In moves that are a surprise to no-one, the 2022 Davos meeting of Dr. Evil wannabes has produced fresh plans to dominate the budding Metaverse - the mostly vaporware merging of VR/AR, internet, blockchain & other forms of technology which is currently being designed, scaled and promoted globally. Facebook/Meta and national governments are hot under the collar at the prospect of being able to 'govern' everyone's interactions in new digital universes... Alriigthy Then!
Nick Clegg, 'President of Global Affairs' at Meta/Facebook has been busily promoting The World Economic Forum (WEF) and it's bid orchestrate the ruling of the Metaverse. The WEF has a variety of public posts that show they are very interested by Web 3.0, decentralized social media and in particular just who is going to 'govern' it all!
It seems they just can't keep themselves from trying to control everyone, everywhere.. Especially in Imaginationland!.. and just like we have seen over and over again, they completely overlook the mindset and intentions of the early developers of the systems they now call their own - intentions which typically grew out of frustrations with large corporations and that sought genuine empowerment for each individual.
Nick Clegg was 'leader' of a de-funked UK political party, but has now 'risen' to even header heights as 'President of Global Affairs' for 'Meta', the parent entity of Facebook.
His involvement here is not really so important, except that his tweets show that he is not only aware of the intentions of Klaus Schwab's WEF when it comes to the imagined evolution of computing in the form of 'The Metaverse', but he is actively encouraging them to try to initialize 'governing' of it!
The moves being made by the WEF and Meta make clear that there is a deliberate attempt being made to over-ride the waves being made by Web 3.0 projects that aim to decentralize not only the internet, but the entire world.
Of course, large corporations and their related groups such as the WEF have absolutely no interest in decentralizing the world, since that implies that they lose some of their power. Instead, just like the evil corporations in the movie 'Ready Player One', they attempt to blur in with everyday web users and seem 'cool', yet at the same time are mostly only interested in trying to control and profit from as many people as possible. These organizations have a long history of predatory behavior (hidden behind 'acceptable' talking heads and PR guys), so detecting it in their latest moves is easy for those with eyes to see!
So what is the Metaverse according to Klaus 'Eat Zee Bugs' Schwab at the WEF, how do they intend to govern it and why?
According to a news release on the WEF website, dated 25th May 2022 - entitled New Initiative to Build An Equitable, Interoperable and Safe Metaverse :
The World Economic Forum announced today a new initiative, Defining and Building the Metaverse. The initiative brings together key stakeholders to build an economically viable, interoperable, safe and inclusive metaverse.
The Managing Director of the WEF, Jeremy Jurgens (Ex Microsoft and Japanese Government) said:
"The Defining and Building the Metaverse initiative provides the industry with an essential toolkit for ethically and responsibly building the metaverse. This will help ensure that we can fully harness this vital medium for social and economic interconnectivity in an inclusive, ethical and transformative manner,"
Numerous other quotes appear in the news release from heads of large tech corporations (including Sony, Lego, Walmart & Microsoft) extolling the virtues of the Metaverse idea and carefully making clear that the Metaverse must be 'for the people' and not dominated by corporations. Obviously, their words will be very highly engineered and carefully chosen to give just the right impression to the public so their potential customers aren't frightened away.
The overview in the press release sounds fluffy and reasonable enough, if we are going to have lots of mega corporations creating virtual worlds for people to live their lives in, surely it makes sense that the whole thing has rules and is governed, right? What could go wrong?
Part of the WEF discussion on Metaverse topics is visible in the following video, released for public consumption:
One of the main threads in the conversation is the creation of a unified set of norms and rules that can unite people internationally when they use a digital Metaverse construct/environment. While this all sounds quite logical, we need to consider the wider implications of what is being planned here.
The main concern many people have with the actions of the WEF and related groups, is that they seem to be very deliberately trying to control and shape the entire planet through what could amount to a form of 'one world government'. When we hypothesize that the WEF seeks a one-world government, allowing them to literally control the world (in some senses), we can see why they might be so excited by Metaverse ideas. Having large numbers of people experiencing simulated worlds, enables centralized groups to implant thoughts and behaviors globally, with ease.
