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Algorithms define our lives, the Metaverse is already our home and Dark Patterns follow us everywhere

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What is the metaverse?

I can’t link to a particular article explaining it because most of what’s out there is misleading. The truth is that nobody knows. The term comes from various science fiction sources, the most recent and least accurate is from “Ready Player One”.

The general idea of that book & film example is a future scenario where many, particularly the young, spend endless hours logged into a shared virtual reality game-like scenario where they can create a unique identity, via 3D avatars, and can interact in a realistic, yet magical, virtual reality environment.

There are many individuals and companies, such as Facebook that are advocating a link from the current online “world” to this type of “enhanced” 3D interactive “metaverse”. They even use the term and try to define its meaning based on their “vision” for the future of social media and the internet.

Zuckerberg monopolizing the Metaverse before it even exists?

The problem is, they are almost certainly wrong in this future prediction. The metaverse is already here, albeit in a very primitive form, where it will lead and what it will eventually turn into is completely open and up to all who inhabit it now and going forward.

The problem is, they are almost certainly wrong in this future prediction. The metaverse is already here, albeit in a very primitive form; where it will lead and what it will eventually become is completely open, and up to all who inhabit it now and going forward.

Elon Musk once said “We are all already Cyborgs” referring to the way cell phones (and for Tesla owners the onboard computer in their cars) extend our senses in a nearly continuous manner. We really can’t live the digital life most of us currently lead without our technological enhancements via hand-held (for now) computing.

Since this progression from the primitive early internet and web to the current, still primitive, phase of work-from-home and zoom business and education the is a continuous extension of our “world” into an artificial computer-aided meta-universe that is slowly becoming more responsive to our unspoken needs and wants.

“our electric global networks now begin to simulate the condition of our central nervous system. But a con-scious computer would still be one that was an extension of our consciousness, as a telescope is an extension of our eyes, or as a ventriloquist’s dummy is an extension of the ventriloquist.

Marshall Mcluhan, from “Understanding Media, pg. 388

What are “Dark Patterns”

Another recently coined term, dark patterns, has come to mean the ways that software designers use user interfaces to influence behavior and elicit a desired outcome, such as clicking a “buy button”.

Another way to imagine it is the digital equivalent to the grocery store designs that put necessities and staples like milk & eggs as far away as possible from the entrance, to try and entice impulse buying, while filling the check-out aisles with candy and other low cost / high margin goodies.

“We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror”

Marshall Mcluhan

The disconnect in this analogy is that people intuitively believe that the digital dark patters are less powerful and have less impact since they operate in cyberspace, while in fact is that the ability to manipulate behavior is much, much more powerful in the digital realm.

The “Dead Internet Conspiracy Theory” is just reality bumping into the truth

A recent article in the Atlantic noted the existence of the theory, and concluded that, though it had a ring of truth, ultimately the fact that this theory, on an obscure web page was possible to find, meant that the internet is not dead, and therefore the theory is invalid.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The rise of Dark Patterns, even as the devices we use and the sites we surf to and exist inside of (like Facebook) are evolving, and the endless self-inflating systems and algorithms that surround us are literally killing the internet and destroying our digital lives.

Infanticide would be a more accurate term, perhaps, since we are all baby cyborgs of the pre-metaverse and have barely had a chance to live, while these powers expand endlessly into a death-machine for our extended consciousness.

Infanticide would be a more accurate term, perhaps, since we are all baby cyborgs of the pre-metaverse and have barely had a chance to live, while these powers expand endlessly into a death-machine for our extended consciousness.

The internet is currently on life-support, because the one thing that it is innately predisposed toward, the enhancement and amplification of human interconnected communication, is at odds with the corporate goals of the gatekeepers, mainly Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Free and open communication, coupled with ever evolving and improving upgrades to the software of our lives, is nearly extinct, before it has even begun, due to this infinite conflict of interest.

Algorithms define our lives, the Metaverse is already our home and Dark Patterns follow us everywhere

The above, a dramatically described and yet painfully obvious truth, is what has even the US government, in the form of the FTC and its chair, Lina Khan, looking at antitrust remedies for the economic devastation that has been caused by the dead internet paradox.

And it has inspired legions of blockchain and coding resistance fighters to start the long process of finding a way to launch WW3, and other independent ways to connect humans using computers that are in are pockets, in our living rooms, and perhaps soon, implanted in our bodies.

Another example is Pi, a new and upcoming cryptocurrency, based on a future where a billion people will be mining and sharing the proceeds equitably using cell phones, and since they will all be connected via the mining software, the realization of this goal would automatically create, for a billion people worldwide, an alternative network, one without gatekeepers to block people from freely interacting with each other.

Oddly, it is the dim realization that the internet is, in fact, already dead in its current form, that will lead to the changes that will ultimately bring about a digital communication revolution, one that will make WWW1 look like a mistake from a primitive and misguided time.

Oddly, it is the dim realization that the internet is, in fact, already dead in its current form, that will lead to the changes that will bring about a digital communication revolution, one that will make WWW1 look like a mistake from a primitive and misguided time.

Anything, and anyone, that can wake us up to what we lack, and what we are missing, in our digital worlds and our lives – in the pre-metaverse – is a hero of the future and must be praised as such. Starting now.


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