308 results for “virtual-for-real”

Netflix: Symbol of quarantine

Claire Ouwejan
March 17th 2020

Since the 16th of March 2020, the government of the Netherlands applied new measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools, cafes, restaurants and sport clubs will remain closed untill 6 April 2020 and people are advised to work from home, if possible. This “quarantine” will be held in place for at least three weeks.

Thence, I am homebound as well. Resulting in, time lost to traveling to and from work, spent on coffee and lunch breaks …

How emojis represent the past, present and future within Next Nature

Britta de Vries
March 5th 2020

It's that time of year again; the Unicode Emoji 13.0 has announced that 117 new emojis are to be implemented in the second half of 2020. It got us curious of what these new emojis may say about a lived experience in our technological environment — our next nature.

The past: Tools

Throughout the years technology has come far and has helped us design our tools and next natural habitats, such as a hut to live. Stone tools became primitive …

This artist carried 99 smartphones and caused a virtual traffic jam

Claire Ouwejan
March 2nd 2020

“Google choose the fastest route to home.” Today, drivers are better informed about routes and traffic than ever before. Using 'mapping apps', drivers can see traffic before their drive in realtime.

But what happens when these virtual streets are shaded in dark red, warning drivers of a traffic nightmare? Here's how an artist wheeled around 99 smartphones in a cart to create a virtual traffic jam.

How mapping apps work

Due the usage of the mapping apps mentioned above, drivers …

How Pokemon are affected by climate change

Ruben Baart
November 20th 2019

You know climate change is real when dead coral Pokemon start to wash up on (virtual) beaches. Behold, Cursola, world’s first dead coral Pokemon.

On the origins of Cursola

While Pokemon has become a cultural phenomenon since its release in 1996, the media franchise maintains its relevance today.

Let's take a brief look at Cursola’s backstory—it more or less aligns with what climate change is doing to coral on Earth.

"Found in the warm shallow waters of southern seas, Corsola …

The new Next Nature book is here!

NextNature.net
May 28th 2019

? For pictures of the book launch, head to this page.

We live in a world in which we control the biology of a tomato at such precision, you could think of it as a product of technology, instead of a product of nature. Think about it, from genetics to breeding; a simple tomato isn’t remotely as simple as you might think. Technological advances allow our daily ingredients to be grown bigger, faster and better than ever before.

Conversely, in …

Three ways virtual reality is revolutionizing teaching

John Pickavance
May 14th 2019

You’ve probably heard how Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change everything: the way we work, the way we live, the way we play. Still, for every truly transformative technology, there are landfills of hoverboards, 3D televisions, Segways, and MiniDiscs – the technological scrap it turns out we didn’t need.

It’s reasonable to approach VR with a degree of scepticism, but allow me to explain three ways in which VR can transform the way we learn, and why we, as …

Next hospitals: How virtual reality is shaping the future of medicine

Jack Caulfield
September 12th 2018

And it’s already showing incredible results. VR transports us to faraway worlds without even asking us to leave our chairs. Yet we usually hear about it in the context of video games or the art world. Now, the world of healthcare is starting to wake up to the possibilities on offer. Here are some of the innovators who are tapping into the power of simulations to bring more humane and effective treatments to patients in need.…

The Dictionary of Online Behavior adds a virtual layer to your vocabulary

Ruben Baart
June 21st 2018

To some extent, it's a chicken-and-egg question: Are you unable to think about things you don't have words for, or do you lack words for them because you don't think about them? For digital natives, the online realms may become more familiar than aspects of the ‘real’ world - and that's where the Dictionary of Online Behavior comes in; a growing library for the avid social media user that you need to know to get by.…

Face the future of intimacy with Kiiroo

Ruben Baart
May 12th 2018

Meet the teledildonics, an ingenious species of bi-directionally controlled sextoys from the future, available today. These touch emulating vibrators find each other on social sex networks to, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, perform two-way interactive sessions that interface controls to the stimulation device(s) located at, well, your body. …

Interview: Jeremy Bailenson on his latest book “Experience on Demand”

Katherine Oktober Matthews
May 1st 2018

Virtual reality has come a long way. Like most technological leaps, it’s had a huge push from the entertainment industry, but current applications span a wide range of social and academic fields. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has just released his new book, Experience on Demand. We briefly spoke with him about some of the most game-changing applications of this fascinating medium - as well as the risks.…

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Since the 16th of March 2020, the government of the Netherlands applied new measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools, cafes, restaurants and sport clubs will remain closed untill 6 April 2020 and people are advised to work from home, if possible. This “quarantine” will be held in place for at least three weeks.

Thence, I am homebound as well. Resulting in, time lost to traveling to and from work, spent on coffee and lunch breaks with colleagues and sports are now changed into “spare time”. Time which should be filled with leisure and entertainment.

Finding comfort in screens

Since we are bound to our own homes, and considering the fact not many homes include swimming pools, fitnessrooms and/or tennis courts, many people find their comfort in screens; enjoying the endless scrolling on Instagram and Netflix marathons from the sterile safety of their couch.

