As the first convox of the SVBBC, IfCon0.1 was a bit of an experiment. As befits a BBC, it was a day of talks and talking. All SVBBC members were invited to give a 20 or 45 minute talk on the topic of their choice, with the only constraint being "don't be boring." We also gathered for a few meals and talked a bit about the future of the SVBBC. It was at Chris' home in Sunnyvale on March 2, 2013.
Future instances of the conference will be renamed to avoid confusion with a pre-existing, unrelated conference series of the same name.
While video games get a lot of press for being violent and repetitive, they can also be used to tell intricate stories. As a new medium, games provide storytelling devices not present in older forms of communication. The best games take advantage of this to form a stronger identification between player and protagonist, and even allow the player to influence the direction of the story. In this talk, I'll present examples both of games that use the medium well to convey their stories and games where poor design choices draw focus away from the message the creators were trying to convey.
Divine Experience - On the Neural Basis of Revelation
Recent scientific insights into the
nature of brain functioning during revelatory religious experiences
will be reviewed. These insights are grounded in data from the study
of brain damaged patients, modern brain imaging studies of healthy
people, studies of the effects of psychoactive drugs on experience,
and even efforts to simulate religious experiences by stimulating the
brain directly. While the primary focus will be on spontaneous, life
changing, religious experiences, the neural basis of meditation and
prayer will also be discussed, as will near-death experiences.
The Piraha of the Amazon jungle are, like most indigenous hunter-gatherers, exquisitely adapted to their environment, and the specifics of their language, culture, and worldview bring questions to academic linguistics and psychology at a fundamental level. In this talk I will touch upon a few of the more interesting aspects of these people, and specifically explore the importance of ecological relevance in any scientific theories of mind/brain and culture.
The Longevity Project by Friedman and Martin summarizes one of the largest longitudinal studies. Following 1500 people from grade school through death, a cross-generational team of psychologists is able to analyze a wide variety of factors that contribute to length of life. Using the book as a starting point, I'll explore how various aspects of personality have important and sometimes counter-intuitive effects on longevity. I'll then relate this directly to the three elements in the title, propose how the three relate, and present an initial model for measuring and tracking health and well-being.
A Perspective on Understanding the Arts and Humanities as Demonstrated by Differential Image Analysis Bingo!
Formal training in the techie disciplines tends to deal with very low-dimensional, low-order, tractably describable objects. Unfortunately, the real world is full of important concepts and interactions that defy precise description. I will present one method of learning how to reason about such objects using the image domain as an example. After establishing some basic image terminology, we will segue into a game of differential image analysis bingo that will highlight the learning technique. We will close with possible implications and applications.