About Reality Studies

“Reality…one of the few words which mean nothing without quotes.”
—Vladimir Nabokov

Reality has gotten really weird. Like…really weird. I’ve spent the past half-decade covering emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and extended reality on Forbes. That experience has made it clear that, however weird reality might feel now, it’s only going to get weirder.

But Reality Studies isn’t a tech newsletter—though you’ll find no shortage of tech discussions in it. Instead, I’m interested in the impacts that these new technologies and media will have on us as people—as individuals, communities, and cultures—and how we shape these tools in turn.

Last year I decided to unite all my various lives into one effort: to write a book about reality and simulation. It began as a framework in which I could learn, and it continues to function that way for me today. This research has led me all over the place—out of art and technology spheres and into linguistics, neuroscience, metaphysics, and beyond. It’s given me a fascinating lens through which to experience the 2020s.

Reality Studies is my outlet for sharing what I’m learning and to learn from you.

Oh, and…

Yes, you’re living in a simulation. Just not necessarily in the way you think.

About Jesse

Reality Studies is researched and written by me, Jesse. I’m a poet who crash landed in tech. My career has taken me from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, journalism to academia, with all kinds of zany side quests.

My background in writing positioned me as a Forbes Contributor covering emerging technologies and Editor-at-Large of VRScout, with other bylines in WIREDThe VergeQuartzEntrepreneurAdweekBillboardIndieWire, and others.

I’m also a founding Curator and Director of Simulation Literacies at Nxt Museum, a groundbreaking new media fine art museum in The Netherlands. I believe artists are the first to identify the true potential and implications of new tools; I love bringing their work to broader audiences through curation and exhibition. My most recent curation is PROOF OF ART, the first major museum exhibition on the history of NFTs, at Francisco Carolinum Linz. For those in the Los Angeles area, my next shows are Sea Change with Vellum LA and Synthetic Wilderness at Honor Fraser Gallery.

This cross- and inter-disciplinary approach has come to define my life. I love getting to interface with the best weirdos, smarties, and creative geniuses. I’m putting all this experience into practice with Reality Studies, synthesizing what I learn and learning from the community that forms around it.

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Understanding technology, media, culture, and philosophy in the Postreality era.


Jesse Damiani

Writer, curator, and cultural producer. Director of Simulation Literacies at Nxt Museum. Senior Writer at Freethink, Contributor at Forbes, with other writing in Billboard, Entrepreneur, Quartz, The Verge, and WIRED.