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The Overview Effect and Virtual Reality



While working with the Space Studies Institute in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Frank White had long been thinking about the implications of living in outer space permanently and what a space settlement of the future may look like. “One characteristic of a living space settlement would be a constant view of earth from outer space”.

Frank developed the idea of the Overview Effect when he was travelling on a cross country flight and noticed from above the interconnected nature of our planet. “Space settlers will always have an overview of the planet” he realised, and the term ‘Overview Effect’ came to mind. It was this train of thought that led Frank to approach NASA and ask if he could interview astronauts about their experiences in space.

Frank White in the short documentary ‘Overview’

Frank was permitted to interview two of the working astronauts of the time, and made arrangements to interview others who had since retired. In 1987, this collection of interviews was combined to form the first edition of The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, a book based primarily on sixteen separate astronaut accounts of travel in outer space.

First Edition of The Overview Effect

Frank says that each individual account was unique, but there was a common theme — the experience of seeing earth from space brought home certain key insights. “Most astronauts are struck by the lack of boundaries and borders, seeing the planet as a single interconnected entity. They were also struck by how thin the atmosphere is, and the realisation that life on earth is extremely fragile.”

The Overview Effect is in essence a conscious shift in worldview reported by a number of astronauts during spaceflight. This shift in awareness is said to lead to a new perspective of the planet, and the imperative need to create a united planetary society to protect life on its surface.

These reports created the foundation for a belief that the world would be a better place if people were able to experience this transformational perspective themselves. “Bringing the Overview Effect down to Earth” is on the verge of becoming a global movement.

With advances in technology, bringing such an experience to a larger number of people through immersive technology is now possible. SpaceVR is a company using flotation tanks in combination with VR headsets to allow users to float in zero gravity pods while immersed in beautiful views of earth from space.

SpaceVR — Using flotation tanks with virtual reality

The company’s founder and CEO, Ryan Holmes, has stated that the first edition of The Overview Effect had a tremendous influence on the development of SpaceVR. The company also have plans to launch a 360-degree camera to the International Space Station with the intention of beaming back a real-time virtual reality feed.

Elsewhere in the VR industry, the non-profit educational foundation SpaceBuzz was created to give children an Overview Effect experience using immersive technologies. In a makeshift rocket, children are able to sit in the chairs of the SpaceBuzz bus and witness a VR experience that takes them on their own voyage through space.

On board the SpaceBuzz bus

EvolVR, who specialise in providing yoga and meditation sessions in VR have also developed a meditation environment in AltSpaceVR that combines the Overview Effect experience with a guided meditation.

Frank White himself has tried one of these sessions and believes that simulating the Overview Effect in this way can only be for the good. He sees the potential in this kind of experience to change people’s perceptions and bring about a different awareness of their own daily lives as well as of global issues.

EvolVR’s Overview Effect meditation session

The ability to transpose our consciousness into outer space encourages us to think deeply about our place in the universe, the history and fragility of life on earth and what the future holds for our species on this planet. Space exploration and VR is a combination destined to flourish.

Out of 110 billion people who ever lived, fewer than 600 have actually seen earth from space. Now, with advances in technology this experience, or something similar to it, has the potential to become commonplace. One of the key points I took from my interview with Frank was the difference between intellectual and experiential knowledge, and I would strongly encourage people to experience for themselves what it is like to look back at our own planet from outer space by any means possible.

The Overview Effect and Virtual Reality was originally published in Virtual Reality Pop on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



The People’s Bank of China blacklists local bitcoin OTC merchants.



According to local news outlet WuBlockchain, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the nation’s central bank, is flagging accounts related to large cryptocurrency traders in its latest crackdown. The move is part of a broader crackdown on money laundering in China. China’s central bank had launched its drive to eradicate illegal earnings and partnered with the country’s local banks to share account information and transactional details to prevent the proliferation of unlawful funds, of which cryptocurrencies form a part in China.

Some crypto OTC accounts have reportedly been put on a “blacklist.” 

Facing the consequences are China’s over-the-counter (OTC) crypto dealers and the firms that conduct trades outside of the public market (such as on crypto exchanges) and usually transact with upwards of millions of dollars. Some crypto OTC accounts have reportedly been put on a “blacklist” maintained by the central bank and are forbidden to use bank-issued cards for the next three years or conduct online transactions in the next five years, the report said. These rules apply to all blacklisted accounts and are not limited to cryptocurrency accounts. Reportedly, this has to lead to many crypto OTC dealers shutting down their business in fear of repercussions. 

