The state of play in the scramble for digital order.
The Metaverse is Coming
The World Economic Forum hopes to dominate our new reality.
The “metaverse”—a universal and immersive virtual world that will be enhanced by the use of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets—is fast approaching. It promises to revolutionize how we socialize and how we work. In other words, it promises to revolutionize life as we know it as soon as the next decade. Contrary to popular belief, the metaverse won’t just present us with a new form of virtual reality; it will present us with a new form of reality, period, full of known and unknown threats.
Who will govern this mysterious place? The World Economic Forum (WEF), the globalist post-borders think tank, would like to bid on the honor. According to the author Didi Rankovic, the WEF desperately wants to control the metaverse. The metaverse is in its infancy, hence the WEF’s desire to act now and control the rules of engagement. As Rankovic notes, through its “multistakeholder initiative,” the WEF wants “to assume a leadership role” in both “defining and building the metaverse.”
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has become the face of the metaverse. Last year alone, it spent $10 billion on the metaverse. It expects to spend many more billions in the future. Meta is a troubling company with a troubling history; even more troublingly, it’s a close ally of the WEF. Meta, it seems, will build the metaverse; the WEF will govern.
Yuval Noah Harari, one of the WEF’s most prominent agenda contributors, once said that the “biggest question” involved “all these useless people.” More specifically, what to do with the surplus billions of talking meatsuits who neither code well nor provide anything of value to those who do. These worthless people, he suggested, must be occupied. “My best guess,” Harari muses, “is a combination of drugs and computer games.”
The metaverse is drugs and computer games rolled into one. A person could conceivably spend most of his life in the highly addictive virtual unknown. This fact, one imagines, is not lost on Harari, who has a deep interest in the possibilities and philosophical implications of merging humans with technology.
In many ways, this is exactly what the metaverse will do; it will blend physical reality with virtual reality, blurring the line between us and computer-generated simulations. The internet of today is addictive, but the metaverse will be all-consuming, replete with virtual headsets and haptic devices that simulate touch and pressure. The need for human contact will be obviated by technological replication. Greater immersion will necessarily mean greater scrutiny. Make no mistake about it, the metaverse will be the ultimate surveillance tool. Everything, from your heart rate to your blink rate, will be monitored.
Contrary to popular belief, the metaverse is not a fad. By 2030, 5 billion people will live there, wherever “there” may be. And by live I really mean live. Right now, metaverse real estate investors are having a field day, selling virtual plots of land for millions of dollars. Last year, metaverse real estate prices rose by 700 percent.
This is why the elites in Davos are so keen on regulating and governing the metaverse. ln a recent post on the WEF’s website, authors put forward a vision of “an ethical, inclusive, economically viable metaverse.” As the aforementioned Rankovic noted, the WEF “appears to want to get involved in the creation, and through governance and regulation, ultimately, control of the metaverse in the early stages of its development.”
Why wouldn’t it? After all, the metaverse will fundamentally change human behavior. Internet addiction is already a huge problem now. In the U.S., for example, 8.2 percent of the country’s population is addicted to the net. Will addiction become more or less of a problem when the metaverse, a completely immersive environment, arrives? This Brave New World will offer billions of average citizens the chance to escape the “mundanity” of the real world — a permanent escape, perhaps.
However, those looking to escape should ask themselves if the supposed cure is worse than disease. If the WEF ends up ruling the metaverse, it may end becoming a new type of prison, a digital panopticon where all users are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Digital authoritarianism is a real problem, and it’s a problem that will become only more serious once the metaverse arrives, just a few years from now.
So what can be done? The knowledge we have now, the ability to see the WEF act in real time, gives us time to prepare. To some readers, I’m sure, this all sounds a little hyperbolic, much ado about virtually nothing. This is the metaverse we are talking about, not World War Three. However, the metaverse will revolutionize our lives; the ones best equipped to navigate the virtual terrain of tomorrow are the ones willing to do the research today. To prepare yourself for the realities of the metaverse, don’t roll your eyes and label it a fad. Familiarize yourself with the new technologies that will shape our lives. Strategies of resistance and accommodation must be prepared well ahead of time.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.