The Goal Is to Make the Metaverse our “Primary” Reality

The Goal Is to Make the Metaverse our “Primary” Reality March 8, 2022

I’ve blogged quite a bit about the Metaverse, the online virtual reality realm in which we will all live through our animated avatars, as if living in a video game (see this and this).  I have treated this phenomenon as being ridiculous.  I’m realizing, though, that I need to take it more seriously.  The tech moguls behind the project certainly are.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of FaceBook who has changed the name of his company to Meta, in line with his new technological priority, told a podcaster, “A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it’s about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time.”

Get that?  Instead of inhabiting actual reality, we will live “primarily” in the metaverse.

Not only that, those of us who object are guilty of being “reality privileged.”  Just as critical race theory denounces “white privilege,” other kinds of critical theory denounce other kinds of “privilege.”  This is the way progressives of recent vintage think, but “reality privilege” takes it to a new level.  This is from a board member of Zuckerberg’s company, the internet mogul Marc Andreessen:

The Reality Privileged, of course, call this conclusion [about the metaverse] dystopian, and demand that we prioritize improvements in reality over improvements in virtuality. To which I say: reality has had 5,000 years to get good, and is clearly still woefully lacking for most people; I don’t think we should wait another 5,000 years to see if it eventually closes the gap. We should build — and we are building — online worlds that make life and work and love wonderful for everyone, no matter what level of reality deprivation they find themselves in.

The mystery of woke corporations–how the rich members of the establishment can present themselves as being so radical–is solved!  Andreessen is saying that we can stop trying to make the world a better place!  We can, instead, concentrate on making the virtual world a better place!  That is to say, those with “reality deprivation”–those whose “reality” is plagued with poverty, sickness, and misery–can escape into the metaverse, where their cartoon avatar can have life and work and love that is “wonderful.”  Meanwhile, the Reality Privileged–and who has a more privileged reality than Marc Andreessen and Mark Zuckerberg–can continue to make real money off of us unfortunates.

After all, reality is such a disappointment.  “Reality has had 5,000 years to get good,” but it hasn’t.  Let’s not give it another 5,000 years.  We all can move into fantasyland.  Which, of course, will be programmed and sold by the Andreessens and Zuckerbergs.

There is still another dimension to this world-building that we’ll discuss tomorrow.

 

Photo:  Marc Andreessen by Joi, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


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