jason silva
Jason Silva is an Emmy-nominated and world renown TV personality, storyteller, filmmaker, and sought-after keynote speaker and futurist. Jason Silva is a global keynote speaker, he has given talks at events for Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Cannes Lions, Tribeca Film Festival, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, 20th Century Fox, Cosmopolitan, PHD Worldwide, Google Zeitgeist, TED Global, The Economist, and more.   Jason Silva was described by The Atlantic as “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age; part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from ‘The Matrix.’  He presents two very successful shows on Nat Geo; the first is called Origins – where Jason Silva guides viewers through a time travel adventure that delves deep into history to highlight pivotal ‘origin’ moments that fundamentally and irrevocably created modern living.  The other wildly popular show is entitled Brain Games, and in this show Jason Silva gets inside your head and shows you what is going on in there with an intricate series of interactive experiments designed to mess with your mind.  Please enjoy my interview with Jason Silva…

When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?

Storyteller. I think it’s the best umbrella term to encompass everything I do. I’m a digital filmmaker, TV personality, keynote speaker, seeker. All of these things make me a storyteller.

sapiens by yuval noah harariWhat are you reading at the moment?

The last book I read cover to cover was Stealing Fire by Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler. I’m also currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

What’s your earliest memory of reading?

I remember being obsessed with Michael Crichton growing up. I was in awe; his books felt like watching movies. It was incredible. I also remember reading Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson which blew my mind.

If you could encourage young people to read one book in particular, what would it be?

Too many to simply list one. But among the most important book to understand would be The Immortalist by Alan Harrington.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

The worst job I’ve had was an internship for a film studio.  I remember that the internship immediately became about getting coffee for the other employees, and felt quickly disenchanting. What I wanted was to talk movies, philosophy and storytelling, and I just couldn’t come around to the mundane dimension of what was being asked. It could also be that I simply was in over my head and too entitled at the time, we all have to start somewhere. I learned that later.

Do you read as much as you’d like to?

Yes. But could always read more.

What books do you feel are important reading for people on your career path?

The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil and TechGnosis by Erik Davis.  Both books are ontological awakenings, they transform how you see the world. They are psychedelic experiences that leave you changed forever. Both Kurzweil and Erik Davis are also dazzling writers, so even if you don’t agree with their ideas you’ll find the writing irresistible.

where good ideas come fromIs there a book that you’ve read more than once? What is it and why did you revisit it?

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. He has a beautiful way of explaining things, and his take on creativity always has wonderful, actionable ideas and items. You can apply a lot of his examples in your own life, it’s a great read indeed.

What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?

The book I’ve recommended most is The Denial Of Death by Ernest Becker.

What’s your favourite genre of book?

My favourite genre is non-fiction mindblowers.

What do you think a world without books would be like?

A sad world indeed.

Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?

Kevin Kelly. Kevin Kelly is really a philosopher, he may talk tech, but he does so like a poet and virtuoso of the written word. I just love his style, his voice and his depth.

Do you think digital books will ever completely replace real books?

No.

the denial of deathWhat book do you feel humanity needs right now?

More compassion and higher consciousness.  Humanity needs to read The Denial Of Death by Ernest Becker.

What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?

The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil.

Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?

I’d also include What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly.

What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?

I’ll be reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari.

If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?

Ejaculations of Amazement.

If you’d like to learn more about Jason Silva, you can find him on his website, Facebook and Twitter.