Tag Archives: The Meta Show

Facebook, the Metaverse, and John Carmack

The metaverse is honey pot trap for architecture astronauts.

-John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Oculus VR

The metaverse has been much discussed in our little corner of the world here in 2021, largely due to Raph Koster and his Riffs by Raph columns over on the Playable World site where he has been writing about virtual worlds, multiverses, and the potential for a metaverse.  While he is clearly selling a vision as much for investors as for us, his self-promotion contains plenty of valuable insight.

There has also been something of a wave of NFT and blockchain proponents hyping their favored tech as the key ingredient for some future metaverse, though they can hardly drag themselves away from destroying the planet and scamming people with the virtual goods version of the property flip scam to be taken seriously.  They are are just modern incarnations of those who would sell the Brooklyn Bridge or investment opportunities in perpetual motion machines.  George C. Parker would be very much at home among them.

Steam went so far as to ban all titles that have NFT or cryptocurrency ties. (Scott Hartsman has a Twitter thread about why Steam might not want the liability that comes with those titles.)  Epic went the other direction immediately because Tim Sweeney’s idea of an argument is the automatic gainsaying of whatever his opponent says.  But Tim Sweeney says a lot of things, and he carefully caveated his statement to give the Epic Store an out.

But the big bombshell this week was Mark Zukerberg announcing his intention to create the metaverse and being so invested in the idea that he has changed the name of his company to Meta.

The memes based on this image are quickly becoming meta

My gut reaction to a Facebook owned metaverse requiring me to strap their Oculus hardware to my face and let them watch and exploit everything I do in their Horizon virtual world sim is a pretty strong negative.

The pitch has been put together in this 20 minute video which features Zuckerberg himself explaining how he wants to co-opt the metaverse idea and make it something he controls.  He isn’t so much promoting a metaverse so much as a “Zuckerverse” where he’ll be king.

Part of me sees evil based on what Facebook has become, but part of me also sees somebody who peaked in their 20s with an astounding success, becoming a billionaire over night, who now wants to top that.  Oh, and I also see somebody who has no idea what real people want or need… and maybe a bit of distraction from the bad odor Facebook is in right now as well.  Lots going on here.

And I am one of those people who read Snow Crash in the late 90s and have been hearing about the idea of VR since the mid 80s, so I am still in the target zone for online world ideas.  But Facebook driving it… well, a lot of people were annoyed/dismayed when Facebook bought Oculus back in 2014, and we were only angry because Facebook hosted crappy spammy social games and harvested our data. (Some fun links in that post. I think the Raph Koster one might be the most on the money, which doesn’t surprise me.)

More interesting and refreshing though has been the take by John Carmack, Consulting CTO for Oculus, which Facebook owns (and which is also losing its name), who gave the keynote speech for Zuckerberg’s event.  He seems much less convinced that the metaverse is an achievable objective in the way that is being presented.  The video of his presentation is embedded below, dialed up to just where he begins to speak about the metaverse idea.  He is a strong proponent of the idea, but not so much of the path it is on, and is keenly aware of the complications it faces.

The “architecture astronauts” he mentions in the keynote, from the quote I have at the top of the post, are those who like the big picture ideas of the metaverse while skipping over the details of how to actually make those big picture ideas work.

Carmack is very much about those details and points out quite a few issues with the idea of an Oculus VR based metaverse, not the least being the problem of the headset itself.  He compares it to the ubiquity of our phones and the challenge of reaching that level with hardware that you have to strap to your face and which blots out the real world, not to mention the whole motion sickness thing.  I mean, he still seems all in on a Facebook metaverse, he just just comes across as skeptical that they’re going about it the right way.

Anyway, there is a bunch there to digest and news stories abound about the Facebook announcement, so use your favorite search engine to find them, though if you want the best headline to come out of this, Vice has you covered.

Ars Technica also has a summary of the Carmack keynote if you don’t want to watch it, though I think watching it has much more impact.  There is also a nice Twitter thread that brings up key Carmack statements which is a quick read.

As for Facebook changing its name to Meta… does anybody actually call Google “Alphabet” now?  And what happens to The Meta Show, the weekly EVE Online Twitch show?  Does this help it or hurt it?

We’ll see what this looks like a year from now.

Addendum:  The Meta Show rebrands in light of the changes over the past week.

