I am a hard-working, visionary & idealistic thinker with a dream. In the coming months, I will be creating an environment for my ideas. Moreover, I hope to validate my vision of research outside industry or academia. There is a need for a place to freely conduct science. For me, this place is Displac3D.
Below you can read my mission-statement. I am describing why I felt a need to found Displac3D and what my vision is. Like this website, it is my personal & subjective view on my past, (science) philosophy & things that inspired me. In the future, I will elaborate on the topics I briefly touched.
The person on the right with the VR-headset is me, when I discovered the endless possibilities of today’s techniques for the first time.
Choose your place, take a seat, and enjoy!
Welcome, I am glad you chose this place. An honest place, a subjective place. A place without the need for measurability or achievements. A place of beauty instead of application. A place on the intersection of art and science. Simply a place for a person to express its view of the world.
Since I was a little child, my role model has been Gyro Gearloose and his “Little Helper”. I admired his restless motivation, his creative ideas and his devotion to his friends. In my eyes, Gyro Gearloose is an inspiring creator whose inventions seem to creatively solve the challenges at hand, but often lack or exaggerate a key feature. His efforts often lead to inapplicable but funny outcomes.
In school, I was told that if I want to become an inventor myself, I need to get good grades, to be accepted to a university. Once I finish my degree, I can apply for a PhD and if I am lucky there is an open position as a professor. Then, and only then, I can aspire becoming an inventor in my free time. So I set my sails and went on the journey to become my childhood role model. Or so I thought…
Today, I am seven months away from graduating with a double masters degree in artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience, possibly even adding a minor in neurophilosophy (My friends often tell me that I 100%-ed the game of university). But instead of becoming increasingly happy with every step closer to my goal, my dissatisfaction grew. In today’s science ecosystem, there is no room for studying subjects just because a person thinks they are fun, there is no room for fundamental science just because a person is keen to know, there is no room for ethics, there is no room for professors or PhDs following their passions. In today’s science ecosystem, you need to publish, you need to omit ethical considerations due to readability, your research has to solve a societal challenge, you need to get media coverage. Instead of researching, professors need to manage huge labs, apply for grants, and reach their yearly quota on publications and citations. In short, in today’s science ecosystem a good scientist is a measurable scientist rather than a creative scientist.
But this is a very recent phenomenon of science. Only 70 years ago E. Colin Cherry published an article called “Some Experiments on the Recognition of Speech, with One and with Two Ears”, containing sentences like “Before examining such [differences in one and two ears] possible significance, it will be better to describe some of the experiments”. Despite this article being influential in the field of sound localisation and coining the term “cocktail party problem”, I am certain that nowadays articles with these titles or similar writing styles would be rejected. Still, I am convinced that people who are personally invested in their field of science, rather than career driven or relying on their research to pay the bills, will discover the questions and techniques of the future.
Travelling back in time another 2000 years, we can visit the Greek philosopher Epicurus in his letters to Herodotus and Pythocles. Herein Epicurus reasons about the movement of celestial bodies or about the necessity of irreducible atoms the universe must be made of. I think it is fascinating how close his explanations were to our understanding of physics today, solely by reasoning and despite a lack of Telescopes or Microscopes. To that day, I am puzzled why Epicurus felt a need to reason about these big questions, without the opportunity of testing his hypotheses or any application possibility of his theories.
Before I am becoming to pretentious about the history of science, whereof, admittedly, my experiences being based on a couple of books and the few years I have spend at universities, let me give you an unordered list of influential persons that inspired me to express my subjective views. Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann and his decade streak of every-days, Steven Pressfield’s book “The War of Art”, the YouTube channel exurb2a and the videos on “Catastrotivity”, Marc Rebillet, the stoic philosophers Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, Georges Perec’s essays in the Penguin Books Great Ideas collection “Brief notes on the art and manner of arranging one’s books”, the life stories of Charles Bukowski and Franz Kafka, my professors, my friends, and last but not least, my inner voice that tortures me every moment I do not work on the things I want to express.
Displac3D is the platform where I will express myself as an artist, a scientist, an inventor and an author. Displac3D will give me the opportunity to experience an environment free of the need for application or measurability. A place where I can pursue my aspiration of becoming an inventor like Gyro Gearloose, creating stupid invention nobody cares about. I am not saying that this is how science should be, or that everyone should pursue this path. I am saying that, at least for me, there is a need for such a path. I hope that over the following years this path will be become a viable alternative to today’s science ecosystem. Until then, I probably will need to apply science and follow the imposed metrics.
On that note, let me also explain the background of the name Displac3D. Displac3D is a leet-speak version of the word displacement, “the action of moving something from its place or position”. While every object is always placed somewhere, I am convinced that the fun starts once we start to relocate them. Let me also stress the subtle difference to the word misplacement, that inherently has a negative connotation. Surely, by displacing objects they can be misplaced but without displacement, misplaced objects can never find their proper place.
In my eyes, the most interesting object one can displace is sound. Thereby, Displac3D is about, but not limited to, the scientific and artistic endeavours on the displacement of sound in the 3D space. In Displac3D, ideas are pursued for the sake of themselves, the beauty of curiosity, the joy of expressing oneself. I’d like to welcome you to follow me on my journey, exploring my shitty ideas. If you would like to support my idealistic cause, consider buying me a coffee.