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Thursday, June 09, 2022


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What if we take two ideas that no one wants and just like, merge them together?


"LAMINA1 will be a company bridging the spatial/Metaverse world with the crypto world"

Yikes. I'll steer clear.

I love Neal as an author, but I don't see the point in seeing him as some sort of authority in tech. I'm not sure he's more than a novice/consumer. To me it's like believing if Hanna and Barbera were still around they should be an authority on the electric car industry because they thought of the Jetsons decades ago.

sirhc desantis

Ser Adeon nails it - cheered me up.
I am so 'super pleased' about that. Seriously, what adult uses a term like that?


Ah, well, a load of crypto+metaverse projects around already that go nowhere.
But who knows? There is always who says...

1985: "ha ha ha! Laptop computers are just yet another fad, and now they are gonna sink into oblivion" «[would people] really want to carry one back from the office with them? It would be much simpler to take home a few floppy disks tucked into an attache case» (the latter is an actual quote: https://www.nytimes.com/1985/12/08/business/the-executive-computer.html )
2007: iPhone "ha ha ha! Lots of phones already, they are late, it will flop like the Apple Newton", «There is a low demand for converged, all-in-one devices. Only 31% of Americans surveyed said they wanted a device with multiple capabilities» (the Guardian in 2007), and (paraphrasing Ballmer) "who wants to buy a 500$ phone? I doesn't even have a keyboard"
Android "ha ha ha! Another useless distro, and for phones, who wants that? It will fail!"
And so on, the other myriad of famous last words that aged like milk.

There are ideas that just look like bad ideas, and just flop and flop again, helplessly, until... well, you see that pattern, so you think it is going to be another fiasco. It's likely. But it is not such a sure thing.

Then someone comes with the right idea or the right mix of ideas and the right team, and what looked like the Nth dumb attempt this time is a success.
Neal Stephenson may be not a virtual world developer himself, but he tends to have interesting, if not influential, ideas.
Right now it sounds like just yet another blockchain metaverse platform, and those never got many users, right? But who knows with 100% certainty?

The human brain and neural networks are fantastic pattern-recognition machines, but patterns don't really repeat in the same exact way always, and in this world there are billion of interlinked factors to take into account.
Judging and predicting without leaving any room to uncertainty may work most of the times, but when it fails, you don't have a seatbelt, because you reasoned that everything definitely goes a certain way and accidents never happen to you and you didn't expect that.
Improbable isn't impossible, not every Italian eat pizza, not every people is sexually binary, and you see how that goes on. Misjudgment, stereotypes, prejudices, polarization.

So let me think about it in a probabilistic way: from what we all have seen so far, these projects do not work much (pattern), so I tend to think the odds that the next blockchain-metaverse-platform works are rather low. The Lamina1 announcement didn't impress me, it reads a lot like: "Metaverse, Bitcoin, bitcoin! It's cool stuff and look we have Neal Stephenson, he's so cool, he has visions, we have skills, also I think of Bitcoin every day". Yup... However, if Neal Stephenson isn't taken aboard just to show off, but a novel idea really comes out of this and the team is also capable of turning those ideas into a thing that works... maybe... the odds are a little higher.
I won't expect too much, but perhaps it's worth to keep an eye on it for a while.

The «base layer for the Open Metaverse», although very vague, is the only thing in the whole announcement that looks to me having any substance.
Now they tell all that, but maybe eventually they are just going to make then Nth Decentraland-like platform, drooling for Bitcoin, and blatantly claim they made the base of the future Metaverse.

The true decentralization would likely be a VR World Wide Web, I think, a standard that you could use on any website and with any web-browser that supports it. Wherever the VR content would be hosted - on your own server or on a YouTube-like platform - you could use and navigate it as you do now with websites, pictures, and videos. Or some other better idea. I know, the 3D website ideas are about as old as Stephenson's "Snow Crash" book.

Who knows? Perhaps one day we will have AR/VR glasses (or a device that we can't imagine now) that won't feel as clumsy as those 1985 laptops above.

Martin K.

It might be good to remember that some of these floundering and not working blockchain-based metaverse projects might still make good money for the founders. As long as that's the case, we will probably keep seeing more such projects.

The main problem that I see is that some of these blockchain-based projects convince financially vulnerable people to invest money for nothing but pipe dreams.

Martin K.

Here is a relevant interview with Peter Vessenes and Neal Stephenson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf0N1a5g-ko

After watching it, I guess LAMINA1 is supposed to become a competitor to Valve, Epic, and Meta that tries to explore the opportunities offered by blockchain technology for a platform of virtual worlds as suggested by Neal's answer to this question: https://youtu.be/Rf0N1a5g-ko?t=1709 ? And the first step is to make it a lot easier to register tradable assets in a new blockchain as explained here: https://youtu.be/Rf0N1a5g-ko?t=1411 .

And who knows, maybe it is going to be even easier than listing assets in the Second Life Marketplace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7wMKxivxH8 ?

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