“Real feels what rumbles.” Virtual Reality and Real Virtuality

Source: “Real feels what rumbles.” Virtual Reality and Real Virtuality

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Okay, let’s face it, school is a complete waste of time, as it stands now….no internet connections, students light years ahead of their teachers, waiting to get to the nearest hot spot so they can crank out their homework with their friends. Real learning taking place here.

I’m not even going to talk about secondary and post-secondary education, its going to take a generation to fix this shit.

I’m a life-long learner with a curious thirst for just about everything in the catalogs. You could lock me up in the Bodleian and I’d never come out. If you are tired of this game, jump into Howard Rheingold’s Think-Know Tools class, offered from HRU. You’ll even get a digital diploma, worth it’s weight in gold in cyberspace. Six more spots left, starting February 3rd at a terminal near you. Warning, this is not for the faint of heart; seriously intense participatory co-learning and collaboration going on here. Take it and you will come out of your cyberport with mad skillz.

Shift….I was riding on the subway during ‘snowmageddon’ in NYC last weekend, on my way to see a good friend in Brooklyn. Overheard two 14 year olds talking about how pitiful their school was and how they have got their parents completely snowed as to what they are pursuing in school. Typical brilliant teen hackers. So I made a joke and said why don’t we just let you two test out for your PhD’s now and let you get on with your lives. Bonded immediately and they just smiled and said, “Exactly”, what a waste time this is. Theirs and ours. We need to let that potential become dynamic before they lose their enthusiasm.

Let’s provide the digital paper these kids need so they can get on with their dreams and visions. Who needs brick and mortar anymore…the only point of it was and is personal connections. Don’t know if you’ve trotted by any campuses lately, but they are all in the screen, no connections being made.

Educators, thinkers, policy makers……Talk among yourselves.

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Same Time Next Year

Well,  this has been fun for me and I hope it was fun for you. But I’m quite busy for the rest of the year, so I’ll see you next year, same time, same bat channel.  I’ll be moving my original posts – for the newbies – up to the top of the blog; probably one a week. But I’m not going to be creating any new content on this blog for the rest of the year. At this particular point in my life I’d rather be with the space cadets than the cybernauts, and I hope I was clear in my last blog  —You just can’t get there from here. So I’m going to be doing a whole lot less screen time for awhile.  You’ll notice I went two years on this blog w/o posting anything. So this is not new for me. I need a digital sabbatical, just too much in my pipeline and too many commitments. Love you all, and when I have something to say I’ll be back.

Wishing you all more than you hope for in your every endeavor. May your lives, families and friends stay close and blessed.  Peace Out!

Pronaically yours,

the original space cowboy, no matter what Stevie sings 🙂

Just ask R. U. Sirius

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Space Cowboys and Cybernauts in Time and Space

A long, long time ago, in a space and time now, far, far away, before digital, there was a tribe called Space Cowboys. It included cowgirls as well, but the Steve Miller song Space Cowboy from the album Brave New World was pretty much iconic back then and tagged a whole generation of space cadets, people who had ‘tuned in and dropped out’, had integrated Eastern religion into their headscapes and were commonly seen as folks who had their feet on the ground and their heads in an entirely different space. Living in the “now” was not a concept we easily grasped back then, as it requires a firm grasp on Time and many of us were lost in space. The band 10 Years After, with the extraordinary Alvin Lee, captured the essence of that movement in their album A Space in Time. The merging of space and time, not necessarily requiring drugs – there were plenty of ‘natural stones’, people who were in a similar space and time without the use of drugs – and the incorporation of the IChing, Buddhism, Taoism, and, back then, just about any ‘ism pretty much encircled the globe, and music was both the soundtrack and the generator that drove that engine. ***That’s no longer possible with the zillion genres of music in the pipeline today. We were all listening to the same music, all around  the world.

 We had gone from local radio, to national radio, to world radio. The bands came to us on their world tours. And something new  manifested in subcultural movements all around the globe; taking different shapes and directions depending on the locale of the tribe(s). And I use the word ‘manifested’ in the cosmic sense, things made to appear, no longer hidden, brought from those other spaces to this space and time. My grandpa, a noted inventor, was famous within the family for saying he never ‘invented’ anything, he merely ‘uncovered’ what was already there. He also told us all that if he was thinking of a new idea, so were at least 20 other people. (cosmic – brought from another space and time into this space and time – made manifest. Just wanted to be clear about that.

