Archive

Computer, Stop
Why Star Trek only goes so far and we need to try harder than science fiction

Star Trek’s vision of a voice inter­face to com­put­ing was and remains incred­i­bly com­pelling. So much to the extent that about three years ago, Amazon includ­ed Computer” as a wake word to the Echo so that we can pre­tend to talk to the first mass-market voice assis­tant as if we’re on a space­ship in the 24th century. 

In Praise of Discomfort

For an expe­ri­ence to be mem­o­rable let alone trans­for­ma­tive, the human brain has to be pushed out of default auto-pilot mode into con­scious thought. And that push nec­es­sar­i­ly involves some lev­el of discomfort.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was advertising.

Challenging the Audience to Work in Anti-Disciplinary Spaces

I came into doing work in an antidis­ci­pli­nary space more or less by acci­dent. Back when I was apply­ing to uni­ver­si­ty, the schools would send out these books talk­ing about the dif­fer­ent pro­grams they offered and what each pro­gram was like. And for some rea­son I nev­er read any of those books. I just applied to engi­neer­ing school because I thought, Oh, you know I like to make things, and engi­neer­ing school’s where you make things.”