Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 12th, 2015

A friend passed away: Maitre Farès Zoghbi (with 50,000 manuscripts private library, opened to all)

He passed away, Maitre Phares Zoghby. He owned the private library in Kornet Chehwan that I patronized in the last 10 years.

The burial ceremony is today Monday at 4:30 at the Church of St. Paul and Pierre.
I posted extensive reviews of his 2 published books and a couple of articles on the library and how it was run.

Maitre Zoghbi was handicapped in the last 4 years and could not come down to the lower level of his library to meet with the readers.
When Maitre Zoghby could come down to the lower floor of the library, he would ask Rita to call me up when I failed to show up and check if I was sick…

Nada CORBANI AKL (she represented the Jesuit university to care for the library before her retirement) wrote in the French daily:

C’était un humaniste doublé d’un philanthrope, un ami de la culture, un homme qui avait trouvé pour l’un de ses ouvrages ce titre admirable : Le salut par la culture. Il y croyait.
Né en 1918 au Brezil, transfere au Liban a l’ age de 13 ans,  licencié en droit de l’USJ en 1943, Farès Zoghbi fut longtemps l’avocat du Nahar et du Casino du Liban. Lié d’amitié à Ghassan Tuéni, il avait notamment joué un rôle-clé dans la jonction entre L’Orient et Le Jour.
Propriétaire d’une impressionnante collection de livres, Farès Zoghbi avait fini par en faire don à l’Université Saint-Joseph, à condition qu’elle demeure sur son site, à Kornet Chehwane, où il résidait, et qu’elle soit transformée en bibliothèque publique. Ce qui fut généreusement fait en 2002.
La santé de Farès avait décliné petit à petit, ces dernières années. Il est décédé hier matin des suites de complications pulmonaires. Seul survivant de sa fratrie, expatriée au Brésil, ce sont quelques proches, et surtout la grande famille de ses amis, qui lui feront ses adieux cet après-midi, en l’église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul, à Kornet Chehwane.


Une bibliothèque vivante s’est éteinte

Il est parti sans bruit, comme il avait vécu ces dernières années, entre ses réflexions, ses livres, ses écrits secrets, et quelques amis.
Il est parti sans savoir qu’on continue de violer les livres et de brûler les bibliothèques !
Pharès, toi dont le prénom signifie chevalier dans cette langue que tu chéris, tu as été chevalier par la noblesse de tes dons et la discrétion de tes gestes, par l’attention la plus généreuse et par le don d’une vie entière dédiée aux autres !
Tu fais partie de ces hommes en voie de disparition, ces hommes cultivés, généreux, simples, attentionnés, humains, à l’écoute des autres, toujours disponibles.
Tu as consacré l’essentiel de tes forces pour aider et surtout pour lutter en vue d’un dialogue des cultures, avec un humanisme et une tolérance reconnus de tous.
Cher Pharès, par ces multiples actions, par ta bibliothèque, par tes écrits, par ta lutte pour un Liban réunifié, tu as éveillé les consciences, tu as tracé les routes, et, après toi, plus rien ne sera comme avant !
Ton départ est une perte considérable pour le monde juridique, pour l’Université Saint-Joseph, pour le monde de la culture et des bibliothèques, pour la francophonie, pour ton pays et ta contrée, Kornet Chehwane, et surtout pour nous, tes amis.
Pars en paix Pharès !


Rita Zoghbi shared a link.
Farès Zoghbi : C’était un humaniste doublé d’un philanthrope, un ami de la culture, un homme qui avait trouvé pour l’un de ses ouvrages ce titre…

 Are we in Transition phase from Gaming Accessories to Cybernetic Devices?

It’s hard to discuss the future of virtual reality without addressing its relationship to gaming.

“A well designed game can even transcend reality and transplant the player into the world of the game, putting us into different bodies, different times, and different places.” Dave Beaudoin

 on Aug 09, 2015

Industry analysts anticipate 2016 will be the breakout year for virtual reality and no doubt gaming will be key to its success.

And as the excitement builds around VR, it’s worth remembering that gamers have been patiently pining for VR for decades.

Perhaps it’s telling that Palmer Luckey, who has support from the gaming community, got his start modding Nintendo consoles.

For the short-term success of VR, all eyes are on video games to do what they do best: convince consumers to make the costly investment into new hardware platforms.

As first-gen VR headsets hit the shelves soon, companies look to develop new games for established fan bases and adapt popular games to VR in hopes of giving the technology traction and living up to gamer expectations.

But surely VR means more to gaming than just enhancing the experience?

Whether it was on their old school Atari 2600 or the PS4, gamers know what it’s like to get sucked into video games.

Often, at the heart of the best games is immersion. In a fascinating 2010 post titled “The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games”, author Jamie Madigan summarizes that force that pulls gamers in, known as spatial presence:

The process starts with players forming a mental model of the game’s make-believe space by looking at various cues (images, movement, sounds, and so forth) as well as assumptions about the world that they may bring to the table. Once that mental model of the game world is created, the player must decide, either consciously or unconsciously, whether she feels like she’s in that imagined world or in the real one.

Now, getting sucked into a video game isn’t necessarily dependent upon having stellar graphics or sound.

Board games can achieve the same sense of immersion using paper, dice, and cardboard (though a good dose of imagination and focus is required to pull it off).

With video games, the barrier to immersion is lower because the slew of sensory information provides dynamic and real-time engagement.

As Steven Kotler has described, the immersion that derives from spatial presence in games promotes mental “flow” states. Today, the combination of context, theme, and challenges allow games to achieve relatively mild flow states compared to what could potentially be designed in the future once flow and other mental states are reverse engineered.

And herein lies VR’s potential to take immersion to a whole other level.

Thanks to improved computing hardware, VR offers a sensory richness that can be approach real world depth.

Additionally, the ability to completely saturate sensory fields lies in stark contrast to the sights and sounds coming from the black monoliths we play games on.

Today, those fields are visual and auditory alone, but tomorrow, they very well could be smell, taste, touch, and beyond. Finally, achieving operating speeds that match the brain’s processing of sensory information will fool the brain into crossing the Uncanny Valley, literally putting the ‘reality’ in virtual reality.

In this way, future VR could make it effortless to achieve immersion and promote flow, and not just with games. What does this look like on a long enough timeline? Like hacking the brain. VR headsets won’t just enhance gaming, they’ll enhance our lives cybernetically in ways yet unimaginable.

Note: My conjecture is that extended sensory technology will create bypass neural networks that will circumvent the hierarchy in our nervous system. The Neo-Cortex will be sidelined for many sensory filtering processes.

Patsy Z shared this link Singularity Hub

“Future VR could make it effortless to achieve immersion and promote flow, and not just with games.

What does this look like on a long enough timeline? Like hacking the brain.”

“A well designed game can even transcend reality and transplant the player into the world of the game, putting us into different bodies, different times, and different…




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