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…

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…

Disturbing Ideas

Should someone get fired from his job because he expressed an opinion that others find offensive? Should the answer to that question depend on whether I agree with that person? Let’s consider two examples. First, Google Engineer James Damore, who circulated an essay arguing that biological differences are the reason why more women don’t pursue…

Alexa, You Don’t Have to Pretend You’re Human

Driven by curiosity and lured by unlimited streaming music, I bought an Amazon Echo this summer. Using it to play music gives me the vertigo of limitless choice similar to that of using Napster the first time, or the early days of the iPod. I can ask it, “Alexa, play music from 1984” and ZZ…