Welcome to the Metaverse, Big Tech’s next iteration of evolution. Now, not only will improved [addictive] algorithms entice further engagement, they will now mask what is traditionally considered “reality” by the previous existence of our entire species.
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, has announced a company name change to “Meta”. Zuckerberg seeks to create a simulated reality deemed “the metaverse”. Could this be the beginning of an optional simulated reality? Or, could this be an extension of our current one?
The company plans to spend ~$10 billion over the next year developing the technologies required for building the metaverse.
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet,” Zuckerberg stated in a letter.
“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”
“In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.”
“Think about how many physical things you have today that could just be holograms in the future. Your TV, your perfect work setup with multiple monitors, your board games and more — instead of physical things assembled in factories, they’ll be holograms designed by creators around the world.” The comparison of “owning nothing and being happy” is eerily similar to Klaus Schwab’s 2030 utopia.
“You’ll move across these experiences on different devices — augmented reality glasses to stay present in the physical world, virtual reality to be fully immersed, and phones and computers to jump in from existing platforms.”
“The metaverse encompasses both the social experiences and future technology. As we broaden our vision, it’s time for us to adopt a new brand.” Zuckerberg stated, adding, “To reflect who we are and the future we hope to build, I’m proud to share that our company is now Meta.”
“Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
“Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter on Thursday.
Meta also announced the code name of its first fully AR-capable smart glasses: Project Nazare, which are “still a few years out,” the company said in a blog post. Zuckerberg said “we still have a ways to go with Nazare, but we’re making good progress.”
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services.”
Zuckerberg concluded, “I’m dedicating our energy to this — more than any other company in the world. If this is the future you want to see, I hope you’ll join us. The future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.”
Comparing the lack of “acceptable” free speech today, with the potential for total digital lockdown of the future, one might argue the metaverse’s potential for reliance may impart more risk than benefit.
In a virtual world, one owns “virtual items”, which can be revoked at any time. As these realizations become unveiled the metaverse begins sounding like a new form of total physical control. In the metaverse, what would censorship look like?
In today’s era, just being banned alone from social media is enough to shake up some content creator’s ability to market themselves, as well as communicate with their network. Even being banned from a service like Uber, could have strong impact on the average American.
Imagine for a moment: Being banned from the metaverse, a user would lose access to:
- virtual items and goods
- access to events
- the ability to teleport and connect with other users
- communication with family and friends
- the digital world (and soon to be reality) that you have come to rely on
To avoid this, citizens would need to ensure that they have followed the rules and hold no resistance against the removal of their own civil rights, and individual liberties, for the benefit of the metaverse.
Giving up the self control of your own reality, and providing free constant biometric data creates consumer reliance, encouraging willingness to cooperate and enforce the domain’s rules. The users of the metaverse will act as an extension of the creator’s surveillance utopia, to avoid being banned.
Who will be the competition to Meta? Will there be multiple metaverses between companies, where users will literally exist in different realities altogether?
Recognizing the addictive potential of modern social media, will the future “social network” be contributory to the division of our species? Is this the beginning of two (or more) different species that exist within complete different worlds? How far apart could these colonies grow?
While the metaverse will contain exciting features such as “teleporting”, what risks could teleportation bring to our American economy? How will the metaverse be used to spy on American technology from international competition such as the Communist Party of China?
What will protect malicious forces from gaining intelligence and plotting nefarious intentions upon our nation? What measures will stop hackers from gaining biometric data and medical information from the metaverse’s users?
What new forms of advertising will exist in the metaverse, and how will it be infused into the new “reality”. With the implementation of Augmented Reality, advertisements will become inescapable. Someone has to fund the metaverse, and the user will fuel that ad revenue.
Will advertisements take the form of holographic humans within the metaverse, and if so how will one tell them from a live user? How will notifications be used? Advertisements and weaponized propaganda may become inescapable in the metaverse. How will targeted marketing affect the user, and what effect will it have on our American society?
Is the metaverse one step closer to irreversible globalization, the further reliance on the world economy, and the increased weakening of the security of America?
Does the future of humanity rely entirely on being “jacked in”, and if so what expense does it demand? What quality of human life will be lost? If the metaverse is seen as an improvement of one’s reality, what horrors could result from the neglect to produce better national infrastructure, and produce more domestic goods?
Will America fall to Big Tech’s blueprint for a globalized oligopoly, controlling the narrative of reality for all of humanity? Should self-motivated entities be responsible for outlining the social future of humanity, and controlling who is able to access it?