Eyewitness: The brave new world…of Metaverse

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Did you wonder – much less take time out to find out – why Facebook, probably the most recognised brand in the entire world, would seem to commit business hara-kiri by changing its name suddenly to “Meta”?? After all, any company would have to pay billions of US$ to have that recognition!! Well, the reason is related to why Microsoft just shelled out almost US$70 BILLION for the gaming company Activision Blizzard – creator of the widely popular virtual reality game “Call of Duty”! That’s right! US$70 BILLION Smakaroos!! More than 12 times our annual GNP, and more than TWICE what Exxon and partners would invest in our 10-billion-barrel-oil-reserves!! We’re taking REAL money here!!

Now, we might be tempted to say that Microsoft is just trying to augment its presence in the burgeoning gaming industry, where it has had a presence with its X-Box for years. And you would be right…but what’s the link with Apple’s name change to “Meta”? Aha!! Good you asked!! Cause Microsoft, Facebook and every other player in the internet world are convinced that the virtual and augmented realities (VR and AR) developed for gaming would help transform the internet as we know it into a “metaverse”!!

What are VR and AR? Well, if you want to be a bit technical: “virtual reality is characterised by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not playing, and augmented reality combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds.” If you haven’t already done so, just get the glasses or goggles that allow you to enter into that virtual world of games, and interact with characters simultaneously as others do from all over the world, and check it out. What the techies foresee is that the clothes or equipment you use will be sold to you to retain permanently – and allowed to take across platforms forever!! So, the metaverse will also be a digital economy!

And as we talk about what this is all about, just imagine we’re in the position of fellas back in the 1970s, talking about “the internet”!! All they could think about, as its inventor working for the US Government said, was sending letters faster between companies that has computers!! How could they’ve known what we have now?! In the metaverse, connections will be invitingly augmented. Right now, we can speak to each other on Zoom calls from wherever there’s the internet. But imagine sharing experiences with millions as we go about our lives on the streets and in cinemas, concerts etc.

Might begin by us having to wear those goggles etc, but it won’t be long before they’re miniaturised to become innocuous!!
Welcome to a brave new world!!

…and yet blackouts

Maybe you wondered why your humble Eyewitness went on that riff about the metaverse. Well, it just hit him as he experienced hours of “scheduled load shedding” – the Orwellian doublespeak for “blackouts”!! It’s like “cane cutters” being now labelled “cane harvesters”, as if the doublespeak lessens the indignity and degradation of the lived reality! He just wanted to emphasise that, as the rest of the world progresses, we’re still stuck in that dystopian world the PNC created between 1964 and 1992. Precariously perched about Haiti!

Now, one may say that should be “water under the bridge” by now. But if the effects of slavery and Indentureship can linger for hundreds of years – we learn about “systemic” conditions, didn’t we? – what about the Burnhamite rape from just decades ago?
Didn’t he wreck the entire economy – including electricity and other utilities – along with the “commanding heights of the economy”? And even more insidiously, created a barracoon mentality!?
Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost!

…but live in squalor

The PNC, under its new leader, said it was they who decided there should be no cooperation with the PPP Central Government to clean-up Georgetown.
The Mayor was just their “creature”, bearing the news!! Filth is good?