Typist wrote:The screenshot below came from a great post by volchok. The post was quite funny, and made it's way to one of my favorite topics. What fun!
I wanted to followup on this entertaining beginning, and invite members to discuss virtual reality in more depth. To start things off...
What if there was a room in your house where you could have, be, experience, anything you want? I'll propose that the creation of this room has long been a key driver of human development, and that within the next generation or two this historic process will begin to reach it's goals.
As a shortcut, StarTrek fans will be familiar with the Holodeck, which is perhaps one of the best dramatizations of this concept. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodeck
Imho, it shortchanges this topic to think of it only as "futuristic whizz bang technology". Instead, we might examine a long process starting with cave men telling stories around the campfire, and leading to literature, the stage, radio, movies, television and now the net. Each of these developments can be seen as another step along the path to something like the Holodeck.
It seems indisputable to me that the market for such a device would be huge, just as it has been for the stage, radio, movies, television, net etc. It follows that if huge numbers of people will pay for it, somebody will figure out how to deliver it. So in my mind the question is when will we have our Holodeck, not if we will. Sooner or later people will have access to some virtual reality environment where they can very convincingly have anything they want.
What are the implications of such developments?
We can already see how even primitive virtual realities such at TV or say, a forum, can compete quite successfully with reality. This isn't a futuristic theory, we're already doing it. In this moment you and I are choosing virtual friends over face to face friends, because of the relatively high degree of control we have in this environment. If I'm starting to bore you, you don't have to be polite and endure it, you can zoom away at the flick of a mouse.
What's going to happen as virtual reality technology can provide ever more compelling and convincing simulations? Will this be the ultimate fulfillment to our deepest dreams, or the beginning of the end? Maybe both?
If you could have anything, what do you want?
turtle wrote:we will never have everything.... we will never be satisfied...
One of the recurring characters in both Next Generation and Voyager, Reginald Barclay, was known for his addiction to the Holodeck. I don't think that that's a minor concern for real-life examples.
If, for example, we suddenly got a technology that could create whatever world we want, and it's like maybe a helmet that costs little enough for even poor people to buy it, it wouldn't be long before we start hearing stories of loads and loads of people starving to death because they didn't want to leave their fantasy world, where they can eat whatever they want, instead of coming into the real world to eat the gruel of reality.
But that's the cost of rapid, cheap advancement in that sort of technology, which is rather unlikely. It's more likely, I think/hope, that such a technology would start out incredibly expensive, maybe $500 for an hour trip or something as opposed to a household item you could use whenever you want.
But perhaps, at some time in the future, when our entire food-industry can be mechanized and not a single person has to work to eat, and everyone can own their own universe in the form of this technology, we might see a world in which everybody spends just about their entire lives in such a machine, getting fed intravenously.
In such a world, though, I don't think the desire to create would leave humanity -- it'd probably be set up much like the internet, where people could interact with each other in their own separate worlds, share concepts, talk, share art.
Perhaps everyone would be a creator of art of some sort in such a world.
It could be a very horrible invention, or it could be the most beautiful, liberating thing to ever be.
Typist wrote:If you could have anything, what do you want?
At that point, all you feel is that you are unsatisfied even though you have the ability to create any virtual world you want. The problem becomes that your wants have no more structure, "decadence". In such a state, an enjoyable world cannot be formed.
So once all of that happens and the person decides that he is too uncomfortable in such fantasy worlds, he turns back to reality.
Unrestrained fulfillment merely leads to a temporary high followed by decadent death.
And so of course we have to ask, if we were to give you a free Holodeck for your own house, what would you do with it?
Typist wrote:Well, rich people already have significant control over their experience of the real world, and it can said that a sense of empty decadence may arise. One of the richest people I've ever known (quite rich) became a life long drug abuser. On the other hand, not too many rich people give up the money, at least not to the extent they lose control over their life circumstances.So once all of that happens and the person decides that he is too uncomfortable in such fantasy worlds, he turns back to reality.
Which rich people are turning back to reality?
Typist wrote:And so of course we have to ask, if we were to give you a free Holodeck for your own house, what would you do with it?
Typist wrote:If you could have anything, what do you want?
Magsj wrote:I met a guy who abhorred all authority figures but he was lovely ergo.. the two can go together.
James S Saint wrote:People who get very influential in reality are dealing with reality already. They have nothing "virtual" to give up.
Typist wrote:Let's consider three people.
Typist wrote:1) The poor person, whose mind is filled with images of the ghetto they live in.
2) The rich person, whose mind is filled with images of the country club they belong to.
3) The virtual reality explorer, whose mind is filled with images of whatever environment they've created.
What unites all three people, and all of humanity, is that we're all trying to control the experience that's going on inside our heads, ..
What we care about is that our brains get the flow of data that we need.
Typist wrote:Now, let's take the next step together....
You're reading this post for some reason. The human being sometimes known as Typist has strung together some words that are momentarily capturing your attention, feeding you an acceptable stream of nerd data.
Here's a key point. The human being known as Typist is very limited. I have no philosophy education, my social skills are rudimentary at best, I'm only familiar with a very limited set of topics, and I'm a manic typoholic so you have to tediously dig through huge piles of words to find anything worthwhile, and so on.
Typist wrote:What if I wasn't limited? Don't you think that might make my posts more interesting to you?
Typist wrote:What if ... philosopher?
What if ...all times?
What if ... words?
What if ... my pool?
Wouldn't you ... currently have?
If ...whether they're human?
And anyway, how do you know the current Typist is human?
Maybe it's just lame software???
and everyone can own their own universe in the form of this technology, we might see a world in which everybody spends just about their entire lives in such a machine, getting fed intravenously.
The vast majority of your life was spent NOT plugged in to media.
Perhaps it's not possible to understand how absolutely engaged we are by today's saturated media environment unless we have something to compare it too?
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