Where Netflix and chill used to be a euphemism for sexual activity, either as part of a romantic partnership or as casual sex, it is now starting to gain a different meaning. As people are staying in, while endlessly streaming on Netflix, Netflix is gradually becoming a symbol of quarantine. A proof of abiding the government rules.

Knock knock, are you still watching?

This higher demand in streaming services has Netflix asking their users the following question: “Are you still watching?”

The question pops up after every three episodes — as any avid Netflix user would know. This way, Netflix ensures that the user will not consume unnecessary internet data; as streaming services cost a lot of energy.

In this peculiar period of quarantine, it seems natural to us to turn into a binge-heavy-couch-potato. Therefore this question seems superfluous. And as a result, naturally, people turn to social media. Here, screenshots of this question are being shared, commented and ridiculed with others in their networks.

A sign of life

As more and more people abide by the advise of staying at their homes for the coming few weeks, this screenshot confirms that the person who posted it complies to this advice. Think of it as sharing a photo of your ballot paper as a proof you have voted (in which the ballot paper is a symbol of democracy).

Therewith the screenshots can be seen as a symbol of survival. Similarly to the confirmation to Netflix’s question “Are you still watching?”, this question is to verify whether the user is still watching. The confirmation to this question then, can be seen as a proof of life.

Because if you can confirm that you are still watching, you instantly confirm you are not dead.

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It's that time of year again; the Unicode Emoji 13.0 has announced that 117 new emojis are to be implemented in the second half of 2020. It got us curious of what these new emojis may say about a lived experience in our technological environment — our next nature.

The past: Tools

Throughout the years technology has come far and has helped us design our tools and next natural habitats, such as a hut to live. Stone tools became primitive extentions of our bodies and the basis of man's development.

The usage of such emojis in daily messaging brings with it the question: when would someone use this emoji? Perhaps, you could use the hut when communicating that you are going on a digital detox; this emoji demonstrates how modern technologies return us to the tribe.

The present: Animals

A second subgroup that is observable are the emojis of animals. Some of these animals are extinct and are brought back to life via virtual technology - in the shape of emojis. These emojis allow us to remember the existence of these animals and to conserve the past.

However, these emojis also allow us to reflect upon the present. For instance, with new technological developments surrounding the Frozen Zoo and the ability of cell manipulation these now extinct animals may be brought back to life in the future. However, not only extinct animals can be brought back to life with this technology but also animals that are endangered by climate change, such as the polar bear, can in the future be resurrected.

When someone mentions they are still using Facebook the mammoth can be used to communicate their prehistoric choice of social medium. After all, TikTok is the hot stuff now, right?

The future: Gender-inclusivity

Noticeable within the emojis of Unicode 13.0 are the non-gender representations. This correlates closely to the new options technology provides us such as an artificial womb for the creation of a family. One of the projects here at Next Nature, Reprodutopia, brings to question exactly these kinds of new options afforded by technology.

Therefore, we here at Next Nature therefore hope to see people use this emoji in correlation with non-gender reproduction. Welcome to Reprodutopia!

Embracing the unknown

Finally, a fun take-away from analysing these emojis was the emoji called ‘people hugging’ which showed two blobs instead of people. Perhaps what the Unicode is trying to communicate with this is that they not only embrace people but also other species, such as robots. Perhaps this will encourage the robots to be embraced by our communicative tools as well in the near future. We can't wait for it...

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Google choose the fastest route to home.” Today, drivers are better informed about routes and traffic than ever before. Using 'mapping apps', drivers can see traffic before their drive in realtime.

But what happens when these virtual streets are shaded in dark red, warning drivers of a traffic nightmare? Here's how an artist wheeled around 99 smartphones in a cart to create a virtual traffic jam.

How mapping apps work

Due the usage of the mapping apps mentioned above, drivers can select different routing styles, for example the fastest, the shortest and the ecological option. In today's society the fastest routing style is preferred the most and in some mapping apps even set as default option.

These apps detect traffic jams and calculate routing options to your destination. Google Maps is able to do this because the app uses your real-time location data, which it anonymously sends back to Google. The company uses this information to calculate how many cars are on the road and how fast these cars are moving. When it detects a traffic jam, the app will suggest an alternative route.

Due the alternative routes, residents of small neighborhoods complained about increased traffic. Cars end up jamming roads in residential areas and school zones. Endangering children who used to play in these calm streets. As result, these apps even seem to influence housing markets.

So, if mapping apps have such power to change the visually aspect of our surroundings, like  housing, can’t we take the power back?

How an artists caused a virtual traffic jam

Artist Simon Weckert showed the power of the usage of Google Maps with his performance and installation Google Maps Hacks. Walking with a handcart filled with 99 smartphones through a city.

Questioning the power of mapping apps and the power we as humans have over them. Walking on empty roads Weckert and his 99 smartphones, all running the mapping app Google Maps, generated a ‘virtual traffic jam’.

