Quantum VR

A widely cited article in IEEE states the goal of virtual reality (VR). “The overarching goal of VR is to generate a digital real-time experience that mimics the full resolution of human perception. This entails recreating every photon our eyes see, every small vibration our ears hear, and other cognitive aspects (touch, smell, etc.)” (111).…More

Work-life imbalance

Severance is a dark scifi comedy-drama about a high-tech company capable of splitting the memory life of its office workers in two. As soon as a worker comes into the office she/he loses all recollection of what happened on the outside. When she leaves the office she immediately forgets what happened at work as she…More

In here and out there

The theory of extended mind, elaborated by philosophers David Chalmers and Andy Clark, appeals to anyone involved in the built environment. The theory proposes that cognitive functioning (reasoning, perceiving, remembering) rely on various augmentations from the environment we are in. Hence, we have notepads, drawing tools, computers, smartphones, the Internet. These extensions are not just…More

Ultimate VR

In his book Reality+ philosopher David Chalmers restates a common view about the future of VR. My guess is that within a century we will have virtual realities that are indistinguishable from the nonvirtual world. Perhaps we’ll plug into machines through a brain-computer interface, bypassing our eyes and ears and other sense organs. The machines…More

Heidegger and panpsychism

Martin Heidegger’s teacher Edmund Husserl foregrounded consciousness, though Heidegger adopted a different vocabulary and different concepts. Nor does the term “panpsychism” or anything like it crop up in Heidegger’s writing, though no doubt it can be inferred. In his latest book Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy David Chalmers references Heidegger. The 20th-century…More

Panpsychism versus religion

Religion, religious practice, and religiosity are central in architecture and built form, not least as domestic, commercial and civic buildings mimic or resist the elements, forms and types of religious buildings — altars, pilgrimage routes, temples, churches, mausoleums . Religious ritual and performance are enacted, repeated, copied and even parodied in open and purpose-built spaces.…More

Panpsychism and pragmatism

The city as organism, living city, sentient city: these concepts invite reflection on the putatively intimate relationship between mind and matter — panpsychism. The pragmatic philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce was in a long line of influential philosophers who developed the theme of panpsychism. I have already attempted to explain the importance of Peirce in architecture…More

Panpsychism and the origins of the city

Does a city think about its inhabitants? The question invites panpsychism into the urban discourse. “The spaces around us are now being continually forged and reforged in informational and communicative processes. It is a world where we not only think of cities but cities think of us, where the environment reflexively monitors our behaviour” (789).…More

Panpsychic city

In my recent “conversation,” the openAI GPT-3 natural language processing (NLP) platform responded to my question about whether a city could be conscious with: “Yes, it makes sense to think that cities are conscious if you believe that all matter has a conscious mind. This is because cities are made of matter, and therefore they…More

Urban consciousness

What follows is a “Socratic dialogue” I had with the openAI’s GPT-3 platform about consciousness. In spite of the limitations, the conversation is likely as good or better than I have had or will have with human interlocutors on this difficult subject. The text here is verbatim and unedited, except for some comments indicated in…More