In “The Metaverse is a Scam” I called Virtual Reality “late state globalism’s Hail Mary” play to herd huge swaths plebs into their own private, fully immersive hallucinations – where they can live out an inconsequential dreamlike existence however they want, just so long as it stops them from taking up too much space in the real world.
“Soon he will be shown something that perfectly fulfills his most hidden and cherished desires, desires he has never fulfilled. Unable to resist the chance to do it at last he enters by a golden door into eternal captivity”
— How Do They Get Our Souls? Whitney Streiber’s The Key
Apple’s announcement at WWDC saved the Vision Pro for last – it’s expected to roll out in 2024 and is being heralded as the most significant revolution in technology interface since the smartphone. The Vision Pro is not a VR head-set per se, it’s a “spacial computing” interface for Augmented Reality: instead of immersing you 100% in a digital construct, it overlays objects, icons and UXs from the computing world and the internet, onto your visual field of the physical world you occupy.
This isn’t entirely new: Google’s Glass was also an Augmented Reality headset but it bombed. And there is Facebook (sorry, “Meta’s) Occulus, which is a fully immersive VR headset.
Since I wrote that piece, there has been more of a drumbeat around personal carbon footprints and CO2 rationing. The wholly concocted FUD around Bitcoin mining – people fail to see that for what it is: a Lysenkoist Trojan Horse that if accepted will legitimize the idea that external authorities (technocrats) have the moral authority to decide how everybody else gets to use their own energy.
In addition to the Apple Vision Pro announcement, last month the FDA approved Elon Musk’s “Neuralink” for human trials. Billing itself as a
“brain-computer interface is fully implantable, cosmetically invisible, and designed to let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go.”
Neuralink is initially targeting people who have physical impediments to interacting with the world at large, and in that capacity, it stands to be a quantum leap for people with debilitating conditions.
But after that, when brain implants enter the mainstream, we should expect to see some sub-optimal outcomes…
The Metaverse, Augmented Reality, UBI and CBDCs are all SOMA.
“Soma” is a substance featured in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel “Brave New World”, published back in 1932. It’s a powerful, government-issued drug used to control the population, offering a pleasant, hallucinogenic escape from reality without any negative physical side effects, thereby keeping society docile and content.
For example, technocrats believe that UBI will emancipate an increasingly unemployable rabble from the rat-race of having to earn a living; empowering them to spend their time doing yoga, writing poetry and generally self-actualizing.
That’s a nice vision, but what probably happens instead is that it creates legions of dependent, subservient couch potatoes bingeing on cheesies, dope and porn.
In the same vein, ubiquitous brain implants probably won’t give rise to a generation of super-literate, hyper-informed, augmented-IQ over-achievers as much it will create an entirely new form of couch potato, who could completely end-run the myriad stimuli that get them their dopamine hits, and just tap straight into the neurological response:
“The most dangerous form of electronic drug is direct stimulation of the pleasure centre of the brain. This is called ‘wireheading’.
Wireheading is much like any other electronic implant. Electrodes in the brain, connected to the pleasure centre are hooked into a jack at the base of the skull. A small transformer, plugged into normal house wiring, provides a trickle of current necessary to stimulate the pleasure centre.
While a wire head is hooked in, he becomes impervious to everything and will forego food, water, sex or anything else…”
— GURPS Cyberpunk RPG
We’re being conditioned to accept that we can have all our needs met in a virtual world (where, as the Ethereum kiddies like to think, they can invent their own rules of physics):
“To summarize this in a more philosophical way, Proof-of-Work is based on the laws of physics, so you have to work with the world as it is. You have to work with electricity as it is, hardware as it is, what computers are.
Whereas because Proof-of-Stake is virtualized in this way, it’s really cool, you get to create a simulated universe that has its own laws of physics. And that just gives us protocol developers a lot more freedom to optimize the system to give us all of the security properties that we want. If we want the system to offer a certain security guarantee, that means we can modify the system in way that lets us achieve it.”
