We are currently designing an augmented reality project that which employs a social network trace to help envision the doctrine of Pratitya-samutpada; the Buddhist principles of interconnectedness.
This paper describes data collected from phase 1, an augmented reality social network trace begun in 2004 (http://www.eggpass.org) along with the design process and initial results of this next phase.
On December 8, 2004, in a classroom on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a dozen sculpted eggs bearing the URL "eggpass.org" were handed out with three simple rules:
1. Pass the egg to someone with whom you are on a first-name basis.
2. Please explain these rules to them.
3. Please visit eggpass.org and answer a few questions.
Stanley Milgram's work on the Small World Problem was an obvious precursor; however while Milgram's studies involved sending a package to a specific recipient through personal connections in order to determine the links between two strangers, Eggpass was meant to be open-ended, it was our hope that the eggs would continue to be passed from friend to friend for an extended period of time, building up a complex web of relationships and tracing them via the world wide web.
Almost three years have passed since this project's inception, and with our data (collected via php and mySQL) we now design Phase II, the ultimate goal is to explore the possibilities of using an augmented reality social network trace to visualize ("prove") the doctrine of Pratitya-samutpada; interconnectedness.
Buddhism posits an interconnected and interdependent reality where all phenomena (actions, conditions, results) are fundamentally connected in some way. All human action affects perceived reality. All actions are social actions. It is our hypothesis that using the tools of augmented reality (GPS, RFID, SMS, and the internet), we can illustrate these principles.