Archive for the 'Social' Category

Some of electronic literature is detritus. Residue. Trails of conversations that have become destinations in themselves. Debris that has taken on a kind of historic importance. No doubt the same has been true throughout literary history, like the Person from Porlock who knocked at Coleridge’s door in such an untimely fashion….

What follows is a recap of a discussion that can be found on the discussion blog of that singluar futurist Ray Kurzweil’s It took place 2/10/2003-2/10/2004. The thread also stretches across the (2/13/2003-3/28/2003). Call it reality Internet, call it Internet history, call it eavesdropping, but what I see is a piece of collaborative internet writing that proves to have powerful reverberations with the tension between the myths of AI and authenticity on the internet. What results is a curious chapter (or unit) in the development of chatbots. (I recommend reading the conversation on your own, but I will recount as I go.)

In 2003, ELDRAS shot himself. You can read about here. Jennifer Grizzle announced as much on the Kurzweil A.I. site:

subject: ELDRAS shot himself
posted on 02/10/2003 9:56 AM by jennifer grizzle

I read it on a philosophy post site.

he left a note saying he believe he would be resurrected in less than one minute’s subjective time in the future by human A.I.


The post comes out of nowhere. It appears in the Mind Exchange (MindX) Forum, “an open forum with a focus on emerging trends in technology and related fields.”

On Tuesday, May 9, UCLA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored an afternoon conference entitled “Girls ’n’ Gaming,” focussing on “where girls and women are in gamers and what they want.”  The conference followed a workshop: “Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender, Games and Computing.”  Below are notes from the first of the three panels. 
(Rough notes)
Of […]

What is a botmaster?
If you turned today to a simple Google search for “botmaster” you might find three answers:

A bot author or creator - someone who programs with AIML or on Pandorabots (results 1, 2)
An individual who is responsible for and/or maintains a bot - as per a computer jargon dictionary (result 3)
A computer criminal […]

(This begins another of the Great Debates on WRT.)
Previous debates: Frustration, Hamlet, Intelligent Design.
What is the place of digital character art (and computers in general) in the composition classroom?
Many of us who research new media and games also end up in in the composition classroom, teaching English 101. Our temptation is to go straight to […]

Speak Softly, uploaded by SF buckaroo
This image is from the California high-desert bacchanal Burning Man, during which Mark G. circulated Automated Hobo, a sound-harvesting experiment using cheap tape recorders and hand-written instructions.
I purchase cheap tape recorders at thrift stores and wherever, load them with batteries and blank tape, and write instructions on the outside that […]

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