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posted by janrinok on Monday March 03 2014, @11:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-that's-me-over-there dept.

Papas Fritas writes:

"Kyle Vanhemert reports that a group of researchers in Barcelona are using the Oculus Rift headset to let participants experience the creative process through someone else's eyes and in their latest experiment are letting men and women swap bodies. Two subjects are outfitted with headsets connected so that each participant sees a video stream from point-of-view cameras attached to the other person's rig. The participants are instructed to mimic each other's movements, wordlessly dictating the action in tandem like kids playing with a Ouija board. They start out moving their hands around and touching their arms and bellies, but they then shed clothes, graze their own bare skin, and look into their underwear to give their partner a sense of what it's like to look down and see equipment that's not usually there. The effect is profound says Philippe Bertrand. 'Deep inside you know it's not your body, but you feel like it is.' 'The discovery of 'mirror neurons' by Giacomo Rizzolatti has shown us that you can't conceive an 'I' without an 'us,' Bertrand explains. The group calls it 'The Machine To Be Another' and over the last several months, the group has found a diverse group of researchers interested in their 'embodiment experience platform,' from artists to therapists to anthropologists. Their latest project is focused on VR's potential for fields like gender studies and queer theory, but they're already formulating applications from artistic performances to neuro-rehabilitation. Other studies suggest the effectiveness of embodiment for reducing implicit racial bias. The Machine To Be Another 'aims to promote self understanding, empathy and tolerance among users' across the spectrum. It's basically highly conceptual performance art, though we could see the technology being used in educational settings to help broaden discussions on gender, race, disabilities, and aging."

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:36AM

    by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @02:36AM (#10403) Journal

    ?? Forgive me, for it has been quite a while since I was associated with a university, but throughout the 80's and 90's you would get beat about the head and shoulders from the PC police if you said something like that (I am assuming it has something to do with homosexual-related studies, given that it is listed in the text right next to gender studies?).

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  • (Score: 1) by glyph on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:32AM

    by glyph (245) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:32AM (#10452)

    Social theory has come a long way in 40 years ("PC police"?... shush grandpa!) Only a straight person would sign up for "homosexual-related studies".

    • (Score: 2) by hubie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:55PM

      by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:55PM (#10612) Journal

      Get off my lawn. :)

      Actually, back in the day only a straight person would come up with "queer theory", and they would get roundly denounced as being demeaning. This was around the same time when academics switched to "African American" and other things like that. In general, I think most people don't care what the terms are supposed to be so as long as they stop changing, or if they change, at least don't demonize the people who haven't switched vocabulary (I'm not talking about this instance, but referring back to the 90's when it was an issue, at least with the talking heads on TV).

      • (Score: 1) by tangomargarine on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:02PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:02PM (#10755)

        So basically, words have no meaning :P Unless we want to yell at somebody for using the wrong ones...which we arbitrarily decide.

        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by cykros on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:17PM

        by cykros (989) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @05:17PM (#10772)

        African American is at this point a quaint relic at best, and offensive at worst (being offended at it seems a bit touchy to me). Black tends to be the PC label at this point.

        As for queer, it's an encompassing label that includes homosexuals of all genders, including neither male nor female, in the various socially constructed genders that people identify with. As well as non-homosexuals within that general umbrella.

        The word "queer", like "jew" or even "bitch" carries a lot of its meaning in the intonation used by the speaker, and its offensiveness or lack thereof is contained within.

  • (Score: 1) by Darth Turbogeek on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:18PM

    by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:18PM (#10567)

    I was rather taken aback by seeing Queer Theory used as this is a very insulting term used by homophobes to justify their narrow minded beliefs, esp when homosexuality was seen as a disease and those who were homosexual to be locked away as "diseased filth".

    Forget politically correct, Queer Theory was a whole new level of wrong that assholes in places like Uganda subscribe to. Thence I'm very taken aback anyone even close to right mnded would consider using the term, esp given exactly what said theory was used to justify.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by LowID on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:26PM

      by LowID (337) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @12:26PM (#10571)

      WTF are you talking about? Queer Theory is a term describing the study of self-identified Queer people - as in, people who call themselves queer, i.e. with a sexual identity and orientation different from the mainstream conceptions.

