We Need To Gamify Common Sense?

From the “wow . . . just, wow” files:

An Ohio woman has confiscated the Xbox of her 15-year-old son who was hospitalized for dehydration after spending at least four days in his bedroom playing the Modern Warfare 3 video game, WCMH TV reports.

Jesse Rawlins tells the NBC affiliate in Columbus that her son, Tyler Rigsby, emerged from his bedroom Tuesday morning after a marathon round of game-playing, and collapsed three times. She says he became very pale and his lips turned blue.

Via Douglas Stanglin at USA Today.

I am both a gamer and parent. I get that when you are gaming, you can lose perspective on time. I also get that it can be a challenge to get your kids to back away from the console, especially as they get older.

But “hard choices” doesn’t seem to capture what happened here. And it certainly transcends the “parent’s responsibility” vs. “individual choices” debate. Central to parenthood–or friendship for that matter–is knowing what is going on in someone else’s life. Cental to a dignified life–much less the developed life–is caring for one’s own basic needs (to the extent that one is able to do so). This fails on both accounts.

Perhaps there are good reasons to explain what happened, but I can’t imagine what they would be.

Man, I hope Snopes figures out this is an urban legend.

On Seeing Honestly

But Google Glass is disruptive and antisocial.

Really? Hold on, let me take this call. OK, one second, just gotta finish sending this text. Now, what were you saying? Oh, right, it’s antisocial. These glasses disrupt the tender interpersonal dynamics we’ve built up over millennia of human cultural evolution. We are all such interested, attentive people, and Google Glass would never fit in with—and perhaps even threatens—our delicate social fabric.

OK, whatever you’ve got to tell yourself to sleep better.

Absolutely love Farhad Manjoo’s piece at Pando Daily (Don’t laugh at Google Glass: They’re Goofy, but They Will Save Us From Ourselves) on the pro-social aspects of mobile tech practices and Google Glass. Ok, maybe “pro-social” is going too far. Perhaps “less antisocial” is a better characterization of what he says. Anyway…what I appreciate is Manjoo’s honesty about how antisocial our tech habits often are. While our intentions are often good, the acts in themselves frequently impede the good that we intend or introduce bad consequences that we had not intended or even envisioned. Such honesty is rare in the tech journalism world.

I’m all for tech, but we need to be honest about what our real actions actually do rather than imagined consequences of the actions we think we are engaged in. Otherwise, we end up justifying as good those things that we simply prefer.

Preserving the Dignity of Death in the Digital Age

Technology develops quickly, but law evolves to meet it at a much slower rate. Megan Guess at Ars Technica reported on an important recognition of the way that the internet’s viral power may very well compromise one of our dearest legal and moral protections.

On Wednesday, Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski ruled that San Diego County, Coulter’s employer, violated Brenda Marsh’s due process constitutional rights when Coulter made photocopies of 16 images in her son’s autopsy reports for himself and later gave them out to a newspaper and TV station. While many states and counties have laws forbidding the dissemination of death-scene images unless the photos are given out by family members, this ruling is the first that says it is also a constitutional right for family members to be able to protect their privacy after a loved one’s death.


Dharun Ravi, Tyler Clemente, and How We Accept Spying

Today, Dharun Ravi begins his thirty day prison sentence for his conviction on crimes relating to using a webcam twice to spy on his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clemente.  Clemente committed suicide a day later.  (For background, The New York Times has a topic page on the case.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the case over the past couple of years, especially since Ravi’s conviction in March.  And especially given what he was actually sentence for.


The Curious Read of “The Curious Timing of Mark Zuckerberg’s Wedding”

News of love, via The Atlantic Wire.

As you probably know by now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg married his college sweetheart, Priscilla Chan, this weekend; just one day after becoming a billionaire 19 times over. The surprise backyard ceremony also happened to take place just days after she graduated from medical school, providing the perfect opportunity for the couple to officially launch the next chapter of their lives together.

Congrats to them. Very cool. And amidst such success for each of them, it has to be a really wonderful time.

But wait,


Writing and Being Human

From a post by Michael Lopp at Rands In Repose entitled Please Learn To Write:

Writing is the connective tissue that creates understanding. We, as social creatures, often better perform rituals to form understanding one on one, but good writing enables us to understand each other at scale.

Now… go.

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