David Beaver is now applying his vast media expertise and skills to telling the NewSpace Story to facilitate our becoming space-faring. David draws on the “overview effect” in his media work and is also doing a special one day Overview Effect Conference one day prior to the Space Frontier Foundation conference in Washington, DC in July 2007. David is also a Consultant in Theoretical and Applied Magic. David holds three US and British patents for the invention of The Magic Stage, a virtual reality theater technology that creates a realistic animated 3-D virtual world that is interactive with live performers, who are immersed within it, on a live stage. He created a new theory of stage magic; called Projection theory (based on several decades of research into the psychology of magic) that is more in keeping with modern cognitive perception science than traditional magic’s theories of deception and misdirection. He has written and lectured on Projection Theory’s relationship to design, perception, art, film, virtual reality and other fields in graduate seminars at The North Carolina State University Design School and Psychology Department, The Duke University Art Department, the School of Filmmaking at the North Carolina School of The Arts and at The Computer Science (virtual reality) lab at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). He has consulted for organizations as diverse as The Raleigh little Theater, The PRF (Durham parapsychology lab, ITVA (International Television and Video Association) and Metaphoria (Montreal-based major creator of the Technology Village at the Lisbon World’s Fair). He has written two yet to be published books on his research and theories, Of Mind and Magic, and Post-Modern Magic and is at work on a third, Applied Magic. David says that his “driving intent, through my entire professional career, has been to develop, teach and apply a greater understanding of the projection nature, functioning and implications of human perception on every aspect of life. For many years I have emphasized the use of the relatively untapped body of principles, technique and technologies that comprise the historic body of work that is called “stage magic” as a model of the brain/mind mechanism that underlie and enable perception. I call this new cognitive approach to magic, Projection Theory.” David studied nuclear engineering and physics at The University of Virginia and the psychology and sociology of perception and the philosophy of science a The University of Richmond. He had developed a serious interest in science, the mind and stage magic by the age of seven. By high school, he had a chemistry in his basement rivaling that of his (suburban Washington D.C.) high school, was the physics lab assistant, a media winner in the national Explorer Science Olympics and the president and co-founder of The Arlington (Va.) Rocket Society. He created a school subsidized independent study project, which he focused on how optical illusions are transmitted through media systems. After college, David worked for a number of years as a professional magician, performing in nightclubs, theaters, festivals, corporate functions and many other venues. He performed solo acts, with bands and other entertainers as well as integrating magic into stage plays and other performances. He designed magic for local television commercials, acted as a consultant in magic for the Durham PRF, a parapsychology laboratory, and designed his own series of (as yet un-produced) magic plays employing magic, drama, dance, music and high-tech special effects as well as 3-dimensional projection systems of his own design. Having just emerged from an intense academic study of the relationship of mind and matter however, it is perhaps not surprising that he had a unique perspective on the traditional effects and methods of magic. While performing and applying magic in a variety of increasingly unconventional ways, he continued to write journal essays a bout a ‘new view’ of stage magic. Projection Theory changes the very value and significance of magic in our culture by intensifying its profound but little known relationships to the functions of our mind to perception, and to creativity itself. This includes the nature and use of the media in art and communication, as well as all things ‘magical’ in our post-modern new age of magic. Today David writes, researches, lectures, designs and consults on Projection Theory and its many applications.
Frank White is a writer who has spent much of his career thinking about the implications of space exploration for human evolution. He has authored a total of 10 books, including: The Overview Effect, The SETI Factor, The New Camelot, March of the Millennia and Think About Space (with Isaac Asimov), The Ice Chronicles (with Paul Mayewski), and Decision: Earth, a novel. Frank’s latest book, The New Camelot, offers a new interpretation of the Apollo program, comparing the Apollo astronauts to King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, and suggesting that the Overview Effect is the “holy grail” of our time. Recent developments in both governmental and non-governmental space exploration efforts appear to vindicate many of the ideas that were initially explicated in The Overview Effect. Frank is now working on a revision of that work, focusing on trends that have begun to appear since the first edition came out in 1987. He is a cofounder of the Overview Institute, established in part to carry forward the work that began with publication of his book, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.