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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Telerobotics and Telepistemology

Ken Goldberg wrote:

> How is this claim justified?  When visiting a telerobotic site on the
> net, the alert viewer inevitably wonders whether in fact the site is
> indeed live or a series of prestored photographs.  One of the most
> notorious web cameras was hidden in the ceiling above a public
> restroom stall.  By simply clicking in, one could peer in on an
> unsuspecting subject.  After attracting a great many curious voyeurs,
> it was revealed that the "camera" always returned the same still
> photograph of an unoccupied toilet.  Several other telerobotic
> forgeries on the net have since been exposed, where the "live camera"
> effect was generated by indexing into a library of prestored
> photographs.

There is a third possibility. To take the example of the restroom above,
what if those who enter the stall are not unsuspecting but instead are
actors playing a definite role? As in the case of documentary films, (or
even of written accounts that appear to be authentic reports but are
fiction) the fact that the film is actual does not mean that it is truly
documentary, in some sense. However, if our sense of reality is socially
constructed,  as I certainly would maintain, it is only to the extent we
can construct agreed-upon procedures which claim to distinguish between
reality, fiction, and forgery that these distinctions can remain

Michael H. Goldhaber
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