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Meta What?

(If You’d rather listen to this Blog simply scroll to the end of this written version and click on the link at the bottom)

It seems as if a person can’t go a day without being reminded that the METAverse is just around the corner and going to change everyone’s life for the better. As much as it’s thrown around with gleeful abandon by the proselytizers of such a magical kingdom you’d think the average Jack and Jill would have a better grasp on just what exactly the Metaverse is.

As far as I can tell the Metaverse is a hypothetical reworking of the internet. In this case the singularity of a universal world made up of headsets and avatars dwells in a 3D virtual reality of pretend and make believe. Okay, my bias may be showing just a bit so let me put this another way. According to the folks at a website called Morning Consult whose mission it evidently is, is to anticipate the future through artificial intelligence and therefore give corporations a competitive advantage, there are companies set to spend billions of dollars on the Metaverse in order to target “Younger generations and Black and Hispanic adults” who according to this site are among the most likely to respond to the Metaverse. Why? Evidently due to the corporate opinion that they are more interested in live concerts than live sports and shopping. Wait...what? Since when have younger generations ever been less interested in shopping for the newest, trendiest bauble and brand? Especially when thrust before their eyes every few seconds as is the case on social media these days? Do I detect a bit of disingenuity here?

One thing that has become evident is that the public at large is leery of corporations promising to catalog, categorize, aggregate, then manipulate and share their personal and private information. Whether for fun or profit it’s bumping up against the public’s wishes, and thankfully as well, their better judgment. This expressed concern doesn’t appear to matter or be slowing the forward momentum of those who’ve summoned the Metaverse Genie from its bottle. All indications are that the genie, on being loosed into the real world, isn’t going to tolerate being shoved back into a bottle or put on on display like an elf on a shelf. It is hell bent of expanding as fast as the big bang and creating a new universe of promise. At least for a select few.

So where does that leave those of us who are reluctant to be drawn into a virtual world where we can be anything we wish to be, with anyone we want to be with and where ever we choose? To put it plainly it leaves us in the real world with our real lives, problems, concerns and creative ability to solve what ever comes our way, not with games, but physical solutions that aren’t made up in some play acting universe.

Wishing things were different isn’t a solution. Taking action through personal assessment, education, hard work, and critical thinking is what is called for, unless, of course, you’d rather spend your life playing house instead of actually working towards owning one. It’s is interesting to note that according to the statistics on this website 36% of all adults have heard of and are interested in the metaverse with almost twice as many men being interested than women. I can only guess why. Perhaps my playing house metaphor should be modified to spending one’s life playing doctor instead of actually becoming one.

I’ve been around awhile and watched, not always passively as I’m sure you’ve gathered if you’ve read much of what I share, as the country in which I live has changed from one with strong ethical ideals and a foundation of individual freedom and opportunity into something akin to a smorgasbord for political and corporate special interests. Over the past half century or so I’ve observed as we the people have become a veritable feast for those who perceive their power as being total and not simply one that dwells in whatever their specific product or service niche happens to be. It’s said that the greatest number of jobs dwell in the service industry. I’d have to say that it appears that we the people are the ones having been providing an immense service to a small group of privileged others who have been providing us with a rigged system of disservice.

Let me state for the record that I firmly believe this has nothing to do with perceived differences in political preference or the unique differences each of us brings to the real world at our birth and cannot change. There’s currently a big surge to convince us otherwise on many issues. I also believe that much of what we are experiencing is meant to confuse us, the every day Jack and Jill of the general public, as forces behind the scene work diligently to reinvent the power structures that control and determine the outcome of virtually everything in their favor. And when I use virtual I mean it to include the emerging Metaverse as well.

Not one to leave without providing a positive thought for critical contemplation, virtually or otherwise, here’s something you may wish to consider as you think of the Metaverse and the potential it has to augment your reality into or out of existence. Can a virtual walk in the woods wearing gloves, earphones and a set of goggles give you the sensory elation felt within your body that an actual walk in the woods does? Will it be real enough to make a satisfying physical, mental, social and, dare I say, spiritually meaningful impact on you? Can it replace a walk enjoyed with a friend or family member, with their physical presence and emotional warmth as another real human being? Regardless of what you may believe to be real, whether through watching a movie, reading a book, by face time, a phone call, immersed in a metaverse, or simply day dreaming, it is not the same thing. It can’t provide you with the pure satisfaction and physical reward received when actually engaged in a specific and genuine physical action. It may give you a perception of reality but it still isn’t real.

Thinking back to the definition of metaverse, let’s consider what the word “meta”means. According to Grammarly meta comes from ancient Greek and meant “beyond”, “after” or “behind”. Nowadays it’s more often used as a term to describe being self-reflective or self-referencing. In other words it’s about you. If we were to use it this way in a sentence it would be “me about me”. It’s all about me. I find this disturbing as it leaves nothing but virtual room for anyone else in my metaverse. Or, is that “Me-taverse”?

As an adjective meta is said to describe showing awareness or reference to oneself, especially in an ironic or comic way. With this in mind perhaps the powers that be, who are pushing all of us so diligently into accepting this idea of dwelling in an alternate reality, have created the perfect metaphor for their interests. What if, in a somewhat veiled way, what they’re openly saying is that, ultimately, the joke is on us. While promising to transport us “beyond” mere reality, what they’re really “after” is our “behinds”, leaving us to be the butt of their technologically enhanced elaborate hoax and humor in the form of a new world order.

I encourage you to reach out and engage with me here at The Davis Arts Legacy because I don’t do this for myself but for you. This Blog is part of the legacy that I’m building for the purpose, and in hope, that it will help you build your own. Your engagement helps me understand how to help you better and this is why I look forward to hearing from you!

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