Facebook and it's Metaverse

Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe there is some level of 11th-dimensional chess where this makes perfect sense. But when I see headline like this, I can't help but think that Facebook is being run by evil morons.

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Oh, good. The Metaverse doesn't HAVE TO BE a dystopian nightmare.
It IS a dystopian nightmare, but it doesn't HAVE to be.
I guess someone could always change their mind.

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The first thing to understand is that Zuckerberg didn't invent the term Metaverse. He stole it from Neal Stephenson, who wrote his novel "Snow Crash" back in the early 90's.

People like Zuckerberg, who thrill at the thought of a metaverse as described in such works of science fiction as Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, are missing the point of those books, Hanke noted.

“I’m a fan of the metaverse as a work of fiction,” he said. “But if you read all the way to the end—I’m not sure everyone who’s been talking about it has read to the end—you know the world in those books is this horrible place.”
...
Instead of offering this “soda straw,” Hanke hopes technology will make lives easier, better for real-world human interactions, and more fun—and not be a digital replacement for a sad reality.

“Let’s pause a moment here and ask the question: Is that the future we want to build?” Hanke asked.

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The scary thing is that maybe Zuckerberg actually did sit down and think deeply about that question and decided "Hell yeh! Fuck the future generations."

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A facility of computers in the desert runs the metaverse, and the novel’s characters hang out inside the simulation because their real lives are boring or difficult. No such entity exists today, of course, just as no real product even approximates the rough idea—drawn from Stephenson or William Gibson or Philip K. Dick—of having people jack into a virtual, parallel reality with goggles or brain implants. Ironically, these writers clearly meant to warn us off those dreams, rather than inspire them.
...
It’s absurd but telling that the inspiration for the metaverse was meant as satire. Just as OZY Media misinterprets Shelley, so Zuck and crew misconstrue metaverse fiction. In Snow Crash, as in other cyberpunk stories (including the 1995 Kathryn Bigelow film Strange Days), the metaverse comes across as intrinsically dangerous. The book’s title refers to a digital drug for denizens of the metaverse, with harmful neurological effects that extend outside it.

On the lighter side, the main character of the book has the best character name evah - Hiro Protagonist.

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zed2's picture

My friend Marc actually was working for a long time on the first virtual reality shared network space.

He patented the idea.
I thnik it was the original Metaverse. It was called "Meme" it hasnt died, its still under development, he released it as open source. This was one of the first networked VR applications. It worked and was the predecessor of all the more recent projectsincludingMark Pesche's VRML.

. I used to know most of the VR and Internet community. It was very small. marc was a shining star. But he was very lonely and like many tech geniuses he was awkward socially. I tried to hook him up with ladies I knew. My friend Dianne want out with him a couple of times. I got the impression that with women he was just very shy. He needed to open up. He was written up in a book that was written by an ad industry friend .. about the changes that were going on at that time. the section about him tied the book together.

Tragically he ended his own life. He was really a great person. A real computer genius, he was one of the people who made me interested in Unix, which has been a huge source of knowledge and fun for me.. Its what made the Internet of tioday happen. Because its such a valuable tool.

I remember his showing me how to use his virtual OS (which ran on a very old version of windows, what was current at the time) in his dark apartment at the top of 24th street in SF. He was plugged in to all sorts of packet radio (ham radio) nets. At that time much of the Internet ran on Sun machines. He had several Sun Unix workstations in his apartment. This was back when the Web was still in its infancy. His web site then was immersive.com and the Meme (now metatopia) project source code (its very old) is at http://metatopia.sourceforge.net/download/memedist.zip

The GAFA four corporations despite how much they blow their own horns, are not the thing that changed the world. What was the big advance was a shared effort, and a gift to the world. Free and open source software.. and the GPL.
Ask any knowledgeable computer person who is not owned by them.

Foss is what opened the door to rapid advancement.

Everything they have accomplished has been because of FOSS free and open source software.. Software that is a gift to everybody, free.

They have not invented any new technology. Essentially they have stolen it and tried to call it their own. And the delusional services they are hyping are simply a way of tarting up and imprisoning like AOL used to try to convince the stupid and naiive that they were the Internet period. Their walled garden.. was just a kind of limited space. It was not the Internet.

