First, this is brilliant (via Kottke.org).
Yeah, light and shadows changing so quickly would be untenable. It would feel like living in a time-lapse. Maybe, eventually, you’d acclimate enough to not get dizzy, but it would be practically infuriating for the light source to move that fast because it’s not just a matter of what you’re used to. I’m constantly moving blinds, donning or doffing hats or sunglasses, or turning to face to or from the sun. Not practical every 60 seconds.
Re Kottke’s comment:
“Realistically - and admittedly somewhat reluctantly — I assume that while building a structure like this is very much possible…”
I’m sure he meant: this doesn’t violate the laws of physics. Agree. But it’s disheartening how far humanity is from being able to build something like this. Obviously we could do it on the ground, but we have NO idea how to do it in space. We don’t have the launch capacity. We don’t know how to do large-scale assembly or manufacturing from raw materials. We don’t know how to transport and support the number of human crew it would take to build (much less populate). We don’t have the robots to build it autonomously. We don’t have an economic model that would justify the investment. Etc. Imagine showing an aircraft carrier to Themistocles. Athens had dope-ass ships, and perhaps an ancient Greek could wrap their mind around an aircraft carrier, but it would be hard to even list how much more of the tech tree was upstream of such a ship.
I like that Wernquist showed the views in various locales. This is art, and that choice made for better art. It also caused me to ponder where best to locate such a thing. The details are the topic for another post, but I think the only two feasible locations are equatorial low Earth orbit or cislunar space (probably in a distant retrograde orbit). In ELEO, the views would be really weird, since (part of) the floor would always be facing Earth. I suppose that would help with disorientation, as views out the side windows would mostly be stars, but the sun would still be in crazy places and moving fast. Frequent eclipse would also suck.
We really do need to lick artificial gravity, or at least get started on the problem. As my old boss used to stay (I’m paraphrasing): unless you can make an omelet and a martini it’s not living—at best it’s adventure travel.
All that said, I would stare out those windows all day.