Eric Metzner identifies as a Techno-Optimistic Futurist who sometimes works an entire second workday within VR exploring different ways to expand his mind. He’s pushing the limits of mental presence by using nootropic supplements for cognitive enhancement from his company Nootroo, experimenting with psychedelics and VR with the psychonauts from /r/RiftIntoTheMind, exploring sensory addition & biohacking with the Northpaw device, using EEG sensors and VR to have an embodied experience of neurofeedback, teaching himself how to type with one hand with a chorded Twiddler3 Keyboard, and Rapid Serial Visual Presentation to read up to 1000 words a minute using Virtual Desktop.
I had a chance to catch up with Metzner at an UploadVR party during GDC where he shared his explorations into the extremes of mental presence. For me, I’m interested in the balance between mental & social presence with embodied presence, emotional presence, and active presence. But Metzner wants to push the limits of what types of experiences are possible as well as use VR to help him focus on his learning practices.
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Part of the extremes of the air element is the risk of disassociation from his body and the real world, and Metzner is openly wondering whether or not reality is going to be able to keep up with how compelling VR is to him. He’s a part of an emerging group of Transhumanist Merry Pranksters of Silicon Valley experimenting with immersive technologies and daily habits to optimize productivity and happiness.
Links and show notes:
- /r/RiftintotheMind subreddit
- Psychonauts Tripping in the Rift
- Combining Ketamine and Virtual Reality Pain Control During Severe Burn Wound Care
- Mark Pesce on how LSD inspired VRML
- VR Porn Reddit
- McGurk Effect that shows visual dominance in watching someone speak
- Northpaw to detect true north
- Neil Harbisson can listen to color
- Rapid Serial Visual Presentation
- Hacker Vision Chrome Plug-in
- One-Handed Twiddler Keyboard
- S4 Mini – An ULTRA-SFF Chassis – Hard Forum
- Adjacent Possibilities in discovering new ideas
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