They gave away all those DVDs, now they are all in landfills.. they will be there 1000 years from now.. Think about THAT. imagine if they had put a global encyclopedia on every one of them. They should have. They dont have a clue, these corporations. The people who run these companies now mostly lack any real vision or creativity. They are the antithesis of creativity. Electrons don't cost them anything. Nor does bandwidth. Its just dark fiber. You cant eat electrons. Or politics.

So its another hyped up scam. Like politicians. They aren't what they claim to be. They cant provide public services any more. Its forbidden by the WTO rules.

Facebook's business model is collecting information about people and soon, digital payments, in a cashless world. And taking a cut. A big cut, Look up the Digital Poorhouse. Thats the goal of thee companmies. Making everything cashless, to enslave people. Its a dirty trick because the banks want total control. And the power that comes with stealing soimuch knowledge and money. They want a cut of every payment. GATS tries to trap every country. Its the worst possible choice of global deal. Its a poison to end democracy.

A cut of it all.
Politicians are playing a deceptive game.

They traded away, in other words, sold off any power. Now they just want us to vote for them but they cant deliver anything in return. They are just trying to con us.

most people are unfamiliar with the new technologies. They are unlikely to be up to the challenge of creating viable economic activities. But so called tech companies are not all alike. Some are constructive some are predatory.

There really is no substitute for learning technology and demystifiing it. Its not rocket science. It can be learned.

We should not outsource all our tech jobs just to get cheap labor.

We have to stop the race to privatize everything. This country is frankly being looted and stripped of all value.

We're disinvesting in our people. We should stop listening to any crook that parrots the neoliberal dogma in desperation. They know the neoliberal dogma is lacking, but they refuse to face the facts because they have so much invested in their con game. Trying to con the entire world with their empty promises.

Don't fall for it. Wedding our country to their brain smothering greed sstem is the worst thing we can do. Its a scam tthey are pushing. Its not legitimate because its not compatible with democracy in any way. The two are incompatible with one another.

Remember the sign? WTO one way, Democracy the other?

That is true. See the CCPA's many reports on these bad trade deals.. This is quality info on the GATS and TISA traps by Canadas best progressive NGO.

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports?

Dont fall for our would be saviors and their anti democracy deals from hell.. They are a giant con game. Really.

Instead they are seeking to enrich new friends whose goal is taking away the innovation that made us strong. Stealing it.The oligarchs in for example, India are not good people. They see America's middle class as a threat to their wealth and way of life. They dont want poor people wanting better. They want to push them back into what amounts to slavery.

The wealthy in the poorest countries entire way of life is based on exploiting poor people shamelessly. They feel that should the U continue and prosper their cheap workers would want more. So they are focused on undermining tht middle class, and GATS destroys public education.

The WTO wants to create a new form of modern day slavery, outsourcing all our public jobs. Thats the plan. Thats whats being promoted by the powerful "think tanks".

They see US workers as a waste, they say we are too expensive..

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zed2's picture

all government services, like streets will be privatized by design. People wont have the money to live a real life, virtual will be all they can afford. Maybe their head will e hosted in a sort of body colo facility. Birth Body tossed away. Then you will be totally dependent on a hosting corporation. Your life will be entirely virtual.

Thats their dream as they will be able to steal and pollute to their hearts content. People will be totally dependent on the corporations they pay to manage their brain's physical and their social life's virtual environment.

Virtual realty? Sounds depressing. Like virtual sex. It will be for the poor and shut in, literally.

Since its inception in 1995, public services in the US have been on Death watch. GATS makes "services" defined very broadly, the jurisdiction of the WTO. A global governance organization where the United States has a single vote out of 164. And the world needs jobs.

The WTO controls trade in services. Its all about comparative advantage. The work supplying countries are able to supply labor for a fraction of what US companies charge to do things like run schools, hospitals, provide labor for various corporations. Many national governments are banking on the future of providing labor to countries like the US that have tax money to spend. They are gearing up to provide labor to the entire world.

India which portrays itself as the back office of the world is picking up a lot of that labor.

They aim to become the Back Office of the World.

WTO is aiming to remake the world, its trade in services propping up the lowest wage countries where the largest profits are to be made. The LDC countries are betting that they will recoup their investment in educating their young people. In a communication in the 1990s India made their case for globalizing trade in services, in contrast to the old way of hiring your own ntionals, after spending lots of money educating them.

WTO hears India. It does this to promote the capitalist system, and facilitate international trade in those services moving those services to the less developed countries where they can be done for the lowest costs..

