Yishay Mor  
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Hello Diane!

Diane Carr has started a kind-of-a-blog-thingy. If you're interested in games, meaning, learning, gender, narrative, or any combination of the above - its definetly worth a visit.
posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 15th, March 2007 (23:04) - comments (0) - permanent link

Bad calendar!
[design, web2.0]

�rets kalender
Finally, it’s here : This year the Bad Usability Calendar is, if possible, even less usable than previous years.

posted by Yishay Mor on Tuesday 13th, February 2007 (16:57) - comments (1) - permanent link

tell it to the man
[open content, open research, publications]

Petition for guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research results


You may sign this petition to register your support for free and open access to European research and for the recommendations proposed in the EU's 'Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe'.

Plain and simple. Public funding = public knowledge.

posted by Yishay Mor on Tuesday 30th, January 2007 (02:08) - comments (0) - permanent link

the dark side
[open content, open research]

Nature reports that a consortium of publishers is considering hiring Eric Dezenhall to take on the threat of the open research. The man has an impressive resume, he worked for Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron chief now serving a 24-year jail term for fraud. He helped ExxonMobile in their attempts to discredit GreenPeace.

This is great news. If they think they have something to be that worried about, they're probably right.
posted by Yishay Mor on Friday 26th, January 2007 (03:50) - comments (0) - permanent link

the end?
[second life]

Nichloas Carr tell us -

The big thing at this year's elite World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is to don a cartoon persona and slum around the virtual world as if you "get it." An avatar, reportsenlarging the Davos conversation" to include the commoners. the Financial Times, "has become the must-have accessory for [WEF] delegates." A big attraction on yesterday's program was a session called "The Age of the Avatar," and another session featured an interview with a couple of 'tars about "identity in the modern world." The WEF's impresario, Klaus Schwab, says that the embrace of Second Life is all about "

Was it Ford who said that when his driver started talking about his stock portfolio he knew it was time to get out? Well, if your stock broker tells you about his SL avatar..

posted by Yishay Mor on Friday 26th, January 2007 (03:44) - comments (0) - permanent link

Reputocracy and Intelectual Persona
[so-so, web2.0]

A few more thought on Radical transparency.

I've always thought of open content / social technologies as democratic, or democratizing. But maybe what we're seeing is the rise of a new form of social structure: Reputocracy: governance by reputation. There's only one rule to this regime: the more you invest, the more your voice counts. Its a market based system, with a single currency - reputation. This is a tricky currency, because it does not obey conservation laws. Therefore, investment is calculated by the amount of capital you have times the risk you take.

For example, if Jimmy Wales writes "I hate french fries" in an email to a college friend, he's not really risking much. Hence that expression does not go far as an investment. If he writes "I hate MicroSoft" in his bio entry, he's in for a hell of a ride. So anything Jimbo says on wikipedia will have a huge impact. Never mind his formal role in the system. On the other hand, I can say whatever I want where ever I want and few people would give a hoot. I simply don't have that much reputation capital to begin with.

As with any economy, some investments pay off, others don't. And as with money economy, if I invest in you and you come good, we're both better off.

The other issue that came to mind is intellectual property. That's always a pain in open-source / open-content environments. Also, always a pain to figure out why people contribute where they can't capitalize. Perhaps, in a an extremely transparent system, we're more concerned about intellectual persona. Property is a funny thing with goods that are expensive to produce and cheep to replicate. Ask the music industry. But what if we can verify where a meme started? Then claiming possession of someone else's ideas is just, uh, too embarrassing. Let's say I post a great idea on my blog. Let's say you copy it, develop it, and get a noble prize for it. Let's say you forgot to mention where you first read it. All I need to do is post a link to digg. Now who's looking stupid?

posted by Yishay Mor on Monday 22nd, January 2007 (14:55) - comments (0) - permanent link

Clive Thompson on Radical Transparency
[education, learning, open source, philosophy, technology]

Clive Thompson is researching for a Wired article on Radical transparency,  and what better way to do it than post a note on his blog asking for input, or, as he puts it tapping the hivemind:

Normally, I don't post about magazine assignments I'm working on -- because the editors want to keep it secret. But now I'm researching a piece for Wired magazine, and the editors have actually asked me to talk about it openly. That's because the subject of the piece is "Radical Transparency". And, in fact, I'd like your input in writing it.

