Archives: October 2005
Sat Oct 29, 2005
Thoughts about the 'Earth Simulator', and where it may lead us
After writing the previous entry I looked more closely at the Earth Simulator, and find myself intrigued. Large scale simulation opens up whole new possibilities, rather as the new science of optics did 500 years ago: partly for our knowledge of the physical world, but also understanding of our own behaviour and psychology. More...
 comments (4985 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
A quarter petaflop
The IBM BlueGene/L supercomputer at the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has reportedly achieved a speed of a quarter of a petaflop (or 280.6 teraflops; the previous record was 135.3 teraflops, achieved by the same machine in March 2005.) More...
 comments (2882 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Wed Oct 26, 2005
Truth will out....
 comments (2693 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Sun Oct 23, 2005
Storing large amounts of simulation data
 comments (2714 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Sat Oct 22, 2005
Do we sometimes think 'reality' is a simulation?
Just occasionally someone asks a question which opens up a whole new line of thought. Lydia Reeves Timmins has an essay in the August edtion of Presence which argues: "There's no reason the increasingly common confusion regarding what is "virtual" (i.e., mediated by technology) and "real" (i.e., nonmediated) should operate in only one direction. Confusions in which nonmediated experiences are mistaken for mediated ones are increasingly likely". This helped me to pull together several threads which this blog has been exploring recently. More...
 comments (5042 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Mon Oct 17, 2005
Thinking is simulation
A 1992 article by Bruce Bridgeman argues that thinking is itself simulation. "The idea of thinking as simulation brings up computer analogies and the present fascination with virtual reality, a human-computer interface that gives the user the impression of actually being in a computer-generated environment. But the brain itself sits in an isolated environment, carefully insulated from the real world, both physically and biochemically .... The only things going in and out are tiny depolarizations on millions of parallel axons. Somehow the brain translates these into a reality, a sense of being in the present time and place. We are always the willing victims of an illusion of virtual reality.". More...
 comments (2837 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
References recently on blogs and Yahoo Finance News to Habbo. It's a sort of massively multiplayer game, claiming 4 million unique users per month, who have created 30 million play characters. It seems to be designed entirely to extract money from 13-20 year olds, though it is dignified as 'social software' and claims to be a safe moderated environment. More...
 comments (4591 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Sun Oct 16, 2005
A pandemic of avian flu simulations
There are a lot of simulations of the impact of avian flu, or the response by authorities, going around at the moment.
They should help to get everyone prepared. I just have two doubts
1. The 'Hurricane Pam' situation accurately predicted 'Hurricane Katrina' one year before the USA was caught apparently unprepared.
2. Remember all that fuss about Y2K? More...
 comments (2918 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Sun Oct 09, 2005
Clark Aldrich on simulation and education: radical revision, or missing the point?
Thanks to SimblogI found Innovate's fascinating interview with Clark Aldrich (free subscription required) about the impact of simulation on education. Aldrich's views go some way to answering the questions I raised earlier. They look like a radical new view of the education process itself, but I'm not so sure. More...
 comments (3367 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Medical Simulation Blog
Simblog is a weblog devoted to medical simulation. Looks very interesting. Examples of general interest articles: they also picked up the 'World of Warcraft' plague story, and they report a new medical simulation journal and a special technology issue of the education journalInnovate Online (requires free registration). More...
 comments (2571 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Sat Oct 08, 2005
Corporate business simulation gone wrong...
A witty article in the Globe and Mail describes a corporate simulation gone wrong. It was forced on to national offices of a multinational by the international hadquarters. Few took it seriously, and those who did spent far too much time on it. The simulated world became more and more outrageous as players took it to extremes. Eventually it had to be abandoned. More...
 comments (1450 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks
Wed Oct 05, 2005
Simulation in schools
I get 'Google Alerts' every day about new stories related to simulation. It's fascinating how much simulation is now being used in schools, mostly US schools, to train a wide range of subjects:
- leadership training packages by the US Army. ("...students guide avatars through a series of meetings and make them delegate tasks to employees. If the manager doesn't direct people in the right way, game characters may nod off, get up from meetings, or develop a dislike for their superior. It works in real time, and it's supplemented with online reading and interactive lessons to teach leadership styles to senior cadets.")
- sportsmanship and character education in Alabama schools
- safe driving in St Louis
- personal budgeting in Indianapolis
as well as the usual business and politics simulations. Sometimes it seems to be done for no real reason, or for rather silly reasons. More...
 comments (5192 views) |  Trackbacks  Pingbacks