Victor Wynne

Actually the metaverse has always been a thing

Ed Zitron:

Harry McCracken, a technology editor at FastCompany, made the most hackneyed defense of the metaverse yet - the suggestion that the rejection (was there a rejection?) of mobile phones in 1994 and the success of the iPhone about some 13 years later is some proof point for the metaverse.

The problem with this logic - as common as it is - is that it conflates “Steve Jobs took big swings with the iPad and iPhone” with “sometimes we just have to trust CEOs that are spending billions of dollars on nothing.” Jobs was not pushing something that didn’t exist; he was simply taking a form factor of something we had on us a lot - our phone and our MP3 player or walkman - and combining it into a more consumer-friendly format. The user experience on the iPhone was innovative and, specifically, a breath of fresh air in a cellphone industry that felt several leagues behind personal computing.

What Jobs was not selling us was a new and foreign concept. We might have had to relearn how we did certain things, but we were not learning new things to do - we were making phone calls, listening to music, and browsing the web. These were all things we did before, done on a new device, in a new way, pitched to us by a charming sociopath. The “new” thing was the idea of a persistent, portable internet connection that was remotely affordable for consumers. While Jobs challenged us to think differently, he didn’t have to spend multiple interviews explaining what the hell an iPhone did.

Another thing Jobs didn’t do was massively misrepresent what a product could do or promise impossible things.

The only portion of the quoted text that is remotely true is the last sentence. Mark Zuckerberg is a liar, absolutely. I agree with the thesis of the article that everything about the man is lies, but the idea that the metaverse isn’t a real thing is totally idiotic. People have been hanging out online in virtual spaces and communities for a very long time. Zuckerberg sees the giant ship that is Facebook slowly sinking and wants desperately to be the iPhone of those online communities. The idea is neither new nor a foreign concept.