Mark Zuckerberg is Nolan Sorrento

 

He sure is, isn’t he?

Ever heard of the “Metaverse”? It is, as CNN wrote last week, one of the current “favorite talking point[s] among startups, venture capitalists and tech giants”, starting with Facebook. Zuckerberg himself said that Facebook should become a “metaverse company”.

The basic idea behind the Metaverse, or at least the only one really compatible with the “startups, venture capitalists and tech giants” of today, is simple: since real life sucks, make money by giving people something to forget it. Something that hides real life, but seriously, not just a screen to watch in self-harming silence. In the Metaverse, people would feel “like they’re actually inside a virtual space with other people, seeing things in first-person, probably 3D”, and interacting with one another in real time:

Mark Zuckerberg is Nolan Sorrento /img/facebook-metaverse-oculus-rift.jpg

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is

“Make money by giving people something to forget life” is one of the oldest business models around. Even the Metaverse iteration is not new at all:

“In 2045, people escape from reality through a virtual reality simulation called OASIS… Nolan Sorrento, CEO of Innovative Online Industries (IOI), seeks control of the OASIS so he can insert intrusive online advertising”:

Mark Zuckerberg is Nolan Sorrento /img/random-oasis-players-in-ready-player-one.jpg

The synopsys of Ready Facebook One continues here, but I highly suggest viewing the full movie. Relevant differences between Nolan Zuckerberg’s vision and OASIS are left as exercise for the reader. While looking for them, take Divide et Impera into account.

Divide (in the Metaverse) et Impera (everywhere)

Divide and Rule policy (Latin: Divide et Impera) consists of gaining and maintaining power by actively keeping your subjects separated in groups that ignore or fight each other, and thus can never coordinate against you.

The Metaverse the tech industry is after has Divide et Impera built in from the start. From the CNN piece, again, its risks include:

  1. creation of even steeper divides between “haves, who can afford to pay for an ad-free headset or metaverse experience, and have-nots who can’t, replicating inequalities present in the real world” ( Divide!)
  2. control, as in “If you can now replace somebody’s entire reality with an alternate reality, you can make them believe almost anything” (Impera!)

QED.

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