Saturday, November 21, 2009

Meetup on Games

I had a meeting with the CIO yesterday @ Bagdad, talked about a specific multi-user computer game that encourages raiding one's neighbors for stores, kind of old school. For the first time in his life, he was feeling underhanded, like a cad. The game was providing this experience.

So how would a philanthropy game look? You'd have cities needing to thrive and there'd be competition with other programs and ideologies. If they lob bombs to keep you in the Stone Age, to make themselves look better by comparison, that'd be noticed by the other players.

The US Army spent millions on a recuriting game that teaches teamwork and a hunger for army life. This is world game in a nutshell, though hell bent in some dimensions. Similar games serve to recruit others from their matrix, such as Uru, Second Life and Spore.

If wanting a reputation as a philanthropist, you might consider funding game development. Coffee Shops Network (CSN) is about supplying an ambience in which such games get played. One need not sit solo in one's office or den. One needn't be secretive nor furtive when helping humanity, although aspects of game play, e.g. outsmarting misanthropists, will have their sneakier aspects. Hackers have their ways and means.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kudos or Karma?

Whereas our little partnership DWA used to book keep for ISEPP, I'm no longer privy to many details (nor was I then, as Dawn did all the bookkeeping).

If you know of a company wanting to position at the intellectual forefront, inheriting through the Linus Pauling lineage, the campus on Hawthorne remains a golden investment opportunity.

I'm not a direct beneficiary except I do use the facility for meetings and accept ISEPP lecture tickets as my one perk for being on the board, thanks Terry.

I've always suggested Unilever
as a partner, as in my own mythology that's like a benign EU conglomerate, a bigger Ben & Jerry's, plus I like those tetrahedral teabags, long story (by Lipton).

Tonight is Ignite, a special event at The Bagdad. I have a guest ticket courtesy of an out of town MVP, one of the speakers (tensegrity & robotics).

Wave to CTO in India, to all my peer Cs (chiefs).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Autobiography Night

An autobiography is a subtype of travelogue, or vice versa if you prefer, and both tend to use the first person, by which I mean: an autobiographer usually assumes the role of the "I" when telling the story, which the listener will presume contains an individual bias, but doesn't begrudge, as we're each entitled to a point of view.

The "objective voice" in contrast, or third person, is more self effacing and authoritative, so is more likely to be challenged or critiqued by those disagreeing with the implied narrator's views. A typical autobiography will contain a mix of both, with the author shifting to more omniscient tones when needing to provide more context.

Not every coffee shop will want to program these circles, but we increasingly have customers prepared with five minute thumbnails about their lives. Onlookers who realize this is an emerging genre will get to work on their own.

The short versions are often distillations of the longer ones.

For example, here's a link to a family history with autobiographical components by Jim Flory. He and I have worked together around several Quaker events and have in common this attribute of growing up in the Philippines, myself as the son in a post-WW2 technical family doing development planning, himself as the son of prisoner of war missionaries (heading for China) in a Japanese internment camp in Baguio (the USA federation had some similar camps for those of Japanese heritage during this same time period).

In a kind of cross-roads coffee shop, with visitors from many corners, you'll get some exotic autobiographies and these will tend to tie together for listeners, as they come to see a common backdrop of history.

Do not underestimate the value of this opportunity, probably worth some energy and work on fine tuning.

If your shop keeps an archive on the web, remember to invite your guests to post links to their web sites. Sometimes a Wiki is the best structure, perhaps a part of the larger web site. Notice how includes a MoinMoin with volunteers tasked with keeping it updated.

Providing every customer with direct access, even via a guest login, may not be the preferred system i.e. a wiki with restricted access is not a contradiction in terms, never mind what others may have told you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On Wittgenstein's Philo

Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 8:06 AM, jrstern wrote:

> Especially as Kirby described it, a grammar can
> (or must?!) relate not (just) to words, but to distal
> objects, to the real, or at least intersubjective,
> consensus world. It is not the word "consciousness"
> that has a grammar, it is the actuality in the world
> of "consciousness" that has a grammar. Then, it is
> well if our linguistic grammars, and our use of the
> word "consciousness", correspond to the distal
> facts. Sean speaks of "assertability conditions".
> That may head in some problematic directions, but
> it's the same kind of concept.

I think Sean's use of "languaging" helps move us from noun-sense to verb-sense i.e. to a post nominalist sensibility. It's not that the word 'cat' and the thing (cat) are related as proximal to distal (the word might be on a distant bill board, the real deal in your lap) but that both have semantic value in a grammar.

For suburbanite Americans going to community college, maybe taking philosophy at night school (a prerequisite for foreign service at some levels), I might translate "grammar" as "lifestyle". I think they'd get that, and it's faithful to On Certainty's "form of life". Language games involve moving slabs around (of fat, of whatever), are not just quiescent stare-into-a-book activities. You may feel obligated to draw some line, making "chess pieces" be not language, with "chess notation" as language, but that'd be an artificial line, as in arbitrary, random.

I think most philosophers of language might agree that "pure language" has this "jagged edge" where it connects to real stuff. That's where Wittgenstein grounds his certainties, his arithmetic sensibilities, not in some cerebral "pure logic" we can never see or smell, no matter how hard we think about it. He's more like Nietzsche in this way, in keeping the senses, also vivid imagery, central to the thinking process, not just as sources of "data" (as in "sense data").

:: sources ::

Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 8:15 PM
[C] [Wittrs] Wittgenstein on Nominalism

From PI ...

"383. We do not analyze a phenomenon (for example, thinking) but a concept (for example, that of thinking), and hence the application of a word. So it may look like what we were doing were nominalism. Nominalists make the mistake of interpreting all the words as NAMES, and so of not really describing their use, but only, so to speak, giving a paper draft of such a description." PI, 4th, p.125.
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Assistant Professor
Wright State University
Personal Website:
SSRN papers:
Discussion Group: