance of systems.
How Newton could fit here? Well, in a very naive way I would say: all action has a reaction somewhere, not only in “physical terms”. Then, can we call that reaction is interactive?If interactive is “acting on each other”.
Some days in my home city invited me to write about context. My reflection started with the wish to transmit at least a tiny little bit of what was happening there. Some reflections, ideas, inclusive emotions, but unfortunately it was not possible to do so. Even if I was an expert of narrative or qualitative descriptions (which I am not), any outstanding description could have make just that: describe things.
Each context is so wide, full and rich, that any attempt to enclose it with words it just limits the transmission of the experience dramatically. It leaves just a “interpretation” of experiences.
I started to see that each single moment of life encloses several moving systems. Those systems are interwoven between them and between a diversity of persons, situations and other moments to actually create the actual context. In few words, my reaction at that moment was: it is impossible and/or misleading to isolate things with the only goal to understand them, (when talking about culture, human behavior, experiences, etc.) It is a must to understand the whole picture first, or at least more than one dimension in order to go later to the details. If I start just with one small piece is not representative enough.
If we are only describing one element according to our understanding, then we are only comparing it with our actual reality and/or context, which btw might be complete different than the reality we seek to understand. We only are looking things in the way we want to look at them, and when you look something, for sure you are not observing something else.
Furthermore, I put in doubt the idea to understand the whole if we do not get involved and immerse in the world we seek to understand. Be just an observer is not good enough for understand experience, unless we are asking for the experience of the observers, not of the actors. Some experiences can’t be understood without being lived. And even the understanding of those, only happen through time and when we are ready to understand the experiences.
For me, right now, until we make the reality we are studying or sharing, part of our reality, it is at that moment when perhaps we will be able to understand a bit more clearer the context, and be able to communicate some of the details that form part of it. Otherwise any of the context definitions or relative descriptions stay in a some kind of superficial level of interpretation, even if they are very sophisticated and complex the concepts, still are not able to capture it.
where is up & where is down?. Can the reference change according to the context? 🙂
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