Tin Hats

Claude L. Bullard (bullardc@source.asset.com)
Tue, 28 Mar 1995 14:39:46 -0500

[Andrew C. Esh]

| I think that part of the discussion is getting too far afield. If that
| becomes too widely known, we will become labeled as a bunch of
| crackpots.

Your point about straying is well-taken. The tin-foil hats,
may be just a bit over the mark.

What is happening in the thread is a realization of the limits
of relying on one sensory modality for communication.
Who knows if contact with other civilizations might take place
using VR? It has merit as an idea, (limits potential bacterial
infection, limits potential conflict, for example). SHH!
The aliens are waiting for us to replace the
tin hats with VRHelmets to invade our minds. That's why
they have those HUGE BLACK EYES! AIEEEE! ;-)

What is important to realize is that if a sentient entity
(which includes most humans in my book) is to
communicate with "their whole being", then multiple modalities
are of interest and can be integrated. Telepresence is an
application of VR taken fairly seriously by some
one best not call "crackpots" as their ever renewing
supply of modern weapons is awesome or their use
to do space station repair is a source of funding. In these, gravity,
sound, and yes, even touch are important although they
are all not communicated back to the teleoperator. Sound
isn't important on the Moon or a volcano, but one-sixth G
or thermal specifics are. The representation and modality of the
feedback can vary.

For simulations (the old name for VR), sound and text
labelling become important. Sight is powerful but often not
enough. Hearing the approaching tank or even a car on
the street is often more important than seeing it
when it can be a bit too late. So, take a bit of care with
the *crackpots*. To borrow from last night's Oscar
winner, "Crackpot is as crackpot does." If walls and rayguns
for shooting animated enemies are your course, have at.
But the game community appears just as *cracked*
to the simulation community which invented it.
It really is a matter of interest and need, isn't it?

The actual end to the thread is that any environment
is *learned* and that communication is *negotiated*
within that context. Design accordingly.

Len Bullard