Jason Silva: Portable Virtual Reality Will Allow You to Climb Into Someone Else's Mind
How do you typically let other people into your minds? You smile. You laugh. You use language to communicate thoughts and feelings. Jason Silva is here to explain why that's all going to change once virtual reality reaches its full potential.
Jason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s #1 rated and Emmy-nominated series, Brain Games, seen in over 100 countries. “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age” was how The Atlantic described television personality, filmmaker and philosopher Silva, who has also been described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from ‘The Matrix.’”
A self-professed wonderjunkie, Silva is the creator of the web series SHOTS OF AWE, micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, the co-evolution of human and technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism and the human condition.
Silva’s work has been featured in The Economist, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Wired, among many others.
Jason Silva: Well I think that Oculus Rift and virtual reality is sort of — the Oculus Rift being an example that virtual reality has now arrived, you know. The multiple-billion-dollar purchase of Oculus Rift shows that now they have the resources to bring this thing into the mainstream. And, of course, virtual reality, like other media technologies, like cinema, is an engine of empathy because it speeds up the capacity to achieve presence in the mediated world, right. And so with a movie theater the size of the screen, the surround sound audio puts you there. With the Oculus Rift potentially you’re surrounded now by the media, by the simulated dreamscape. So you are even more there. So when I say an agent of empathy, the UN just released a virtual reality film of a Syrian refugee camp, you know. The fact that we’re able to put reporters now virtually on the ground, it elicits a sort of experience that is so much more visceral, so much more powerful, that the elusive sense of presence that literally puts you in a liminal trance state. Your defenses get lowered. You forget yourself. You forget your problems. You are there. You are in the moment. And so, you know, the power of that as an engine of empathy, I think can’t hurt humanity, you know. I think it’s like they talk in the movie Interstellar, our empathy rarely extends beyond our line of sight. And I think with virtual reality and the Oculus Rift, we now are extending our line of sight by being able to go everywhere at the speed of mind.
And I think that’s transformational. Furthermore the psychonautic philosopher Terence McKenna says that the goal of humanity is to turn ourselves inside-out, right. And he says that with virtual reality the canvas for intersubjective intimacy is taken to the next level. You know, before if I want to share the contents of my mind, I smile and I move my lips in a certain way. I make crude little grunts to convey meanings. I might make a painting, you know, or I might write a poem. And the point is these are a rich tapestry of tools that human beings have used for achieving something akin to telepathy, to know each other’s minds, to enter the intersubjective space of one another. But with virtual reality each of us potentially, the full flowering of this technology means each of us can create a universe of our own construction. A universe that reflects our own archetypical spaces, you know, our own iconographies. We turn ourselves inside out. You don’t just come into my room and see my books to see who I am. Now you get to come inside my mind. That’s what kind of blows my mind. The new spaces of intimacy that will be made possible when you can invite your lover or your friend into your world. Come visit my world and you get to inhabit that as a sort of cosmos of the mind.
How do you typically let other people into your minds? You smile. You laugh. You use language to communicate thoughts and feelings. Jason Silva is here to explain why that's all going to change once virtual reality reaches its full potential. Imagine instead of writing a poem or painting a picture to express yourself, you construct an entire world in virtual reality and invite others in to make an intimate assessment of who you are and what you project to be. Silva says it blows his mind to imagine "the new spaces of intimacy that will be made possible when you can invite your lover or your friend into your world."
The actor's greatest heroes exhibited humility in their actions, a view he tries to emulate.
- Ethan Hawke is inspired by others' excellence and ability to see the context of the larger community, those who value their work but don't take it too seriously.
- One of his heroes, River Phoenix, exhibited this kind of humility by taking on roles that were meaningful to him but were seen as controversial.
- "Phil Hoffman used to say this all the time, that it's the most important thing in the world and it doesn't matter, and you have to hold that coin together and flip it around. It's all true all the time," he says.
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When you struggle with anxiety or depression, sex may be the last thing on your mind. But understanding the physiological and mental benefits of a healthy sex life can help it become a tool for well-being.
- The physiological responses our bodies have to sex can minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Deficiencies in nitric oxide are associated with irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and less energy. Having sex increases your body's nitric oxide levels.
- Sex also increases epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are linked to mood, behavior, and well-being.
The most popular books of the past 125 years, and where to get them.
- New York Public library is celebrating its 125th birthday in 2020. With over 90 locations across New York City's boroughs, it is the nation's largest public library system.
- Based on circulation data, popularity, trends, and other criteria dating back to 1895, these books are considered the library's most checked-out titles of all time.
- "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats was checked out 485,583 times and takes the top spot, but one librarian's hatred of another book may have robbed it of the crown.