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Was it Europe, or was it the Metaverse?

That's Montserrat, not the Metaverse

I expected to be inspired to write during my recent European vacation. That didn’t happen. I should be disappointed. My upcoming book, a sequel to The Awakening of Artemis, is a story that warns of a future dominated by the Metaverse and a False Flag war. Europe has a robust history of warfare, some of it inspired by False Flags. On the other hand, Europe is a mélange of monuments to the past, cultural references to heritage, and traditional lifestyles. I can honestly say I spent not one minute of my fourteen days there thinking of the Metaverse.

My photo album is now filled with still images of Montserrat, Provence, and Paris. Each of them will serve as a beautiful reminder of my time there. I didn’t send my avatar. That’s really me in those pictures. And it was great to get out of our nest as we tried to restore some sense of normalcy following the worst impact of the pandemic.

The pandemic has reshaped our lives and lifestyles. Even as we emerge from self-imposed or government-imposed lockdowns, the aftereffects of our pandemic-induced investments are evident if not fully realized. The surge of home buying by Millennials beginning families and seeking more space to work from home (#WFH) may have cooled a bit by rising interest rates. But the demographics of that aging generation haven’t changed. The oldest among them has reached their fifth decade, and their consumption habits will mirror those of generations past. They’ll buy houses and fill them with furniture, and SUVs and fill them with kids.

What’s changed by #WFH is that the location of that bigger house matters less. Don’t like the hassle and expense of working in San Jose? No problem. You can do your job from Peoria.

But all trends have side effects. And Zoom Fatigue is the significant side effect of #WFH. Enter the Metaverse. Despite the cartoonish images we see in the brief videos demonstrating the capabilities of the Metaverse, it offers greater flexibility and an array of tools that will enable more productive planning sessions and collaboration.

Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, there isn’t. But danger lies ahead.

The international rules that govern the Internet were decided by a small, dedicated group that determined how it would be managed before most of us had heard of it. Even with those rules in place, we have been plagued by those who would scam us out of our money, steal our private data, and infect society with pornography.

That's me not my avatar

The Metaverse has evolved from the video game industry. There are no global rules. Each of the major players makes its own rules. Governance, such as it is, comes from the tech giants with massive platforms and a profit motive—primarily Google and Apple. I have no reason to think those who lead those enterprises have nefarious purposes. But, then, neither did Mark Zuckerberg believe that Facebook would one day be the vehicle by which the Russian government sought to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election.

As for me, I’ll stick with real-life experiences for now. That’s really me in front of the Eiffel Tower, not my avatar.

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