Home - Viewing one post
The appeal of virtual
|I took a short bike ride yesterday through Montclair. As I was riding along Bellevue Avenue, I took my hands off the handlebars and rode with what felt like giant footsteps. I felt the wind through my (helmeted) hair and steered with my hips. What would people pay, at Disneyland or Best Buy, I wondered, to have this identical experience?
Now many of you could come pretty close to replicating that experience simply by going out into the garage, or wherever, and taking a bike ride. But how much cooler would it be to experience it in a movie theater or some arcade booth?
My point is that everyday activities can seem very special if they're delivered by technology. In real life, it's no big thrill to hear the screeching of a car's brakes or a bottle shattering behind us. But when we hear such noises behind us in movies it's a kick.
What's the point? Reality itself too often bores us. But simulating it can seem magical. When this happens, we're not enjoying reality as much as the idea that someone is fooling around with it. What separates the two, it seems, is the knowledge that things are occuring out of the natural order. So we have to use the same powers of suggestion to convince ourselves that reality as we experience it is every bit as magical, and as weird, as the virtual version. It is.
RT @marthagabriel: "It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
-- Alec Bourne #quote #goodmor…
follow me on twitter
Kirkus - Kirkus Reviews
Andrew Dunn - Bloomberg News
Culture Mob - Dan Sampson
Shelfari (Amazon) - Tom Nissley
read more reviews
My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014
My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013
Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012
The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012
"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011
Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011
Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011
- October 3, 2010
The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010
The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010
My next book: IBM's Jeopardy mission
- March 22, 2010
- November 12, 2009