I hear on the news, not without a certain dread, how Zuckerberg presents Meta, the new umbrella under which he hopes the company can shelter and, incidentally, redeem itself from the muddy reputational crisis in which it has been submerged for years. . Mark wants to put us all in a three-dimensional unreality whose development is, apparently, the only interest for the conglomerate zuckerbergiano in the next years. As if the Facebook era had not added enough complexity to relationships, not only interpersonal, but to those we maintain with ourselves. The era of learning to manage our metaversian selves has arrived. Every man for himself.
Raymond Williams says in Sociology of culture that “the countryside and the city are variable historical realities, both in themselves and in the relationships they maintain.” Ay, Raymond. If you only knew. If the relations between countryside and city were (are) complex, wait and see how we manage to manage the relationship between reality and unreality.
Rapper Travis Scott gathered 12 million meta-attendees in the concert that, during the pandemic, he offered through the video game Fortnite. It raised more than 20 million euros. It doesn’t seem difficult to think that the music industry could become a mass phenomenon in the metaverse. After all, we have spent decades consuming music through devices that supplant the live performance. However, will there be restaurants in the virtual universe? If Travis Scott gathered 12 million viewers without physical barriers limiting capacity, I suppose René Redzepi (one of the most avant-garde figures in global cuisine) might be interested in opening his next restaurant in the metaverse. What kind of cuisine bears more resemblance to meta-reality than what is your specialty, fermentative cooking? Fermentation is a process that transforms one reality into another …
And yet, between Travis Scott’s proposal and René Redzepi’s there is an insurmountable difference: in the metaverse you can listen to music, dance, telework. But eat? Sorry, Mark. You can visit restaurants. Surely yes. We will see how the great chefs, like all the great artists and finally each of us as individuals, develop value propositions of a different nature adapted to the socioeconomic requirements that will begin to emerge associated with your proposal, and forcing us to participate, in a or otherwise, in this new reality. You will make us go through your hoop, Mark, but the materiality of food and the physiological link that ties us to the act of eating, leaves it outside your parallel universes. There are still things that dismantle your proposal to slam the reality that we know today to move to a new universe of meta-realities that, everything indicates, will have to be visited with suspicion, if we do not want to permanently lose the notion of the barriers that separate physical reality of the invented. We said that fermentation is nothing more than a process that transforms one reality into another. Could we speak of the metaverse as a fermentation of reality? Time will tell if it is a fermentation or rather a rotting process. The line that separates both concepts is very fine.
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