Virtual Reality vs. the Apocalypse

Wildfires in British Columbia have blanketed Seattle in a haze the color of nicotine on the hottest week of the year. The irony being that it would be a lot hotter if this persistent cloud of particulates weren’t hovering over Puget Sound. It’s Seafair weekend, which means our annual visit from the Blue Angels, those…

What it Feels Like to Live in Seattle Right Now

I can’t help but think that there’s a connection between the number of construction cranes punctuating Seattle’s skyline and a recent report that various species of North American trees are migrating west. I count cranes every time I’m stopped in traffic within view of downtown Seattle. Sometimes, from the ship canal bridge, I can spot…

Sociospatial Narrative

I. I wonder if one barrier to realizing virtual reality’s storytelling potential is that we don’t all agree on what “story” even means. When you ask a typical person what a story is, he or she is apt to say something along the lines that a story has a beginning, middle, and end, or that…

Workhorses, Catalysts, and Visionaries

I have a theory that there are three types of workers in any enterprise—workhorses, catalysts, and visionaries. I’ve spent most of my career as a workhorse and it occurred to me recently that I’m evolving into a catalyst. The bulk of my workhorse years happened between 1998 and 2011. My first corporate job was as…

Fear of AI

Who’s afraid of artificial intelligence? Plenty of people, it turns out. What is everyone afraid of? Simply put, that a superior machine intelligence could make decisions that result in harming or enslaving human beings.

This fear has been cultivated throughout history.

All the Young Dudes

Masculinity, that wonderful human trait that gives us the ability to pry the lids off pickle jars and start wars, appears to be a meta-theme of our present moment, running through institutions from the White House to Silicon Valley startups.

There was the weird revelation that Vice President Mike Pence won’t dine alone with women who aren’t his wife. The omnipresent scandal of Bill O’Reilly, Roger Aisles, and the culture of harassment at Fox News. The slow-motion car accident that is Uber.