Audio-book Review
 By Chet Yarbrough

(Blog: awalkingdelight)

The Metaverse (And How It Will Revolutionize Everything)

By: Matthew Ball

Narrated by: Luis Moreno

Matthew Ball (Author, Managing Partner Epyllion Industries.)

“The Metaverse” is widely talked about but little understood by the public. In Matthew Ball’s densely packed review of todays and tomorrow’s tech future. Listeners will be surprised to find how far the metaverse is from today’s world but how life-changing it will be in the future. The metaverse has not achieved its potential but when fully developed, Ball implies the metaverse will be the most revolutionary societal change since the industrial revolution.

Ball infers metaverse’ virtual and augmented reality are at a “model T” stage of development.

Model T Ford built in October 1908.

For we who are ignorant of the inner workings of coding and computer hardware, Ball implies metaverse’ virtual and augmented reality are at a “model T” stage of development. Having to use a cumbersome headset or computer aided eyeglasses are far from accurately creating or recalling reality. Ball explains, to achieve reality in the metaverse, hardware and software development is many years from success. The computer power and coding requirements, not to mention political regulation, of a metaverse are limited by current human capability and knowledge. However, Ball notes that capability and knowledge are works in progress.

Today’s metaverse is constrained by headset utility and code limitations.

The metaverse is an expansion of the internet. Once a metaverse reaches its full potential, it will create a three-dimensional network that will be different, if not new, reality. It will encompass the world as it was, as it is, and as it will be. Ball’s explanation of the metaverse is optimistic but burdened by an unlikely change in human nature.

The internet, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft seem at the head of the class for today’s metaverse.

Facebook creates social connection. Apple creates hardware with IPhone portability, Amazon creates a marketplace, Google and Microsoft create software. They all capitalize on internet use. They coordinate lesser-known businesses and code creators to chip away at the complexity of creating a virtual 3D world. Because five mega-corporations are at the center of metaverse’ research, they are an indicator of a political danger. Having singular controllers of the metaverse threaten societal independence and choice. Later chapters suggest a key to containing that danger is block chain computing.

Block chain is a list of interconnected records that everyone can see but cannot change. It offers transparency that theoretically allows one to judge its validity. What it does not consider is the oversight of records and how information may be hacked to distort reality or steal value.

The collapse of FTX in 2022/2023 is a prime example of block chain risk.

As coding achieves the goal of three-dimensional creation, the idea of augmented reality becomes real. The simple idea of replicating a 3D piece of clothing requires reams of ones and zeros written by teams of coders. No singular company can hire enough coders to create three dimensional animate and inanimate objects. Ball explains the key to successful metaverse creation is capitalist freedom. Coders are media users, some of which become independent contractors who create ones and zeros that detail characteristics of the world for established internet companies. They are compensated for code that details objects like a shoe with shoelaces, eyelets, a corrugated sole, colors for its various parts and everything that makes a shoe a real thing.

The roadblock to achieving virtual reality is in the laborious task of coding to replicate details of life in three dimensions.

Ball explains gaming is at the front end of today’s metaverse because it is a first step that does not require the massive input needed to create a three-dimensional world.

The irony of this observation is that the best future coders are today’s youth who are captured by the gaming industry. As these young people mature, their coding experience reinforces the future of the metaverse. Ball notes the gaming industry opens the door to a two-dimensional world which infers potential for creating the third dimension, i.e., the world in which we live.

Ball argues a key to create the metaverse is capitalism and its practice in a free society.

The wealth of nations owes its prosperity to the industrial revolution. Ball’s argument for “capitalism in a free society” as the prime mover for the metaverse is weakened by recorded history.

Authoritarian leaders like Joseph Stalin used force to industrialize Russia into the U.S.S.R. Not just capitalism in a free society is a prime mover for the metaverse. Authoritarianism is an equivalent (much harsher) prime mover for the potential of the metaverse.

President Xi in the 21st century appears to be heading in a more Stalinist authoritarian direction.

The metaverse may be the equivalent of the industrial revolution but whether that will be a good or ill omen is as difficult to know as whether A.I. will be an enhancement or threat to society.

Will the metaverse change human nature–doubtful. Money, power, and prestige have ruled the world since the beginning of history.

The metaverse is unlikely to change human nature. What Ball makes clear is the metaverse is here in a two-dimensional, gaming and internet sense. It will only become more powerful as the third dimension is added.

Author: chet8757

Graduate Oregon State University and Northern Illinois University, Former City Manager, Corporate Vice President, General Contractor, Non-Profit Project Manager, occasional free lance writer and photographer for the Las Vegas Review Journal.

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