Man-Made Worlds

Listen 47:45
The Dutch Nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen. (Bigstock/durktalsma)

The Dutch Nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen. (Bigstock/durktalsma)

It was supposed to be a paradise. A parcel of wilderness, reminiscent of the past, where birds and large grazers would find refuge. Conservationists fought hard to create this sanctuary, but things didn’t go as planned. Soon, animals were dying, and humans were fighting over the future of the reserve. People have long tried their hand at creating their own worlds, and on this episode, we explore why we do this, and what happens next. We hear stories about nature conservation gone wrong, the therapeutic potential of VR, and talk to a neuroscientist who says all of us are trapped inside a world of our own making.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • Reporter Nathan Miller plays Ingress — an augmented reality game that superimposes a science fiction universe onto the real world… in this case, Detroit.
  • Neuroscientist Beau Lotto challenges us to rethink our perceptions, and what we think of as the “real” world.

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