The piece was originally triggered by a few postings on the blog of Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, and the thesis is simple: In today's ultranetworked online world, you can accomplish more by being insanely open about everything you're doing. Indeed, in many cases it's a superbad idea to operate in highly secret mode -- because secrets get leaked anyway, looking like a paranoid freak is a bad thing, and most importantly, you're missing out on opportunities to harness the deeply creative power of an open world.

Interestingly, much of the discussion refers to scientific process, which seems to tie in nicely with Kaleidoscope's notion of an open research community.

The thing about openness, is to know where it works, where it doesn't and how to tell the two apart. Its just like its absolutely great to be radically transparent with your spouse, but not always a great idea with your mother in law. But then, Clive means radical. Open to all. Again, sometimes, for some things, its great. As the LA times realized, it doesn't work so well for writing editorials. Then again, maybe it could - if you carefully designed the right technology and the right social practices to use it. 

posted by Yishay Mor on Wednesday 17th, January 2007 (12:12) - comments (0) - permanent link

[OLPC, open source, technology]

In case you still don't understand why a kid who wants for clean water needs a laptop, you can hear Negraponte ask that question:


And if you're converted but just need your technical fix:

I have seen it, touched it, and played with it. The final industrial design prototype for the XO, the device that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Initiative is going to start shipping to countries across the world this summer. AMD hosted a luncheon on Monday to give the press an update on the project, and to unveil the completed design.

Although the exterior form factor is now pretty much set ("Unless," said OLPC official Michalis Bletsas half-jokingly, "Nicholas has another late-night inspiration.")

posted by Yishay Mor on Saturday 13th, January 2007 (00:31) - comments (0) - permanent link

now ain't that cool

I have a US patent to my name. And for a design pattern for client-server programming of all things.

Mor, Y. and Waldman, K. (2002) US Pat. 7107575 - Filed Aug 21, 2002, registered Sept. 12, 2006: METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING A SINGLE OBJECT INSTANCE PER CLIENT-SERVER SESSION

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 4th, January 2007 (14:12) - comments (0) - permanent link

Do avatars deam of human rights?
[games, learning, philosophy, technology]

The Milgram experiment always sends a shiver down my spine. I say it should be a part of any national curriculum. A reminder of what we're all capable of. Luckily, you can't do that kind of thing any more. Well, at least not to humans.

A new study replicated the Milgram experiment with Avatars. The results are.. creepy. Sorry, I can't find any better word. Just look at the videos. (I shouldn't say that, you should read the paper). What gives me the creeps is not the fact that people relate to Avatars in much the same way they react to humans, although I'll get back to that soon. It's just watching a human administer the electric shock, even if he's sending it to an avatar. The Horror. The Horror.

This sheds a new light on the potential of interactive narrative environments (such as 'Façade') for learning. If we react to avatars as if they were humans, then their influence on us - for good and for bad - could be similar. We would pay attention more to an avatar we trust and respect, be offended by their insults, and reflect on moral dilemmas they present us.

But this also puts ideas such as human rights for robots in a new perspective. No, I haven't gone bonkers. I'm not anthropomorphizing Aibo and Sonic the hedgehog. Its us humans I'm worried about. Our experiences have a conditioning effect. If you get used to being cruel to avatars, and, at some subliminal level, you do not differentiate emotionally between avatars and humans, do you risk loosing your sensitivity to human suffering?



(hat tip to Rough Type)

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 4th, January 2007 (12:57) - comments (3) - permanent link