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PBS Idea Channel

  1. Does Twitch Plays Pokémon Give You Hope For Humanity? [Video]

    It certainly makes me believe in Jesus. Err, Bird Jesus.

    Twitch plays Pokémon is on to another title in the game franchise, so we're going to be able to keep watching its chat-guided player character crash into walls for a good long while. That's a good thing, PBS Idea Channel says, because it's a fascinating look at how a community can grow and function without an external governing force.

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  2. Does Fiction Even Exist, Maaan? PBS Idea Channel Explains [Video]

    The question alone is giving me the munchies.

    Okay, strap in nerds: it's about to get philosophical up in here. Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel wants you to know that reality is a construct and fictional objects have properties, therefore they might exist -- and he uses the boy wizard Harry Potter as his prime example.

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  3. Why Do People Like Unboxing Videos So Much, Anyway?

    Idea Channel is thinking outside of the box. (Sorry. Had to.)

    Denizens of the Internet really like unboxing videos, which has left some of us at the Geekosystem offices a little confused. Thankfully, PBS Idea Channel is here to figure out what it is you all like so much about unboxing videos without us actually having to talk to real humans to find out.

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  4. Why Do People Hate Selfies So Much?

    Let me take a picture of myself to convey my feelings about this.

    Despite rising so far in popularity that it was named Oxford's Word of the Year in 2013, the selfie sure does have a lot of haters. Setting aside the perceived narcissism angle (guys, we're all narcissistic, that's just what being human is), why does the selfie get such a bum rap? PBS Idea Channel has some thoughts on the subject.

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  5. The Time-Old Question Continues On: Is Avatar Anime?

    On a related note, does anyone else get annoyed when they see Scott Pilgrim in the manga section?

    It's literally a question that friends of mine have been asking since high school -- does Avatar: The Last Airbender, an American-made cartoon with strong Asian influences, count as an anime? My inclination is just to stop at saying "no, it's not," but of course PBS Idea Channel takes it farther than I would, because that's what they do.

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  6. Do Trolls Have Any Inherent Value In Internet Society? Maybe, But Probably Not [Video]

    How long do you think before someone comments, "TL;DW?"

    In attempting to figure out whether or not there is any value in engaging with trolls on the Internet, Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel effectively trolled himself. If you've ever complained about people being too "sensitive" on the Internet, then this one-person discussion is definitely worth a watch.

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  7. Just How Important Are Algorithms? Apparently, Very [Video]

    Let's plug in some data to calculate how we feel about that.

    Algorithms are to Internet life what common arithmetic problems are to regular life -- it doesn't occur to you how much it impacts you on a daily basis until you actually sit down and think about it. But is there a spiritual component to the way data gets analyzed? We sure hope not. The idea of algorithms gaining sentience is downright unsettling.

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  8. What Are Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, and Do They Exist?

    Those dern kids with their Snapchats and their Youtubes!

    Critics love making this distinction between digital natives -- those born after 1980 who grew up with the Internet and are supposedly fluent in its use -- and digital immigrants -- those born before 1980 and who have to manually learn how to use these technologies, but is that distinction useful or accurate? PBS Idea Channel investigates.

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  9. PBS Idea Channel Looks Inward to Answer Viewer Questions with Double Episodes

    Q: Is Idea Channel one of our favorite things? A: Yes.

    The latest episode of PBS Idea Channel is a two-part behind-the-scenes look at the show, how it's made, and how it came to be. They put the word out that they wanted to answer questions, and viewers responded in a big way. Watch host Mike Rugnetta explain some of the inner workings of one of the best shows on the Internet.

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  10. PBS Ideas Channel Asks: Doctor Who?

    Questions! Questions That Need Answering

    If the central feature of the Doctor is his unstableness... then who (or what) is "the Doctor?" Previously in PBS Ideas Channel

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