The metaverse is a concept that Mark Zuckerberg recently relaunched with the announcement of Facebook's name change to Meta. Probably a strategy to wash the company's face due to the bad reputation and history of the commercial use of users' personal information to the detriment of privacy. Well! Only possible thanks to the bad habit of not reading the fine print of the service secondment contracts. Ego and vanity work in favor of mega tech corporations.
Since then, a lot of digital ink spilling into cyberspace. Perhaps the term cyberspace is an early synonym for metaverse and that. It gave the throne for the narrative-driven by the science fiction-related industries and the production of video games. For example, Marvel talks about the multiverse. Well, I admit, there is a slight difference between multi and meta. But they both end in verse. LOL
In this sense, I thought, repeating what other excellent authors say is wasteful and abusive at the same time. In the end, I said to myself: I will do it anyway, there is always something more to say. I think!
I don't know if before this hot topic you heard about Neal Stephenson and his work Snow Crash, published in 1992. I'll be honest with you, not me.
In a little while, the book will be thirty years old. So the CEO of Meta (formerly only Facebook) is just trying to recreate, like others in Silicon Valley, his version of the world Stephenson envisioned.
Sure, many will search for the novel online to view and validate the reviews on the internet for themselves. Others, more visual, will be satisfied with Ready Player One, a similar work adapted for the big screen in 2018 by Spielberg.
I will not make spoilers about both works, taking away the pleasure of reading or watching. I only suggest you think about the anarcho-capitalism that underlies them; Ideas shared by some of those who drive the crypto-verse where you and I walk every day when we trade crypto.
Likewise, it is convenient to analyze the meaning of the metaverse concept beyond the optimistic messages of BigTech. Moreover, the use of associated symbols.
Meta, in Greek, means beyond and verse, universe. Then, the metaverse is the expression according to these companies to indicate the experience beyond the known universe.
On the other hand, meta in Hebrew means death. Wow! It will be an expression to symbolize the final of the known universe. Scare!
For most of us, the metaverse is living on the internet, that is, the natural evolution of the internet. Before, one interacts with others is through a device. Now, they want what goal is to achieve a multisensory experience in the digital sphere that competes with the natural world. For many, a danger to consciousness itself defines us as being human.
In the research for this article, I found a magnificent exposition by the Peruvian professor Miklos Lukacs with original and critical ideas about the metaverse. He made me rethink some preconceived concepts about the apparent bright future that they paint us with the new internet that offers you to escape from a reality that you do not like.
How many realities do you know?
I believe that there is only one reality. Although, trilogies like The Matrix raise the possibility that we could be deluded, living in a simulation. I even know of a renowned scientist who puts forward the theory that we live in a holographic universe. So, the possibilities exceed what ordinary mortals think.
Maybe soon we will choose between the blue and the red pill. Although, I suspect that we are like frogs swimming in a cauldron of warm water.
Well! Professor Lukacs identifies several types of reality: natural, augmented, mixed, virtual, and meta. If you want to know about these, he left you the video about the dissertation he did in Spanish.
Meanwhile, below I will make a very brief interpretation about it for those who do not speak Spanish.
Natural reality is everything we know at birth, which determines the animate and inanimate; Where natural laws take effect: physical, chemical, and biological.
From this derives the other realities created by man in his technological advancement; Spanning analog to digital. However, the last section is spectacular because of the speed with which it has been taking place.
Augmented reality is where the superimposition of digital elements on real scenarios brought a new dimension in real time to our mobile devices. You may remember Pokemon Go and Google with Glass.
The mixed-reality is where natural reality combines with augmented reality in telepresence mode. An example is Microsoft Mesh, oriented to educational and business environments.
Virtual reality is the immersion of your senses in artificial environments of a digital nature, recreations of real or imaginary scenarios. Video role-playing games are examples of this reality. These need props to simulate the world around you.
The meta-reality is limited only by the imagination.
In this sense, the metaverse is a universe immersed in the real world. It exists thanks to the real universe since the infrastructure exists in it.
I wonder, will the metaverse be able to replace the material universe?
In my opinion, such a claim is neither practical nor beneficial.
Although man transforms his environment for better or for worse; He is subject to the limitations of an order of what he tries to know.
For sure, in this metaverse, it will enforce the rules, as long as physical restrictions allow. For example, flying or teleporting in the different scenarios requires these to be created from natural reality. Although I do not deny; that advanced technology; will continue its genesis in the metaverse.
Thus, the question that serves as the title of this article seems simple to answer. The ruler of the metaverse will be the man himself.
You'll tell me, your answer is obvious.
Think about it more carefully, though, and try to go further.
Who rules the natural universe?
I'm sure like me; You don't know for sure. You can only intuit it.
We could start a philosophical, even theological debate, but let's save this for another time. Let's settle to close on the type of government of the metaverse.
In this sense, I think we will see the confrontation of two sides in the metaverse. The protesters of the cryptos against the elites of BigTech. Who will win? In my opinion, neither of us. In any case, we are all in danger of losing identity, and therefore freedom.
In political terms, with the asymmetry of power between developers and users, technological totalitarianism will rise as never before. How do I know? Easy.
If the architects of the metaverse get to know you fully, as any of BigTech's CEOs intend, they will also fully control you. With the loss of your privacy, you will not have freedom.
Yes, it does not sound like a utopia, where we will all be happy.
Some will object, trying to reassure you, saying: There is still a long time for technology to mature in this regard. A metaverse needs high connection speeds over 200 Mbps, and the devices are still too expensive for mass adoption.
Well! You may have noticed that they do not deny it; It is only a matter of time. I think it will happen sooner rather than later, and you will have to decide if you are allowed, in which universe you want to be.
Perhaps whoever will govern is not even human.
An original article by @Jnavedan
Cover image by Rodger Shija on Pixabay
Not just white washing Facebook's bad reputation about users privacy. But as you said, I think it's more likely going to change how we use social media. Everything is connected with VR now. Now, this is a legit question; who will win it or dominate it. I believe, it not be a single person but thousands and there will be crazy competition/market manipulation going to happen.