Money Has Officially Jumped The Shark

One of the hard truths of our world is that money is really just a collective fantasy that only works because we’re all in on the game. There’s an expression, “suspension of disbelief,” that is usually reserved for written works of fiction, movies, or television shows, where the person enjoying the fiction is willing to temporarily accept the fictional premise as real for the same of entertainment. If you pause in the middle of a show (let’s use Game of Thrones” for fun) and you decide to note every place where this or that can’t possibly be real or make …

What’s Your Contribution?

As this pandemic drags on, it raises questions about the value of what each of us does for a living, when compared to the amount of money that we make for those jobs. There isn’t a day that goes by right now, or somebody doesn’t talk about the heroes who are working in the medical field, or the heroes who are working on the front lines, or the heroes working in the grocery stores and providing us with essential goods and services, but the question that needs to be asked whenever we discuss all these people, is how we assign …

The American Ethos of “No Man Left Behind” During COVID19

The American ethos of “no man gets left behind” is an enduring one. There are countless stories and movies built around that very theme: in America, no one gets left behind. No challenge is too great, and no price is too high, when it comes to making sure that our brothers and sisters come home safe. It’s amazing then, to consider how quickly many Americans are willing to sacrifice “a few hundred thousand people” for the sake of the economy. How do you get from “no one” to “a few hundred thousand people” as Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert opined …

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. — Poem by John Donne, published 1624

This is Just a Dress Rehearsal

As we struggle with #COVID19, emotionally, financially, socially, & with our lives, we should consider that this pandemic is a dress rehearsal for something bigger, and we’re failing. Old, bad, ideas need to be retired. Spoiler alert: we have a lot of those old bad ideas to retire. America has shown that its desire to make a buck on everything by refusing to adopt Universal Healthcare, is killing its own citizens and making a dreadful disease worse for the entire world. For profit hospitals, health care, education, justice, etc, is hurting us all. Ayn Rand and her idiotic ideas be damned, …

Linux, Open Source, and Civil Disobedience

When I was still arguably a kid, there was an old TV show that my friends and I all watched called, “Baretta.” In the show’s theme song, “Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow,” voiced by the great Sammy Davis Jr., we hear the words, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” The show starred one Robert Blake, an actor who, as it turns out, would later be charged with murder. He was acquitted but later charged with “wrongful death” in a civil suit which he lost, despite the criminal murder acquittal. But I digress . . . …

Microsoft Buys ReactOS for $12.3 Billion US!

I was just remarking to my son that it’s going to be tough to write an April 1st (aka “April Fools”) story that is actually weirder than what we are living through right now. I mean, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, people around the world are in lockdown, or in isolation, everyone that can work from home is working from home, and the economy is tanking. Seriously, how do you beat that? Then, I started thinking about the most successful, meaning most convincing, April Fool’s article I ever wrote. There were tons of comments at the …

Creating Virtual Worlds for Mozilla Hubs

Mozilla Hubs is a completely open source social VR experience that allows you to build your own worlds, craft avatars, have meetings, watch videos together, and more. Here’s where it gets really exciting. HUBS doesn’t require a VR headset. You can access it from any desktop, using a Web browser. In fact, people joining a HUBS session can interact with people using phones, tablets, laptops, or virtual reality headsets. To those who use headsets, the browser sessions look as though they are also participating in the VR experience. I invited a friend of mine to join me in a world I …

Fighting Isolation in Virtual Reality

It’s weird living in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s frankly surreal, on so many levels. One of those ‘levels’ is the forced isolation that many of us are having to get used to, and that can be hard. We are, after all, social animals. Yesterday afternoon, I dropped in to a small group meeting in AltspaceVR using an Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset. I mention this because you or your kids may have one and you’re thinking of it as just another thing for playing games. Trust me when I say that it is, and can be, …

VR Conferences in the Days of COVID-19

I’ve had a fair bit of experience with VR conferences and meetings of late (including the “Educators in VR” conference mentioned in the linked article), and I’ve used several different platforms, including AltspaceVR, Mozilla HUBS, VRChat, RecRoom, and others. There’s a real future in VR and it’s just going to get bigger. I even recorded an episode of my podcast with Evan Leibovitch in AltspaceVR. Expect to see, hear, read, and experience a lot more about this in coming days. Over at FORBES online, they have an article on that very topic. You can find it by clicking here.