Is Metaverse bringing the 'End of Humanity'?

Created on 08 Jan 2022

Wraps up in 8 Min

Read by 7.3k people

Updated on 16 Sep 2022

Today’s blog is more imaginative than informative. We take a look at what is as well as what could be. Today, we talk about the Metaverse.

Yes, I know; you’ve read around 10s of other blogs about it, watched even more videos and even heard your social circles discuss it. What I hope to bring to you today, is the possibility of Metaverse being humanity’s next step in evolution, or its destruction.

So stick around a bit, will ya? Humour me a bit; and let me tell you a story that will affirm and disprove both your fears and positive beliefs.

Tech, the Next Frontier

An anonymous user once posted on the image posting platform 4chan, “We are the middle children of history. Born too late to explore Earth, born too early to explore space.”

If that is the case, what is this generation in time for? Wasting away, wondering about the possibilities of “what can be”? Criticize our ill-timed arrival in this world? Or are we meant for something greater?

Our thought of “something greater” is limited by the standard issue–the “monkey to man” evolution chain. We see humans at the end, so we think humans are the end. But what if I told you that wasn’t the case. What if the human race was a stepping stone to something better, something different?

For those wondering what the next step in our evolution would be, I don’t know the correct answer. What I do know is an approximation of what could be. I know of one of the many possible outcomes.

The next step in discoveries might be space if you believe in pop culture. But to reach there, humanity needs to die.

Shocked? Death might not be as final as you think, by the way. Here, the death of humanity might be more of a saving grace to the species than its doom. Let’s see how…

Homo Sapien no More

The human race is quite inefficient. We live on a planet that has resources that can only be considered renewable in the long run. Our rate of consumption of these resources is greater than the rate at which they get replenished.

As a result, humans are running out of resources of all varieties, from power to construction to other consumables. To top this non-renewable consumption habit, humans are currently reproducing at an alarming rate, thus increasing the number of mouths that need to be fed, heads to be sheltered, and bodies to be kept warm.

If this trend continues, the death that humanity shall face will be a lot more permanent. Humanity would face extinction. Currently, there seems to be no solution to this problem.😅

So if an alternative death exists that might continue the existence of you and at least a few of your loved ones, would you greet this death with open arms?

What I’m talking about is the continuation of your consciousness even after your physical form perishes. This would make death pretty temporary, don’t you think?

Now your obvious question would be, “Well, if my consciousness lives, but my body doesn’t, where does my consciousness reside?” The answer to your question lies inside a computer running and managing a server. This computer is also the next but not final step for human evolution (if you believe my ramblings), 

This is where Metaverse comes in. Let’s see how.

Launch into the Meta Universe

Before diving back into the philosophical, let’s take a little break and learn a bit about what exactly the Metaverse is, and what it involves.

Metaverse is the digital representation of an open world that isn’t just available to be looked at through a screen. But a place where the user can immerse themselves in 3-dimensional space.

To simplify, imagine your favourite piece of visual media; it could be a video, a game or even a picture. So far, we’ve only been able to “look at” these media in 2-dimensional space. The media has height and width, but the idea of depth is only portrayed. It cannot be truly experienced.

Metaverse changes this by taking the user and changing their perspective from an “onlooker” to an “experiencer” by immersing their visual and digital position into the media itself.

What I’m trying to say is, the famous “first swing” scene in the two out of three spiderman movie sets won’t just be visible in first person but could actually be experienced by you as spiderman himself. All of this without any pesky bug bites! 

As the one rousing your intrigue, the responsibility to answer your questions lies with me too. And you’ll read a lot of “answers” today.

So go ahead, ask me, “How does a computer program achieve all this?” The answer to this question lies in virtual reality. VR as a concept has existed since the 1960s but was popularised in 2012 with the announcement of Rift, a virtual reality headset by Oculus (now owned by Meta).

VR in its early stages was used mostly as a gaming platform, with games like “Beat Saber”, “VR Chat,” and “Blade and Sorcery” being the most popular among others. Today, VR is the literal eyes and ears for the Metaverse.

With vision and sound taken care of, the next step in immersion came with the sense of touch. To fulfil this sense’s demands, haptic suits were developed. Haptic suits were basically onesies fitted with sensors to emulate touch for the wearers.

Making the user experience touch, without having to wear a suit that weighed as much as the user was the real challenge. Yet today, tech has advanced to the point where meeting a person in real life and in the Metaverse are nearly identical without feeling like your clothing is trying to give you a workout.