As I pointed out in “When Whiteboard Economics Collide With Reality”:
“[Vitalik] Buterin is making our point for us, without realizing he’s making our point for us. He is expressing the ultimate technocratic fantasy: the ability for managerial experts from on high to reorder reality according their own whims and priorities. Where models can be created on whiteboards and reality is expected to conform to these models. It never does, yet we live in a world where people who point out that the models are flawed are demonized while those who bear no consequences for being wrong, double down and are awarded Nobel Prizes.”
If enough of the plebs, the rabble and the useless eaters can be convinced to accept this virtual reality as genuine, or at least a reasonable facsimile of life – possibly even preferable to many, then a lot of big, macro problems get solved.
For starters, us commoners won’t be able (permitted, really), to continue despoiling the real world.
Then while the rest of us are in our virtual realities, living on UBI, delivered by CBDCs, being fed plant-based sludge intravenously, the real world will be deftly managed by expert technocrats and super-wealthy elites – whose private jets, multiple residences and super yachts are somehow exempt from the wanton environmental destruction the rest of us would cause with our single use plastic straws, pet dogs and meat consumption.
The pretext for all this is a curious faith in Scientism (as opposed to the scientific method), being carpet bombed across the MSM and big tech platforms that is tantamount to brainwashing:
It provides the intellectual grounding for the WEF-inspired “Fourth Industrial Revolution” framework which utterly failed in it’s first big test: the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein every core tenet turned out to be wrong, and every policy response failed.
Undaunted, this thin scab of elites who sit atop the global cap table have already pivoted to rhetoric around a group of unfalsifiable, logical fallacies collectively branded as The Climate Crisis™ and are now trying to make the case that these same experts and technocrats who botched the pandemic response across the board should get to decide how much time and space the rest of us get to take up in the real world.
The Carbon They Want To Reduce is You
We’re already seeing the promulgation from the corporate media that combatting climate change is “too important to be left up to personal choice”, which means somebody else is going to have to decide for all of us how much energy we get to use and CO2 we get to emit.
It’s called “the ultra-low carbon lifestyle” and it looks like we’ll all (the rest of us not them) will have to ratchet down our lifestyles by half before 2040, and then half again by 2050. That’s 75% reduction in living standards within the next 25 years.
The UK Fires “Absolute Zero” paper makes unambiguous references to metering – and then attenuating – “individual’s ‘fair share’” of energy or carbon emissions.
With France already eliminating short haul flights, the UK talking about ending air travel (for the plebs) by 2050 – various localities banning internal combustion engines after 2030, we see incremental “boil the frog” motion converging on strategic goals that have been laid out, such as the “15 minute city” concept.
It’s hard to ignore where this is all going:
Who needs Climate Lockdowns If Everybody’s in the Metaverse?
The emerging Matrix does provide a perfect solution to solve the impending crisis – which as I’ve said from the very beginning of The Bitcoin Capitalist letter, actually turns out to be the collapse of a debt super-cycle and the end of the fiat money era, rather than anything to do with climate:
“Despite the corporate media messaging, the real reason behind this isn’t because of climate change or even COVID. It’s because of the debt.
The world is finally out of runway from kicking the can down the road all those times the global economy threatened to backslide into recession, or when previous monetary bubbles imploded. All those decades of collectively living on credit and borrowing against the future have finally hit the wall.This is it. We’re here. The end of the debt super-cycle:
Governments have spent beyond their means for decades, and now the bills have come due.
The only way to pay them will include inflation and austerity. It will resemble a controlled demolition of the entire middle class.
The easiest way to do that will be to turn as many people as possible into a completely dependant welfare class via endless rolling lockdowns, Universe Basic Income programs and mandatory health passports.
At its core, The Great Reset is a monetary reboot. Its seen as way to restructure the global debt overhang and turn “money” into technocratic lube for enacting grandiose social engineering projects: most of them geared toward ratcheting down the standard of living for the masses.