Resulting in green streets turning red in the mapping app (Madrigal, 2018).Just like people use running apps to draw figures on virtual maps, and like Israeli airline El Al drew the outline of a boeing 474 to pay tribute to its last flight (Martin, 2019), Weckert shows how we can use the power of the mapping apps itself to change the visual aspect of the app itself.

It shows how our world and the virtual world are intertwining with each other, or, how simulations become more meaningful than the reality they represent.

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You know climate change is real when dead coral Pokemon start to wash up on (virtual) beaches. Behold, Cursola, world’s first dead coral Pokemon.

On the origins of Cursola

While Pokemon has become a cultural phenomenon since its release in 1996, the media franchise maintains its relevance today.

Let's take a brief look at Cursola’s backstory—it more or less aligns with what climate change is doing to coral on Earth.

"Found in the warm shallow waters of southern seas, Corsola requires clean water to live. If its habitat is dirty, the growths on its back become discolored and degenerate. However, when it is healthy, its growths regularly shed and grow back."

According to the Pokedex, Cursola came about after “sudden climate change wiped out this ancient kind of Corsola”.

The original version of the Pokemon Corsola

Corsola *was* originally a pink-and-blue coral-like creature that was first included in the ‘Gold' and ‘Silver’ versions of the popular video game from 1999.

Just last week the Pokemon Company introduced Pokemon ‘Sword’ and ‘Shield’, and just two days after its official release an avid player uploaded a battling guide video indicating “DON’T Evolve Galarian Corsola In Pokemon Sword and Shield!”

It appeared that Corsola had turned into a ghost.

The new version of the Pokemon Corsola and its final form: Cursola

New media, new habits

In the latest stage of Pokemon evolution, Corsola took on a new skin. Once a water/rock dual type (properties for Pokemon and their moves), Corsola is now a ghost type Pokemon, reminding us of the massive bleaching event that threatens the world’s coral reefs.

Apparently, Pokemon nowadays is the perfect medium to introduce kids to the environmental crisis. As Pokemon Go already had thaught us how virtual computer worlds are becoming increasingly ‘real’ and blended with our physical world; Pokemon Sword and Shield will teach us about rising ocean temperatures and the importance of living with coral and algae in a lively symbiotic bond.

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? For pictures of the book launch, head to this page.

We live in a world in which we control the biology of a tomato at such precision, you could think of it as a product of technology, instead of a product of nature. Think about it, from genetics to breeding; a simple tomato isn’t remotely as simple as you might think. Technological advances allow our daily ingredients to be grown bigger, faster and better than ever before.

Conversely, in our world, technology (such as the internet or the financial markets) has grown so complex and omnipresent, though, that it’s developed a natural dynamism of its own, and we need to understand it better.

How natural is nature, really?

We seem to have entered a magical garden that may either take us by surprise and astonish us, or knock us down.

At Next Nature Network, it is our goal to share a richer understanding of nature, and strengthen the connections between the biosphere and the technosphere. We believe that our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as opposed, they now appear to merge or even trade places.

Nature, in the sense of trees, plants, animals, atoms, or climate, is getting increasingly controlled and governed by man. It has turned into some sort of cultural category. At the same time, products of culture, which we used to be in control of, tend to outgrow us more and more. These ‘natural powers’ shift to another field.

We must therefore aim to make sense of this world and invent a fitting vocabulary by which we can grasp the meaning of things, in order to ensure a liveable existence for the people who come after us by charting a path for the future that’s desirable for both humanity and for the planet as a whole.

We apply the term 'next nature' for this culturally emerged nature.

Forward to nature!

In Next Nature: How Technology Becomes Nature Koert van Mensvoort takes you on an epic exploration through the wonderful world of culturally emerged nature. It shows how the problematic disbalance between nature and technology not only obscures our current view on society, but simultanously hinders the future. The book offers a detailed read on the Next Nature philosophy, alongside timely examples and scientific insights.

Gradually, you'll find an entirely new worldview unfolding that is not only more realistic, but also infinitely creative, optimistic and humane. From wild software to genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers: Nature changes along with us!

Join us for the Dutch book launch on Tuesday 4 June at De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam. Pre-order your Dutch copy here. Note: We are currently working hard on the English translation of the book. Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll keep you in the know!

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You’ve probably heard how Virtual Reality (VR) is going to change everything: the way we work, the way we live, the way we play. Still, for every truly transformative technology, there are landfills of hoverboards, 3D televisions, Segways, and MiniDiscs – the technological scrap it turns out we didn’t need.

It’s reasonable to approach VR with a degree of scepticism, but allow me to explain three ways in which VR can transform the way we learn, and why we, as psychologists, are so excited about it.

1. Exploring the unexplorable

VR has great potential as a classroom aid. We know learning is more effective when learners are actively engaged. Practical lessons that encourage interaction are more successful than those where content is passively absorbed. However, certain topics are difficult to ground in meaningful tasks that learners relate to.

From the enormity of the universe to the cellular complexity of living organisms, our egocentric senses haven’t evolved to comprehend anything beyond the scale of ourselves. Through stereoscopic trickery and motion tracking, VR grounds counter-factual worlds in the plausible. For the first time, learners can step inside these environments and explore for themselves.