With VR and haptic gear, people were ready to be plugged in and sent into a whole new world. A world that offers almost all the benefits of the world but nearly none of its dangers, negatives or pains.

Metaverse is this world of wonders and more. More because as of now, Metaverse has engaged in monetary activities like the sale of “land”, creation of assets in the form of NFT’s. Hell, Metaverse’s Decentraland even has a casino, and it’s hiring too! Metaverse is growing to turn into an entire ecosystem of its own.

Read more about the flourishing economy that can exist in the Metaverse in Blockchain Technology: Future of Non Fungible token in India.

Oh, and by the way, Decentraland is one of the two open worlds in Metaverse where users can immerse themselves. The other one is Meta’s (formerly Facebook) Horizon. Horizon is still under development, and Decentraland is already up and running. More platforms are… on the horizon (get it?😛)

A discussion on these platforms is not why we have gathered here today. But in case you do want to learn about Decentraland, we got you covered!

With entertainment and earning moving to the Metaverse, virtual reality might not remain so virtual anymore. Your life in Metaverse might become your real life, with your biological existence being more of an obstacle serving the only purpose of sustaining your physical self.

Yep, we’re going there again.

To Be or Not To Be (in Metaverse)

So, in this tale that I am spinning, the Metaverse is on its way to becoming the “new normal”. And fulfilling one’s biological necessities are becoming more of a hindrance than a part of life. More and more people are switching to this digital world, and the real people are turning somewhat obsolete. The question that’ll puzzle most is, “Should I switch over?”

I am here to sell you on the idea of switching over. No financial gain for me. Just my two cents on the matter. And of course, I welcome all of your opinions too. This topic lives in my head rent-free, and I welcome all civilized discussions.

Adverse opinions are welcome more as I agree with Voltaire when I say, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

So why switch? Well, my belief, as mentioned before, is that humans are extremely inefficient. We consume more than we are served, and we produce more of our kind to only make matters worse. At this rate, we doom ourselves to extinction as we run out of a world to consume.

So is this extinction very quickly approaching? In the grand scheme of things, yes. But if we only look at our lives as a standard of measurement, we’d be feeding the Earth before we meet this doom. But to quote a Native American saying, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” So let me ask you again, would you doom your own children and their children to this slow approaching but certain extinction?

I know I sound like a bit of an alarmist. But what if the future generations could be saved from this end by never even bringing them into existence? There there, lower your pitchforks, hear me out. It’s about to get a lot more “heartless”.

If we look at it from an evolutionary view, the entire purpose of reproduction is to make a copy of the existing beings to gain the same knowledge as the existing beings to be able to improve on said knowledge. The emotional connection of parents to their child exists to make the entire process feel positive to ensure its repeatability and make sure more humans are made.

So if humans could live forever, would they ever procreate? Imagine eternal humans that keep consuming resources and multiplying; how sustainable would that system be?

Ideally, the human species would not need to reproduce but live on eternally. But the next problem for the species would be memory and learning. As humans grow, they go through phases. A phase where they learn new things, a phase where they implement this information and a phase where they slowly lose all the gathered information. The problem with human memory is that it’s imperfect, as the ability to gather information goes down with age and recollection of memory also suffers as time passes.

This is where Brain-Computer Interface comes into play. While it is a stretch to think of it as a viable solution in this day and age. The concept of being able to convert the mind’s signals into inputs for mechanical devices has come a long way. Electro Encephalo Gram, commonly known as EEG, already is a working proof of the theory that computers can interpret brain activity. And EEG was discovered way back in 1929.

With sufficient advancements, a person’s mental activity and personality could be read, recorded and be converted into a set of algorithms and protocols, immortalizing the person in the form of an uploaded consciousness. This new “digital being” would have perfect recall as memory wouldn’t be limited to a person’s biological brain but the vast expanse of the storage they would be uploaded to.

This being could learn as much as they wanted, as more individuals getting “uploaded” would add to the vast pool of knowledge that would keep growing forever.

So the only question that remains now is, when the assimilation begins, will you join the singularity?

And if you’re more of a watcher than a reader, we still have your back. Go watch Life on Metaverse to learn about all things Metaverse.

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Deb P Samaddar

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If people could be named after idioms, Deb would be called "I'm all ears." His brain is a storehouse, ever overflowing with derelict information. So, while most things he talks about are as useless as occasion-less greeting cards, everything he writes has the potential of bagging you multiple diplomas!

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