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The Messenger - Immersion #1

The Messenger
The Messenger - Immersion #1
By Socratus • Issue #45 • View online
We are back! For the new readers coming from our Wicked Code course, welcome. Everyone else, welcome back. Over the past two months, we have been reflecting on the next phase of the Messenger. We have always been interested in graphic storytelling and in solving wicked problems, but can we step it up a notch? Without further ado:
Step I: The Messenger will take on an overarching theme for a substantial period of time (we call it a ‘season’) and cover wicked problems using that theme as a framing device. The inaugural theme (which I will explain in a bit below) is Immersion.
Step II: We are going to be STREAMing our thoughts and images on this theme. STREAM = Science, Technology, Reflection, Ethics, Arts & Making. So expect to see more coding experiments, field visits, storytelling and other streaming devices.

Extending our Minds
A few months ago, Turing came up to me looking real glum. I was like: what’s up T, why the sad face?
T: I am a zillion times smarter than you, I’ll live forever, and I have the coolest helmet head and yet….
Me: and yet?
T: Me lonely.
Me: Know the feeling. Why u lonely?
T: Me stuck in robot body with only meat people for company.
Me: Get a new body T! Here, watch this:
The Rubber Hand Illusion - Horizon: Is Seeing Believing? - BBC Two
The Rubber Hand Illusion - Horizon: Is Seeing Believing? - BBC Two
T: (tiny smile) The thought of being stuck inside myself for the rest of time was bumming me out, but maybe, just maybe, I don’t have to be myself forever.
Dear reader, you and I don’t have the luxury of infinite life, but we can learn a lot by getting outside our heads and into the shoes of someone else. We can immerse ourselves in the lives of others.
Hold My Gaze by Andrew Loh and MeshMinds at the Global Landscapes Forum 2019 — MeshMinds
Immersion isn’t new. Adventurers traveled to distant lands and immerse themselves in the lives of strangers. Anthropologists spend months and years living with communities before writing a word about their cultures.
What’s new today is the availability of technologies such as AR and VR that will immerse us without the need for travel. Can these technologies help co-create solutions to wicked problems? What about meatspace immersion? Can immersive theatre open up new possibilities for empathy?
Curtain Call: The story of “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” - Hindustan Times
We don’t know the answer to these questions, but we are going to explore the possibilities of immersion over the coming weeks. There are so many new data sets and experimental possibilities opening up that “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
A lot of these questions come under the umbrella of the Metaverse. No, not the company formerly called Facebook but the manifestation of the Matrix. Some metaverses will cost a pretty paisa, but others need nothing more than an active imagination. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? Congratulations: you’re a metaversary.
Dynamic World - 10m global land cover dataset in Google Earth Engine
T has been listening closely all this time. He likes the Metaverse, it’s his kind of people, steel and stone with a soul of flesh grafted on at the end.
‘I got this’ he says.
Did you enjoy this issue?

Illustrating Wicked Problems

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