by Silviya Mineva
Abstract: The study of reality has been one of the traditional topics of scientific knowledge since antiquity: Aristotle, Eleatics and Megarics discussed the continuous motion of reality and provided us with the first attempts of its fragmentation, the need to understand and rationalize it, as well as manage its motions. To explore reality from such a perspective is to pose key questions as what is true and false, real and ideal, possible and actual, etc. So the tradition created in antiquity acquires a new direction and dimension in the modern world. Nowadays, in the age of high technology, global information systems and cross-cultural communications, the study of reality tackles the possibilities of mixing the continuous movement of the real with the discrete and manageable “movement” of technology. Therefore the study of the real today and of the accompanying virtual implies a pluralist cognitive paradigm achievable through interdisciplinary approaches for learning, understanding and modelling of reality according to its primordial plurality, dynamism and continuity. How relevant is the term “ecosystem” to the description and understanding of the global virtual systems forming parallel realities? Can virtual computer-based environments be considered as a new “ecosystem”? What are the key effects of the active virtual systems and how do they affect the ongoing transformations in the world inhabited by humans? These are some of the many questions that provoked the idea for “Ecology of virtual realities.” The aim is to outline a new approach to the understanding of virtual environments, based on information and communication technologies and the Internet, to add a new “lane” in the global avenue of interdisciplinary research on virtuality and related media, technology and culture.
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