Benjamin Allen's blog

Final Project Idea- Drugs, Tech and Mindfulness: A Perceptive Shift

This last weekend I backpacked in the Eastern Sierras, and was fortunate enough to summit Mount Williamson and Mount Tyndall, two of the largest mountains in California. On my trip down, I started to realize that my world felt dim, like someone was casting a shadow over my world. My hands would take a while to listen when I told them to move, and my feet no longer had any sensation. I was extremely dehydrated, and in high altitude, and my world was vastly different because of these factors.

Beyond Fitness: Virtual Reality in Education

There were so many incredible presentations to choose from, but Anna's presentation surrounding the potential applications of Virtual Reality to the world of fitness captured my interest and made my imagination run wild following the class. Anna's presentation centered around the potential use of virtual reality in the specific use-case of the world of fitness, and she did a wonderful job describing the various applications in this realm from guided yoga, to one-on-one instruction.

An Octopus Kind of Daze

In high school I took a class called "Science, Nature, Spirit, Soul" where I read a book called L'ecume des Jours by Boris Vian, a surrealist novel in which a young man invents a wondrous machine called the "Pianocktail" which is an olfactory musical contraption. The book smudges the laws of physics and leaves the reader wondering at the vivid sensations some of the nonsensical parts of the book inspired.

Spherical Cow in a Vacuum

In the world of physics, there is a well-known joke involving the tendency for physicists to simplify everything into a "Spherical Cow in a vacuum."



The Greatest Challenge of Our Time

I had the incredible fortune that despite moving many times when I was young, my parents ensured my brothers and I all had abundant access to the natural world. I would call my relationship with nature a partnership more than anything else. I am endlessly inspired by the incredibly complex tiers of ecology, and I everything I do is geared towards a more beneficial integration of technology and the natural world. In fact, I am sitting in the Solar Decathlon Lab at UCLA as I write this, having just turned on the grow lights for the Hydroponics System we built this past weekend.

The Quantization of Life: The Categorizational Quandary

A question that I often ponder for myself is, "What is the meaning of my Life", but a question I have rarely asked my self is 'What is the literal meaning of Life'. Stefan Helmreich uses three extreme examples of life in his essay What Was Life? to establish what life has been in the past, which is all that is really possible to assert in this present age. Life, like Art, is a word that has no strict definition, and is a constant source for debate.

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