<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

This was 1997—years before the widespread deployment of broadband Internet access—so even that minor dimension of Furness’s project, to an informed and practical mind, sounded almost impossible to implement.

Furness’s presentation went on to cover a description of the project, its costs, how it would be built, and how it would work; an argument for using an immersive VR approach in education; an enumeration of the ways such a project would benefit the museum; and a presentation of some of the visuals the starship visitors might see through their headsets. His laptop was displaying an accompanying array of slides up on the screen: now some charts showing the components, time lines, and costs of building the starship; now a breathtaking, full-color picture of a star being born; now a view of Earth from outer space; now a schematic diagram of the school’s Internet connection, or “virtual schoolhouse,” the flight deck of the starship Enterprise, the debriefing room, and the post-flight, Internet-mediated revisitations to the starship; now the landscape of Mars, now a field of stars; now figures showing that television viewership among children had declined in the video-game age. “Studies show kids prefer interactive entertainment…. Kids are getting bored with traditional ways of education….”

Although Furness, who never raises his voice, eschews the shouts and dramatic exclamations of garden-variety techno-orators and evangelists, he nevertheless communicates powerful passion and conviction when he speaks. His language is rich, and the range of his intonations wide and deep. He has the odd ability to project his voice across a packed room in a way that makes it sound as if he is standing next to you, talking quietly and persuasively to you alone. His presentations always have woven into them an ardent argument for the virtual-world interface. “Computers are still outside in …. You can’t go to a place …. Building a virtual world leads to building a much more robust mental model…. We want to present a circumambience of visual information, we want to build a high-bandwidth interface with the mind.”

Now the presentation was building to something of a crescendo, with the understated rhetorical flourishes and images on the screen coming thicker and faster, richer and more colorful. Furness was offering the museum an opportunity to change the world , to shift the paradigm It was a measure of his rhetorical skill that he could use the term “paradigm shift”—by far the most overused phrase of the dotcom boom—without making his interlocutors roll their eyes. of education, to “open the portal between information and the mind.” With the system he envisioned, “if you want to, you can crank it up to a hundred Gs and juggle on Jupiter.” Even after more than 30 years of work on this interface, he still was reduced to an awestruck kid whenever he thought about its potential: “Y’know, I was thinking to myself, ‘ Gosh ….’”

The museum not only had a chance to join him in unlocking the human mind and changing the face of education, it also could set humans free from the prison the PC age was slowly building around them. “Computers are basically symbol processors,” Furness said. “And to use them, we’ve had to act like computers. The only innovation in interface in the last 20 years is the mouse—that’s about it.”

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Seattle and the demons of ambition' conversation and receive update notifications?