The PBoC is all set to issue digital yuan. 

The People’s Bank of China is all set to issue a national digital currency to the general public. Dubbed as DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment), would be the first major central bank-digital currency. Several economists and crypto experts have claimed that the Chinese digital yuan could threaten the US Dollar’s global dominance in the future. In an article published on the weekend in China Finance, a magazine run by the PBoC, the central bank said China needs to break the U.S. dollar dominance and internationalize the national currency. 


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Holders can earn passive income with Origin’s OUSD



Origin, a peer-to-peer commerce company, has announced the launch of Origin Dollars, or OUSD. This stablecoin uses its reserve for the decentralised finance (DeFi) space and allows users to profit by holding it

Origin announced earlier today that its stablecoin, Origin Dollars or OUSD, is now live. OUSD is a stablecoin that leverages DeFi, allowing balances to grow without holders staking their coins or having an account with the platform.

Matthew Liu, Origin’s co-founder, stated that at the moment, only a small audience gets and understands DeFi as the barrier to entry is much higher. The goal of Origin and its OUSD stablecoin is to make DeFi easily accessible to more people around the world.

The company announced that OUSD is currently backed 1:1 by the leading three stablecoins: USDT (Tether), USDC (Circle and Coinbase dollar) and DAI (MakerDAO).
To mint OUSD, users can easily deposit any of the three supported stablecoins into the new Origin app, or they can buy the coin from  Uniswap.

Once a user buys OUSD, their investment will produce passive income in their wallet, with no further action required. “OUSD automatically earns competitive yields from DeFi protocols while it’s still sitting in your wallet,” the blog post added.

Origin revealed that OUSD has a novel design that ensures users don’t need to stake or lockup their coins to participate in lucrative DeFi strategies. There is also no need to unstake or unlock when users want to transfer their coins to another wallet, ensuring users don’t spend gas fees and can conveniently switch between earning coins and spending them.

Origin stated that, “Your earnings compound continuously and are reflected in your ever-increasing OUSD balance, while still being available for payments, commerce, and peer-to-peer transactions.”

The passive nature of earning money with OUSD makes it perfect for both sophisticated DeFi experts and novice users. Anyone can earn returns passively, without the stress and complexities associated with yield farming.

According to the blog post, the OUSD stablecoin is a natural extension of Origin’s mission to promote peer-to-peer commerce. Origin believes that the OUSD stablecoin will help boost the decentralised commerce platform as it leverages DeFi and allows sellers and buyers to transact easily.


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Bitcoin Cash short-term Price Analysis: 23 September



Disclaimer: The following article attempts to analyze the emerging pattern in the Bitcoin Cash short-term market and its impact on price. 

The movement of Bitcoin Cash has been heavily influenced by Bitcoin given its strong correlation as a forked asset. The strong correlation between the two has led BCH to follow BTC’s lead while sharing a correlation with the stock market. The chart below highlights the coordinated correlation between the three assets.

Source: CoinMetrics

The correlation between BTC-BCH may have reduced, but not lost strength. It was at 0.81692, whereas the correlation between BTC-S&P remained at 0.21582, but BCH-S&P was showing a higher association with 0.23013. Thus, the movement of BCH was not just independent of Bitcoin and even the stock market.

The recent expiry shrunk BCH’s value from $230 to $214, at press time. As the BCH price tries to make the most of the unstable market, its traders may have a tough time deciding the momentum of the price swing.

Source: BCH/USD on TradingView

The above short-term chart of BCH indicated that the price of the digital asset was close to its immediate support at $213.82. The digital asset broke out of an ascending channel pattern. However, this price hike was followed by a downward sloping price giving rise to a descending channel. The likelihood of BCH price breaking down from this pattern was high.

As the pattern painted a bearish picture, the indicators were not contradicting the present trend in the market. The Bollinger bands are opening to indicate more volatility in the market, while the signal line had taken a position above the candlesticks, suggesting the price trend was currently moving lower. The 50 moving average, however, was also above the candlesticks, noticing downwards pressure in the market. As the indicator point at a potential breakdown, the Relative Strength Index indicating a state of equilibrium for BCH.

Source: BCH/USD on TradingView

As the price tried to reverse the trend, the Visible range marked the point of control for the given period at $214.69. This may act as strong support as this point has seen the highest trading volume. The price may consolidate for a while between $215.13 and $214.32, a range that has witnessed great volume for the digital asset.


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