Brandon Mason

Scottsdale, AZ, United States

About Brandon

Bio

I'm a programmer/entrepeneur/artist living in Phoenix, AZ (USA). I am self employed building web applications for startup companies. I'm primarily interested in psychology, anthropology, and computer science. Currently my favorite hobby is paragliding.

An idea worth spreading

There is no such thing as darkness, it is only the absence of light.

I'm passionate about

Empowerment of the individual.

Talk to me about

Teach me something you know well. Inspire me. Ask me questions about programming and computer science.

My TED story

I want to watch and be influenced by people who are actively doing positive things in the world. One of the first talks I watched was Ken Robinson's "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" His delivery is jaw dropping. If you want to be a master speaker, do what he does. And the crux of the speech is a crucial issue which is holding back our society.

Comments & conversations

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Brandon Mason
Posted over 2 years ago
Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games
Looking for a game that improves mental prowess and is still fun? Try Go. People have enjoyed playing it for the last 4000 years. You don't need a computer. You could get by with some rocks and a stick to draw lines in the dirt. Also, life seems to naturally throw these kinds of problems at us. If you're hell bent on making a video game, consider an AR game that quizes you about real facts that you actually care about. Like the names of the people you just met.
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Brandon Mason
Posted over 2 years ago
Daphne Bavelier: Your brain on video games
What had me wondering is where was the control on the shape rotation experiment. To me it seems highly likely that any group returning to a test that they have done before would perform better. Retaining the results? Well that's obvious too. So what we need to see is how they perform against a control group that did not play videogames during the intervening period.
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Brandon Mason
Posted almost 3 years ago
We're making a small change to TED Conversations
The fact that I'm reading this seems to defeat your argument. An existential paradox, no? I agree that serious discussion is hard to find. However, I would define "serious discussion" as that which leads to action. Generally the distinction happens when a conversation becomes not about whether to act, but logistics, what and how. A team of competent individuals might have such a conversation, and you might find those individuals here. Good luck to you, sir!
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Brandon Mason
Posted almost 3 years ago
Do you believe that our future is bright, if yes, why and if not, why not?
Who repairs the robots? Who designs robots to do new things? Are all things automatable? If one person now generates 10x as much wealth with the same amount of work as the previous generation, what happens to the difference? Massive consumerism is what creates scarcity. What if we learned to meter our production and let go of consuming many of the things we don't need? Maybe you call this lazy. Would you be bored? I wouldn't be. Do you know everything you could? Have you seen all the sites, experienced all there is to behold? Do you know your neighbors? Do you know yourself? Do you know the nature of a single atom, much less the entire universe? You're right, the nature of money would have to change. The concept of scarcity should still apply to opportunity, but not to survival. The point of solving small problems, for the individual and for the society, is to free yourself to look further. When you have a big problem, rejoice! You stand on the shoulders of giants. Language and technology are both tools of abstraction. They separate us from nature but also give us power over it. The disconnection we all feel is a consequence of that power and separation. Most people are not aware of the basic principles which guide their lives. They are not mature enough to spend 10 minutes alone meditating, much less a lifetime. They've forgotten how to play, I think, to really be consumed by their curiosity of the experience they find themselves in. Who are you, and what really matters in your life? And how can you be jealous of a robot? [laugh] Viktor E Frankl was a Jewish psychologist imprisoned in a Nazi death camp. His book "Man's Search For Meaning" is a very interesting read. It is that search, more than anything, that defines us. And our answers are more important than all than all the gold in the world. But perhaps not so important as continuing to ask the question.
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Brandon Mason
Posted almost 3 years ago
Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate
This is one of the few talks I've seen on climate change that focuses on adapting rather than trying to slow or reverse it. Clearly a comprehensive response is going to include both. It seems to me, there's a lot of people now who are aware of climate change and want to do something about it. However, there seems to be a split in the information available. On the one hand you have information which confirms the effects of climate change. Some of these are scientific and data intensive, hard for the layman to access. Rarely is there any conclusion which is actionable to the individual, or which even suggests a government policy that would be effective. On the other hand, you have political or corporate propaganda urging the consumer to buy something or vote for someone. The message here is usually based on fear or desire to nurture, and it's dubious whether the products or political candidates in question will have any positive effect on the situation. What's needed is a bridge between knowledge and action. We need a comprehensive model which shows the interaction between environmental issues and the economic engine which fuels our civilization. From that model we can then explain the WHY behind a certain solution. A year or more ago, I listened to another TED talk which concluded that the necessary steps for curbing climate control were not actionable at the individual level, that government policy was the effective route. The speaker advocated that as an individual, the best thing you could do was gather public support and put pressure on lawmakers to enact relevant policies. But how does one know what policies are effective? You can't unless you understand the model. And that's what needs to become coffee table conversation, so we can finely tune our bullshit detectors, and hold our leaders accountable for real solutions. The site for Vicki's organization seems to be a good starting place for exactly that: http://www.georgetownclimate.org/