Philip Zhai on Sun, 5 Jul 1998 17:07:14 +0100

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Syndicate: News Release

Dear Syndicate Members,

My new book on the impications of Virtual Reality for expanding our
artistic creativity and our ways of life in general has attracted media
attention before it's publication.  Now it's finally available for

"Anyone rapt with the lure of high technology and the 
quickly evolving advances in virtual reality will meld 
instantly with this book. . . . A smart, lucid, joyful 
look at invented realities that just may be more real than 
any of us dares to believe." Geoff Rotunno, "Tri-Mix" 
Magazine, Goleta, CA  Library Journal

'What the author proposes is in deed fascinating. The various levels are
particularly intriguing as one thinks about the various ways
one could incorporate them in an experience, and the whole 
question of "real" --as the author quite convincingly points out--
becomes something different than I think anything we tend to 
imagine. Similarly, the concept of alternative sensory frameworks
is an intriguing one. Here, I am aware of some experiments that
have been done to help people see in the non-visible wavelengths 
and hear in the non-normal sound brackets. Still, what the author has
described would go substantially beyond that. . . . As I read the
fifth section on "Interaction among participants", I began to feel
a bit overwhelmed and the same would apply to the "Second-level
virtual world within the virtual world" and to the concept of
"Inside-out control." The latter is particularly fascinating to 
think about, but the implications and possibilities are also 
fascinating.'  Dr. David W. Ellis, President and Director of 
Museum of Science (Boston)


