My name is Jason Silva... I host a new TV series premiering TONIGHT, April 22nd at 9pm EST and Pacific, on National Geographic Channel... the series is called BRAIN GAMES and it turns brain science into something fun, interactive and accessible!

Follow me on Twitter: @JasonSilva

I also make short documentaries, which are often featured here on Reddit, that explore how technology extends the boundaries of the brain!

Comments: 165 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

rockmanblue23 karma

Big fan! Can't wait to watch the show. Can you suggest any daily activities or useful habits that strengthen your brain power?

jason_silva36 karma

Thanks man! For me it's always about STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! We need to decondition our thinking by putting ourselves in new situations! NOVELTY and THE NEW make our brain wake up!!

Travel-- hang out with different types of people, learn a new language!

Tfamous77713 karma

What's the most mindblowing thing(s) you've learnt of late? Any future podcast plans (like JRE part 3?)

jason_silva35 karma

One fascinating thing I learned is that we don't actually perceive a 3D world thru our senses... we receive low resolution 2D images through our eyes and then our brain renders a 3D reality for us!

I hope to be ok JRE soon, next time I go to LA! Stay tuned on twitter!

GodzillaDickPunch13 karma

What are your thoughts on Elon Musk's plans to make a colony on Mars in the not so distant future?

jason_silva25 karma

I am THRILLED that there are humans with the ability to inspire us to DREAM..


Elon is a rockstar-- pushing us forward! Taking us to the heavens!

jason_silva10 karma


Follow me on twitter for latest: @JasonSilva


alimoro10 karma

I have watched a lot of your videos and the one single thing that strucks me is the great amount of passion your videos contain. Man, where does it all come from? In other words, what motivates you?

jason_silva31 karma

There is an existential urgency... a sense that there's no enough time.. so much ecstasy and so much AWE--- how do I fit it into a moment? into a video? Into a week??? My work is an attempt to bottle inspiration itself! To hold AWE in STASIS

Tfamous7777 karma

Ever consider doing a college speaking circuit?

jason_silva15 karma

ABSOLUTELY! Help make it happen brother! I've already spoken at Yale once..

Pavlov_s_Cat6 karma

I'm here because of a tweet of National Geographic. I've never heard from you before.

I just watched some of your clips on Youtube. I love your passion! It's so infectious, amazing. I'm sure the show will be great. Keep up the good work!

jason_silva5 karma

Thanks a million!

jtotheizzoe5 karma

I want to hear the "Jason Silva take" on Obama's new Brain Mapping Initiative!

jason_silva12 karma

REALLY excited about Obama's Brain Initiative... I think we are approaching a singularity here where a true digital brain might be spawned... can you imagine digital intelligence, sentience, that is bound by no limits? And with Moore's law.. exponential progress, I wouldn't be surprise if we get there quick! The human design process will achieve a kind of infinite velocity... as Erik Davis writes.

cworsh45 karma

Jason, I love your Vimeo channel and your general enthusiasm for life. I'll just run off a few questions, and you can answer what you want.

  1. Who are the thinkers who have influenced you most?
  2. Which books would you recommend to someone interested in learning more about your philosophies?
  3. You talk a lot about 'turning into gods.' Do you leave any room in your beliefs for some already existent divine force that's governing all we experience? If so, how do you think he/she/it feels about us becoming gods?
  4. You've been called, and called yourself, a 'techno-optimist.' Do events like the attacks at the Boston Marathon or, more relative to tech itself, the prevalence of drone killings, for example, make you wonder if advancing technology isn't actually the end of us?
  5. If I failed to stat that last question eloquently enough as to inspire any coherent answer, just give me your opinion on this quote by Robert Penn Warren and I think you'll have answered it:

"“The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can't know. He can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can't know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn't got and which if he had it, would save him.”

― Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

Thanks for your time. I'll definitely check out Brain Games, because I'm a fan of yours and a Nat Geo reader. If your ever in my part of the country, I'll have a beer (or whatever beverage you prefer, like a 'microbrew' made from a computer-generated recipe) waiting for you.

jason_silva8 karma

I enjoy terence mckenna and timothy leary and erik davis and ray kurzweil!!

favorite books: Singularity is Near and TECHGNOSIS.. also love DENIAL OF DEATH and ART OF TRAVEL! THANKS BROTHER!

