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Wednesday, February 17, 2016


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“They’ve got an admirable ability to completely ignore the more dystopian elements you’re talking about and see the cool stuff and positive potential of where it might go.”

Stephenson is wrong there. The VR Techs understand EXACTLY the dystopian dangers written about in their favorite books. And what do they see warnings? NO MONEY is that they see. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY from a captive audience. Palmer Luckey even let the cat out of the bag himself with the initial Oculus interviews right after Facebook gave him big money. Its even in quoted in one of the old articles here. Something about Luckey being able to give us poor hoi polloi a fantasy life we can't afford or aren't smart enough to acquire.

Adeon Writer

"This strikes me as a huge turnaround, because for the longest time, when you asked Stephenson about the metaverse, he'd say things like, "This is actually just about my least favorite interview topic of all time.”

I'd assume because
1.) He probably got asked about it all the time
2.) VR was, for the longest time, at the bottom of the hype cycle. It looked like a false future. Something that was never going to actually happen. Lots of people got jaded, especially they people who wanted it the most.

Many STILL are jaded about VR to this day and think it still won't happen. Do you think you're one of them too?

Wagner James Au

I'm definitely jaded over the hype and the grandiose statements. But I do think VR will happen -- just not on the scale most people in tech predict.

Robert M Geraci

Shameless self promotion! :) I wrote about these lines of influence in my book, _Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life_. For me, it's interesting that such literature ends of people profoundly important for broader culture, even when the literature was (at the time) limited in audience. The practice of having SF writers in house traces back a couple of decades, though, as there were companies doing this in the 90s. I hadn't heard about Stephenson and Magic Leap. Whatever happened to the videogame that he Kickstartered?


I recall an interview where William Gibson said that he'd written Neuromancer as a warning against the power of future media, not as a handbook for designing it.

Glad so see some cautionary Neo-Luddism in NWN: we Neo-Luds don't reject new tech, but we sure do question the implications and tend to be late adopters. I still contend we are worse off because of smart phones, yet better off with the Internet. Yet I use both.

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