OvARtaken, Part 2

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Every time I write on AR I find stuff I want to catch up with before the text has even made it through editorial.

An established team of augmented reality (AR) developers are planning to “unite physical and virtual worlds” by creating Digital Land that can be bought, sold, rented or leased. Arcona believes AR – and its upcoming ecosystem – can benefit a plethora of industries, with uses that extend far beyond its most common application: gaming. For example, the construction sector could use AR to show their clients how a project will look upon completion, while the tourism trade has the opportunity to enthrall visitors by recreating lost historical objects.

(Guess which bit is germane to my work.) For what it’s worth I think the commercial aspect sounds pretty weird—not entirely weird, because it’s basically virtual world economics over again, but why treat AR space as though it had only one layer...?

Sounds Funny

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What it’s like to hear voices: Sammee has been hearing voices for most of her life... Have you ever heard voices?

As you’d guess, it’s actually about mental health rather than more quotidian phenomenology or deaf versus hearing experiences. So it’s a serious topic, but the way it’s written reminds me of the days when my signature line on one site read: I hear voices in my head... Well, where else would I hear them?

Oxford Philosophx

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Reports are circulating (seemingly sourced from a paywalled Telegraph article) about the Oxford Philosophy Dept.’s attempts to bolster female confidence by manipulating reading lists, e.g. converting ‘G.E.M. Anscombe’ into ‘Elizabeth Anscombe’. Having once had a (female) tutee who thought Martha Nussbaum was a ‘he’, I’m not sure whether it’s optimism or pessimism Oxford has in excess.

(As I recall, any concern about female undergrad. confidence at Durham usually involved willingness to speak up and debate in tutorial groups, so it is mildly interesting that this is coming out of a place with Oxbridge’s tutorial sizes.)

In a spirit of fairness to that tutee, I should add that I once had to be told Shelly Kagan is not a ‘she’.

The Sizzle of Space

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I interviewed Tony Milligan (K.C.L.) about the ethics of space exploration for Pod Academy. It was his work on cultural value in space I built on/responded to in my piece for Commercial Space Exploration: Ethics, Policy and Governance, and as things turned out we were co-contributors to that volume, so it was particularly interesting to have the opportunity to meet him. The interview touches on the cultural significance of places, along with environmental and political/economic aspects of space ethics. Hopefully my transcription came out okay: what I was hearing as ‘the sizzle of space’ confused me until I tracked down the term ‘cislunar space’.

2020 Foresight

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Out of 2077-inspired curiosity I picked up the Cyberpunk 2020 Bundle of Holding, which is why I find myself reading a sourcebook from 1994 called the Rough Guide to the U.K. Its ‘brief recent history’ begins thus: The United Kingdom has been going through some turbulent times recently.

(It continues, only slightly less accurately: The Scottish uprising in 2016 started the rot...)