How the "Metaverse" could be the beginning and the end of humanity.
Facebook (Not the social media but the company that owns it) has rebranded into Meta, if the Metaverse blows up and becomes a huge part of normal life then we really, really have to liberate it and create FOSS alternatives that are as good as the proprietary ones.
Changing our perception of reality
The Metaverse is all about virtual reality, creating another world where you can work or play without engaging in the real world! You could transform your house into anything, buy shirts, games, adventures and worlds created by other users and just have fun!
This technology has the potential to liberate humanity but it also has the potential to lead to censorship, misinformation and extreme suffering. It all depends on the actions that we take now.
If the metaverse becomes proprietary then that means a private company essentially controlls our perception of reality, they could censor specific users (such as those living in China or Syria) or control what people hear, see and feel. A proprietary alternative to reality is worse than reality itself.
What if in the future we have to get cybernetics implanted into our heads? What will happen to those who say no? Will they disappear from reality? Will Meta block them and make them unrecognizable to any Metaverse users? That is the kind of thing I fear, we already have vendor lock-in, if the Metaverse blew up and didn’t become an open, free, decentralized protocol that no one has power over then we’re screwed.
A horrible, dystopian, censored alternative to reality.
Our realities, memories, history and everything can and will be made up, imagine if Meta allowed you to simulate the Industrial Revolution and they made it look not so bad, would people say yes to destroying government regulations then? Would people trust Meta over truth? Meta would have the power to easily twist reality and torture those who don’t join them, Meta could torture them psychologically by not allowing any Metaverse user to speak to them and if everyone used Meta then that would mean they would have no one to talk to, they would eventually become insane and Meta would win.
So, this is a bit of a warning, if the Metaverse ever becomes popular, then we must work together to liberate it. We must create a product that is about as good as the proprietary ones themselves. We must create an open, honest and decentralized platform that no one holds power over. We must beat Meta. Forever.
But what if…
But what if Meta evolved as an open technology? Well it would be liberating, it would allow us to live out our fantasies and adventures, to talk and to communicate with people even more efficiently than what the current technologies we have would allow us to. But that would only happen if The Metaverse became an open technology.
This could be humanity’s end or the beginning of something glorius that future generations will take for granted. Let’s liberate it.