I am a techno-optimist--

jaroberts244 karma

Here's a link to the show's promo.

I'd love to hear more from you about what the show is about and what the goals are.

jason_silva15 karma

The show makes brain science accessible and fun to a WIDE AUDIENCE... the idea is to make the brain FUN-- we use expertly designed 'games"... perceptual experiments that challenge our cognition, blow our minds, and make us want to learn how our brains work!

My goals are to inspire wonder--- I want to infect people with optimism and possibility... to be a wonderjunkie.. to make AWE go VIral...

ShabazzJenkins3 karma

Powerful Jason Silva! You've been amazing on the Joe Rogan Experience. Rumor is you're returning soon. You ever think Ray Kurzweil would come on the JRE w/ you? I became aware of Ray thanks to Raine Maida and Our Lady Peace's Spiritual Machines concept album.

jason_silva4 karma

thanks brother! Next time I'm in LA I will go on JRE ! For sure!

rchan94873 karma

Hey Jason, coming from a film/philosophy educational background, were you uneasy at the prospect of finding work right out of the gates? How did you end up finding your big break in the industry?

jason_silva6 karma

I was lucky enough to have a mother who encouraged me to follow my bliss... she gave me permission to be impractical... I loved MOVIES AND IDEAS more than anything-- film and philosophy was a natural hybrid.. and the universe seemed to conspire in my favor.. haha... i submitted by doc work to Al Gore's Current TV and the rest is history...

Also when I produced by short films independently I found that the audience was there... i just needed to tap into it! I say: BE FREE TO BE UNDEFINED. Create your own boundaries.. Reality is malleable.

antonioandara23103 karma

hey Jason, greetings from Venezuela, congratulations on your new show, i would like to know when do you think we will see the first manifestation of feelings or self-awareness coming from computers.

jason_silva4 karma

I think due to the exponential progress of technology we will get there faster than we think--- kurzweil is already working at Google, OBAMA is spending loads of money on the brain... IBM Has blue brain project... the list keeps going! Give us 20 years.

Sirseancollins3 karma

What did you go to school for and how did that lead to you becoming an advocate for science and technology?

jason_silva7 karma

I studied film and philosophy-- I love to celebrate what s GREAT IN HUMANKIND- I'm addicted to WHAT BECOMES POSSIBLE when we TRANSCEND ALL PREVIOUS LIMITS... we do that by leveraging the greatest force in the universe... INTELLIGENCE>

darude113 karma

  • What are materials you use to make your amazing videos? I once tried to pause one of them and wrote everything readable on screen and ended up in some meta/hyperphysics page. Could you list them somewhere maybe?
  • Do you have any philosophy of how to live? Is it some publicly known philosophy, or your own?
  • If you had 5 minutes, during which people all over the world would listen only to you, what would you tell them?

Thank you for opportunity to ask you anything on my actual birthday! :)

jason_silva9 karma

HI THERE! I work with a company called shutterstock to get a lot of the imagery and timelapse footage--- the idea is to find creative ways of illustrating the concepts that I'm narrating in my video...

Lots of my videos have been subtitled.. it's only a google search away!

How to LIVE? Tricky question== I often tell people to use their passion as their orientation... i believe we have intuitive capacities that we should pay attention to... I like to indulge in activities that elicit a sense of ALIVENESS... It's all about EXPERIENCE DESIGN--- I recommend Erik Davis article on the subject..

One thing we do on BRAIN GAMES is teach you about your attention faculties and how to leverage them!

katzenkrimis3 karma

What is the arc of your imagination?

jason_silva4 karma

I try to stretch myself as much as possible.. and probe the perimeters of possibility... I like to put myself in situations that elicit a desire for ecstatic vocalization and empowered articulation.... Imagination is the factory that creates legends!