So, zooming ahead 30 or 40 years, we are “here”. And now we have cybernauts – totally different tribe, living in cyberspace . I’m not convinced that the digital space overlaps the space that space cadets travel in. I’d just point out that cyberspace is a notional environment, not real or actual by definition – but you can chime in on that in the comments. Space Cadets would argue that their space and time is quite real. Again, jump in on the comments.

But I am sure that space cadets and cybernauts are not the same animal at all. And I see that mistake being made time and again. Just wanted to clear that up. And that’s not to say that one can’t be both, just to say it requires a firm grasp of self, space and time…and some language skills to properly communicate between the two tribes.

I’ll leave space, time, notional environments, living in the now, and all that for you to work out on your own.  YMMV. Meanwhile….. calling all tribes, calling all space cadets….we’re having a big party in Central Park this October…wanting all the cousins to meet. Be there, or be fractal.

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Lots of excitement in Whoville, as the WELL‘s annual State of the World, two week free-for-all with @bruces and @jonl begins on Tuesday morning, January 5, 2016 and runs until January 18, 2016. Here’s a link to the event. You are all invited, anyone may attend, read, and interact with these two Boswellians (notice double pun there:))


Here’s the link to the WELL’s Inkwell.vue conversation, going live Tuesday am.  Tell your friends, tell your networks. There is nothing like this two week event anywhere in cyberspace. The WELLpern (folks) wait with breathless anticipation for this every year.

Join in and see what the oldest community on the Web is like.

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REALITY, Reality, reality


As Alice said to Humpty Dumpty after he replied “Glory!”,

“Why, whatever do you mean by that?”

Reality — wouldn’t even go there trying to define it. All I know is, all charged up and ready to go, and left to your own devices, have entirely new meanings now. But I can tell you that whatever your working paradigm is for the time and space you are sailing thru, it is all about to radically change in the coming year.

AR/VR/MR  Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, all coming to a headspace near you. SOON!

Google Googles, Occulus Rift, Magic Leap, the list just goes on and on, and  are all moving from the labs and techno-framing dungeons to a store shelf and digital click this coming year. The frenzy in the gaming part of cyberspace is sheer ecstasy. Doctors and medical institutions are already integrating it into their everyday work. The porn industry, ever the leader in all things tech, will be bringing it all to you in live, 360, pretty much any way you want it reality. And 3rd party trackers, stackers, and media attackers will be bludgeoning you to death with it. As Country Joe might say: “Whoopee, we’re all gonna die!”

And there is a mediated sense in which this is true. WE ALL are about to change. (S)he, (They) who’s not busy being born, is busy dying. Welcome to the new world, same as the old world. Appropos of the Who’s anthem of daze gone past, WHO ARE YOU? is gonna be the angst and gestalt we will all be working with next year. Cue Dead Man’s Party for tonight’s New Year’s Eve party.

Hence the previous two posts, as breadcrumbs to get you to follow me to your new home in cyberspace. There are virtually (pun) no limits to what you are going to be able to do in this new space. The question is what is it going to do to you? And, don’t listen to the pundits, even me. Nobody really knows,    ,   YET. (See next year’s blog post on 12/31/16)

Blended/Mixed/Hybrid Reality will be offering you such things as a mediated walk thru your favorite art gallery. Can’t get there from here, oh yes you can. Take the virtual tour right now. Wanna go to Rome just click. Wanna go to ancient Rome? You’re only just a shot away, sorry, old headspace, you’re only just  a click away. Or, you can go to the holodeck, any virtual reality of your own choosing, or making. And, you can do it with your friends, or new friends, OR friends you can’t see and don’t know are there.

And that’s going to be one of the problems of mediated cyberspace. You think you need AdBlockers now! You’re gonna need headspace blockers by June.

Cory Doctorow has many good things to say about this and you can thank your lucky stars he’s on your (our) side, working tirelessly on your (our) behalves, at EFF

You think there are weapons of mass distraction now, wait til everyone’s got their googles on, apped themselves to the nether regions of cyberspace, gone virtually crazy man, just crazy. “Dude have you see this, have you been here, yet?”

