Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Scott Fisher

According to Wikipedia, "Scott Fisher is Professor and Chair of the Interactive Media Division in the USC School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, and a Fellow of the the Annenberg Center for Communication there. He is an artist and technologist who has worked extensively on virtual reality, including stints at NASA, Atari Research Labs, MIT's Architecture Machine Group and Keio University."

When I first moved to California, Timothy Leary, who I had recently met in Tokyo, picked me up at LAX and took me to his house where he had a party and introduced me to his network and extended family in Los Angeles. That weekend, Tim drove my sister, mother and me to San Francisco where he organized a party for us at the Mondo 2000 house. He introduced us to a huge number of people at that party. We first met Scott at that party.

Scott had either just set up or was setting up Telepresence Research, a virtual reality (VR) research company. I was very interested in VR at the time and VR was actually how I first connected with Tim. Scott was looking at Japan as an important market so I joined Telepresence Research part time to help Scott with business development in Japan.

This position mostly involved helping Scott and his partner at Telepresence Research at the time, Brenda Laurel, set up meetings in Japan and providing translations for their presentations at these meetings for them. It was a great way to learn about VR as well as meet all of the people doing cool things in Japan in this space.

During this period, I was mostly living in Japan and my sister started a program at Stanford. Before I knew it, Scott and Mimi were a "thing" and Scott became my brother-in-law. In Japanese, if you marry a younger sister, you are considered a "younger brother-in-law" and in most formal settings are required to walk behind the older brother etc. I tease Scott to no end about this.

But Scott's a great brother-in-law and has become one of my closest confidants and best friends.


May 31, 2006 - 10 years since Timothy Leary's death
March 20, 1995 - Hanging out with Timothy Leary