Noctulus2 karma

I am a recent graduate with a bachelor's of science in Wildlife Ecology and a minor in Fisheries and aquatic science...are you hiring???

jason_silva4 karma

Not hiring this moment brother, but I am sure the world is waiting for you with open arms.. BE OPEN

Inspirationicholas2 karma

What inspires you do do what you do today, what drives you to continue to grow, what is the reason you get up in the morning and where do you hope to see yourself in the future?

jason_silva8 karma

I am inspired by a desire to experience ENCOUNTERS WITH THE SACRED-- I am addicted to AESTHETIC ARREST- the power of ideas, of stories, of artistic experiences that lift the human condition and thrust it towards the numinous! I want to experience AWE, WONDER, the SUBLIME... i find these sensations to be antidotes to existential angst... we are mortal beings after all--- but our purpose is to transcend all previous limits! We use our BRAINS FOR THAT!

justbp2 karma

To your understanding, why do humans enjoy creating and listening to music?

jason_silva5 karma

"Music is proof the human race is greater than it knows"

Apparently music triggers both ancient and more recent parts of the brain.. the amygdala and the neocortex.!

ntallant2 karma

It would be great to see you on the Joe Rogan Experience again, your words are very inspirational. Do you have any plans to start your own podcast? What are a few of your favorite books?

jason_silva8 karma

I am excited to be on Joe Rogan sometime soon when I visit LA...

no plans for a podcast at the moment...

favorite books: Singularity is Near and DENIAL OF DEATH

datganja2 karma

A question on the mirrioring mind,

Does this idea mean anything to you? Do you accept it as fact or is it simple another theory?

Also, anything on DMT?

jason_silva6 karma

I think Hofstatder and his Mirroring Mind theory is SPOT ON! the mind emerges via a kind of vortex of self mirroring--- and yes the video has been described as a digital DMT experience... Spiraling into never never land and dissolving baseline reality. Brain Storm!

Delly_Jonut1 karma


jason_silva3 karma

Genius man!!! DEFINITELY Check out RICH Doyle's book DARWIN's PHARMACY! Its' all about ecodelics and language.

gabrielg931 karma

Jason, much respect to you and your work. Ever since I sat down one night to listen to your guest appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, I can honestly say my life changed. A question I wanted to ask was about philosophy, given your background as a philosophy major. How big of a part, if any, did philosophy and literature play in your search for "awe" and "wonder"? Do you think it's still possible to look for awe in philosophy or do you think science is going to take its place?

jason_silva6 karma

Thanks brother!

I like the intersection of science and philosophy--- science uses experiments and tests hypothesis that in turn send our minds reeling into philosophical speculation--- I like both...

AWE is any experience of perceptual expansion that rewires your mental models of the world

Plusaziz1 karma

Thanks for doing this Jason. What is it about movie trailers that excites you so much?

jason_silva7 karma

Movies trailers "TIMELAPSE reality"--- they rattle my AWE-Circuits-- they create a mindstorm of image and music and anticipation--- its visually orgasmic... I suppose I like the time compression element-- it tickles my brain to see so much compressed into 2 or 3 minutes...

mirandaband1 karma

what's your daily vitamin supplement routine, if any? is it kurweil-like?

jason_silva6 karma

I take fish oil, multivitamin, vitamin D

bbbhn1 karma

Who are some of your favorite artists?

jason_silva1 karma

Chris Nolan and Aronofski... also Danny Boyle and Cameron Crowe!! Love filmmakers...

Rice_Krispie1 karma


jason_silva3 karma

not quite--- the show makes BRAIN SCIENCE interactive and fun... using perceptual experiences and interactive visual illusions turn the experience of watching TV into a kind of game... that will blow your mind! Immediately after- we explain what has just happened to your brain,

acehunter1 karma

Hey Jason first off get back on Rogans podcast :) . Rogan is a big fan of nootropics I was wondering if you had thoughts or any experience with them?

jason_silva1 karma

Love to visit Rogan again next time I'm in LA

sk831loc1 karma

what exactly is your show about i mean i just watched the commercial are you trying to trick our brain or help us use it more?

jason_silva2 karma

both! We use perceptual illusions and mind-boggling experiments to reveal the hardwired limitations of your brain... and then we explain exactly how it works!

Hallyington1 karma


jason_silva3 karma

Show us your unique vision of the world!

IpecacNeat1 karma

Hi Jason!

Who has had the biggest impact on your way of looking at life and philosophy? Any books that you'd recommend from those you look up to?

jason_silva6 karma

WELL WRITTEN IDEAS always tend to stick--- I love counterintuitive thinkers who challenge my imagination--- timothy leary, ray kurzweil, linda mishkin, erik davis... and more

KjeGra1 karma

Do you record epiphanies on the spot while walking outside high? That's what i got out of one of your videos. I would love taking a high-stroll with you!

jason_silva6 karma

Lots of my videos are spontaneous outbursts of AWE--- i get into a certain headspace that inspires new connections in my head and then i hit record and GO!

