Tuesday, May 16, 2023

#136 / Fake Views


The April 12, 2023, edition of The New York Times has reported massive layoffs at "Meta," which is the company that used to be called "Facebook." Click this link to access the story (The Times paywall permitting, of course). 
When I searched for "Meta," using the Google search engine, I found that the company that used to advertise itself as a company that was "connecting people" around the world, now bills itself as a "Social Metaverse Company." The Meta website advises us that the company is "moving beyond 2D screens and into immersive experiences in the metaverse, helping create the next evolution of social technology." 
This may be what has led to the massive layoffs. The article reveals that "more than 26,000 people, or nearly 30 percent of [the] company's work force" have been fired. More firings seem to be on the way, including terminations "in engineering groups, which would have been unthinkable before the trouble started last year, two employees said."
The Times news article speculates that Mark Zuckerberg (pictured above) has made a "bad bet on the future." What is the nature of that bet? Zuckerberg wants the almost three billion Facebook users to buy and wear equipment (as shown below) that will remove them from what I call the "real world" and re-situate them into the "metaverse." 

I am heartened, I have to say, to find that people aren't "buying it." 

Zuckerberg has been demonstrating a typical human arrogance, thinking that he can, actually, create a world better than the "real world" into which we have been so mysteriously born. I usually call the world into which human beings have been born the "World of Nature." Sometimes, I call it the "World God Made." It is, by whatever name, the world in which we ultimately live (though we live most "immediately" in a human world that we create ourselves). Thinking that we can supersede or improve upon the World of Nature is a common human conceit. 
Zuckerberg, one of those "tech-bro," finance kings, one of those self-proclaimed (and apparently self-satisfied) "Masters of the Universe," has indeed made a "bad bet." 
We can get infatuated with our own creations, of course - any of us can, and perhaps we all do, from time to time. In the end, however, "Fake Views" can never substitute for the real thing: 

(1) and (2) - https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/12/technology/meta-layoffs-employees-management.html
(3) - https://www.space.com/54-earth-history-composition-and-atmosphere.html

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