Researchers are currently developing Virtual Plant Cell, the first interactive VR experience that’s designed for use in the classroom. Learners explore the alien landscape of – well – a plant cell. Wading through swampy cytosol, ducking and weaving around cytoskeletal fibres, and uncovering the secrets of the plant’s subcellular treasures: emerald green chloroplasts, where photosynthesis takes place, curious blobs of mitochondria, or a glimpse of DNA through a sychedelic nuclear pore.

The inner workings of the cell are grounded, allowing students to actively engage with the lesson’s content through meaningful tasks. They may work in pairs to give each other tours, or create a photosynthetic production line. Using intuitive gestures, students grab carbon dioxide and water molecules from around the cell, feeding them to chloroplasts to produce glucose and oxygen. With all the ingredients for active learning, the Virtual Plant Cell should be a particularly effective teaching aid. Indeed, preliminary data suggests it may improve learning over traditional methods by 30%.

2. VR for everyone and everything

It’s not just the learning of “what” something is that VR can assist with, but also the learning of “how” to do something. In psychology, we make the distinction between declarative (what) and procedural (how) knowledge precisely because the latter is formed by doing and can be applied directly to a given task. Put simply, the best way to learn a skill is by doing it.

Every learner’s goal is to cultivate a large enough range of experience that individual elements can be drawn upon to meet the demands of novel problems. To this end, a great deal has been invested into training simulators for high-risk skills such as flying and surgery. But there are many lower-risk skills which would benefit from simulation, there’s just been little reason to justify investment. That is, until now.

Advancements in mobile technology have led to high-definition VR sets for the price of a mid-range TV. Without the financial barrier, consumer-grade VR opens the door to improve skills training in settings where the real thing isn’t readily available.

One such example would be the Virtual Landscapes programme we’ve developed at the University of Leeds. A vital part of any geologist’s training is to learn how to conduct geological surveys. Armed with a compass, GPS and a map, geologists must navigate unfamiliar terrain to make observations, ensuring they make the most of their time. VR simulation can provide this in real time, with all the tools they’d expect to have out in the field.

The advantages are twofold. Student absences from field trips become less of a hindrance with access to an accurate simulation. The challenges of surveying a mountainous region differ from those in a tropical rainforest. It may be easier to see where you’re going, but your choice of path will be more constrained. VR can present these different biomes without students having to visit all corners of the Earth. The learner’s experience is expanded, and they’re better equipped to tackle novel problems in the field.

3. Wearing (a VR headset) is caring

VR may also hold the key to driving positive behavioural changes. One way we know we can achieve this is by eliciting empathy. VR uniquely allows people to experience alternative perspectives, even being dubbed the ultimate “empathy machine”. It’s a lofty claim, but early applications have shown promise.

A recent Stanford study showed that participants who experienced becoming homeless in VR displayed more positive behaviour towards homeless people – in this case, through signing a petition demanding solutions to the housing crisis – than those who engaged with the same materials on a traditional desktop computer. This effect persisted long after the study ended. Perhaps by experiencing firsthand the challenges faced by vulnerable groups, we can share a common understanding.

The power of VR to elicit empathy might be used to tackle an even wider range of social issues. We’ve been running VR outreach projects in schools to improve awareness around climate change. Through VR, young people have witnessed the melting of the icecaps, swam in the Great Barrier Reef to see the effects of receding coral on the ecosystem and rubbed shoulders with great primates whose habitats are being cleared by deforestation. Using VR, we hope to cultivate environmentally responsible behaviour before attitudes and habits become more fixed.

So there you have it. By bringing previously inaccessible experiences into the classroom, VR may accelerate the learning of abstract concepts, augment the acquisition of skills, and perhaps even be a force for social change. For now, the technological scrap heap can wait.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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And it’s already showing incredible results. VR transports us to faraway worlds without even asking us to leave our chairs. Yet we usually hear about it in the context of video games or the art world. Now, the world of healthcare is starting to wake up to the possibilities on offer. Here are some of the innovators who are tapping into the power of simulations to bring more humane and effective treatments to patients in need.

Virtual Therapy

At the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, therapeutic treatment is starting to look a little different. Brennan Spiegel, director of research for the hospital, is bringing VR to the patients.

Spiegel leads a team of researchers whose job is to develop ways to make medical use of virtual reality. The team have been trying out a variety of different techniques in therapeutics, and they say they’re excited with the results.

A VR environment designed to distract patients from their pain was found to be just as effective as the opioids which would usually be prescribed. Spiegel compares the technique to yoga and mindfulness meditation. Patients were even able to deal with pain more effectively after the treatment, not only during it. Is it possible to reach Zen in a virtual world, and then bring this mindset back with you?

VR also helped teach patients healthier lifestyle habits. A surreal VR program transports patients with high blood pressure to a virtual kitchen, where they are educated on which foods should be avoided to reduce sodium intake. Then they travel inside a human body, to see the effects of sodium from within.

After that, who wouldn’t be convinced to eat healthier meals?

