Disassembling the Empathy Machine

This entry is part 17 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Bryan Lehrer talks about the idea of VR as an “empathy machine”.

Making Meaning

This entry is part 16 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Matt Maier talks about the new religion he’s trying to create, and the systematic approach to making meaning he’s developed (talk ends at about the 15:30 mark, and the rest of the video is pitches for the workshop sessions and Q&A)

The Ovaltine Moment

This entry is part 15 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk Jay Bushman talks about futuristic transmedia storytelling attempts and the moment they tend to fall apart, which he calls the ovaltine moment, when the bubble bursts and the excitement fades into disappointment.


This entry is part 14 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Chenoe Hart explores space in VR and AR from an architecture perspective and why there are no easy answers.

Elderblog Sutra: 10

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Elderblog Sutra

I’ve been thinking about the context in which writing, or any kind of creative work that makes a public appearance, lives (for the author of the work rather than the consumer).

I often make up pseudomath equations to help me see the structure of an interesting question, even if it’s unlikely that there’s any actual interesting mathematical structure there. Here’s my pseudo-math attempt to model the idea of “work in context” (blue) as a convolution of aliveness (green) and general environmental context (brown).

As the blank blue graph suggests, I haven’t actually “solved” this pseudo-math problem to yield an evolving view of work in context, but lemme explain what I’m trying to poke at here.

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The Other Simulation Hypothesis

This entry is part 13 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Tiago talks about Lisa Feldman Barrett’s constructivist theory of emotion and connects it to science fiction and the pleasure activism of adrienne maree brown to posit an “other” simulation hypothesis based on emotional experience. Also check out the post , Pleasure as an Organizing Principle, which Tiago wrote based on this.

The Galactic Numerology Collision

This entry is part 12 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, David Sneider, who made up the Galactic Tick Day tells the bizarre story of how the idea went viral and ended up getting entangled with conspiracy theory subcultures, and draws lessons from the experience.

Mediocratopia: 9

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Mediocratopia

We often conflate quality with excellence, to the point that the term quality mediocrity seems like an oxymoron, and mediocre quality seems like the same thing as poor quality. But quality and excellence are not the same thing, and mediocrity and quality are not mutually exclusive. Excellence is synonymous with quality only under behavioral regimes governed by an optimizing sensibility, operating on a closed and bounded notion of what the kids these days seem to be calling fitness-to-purpose. What does it map to when you’re mediocratizing rather than optimizing? I have an answer: fatness. Or for the kids, fitness-to-purposelessness.

Public domain fat cat caricature. From Trade Union Unity Magazine (September 1925)

Fatness is the systemic condition created by a mediocre response to abundance. In the opener for this blogchain, I linked to a bunch of my older writing about fat thinking, but I didn’t construct a notion of quality out of that attribute. Let’s do that now.

The short version: Fatness is embodied abundance. Or if you like clever lines: Fatness is future-fitness.

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AI And Human Digitization: When Seeing Is Not Believing?

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Hao Li, founder of Pinscreen talks about using AI to generate human avatars and how that shapes future realities.

Spatial Intelligence: Architecture as a Giant Computer

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Guvenc Ozel talks about the latest in architecture research in the use of VR to experience space in radically different ways.