Maybe this is what Silicon Valley’s demigods have been dreaming about since the beginning. A profound reversal of the relationship between human beings and technology, a flipping of the real and virtual.I’m speaking of the project Mark Zuckerberg launched on Thursday. It was the metaverse, he said, and also announced that his company’s name had changed, to Meta, from Facebook.When I clicked on the link to Zuckerberg’s video announcement, I thought it was a joke at first, maybe a “deep fake.” Someone seemed to have modeled Zuckerberg’s face and gestures pretty well, but the guy in the video was so robotic, surely he must have been an avatar.
But no, this was the real Facebook founder, joining his most trusted employees in pitching the metaverse, Facebook’s proprietary new virtual world of worlds where we are supposed to do our working, playing and socializing forever more.This isn’t intended to be some casual digital simulation we enter and leave at will. Zuckerberg wants the metaverse to ultimately encompass the rest of our reality — connecting bits of real space here to real space there, while totally subsuming what we think of as the real world.
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