One of the articles linked on the WEF website calls for a 911 for the Metaverse, suggesting that there will be a centralized force that deals with 'virtual assaults'! Yes, really.. They want to have Metaverse cops that limit freedom of expression in a virtual world where you are essentially just as safe as you are playing a video game!
"Gone are the days of conquering with an army in order to normalize the unruly heathens of the world and have them all thinking in lockstep with your own models of acceptable thoughts! Now we just get them all hooked up to a digital system and gradually lead them into managed experiences that result in them reaching the conclusions we want them to reach!"
"Sure, there will be rebels with their blockchain based, decentralized anarchies, but they will be no match for our big brand name support and big budget hardware integrations!"
One of the most powerful factors involved in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is the ability to teach the world to think differently about their own economic power and how they relate to other people. This was seen in the way that Steem became the fastest growing technology in South Korea early on, opening the minds of many people to entrepreneurial spirit, whereas they had previously only really known lives of working for giant corporations such as Samsung. Note: It is likely that Justin Sun's collaboration with Samsung had something to do with his hostile takeover and controlling/censorship of Steem - they tend to not like their profitability potential put at risk by 'free thinking'.
Decentralization holds the promise of enlightening us through direct experience as to how our wider society COULD be - with a far more fair and equitable balance of power among people. The WEF vision of things, dominated by 'enterprise' seems very much to seek to skip over all of that and simply reinvent their own power dynamic in digital spaces that allow them to continue their mission of 'full spectrum economic dominance'.
'Toxic' Web 3.0 DAO Governance..? DAOs are baaaad, M'kay
In an article titled Who will govern the metaverse?, the WEF agents discuss the use of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) to handle governance of communities and projects. However, rather than exploring the many major benefits of DAOs, they instead shift very quickly towards criticizing DAOs and also highlight that they have no intention of drawing the reader's attention to projects such as Hive or it's predecessor Steem:
distributed governance does not provide an obvious recourse apparatus for when governance challenges get out of hand. If a virtual environment run by a DAO becomes toxic, who is responsible? Proponents would argue that a “healthy and successful” decentralized application is one that produces more usage, so rule changes are only likely to be approved if they serve the interests of the community using it. Since a toxic environment would turn off participants, moderation happens naturally without enforcement – though the principle has yet to be tested.
In reality, the principle absolutely has been tested on Hive and other offshoots of the Steem sourcecode. The capacity to fork communities and their tokens/code is sufficient to empower groups to self govern and minimize toxicity, although we are still only at an early stage of what is to come.
Just as with successful examples of anarchy throughout the ages, the forces of centralization claim they aren't really successful. Historically, successful anarchic communes got physically attacked by empire builders and rather than highlight this, the storytellers claim that anarchy is simply a bad idea that can't work. In the new world of Web 3.0 we have almost perfect defenses against empire builders and so all that is left for them is to try to pretend that successful Web 3.0 anarchies don't even exist!
Note: This is why you personally need to help promote Hive or similar projects to other people, because it isn't going to happen through controlled corporate media outlets.
A Doorway Is opening
So it seems we are going to have to make decisions as we continue to grow our use of technology for social purposes that protect the spirit of decentralization and autonomy. Will the power of anarcho-decentralization simply prove too powerful for the big corporate entities to compete with? Or have they already amassed too much power in the minds of humanity to be able to be stopped in their mission for global control?
While Hive is a great example of an alternative approach to that being offered by Meta and other Silicon Valley corporations, it is also hugely weakened by a lack of reach into the wider world. Most people know zero about Hive because there is no real marketing and no real way to reach them. The mainstream systems consistently and deliberately avoid talking about Hive because it is an evolutionary model that can topple everything they are trying to create.
So if we want to walk through a doorway that truly offers more personal empowerment/freedom and creativity, without a big brother presence constantly checking everything we say (just as already occurs on Facebook and Twitter), we are going to have to not only build it ourselves and put the work in, but we are going to need to monitor the activities and plans of these WEF related entities too. They are going to continually do whatever they can to take what is organically created for/by 'the people' and try to repackage it in ways that serve their bosses at the expense of everyone else.
Do you want the tech equivalent of fast food that kills you? Or do you want the equivalent of personally tailored nutrition from high quality and real/honest sources? As always, the choice is our own.. for now!
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