How To Create And Share Awe [Need To Know]

How To Create And Share Awe [Need To Know]

Filmmaker and futurist Jason Silva discusses how have the ability to sculpt our experience and then drive it to new heights.

Dory Carr-Harris, PSFK
  • 28 april 2012

Originally published in PSFK’s Need To Know Magazine Volume 1

Filmmaker and futurist Jason Silva has been described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix.” From 2005 to 2011, Jason Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy winning, independent cable network. In 2011 he became a fellow at the Hybrid Reality Institute, examining the symbiosis between man and machine. He also has a series of non-commercial micro-documentaries exploring the co-evolution of humans and technology. PSFK spoke to him about how ideas originate then spread:

How do you see the relationship of humans and technology?

The exponential growth curves of information technology spilling over into biotech and nanotech mean two things: biology is now an information technology subject to the same radical progress of Moore’s Law. Physicist Freeman Dyson predicts we will soon have the entire biosphere in the palm of our hands… imagine the possibilities: the canvas of life itself is now subject to our aesthetic design and imagination. And as author Juan Enriquez tells us, now we have software that writes its own hardware! Computers could never do that. Biology can.

With Nanotech, the building blocks of matter become ours to play with-we become free to shape the universe. This might take a little longer than 5 years, but we’ll get there.

Can we ‘engineer inspiration’ by hacking the human operating system?

I like the term by writer Steve Silberman of performing a meta cognitive hack of the human operating system-we can do this by studying how environments shape our thinking. We need to learn to perceive the feedback loops between our creative and linguistic choices and our consciousness. Professor Rich Doyle says once we realize the extraordinary capacity we have to literally sculpt our experience, we might get a sense of vertigo…except that when we harness this ability we see how truly free we really are. SO YES: We can engineer AWE by studying its precursors and planning for them. My short videos at are my latest example at creating a ‘micro psychedelic’ experience using information technology instead of chemical technology, but they do the same thing: they ‘epiphanize’ you by pulling you out of context and reformatting your consciousness a tad bit.

Jason Silva

Originally published in PSFK’s Need To Know Magazine. Click the banner below to purchase the print version.


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