Beyond the constraints of physical reality

There is something oddly literal about most science fiction representations of how people will be in a completely immersive shared virtual world. From TRON to The Matrix to Ready Player One, and countless others, the vision is pretty much a variant of our own physical world.

From the standpoint of human evolution, I guess this makes sense. Our brains evolved to support walking bipeds with rich facial expressions, human hands, and the presence of gravity. It is a safe bet that virtual worlds which incorporate those elements will make sense to the brains of future humans.

But what if it turns out that our brains are far more plastic and adaptable? Maybe the optimal shared virtual world, after we get used to things, will be very different from the physical world of our shared heritage.

The differences might eventually turn out to be radical. Perhaps even the concept of having a “body” will come to be seen as extraneous.

I wonder how we might best to start to explore these more radical visions for a completely immersive shared virtual world.

One thought on “Beyond the constraints of physical reality”

  1. That is really interesting to imagine – though incredibly hard.
    Do you happen to know the author Greg Egan? His book ‘Diaspora’ describes different directions humans take, one being to live as software entities in different polises – and here some of the possibilities are explored, including very abstract ones.
    I find this book incredibly fascinating, overflowing with ideas – although I’ll admit that many people I have recommended it to, found it weird – which it is indeed, though in an extremely good sense imho.

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