1.  How to Go "behind" Physical Space
     1. Playing the Game: Get Wired to Go Weird
          Shootout in Cyberspace
          Immersed in the Game and Never to Return? 
     2. What If Now . . .
          Imagination Gone Wild Yet Intellect Disciplined
          Totally Lost in Disney's Deep-Space Odyssey
          Reality Unreal or What?
          An Assumption Suspended
          See the Sound and Hear the Color
          Summary: Equally Ignorant 
     3. Cross-Communication Situations
          Mis-Located Bodies
          Adam and Bob Messed Up
          A Fundamental Ambiguity
          What Is the Catch?
          Teleportation with a Helmet
          A Smart Brain That Knows Not
     4. Interpersonal-Telepresence: I Am Here!
          Brain Switch without Surgery
          Self-Identity versus Other-Identity
          John Locke Is Locked Out
          Summary: A Person Is Nowhere
     5. The Community of Interpersonal-Telepresence
          Go Places at Will
          The Body Goes Public
          The Survivor of a Fatal Accident
          Again I Am Nowhere
          What Is Colored but Shapeless?
          You Are Now "behind" the Space
          Hollywood Challenged!
          Summary: Personal Identity without Space
     6. The Principle of Reciprocity
          From the One Seeing Many      
          Where Is Virtual Reality?
          Jaron Calls It an Illusion
          Natural versus Artificial
          Don't Worry But Watch Out
2.  The Causal and the Digital under the Virtual
     1. The Four Sources of Virtual Reality Input
          Get Immersed
          Input in the Opposite Direction
     2. Manipulation of the Physical Process from Cyberspace    
          Survive and Prosper in Cyberspace
          You Are an Agent
          Efficiency Matters and . . .
     3. Cybersex and Reproduction
          The Explosive Paul and the Implosive Mary
          Copulating and Procreating
          The Erotic Ontology
          A Dangerous Idea
     4. The Expansion beyond Necessity        
          Get Rich by Doing the Impossible
          Simulations Don't Count
          Optional Local Continuity and David Hume
          A Hypothesis to Be Tested by Psychologists   
          Space Further Re-Configured
          The Economy of Inside-Out Control  
          Gods 'R Us 
     5. Interaction among Participants
          Jump and Get Real
          Let Your Partner Paint Your Body Or Whatever
          Back to CCS
     6. The Final Decision That Is Irreversible: Alert!
          VR for Today
          Build a VR Museum Right Now Please
          But Should We Do It?  
3.  The Parallelism between the Virtual and the Actual
     1. Deconstructing Rules for the "Real" and the "Illusory"
          Cookies Are Served  
          The Gunman Wants My Rolex
          Robots Are Taking Over!
          Where Is Branda Laurel?
          Summary: Seven T-Rules Gone in Order
          Rotating the Fork 
     2. Communicative Rationality as the Final Rule
          Bishop Berkeley Says Thusly
          The Final Rule: Relativism Prevented
          Foundational Part of VR No Less Real
          But Is the Gunman Real?
     3. How Phenomenological Descriptions Are the Same          
          Two Evaporating "Hard Facts"
          Optional Reality Is Fake
          The Myth of Singularity
          Summary: Three Principles of Reflexivity
     4. Fundamental Philosophical Questions Remain
          Lao Tzu Debating Berkeley
          The Quarrelsome Rationalists
          A New Turn of the Mind
          No Expiration Date
          New Creation Story? 
4.  All Are Optional Except the Mind
     1. John Searle's False Notion of Body Image in the Brain
          Temporality Inherent in the Mind
          The Amputee and John Searle's Confusion
          The Whole Universe in My Brain?
          The Credit Searle Deserves
          But More Disastrously . . .
          A Pain with an Index
          A Real Pain Which Is Nowhere
          Daniel Dennett Turned Outside-In
          The Cart and the Horse
          Zhai or Dennett
          Summary: Back to the First-Person
     2. The Fallacy of Unity Projection
          No Dualism
          Quantum Mechanics 
          Don't Be Self-Defeating
          Hofstdater and Tipler Also Guilty
          Brain Discredited
          Why the Mind Is Not a Computer
          Is a Stone Also Conscious?
          Cut the Root
          Hello Mr. Stapp
          Einstein's Brain
          Intelligence versus Consciousness
          Summary: The World Re-Created without Strong AI   
     3. The One-ness of Consciousness, Brain, and Quantum       
          Emperor Penrose's Mind
          Dare to Dream
          Back to the Future?
          The Split Self
          Why Care about Your Future Pain?
     4. A Conjecture: The Square Root of -1 as the Psy-Factor
          Theoretical Physicists Are Invited
          Verifying Claims Made by Mystics
5.  The Meaning of Life and Virtual Reality
     1. Recapitulation and Anticipation
          Virtually Do It All
          Really Illusory
          Ontology of the Mind
     2. Meaning as Different from Happiness: Brave New World?
          The Right to Be Unhappy
          Optimism from the Frontier
          The Lawnmower Man
          Zombie or Pure Spirit?
     3. Meaning and the Creator
          Is God's Life Meaningless?
          Gods 'R Us again
          To Believe or Not to Believe
     4. Significant Difference versus Real Difference
          Fake Mona Lisa
          Another Sense of the Real
          Real but Irrelevant
          The Meaningful as the Central Concern
          An Unsuccessful Rich Man  
          He Is Happy but He Has Failed
          A Homeless Millionaire
          In What Way Am I Morally Responsible?
          Try More by Yourself
          Meaning of Life Right Under Your Eyelashes
     5. Three Modes of Subjectivity and Intentionality
          Subjective but Fair
          Logical Positivism and Its Discontent
          Be Proud of Subjectivity
          Does a Hole Exist?
          The Trinity of Subjectivity
          The Conative Mode
          The Communicative Mode
          Schlick's Concern
          The Constitutive Mode
          Back to Virtual Reality
          Intentionality, not Cultural Relativity
          The Meaning of "Meaning"
     6. Meaning, Ideality, and Humanitude
          Humanitude versus Human Nature
          How Can We Understand Each Other? 
          Leave Human Nature and Go Home
          Materiality Discredited Again
     7. Virtual Reality: The Way Home
          Ethics of Intentional Reality
          The Merging of the Experiential and the Meaningful
          The Good and the Virtual
          Should We Erase the Boundary?
6.  VR and the Destiny of Humankind
     1. The Fragility of Technological Civilization
          The "Dark Side" of Cyberspace
          Don't Abandon This World!
          No Hero in the Wife's Eye
          Nothing Is Thick
          Biologically Mortal
     2. The Question of Death
          Meaningfully Immortal
          Death Never Experienced   
     3. Transcendence of Personhood and Immortality 
          Little Anthony's Dying Wish
          The Little Boy's Immortal Personhood
          My Great Grandchildren and Beth's Stepfather
          A Pleasing yet Worthless Life
          Human Soul Refurbished
          Humanitude Re-Visited
     4. What Could Happen Soon
          No Hype
          Take a Virtual Shower    
          Shopping on the Web
          VR Conferencing
          Making Love while Continents Apart
          Walk through . . .
          Educational VR and Virtual Art
     5. Virtual Reality and the Ontological Re-Creation
          Let's Swim in the Sea of Meaning
          The Media That Shape Our Being
          The Metaphysical Maturity of Civilization
Appendix:  Jaron Lanier's Virtual Realty Debut Interview
About the Author

Title: Get Real: A Philosophical Adventure in Virtual Reality
Price: $24.95 (list) Call 1-800-462-6420 to order
Or for 30% discount online order, go:

Philip Zhai