Greg_Strine1 karma

Hi Jason! A year or so ago after getting into Terrence Mckenna I found a link to one of your videos on YouTube and I've been a huge fan ever since. I have two questions, the first being what psychedelics have you taken and/or are interested in trying, the second being what do you think the most important thing happening in the world today is? Thanks!

jason_silva3 karma

Trying to create a digital brain could change everything. It would be like building gods .

bbbhn1 karma

Hey Jason, love your work!

Do you have a morning or nightly routine?

jason_silva3 karma

I wake up with a double or triple espresso... and try to eat really healthy-- -i also LOVE sleep and need at least 7 or 8 hours a night. Evening routine involves a movie usually... :)

cworsh41 karma

What's your creative process? Where do you go/what do you do to let your 'ideas have sex' as I've heard you call it?

jason_silva8 karma

I have developed certain modes of thinking that trigger creativity--- and I use music and other "triggers" to get my mind going. My process is recombinant creativity-- making connections... I am an associational thinker.. I think in metaphors and connections

mialuchia1 karma

Jason, thank you for opening up. Question, how do you describe consciousness?

jason_silva3 karma

I believe consciousness is an emergent phenomenon... a sort of RENDERING of the human software version 1.0.

darude111 karma

What are sources of visual effects, images and animations you use in your videos? They are mindblowing and I need to know!

jason_silva3 karma

I work with Shutterstock and will also be using POND5 footage in future videos! thanks man!

DragonPizza1 karma

Does living in the future give you anxiety? If so how do you deal with it?

jason_silva2 karma

I hope we can use technology to radically extend our lifespans

yankeesfan131 karma

Is the goal of the show to entertain viewers, to educate them, or a little bit of both?

jason_silva6 karma


zmachinez1 karma

Love your work Jason! As an aspiring film-maker/creative. It is hard to reconcile your art with the economy. Any suggestions on how to make a living pursuing your art? I believe in following one's passion -- but the reality of being "economically successful" is eye-opening.

Lastly, what does the Singularity do to marriage and love. Can you explore this in one of your future videos? It is a hard question, I think.

jason_silva3 karma

It's a tricky thing right? Being practical or following your bliss? I think the world is changing fast=== we need to become more malleable.. more willing to INVENT OURSELVES... we are part of a digital creative revolution... and entire new definitions of work are set to emerge... stay open.. take a deep breath

sinxsinx1 karma

Hi Jason! Been a big fan of your work ever since I discovered your videos 2 years ago. I know Brain Games is your main focus right now (looking forward to it tonight!) , but what else can we expect/be excited about from you over the next 12 months?
Also, what films are you most looking forward to this year?

jason_silva3 karma

I will keep making short videos for sure man!!! and Brain Games to engage wider audiences to think bigger!

HeyzeusHChrist1 karma


when are you going back on JRE?

jason_silva3 karma

Next time I go to LA!!!

sonicyouthed1 karma

Sam Harris has been discussing the "illusion of free will" do you think he is correct in this theory and do you think this knowledge would become mainstream given that so much of our western Abrahamic culture is based on this notion of good vs evil.

jason_silva3 karma

Sam is a friend of mine and a GENIUS! He's on to something.

pan0phobik1 karma

What are your top 3 favorite foods? Based on pure joy of the flavor. Secondly, do you eat anything to enhance cognitive function?

jason_silva4 karma

Love ETHNIC FOOD! Indian, THAI, Venezuelan, CUBAN and many more! love healthy BROWN RICE, Lentils, Hummus, Beans! MAcrobiotic cuisine

knownassliz1 karma

I know you used a magnet on that tin can ramp scene.

jason_silva4 karma

actually it was not a magnet! LOL

mirandaband0 karma

has the government ever approached you for highly secretive projects?

jason_silva4 karma

not yet. :) But I did meet the former director of DARPA and she liked my videos!

cassinatkinson-1 karma

Do you think the show will ever have the opportunity to touch on the serious side of brain games like educating people like what tricks the brain may play on a person with a disease or a neural disorder? Possibly to bring awareness to things ailing our society..

jason_silva2 karma

I think everything is possible man!