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS): objectives, coverage and disciplines
Business and professional services [+] Accountancy services. ...
Communication services [+] ...
Construction and related services.
Distribution services.
Educational services.
Energy services.
Environmental services.
Financial services.

Read GATS and Public Service Systems one of the best explanations of the governmental authority exclusion, which is intentioally ambiguous and confusing.

Its used to entrap countries and their former public services in a GATS trap, in order so that they can stop supporting public services, and LDC nations firms can be paid to provide them at the lowest possible cost. in a sort of death of one thousand cuts. Slow slicing, as services are forced to privatize and globalize.

Will the export of former public jobs help economic integration of the Third World and the repayment of the Third World Debt?

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@zed2
Because most of what you just typed is covered in the novel.

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zed2's picture

Its the real world. But it makes no economic sense to invest in the US, because its unprofitable. The changes are intened to prop up the most capitalist poor nations and keep them on our side so they can provide the low cost labor the educated workers, the raw materials. We made a deal with them. They get the jobs, we get the high yield profits.

REad

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Working Group on the Relationship between Trade and Investment
(98-2274)
Original:English
COMMUNICATION FROM INDIA
The following communication, dated 25 May 1998, was received from the Permanent Mission of India with the request that it be
circulated to Members.
GLOBAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MOBILITY OF CAPITAL AND THE
MOBILITY OF LABOUR: SELECTED ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION

1. India would like to make this contribution under the Working Group's Checklist of Issues indent on the relationship between
the mobility of capital and the mobility of labour.

2. Capital and labour are two basic and complementary factors of production in addition to other factors like land and technology.
In any production process, capital is required to provide the resources, finance, equipment, infrastructural support, etc. to help
labour produce goods and services, while labour is required to utilize capital resources and other factors for producing such
goods and services. Hence, capital requires labour as an integral factor of production while labour is seldom capable of
producing without capital.

3. Both the mobility of capital and the mobility of labour are accepted as delivery modes for trade and investment in goods and
services. If capital is mobile and flows across countries and regions, it is a natural corollary that labour must also have
comparable mobility. A liberal integrated approach is necessary to the mobility of labour as part of the free global flows of
capital, goods and services.

4. Both the mobility of capital and labour are two sides of the same coin and yet are being treated as two separate water-tight
compartments. This is essentially because we have not yet appreciated the complementary and critical role of the relationship.
The countries with a relative advantage in capital resources are keen on promoting the mobility of capital vis-à-vis the countries
which are looking for opportunities to export labour services, given their relative advantage in such resources. Although the
basic economics of the mobility of capital and labour call for cooperation amongst countries based on competitive advantage
and relative scarcity of resources, polarization of the issues has led to controversies in international forums. The fact remains
that there is a two-way relationship between capital and labour and any discussion on the mobility of capital remains
incomplete without appropriate investigation into the scope for the mobility of labour.

5. Presently, both the mobility of capital and labour are affected by barriers against their free flow. For understanding the
differential nature of barriers relating to the mobility of capital and labour, take as an example the GATS Schedules. While
doing this one must keep in mind that in the GATS, Mode Four, namely, movement on natural persons, was treated as the
balancing factor, from the point of view of manpower surplus but capital deficit countries, for Mode Three, namely, commercial
presence. Compared to the larger issue of mobility of capital and mobility of labour, what we are dealing with in the GATS is
limited mobility of capital and limited mobility of skilled manpower. However, the GATS enables us to have a comparison of the
differential nature of barriers relating to the mobility of capital and labour. Some of the limitations listed in the different
schedules of commitments under the GATS on market access and national treatment are worth looking at by the Working
Group, for the purpose of understanding the nature and scope of such limitations.

6. As regards the intensity of barriers, the weaker partner is, obviously, labour, which has not received adequate coverage under
the Uruguay Round. The deal has been mostly done in a manner by "keeping out" mobility of all categories of labour except
higher category of personnel and business visitors. For instance, the framework of the GATS does not encourage mobility of
labour as a mode of delivery for exporting services. For the sake of clarity, we would like to once again emphasize that the free
mobility of labour in the context of free mobility of investment is not in any way relatable or comparable to Mode Four.

