Amusing Ourselves

I recently joined some friends’ podcast to discuss how we’ll end up plugging ourselves into the Matrix. Though it’s a bit cliché to observe how our species is prone to avoiding reality for more pleasurable alternatives, I find the observation pleasurable, so here are some timely quotes:

The designers of the game of life, such as they are, may have erred in structuring the game in a way that encourages young people to seek an alternate reality. They have spread the thrills and valuable items too thinly and have tweaked the settings to reward special skills that cannot be mastered easily even by those prepared to spend long hours doing so. Unsurprisingly, some players are giving up, while others are filling the time not taken up in rewarding, well-compensated work with games painstakingly designed to make them feel good.

— Ryan Avent, Escape To Another World, The Economist 1843, April/May 2017

Through user testing, we learned that most Gear VR owners don’t use VR standing up, instead, they use it while sitting on a couch or in bed and find constant interaction with the headset’s touchpad to be tiring.

— Gabriel Valdivia, Designing Facebook for Mobile VR

Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.

— Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited


Now read this

Leap Forward

The hype has cooled, but the Leap is still exciting technology. Just within frog, there have been incredibly in-depth considerations of structured light, EF sensing, time-of-flight, sonar, or the most likely depth-from-focus. But in the... Continue →