This monograph originates from my work on the HAPTEX project. In - cember 2004 Prof. Franz-Erich Wolter, the head of the Institute of Man- Machine Communication of the Leibniz Universit. at Hannover, o?ered me the opportunity to participate in that EU funded project. Being a mat- matician I had only very little experience in the ?eld of haptic simulation in those days, but Prof. Wolter trusted in my ability to become acquainted with new ?elds of research in a very short time. I am still thankful for the con?dence he has shown me. Since then I indeed learned and found out a lot. With this monograph I try to pass on the knowledge I gained. Having a reader in mind who-like me at the beginning of the project-has no background in psychophysics, neurophysiologyortextileengineeringIwillprovidethenecessarybasics.The skilled reader may safely skip these parts. Nevertheless I presume some basic knowledge in mathematics. I hope that this thesis might help a newcomer to discover the fascinating ?eld of tactile simulation. This workwouldnot havebeen possible without the funding of the project "HAPtic sensing of virtual TEXtiles" (HAPTEX) under the Sixth Fra- work Programme (FP6) of the European Union (Contract No. IST-6549).
The author claims that, in our progress, in a techno-logos driven linear and literal way of dealing with reality, we are moving from a macro-cosmic sense of the reality of being to a microscopic knowledge of truth. In the "mythic" vision of reality, the ground is naturally spiritual, but in the "un-reality" that we now approach, the ground is virtually artificial, as in the new singularity and a data based reality. This is not a change in reality, but a change in the human who is becoming focused on data, technos, and mediation, rather than the essence of nature-earth as not only the unique habitat of the unique human and other beings, but the essence of reality which is manifested in the existence of life. This is the real ground of reality, but it requires relationship and experience. The usual example the author gives is that between water, as nature, and human being as an organism, and in this relationship, it can be seen that the essence of water is in the experience of drinking, not in the knowledge and ideas about water. This is a way to look at nature as essence, and life as the manifestation of that essence. In our megatrend, we are moving from this essence being the vision of reality being naturally spiritual toward reality being virtually artificial. Another way of saying this is the move from reality of being to the reality of knowing, or from a macro-cosmic reality to a microscopic truth.
This book is the fruit of many years of experience on the creation of synthetic worldsandvirtualrealities.Ourgoalistotransmitthisexperiencetostudents and ease the learning curve required to master the creation of Virtual Reality (VR) applications. We start by providing some brief answers to key questions such as: where did VR come from? what are the main concepts that help us understand this research ?eld? what are the current VR trends? and last but not least, how can we create virtual worlds? Throughout the book we consider the terms virtual environment, v- tualworld and VRapplication asequivalentconcepts: computer-generated environments mainly composed of interactive computer graphics, designed to physically and/or psychologically immerse one or more users in an alternative reality. The ?rst part of the book makes a review of the basic theoretical and practical concepts involved in the visual aspect of virtual environments. We startbypresentingthebasicmathematicalfoundationsforthesynthesisof3D graphics, includingbasicmodelingandrenderingtechniques.Acomprehensive review of the state of the art of computer animation closes this part."
Dear Reader This is a book about mobile virtual work. It aims at clarifying the basic concepts and showing present practices and future challenges. The roots of the book are in the collaboration of few European practitioners and - searchers, who met each other under the umbrella of the Swedish SALTSA programme (see next page) in January 2002 in Stockholm. The group was first called 'ICT, Mobility and Work Organisation' but redefined itself quickly as 'Mobile Virtual Cooperative Work' group. The change of the name reflects the development of reasoning in the group. We could not find much material on mobile work, certainly not systematic studies, - though a growing interest in mobile technologies and services could be found. Practices of telework and virtual organizations were better known, but we were convinced that the combination with mobile work was so- thing different and new. Our main target became to understand what it was all about. The next step was an expert meeting in October 2004 at Ranas Castle again in Sweden. A wider group of experts was invited to present their views on mobile virtual work and ideas about book chapters from different perspectives of working life. Some of the expertise could be found through the network of the AMI@Work family created by the New Working En- ronments unit of the European Commission's Information Society Dir- torate-General. Also close collaboration was developed with the related MOSAIC program.
There are few aspects of church life more challenging or more important than an honest look at reality. Often churches attempt to set a vision and direction without first undertaking the foundational task of determining who they really are and what makes them unique from the other churches around them. Without that kind of clear picture any attempt to shape a vision will fail because it's built on a faulty foundation. Drawing on his experience as a pastor and international leader, Dr. Ron Johnston outlines five steps designed to help churches identify their own unique reality: Clearly Define Your Reality, Intentionally Grow Your Leadership, Enthusiastically Embrace Your Uniqueness, Carefully Rethink Your Mission, Expectantly Shape Your Vision. He then uses stories from his own pastoral and consulting experience to make these points practical. This book is written not by an expert in an ivory tower but by a fellow traveller who has experienced the frustrations and blessings of church life. If churches are looking for an easy three-step solution to all of their problems, this is not the book for them. But for those churches that are committed to the long-term task of building a solid vision for the future, Dr. Johnston has provided a practical guide for the journey. About the Author: Ron Johnston is president of Small Church Connections. Previously he served as Director of International Programs at International Teams Canada. Prior to that he was a pastor for twenty-three years with Brethren churches in Southern Ontario. He recently completed a DMin program at Acadia University, having written his thesis on the subject of evangelism in the small church. He brings this blend of practical experience, academic study, and international involvement to his current work with small churches around the world
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