The team also creates more specific environments to suit individual patients’ needs. One patient with Crohn’s disease was restricted to the hospital for a long period. When he told doctors that he found his grandmother’s living room to be a uniquely calm, healing environment, they had the solution. The team used a 360-degree camera to capture the appearance of this room, and transport the patient to it through VR.

Spiegel says that the young man was so comforted by this experience that he was brought close to tears.

Digital Surgery

But it’s not only patients who gain benefits from VR. Shafi Ahmed, from startup Medical Realities, wants to put virtual and augmented reality to use in the education of aspiring surgeons.

It won’t be the first time surgery has been given the VR treatment. But where previous surgical VR experiences were deliberately ridiculous games, Medical Realities intends to use the technology as a serious training tool.

Ahmed has worked with various options for spreading knowledge of surgical techniques. In 2014, he used Google Glass to stream a surgical training session to 14,000 surgeons around the world. In 2016, he livestreamed an actual instance of cancer surgery in VR, and used Snapchat glasses to record an operation in short clips and broadcast it to a huge global audience.

Now, the innovator is working with a VR company called Thrive, to create a virtual doctors’ office in which doctors from different locations can come together via VR to discuss patients and prognoses. The office even includes virtual copies of the relevant patient files.

A spirit of openness guides all Ahmed’s innovations. He says he is motivated by the fact that there is an enormous need for more surgeons in the world today. His solution? “I want to share knowledge with the masses.” VR presents the opportunity for long-distance learning, consultation, and – as headsets become more and more accessible – a miraculously wide reach.

Cybermedicine?

These are just a couple of examples of the way VR is currently reshaping medicine across the world. But we write about the present to imagine how the future might look. The humane technologies of VR seem set to continue expanding and innovating. It falls to us to imagine all the potential uses to which they could be put.

How will a visit to the doctor look in a few years’ time? Instead of driving to the clinic, you might simply put on your headset and meet your digital doctor. You might be able to practice healthy lifestyle choices in a virtual environment to train yourself for reality. You could relieve the boredom of a long hospital stay with adventures in VR.

[post_title] => Next hospitals: How virtual reality is shaping the future of medicine [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => next-hospitals-how-virtual-reality-is-shaping-the-future-of-medicine [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-07 12:59:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-07 11:59:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=91110 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 82061 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-06-21 19:34:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-21 18:34:56 [post_content] => To some extent, it's a chicken-and-egg question: Are you unable to think about things you don't have words for, or do you lack words for them because you don't think about them? For digital natives, the online realms may become more familiar than aspects of the ‘real’ world - and that's where the Dictionary of Online Behavior comes in; a growing library for the avid social media user that you need to know to get by.The Dictionary "offers new tools to reflect upon online reality," says TeYosh, the artist duo behind the project. "At this point, we still know the dual meaning of a friend and differentiate online friends from the ones we shook hands with," they explain."The ephemeral words in the DoOB describe a moment in history when the online relationships are still not a norm." But then again, you could ask yourself; how often do you read a message without opening it? Or, how do you even determine whether you're going out with that Tinder match before looking up their Instagram account?All too painful, yet all too real, The DoOB reflects upon the reality in which we are all living in right now, "[it's] a view from the perspective of the last generation that had a chance to grow up in the offline world and got the know the online world as something new, something other."Introducing a world's first on Nextnature.net: A visual interview - because sometimes, a picture says so much more than words.

How does the dictionary of online behavior relate to traditional dictionaries?

What's the response been like?

Have you seen people taking new approaches to deal with language ever since you launched the website?

Do you have a recent favorite piece of technology, virtual or physical, that helps achieve the language you're promoting?

What do you make of the lingual rituals we perform today? (LOL, ICYMI, WTF - and other acronyms)

Does our intuitive understanding of new language rely on analogies to old ones?

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of written language?

Will good writing become a niche specialty? And does this standardization of simple ‘language’ have a role in representing our actual society and reality?

What’s your favorite thing to do on the Internet?

What kind of gadgets do you use?

How would you describe the way that you think about the Internet?

What's wrong with the way we think or talk about the Internet? (if applicable)

What do you want from social media?

