A question we’ve been asking ourselves lately: What is reality, anyway?

Excerpt from this article:

  • The biggest startup you’ve never heard of is going to make augmented reality real. And it’s going to drive us all nuts.
  • If reality’s a simulation, why bother worrying about homelessness?
  • Space and time are your desktop. Physical items are simply icons on that desktop.
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Our digital lives and the chaos beneath

Wictor Forss

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Disturbed by a technical glitch while watching a box set, Will Self began to consider the narrowing gap between images and real life. Is technology altering our grasp on reality?

…Let me take you back to Engrenages. My chronicle of the momentary disintegration of the image of these actors’ bodies was far from exhaustive. When I described the “small massif” of skin-covered cubes, and the “iridescent smear” of interference I was struggling to devise a typology for a completely novel phenomenon; the underlying technology productive of these images is completely different from the television broadcasting of the 60s and 70s; and it seems to me that when they prove friable and fall apart, what we glimpse is precisely that underlying technology: we actually see the ulterior realm of the digital, wherein our entire reality is composed from the zeroes and ones of software machine code. To me it really does appear that way – but why? It’s because of our faith, I think – not faith in an immaterial being, or a transcendent reality, but faith in the very ability of digitisation to produce the highest imaginable degree of verisimilitude. There is no real comparison between an isolated piece of equipment from which sound emanates and a world-girdling network of bi-directional digital mediatisation that pullulates with sound, images and signs.

 

The Real Me

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The internet is an unrelenting enabler of our flaws and an unforgiving archive of them—so should you google your new love interest, or hold off? And what if they google you first?

…Unwelcome Search Result No. 1: My Evil Twins. I, like many people, have my share of Google doppelgängers, some of whom have decidedly odd hobbies or are otherwise, shall we say, the date-scaring types. Decades older. Civil War-obsessed. Freemasons.

Unwelcome Search Result No. 2: The Old Me. The me I wished to forget. The me that still lingered in the internet’s scrapbook of Doug’s Greatest Hits of Awkwardness. School photos from the days of Zubaz and a white-boy ‘fro. Sporting achievements that betrayed my utter lack of athleticism, like my glacier-paced 10K time and my even less impressive showing as a “mathlete.” Or, God help me, poetry.

Worst Search Result of Them All: The Real Me. As a struggling travel writer, I had a website full of struggling-travel-writer things: a where-I’ve-been list of decidedly non-exotic places; a blog I updated with the same sporadic, haphazard approach I applied to getting my car’s oil changed; a smattering of articles I’d written for unrecognizably obscure publications. An accurate representation of me, yes—but that was the problem.

How This Tokyo Bookstore Made Me Fall Back In Love With Print

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The longer I spent roaming the stacks, the more I became convinced that this store holds the key to understanding that deeper connection. I also felt like I was falling back in love with the printed word myself, which came as something of a shock — I’m a self-confessed, early-adopting, SIM card-swapping travel geek, currently on my seventh Kindle. This was not a nostalgic, Luddite moment, but a response to five specific principles that became increasingly clear to me as I wandered, browsed, read, and reflected.

Thinking of the store as a whole, and the way in which volumes of all kinds are beautifully displayed throughout, made me realize something else I’d been missing. The spine and cover designs of books, which used to be the predominant decoration of most of my friends’ apartments, offer a different kind of solace than that which comes from knowing that everything you’ve read lives somewhere in the cloud. Covers and spines are not just decorative items; they are external, tangible reminders of something that may have transformed you internally, emotionally, intellectually. To be able to call them up on your iPad simply isn’t the same as having them surround you — constantly reminding you, when you glimpse them, of the multitudes contained within each one.

The interaction reminded me of the extent to which, in doing research either for fun or for work, I’ve moved from seeking human guidance to doing all the digging myself, online. Obviously there are huge advantages to the powerful digital tools now at our disposal. But speaking with Tsutaya’s expert reminded me just how important — and enjoyable — it is to add a human perspective. He made connections between ideas I mentioned and stories he’d read in older periodicals (which the store still stocked).

 

Tinder users are sharing what they really look like

On Tinder vs looking at Tinder

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Surveys have suggested it takes us five attempts to style a selfie we are happy with sharing on social media, and that women can spend a staggering 48 minutes a day taking selfies. Men can take a while too, I’ve certainly seen a lot of men flexing in mirror selfies. Including this one, possibly the worst of all time.

Now, singletons have taken to social media to expose the discrepancy between their Tinder pictures and their more quotidian look – everyday shots of lounging around in bed, hanging with pets or grabbing a morning coffee; far from coiffed poses or club shots, a bottle of Cristal in each hand.

Using the hashtag #OnTinderAtTinder, Tinder daters, both men and women, posted their IRL vs Tinder pictures…

…Those joining in with the #OnTinderAtTinder hashtag expanded the theme to something similar to the “nailed it” meme, in which individuals mock their attempts at life hacks and cooking and fitness goals, posting pictures of their own subpar attempts.

#NoFilterFeb

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It’s easy to forget sometimes that social media is a collection of hand picked moments. What we see has usually gone through a few edits to look the way it does. It isn’t always the full picture and it shouldn’t be a benchmark we set for our own lives.

#NoFilterFeb is a challenge to detox your Instagram of all the filters that have become a default go to.

hat tip to @whatleydude