Two day. Gym was VERY sparse. Podcasts were sciencey. None particularly memorable. The Guardian Science podcast dealt with some London conference on tactile simulants. That is, how can feel be implemented in virtual reality? They have a name for this that doesn’t stick largely, I think, because the obvious name – tactics – is already taken by the military and is so ingrained in most humans that double purposing will be useless.
The bestest (?) way to do this would be direct brain stimulation. Then you wouldn’t need any mechanical devices except the stimulator and maybe some sort of insulation from “real” reality.
But all of this begs the question of why are we so bent on running away from reality? Is it because whatever we think reality is, we can’t cope with its negative sides. So we invent new reality.
For most of the two million year history of genus homo, we existed in the reality of Nature. Technology was limited to what we could build using locally accessible materials quickly. And then either discard or carry with us. The extent of possessions was determined by what we were willing to carry over and above necessities. And we existed largely at the whim of Nature. If the weather turned bad we either found shelter quickly or endured it. If someone got injured they died quickly or healed well enough quickly. If someone got sick either they got well or everyone died. If food was scarce everyone either went without or died.
Notice the common thread? So somewhere along a few thousand years ago we tried sedentary living so we could have more stuff. A not have to hustle for shelter. But when the population overwhelmed us since more children were living because they weren’t underfed by tired mothers and dragged about so much, we invented agriculture. And then civilization. And as near as we can tell that was a lot more miserable than being hunter-gatherers, so we invented different forms of entertainment. Escapism.
This wasn’t new. There was story telling and discussion – once we invented language – around the fire as hunter-gatherers, but that was mostly for the purpose of keeping the fire lit and the predators at bay. This new form was to divert us from the nastiness of our new social reality.
So the inference is that we keep inventing new forms of ways of denying the nasty bits of our new reality. And then we invent new nasty bits.
Hence, virtual reality?