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Mr Bile
I'm going for a snake/ninja approach. With hissing
01:09 AM on 02/02/2013
"So what happens when your home television set provides a visual experience indistinguishable from "being there"? "

Kind of hard to answer, as that will never happen. Technically speaking, it can't happen. Just as a high fidelity audio system will never be as good as live, tv can only be a simulation of reality. Not that it can't fool people, but that doesn't mean much as its not difficult to fool people.
01:04 PM on 02/02/2013
"Indistinguishable from being there" is a pretty low standard: The ultimate experience is "better than being there!" More vibrant colors, enhanced treble (to make up for my aging ears), impossible physics. Movies are already there! Think Avatar in 3-D iMax.
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05:03 PM on 02/01/2013
Boy, for a scientist you lack imagination (or maybe that's a requirement).

No, a wide screen with more pixels is not the be-all, end-all. It's plugging what you want to view DIRECTLY into the brain. It'll be just like experiencing reality, man.

Porn will be DY-NO-MITE
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03:59 AM on 02/02/2013
Only in your mind.
Jim Isaak
There's no need to fear!
04:43 PM on 02/01/2013
"I'm not speaking about content (which will undoubtedly continue its relentless pursuit of greater erudition and artistic merit)." I think the author meant to say television content will "continue in its lack of erudition and artistic merit." I might be wrong, but I don't see any signs that the producers of television content have ever aspired to anything other than a greater market share.
Ph.D., Immunology; Solar power @ home; Green Party
03:18 AM on 02/02/2013
Dr. Shostak was being sarcastic.
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12:21 PM on 02/02/2013
@ "SolarPowerGuy"

...I did a doubletake on that note as well, but yes, I think he was being sarcastic.

The great hunt for the cyber-sarcasm icon continues !

Fav'd you both.

03:08 PM on 02/01/2013
For quite some time now, as many I suppose do, whenever I imagine intelligent species in other worlds I see them using their own TVs, mouse and all. How else can a species evolve in intelligence without evolving objectivity by expressing it in a virtual world and sharing that knowledge with others? TV must be a universally ubiquitous part of evolution. Great article!
E=mc2: From light you exist
04:49 PM on 02/01/2013
I recall an episode of Star Trek where Captain Picard spent a life time in a virtual world you describe, visibly shaken when he returned to reality as we know it since his experience was, to him, while immersed, reality.
05:49 PM on 02/01/2013
... and there was an other one, or the same one, in which they could not decide which reality was the real the one? Was it the one of the holo-deck of the ship having to deal with a problem in progress or the one of the actual ship having a problem to deal with in progress?

Having a bad time in any reality, be it biological or artificial, is just as true when a human is abused to the point of developing Stockholm syndrome and lies wholly open to trusting misinformation without questioning, there being no motive to. Many have been used like this against others to the detriment of functional citizens. Picard emerged again.
jbl inAZ
"Earn more sessions by sleeving." -- C.D.Bales
12:42 PM on 02/02/2013
He came back with a flute and the ability to play it. Pretty real.

(This is not the same episode that Mr Planet was thinking of.)
05:20 PM on 02/01/2013
Anything experienced by the animal senses is essentially virtual in that is ultimately afferently composed within an organism by virtue of its biological make up. Whether the time it takes for a life form to register data from the external environment is a few milliseconds, to the twenty minutes or so for data to reach us from Mars at the speed of light, cognition is inside the mind producing physical brain to act upon.

Be the interface a screen or some other means of a technological phenotypic extension is, on the receiving end, just as virtual as sensing through at atmospheric medium. Technology is just as much a biological product as is atmospheric oxygen and that just means that robotic parts are efferently doing the work from us on Mars at a greater distance than our legs and arms.
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02:05 PM on 02/01/2013
@ "Seth Shostak"

...As an amateur (and self-appointed, I should add) "Futurist", I see no reason not to anticipate optional neuro-nanobot-chip-implanted industry film holograms for either "viewing" of virtual interaction and manipulation...say maybe 50/75 years ahead; before century's end, at any rate.

Not so great a leap.