Alternative Metaverse: Virtual and Reality Are Not Integrating, But Parting (Part 2)

The Metaverse is not about cannibalizing the world; the Metaverse is about creating a whole new world.

Shenyi Bureau is a compiling team under 36氪, focusing on technology, business, workplace, life and other fields, focusing on introducing foreign new technologies, new ideas, and new trends.

Editor’s note: Everyone wants to predict the future. But how can we predict the future? A useful approach is to learn from history. Insights into common patterns from history. From the invention of the chip to the present, technology has reached the 4.0 era, and a common pattern among them is that the incumbents of the previous era tend to reduce lock-in and sow the seeds for the next era. Who is the era of 4.0? Metaverse. However, contrary to everyone’s opinion, the technology blogger believes that virtual and reality will not be integrated, but will go their separate ways. The article comes from the compilation, the length is related, we publish it in two parts, this is the second part.

Alternative Metaverse: Virtual and Reality Are Not Integrating, But Parting (Part 2)

Focus on:

Social Networking 2.0 Unlocks Identity

Technology 4.0 belongs to the Metaverse, but the physical and digital worlds are increasingly split

Blockchain Will Unlock Life

Related Reading: The Future of the Metaverse: Virtual and Reality Are Not Integrating, But Parting Ways (Part 1)

Social Network 2.0

In retrospect, “The Social Network 2.0” I wrote last December was a great prelude to this article.

This isn’t my only online community: while writing at Stratechery is a personal affair, developing new features like the Daily Update Podcast, or just dealing with the ongoing administration, requires a global team . We’ll connect on Slack. Another group of tech-native friends has another Slack channel, and a third, mostly from Silicon Valley, meet on WhatsApp. Also, I have family and friends in Wisconsin as well as in Asia (iMessage for family and friends in the US, LINE for family in Asia, WhatsApp for friends). The final result makes me proud:

Alternative Metaverse: Virtual and Reality Are Not Integrating, But Parting (Part 2)

That pride came from a piece of advice I received seven years ago when I announced I was moving back to Asia: One of my mentors worried about how I would find what everyone needed if I lived halfway across the ocean. Support and friendship; he told me that while it wasn’t ideal, maybe I could put together friendships from different places and it would be okay. In fact, I not only managed to do this, but I firmly believe that the end result is a good one, and it is very much needed for reasons of optimism about the technology’s future.

The point of that article is that Facebook and Twitter are representative of social networking 1.0, which expects you to be online with your complete self; however, that expectation is like a traditional company that uses computers to run simulated business models : Maybe more efficient, but not the best use of the technology at all. The whole beauty of software is that it is malleable and extensible, and when these qualities extend to users, they mean that users can create completely different roles and experiences depending on the particular online community they join.

Incidentally, like IBM and Microsoft before it, Facebook has also contributed to this evolution, especially its acquisition of WhatsApp and its continued support: from Twitter to Facebook Groups to iMessage, although various platforms have There are groups, but in these temporary private chat groups, WhatsApp seems to occupy a relatively large share, especially in the international market, but its share in the United States is also increasing. One thing worth noting about WhatsApp is that the key identifier is not your account, but your phone number; this way any sort of technical lock-in is completely gone.

Technology 4.0: The Metaverse

One of the biggest talking points in 2021 is the Metaverse, thanks in large part to Facebook’s morphing into the Meta (although Microsoft was the first to do so). Defining exactly what the Metaverse is, however, is tricky: everyone has a different definition.

However, I think I have my own clear definition, starting with the following comments from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

I think the word “real world” is interesting. I think we actually have a physical world and a digital world, and the two worlds are increasingly overlapping, but I think the real world will be more and more a combination and fusion of the digital world and the physical world, and the real world is not just physical world. I think it’s an interesting one to think about such a frame of mind that takes into account future trends.

I both agree and disagree with Zuckerberg; on the one hand, I think he’s absolutely right in saying that the “real world” applies only to the physical world. Think back to the communities I’ve described earlier that have brought so much meaning to my life: those communities that are almost entirely online, but the sense of belonging is very real to me. Or think about this article you’re looking at right now: it’s nothing more than an infinitely reproducible word on the internet, but it’s my profession.

But I don’t agree with the idea that the physical and digital worlds are increasingly “overlapping and merging”; in fact, I think the opposite is true: the physical and digital worlds are becoming increasingly divergent . Still using my own experience as an example, my physical reality is determined by my life on that island with my family; however, most of my time and energy is spent online, mostly by talking to people all over the world. defined by the interaction of friends, colleagues, and customers.

For a long time, I felt unique in this regard, but COVID has made a reality that has long existed for me to become the norm for many more people. Their physical world is defined by their home and hometown, a piece that no longer needs to be close to where they work because their work is fully online; everything from friends to entertainment has also followed the same path.