Finish the sentence: The Internet needs new

_____________________The Dictionary of Online Behavior is a project by NNN members TeYosh. Over the next few weeks, we will weekly publish a new word that describes behavior that has emerged on social networks and has changed our way of communication. Do you want to take part in the visual interview series? Join NNN and let us know! [post_title] => The Dictionary of Online Behavior adds a virtual layer to your vocabulary [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dictionary-of-online-behavior [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-29 10:57:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-29 09:57:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=82061 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81441 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-05-12 12:16:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-12 11:16:42 [post_content] => Meet the teledildonics, an ingenious species of bi-directionally controlled sextoys from the future, available today. These touch emulating vibrators find each other on social sex networks to, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, perform two-way interactive sessions that interface controls to the stimulation device(s) located at, well, your body.Tuning into our current research on how technology radically alters our attitude towards reproduction, gender, relationships and love in the 21st century, we caught up with the team from Amsterdam-based teledildonic manufacturer Kiiroo to learn more about modern dating, tactile sensations, and the future of long distance love. Because nothing says “I love you” like teledildonics.
"Intimacy is something that is constantly evolving"
The term ‘teledildonic’ stems from the mid-70s, and made a public entrance in the late 80s, to become the promise of 90s cybersex. Yet today, teledildonics still remain in a niche. It seems that the world is still not ready for this sexual revolution. However with the current trend of exponential technology, I wonder: How will exponential technology change our relationship with sex?Change is a powerful word. We will not change our current relationship with sex, but rather enhance it. Intimacy is something that is constantly evolving. People find new things that interest them in the bedroom, and when distance separates couples, people get creative with how they keep the spark alive.We went from phone sex, to Skype sex, and now the use of teledildonics to mimic sex, and we have even come so far as to have sex in 3D/VR in real time.Nothing will ever replace the power of emotion that you feel when you are with your loved one, but technology will definitely enhance those feelings and generate excitement.Early sexual, yet political technology (read: anti conception) disconnected sex from reproduction. New technology seems to disconnect intimacy from sex. How does the Kiiroo product contribute to a new societal perspective on recreational sex with technology?Kiiroo initially created the “Kiiroo Couple Set” in 2013/2014 to help bring couples who were in long-distance relationships closer together. As a company, we know that nothing will ever replace real intimacy, and the feeling of being with your significant other, but we created the closest possible form of intimacy that you can have through the Internet.Now, a few years later, our devices and technology are being used for an array of recreational activities. Webcam performers use interactive devices in live webcam performances, getting tipped by customers sends tips to the devices to make them vibrate or stroke in real time corresponding to tip amounts. We have interactive erotic content in 2D and VR that syncs seamlessly to all of our devices.
"We went from phone sex, to Skype sex, and now the use of teledildonics to mimic sex"
How does Kiiroo see the relationship between sex and technology? And how has this relationship changed over time, and how will it change in the future?We see the relationship between sex and technology as constantly evolving. Technology will never replace real intimacy, but it is opening the doors for self-expression, comfort and exploration in the bedroom and also promoting safer sex at the same time. We can learn a lot through technology, and technology will always be an accompaniment rather than a replacement.Technology holds the potential to facilitate intimate, yet emotional experiences from a distance. One way to put it, is that Kiiroo is facilitating such intimate encounters. How does technology add to our understanding of intersubjective relationships?Technology enables us to explore and connect with each other to a greater degree than before. It creates a platform or a safe space where we are able to interact with each other to a different degree than we were previously able to. Communication is experienced differently once there is touch involved from a distance; you get to communicate in ways you never thought you could. Thus, maintaining a closer bond with each other. You are also able to explore fantasy lands together where you are subjected to an array of choices to your liking in a safe and comfortable space.Also, as we have become more of a world that tends to live lives online, we find more comfort in learning about a person before actually being with them.Then how do tactile (technological) sensations play a role in governing our sexual activities?Being touched is one of the most personal intimate experiences someone can have. Combined with other senses, touch can be a very powerful experience leading to some powerful emotions and reactions. Multiple stimuli need to be stimulated in order to amplify sensations; touch, visual, audio - if you combine them the sensations become more real and powerful than if you just have one.If you think about smell for instance; smelling certain things can trigger certain emotions. Like when you smell a perfume that your ex-boyfriend used to wear, this triggers emotions – whether happy, sad, angry etc. Technology like the Kiiroo devices can do this too, it triggers those feelings that you couldn’t feel from your partner without them actually being in the same space.
"Sex toys are opening up the doors to new ways of experiencing sex"
How does modern dating influence new sexualities?Technology makes it easier to find likeminded people, who may have the same sexual preference as you, the same fetishes, the same beliefs and more. Forums, groups, etc. create same places for people to find likeminded others. It’s the same for interactive sex toys; people use Reddit, Craigslist and more to find other teledildonic toy users.Sex toys are opening up the doors to new ways of experiencing sex. You can have sex before you meet, with different people before meeting for the first time. Technology allows people to meet for the first time in a safe space.If for instance, you live in Australia, and your partner lives in London, the time difference is huge. Your partner in London can record an interactive session and you can play it in your time zone and your partner can play it in theirs. We’re blurring the boundaries.VR livestream in a new and exciting setting is very intimate too. You can decide how the room looks and influence all kinds of things that will make this experience closer and more intimate while your partner(s) are 1000kms away.Modern dating’s influence on new sexualities to sum up - we feel that technology is allowing us to explore who we are in such detail that it gives us the self-freedom to become who we needed to become, not who society told us to be, not how society told us to be, but who we are.
"Technology will enhance feelings of emotion and generate excitement"
In a world heavily filtered through screens, we start to experience intimacy (and touch, for that matter) as a virtual experience as well. Even relationships and love are becoming virtual practice. Are we striving for relationships in a not-so-relational world?The answer to this can be two-fold. we don’t think everyone will have a similar stance on technology in a long-standing relationship, and technology to forge new relationships.On one hand, we have technology that is aiding relationships that have been separated for one reason or another, to help them keep the spark alive for that period of time that they are apart. On the other hand, we have relationships that start through the Internet and transpire to become something more and more concrete or fizzle out at a point.We have become an Internet connected society, we are constantly on our phones, on the Internet and constantly watching our screens, it was inevitable that technology would creep its way into our bedrooms.We have become this society that spends more of our lives on Facebook or Instagram where we have found a space of belonging in a not so relational world. But we have to look at it in the eyes of someone who is not me or you, perhaps someone that has been isolated due to disease or disability or work, not everyone has found a sense of belonging in the world, so it’s only natural that we turn to technology to create a safe space or a comfortable space for ourselves in a world that may not be our own, but it is the world where we can be ourselves.
"It was inevitable that technology would creep its way into our bedrooms"
