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to bender — means to twist, shape, or manipulate something, often in a creative or artistic way. It can refer to the act of bending or contorting an object physically or metaphorically.

I used to have nice and peaceful days in the month leading up to my birthday, but in the last several years, starting with the first summer of COVID, things have become more turbulent. These years have been challenging due to external events and the actions I had to take. In other years, I simply didn’t bother celebrating my date of birth but still acknowledged it. The days leading up to this acknowledgment were spent in gentle anticipation. On the day itself, I occasionally treated myself by checking into a “W hotel,” enjoying a glass of champagne, or engaging in a similar consumerist gesture to treat my inner child. And never a party, nothing intended for the public eye. The Solar return is a day I keep private, and knowing some other Cancer men, it is unlikely because of the nature of the Sun-sign we share.

My 40th birthday is today. I’m not a big fan of the round numbers, let alone the decimal system as a whole, but it’s hard to ignore the number that shifts the perspective of the position in life from “one third” to “a half.” For many, including myself, the forties are when youth suddenly turns into old age. Personally, I have high hopes for my early forties, not because astrology promises me that many, but because I find that having an eclectic mind makes it easier to embrace the ever-evolving socio-economic landscapes of our ambiguous world. Rather than focusing on merely surviving the problems, I am eager to actively seek solutions to the growing number of challenges our society faces. First, to the best of my ability, and then tirelessly.

A gift I’m giving myself today is my new website. I’ve been gradually working on it for several months now. If you’ve ever built a house, you may agree that they are never truly finished. The same goes for the code of my new digital home. However, I received a call from my cosmic landlord informing me that my lease is up, and I have to move out, ready or not. So, if you are currently on my website, metaphorically speaking, imagine yourself sitting in the kitchen where the walls have no tiles. I apologize for that. Yes, there are easier methods to publish my writings and engage in “social,” but those don’t align with my way. This aspect alone may give you insight into the conversations to come, even before we start pouring Pu Erh or wine (we are still in the kitchen).

I’m starting a newsletter, and this piece will serve as its inaugural issue. That seems like an appropriate moment to discuss the reasons why you should subscribe. Many Substacks and cozy channels on messaging apps have a clear pitch, urging readers to sign up to learn how to excel in a specific area. Something along the lines of “Join this newsletter to embark on a journey of personal growth and discover what makes you the best version of yourself in your own unique way.” But explaining how to become the very best someone in a very important something is not even remotely close to what I want to do.

Whether I mentor, coach, or write, I don’t aspire to be an expert. I prefer to embrace being a generalist. My aim is to inspire individuals to trust spontaneity and cultivate their own unique expressions, rather than imitating others. Every now and then, I stumble upon an extraordinary space where someone candidly shares their life stories, thoughts, and ideas, and it is truly beautiful. I also come across artists on social who post digital imprints of their work, evoking the nostalgia of the early days of the internet, when it was much less intimidating place. Not everyone needs to be a marketer, even though “to sell” is inherent in human nature. Unfortunately, the pursuit of selling, just because we gain access to a marketplace, regardless of the product or method, has become a prevalent focus for many. Often disguised as achievement, in my view, its clearly a self-deception.

In essence, my intention is to write this newsletter with a deeply personal touch, exploring topics that hold immense significance to me. Here in my emails and on my website, I seek to express my authentic self and invite you to find your own “why” and “what for” leaving behind the confines of measurable normalities. I have no intentions of advertising, tracking, or manipulating my readers, nor succumbing to sensationalism by exploiting current trends. Which brings me to today’s hero — bender1. In a way, embracing the latest gadget from the world’s beloved tech conglomerate contradicts the claim “not to exploit the trends.” However, spatial computing is a subject of great importance to my work, and I can’t help but share my excitement. I had anticipated Apple’s entry into this space back in 2018, but my optimism proved to be unfounded. There were various technological challenges, the impact of COVID, and, of course, the market’s influence on the production of technology we can have rather than the technology we truly need.

How can I be excited about “Vision Pro” with the preceding (and failing) long line of “glasses” and VR headsets, and not “Chat GPT” that all the cool kids are talking about? Firstly, because Apple has a strong track record of shaping market trends, which is great for indicating the direction where investors will now place their bets. Secondly, the developers! Finally, they will start paying attention, and immersive experiences will move from Sundance’s lineup to “Product Hunt”. What is most important to me, though, is that spatial computing goes beyond communication, it’s partially sential! In its current state, it addresses two out of seven dimensions of human sentience. While it is unlikely that generative language models will develop their own senses in the near future, these two advancements align with a trajectory towards a singularity-like future.

floating in the air apple logo wears vision pro headset plugged into a mushroom

Spatial computing has the potential to enhance accessibility to education regardless of geographical location, offering an immersive learning experience. It opens up new marketplace opportunities for individuals from underserved regions and disadvantaged backgrounds, thereby reducing barriers to entry in fields of artistry and entrepreneurship. Moreover, it transcends the digital and physical divide, emphasizing the power of self-expression by blurring these boundaries. We are now entering the post-digital era, where artists can perform and present in innovative ways and explore generative, procedural, nonfungible, and multisensory forms of expression. The impact goes beyond wearing NFT dresses; artists will have the ability to collaboratively create post-digital art forms, embodying their creative tools in mixed reality, and breaking free from the confines of flat and limited-sized screens.

Spatial computing will not only reduce the need for physical offices and retail spaces, but also foster innovative ideas for the development of urban spaces that cater to post-digital art, community engagement, and cultural experiences. This technological advancement will provide option for a different economic mobility, easing the financial burden on city-dwellers and potentially transforming immigration policies. Post-digital citizens will enjoy broader audiences and improved inclusivity. Additionally, I anticipate that mixed reality will contribute to mitigating the environmental impacts of textile and fashion manufacturing, as well as the electronics industry. As headsets become more ubiquitos, there will be a reduced reliance on other personal digital devices.

  1. to bender — means to twist, shape, or manipulate something, often in a creative or artistic way. It can refer to the act of bending or contorting an object physically or metaphorically.↩︎