What’s Worth Knowing About the Metaverse

We do political news not tech news. So I don’t want to do too many posts about Facebook and its travails. But as we’ve seen in the first decades of this century the tech behemoths, by their scale, economic heft and integration into our lives are very much part of our politics. So I wanted to share a few thoughts on Facebook’s pivot to the “metaverse” and rebranding as “meta”.

What on earth is the “metaverse”? Basically it’s just virtual reality, VR. Take a bunch of the things you now do in your daily life – talk to friends, play a game, watch a movie, have a work meeting – and you’ll do them in a VR headset in a digital ecosystem controlled by Facebook. Sounds great, right? Honestly, it’s hard for me to imagine anything more dystopian since the defining feature of Facebook is its indifference to “externalities”, the downside impacts of what it is and what it does.