Playfulness and truth.

Four recent blogs inspired me:

Starting with how to represent truth, moving to play, and then to belonging. The TL;DR:

The advances of structuring data in mapping unlocks potential for using physical world assets in games. Using physical world assets in emergent approaches to game design is well suited to allowing players to interact with their game worlds in varied ways. Exploring playing with the physical world – morphing and changing it – through games can allow us to learn about the world not through a top-down education, but through a curiosity that does not even have to involve the truth. Through these games we can build a new sense of belonging, that builds a common language across polarised opinions, because it’s just for fun, after all.

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Notes from Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger

I mangle the quotes to tell me story. The gist is a true reflection but it’s not the exact words.

p4 – Both “our” world and the “mirror world” – the world of the conspiracy theorists, agree that post-shock states of discombobulation have been opportunistically exploited in many different contexts. Both groups have a (p24) skepticism of elite power. p53 – The words the mirror world use are essentially fantasy. But emotionally, to many people they clearly feel true. And the reason they feel true is that we are indeed living through a revolution in surveillance tech, and state and corporate actors have indeed seized outrageous powers to monitor us, often in collaboration and coordination with one another. Moreover, as a culture, we have barely begun to reckon with the transformational nature of this shift.

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Academic components of peduncle

This project aims to create an interactive real-world based game or platform, visualising complex data onto a stylised, simplified digital twin earth, in order to facilitate insight into how to take action in an uncertain world, at the end of expertise, through an ethic of care and curiosity. It is aimed at grassroots, everyday people and their engagement with data and knowledge, in a visual, 3D, gamified way.

Perpetually in draft and evolving, of course.

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Connected data, connected people

In my previous post about the end of expertise, I made the point that the root concerns of conspiracy theorists are valid. The suspicion and mistrust of powerful players are valid. That, if governments and corporations are not going to make the actual shift then we need to make that shift. Everyday people must make that shift.

Here I want to add some comments about the role of structured data in making it easier to access relevant evidence, or supporting insights, and hence, maintaining accountability.

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The end of expertise: two routes with similar roots

.The idea for my metaverse project, peduncle, was born during the extreme drought in Cape Town around 2016, when a city of more than 4 million people were about to run out of water. It was a combination of climate change and mismanagement, but how we as scientists and engineers responded to it was, to me, equally inadequate than the people in power.

This threw me into an identity crisis about myself as a scientist and engineer – an “expert”. Someone shared Lesley Green’s article and I realised what I am dealing with inside myself is part of a bigger crisis: “the end of expertise”.

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Worldbuilding the real world: build good ruins – Part 2

Part 1 is here:

The first part concluded that we need to build from the bottom, that top-down, expert-led action is not enough anymore, that community work of everyday is the resilience we need to thrive in these interesting times.

When we pursue bottom up design and implementation, these still need to be guided by common principles that comes from a higher view – so yes, there is still space for urban planners, government, but it becomes more of a conversation. How can we imagine and visualise this, as a global community of communities? Metarkitex talks about public space in the digital world, and asks do these public spaces exist online? Are they accessible and welcoming to everyone?

Public space developed to a space where people can go without aim or arrangement

This post continues with clips from an interview with Vandana Shiva and Dougald Hine.

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Write-up, research outline try 2.

Here I’ve been trying to write a story with the headings, understandable to everyday people, assuming that the body will have the meaty academic content.

We are in crisis, and we need to act with some urgency.

There are two ways to act in crisis, and these are currently in tension.

The first way is to rely on traditional expertise, which is a “command and control strategy”, it is top-down. Experts say things and the rest of us do the things.

The second way is to do it ourselves, as a community, we just get in and do it.

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