Metaverse – The Death of God in the Digital World

Everything is broken by blockchain technology!

Metaverse - The Death of God in the Digital World

Some believe that blockchain technology and NFT are the “most logical path” to a fully emerging metaverse, but the dream of a “durable, real-time digital world” may still be out of reach due to transaction costs and the speculation that constitutes cryptocurrencies today.

First, a brief introduction, I am Nico, the founder of Mosaique Protocol, a programmable NFT infrastructure, as well as RP of Puzzle Ventures and GP of VulcanDAO, a crypto art fund. mainly focus on two tracks, NFT and metaverse.

Today our topic is: Metaverse – The Death of God in the Digital World.

Before I talk about the meta-universe, I would like to talk to you about NFT first.

Metaverse - The Death of God in the Digital World

Let’s take a look at a crypto artwork by Ellwood, a contract artist of BCA (now Meta Opus). The title of this work is “Self-Portrait of a Picture”, which is the output of the data of a picture after multiple compilations by the artist.

This work provokes us to think about a question, what is the encrypted artwork, or digital artwork, that we see? The new media and mediums brought about by the information technology revolution can easily frame our perspective on technology, demystifying creations based on digital tools and materials as a code of 0s and 1s, thus dissipating what its value is, which is where many people’s attention lies after the rise of crypto art. It is as if we are deconstructing artworks in the macrocosm into “combinations and smears of paint”, a technical deconstruction that only causes a loss of focus and a downward spiral.

This kind of defocus happens all the time, and the potential value of new things brought about by technology is often missed if we indiscriminately return to the original point of analysis of the technology. We need to grasp things in use, technology is at the service of use, and if the opposite is true, we may fall into a kind of darkness, as this work shows.

The subheading I gave for crypto art is “An Incomplete Encryption”, which is one of the most important concerns we should have about crypto art right now. Crypto art is currently in a dichotomy of assets and proofs, and the NFT we hold is only the proof part of it, in other words the work itself is not directly stored on the chain. Even if we move the storage of these assets to the chain with the development of decentralized storage, we still have to face the problem that the creation process is still not verified by the chain and the assets are not native to the chain.

For traditional artworks, the verification of their authenticity is always accompanied by “two jumps”: first, whether artist XX created work A; second, if artist XX did create work A, then is the work we see now work A? For the works of deceased artists, both of these jumps are verified in a centralized manner; even if a living artist makes an identification or denial of a work attributed to him, the credibility is not complete.

However, it seems that crypto art does not solve this problem, and the process of works being minted on the chain is still jumpy. We can imagine a scenario where artist Zhang San creates a digital artwork, while Li Si preempts the work by minting it on the chain with his own address; or, an artist, minting the same work of his on different platforms separately. These two scenarios are not something I have made up, but are happening, which is why I would say that crypto art is, for now, an incomplete encryption.

The most effective way to do this is to move the creation process to the chain, so that it can be recorded and documented in real time by the blockchain, which I call “crypto-native creation,” where the leap is pushed back to the original point – the leap from the real personality to the Web 3.0 personality. But this is no longer the point, because the identity of the creator of crypto-art is the address.

Although we are still a long way from achieving this complete “crypto-native creation”, we can get closer to it by grasping the essence of native creation, which is the credibility of the process.

For example, we can combine NFTs through special smart contracts, and although the source material used is different, the creation process – that is, the combination – is witnessed by the chain, and then the originality of the creation is greatly enhanced. In this native creation middleware scenario, more NFTs are materials for the creator than works, and the creation is done on the basis of these materials through the combination of smart contracts on the chain.

This modular creation can only be a temporary compromise for the artist, but will be a surprise in other scenarios, which we will not expand on for now.

Finally, we return to today’s title, the death of God.

If you are interested in philosophy, you should not be too familiar with the phrase “death of God” or “God is dead”, which is a famous fable of Nietzsche.

The Industrial Revolution has dramatically transformed our concept of space and time, with efficient transportation and communication tools dramatically “compressing” space and time, while Internet technology has directly created a new space that is almost infinite – Cyberspace. Within this space, each person can redevelop his or her own existence, in which we build social relationships and value networks that are either related to the real space or can be completely new.

But in this space, we find the “God” that has been declared dead in reality coming back, the traditional Internet developers, who are outside the space they have created, giving orders to their creations, which, when viewed from inside the space (in a sense, we can see nothing), are Despite the openness and freedom we experience in some applications, the inhabitants of the space can only do the will of God, what they can do in the space and the process of the whole space-time is defined by the developers.

In other words, thanks to “God”, the laws of cause and effect in traditional cyberspace are not unbreakable, and the reality of our macrocosm is based precisely on the laws of cause and effect.

And all this is broken by blockchain technology.

The developers of blockchain are no longer the “God” of their own creations, they are the “creators”, that’s all, they have no right or ability to interfere with the evolution of their creations at will. In web 3.0, they must descend into the space like mortals to be able to participate in the process they have started, they do not have “divine power”, anything that looks divine is given to them by the inhabitants (community) in the space.

As Vincent, another GP of VulcanDAO, mentioned in a recent article, Ether is a great model for a meta-universe, where everything is not a single point but a multi-point interconstruction, just like the macro world, where any rules and values are precipitated by the communication, negotiation, competition and compromise of the community, not by anything that is pre-determined by something beyond.

In this sense, decentering is an important vector (even the ultimate one) to measure the authenticity of the metaverse, and it is only through decentering that interconstitution is realized and our creation in it is secure.

It is hard to believe that a world with a creator out of thin air has any reality or value, even if its images are beautiful and its sensory experience is realistic, it is only a “dream”, a dream in which you cannot see the beginning and cannot guess the end. It is not the metaverse that is empowering the blockchain industry, but the blockchain that is filling in an important piece of the metaverse puzzle.

In other words, the reality of the metaverse is not just the reality of sensory experience, but the reality of the survival situation.

What the developers (or creators) of the metaverse have created are the rules, not the playbook (the programmable public chain is indeed the best example of this point). It’s easy to confuse the difference between the two. The rules of Go are, as in the novels, alternate black-first-white-later, break-and-raise, and some rules about robbery, but the gameplay is so varied that some tabletop games may have rule books that are a hundred pages thick, so that the possibilities are so limited that the rules are the same as the gameplay.

Here is not to say that the more concise the rules, the more diverse the gameplay, but the lower the rules, the higher the degree of openness and the richer the possibilities, such as Minecraft, its rules are “module” level, its openness is more flexible and free than the “component” level, so much so that we can even play a simplified version of Minecraft in Minecraft.

If we imagine an ultimate picture of the metaverse, I think all the creators need to do is define the laws of physics at the elementary particle level, place a singularity, and give it a little nudge. But when you think about it, it seems that this would not be a meta-universe, but a universe.

That’s all I have to share with you today, thank you!

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