Fountain Frank announces The Facebook Show

INN Shows Explore the 9-4RP2 Fight

Naturally, even after the big battle was over, there was still much to talk about.  If you want to immerse yourself in the gritty details of what was going on INN ran three shows over the weekend that could help fill you in what went on.  The links below are all to the replays on Twitch, though the recordings will eventually also be available on the INN YouTube channel and, in some cases, Sound Cloud.

The Open Comms Show – January 26, 2018

The Open Comms show can be a bit of acquired taste, at least when the Tito’s vodka is flowing, and it comes on at an awkward time for me, but I try to catch it whenever I can, and I feel lucky to have seen Friday’s show.

The Open Comms Show Advisory, Not Mentioned: Alcohol Consumption

The usual cast of the show, Dirk MacGirk, Dreydan, Rahne, Drunk Canadian, and Blastem2hell, were joined by Arrendis (Goonswarm), Elise Randolph (Pandemic Legion), Jin’taan (Provi Bloc and CSM member), and Progodlegend (TEST) to discuss the fight at 9-4RP2 and the hype beforehand.

Of course, the hype was due to the Reddit post by Progodlegend which went viral and ended up with him on Canadian television talking about internet spaceships.

To Canada, this is now the face of EVE Online

But the real meat of the show is the discussion of the battle itself, helped along by Elise Randolph who remains one of the best and most thoughtful speakers on the game.  One of his insights was that the Imperium essentially won by losing the battle at 9-4RP2 because who is going to attempt an assault on a defended Keepstar now, and Delve has more than 15 deployed already.

The whole show, which can be a sprawling venture over its two hours some weeks, stayed nicely on topic and was worth the time to listen through.

The Meta Show – January 27, 2018

If you are more interested in fight details than the null sec meta, this might be the show to skip I suppose.  With DBRB still in Australia The Mittani was hosting solo with guests Asher Elias (Goonswarm), Vily (TEST), and CCP_Falcon.

There are good details about the fight.  Having Asher along, who organized the effort for the Keepstar campaign, means another view on how things went down.  And getting to hear CCP Falcon speak about the day, including waking up to find that the “million dollar battle” Reddit post had gone viral, was interesting.

However a good chunk of the middle of the show devolved into exploring the relationship between the Imperium and TEST surrounding the fight, with some time aside to rail against CCP for both benefiting from such fights yet setting up a sovereignty system that avoids them, all of which was largely The Mittani speaking, with a few comments from Vily and nary a peep from Asher or Falcon, arguably the two most interesting guests, for long stretches.

It was also made clear that the Imperium would not be coming back for another fight at the Keepstar.  After the one fight all of the Imperium forces returned home.

Still, it is just an hour and if you’re dying to know if TEST and the Imperium can stay united against the coalition of the north, the answer is in there.

Talking in Stations – January 28, 2018

The ever thoughtful Matterall brought the trifecta of shows about the battle home with the Sunday morning Talking in Stations episode.  Joined by Dirk MacGirk (TNT), Avery Lewis (Pandemic Legion), Keskora Yaari (Ember Sands, WH space), KillahBee (NCDot), MacCloud, PlexedLive (Goonswarm), Qicia (Goonswarm), and Qicia (Goonswarm) along with special guest CCP Fozzie to discuss both the battle as well as the changes coming for Citadels in February, to which there was an update before the show.

Again, more good tales of the fight, with CCP Fozzie saying that over 6,200 people were in system and that, by CCP’s reckoning, more than 10,000 accounts were clearly logged in and either in the system or the various staging systems and ready to jump into the fight if called upon.

There was also discussion of the changes to the Upwell 2.0 plan for February, which hit the forums just before the show.  Among them is the removal of the Gravitational Transportation Field Oscillator (GTFO) defensive module and increasing the final, last ditch repair time from 15 to 30 minutes, something that might have made a difference in the big fight.  There is also a discussion of the citadel tethering mechanic and its abuse as well as what it enables. (On the latter, in the old days you couldn’t get 200 titans in a POS shield without a lot of them being bumped out into space, but you can stack 200 safely on a citadel without any issue at all.)

Anyway, if you feel the need to wallow in more after action reports about the big fight at 9-4RP2, there is almost five hours of audio to entertain you.