Friday, August 24, 2007

I had another writing idea. I'm just going to be jotting these down so I don't forget. I'm not sure what they mean at this point other than possible future projects. This one would be called "My digital interFACE: Building of online identities". This idea came to me because I am currently consolidating my online assets to produce a more synergistic and unified front, a.k.a "My digital interFACE". I have stuff like this blog, a flickr account, a facebook account, a myspace account,a few online dating profiles (notice no link, I'm not making it that easy you sly dogs), a deviant art account, etc. I really started to think about this, when I was debating starting a account. I thought to myself that what I was really doing is creating a cyberneticself that could interact with other cyberneticselves. I started asking questions...

How well does this cyberneticself reflect me?
How well can I trust other cyberneticselves to represent their owners?
How wide is the gap between how I see my cyberneticself and how others see it? (it? I wonder if it has a sex, and if it does can it be different that what I currently am, and if it is what does that say about me. Next topic "Robot Sex: Gender Roles and Digital Identities".)

What comes next is a somewhat different line of questioning. A bit darker. I was watching a VH1 special about drugs historical impact on culture. It was very interesting. I think it was called Drug Years. It was interesting to see how people used to view drugs in a transcendental light. Before it was used to numb the pain, before it was used to get a fix, it was used to achieve enlightenment. However, Woodstock gave way to Altamont. Optimism and innocence gave way to people like Charles Manson. We were reminded of the dark side of humanity. I'm pretty optimistic and love the new opportunities to connect with people in meaningful ways. But, I am haunted by this dark side. Am I being too naive, to open in my quest to understand myself and others? I hope I'm not, but if the spontaneous joy of introducing my cyberneticself is Woodstock, when does Altamont come, and who's Charles Manson.

I had another similar but separate thought. What could a corrupt government do with the information I have on the internet. They probably know my stats, but they don't know who I am. What crazy schemes would they construct to control me based on my online identity. What corrupts governments? Wealth and power, I suppose they go hand in hand. Hello corporate America, I see you hiding there. You've been just aching to catalog me and my friends. What's the most effective way to make money? Control. This is my favorite line from Wikipedia's most likely tampered with account of Rupert Murdoch.

"In 1995, Murdoch's Fox Network became the object of scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), when it was alleged that News Ltd.'s Australian base made Murdoch's ownership of Fox illegal. The FCC, however, ruled in Murdoch's favor, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the public's best interests." (Wikipedia, 8/24/2007 2:11am)

Peace out,

Shane Empie

Thursday, August 23, 2007

So I turned 27 today. A whole 27 years of being a single straight shooting son of a gun. Sigh, maybe someday someone special will meet me and sweep me off my feet. I suppose I should start getting a little more proactive. It's not that I haven't tried, it's just that I don't want to force myself on anyone. I mean I'm great at building friendships, but in the realm of romantic relationships I just have theorems and postulates. I've been trying to get into this whole internet dating thing, but honestly I don't have a clue. I have no experience interacting with women romantically. I heard that you can take practice dating classes, which I thought was hilarious, but maybe they're onto something. It's probably a little bit less embarrassing than I don't want to stigmatize it as embarrassing, but it's definitely different. Different can be good. Different can make you look at things from another perspective, and to critically inquire as to what is going on. In an age where we are more connected than ever why is there such a disconnect. What isn't technology providing. Hugs, apparently.

On a brighter note I'm up to 70 sit-ups a night. In three weeks I will have reached my goal of 100 sit-ups a night. Reconstructing the body is only part of the equation . The next part is to start down a different career path. Currently, I'm part owner of a LAN gaming center. Due to various reasons my partners and I are seeking different options. I always wanted to goto grad school, but didn't want to repeat the fiasco of my undergraduate years. I realize now that I'm an academic at heart. I was never made to make widgets, but to ask questions and find answers. To move forward on this front I've started to buckle down for the GRE. I don't think that my undergraduate transcript is a good representation of who I actually am. Therefore, I have to rely heavily on a standardized test score. Which I'm not so thrilled about. But, before I can change the system I have to get into the system. So I'm going to blast this test out of the water. I will give the audience what they seek.

Peace out,

Shane Empie

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So as I was looking around the internet to see what it had to offer on the subject of the pedagogy of play, I came across some familiar names. (Suspense, who could they be!) Here is the excerpt

Erin Smith, Michigan Technological University. “Semiotic Domains Reloaded: Literacy and Localization in Video Games.”

An excerpt from a longer work in a publcation edited by Cynthia Selfe and Gail Havisher, with chapters co-written by scholars and gamers. Gee’s What Video Games Have To Teach Us about Language and Learning presents literacy as a social practice. We need different literacies to function in different semiotic domains. Video games, for Gee, are marked with certain characteristics, shaped by the internal and external design grammar. Within the game world, learners test their cognitive models. Video games provide an environment that can foster active learning.

Score! I have actually met these people in real life. I didn't get autographs =/. Kudos to Erin, Cindy, and Gail. I don't believe I have met Gail, but I'm sure she's wonderful. If you want to take a look at the full article it can be found here

In further researching the subject, I need to examine the relationship of playing and gaming. Can one exist without the other?
I was thinking the other day about how seriously I take being silly. I guess it's not that I take it seriously. It's that I so thoroughly enjoy it. I thought it would be neat to examine these thoughts. I even came up with a nifty title for an article if I were to ever write one. It would be called (drum roll please) "Are You Game? The Pedagogy of Play." I'm not exactly sure what perspective I would take to approach this topic. Here are some ideas I came up with in a brainstorming session I had...with myself...alone...(I'm so lonely) =D
  • Rules to games, guidelines to be followed
  • Objectives of games, goals to be achieved
  • Creative solutions to the puzzles and challenges provided
  • Competition, winners, losers, and sportsmanship
  • Fun, whether it can be measured and what roll it plays
  • Meaning making, how does it shape our world view
  • Can you have serious fun, business and gaming meet
  • A new vision for how we can harness, or see how it already is harnessed to learn
  • The value of playing, not just for children
  • Move playing from transparent to opaque
I was never very good at producing a "final" product. It always seemed to me that in my work their was always room for a little "play". Ok, I'll stop using "quotes" for now lol =p. Anyway, that is why I always enjoyed the digital medium, because it gave me the freedom to play without many serious repercussions. I think that is what playing is all about. To be able to be free to experiment and experience the joys that come with the exploration of possibilities. It seems as we grow older rules get broken, stakes are raised, and fun becomes irrelevant. That is why it might be the most important time to start playing.

Peace out,

Shane Empie

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ok, it's time to resurrect my blog from the dead. Actually, it probably more appropriate to think of it as giving life to the inanimate. Either way, I feel that it's time to start a multi-log about things going on in my universe, my world, and my life. It's either the ultimate form of narcissism, or an attempt to shatter my preconceived notions of who I am and what I'm doing here.

Is it possible that a better me means a better you, and a better you means a better me? And a better we can help inform decisions on making a better world for all of us? I hope so.

So begins a new age of deconstruction and reconstruction of Shane Empie. The topics in this blog will be somewhat random like a stream of consciousness. The topics will be plucked from my very thoughts. I will use my experience and interest to inform the decisions of what topics will be covered. However, this doesn't mean that I won't talk about different subjects that others bring to my attention. So please feel free to add to the multi-log in anyway you see fit.

Peace out,

Shane Empie