Thank yous, tides and lizards
I want to start off by saying thank you to every metaverse maker. Also gm.
Whether you call yourself an artist, coder, "influencer" (much as I hate the word), or you're blazing trails with your own sick project: you deserve thanks. You'll never know what it means to me that we are finally building the metaverse.
If you told 3rd grade Adrian -- reading Snow Crash learning to hack -- that not only would the metaverse exist, but that after a decade of work he will play a part in shaping it, I would have cried; I imagined it as a fantasy. And now it's true.
But that's a story for another time, and it's best documented by real metaverse historians like Kent Bye and Jin.
I'd rather tell your story.
Story of the tide
The best way I know to show the power of an NFT powered metaverse is to introduce an artist for whom selling an NFT saved their life. Preferably in VR.
I've been blessed to have heard so many of these stories -- stories of being lifted out of poverty by artistic calling, finally belonging in society by living life as an avatar, giving up millions of dollars that might compromise the fight for the right to cryptoanonymity.
This isn't a Cline or Stephenson book, this is real life. Once you know where to look, the NFT metaverse will convince you that a subset of humanity is finally understanding how to evolve into a better species. The tide is rising all of our boats.
But there is another character in this story. Not so much an elephant in the room as a Lizard on the Horizon.
Story of the lizard
By now we've thoroughly seen and memed Mark Zuckerberg's Meta, so we can critically reflect on October 28.
My experience of the announcement was a mix of surreal and ordinary, because through projects like Exokit and M3, I've been saying this would happen for the better part of a decade. Meta is the end game for mass reliance on the supply chain of social media. The final frontier of computing is around the corner, and anyone with a total position of power will subvert it. My only mistake ws thinking the threat was far off, and not hacking fast enough to build out the open alternatives.
So it was threatening to see Facebook finally declare war on reality. I'm sorry for the hyperbole, but it's true. If you believe that VR/AR immersion will eventually supplant reality, Mark went on screen and said he wants to be in charge of all of it. He is the single director of an organization whose existence is founded on the business of:
- Scientifically manipulating your mind and eyeballs to do things you don't want
- Making products that work against the user
- Making products that profile and snitch on you
- Controlling the flow of information with frightening ramifications
- Making the tech sector fall in line with his total governance
- Pimping out the "dumb fucks" who trusted him -- his words
Through apps and app stores, tying everything to a Facebook account, and buying up the competitors, Mark constructed a supply chain designed for total covert domination over humanity, which is clear if you think even a few years ahead.
Part of me blocked out the announcement and saw this instead:
Mark is a genius on a screen announcing a megaweapon of dominion; the world can only watch. But it's an anime caricature, so let's open Adobe and lol!
Except this time it isn't a game. It's time to ask ourselves how we let this happen.
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks
Instant messages sent by Zuckerberg, reported by Business Insider (May 13, 2010)
Who should have the keys to reality? Who inspires the metaverse? Who do you want to follow? Not twitter follow; but "you have shown me the path" follow.
I want to follow the artists.
And I want to contribute to the virtuous cycle that pulls everyone out of this mess and into the superior mess of web3, in the best ways we know how.
I want to live in a world where we create value, enthrall each other with our work, and support each other in the effort of building the metaverse we want to exist.
Story of the fork
And so we find ourselves at a crossroads. Down one path is acceptance, and lizard's blue balls.
Down the other path, there's the most inspiring metaverse makers and chefs, building the realities they want to live, abusing web3 with innovative art hacks in underground Discords. Meeting in virtual worlds that work together, for a pretty cool hallucination of the actual metaverse.
Perhaps you came here to read about the path of Webaverse. But first, I just wanted to say thank you.
Somebody recently shared with me a podcast I did ~2 years ago and most of the things I talked about on it have become chillingly prescient, except there's still one vital decision yet to be made - an open metaverse or a metaverse of walled gardens