Virtual Distance: Technology is rewriting the rulebook for human interaction

By Karen Sobel Lojeski, Stony Brook University and Martin Westwell, Flinders University

Consider the following two situations.

In the first scenario, a man and a woman sit across from each other at a romantically lit table in a fancy restaurant texting – looking down and talking to others, maybe each other – but rarely glancing up except to place drink and food orders.

In the second, a mother walks into a diner joining friends for lunch, carrying her 2-year-old. She sets him down at the table, hands him a tablet device, takes out her smartphone, searches messages, and half listens for only occasional moments of adult conversation squeezed in between swooshes across their collective screens.

What ties them together? The distance between them. Both scenarios reflect a new phenomenon of the digital age growing ever more rapidly. It’s called “virtual distance.”

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Superfluids Demonstrate Quantum Wave like Light

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Anyone who's researched the infamous double-slit experiment knows exactly how strange light can behave when it "chooses" which property to display.  Following this weird characteristic, a team of researchers have basically duplicated the effects with flowing liquid instead of light, which also demonstrated an interference pattern when split.

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Sensation of Touch coming to Movies & Games

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Laboratory grown Stem Cells await Human Trials

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With plenty of controversy over the years on whether or not stem cell research would continue, a cutting-edge method was developed recently which allows normal adult cells to be transformed into stem cells.  With the requirement of human embryos removed, this breakthrough in technique won a Nobel prize and a Japanese patient will be the first person to test the new treatment.

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