29 December 2008

What Is Aether_net? (Part 1)

The Aether-Net.Org website is a group project designed for a class of students within a technical program at a university, teaching them how to program physics into a 2-dimensional landscape, reinforcing their knowledge of the universe.

The physics equations are designed within the digital landscape of what's known as a "Chat Universe."  Within this kind of universe, it is possible to find "Information" placed there by other "Users."  This is the purpose, or the [mission] of the game.

Different "Areas" have various purposes.  Some sections of the universe are meant to keep things together, in the form of subjects of conversation.  For example, you are on the planet Jupiter, and there is a certain conversation topic that lends itself somehow to the idea of Jupiter in everybody's minds.  In that sense, the place that you visit is really a symbol that causes us to identify with the concepts of that symbol.  In other cases, you might visit a planet represented with a real symbol.  For example, a Uranus planet superimposed with a toilet bowl means that you should expect fowl humour.  Otherwise, a beautiful water planet insignified with a treble clef insignia should indicate the nature of the planet:  conversation of and about music.

2D Landscape

In order to program the physics of the area, the game is designed in 2D.  There is also a building stage, where characters get to choose their vessels.  The vessels can be anything...  There is a bitmap pallete, and that is really the only requirement:  that they stick to a 200px by 200px box, with transparencies allowed (of course, we can't just have a bunch of boxes floating around).  They will also be given 256 colours to indicate on their small ship.

The reason these limitations are specified are so that the pieces within the game take up minimal space.  There is an additional element, the "Comment Themes" and "Background Preferences" sections, which also give you an idea as to what the rest of the screen will look like. 

There are such things as Planetary Limitations.  These are structured around the mainframe/capacity of the server, and also around the intent of the conversation.  For example, "Lonely Planet" has a capacity of "one."  While there are other planets that can fit as many as 200, there is no place to land, and it is difficult to secure a runway to a good conversation.  

It remains better to draw support for your cause, by entering other planets and inviting members of those communities to exit the room, and enter yours, provided you wish to disclose with them something that would be considered interesting.

When people arrive at your area, and get into the various different realms that you consume, find yourself interpreted by other "bots" using modern translation technology, the first of its kind.  With technology, we are all multi-lingual.  It is in this recognition that we should be thankful for how computers have improved our lives.

Vastness Of Space

Space goes on forever.  There's no limit to how far it extends.  In that regard, we live within a vastness of space.  However, nothing exists outside of that space.  Therefore, space with nothing in it does not exist. And the expansion of the universe is really the knowledge of its existence.  The "event horizon" is really the knowledge line of an event.  This is seriously how the universe adds up, folks.  If you don't know about it, then it doesn't exist.  

As we learn more about the universe, it continues to expand.  I would only be concerned if the universe were to begin shrinking, because in that case, it would be due to that we were learning less about it.

Time is a reality, but we're all acutely aware of how it is relative.  Everyone knows the drive back is shorter than the ride there.  And that mornings can go by real fast when we're real busy, and time seems to be slow and never end when we're sad.  

So how is that our feelings can affect our perception of time?  What does that say about time?  Nothing, really.  It says alot about ourselves.  We are living in a vastness of space in our minds.  Can you feel that endlessness of space in there?  All the stuff you'll never know?  That's just the outer limits of the universe.  It's right inside your mind, and you can become more intelligent by searching inside yourself, just as you can by looking around, reading and talking to people.  

Aether-Net gives you a chance to look inside your mind, while looking at the world around.  You are encouraged not to address personal information about your exact geographic identification, contact information...  It's strongly suggested not to.  The full appreciation of the Aether-Net is in the anonymous nature of its environment.  We are merely thoughts in space, not human beings on Earth.  And this disconnection between our actual selves, and our thought-selves, as we become in this environment, is enough to make me wonder...  Does Aether-Net have any potential in becoming a reality? 


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