My Ride in a German Time Machine

Virtual Reality Took Me to 1926 Cologne. I Found What a City Had Lost—And What Our Democratic Future Needs

I was more than a little startled when Konrad Adenauer approached me in the Old Market.

Sure, I was visiting Cologne, Germany, Adenauer’s hometown. But I had never imagined I’d lay eyes on the famous statesman who served as the German republic’s first post-war chancellor—much less get a wave from him.

Not least because he died six years before I was born.

But I had traveled back to 1926, when Adenauer was Cologne’s mayor, courtesy of TimeRide, a virtual reality tour.

I’m not much for tourist attractions, which TimeRide—which also operates in Dresden, Munich, …

The Oculus Generation Is a Metaphor for Our Moment | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Oculus Generation Is a Metaphor for Our Moment

How Can We Share a Planet if We Don’t Live in the Same Universe?

Three years ago, my wife and I moved from a spacious apartment. What we couldn’t fit into our new digs, we gave away. A colleague’s son, planning his own future …