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when I get that feeling I need virtual healing

May 19, 2008 by jjosh science corrospondent Pat G returns with a link to an article that suggests the reason aliens haven’t contacted us yet is that they’re probably all geeking out in their own virtual worlds. You could make an awesome virtual world that does everything you could ever want it to, and then you wouldn’t have to bother with expending all the energy to go to other planets or build more crap on your own planet.

When the conversation gets to environmental concerns (as it often does in our house), I often feel that to have hope in the face of such disaster requires a fundamentalist faith in technology. Sometimes I have to break it down like "Well, I honestly think that this crises might be the thing that spurs us to space travel to colonize other planets." And I’m not really joking, you know? But now I think this virtual reality angle is so much more energy effecient, it will become my new go-to. A bit harder to explain, but perhaps a bit easier to absorb than the whole "other planets will save us" theory.

It reminded me of this chilling scene from Carla Speed McNeil’s amazing sci-fi comics epic, Finder. If you are into comics at all and don’t know Finder, you must go and get it and get into it now. Now, I say! It is amazing. She’s the only comics person that I actually went to a convention to meet. Check her website,, she’s got first chapters from many of her books there for you to check out, or you can order the trades from her. I recommend starting from the beginning with Sin-Eater. It’s so dense and amazing…

Anyway, this scene is from "Dream Sequence", and it shows the extension of all this thought, introducing a character who goes to work in a virtual world, in a sort of cubicle farm. It really stuck in my head because it seems so plausible…


  1. kfan says:

    YES! Finder rules. You, by extension, rule.

  2. jjosh says:

    It feels good to rule.

    When I met her at the SPX in Bethesda, MD, I was reduced to an idiot fanboy geekoid. Then it got weird ‘cuz she thought she knew me and that we had been e-mailing, and once I made it clear that we didn’t know each other we didn’t really have anything to say. Ah well, so it goes…

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