7. Not ensuring the mobility of labour as a complementary and critical factor to the mobility of capital can have far-reaching
consequences on production frontiers, scales and scope of production and associated costs. If the mobility of capital is
encouraged without the mobility of labour, then it is not difficult to visualize several consequences. Production frontiers of
global firms would get affected by severe crunch of labour and achievable scale and scope economies would get constrained
by labour shortage. As a result the global firms may be forced to adopt one of the following alternatives:
- work with lower supply of labour or inferior quality of labour with lowered scales of production;
- forego economies of scope thus foregoing the benefits of combining two or multiple production
processes;
- look for technology to displace labour as much as it is possible;- employ illegal migrants;
- spend funds, in the medium to long run, on training of local labour, as a substitute.

8. Such choices, forced on global firms, are not always easy, nor cheap, and often risky as well. Such steps would adversely
affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the capital employed by the firms, slow down global trade and investment and also
reflect on the futility of WTO's role as a facilitator for bringing a package deal for augmenting global trade and investment.

9. At present, mostly higher level professionals are allowed under the GATS for rendering services abroad. Whereas, in reality,
there is a huge shortage of different categories of labour (including professional, managerial and administrative work force) in
the global workplace for which one basic reason lies in the difficulties regarding mobility of labour. This implies that without
guarantees for reasonable mobility of labour, either the mobility of capital faces constraints of different categories of labour
flows or manages to attract labour through informal or illegal channels resulting in loss of predictability and stability from the
perspective of labour exporting countries.

10. With informal movement of labour (including illegal movement of labour) coming to the rescue of capital flows to a country,
international business gets deprived of any guarantee for appropriate movement of labour. Such business also runs the risk of
facing major labour constraints with sudden changes in the policy of the country concerned.

11. Cost-wise, guarantees for mobility of labour is a cheaper option. In many countries ready-made answers to labour shortage
seldom exist.

12. The following are some of our suggestions for the consideration of the Working Group:

1. it is important for the Working Group on the Relationship between Trade and Investment to hold discussions to
explore the nature and extent of issues in labour resources faced by different sectors. The Working Group can
consider ways to overcome the labour crunch and improve productivity of capital by improving the mobility of
labour.

2. Even if the Working Group considers ways for the mobility of capital, there is little or no guarantee that
appropriate labour inputs would become available for utilization of that capital. Hence, the Working Group can
help align grassroots realities and suggest easy mobility of selected categories of labour apart from the higher
categories of personnel for which most Member countries of the WTO have already undertaken commitments
under the GATS. For complementing immediate production purposes, the Working Group can suggest ways
for selected labour to move from surplus regions to deficit regions. The Working Group should be able to
consider degrees of mobility of labour under the aegis of the WTO.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

WILL SOMEONE, ANYONE, PLEASE FINISH THE JOB?!?

The fact that The Atlantic (AKA "FOX News For People Who Look Down On FOX News Viewers For All The Wrong Reasons") is taking the right side of this is just another lap in the 40+-year baton-race from Really Bad to Even Worse.

2stCSux.jpg

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

wendy davis's picture

dear wendyedavis, someone just tried to log into your facebook account on a samsung galaxy etc. phone. if this is not good for you, do this.... (or close to that)

trouble is, i do NOT have an account on Farcebook. Zuckerburger Sucks.

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zed2's picture

read Snow rash book and was really into it. I will have to check it out. Used to read a lot of scifi but now frequently feel that I am living it, so "dont need to."
Right now I am reading "CHurchill's Secret War" "The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II" which is a riveting, eye opening book by Madhusree Mukerjee.

Its very good and kind of shocking.

It fills in the more recent "famine" of 1942. Did you know that the cause of these horrible periods of atastrophic weather is a climactic oscillation which cannot be attributed solelly to "global warming" although iy probably is worsened by it, its been happening for hundreds of years, since before the Industrial revolution. The pre colonial India and China were dealing well with it, contrary to the propaganda of The UK and US. Which is just astonishing.

I realized that when reading a very good essay by Mike Davis that serves as a sort of introduction to his book..

"Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World" is a book by Mike Davis

There is a lot of the book online.. Particularly good is an essay from the Davis book at cornerhouse.org.uk It seems to be one of those books A book which one must read to be literate on the important issues of our time. - There are actually several online reviews which give a good look at the Davis bok.. Corner House in the UK has one of the most important chapters from the book, the science chapter..from the Mike Davis book, which is eye opening.. New York Times has a review of it insight on this particular book is. something I really appreciate.

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