The Metaverse: Pleasure Island Revisited

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Civil wars, COVID-19, drought, and the looming reality of catastrophic climate change…

What to do? Where to go? Despite all of our marvelous thinking machines things only seem to get worse. We’re drowning in data that informs us of the problems but starved for the knowledge and wisdom needed to solve the problems.

But, just in time, the centibillionaires that brought us social media and all its perceived benefits are now introducing web 3.0.  And their message is reinforced and endorsed by thousands of influencers in finance, media, fashion, and entertainment promoting the newest “new paradigm.”

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing your new Metaverse… (Not to be confused with the “multiverse” some scientists now propose or the “MAGAverse” on the political scene.)

All that’s required is a willing suspension of disbelief. Forget that nature is on fire and facing imminent collapse. Just leave your cares and worries behind to burn up and join the cool people in our all-digital, all-happy, all-encompassing world that we let you think you created.

In digital Meta-land there are no problems. Only solutions. And the opportunity to create the avatar you’ve always wanted to be — live in a fantastically stunning 3D world that we let you create for yourself.

The Metaverse: Pleasure Island Revisited
© 2021 J. Wolff

Imagine being surrounded only by the people you want to be surrounded by. None of those dreary others who waste your energy with their stories of misery and woe. Not when there is so much fun to have, and so little time to pack it all in!

Why, look at one happy resident of metaverse. He had a very big, successful company but it was facing a lot of problems. Did he let that bother him? No, he did not. He just changed the name of his company. Problem solved. Miracles like this happen all the time in the new metaverse.

And don’t forget to spend scads of cyber currency when you get here. It is no more real than the metaverse, but it’s new and cool and all the influencers say so.

(Editor’s note: It turns out that making cyber currency is very energy-intensive and should only speed up the problems in the natural world.)

The Metaverse: Pleasure Island Revisited
Lampwick, from the Walt Disney film, Pinnochio. Image source: Pinnochio still

Maybe the best image of the coming metaverse is a scene in Walt Disney’s 1940 film, Pinocchio. There is a coachman who picks up lost and lonely boys and girls on the street, then takes them to Pleasure Island where they can play pool, break windows, drink beer, and smoke cigars all day. “This is the life,” says Lampwick to his new friend Pinocchio, blind to the fact they are both turning into donkeys, and eventually carted off to the work in the salt mines.

So be happy, have fun. And for heaven’s sake, forget the adage, Nature bats last.

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