Thursday, February 17, 2022


Last year I read a brilliant book on the past ("About Time,” by British historian David Rooney; Norton 2021). This year I'm reading an equally brilliant book on the future ("Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy," David J. Chalmers; Norton 2022). I recommend both books highly.

David Chalmers uses ancient and contemporary philosophy to examine new technology: i.e., "virtual reality" and "augmented reality." Contrary to conventional thinking Chalmers concludes that these alternate modes are actually real and that, with technological improvement, they will offer us new ways to experience life that are worthy. He also controversially but convincingly argues that we can't dismiss the possibility we're currently living in a "Matrix"-like computer simulation. Really! And it's tough to refute a smart philosopher :)


  1. The BBC Radio 4 show, The Infinite Monkey Cage, has a special on the idea of living in a simulation. IMHO, the show has a very good blend of science, informed discussion, and comedy. May be worth a listen if that's your bag.

  2. The idea that the world we live in is actually a simulation is presented as one of the solutions to the Fermi Paradox (if the universe is swarming with other civilisations, why aren't we constantly bombarded with messages from them) in Richard Powers' latest novel 'Bewilderment', though it's not original to Powers' book.