Another era of VR hype, ridiculous hair - talking virtual reality at Robert Scoble's house in 2007
Reader "Catten" recently posted a comment on something I've been thinking about for quite awhile:
Wouldn't it be easier putting a big label on top of the page saying "I don't believe in VR" or "I predict VR won't be a big thing", that way every other post wouldn't have to be about how VR will fail and the blog can go back to being why SL will fail, or why Sansar will fail or why... :D I really enjoyed this blog but its become more and more of a letdown. From being about new technologies to bashing on new technologies.
Catten makes a fair point. Believe it or not, I do try to balance my skepticism with genuine enthusiasm for this tech, which I do think is cool and will lead to some worthwhile use cases and a substantial (if relatively niche) userbase. But I know NWN posts can sometimes get unbalanced to the negative side. For what it's worth (and it might not be much), here's why I do approach this with a more skeptical eye:
History repeating itself. It's hard to miss (and hard not to bite my tongue) when, say, I notice that Bitcoin is being promoted with the same language as Linden Dollars once were (but now faces the exact same underlying problem), or that Mark Zuckerberg is making the same broad predictions about virtual reality that Philip Rosedale once did with Second Life. Which take us too a related point:
Need for a counter-narrative. More than anything, my skepticism is super-charged by the comparable lack of skepticism across the media -- both mainstream and in tech outlets, both of which are mostly buying the same hyperbolic claims with little or no analytical rigor.
Actually it's about ethics in metaverse journalism (actually). Thing is, I'm part of that history, and I need to own up to that fact on a regular basis, and recalibrate my past enthusiasm with a tempered realism.
More on all this later, but as with Catten, if you think I'm overcorrecting, please call me out on that.
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