IMHO the Translational Reality Part 2 article is poorly written...And many other articles over the years also suffer this problem.
I often try to understand the basic concept of an article before I invest the time to read it thoroughly. I think a high level summary of the article is needed before it dives into the details.
Point 1: Admittedly there is a summary of the “Transitional Reality” part of the article. But there is no summary of the project itself...What does the project do?...After some skimming of the article I guess what the project does is notify the game player that the room has darkened and he should take action via the game to turn on the lights. Actually, it may say to turn off the lights, I didn't spend the time to definitely answer that question.
Point 2: Okay, now how does the project work? After some more skimming of the article I think it works by a custom PC program that plays “pong” on the computer while communicating with another program in an Ardurino that monitors the light detector and notifies the PC program that the room is dark. The PC can then notify the Ardurino to turn the light on (or off?). Initially I was thinking that it needed a commercial copy of the Pong game, but it does not.
My suggestion is that all articles should contain summaries that contain the above points. As I recall, from attending writing classes many years ago, summarizing your writing up front guides the reader through later details and is an important concept for effective communication.
By posting this note I hope to see an improvement in the legibility of future articles. I think N&V is a great magazine and I want to make it better. If I am posting this in the wrong place please let me know.
Also, if you agree or disagree with this note, please reply with “agree” or “disagree”. You can further explain your opinion, but that is not necessary. By replying I hope to discover if my above note has merit and therefore if N&V should take my suggestion seriously.
This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
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