NOVEMBER 6, 2021
Do you believe in seers with extra-earthly abilities to peek into the future? While being able to see what’s about to happen may be a far-fetched estimation, Facebook’s new Metaverse ambitions under Mark Zuckerberg were correctly predicted in a 29-year-old book called ‘Snow Crash.’
Written by author Neal Stephenson and published in 1992, the book may be the first written record of the word “Metaverse.”
Eerie similarities with the book
The plot thickens! Turns out, the word in the book carried the same connotation as Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for what the Metaverse ought to be – essentially a virtual-reality and augmented-reality based experience that will follow up on the exploits made by the current iteration of the internet.
Man, does it get more eerie! In the novel, Stephenson also plotted the Metaverse as an environment-bending setting where people use digital avatars to interact with the online world… which is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg intends to do with Facebook (now under the aegis of new branding called Meta).
Is this just a case of coincidence or has Zuckerberg spent the last few years mimicking Stephenson’s interpretation of a dystopian society? If it’s the latter, we’ve got more to worry about than misinformation and Facebook’s threat to democracy, as laid bare by Facebook whistleblowers Sophie Zhang and Frances Haugen.
Zhang told Indiatimes earlier how little Facebook does to control the spread of fake accounts that are used by elected officials in authoritarian regimes to shape public discourse and opinion.
Regardless, Stephenson personally hasn’t interacted with Zuckerberg about the Metaverse, he recently told Axios.
What do you think about the future of the internet as envisioned by Big Tech companies like Meta and Microsoft? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Huddleston, T. (2021, November 3). This 29-year-old book predicted the “metaverse” — and some of Facebook’s plans are eerily similar. CNBC.