Exercise: Watch the video and try to guess if Kevin and Ben will cooperate or not.
Note that there are some papers on game theory that use game shows as experiment data.
Stanford Prison Experiment 1971 [Video] [Info] [Presentation by the researcher]
(Re-enacted in 2003 [Video] [Info])
“I began to feel that I was losing my identity, that the person that I called “Clay,” the person who put me in this place, the person who volunteered to go into this prison — because it was a prison to me; it still is a prison to me. I don’t regard it as an experiment or a simulation because it was a prison run by psychologists instead of run by the state. I began to feel that that identity, the person that I was that had decided to go to prison was distant from me — was remote until finally I wasn’t that, I was 416. I was really my number.”
Power of the situation
A documentary on similar experiments. Very informative. [Video]
There is a certain state in which we become so close that we can no longer relate to each other. We gradually reduce the physical distance d between us to a point where d=0 and there is no potential social energy, i.e. the self-reliance is less than a threshold, and social distance is maximum. Our perceived weakness is amplified, as our conscious self-sacrifice is represented and erased by the man shouting “boşlukları dolduralım”. To put it in “social dilemma” terms: Each of the persons in the bus agrees to silently sacrifice a small amount of her private freedom for a significant good for the newcomer. In the end, so much is sacrificed and we have an increasingly deficient stability. Therefore it is not the “tragedy of the commons“, but the tragedy of the private. The frog dies in boiling water.
As the mobile communication devices (read it “cellular phones”) combine GPS technologies with social networking applications, the location information can be incorporated into shared content. For example, your status entries or blog posts can correspond to a position on the map, or even a trail (a longer one if you are on a vehicle). There can be different comments made about a building or scenery by looking it from one side and from other sides.
“Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata. These data usually consist of latitude and longitude coordinates, though they can also include altitude, bearing, accuracy data, and place names.”
Another application of this technology is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), in which the mobile devices use the actual coordinates of the player to determine her position on a fictitious universe. Thus, the device acts as a window to the parallel gaming universe. It’s like a treasure hunt except that you are not searching for a concrete object, but expecting your device to “catch” something on the radar. If interested, look at posts on ARG network about GPS technology.
Do you remember how many websites have you registered to? Tens of usernames, passwords, profile information, avatar images, many duplicates of the same data. Do we really need a 99th site to put our photo, add contacts and send messages? What is wrong with e-mail anyway? Some sites keep photographs, some keep documents, but the contents are technically similar. Every website applies a different combination of the same ingredients. So, it’s not the technology. There is something else on these websites that keeps us coming. We don’t know about the server machines, farms of computers devoted to serve us. We just see the software interface and forget about the hardware behind it. It’s similar to our relation to our biological body. We tend to ignore the mechanism, as long as it works properly. While talking face-to-face to a person, we don’t care about the complex biological systems that allow us do it, but focus on something else, on a different level, such as mimics and gestures. As talking is not about making sounds with vocal cords, social networking is not about databases and computer networks. The websites do not serve contents themselves. They act like some kind of container or space to be filled. Each website defines and offers a certain framework. Thus, the users don’t use the site, rather, they relate to other users through it. A social website is not mainly a facility or a service that is consumed by the users. Rather, it is the context of their interaction.