Links for 16th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Meet The Whuffie, A New Currency That’s Based On Your Online Reputation

    "The startup is hoping to promote change in the web by rewarding users with a positive impact on the web with this karma-like digital currency. The service will monitor your activity across various websites, including things like comments, posts, and more. When you complete positive actions, you gain Whuffies, and you lose them when you do something that the organization deems to be detrimental. The company hopes that as we use the web more and more in our day-to-day life this positivity will extend beyond the web.


    The algorithm takes into account ‘public endorsements’, or the number of times a user’s tweets are retweeted, or a Facebook post is Liked. It also takes into account who is making the endorsement, and the content in the messages that are being posted. You can make offers to other users using Whuffies as payment (for example, I could ask someone to help me draw a logo, offering 100 Whuffies as payment)." Still flawed, but there's something to learn from the idea.

    Tagged with: whuffiecurrencyreputationsocialmoneynew-southseaeconomicsstartup

  2. Reading Kafka Improves Learning, Suggests Psychology Study

    "Thus far, the researchers have identified the beneficial effects of unusual experiences only in implicit pattern learning. It remains to be seen whether or not reading surreal literature would aid in the learning of studied material as well. "It's important to note that sitting down with a Kafka story before exam time probably wouldn't boost your performance on a test," said Proulx.

    "What is critical here is that our participants were not expecting to encounter this bizarre story," he continued. "If you expect that you'll encounter something strange or out of the ordinary, you won't experience the same sense of alienation. You may be disturbed by it, but you won't show the same learning ability. The key to our study is that our participants were surprised by the series of unexpected events, and they had no way to make sense of them. Hence, they strived to make sense of something else.""

    Tagged with: psychologyresearchcognitionrationalitysurrealismsurprisemeaningKafkalearning

  3. Virtual bank in EVE freezes accounts due to deficit

    "Early this summer, it came to light that a veteran EVE player (known only as "Ricdic") had embezzled —and then sold in the real world— over 200 billion ISK from Ebank, causing a run on the virtual financial institution. However, this was just the beginning of the problems for the player-owned bank. Recently installed Ebank Chairman Ray McCormack admitted that the bank had been mismanaged, and rules, safeguards, and controls were not enforced. As a result, it's been revealed that Ebank is 380 billion ISK poorer thanks to a number of defaulted loans. Because of the aforementioned mismanagement, it apparently took the bank's new officers a while to figure out just how far in the red their institution is."

    Tagged with: metaversebankingMMOEVE-onlineeconomicsinsolvencyfinance

  4. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

    "My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow "them" to be more like "us.""

    Tagged with: raceracismgenderprivilegesociologyculturecriticismanalysisphilosophyhistory

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