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Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer reading: Spin
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Runner
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Will Wright debates (talks with) Jaron Lanier
Tuesday, February 8, 2005

In this podcast from IT Conversations, game designer Will Wright and Virtual Reality inventor Jaron Lanier talk about whether computers are augmenting our human capacities or letting them atrophy. The discussion is styled as a debate but the two seem to be more in agreement than in contention. I've only heard the first half so far but the signal to noise ratio seems on the low side. I find some of their comments about education to be insightful but most of them are on the naive side (I ask myself, does this just mean that I don't agree with them?!). They are certainly correct to say that education and play are too often divorced in our school systems but that does not mean that all education should be fun. Some stuff is damn hard to learn, it takes motivation, effort and intellectual work. On the plus side, Lanier does mention that even the most complex of digital worlds is much simpler that real, messy, reality. Kids (and adults) can do incredible things on their computer but still be incompetent dolts when faced with the real.


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