THAT GUY: Jason Silva

Jason Silva, world traveler, digital visionary, and perpetual creator, does not believe in road maps. “Use the compass,” says Jason. “Trust the intuition.” That explains a lot. From 2005 to 2011, Venezuela-born Jason worked at Current TV, the Emmy-winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote and produced more than 100 hours of original content. After leaving Current, Jason has carved his own path as a speaker—in addition to being a TED and TEDGlobal speaker, Jason has presented at Google, Microsoft, the Singularity Summit, and at The Economist Ideas Festival--and digital innovator, producing gorgeously rendered videos that marry tech, science, art, and beauty into fascinating and engaging stories. When he’s not jet setting all over the globe or cooking up a new video art project, you can catch Jason as the host of National Geographic’s Brain Games or indulging in one of his guilty pleasures: taking in the latest flick at one of his favorite movie or IMAX theatres around Los Angeles.

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If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?

#EpiphanyAddict

Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.

My mother, Linda Mishkin. She's taught high school literature for 25+ years, inspiring students like no others. She's also published dozens of poetry books, directed theater, is a sculptor and musician.  She was given an award once that said: "they broke the mold when they made you"... And surely they were right. She has one cardinal rule: "practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty"...  Amen to that!  

What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?

To make a dent in the universe. To create a ripple. To experience constant aesthetic arrest.  To practice bewilderment. To be in awe.  To have dinner parties with my heroes. To be moved, enraptured and inspired. To rub up against the numinous.   I choose to trade in IDEAS, using media tools to disseminate them. I want to make more media that shakes people out of their comfort zones. To trade in possibility. 

What are you most proud of?

My "philosophical espresso shots" are a series of short videos I've done online that have transformed my life. I now get to travel the world speaking about emerging technologies, futurism, and the human condition. I'm most proud of the fact that these videos didn't compromise whatsoever. I made the kind of films I wanted to make, and people have responded amazingly. It's humbling and rapturous all at once. 

What do you find most sexy about a girl?

I love a free spirit. A girl that marches to the beat of her own drummer. In screenwriting circles they refer to her as "a manic pixie dream girl" who provides our brooding protagonist with an ecstatic vision of life. I'm attracted to innocence and intellect wrapped up in a hippie-chic package.  Curiosity and tenderness are a turn on.  Unabashed sexuality, European style is a must. ;) I also love a Duchenne smile, a girl that smiles with her eyes. Courage and kindness are a must. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Making media that transforms and inspires, working and collaborating with artists who have inspired me! I want to be a post-geographical being, so that I can live everywhere and nowhere at once. 

What is the number one item on your bucket list?

I'm personally very invested in the technological singularity and actively support the idea that with the biotechnology revolution we will radically extend the human lifespan and arrest the aging process. I look forward to sipping the wine of centuries unborn, as Ettinger would say. 

Who has been the biggest male influence in your life and why?

My father; he's been the embodiment of elegance and sophistication. He taught me about being healthy and taking good care of your body. He's extremely charming and debonair. 

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?

I suppose leaving my first gig hosting Al Gore's Current TV network and committing to making my own short form media on the web. It was like leaving the mothership, and yet it was the best decision I could have made. 

What is one stereotype about men that isn’t really true?

That they don't cry. I love to cry, particularly when moved by something beautiful. Being moved to tears is cathartic. It resets and transforms. Camus said it best: "life should be lived to the point of tears." 

*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor

 

Featured images courtesy Jason Silva

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