Teledildonics hold the psychopharmacological possibility of “de-gendering” the human brain using technology (considering gender is a construct). How do you relate to a post-gender world and how can teledildonics highlight the breadth and variety of human gender, sex, and sexuality?With VR for instance, you can be a gender that is not your own; you can see a woman or man’s body and experience how it is to see your body as a different sex. Combining it with devices you can enhance that experience. It will be possible to experience new adventures. VR games are even more de-gendered, you chose the person you want to be.The same goes with the devices, some (not all) can be used by multiple genders, for multiple reasons to stimulate different areas of the body and can connect to an array of interactive content that spans across an array of sexual preferences.How do you relate to the concept of objectification (using technology) in terms of human connectedness?Technology by definition objectifies as we do refer to technology as an object, it’s something we use not something we (not everyone) are connected to. If you as a person are not there, but there is a representation of you, I may not see you as real. But, if you are interacting with me and we form a connection through technology, there is ample room to form a connection.Modern sex toys seem to have evolved towards slick, high-end design (household) objects. What’s the main challenge of teledildonic design today?The entire industry is becoming more sex positive and more aware of the things we put in and around our body. High-end designs that may look like a speaker etc. are mainly for reasons of discretion at home. As sex and the use of sex toys is still quite a taboo topic in many households, we have found the more discreet, compact and travel friendly a device is, the more people will consider buying it. Some designs are so big and bulky that it deters people from even considering buying it.Materials also play a huge part in the design of high-end devices; medical grade silicone, biodegradable materials, body safe materials all need to be considered when creating new devices.
"If you stay ahead of the game, the undesirable futures can be avoided"
Linking to undesirable futures of new sex toys that are vulnerable to hackers, what would be undesirable for this teledildonic future? (even if it is commercially exploitable?)Over the last few years we have seen a number of teledildonic toys get hacked, and companies have had major issues with data being retrieved and more.As a company, it is vital to keep privacy and security as the utmost importance in order to avoid what we may consider undesirable futures.The most undesirable future would probably be being hacked, but that is why we work with a Bug Bounty Program and Hacker1 to ensure that our systems and devices are not vulnerable to negative external hacking.If you stay ahead of the game, the undesirable futures can be avoided.Does me using Kiiroo devices make me a cyborg?Haha definitely not. The definition of cyborg is “a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.” Our devices are not implanted into the body. [post_title] => Face the future of intimacy with Kiiroo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => teledildonics-kiiroo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-17 17:50:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-17 16:50:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81441 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81327 [post_author] => 1604 [post_date] => 2018-05-01 10:00:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-01 09:00:38 [post_content] => Virtual reality has come a long way. Like most technological leaps, it’s had a huge push from the entertainment industry, but current applications span a wide range of social and academic fields. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has just released his new book, Experience on Demand. We briefly spoke with him about some of the most game-changing applications of this fascinating medium - as well as the risks.
"For twenty years I’ve been running experiments on people to see how the mind responds"
The subtitle of your book Experience on Demand is about what virtual reality can do – do to us or for us?The subtitle says it all: “What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do”. My PhD is in psychology, and what I study is how technology affects the mind. For twenty years I’ve been running experiments on people to see how the mind responds and, more recently, building applications that leverage that which makes virtual reality such a special medium.What is it that makes it so special?It’s hard to talk about virtual reality; you have to do it. When it’s done well, it’s complete mental transportation. You’ve gone somewhere else, and it’s consuming and it’s spectacular and it’s a different type of experience. The second I tried it, and really thought about if this is what I could do for a living twenty years ago, I went all in.Think about virtual reality as an experience. You’re not doing a media activity; the brain tends to treat it in a similar way as an actual experience. You’ve got this magic machine that creates these experiences as if you were to go outside and actually do something, so it’s pretty spectacular to think we can artificially reproduce any experience imaginable.You remain an optimist about the technology?The book has now been reviewed by The New York Times, Nature, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. The critics feel I need to be more doom-and-gloom and should hate Silicon Valley a bit more. And I do hear that critique, but it’s my true hope that I can, in some small way, shape what people do and how they think about the medium to ensure a more positive outcome.My job is to ensure that the good use cases emerge and not the gratuitous ones. When Stanford students come into my office with an idea—they’ve all got start-up ideas, because we’re in Silicon Valley—probably nineteen out of twenty times, we decide it’s better to use another medium than virtual reality. So, I’m an extremely cautious advocate.
"My job is to ensure that the good use cases of VR emerge and not the gratuitous ones"
What are some of those good use cases?We do a lot of work on climate change. Can you imagine, not in your head, but to viscerally experience what your city is going to look like when flooding and droughts and more extreme storms happen? We do work on reducing prejudice, so imagine walking a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. You look down and you become a different skin color or become a different gender, and you experience prejudice first hand.We do lots of work where you can do the impossible, where you can create experiences that the brain treats as real but are very difficult to achieve in the real world. We then ask: how can you use that to change the way people behave, or the way they conserve resources, or the way they treat other people?And what about the risks?Despite the critiques of the media, Chapter 2 is all about the downsides. Things like becoming addicted to these experiences that are always perfect, or becoming a little simulator-sick or nauseous because you’ve been in there for too long, or most poignantly, walking into walls or stepping on cats. We had a first death unfortunately in virtual reality: a man in Moscow was so distracted he fell through a plate-glass table and he bled to death. So there are real risks.How can we circumvent those risks?That is the critical question, and I’ll talk about when I come and deliver this address.You’ve been studying VR since the late ‘90s. How has it evolved and where are we now?When I first started doing research, we thought of virtual reality as being similar to an MRI machine: very expensive, takes up a whole room and you need to have a dedicated engineer to run it. A bit later, if you look at my lab webpage and if you look at our scientific journal articles, probably three-quarters of them were using a pair of goggles that cost more than an automobile. Currently, the goggles cost as much as a fancy dinner at a restaurant. So, we’ve gone through an epic change of price.Also, because of the big tech companies, we’ve got a lot of availability. Conservatively, in the United States, there are over ten million VR systems floating around. From a citizen’s standpoint, I want to understand the good and bad use cases, but as a scientist, it’s great. I can now run experiments where we’ve got larger sample sizes and field studies where people are now using them in their homes. This has transformed the way we think about studying the medium.
"The really great use cases of VR aren’t just games, it’s for creating life experiences that improve us"
To conclude, what do you wish that everyone knew about VR that they may not know?I’m always stunned that people don’t know that the epic wins are really not about games or entertainment. They’re about making yourself better, whether that’s training or evaluating yourself and others. The really great use cases aren’t just games, it’s for creating life experiences that improve us.[caption id="attachment_81334" align="alignnone" width="421"] Bailenson's book "Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do" is out now.[/caption]Jeremy Bailenson will be speaking at the John Adams Institute on April 24, 2018, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Cover photo: L.A. Cicero via Stanford News [post_title] => Interview: Jeremy Bailenson on his latest book "Experience on Demand" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-jeremy-bailenson [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-25 12:47:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-25 11:47:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81327 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 127200 [post_author] => 2359 [post_date] => 2020-03-17 17:01:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-17 16:01:36 [post_content] =>

