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Banana
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Joined: 17 Dec 2016
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Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

08 May 2017 20:30

Anthro_Danielle, I'm glad to find that you found my reply interesting!

I'm not an astrophysicist, though I hope to someday pursue a career in the field. As of now I study the subject in my spare time as a sort of hobby. I have not yet taken any formal courses in this area, so much of my knowledge in astronomy comes from online articles, simulations, and games, and SpaceEngine in particular has allowed me to visualize astronomical phenomena on a close and in-depth scale. It adds a degree of wonder to our already-mesmerizing universe in a way that is difficult to accomplish through text alone. Though I agree textbooks are an integral component to learning, I believe the many resources available online can be used to supplement one's studies and provide a more rounded and interesting experience. 
Bananas are eggcellent.
 
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PlutonianEmpire
Explorer
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Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Location: MinneSNOWta
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Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

09 May 2017 22:43

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Hey PlutonianEmpire - so good to hear from you again!! Thanks so much for taking the time to have such a cool conversation with me, it's great to get to follow questions and thoughts beyond a single exchange :)

I appreciate you sharing more details about your creative process with me. It's interesting to hear about the different ways you can use the environment to generate and test stories, as well as communicate them to others, and interesting too the different kinds of storytelling this allows for (eg. pseudo-factual/historical accounts), and the element of novelty that you mentioned (ie., that it can help you think of new things you hadn't thought of before, or new ways of working around problems).


You're very welcome! :) I'm glad I get to brag a bit too! :D :lol:

It's so interesting that you brought up the overview effect, and I'm really glad you did! In talking about space, human presence in space, and how it affects our understandings of the Earth, people often emphasise the central role of the visual - being able to *see* things (life, earth, us) from a new perspective or point of view. And now of course we have so many ways of visually accessing new points of view on these things, from real-time livestreams of views of the Earth from the ISS or of a launch, to ways of viewing and exploring fantastical spaces that might be in simulations or games. I've often wondered how having this kind of access, ability to /see/ new things in new ways might change or affect the ways we can think, imagine, learn, or do things! But one thing I have noticed astronauts say is that a key element of the overview effect for them, aside from just the seeing, is the fact of 'being there' fully, being in space in such a way that allows you to more fully comprehend these profound feelings and concepts. So this, I think, makes the possibilities of VR-enabled access /suuuper/ interesting - is the level of immersion and presence enabled by these technologies sufficient or comparable in anyway to being physically there, psychologically speaking? How can we push that, test, and explore it? Obviously I don't have the answers, but I think the questions are so interesting, and I'd love to look into it further and hear more of your - and everyone else's too - thoughts about it!


Not gonna lie, I was originally planning on just skipping out on VR simply because I thought it seemed too gimmicky, especially with the part about wearing seemingly bulky headsets and so forth. But after seeing that post about the Overview effect, as well as some pictures of SpaceEngineer using VR for Space Engine, I began to think that maybe there might indeed be something to it. :)

So, at the current time, I don't know how to answer these questions, but I do intend to find out myself at some point.

Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and time with me!!
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No problem! It is great sharing my experiences here. :)
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Anthro_Danielle
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Joined: 17 Apr 2017

Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

14 May 2017 20:57

Hi Banana,

Thanks for clarifying and expanding on your thoughts, it's really great to get to explore these things in more depth and from multiple people's perspectives. I totally agree with you. I think this element of wonder, awe, and inspiration is so important - this seems to be the feeling that drives many people to commit to study and work in the space field in the first place.

And being able to virtually access and interact with otherwise directly inaccessible ideas and objects is so huge, in terms of thinking and learning. I'm sure that these kinds of games, applications, tools, environments already make such a big difference to people's learning processes, and I'm certainly interested to see how this will develop in future. Actually, before I got into anthropology and social science, I was a medical student, and I often think now about the difference it would have made to studying and learning, if we had been able to work with such sophisticated and interactive visual models, simulations, and environments as people with interests in astronomy can find here with SpaceEngine - they seem like such powerful learning and teaching tools. I wonder what education *could* look like in the next five, ten years. And what it will turn out like, which is of course another question.

Thanks for stopping by and chatting, it's so great to hear your thoughts!
 
Anthro_Danielle
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Joined: 17 Apr 2017

Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

14 May 2017 22:03

PlutonianEmpire, great to hear from you! Yeah I know what you mean, the whole set-up is really really cool in that retro cyberpunk kinda way, which feels a bit gimmicky, but I think there must be so many potential applications for this tech that could be really impactful and important. It's fine if you don't have answers, neither do I! Hopefully this is something we can all discover and explore together in future~ Please feel free to stop by, comment, or message anytime if you have any questions, ideas, thoughts or news to share about any of these topics or issues going forward, I sincerely look forward to it!
 
A-L-E-X
Explorer
Posts: 292
Joined: 06 Mar 2017

Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

24 May 2017 22:56

Space is something I've been interested in as a little child.  It's all about learning.  I like learning about anything but there is something very pure about space that puts it beyond what we humans have done to our environment here at home.  I am a big astronomy buff like many here so SE is just a natural extension of that.  I find that some of us have a natural mental proclivity for space, theoretical physics, cosmology and such and even think in intuitive ways that make ourselves feel at home with things we cannot directly experience.
 
Anthro_Danielle
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Joined: 17 Apr 2017

Space chats with your friendly neighbourhood anthropologist!

28 May 2017 01:03

Hi A-L-E-X, thanks for stopping by! Thank you for sharing your story, I really enjoyed hearing it. It seems like many people here and in wider astronomy circles have these moments of inspiration or interest from childhood, that drive them all the way through life. I think it's really interesting that you talk about space as kind of appealing to people with abilities or proclivities for thinking about and with things that can't be directly experienced. Personally I'm really interested in the possibilities of new ways of representing such phenomena, so that they can be accessed by more people, and so that more people can feel at home with them, and work with them intuitively. Maybe things like SE, Kerbal, satellite & ISS livefeeds and space VR will make space, astronomy, astrophysics, and earth affairs too, more accessible to more people? If so, it will be very interesting to see the results! How do you pursue your interest in space, besides SE? Do you have any favourite stories, topics, or projects? How do you follow or pursue them (as in, through what sources, sites, channels)?

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