Thursday, January 19, 2012

Educ Video Games w Real/Virtual Missiles? DISTURBING VIDEO Ender's Test Artificial Instruction

WARNING - DISTURBING CONTENT: When you watch this 90 second YouTube video, ask yourself if you are seeing something entirely fictional or an edited videorecording of a 'real' event. Are you sure?  
Please consider the questions about "artificial instruction," the timeline about real/virtual war at a distance offered below, and read Ender's Game free online  or get the book in preparation for joining us Jan 27 and Feb 10.

USAF Photo 2008
YouTube video excerpt from "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" episode of TV series "The Good Wife" Season 3 Episode 9 November 2011  "Alicia and Will ...are defending Sgt. Regina Elkins who is charged with disobeying orders and launching a missile attack in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 12 people." -from "Storyline" Written by garykmcd  on IMDb website 

QUESTIONS about "Artificial Instruction" please consider:
  • What are the characteristics of a “teacherless” course essential to convince the students who take it that they have a teacher? Why do/don't you care? 
  • When young people are trained to make video-game-like decisions that result in real explosions, what are the educational implications? Why do/don't you care?
Please join us for 2 free online discussions about Ender's Game and Ender's Test
1. Ender's Game (short story and book) in the next free online FridayLive! session January 27, 2012 2pm ET  - read story free online  or 
order book from Amazon
2. Ender's Test (procedure for distinguishing between "real" and artificial courses) on February 10, 2012 at 3:15pm ET

Keep checking as we continue to prepare this webpage for these 2 online events.  You can also get more info and register for the sessions at


Also, consider this highly abbreviated and selective timeline of observations and stories about real/virtual war at a distance:
  • 1945 "The next war may be fought by airplanes with no men in them at all . . " - Gen Hap Arnold, USAAF – US Army Air Forces, 1945 - quoted in many sources without citation, e.g., 
  • 1964 Dr. Strangelove movie "...if the U.S.S.R. is hit by nuclear weapons, it will trigger a 'Doomsday Machine' which will destroy all plant and animal life on Earth."  from plot summary Written by Colin Tinto <> for "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" on IMDb website
  • 1977 Ender's Game Short Story by Orson Scott Card   Plot summary on author's website first published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, August 1977 
  • 1983 War Games movie.  Plot summary:  "A young computer whizz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3. Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ?"  Written by Colin Tinto <>  Full plot summary written by Gene Chin (Huggo) for IMDb website
  • 1985 Ender's Game Novel, Orson Scott Card,  Plot summary on author's website    order book A Tor Book - Published by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. 
  • 2011 "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" TV series episode in "The Good Wife"
  • 2011 "Air Force Drone Operators Report High Levels of Stress,... the operators’ jobs: watching hours of close-up video of people killed in drone strikes. After a strike, operators assess the damage, and unlike fighter pilots who fly thousands of feet above their targets, drone operators can see in vivid detail what they have destroyed [many thousands of miles away on another continent]. " - "Air Force Drone Operators Report High Levels of Stress," by Elisabeth Bumiller, December 18, 2011 New York Times

YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound.
Yalsa Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.
Hugo Best Novel winner, 1986.
Nebula award, novel, 1985.
Image selected by Steve Gilbert 20120119
Photo of "An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft, armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, flies a combat mission over southern Afghanistan. The MQ-1 is deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom providing interdiction and armed reconnaissance against critical, perishable targets." U.S. Air Force photo by Lt Col Leslie Pratt 29 November 2008
Permission "This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain."

Music used in Good Wife episode: 'Sail' by AwolNation 

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