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The Gift of Knowing What to Say

When I was in elementary school, I rebelled by acting out in class.  I was class clown in the classical sense.  Being silly gave me attention and rewarded me in way that I needed at the time.  It lead me to think and believe that I show be a stand up comedian as an adult.

Several high school aptitude classes later and a degree in Communication, I fell into the lap of Marketing and later Sales, because that’s what people do.

It was only after one particularly unfulfilled day at work, that I stayed up late surfing the mobile web, looking for ‘something’.  That ‘something’ ended up being a trip down memory lane, in Mrs. Horiuchi’s 7th grade history class.  I signed up for Improv Comedy Classes, of which I had no previous experience doing.

It has been an incredible 2+ year journey and counting.  I feel like I’m beginning to itch the scratch of my 12 year old self and building a new skill set that I never knew I needed.

Some of the key lessons I’ve picked up:

Improv teaches presence.  If you aren’t locked-in on your world around you, then you are officially lost on stage.  Your teammates are counting on you to be real without notice.  That means you can’t think about your mortgage, or sports, or your career while in a scene.

Improv teaches acceptance.  Everyone on earth has a reality of the world/experiences/expression in their mind.  Most times it’s different than your own.  If you can’t accept another persons reality, and add value to it, you simply can’t grow a meaningful relationship with them.  It’s amazing how valuable this is in everyday conversations.

Improv teaches teamwork.   For new improvisers, ‘funny people’ struggle to be good teammates and non-naturally funny people struggle to take chances.  A good team has a balance of personality and activity, but if you follow the basic rules of Improv–the playing field is completely level for both naturally funny-unfunny people.  The best improvisers learn to be assistants to their team.   They make others look better, and in turn make sets look better.  Selfish improvisers struggle.

Improv is a confidence builder.  Very few people on the face of the earth experience performance in front of a paying audience.  It’s such a unique motivator.  It keeps you from getting complacent.  And then, walking off of a stage where people don’t hate you (at least) after paying their hard earned $5 is grounds for being able to conquer just about anything else.

I recommend Improv, at least classes, to just about every person that casually inquires about it.  It’s worth a look, even if you don’t do anything beyond 4 weeks in a classroom.

Here’s a link to the place that I’ve taken improv lessons at.

Improv Lessons

 

 


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Eternal Cyborgs in Space — A Virtual Reality Discussion

I’ve been a long time advocate of progress and change –spurred by technological advance (in this case Virtual Reality).  We should always push the boundaries of possibility.

Major global answers can be unraveled in the way we weave the bits and bytes of gadgetry and science into our lives. I’m a hopeful person, I suppose. If you look at any major industry or civil endeavor, the wrestling match of new technology is at the forefront of advancement.

We are in a transition period. Your parents never had the ability to access the worlds information within seconds, and now the entitlement of info longs for speed, accessibility, discovery and integration. Your grandchildren wont ever drive a car, that might even be an illegal activity when they are of driving age.

The big question that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around is ‘what do/will we actually WANT out of tech?’ Are we seeking freedom, longevity, higher entertainment value– all or none of the above? How far can stretch what it means to be human before we find that we no longer are?

Virtual Reality Singulairty

Lets take an introspective look at a few tech disciplines and see if we cant put some thinky power into coming up with answers.  I’ll revisit new topics from time to time:

Virtual Reality:  This space is really heating up.  Facebook seemingly legitimized the whole VR universe when it purchased Occulus Rift.  Now it’s a race and a land grab occurring all at once with companies competing to bring to market experiential VR and AR platforms.  I’ve been interested in the possibility of immersive environments since the early colonization of Second Life.    It’s fascinating to consider that science can simulate reality well enough to trick our brains.  We’re not there yet, but perhaps we don’t ever want to be.  There is a growing number of conspiracy theorists and counter-culturists that think we may currently be living in a simulated world.  In a Matrix-esque  scenario, we are enslaved or sedated physically but allowed to live our life through the world we currently see as our everyday, only it’s a simulation run by some external force.  Philosopher Nick Bostrom even suggests that this is ‘highly probable’.  Though we are only at the tip of the iceberg in understanding the major secrets of the world, including; ‘How do brains work?’ and ‘Why and how are we here in the first place?’.

If we are living in a simulation it sure would explain a lot.  Physics, for example, the laws of the universe:  It’s pretty weird trying to wrap your brain around the ‘known’ that every thing in our universe is governed by the same set of laws and math equations.  Equations are easily coded…

What then would be the full expression of VR technology?

If sci-fi has taught us anything at all, it’s that complete life mirroring virtual reality is what we are after.  A programmed simulation so real that it is…real to us.  Beyond a litany of movies and TV (Total Recall, Matrix,  Star Trek, Black Mirror, etc.) that show us a world inside microchips, some science nerds believe that we may actually have a shot at living several lifetimes virtually, while time in on the outside barely passes us by.  This tickles the human desire for life fulfillment.  Screw regrets, keep living lives until you get it right.  Take an entire lifetime worth of driving simulations in a short a mount of time before hitting the road at age 16 (though, we wont have this burden much longer, will we?).

Anyhow, the applications are bountiful for VR, especially the kind that accelerates thought and helps us learn faster.

The major question that remains is, will there be enough fear from outside forces that VR never reaches its full expression?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Gift of Knowing What to Say

When I was in elementary school, I rebelled by acting out in class.  I was class clown...
article post

Eternal Cyborgs in Space — A Virtual Reality Discussion

I’ve been a long time advocate of progress and change –spurred by...
article post