Some Semi-Conscious Thoughts About Consciousness

Orchestrated object reduction, or Orch OR, is the hypothesis that consciousness is the result of quantum vibrations picked up by structures in the brain called microtubules. I woke up this morning thinking about this, and in a flash it felt as though I understood the nature of consciousness, before the feeling evaporated as I became…

Your Mind is a Cosmic Space Donut

In the late eighties, when I was in high school, there was a kid named Wylie who sat in front of me in Washington State History class. I wouldn’t say we were friends, but casual acquaintances. Wylie got in a serious motorcycle accident and spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital. One morning…

Imagine AI and VR 100 Years from Now

Futurists have figured out the most failure-proof job–no one will live long enough to find out whether they’re good at it. Futurism is a sort of applied science fiction. Those of us who have adult memories from the twentieth century have experienced wonders that rival the science fiction of our childhoods. Start with the artificial…

Starbird Reality’s Ten Principles

Over the summer I spent some time reflecting on what I’m doing in the emerging immersive media industry and why I’m doing it. I began to address these questions by  producing a document that details ten principles that guide my work. I modeled this on Amazon’s Leadership Principles, and in fact straight-up stole one of…

We Live in a William S. Burroughs Future

I haven’t played my vinyl in months, and my CDs only get played in my car. One of the jokes of my life is that I distinctly remember myself at sixteen saying, “Steely Dan is music for people in their forties.” Then, early in my forties, I had an epiphany, “Hey, I kind of like…

The Rings of Saturn Are Way Weirder Than We Realized

Go outside and locate a three-story building. That building is about as tall as the typical ring of Saturn is thick. This was one of the fascinating things I learned watching Kingdom of Saturn: Cassini’s Epic Quest on Amazon Prime last night. When you’re a kid and you’re drawing Saturn, you typically draw a single…