      The term Queer is used as part of the LGBQT initialism, so it's perfectly accepted by the community. Where did you get that idea that it's insulting and homophobic?

      • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:25PM

        by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:25PM (#10594)

        Traditionally in the UK it has been used as an insult. Maybe people are now reclaiming it, I don't know.

        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
        • (Score: 1) by cafebabe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:50PM

          by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:50PM (#10856) Journal

          The topic of reclaiming terms was covered tastelessly in Clerks 2 [] (or here []):-

          Randal Graves: Since when is it a crime to say "porch monkey"?
          Becky: Oh, since, I don't know, forever?!
          Randal Graves: Why?
          Dante Hicks: Because porch monkey is a racial slur against black people!
          Randal Graves: No it's not - nigger is.
          Dante Hicks: [horrified] Randal!
          Elias: Did Mr. Randal just call Mr. Dante a nigger?
          Becky: Shut up, Elias!
          Randal Graves: I didn't just call Dante a nigger, I just said that nigger is a racial slur.
          Dante Hicks: So is porch monkey!
          Randal Graves: Oh, it is not! Coon, spook, spade, moolie, jigaboo, nig-nog - those are racial slurs. Porch monkey is not.
          Becky: I'm going to pretend that this conversation didn't happen. Elias, go pick up that fucking mess. [points at Randal] And you are this close to getting shit-canned! Shoot me now! [storms off]
          Dante Hicks: What are you doing? Are you trying to get fired?
          Randal Graves: Since when did porch monkey become a racial slur?
          Dante Hicks: When ignorant racists started using it 100 years ago!
          Randal Graves: Oh, bullshit. My grandmother used to call me a porch monkey all the time when I was a kid because I'd sit on the porch and stare at my neighbors.
          Dante Hicks: Despite the fact that your grandmother used it as a term of endearment for you, it's still a racial slur. It would be like your grandmother calling you a little kike.
          Randal Graves: Oh, it is not. Besides, my grandmother had nothing but the utmost respect for the Jewish community. She used to tell me to be always be nice to the Jewish kids, or they'd put the sheenie curse on me.
          Dante Hicks: WHAT THE FUCK, MAN?!
          Randal Graves: What?
          Dante hicks: Sheenie is a racial slur too!
          Randal Graves: Oh, it is not!
          Dante Hicks: Yes, it is!
          Randal Graves: Well, she never called any Jews sheenies, she just said "sheenie curse" a lot. It was cute.
          Dante Hicks: It wasn't cute, it was racist!
          Randal Graves: I disagree, man. She was just an old-timer. That's the way people talked back then. It didn't mean they were racists. [thinks for a moment] But my grandmother did refer to a broken beer bottle once as a nigger knife.
          [Dante is flabbergasted]
          Randal Graves: You know, come to think of it, my grandmother was kind of a racist.
          Dante Hicks: You think?!
          Randal Graves: Well, I still don't think that porch monkey should be considered a racial term. I've always used it to describe lazy people, not lazy black people. I think if we really tried, we could take back porch monkey and save it.
          Dante Hicks: [fed up] It can't be saved, Randal. The sole purpose for its creation, the only reason it exists in the first place, is to disparage an entire race. And even if it could be saved, you couldn't save it because you're not black!
          Randal Graves: Well, listen to you - telling me I can't do something because of the color of my skin. You're the racist, man!

      • (Score: 2) by hubie on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:58PM

        by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:58PM (#10616) Journal

        This is the first time I have seen "Q" added to "LGBT". Is this common now?

        • (Score: 2) by Random2 on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:15PM

          by Random2 (669) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @03:15PM (#10668)

          Yes, although my university used 'Qusstioning' instead of 'Queer'.

          If only I registered 3 users earlier....
  • (Score: 1) by cafebabe on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:02PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:02PM (#10820) Journal

    For an extensive list of gender categories, see Facebook's 50 gender options [].

    However, if you take into account chromosomes, hormone levels, seven levels of androgen insensitivity, genital surgery, mate attraction, self-identity and other factors, there are probably more than 1,000 categories. About 46% of the population fits into one traditional category and about 44% of the population fits into another traditional category. The remainder is like fractal zoo.