Inside or outside?

At the conference Netlearning 2006, we are – in an excellent lecture by Terry Anderson – asked to be skeptical against lectures….”if one thinks a teacher’s job is to dispense information, then teachers are obsolete”…..but we are also asked to be skeptical against his own lecture.During the conference talks the room is lit by the blue light of scores of computer screens as the audience are following, and contributing to, the Internet chat about its video-streamed version. Yes, I have followed this at other occasions, either being ”inside” or ”outside” a conference or seminar. The new here was that the participants actually present in the room felt they had to get connected not to fear being ”outside” although they technically were ”inside” (or were they? This is like playing a game of Go).

Likewise, in an interview sent during the conference, with Finnish researcher Yrjö Engeström questioned if it is meaningful today to make a difference between “real” and “virtual” – as he said this in the studio, he commented whether the interview was “real” or “virtual” – and viewing this, we could not quite know how real the show we saw really was. Which I guess proves him right?

Highlights during the conference were the provocations by Elza Dunkels and Wim Veen about the net culture of a new generation. However I could not help thinking of us in the audience as inhabitants of a doomed planet trying to grasp life on another celestial body by sending out anthropological observers, searching informants among friendly natives. To what benefit for the galaxy?

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4 Comments

Filed under Virtuality

4 responses to “Inside or outside?

  1. Anonymous

    Nice done!
    Where to reflect about netlearning if not on a blogg. I specialy liked the referens to the Go game (you´r wellcome to play it any time).

    See you, read you!

  2. Peter

    The discussion of virtual and real is getting more and more complex, but at the same time there are millions of people just doing it, not talking about it.

    Peder Stenberg, doctoral student in etnology (more famous for doing vocals in Deportees), recently published a university paper on people playing EverQuest, one of the worlds biggest MMORPG’s (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games).

    He argues that we can no longer talk about that type of games as “imitaions” of life, but rather a different type of lives.

  3. The beaver

    Hi Anonymous
    you are evidently my Go teacher!
    Let’s play a game next time.

  4. The beaver

    About MMORPGs – that is what most of us int the “grown up” generation find hard to accept, and say, Go and get a life instead. Wim Veen appears to be an exception. He told about reaching quite advanced levels in World of Warcraft (I think) after being seduced into playing by his son.

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