And guess who’s waiting for you. The stackers, the hackers, the trackers, the attackers.They are already there, just waiting to tag and bag you. No problem, same as it ever was, keep your feets on the ground, your head in the NOW, and your hearts attached to your loved ones. We’ll be bumped and buffetted by all the likes we’ve ever made on FB, all the G+1’s, tweets, retweets, Every pic we’ve ever posted anywhere or stored in a cloud, all our music, on and on. No biggie, it’s all gonna be amped up. But I know you got the skillz. And if you don’t have the chops yet, there’s a whole host of folks and site, and I’m sure incoming apps to help you enjoy the ride. Here’s one of them, meet my friend Bryan, he’ll get you oriented. ALL ABOARD!

Like anything, you have to take the good with the bad. Here’s some of the good.

Enjoy your evenings tonite, great Holiday cheer and love to you all. It’s a New World coming tomorrow and you need to be Brave. Water’s fine, tho, jump on in.

Learned a new word this week: Pronoia. Click it out.

Peace, love and all that the Universe has to offer you. Synchronously, serendipitously yours.


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OK, so now that my angst is out of the way, a bit more gestalt.

WARNING: This blog looks harmlessly short. It will take you 3 hours to finish it all, should you choose to click on the clicks. Might want to just read it first and then click or you might get a bit lost.

We’re in a whole new space – new headspace, new territory in cyberspace, and we are only at the top of the cyber-rollercoaster ride.Hold onto your seats ‘cuz we’re about to drop straight down, at a zillion miles an hour.  Here comes AR/VR/MR. But, that’s tomorrow’s blog post. Just wanted to prep you for the ride. Today you can chill to your favorite music, or mine. (Thanks to Kinley, for turning me on to these guys, props dude).

You don’t even need a ticket to ride, you’re already on board. See the Cat Yusef for the train you may want to catch.

Take a look at this video. Click, pause, enjoy. RU back?

So, summing up, “we are stardust, we are golden…” AND, at the same time, we are an insignificant speck on a pimple at the backend of this Universe and ET has not phoned home yet!

That’s pretty much the dialectic, metaphysically speaking, or typing, that we find ourselves in. If you’ve found another, speak up. Comments are below. Having fun yet?

So, how do we navigate this incoming world of mediated realities? If you haven’t been pulled into the digital vortex, you’re not reading this anyway. But, for you, dear readers, WE ARE HERE. Rewatch video. We are on the Cusp of Potentials, possible futures and frequencies, (Thanks Wayne and Derek), and who knows what all?

Don’t know about you but I’m between “warry, warry, wary afraid” and blessed to be here at this point in time and space. Whelp, that’s my gestalt, how about yours?

Talk among yourselves. (musical interlude) – if you don’t weep, you’re not alive. (art interlude) for those more visually inclined (take all the time you want).

I’m gonna put a cork in it! (For now :))

Bring it.

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Digital Angst, Digital Jails


So I’m just going to throw this out there and see what sticks. Hopefully some of you techheads will tell me why this isn’t feasible, or what portions might be able to work.

I’ve been quite smug the past two weeks, having gotten my RFID protected wallet and thinking I’m on the vanguard of protecting my liberty and freedom. And, then, this morning I catch a tweet that refers to the need to now start protecting my phone(s) – from NSA, of course, and all the federal and state and local protective services.

Aside, why do they call them protective services any longer? They certainly aren’t protecting me  (okay, I know they mostly are) – but they’re busy in my business all day long. Should we call them unprotective services, or something even more to the point, totalitarian servants of the panopticon. (Maybe a bit too harsh, blame it on the coffee, yeah, that’s it!)  But, hey, that’s just me. Roll over Beethoven!

So, back on track. Walking back from my favorite coffee shop, it struck me that I am feeling more and more trapped into some sort of digital jail. As more of my life becomes integrated online and digitally connected – and of course, my house will soon start spying on me (IOT) a friend calls it ‘spooky’ and that’s my digital gestalt – I am feeling less and less free, and more and more concerned with my perceived loss of privacy, the need for a PhD in Digital Literacy [you can get literate, by the way, by attending any of Howard Rheingold’s Think-Know Tools classes at HRU , there’s one coming up next February],  and just generally feeling like it’s a Digital ’60’s and ’70’s redux. It’s us against them. Well, *** that!!!.