Since the 16th of March 2020, the government of the Netherlands applied new measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools, cafes, restaurants and sport clubs will remain closed untill 6 April 2020 and people are advised to work from home, if possible. This “quarantine” will be held in place for at least three weeks.

Thence, I am homebound as well. Resulting in, time lost to traveling to and from work, spent on coffee and lunch breaks with colleagues and sports are now changed into “spare time”. Time which should be filled with leisure and entertainment.

Finding comfort in screens

Since we are bound to our own homes, and considering the fact not many homes include swimming pools, fitnessrooms and/or tennis courts, many people find their comfort in screens; enjoying the endless scrolling on Instagram and Netflix marathons from the sterile safety of their couch.

Where Netflix and chill used to be a euphemism for sexual activity, either as part of a romantic partnership or as casual sex, it is now starting to gain a different meaning. As people are staying in, while endlessly streaming on Netflix, Netflix is gradually becoming a symbol of quarantine. A proof of abiding the government rules.

Knock knock, are you still watching?

This higher demand in streaming services has Netflix asking their users the following question: “Are you still watching?”

The question pops up after every three episodes — as any avid Netflix user would know. This way, Netflix ensures that the user will not consume unnecessary internet data; as streaming services cost a lot of energy.

In this peculiar period of quarantine, it seems natural to us to turn into a binge-heavy-couch-potato. Therefore this question seems superfluous. And as a result, naturally, people turn to social media. Here, screenshots of this question are being shared, commented and ridiculed with others in their networks.

A sign of life

As more and more people abide by the advise of staying at their homes for the coming few weeks, this screenshot confirms that the person who posted it complies to this advice. Think of it as sharing a photo of your ballot paper as a proof you have voted (in which the ballot paper is a symbol of democracy).

Therewith the screenshots can be seen as a symbol of survival. Similarly to the confirmation to Netflix’s question “Are you still watching?”, this question is to verify whether the user is still watching. The confirmation to this question then, can be seen as a proof of life.

Because if you can confirm that you are still watching, you instantly confirm you are not dead.

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