So my definition is this: the Metaverse is a set of experiences that are completely online, and thus defined by their plasticity and extensibility, that is, the Metaverse already exists . Of course, the experience of the Metaverse today is dominated by text and 2D, but video has become a primary medium, first as a form of entertainment, but now as an important work tool. In my opinion, this inevitably leads to virtual reality: why don’t you want the most immersive experience if everything that matters is already digitized?

The role of cryptocurrencies

This also explains why cryptocurrencies are interesting. Stephen Diehl’s article titled “Web3 is Bullshit” is scathing:

At its core, web3 is a tedious marketing campaign that attempts to redefine the public’s negative associations with cryptoassets as misrepresentations that subvert the hegemony of traditional tech companies. This is an eye-catcher in the quest to sell more tokens and continue to evade securities regulation. We can also see this in discussions of cryptocurrency and itself in the web3 circle. Web3 is not meant to solve real consumer problems.The only problem web3 has to solve is how to rationalize its existence after the fact.

The first part of this remark is not without fairness; Web3 scams and Ponzi schemes are indeed everywhere, and it is clear that we are in an inflating bubble. A whole host of legitimate use cases is really nothing more than regulatory arbitrage.Advocates of cryptocurrencies are too quick to blame greed and corruption for all the problems of the current monetary system, and they do not admit that there is a good reason for the complex system. And, along the same lines, Web3 evangelists tend to sound like overbearing regulators, blaming illicit lock-in for the dominance achieved by the biggest tech companies, without acknowledging that aggregators win because they provide consumers with what they want. user experience (and this is something that current cryptocurrency applications are sorely lacking).

This second part is less appealing to me, though, although it reiterates the most common criticism of cryptocurrencies: “This digital content has no value to the real world.” Of course, the real world is the physical world , I know what they’re going to criticize; I’m very skeptical that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies, or otherwise work in other ways in the real world, or whether DAOs will replace LLCs or the real world ‘s enterprise.

But keep in mind that I define the Metaverse as a set of fully online experiences. In the Metaverse, the limitations of the physical world have no meaning. For example, in the real world I can’t have a conversation with multiple people at once, but I do it every day – I even have a monitor on my desktop dedicated to a chat client! In this world, having an account that represents my whole self (as Facebook does) is a pretty nasty thing; but now, I have multiple accounts for every service, but like As I pointed out, some of the accounts in there are already based on my only phone number. It would be nice if every account was based on my unique digital identifier and no one could own it, now you should know about cryptocurrency wallets.

This leads to another mistake that Diehl made in that article, which ironically echoes a similar mistake made by many cryptocurrency absolutists: the Metaverse, or any web application for that matter, doesn’t. The rationale will be built on the blockchain. Why use the slowest database in the world if a centralized database has higher scalability and performance?WhatsApp or Signal aren’t built on plain old phone services, they just take advantage of the uniqueness of phone numbers, so they’re suitable as identifiers for that. This is the kind of role that blockchain will fill: providing uniqueness and portability when necessary, in a way that not only keeps your life completely online, but can live as many lives as you want at the same time, Not locked anywhere .

Great bifurcation

I have pointed out above that the physical and digital worlds are parting ways, and this is also happening in technology.Elon Musk was named Person of the Year for 2021 by Time Magazine yesterday, and while he’s known for his Dogecoin-related tweets and his on-and-off support for Bitcoin, his greatest contribution to the world is electric Cars, and reusable rockets — but very physics-hardcore. In fact, you could say that Tesla and SpaceX are not tech companies at all, but just another example of tech-first companies starting to reshape industries, industries that use computers as tools rather than foundations .

The Metaverse , by contrast, is not about cannibalizing the world; the Metaverse is about creating a whole new world, from entertainment to community to money and even identity. If Elon Musk wants to land on the moon, Mark Zuckerberg wants to create a new moon in digital space. In such a place, LLCs would be meaningless, and regulation would be an afterthought, and if it were, it would be easy to circumvent. It’s a place that doesn’t require traditional money or art; native solutions are clearly superior. In other words, “anything in the real world becomes worthless in the digital world”—a critique that goes both ways.

In the end, the most important connection between the Metaverse and the physical world will be you : you’re in the Metaverse right now, you’re reading this article; maybe you’ll linger on Twitter for a while, or start working remotely. And then you get up from your computer, or take off your headphones, go have a good meal with the kids, and suddenly realize that the future where virtual and reality diverge is going to be fundamentally different from the past where you merged .

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/alternative-metaverse-virtual-and-reality-are-not-integrating-but-parting-part-2/
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