Just barely survived that time in my life and have no interest in seeing that Mandala spin again. And, all of a sudden, a lightning bolt hit me. Why do I (we) have to be the ones in jail? Why can’t NSA, or the UN, or somebody, create a digital jail, or jails, for all these crazy maniacs running around with internet connections? When NSA and friends determine a bad guy’s whereabouts, – the anarchic fanatics, the dope dealers and credit card fraudsters, scammers and skimmers, the black hats,  and all the rest of the baddies out there who are causing all the rest of us to feel quite antsy about losing our freedoms, why can’t they just DIGITALLY LOCK THEM OUT! Put them in a digital cone of silence and prevent them from connecting.

Is that technically possible? If I can think it, it must be. So come on you coders, app makers, algorithmic geniuses, and any AI’s DARPA’s got online, get to it. Let’s turn this whole paradigm upside down. Instead of you against us and us against you, how about we explore this approach together instead?


I know, I know, even if there is something like that they’ll just figure out a way to break out of digital jail. It goes on and on. That’s the cybergame isn’t it?

Whelp, that’s my coffee jagged rant for this morning. If nothing else I think I’ve captured the angst correctly – certainly mine anyhow. Nice to be back with you. Hope there’s some feasibility to this, or at the very least, it gets you all thinking in another direction. We have to escape the path we are on now. It leads to a bleak, bleak future. And right now, we’re the one’s trapped in the digital jail.

Cheers, and enjoy the rest of your holidaze.


Oh, and two more blogs to follow shortly. One on what’s wrong with the Stacks, and one on VR/AR/MR realities coming to a head near you soon. Tease, tease, tease.




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As we continue to move into the digital frontiers it may be helpful to see cyberspace in terms of maps, one of which would have a pole marked Digital Athens, the other marked Digital Sparta. We live between the poles of optimism – from all that the Net enhances and enables – and reality – war on the ground and now war in cyberspace.

Let’s add a filter to those maps – B.G. (before Google) and A.G. (after Google) as cybersociologists and historians will no doubt see this as the new dividing line for the Digital Age. Every good explorer needs maps, or makes them as she goes along, and Google Search has provided everyone with the cartographic tools for cyberspace. Soon we will be able to put on our Google Glasses and map our way as we explore our hybrid reality.

I’m currently taking a thought provoking course led by Howard Rheingold, called Think-Know Tools. One of the things that has come up has been the evolution of communication – from an oral tradition, to written, to multimedia, to now what has been termed Remix. I think it is safe to say that we, and culture as we experience it are being remixed. Maps are going to be important. To riff on Bob Dylan, “I’ll let you be in my maps, if I can be in yours.”



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THE FRACTAL FUTURE: Hybrid reality and the New Aesthetic

NYC Street art, photographed by Benjamin Norman

While we are still learning the vocabulary that describes the digital spaces that occupy so much of our time, add ‘new aesthetic‘ and ‘hybrid reality‘ to your list, alongside augmentation, virtual, and singularity. Art has always reflected culture, so it is no mistake that digital is now bleeding into our physical landscapes, while at the same time artists take advantage of digital tools and platforms to create works in digital space. (When’s the last time you checked out 2nd Life to see what’s going on among the artist communities there? Or Skrillex, for that matter.)

This bleeding, the interface of physical and digital space, and the sharing and transformations taking place in either, is being thought of as a hybrid reality, most recently described in the book by the same name by authors Ayesha and Parag Khanna. James Bridle has captured the new aesthetic in this video of his talk at Web Directions this past October.

There’s a lot to think about here. Is there a new culture emerging as a result of digital immersion, or is it simply current culture being imposed on a different landscape? Or both? Is augmentation taking place is both spaces, physical and digital?

It’s the user that occupies both spaces, simultaneously, who’s perceptions are being changed. How will that effect our culture? Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth: “something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear” has been the soundtrack playing in the back of my head for about six months now as I’ve pondered all this, attempting to “pwn” it – that’s geek for ‘grok’.

There’s no question the times are changing. A new hymn to  Apple replaces the old ballpark chorus:

I screen,

you screen,

we all screen,

for iScreen.

(Apologies to David Brin for morphing off a thought in his new book Existence, get it!)

If this youngest generation is generation z, then it only seems appropriate that the next be Alpha prime. We’re heading into whole new territories and we’re only six clicks of separation from one another.

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