Thesis Project – North Central Positronics

North Central Positroinics (NCP) is a sprawling online text-adventure game.

This game is set an post-apocalyptic world dominated by an authoritarian collective called North Central Positronics.

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Spotify – The Enlightened Music Data Despot

In the age of ubiquitous cloud computing, the rise of streaming services feels like old news. Of course we love streaming! For consumers, prices are lowers, libraries bigger, and services suddenly bespoke. What could be better?

While services like Facebook have received the brunt-end of public outrage for their use of consumer data, Spotify has managed to stay under-the-radar despite its aggressive data collection practices – which are commonplace across the “app” industry.

How has Spotify managed this? By giving users just enough value for their data in return. Features like custom playlists, API tools, and social/UI features shift public perception of Spotify from a looming corporate data farmer to an enlightened data despot.

Yet upon further inspection, I believe Spotify could be doing more for both its common consumers/users and less-common developers and amateur artists folk like me.

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The Perception Test: Higher Order Beliefs

Economics is regarded as a ‘soft science’ because it studies a field that is heavily influenced by human behavior.

Despite developing rigorous models the world depends on, precise measurements that move markets, and insights for how humans behave, economics is dependent on some key assumptions (such as rational actors).

For this reason, it is often a target of criticism from the ‘hard sciences’:

Economists even study how rational we can be with the information we have, a branch of game theory involving higher order beliefs.

I made a small web project to demonstrate the concept of higher order beliefs. It uses memes to make it more fun. Please check it out and participate!

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