On Thursday afternoon, Bloomberg Television abruptly cut away from a press conference where Nancy Pelosi was discussing next steps on Democrats' economic agenda. Joe Biden had just finished outlining a "framework" for his "Build Back Better" plan, the cost of which was trimmed to $1.75 trillion, just half of the top line figure Progressives hoped to push through Congress. But something more important was happening. Forget childcare, clean energy and affordable housing. Facebook was changing it

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18 thoughts on “‘Meta’physics

  1. Zuckerberg famously told Facebook’s employees to “move fast and break things.” The implication is that if you’re not breaking stuff, you’re moving too slow.

    LOL. I’m more of a Colin Powell guy: if you break it, you own it. Hey, Mark, how much of your $100 billion fortune are willing to spend to fix the democracies around the world that your Frankenstein-monster of a platform is breaking?

      1. Classic tactics. Delay, Obfuscate, Downplay. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.
        Did you learn that one from the cigarette companies?
        Let’s not turn the car around, because while it looks like it’s a cliff we’re driving off of, we won’t really know until we hit the bottom and find out.

        1. I’m actually serious. Everybody acts like FB culpability is obvious. I’ve previously linked to research showing its negative impact is very debatable.

          While everyone seems very happy to keep on ignoring my personal bugbear – Murdoch and Fox News. But the difference is I can back it up.

  2. Palliative care for those who are suffering some horrible disease means no food or water until you die of lack of food and water. Usually within two weeks. People who are ‘immersed’ and under the care of a caretaker for any length of time would have to be supplied with food and water somehow. Intravenously? Stomach feeding tube? And body waste would have to be dealt with. And you would have to be wealthy to just opt out. Somehow this just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

  3. H: You really know how to push our buttons.
    After I finish this very nice glass of cabernet (luckily I only need one- glass,not bottle- due to genetics of being a light weight), I am going to re-read Yuri’s words regarding “The Right to Happiness” from Homo Deus, A Brief History of Tomorrow.

  4. Sounds like AOL, circa 2001. The concept of immersive reality has been just over the horizon for quite a while. I don’t expect Facebook’s diversionary gambit to change that. The only immersive reality that Facebook will succeed in delivering is the usual deluge of misinformation masquerading as truth.

  5. FWIW, science fiction and geeky entertainment (paper rpgs, say) have been dealing with scenarios like the metaverse or transhumanism for a long time. Even in popular movies/culture, you have had countless configurations, from Westworld to The Matrix and including less well known fare like Surrogates (with Bruce Willis, based on a comics, iirc) and Gamer (Gerard Butler, far from his best but whatev’ – interesting tech).

    As to transhumanism itself, you got things like Revelation Space (very good indeed) or Altered Carbon…

    1. I’d forgotten about Surrogates! That was a good yarn. You forgot to mention Ready Player One, or most famously, Neuromancer. Oh, and Snow Crash. Great novels (the latter two, RPO was average at best).

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t consistent. I went for movies/TV series, thinking more people would know the references. For transhumanism, I was a bit stuck so I went for SF books…

        but, yeah, cyberpunk is an old genre with tons of gems. Even the action adventure stuff in it can be good. Hard Wired by Walter Jon Williams. And let me plug one of my “but he’s so underrated”. Norman Spinrad. Thinking of Bug Jack Baron and Little Heroes notably. Journals of the Plague Years, The Star Spangled Future and Other Americas are pretty great collections of short stories too.

  6. Funny how some among those who refuse vaccines fearing an inoculated microchip set are probably heavy FB users. They worry about impossible things and ignore realities developing in front of them.

  7. For the future of the Metaverse I refer you all to Neal Stephenson’s classic, “Snow Crash.” A pretty good precognitive view of where we have been going and what the future will look like. Even scarier than when I read it 20 years ago.

  8. The first self-propelled vehicle was prototype’d in France circa 1769. 200 years later, the ICE peaked in raw commercial strength.
    With the acceleration of technical changes, I give mainstream adoption of the Metaverse about 20 years. First up: MyTube.

  9. After your deluge of questions Walt, I am horrified to realise that the movie Soylent green was possibly predictive of our future. Btw. Does that mean Soy and Lentils?

  10. I saw some of Robo-Mark’s press conference.

    He looks like a mannequin. How much Botox has he had anyway? He will not certainly not deviate from the script that his writers have prepared for him. Just a normal day at the office with people walking by him. Right.

    He always tries to spin the actions of his company as somehow in society’s best interests.

    He is talking about basically developing a new operating system, where all the apps are his apps and we do all the work in his ecosystem. Where he can track our every move, who we communicate with, and what we say. Who knows what he wants to do with all that data. He is already rich enough, The only thing left for him is to be Architect of the Matrix.

    A new utopia, where we are all happy and content, and we live out our lives in our tidy little compartments, fully plugged in, and no one rocks the boat, and everyone is drawing pictures using crayons.

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I am going to take a pass. I don’t want to be plugged in to Marky Mark’s Meta-Matrix.

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