— The Crypto Capitalist Manifesto
Ideally, we will become so accustomed to “living in the pod” that we’ll feel awkward in the real world. When I saw the Apple Visio Pro announcement, I couldn’t help but remember “Moths to a Flame: The Seductions of Computer Technlogy”, written in 1996 by Indiana University professor Gregory Rawlins.
After positing what a near future, virtual reality workaday existence might look like, Rawlins explores the fate of a Matrix-dweller reemerging into the real world:
“His physical home finally opens out on him. After spending the entire day in various artificial realities he’s finally back in real reality– such as it is. He is alone at home… His computer in his shirt pocket; its microlasers, which tracked his gestures and facial expressions and sent information to his earplugs and the tiny displays in his contact lenses, wink out.
As usual the transition has left him a little unsettled. His brain evolved to deal with one stable reality, still isn’t used to abrupt jumps between realities. Someone should fix that, he thinks. It would be even worse when computers talk directly to the brain. He would have to remember to make the transitions in his interface more graceful…
Sometimes he catches himself snapping his fingers and uttering his various call words, unthinkingly trying to summon things in the real world. They rarely come, of course. It’s December 20, 2021, and reality isn’t by any stretch of the imagination what it used to be.”
What I can envision happening to people who spend increasingly higher proportions of their time in various artificially concocted realities, is that they’ll become somewhat Gollum-ish, armed with a seemingly magical device, they burrow into their own minds, away from what is real, until it eventually consumes them entirely…
Stay Real and Stack Sats
I’m no luddite. Technology affords the possibility of astonishing personal empowerment, and we should all be seeking to use it to leverage our abilities and our time to better our lives and those around us. However, the self-sovereign among us should be attenuating and scaling back our personal total immersion in the virtual world.
Instead of being used by Big Tech, pimping ourselves out as data cows and ultimately being herded into The Matrix and digital serfdom; we should be developing businesses and assets in the digital world that generate income streams and royalties for us out here in the real world. It’s never been more possible for literally anybody to harness the power of these platforms to their own advantage instead of being harvested and manipulated by them.
In the course of writing The CBDC Survival Guide (now looking like it might be a full-on book rather than an e-book report), I’ve been working my way through Norm Franz’s “Money & Wealth In the New Millennium”. You may not recognize the name until you’re reminded of one of the more famous quotes from that book: “Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves” …(and CBDCs will be the money of serfs).
Franz is a born-again subscriber to Biblical prophecy in a way I’m not (although I’ve detailed my freakish synchronicities going back over 30 years around two particular passages in the book of Revelations, and my recurring involvements in digital payment systems that eventually brought me to Bitcoin).
His book serves as a good refresher course that enumerates how the dynastic elites who control the monetary systems have been leveraging its Cantillon Effects to hoover up the lions share of the wealth and power for generations, if not centuries. Further, that the idea of weaponizing and metering resource usage to effectively transfer all property to them has been in-play since at least the Club of Rome, “Limits to Growth” days.
It is, to cite Franz, quoting Carol Quigley:
“nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole”
Lately it has been getting harder for me not to believe that there was some kind of all encompassing conspiracy to Woke-ify society and turn us into largely subservient, complaint digital serfs.
But I remain firm in my conviction that the people and factions collaborating in this conspiracy and who may have held concentrated, outsized power in the past, but are less powerful than you might think now. As the internal contradictions of fiat money and unsustainability of the debt super-cycle begin to assert themselves in earnest, we’re headed for an historic disruption to the power structure. “Authority will be re-contextualized”, if we were to use one of those benign-sounding WEF euphemisms that means, in practical terms, a total collapse of the incumbent systems and institutions.
Again, COVID did more damage to such a conspiracy than anything else. I’ve said it many times: the pandemic and the attempt to pull the next 20 years of creeping authoritarianism into 18 months backfired big time. “Too much, Too soon”. A Hegelian Dialectic turned back on itself, hilarity ensues.
Stay real, stack sats and connect with those doing the same. Our time is coming.