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OMNI Magazine January 1991


OMNI Magazine January 1991

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Featured Articles: Virtual Reality: Life in a Computer, Business 2001: Managing the21st Century , Dalai Lama: His Resolutions, Electronic Games, Can Animals think?, Starships made out of ice, Regenerate your own organs

Exclusive Interview: Jaron Lanier

Cover Art: Stanislaw Fernandes

Chunks of virgin rock as old as the sun bear remembrance of stars whose glory faded long before the birth of our solar system. Gregory T. Pope.

Then we wanted to find out the future of business we turned to the SEI Center for Advanced Studies, the Wharton business school’s think tank. Former Omni editor Patrice Adcroft organized a roundtable discussion with leading futurists to determine the needs and direction of business in the twenty-first century. Their comments and opinions resulted in “Challenge and Response” (page 34), a series of memos assembled by Omni editor at large Pamela Weintraub. “The experts not only predict the future of management,” Weintraub says, “they also prescribe solutions readers can use today.”

Weintraub’s coauthor on Mystical Experiences in 30 Days: The Higher Consciousness Program (St. Martin’s Press), psychologist Keith Harary (“Dalai Lama: His Resolutions,” page 66) has studied altered states of consciousness for the last 20 years. Meeting with the Dalai Lama, he became enthralled by the Tibetan holy man and his philosophy. During their conversation Harary asked, “How do we balance scientific progress with the need to deal with starvation, pollution, and racism? Which should we combat first?” To which the Dalai Lama simply replied, “That’s a good question.” After contemplating for a moment, he answered, “There are enough people in the world to work on all those things.”

The scientific director of the Humane Society, Michael Fox (Animals, page 18) coauthored You Can Save the Animals: 50 Things To Do Right Now (St. Martin’s Press), another collaborative effort with Weintraub. “If people heed the advice we offer in the book,” Weintraub says, “they will be protecting not only animals but also the earth.”

Omni writers also offer three different perspectives on virtual reality. Jaron Lanier was difficult to pin down for the January Interview, so Doug Stewart resorted to camping in front of the virtual reality guru’s home to ensure that Lanier couldn’t slip past.

Attending Cyberthon, a 24-hour virtual reality marathon, science-fiction author Gregg Keizer (Explorations, page 16) also found it wasn’t easy to get to Lanier. Lotteries were held for seats on the bus transporting reporters from San Francisco to Lanier’s headquarters. Keizer, however, wasn’t lucky enough to win passage. Asked what type of graphic world he’d prefer, Keizer responds, “A virtual thunderstorm—where I could experience the dynamics of weather without being in physical danger.” Try to dress accordingly, Gregg.

Traveling to the University of Connecticut, Karen Wright (Arts) expected to find fun and games during her visit with computer artist Myron Krueger. “I had no idea that working with the computer could be an aerobic exercise. Playing with Krueger’s interactive artificial realities was physically exhausting,” says Wright, who has written for Scientific American and Science.

More fun and games appear in the pages of our special section “The Brave New World of Electronic Games”, edited by OMNI editor Keith Ferrell, who embraces the combined forces of entertainment and education. Introducing himself to readers in Forum (page 14), Ferrell is a former senior editor at Omni’s sister publication Compute and has written articles on software for the World Book Encyclopedia.

A frequent contributor to OMNI, Atlanta-based Sherry Baker (“Internal Medicine,”) often reports on ground-breaking research in the medical field. Baker is a former art critic who has specialized in science journalism for ten years.