... In its own terms, then, a virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, opens possibilities not only to learn how a group of people may construct ethnographically virtual Harbin, but also observe in particular shared language via group voice communication and group text chat, thus privileging language and interactive communication mediated by multimedia.
A constructive, scientifically minded critic might also ask what might be measured at actual and virtual Harbin to understand some of their uniquenesses and singularities. Similarly, such co-researchers might also ask what technologies might we use to assess what happens at Harbin. There are many statistical approaches we might apply to both Harbins, but the one's I would first engage, in group research, would have to do with questions relating to the relaxation response and enjoyment in the Harbin warm pool, at actual Harbin. While not within the purview of this book, I would like to explore the use of devices used to measure the effects of Buddhist meditators (Davidson et al.), for example, vis-a-vis the relaxation response, and then perhaps apply statistical approaches to analyzing the data, due to the effects of the pools, and perception of intimacy, perhaps, as distinct from the meditation. Such studies would have correlates in virtual Harbin, engaged from home bathtubs. Similarly, I would also like to explore approaches to studying enjoyment, such as that which Csikszentmihalyi engaged – surveys and pagers, in some of his studies – vis-a-vis the effects of actual and virtual Harbin warm pool. In addition, while potentially complicated as a series of studies, it would be fascinating to examine the effects of MDMA (ecstasy) in comparison with, and in contrast to, other related experiences at Harbin, both in the pools, and in other situations, such as at dances. There is much rigorous, scientific work to do at both actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs, to complement ethnographic research about Harbin in its own terms.
While there are clearly too many variables for rigorous comparison, ethnography allows ethnographers the freedom to formulate questions (as does 'hard' science) concerning how such a comparison might take form, and then explore these in writing and now multimedia. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/dominica-warm-pool-constructive.html - November 3, 2010)