This post was first time published on my blog in February 2022. Enjoy!
You know that technology is either in its very early infancy, or worse - stillborn; when by "solving a problem" all it does is (still) combining the worst of the worlds it tries to bridge in solving the problem. I will obviously simplify this, a bit.
Good example of that, historically, are early computers. Those with punched cards. They brought prolonged data input times which required armies of specialists to input the data and another army of those to operate data processing. All that in order to solve the problem of hiring armies of accountants. Combining the worst of two worlds - clumsiness of early data archival and processing with the need to hire more people.
This whole mess helped only biggest companies and specific government use-cases whose data scaled enough to, kinda, scale out of the problems they were creating while trying to resolve. But those grandparents of modern computers needed to happen for us to be here now.
Early internet is similar - it brought ability to people to publish information freely without governance to the global village. And at the first decade or two, it was basically exactly that - slightly bigger village of globally displaced geeks. When massmedia started joining the party, we've spent (about) another decade bombed with proprietary technologies creeping into the previously open tech stack in order to vendor-lock in publishers, but also their customers. Then web2.0 happened.
Fast forward to today - all the various "web3.0" buzzwords like NFTs and metaverses are, at this specific point in time, ridiculously pointless. That does not mean that they are not foundation to great things in the future, but future is - well, exactly that, future.
So, from the current perspective - NFTs combine worst of two worlds. From the digital worlds we have "non-fungibility" of resources which are, actually, at the same time both very fungible, and very easy to disappear from the face of the global networks. Like, you know, someone stop paying AWS hosting resources where "your" art was stored. Millions of people screenshot your "art". That kind of things. From the real world, it takes art auction house model. That where somebody pays hefty amount for either real or counterfeit art, only to end up keeping it in an airport duty-free hangar as an asset for the future, if tax boogeymen come for their share of the money.
Metaverse... Oh metaverse... As I've wrote earlier today in response to the tweet displaying shopping experience as one major retail vendor imagines it in metaverse: Someone came to the idea to combine worst of two worlds. Real world strolling between the shelves and online shopping's lack of ability to look at exact piece of the product you're buying; to check its freshness, expiry date or anything. Pure f'ing genius.
Also, metaverse dating promises to be hilariously wrong. Bringing the worst from online dating - lack of certainty there is a chemistry once you meet your date finally in real life, after investing significant amount of time to keep in extensive contact before you meet. But also bringing the worst of the real world dating somehow with it - assumption is that metaverse dates will be much more intensive in effort and/or time as it would try to replicate experience of going on a whole date; concert, dinner, stroll in a park.
Sex in the metaverse? Oh God, do I even need to go there? Nevermind, I don't care, I will... Again, worst of two worlds. Similar to watching regular online porn, lack of the touch (like literal, sensory) with the other person. And to take something bad from the real world, it will with all the tech likely be comparable at best with the very shitty sexual experience with half-invested human partner.
Well, at least this last part would not be different for the huge number of ladies out there.
What I want to say is - technologies at infancy try to relate to users by replicating "old world" things, people, relations and processes. And that is spectacularly hilarious usually. But as tech matures, it invents the worlds of its own.
But that takes time, effort, fresh ideas, lot of iterations and lot of time of armies of people sacrificed in the process. Not every early internet adopter is now a rich former startup founder. Very few are.
Live long and prosper. And remember; FOMO is (mostly) a lie.
RemindMe! 5 years "How did this age?"
Bonus link: https://web3isgoinggreat.com