Bill Gates is Making a Difference and I’m Not

Picture by David Denton

A Bucket List is about stuff you want to do or have done as an individual before your expiration date.

I’ve done plenty of Bucket List-worthy things — being the Guest of Honor at a Faculty Banquet at South China Normal University in Guangzhou comes to mind, along with eating snake as the professors watched approvingly. But while they sometimes make good stories, most of my cool personal experiences were never on any List and don’t provide any sense of purpose in life. I mean, is that It — Eating Snake for an audience of my peers?

Wanting to make…


Powering the Blockchain One Good Deed at a Time

Kampot, Cambodia, author’s pic

This idea is such an obvious non-starter I’m sure I will be laughed out of further discourse on the topic of cryptocurrency and distributed ledgers, but I can’t stop myself from writing it down and publishing it.

My only consolation is that whatever idiocy I come up with must pale before what is in plain sight in the year 2021, when upwards of 20% of all the money there ever was in the US of A was born. Central Banks are right up there with the Wizard of Oz and the Emperor with New/No Clothes.

Fiat currency has been based…


Thoughts on Unfrozen Identity

Still Life with Cacao Powder, author’s pic

The people around me like food, like talking about food. Like planning and preparing food. I like it too, but I get full faster, full of everything about it. The food aspect of my social life was not working.

I knew the only solution was to embrace food and make stuff.

Three years ago I began exploring homemade ice cream as a way to join the food world and make a contribution. Now frozen confections are an integral part of my role in the micro community.

I produce a variety of products on a regular basis year round. People can…


By Spiralz — Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

You’re either vaxxed or you’re not, right?

Wrong. Maybe you took one for the team, Team Humanity, or maybe you opted for ‘freedom.’ Still, whatever you did or didn’t do, the jab is not the vaccine.

A vaccine is a biological agent that provides immunity to a specific infectious disease. The jab gets the agent into you but if the right sequence of immune system events does not subsequently unfold, no acquired immunity is produced. And no vaccination, just a jab.

You hear the term, ‘compromised immune system’ a lot these days. It sounds like stakeholders struck some kind of…


Small Plates of Attention for Getting Started

Many people are meditating for their first time ever — in Virtual Reality. Having no other experience, sitting in some cartoon world with a brick on their head is meditation for some folks.

One OG response might be, ‘ha, they are clueless,’ which is judgmental, but not entirely incorrect.

I am an OG when it comes to meditation and I’m very pleased that people are discovering any kind of practice that helps them feel better so safely and easily. No one owns Meditation. No organization has the trademark.

Meditation apps represent specific implementations of different techniques and the variety already…


Pixexid, photographer not named

If it’s all just an Attention Derby, I’d say Death is coming off a pretty good year.

The widespread desire to think about something else has many people convinced, for no good reason, that Death is ready to assume its more typical profile: High, but not right there in-your-face.

Death in enhanced-mode really challenges our denial mechanisms, subjects them to attacks they’re not prepared for. Today’s more extroverted Death led with a virus and followed with escalating outbreaks of random violence, coming soon to a grocery store near you.


Sales and Social Isolation

You choose your setting in Alcove, author’s photo

The personal is political. I am an old folk or at least a semi-old folk.

AARP is onto you at 55, [Spoiler Alert] which is a rude shock when it happens. I am 72 so they have been onto me for decades

AARP is into VR. AARPVR. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it.

They’ll be offering you their version of Virtual Reality at 55.

If not before — you want to stay in touch with your grandparents and parents in their assisted living community, don’t you? Well, we’ve got just the thing.

It’s called Alcove. Who says all the…


What if Plutocratic networks have always been the instruments of power because other network forms couldn't be supported -- but now maybe non-Plutocratic networks are feasible thru blockchain and particularly higher level formats like DAOs. Isn't the network that just gave $350,000 to the gorillas (not the guerillas) something new that never could have happened before?


Once a Week, Every Week, in VR

The Black Lady Theatre closed, March 2020, Collin Knopp-Schwyn, on Wikimedia

It was pretty obvious that we’d all be losing so much so fast we wouldn’t be able to keep up. Wouldn’t even be able to Say Goodbye the way we’d want to and need to.

Someone would just get irritated and tell you to stop being Debbie Downer.

A lot of people just need permission; that’s the part I figured out in late March, 2020 when I started organizing and hosting events in the only place we could be close— a virtual reality place, with its superpower of shared presence.

Just to make sure it was completely clear, I named…


In a Virtual Reality Community

Sunrise over a Lake, Novato, CA, unattributed at Pixexid

Routines help, especially in insecure and unpredictable times. The routines we construct stake out a little order where there isn’t much.

When we go somewhere new, or don’t go anywhere because of a pandemic, we establish new routines very quickly. There must be some value.

Sure enough, just Google something like, ‘Routines Helpful’ and you’ll immediately see that the Jury came back on this one a long time ago and unanimously reported, ‘Yes;’ for all the obvious reasons, that mostly come down to cultivating a sense of control or at least some degree of agency.

Except for one counter-thread. Scanning…

Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos

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