Why start yet another blog? Well, I may just have worked out what I'm on about ...

I've tried setting up several blogs in the past, and the only one that is really sticking so far is my "The Sunday Roaster" one. That's, unsurprisingly, about food and is practically a hobby site so not so tricky to keep up, but I've always struggled to find a way of thinking aloud about my work and more importantly my research. I think it's perhaps because I still find it difficult to identify with what it is I am (oops, getting a bit existential there) but there's something about the title 'Virtual Explorer' which somehow seems to fit.

So what is it that's so hard for me to define? Well my work started off blending engineering with psychology, then moved on to mixing up finance with graphic design, and now I find myself fitting together ICT and education. Confused, yes. But what's starting to become clearer through my research is that I have developed an understanding of ICT (including the web) that sees it all as a myriad of virtual spaces, some connected, some not, some huge and others tiny, some easy to perceive and some very difficult. In the midst of all this I realise that in a way I'm the explorer I always wanted to be, but unlike explorers of the real world I roam through the wonderful and often strange paths that Information & Communication Technologies create.

Now I'm hardly alone here, and given the youth of the web in particular it's pretty fair to say that we're all virtual explorers in a way I guess, but then again there's something distinct about those who wander the paths that they find from those who forge new paths to wander. I can never remember the guy who wrote that quote, but it goes something along the lines of ...

"Go not when the path may lead - make a new path and leave a trail"


Of course the weird thing about the virtual space is that it doesn't exist unless it's created first, so in a way you can never been the first one there unless it's something you actually created yourself. But compare that perhaps with the first white settlers in America to meet a red indian - they might consider themselves to have explored and hence discovered the red inidian, but I kind of reckon the red indians had already discovered themselves by then. It's all relative really ...

With the discovery of pure virtual space that's a bit more tricky, but with the growing creation of software and websites that have some form of limited AI built in it's not so difficult to see how space can be created dynamically and automatically that can therefore be explored afresh. Take the game Spore for example - it's ability to let worlds be populated by creatures that have been created in other worlds leads to unknown and unpredictable results and interactions.

Anyhow - I feel the waffle coming on, so will sign off thist first post and reflect on it later, but with mildy high hopes that something might come of this blog with time.

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