Field notes weekly #11


This is a weekly update on my progress to document the history, perspectives, and narratives of the metaverse. For more on the contents and structure of the book, please see “Structuring my field notes“.

Current book word count: 85,486

Writing

I really need to clean up this blog. I want to do a new about page with the updated pitch & abstract for the book. The structure-page also needs an update. Maybe I should create a dedicated page for both, not just a post.

I’m also done with the first proper draft of the Bitcoin and Ethereum chapters – and I like the new direction. After struggling for a while, I think I found a good enough separation of “intention of the cypherpunk and cyberlibertarian initiators” and “actuation of speculators and investors in the space”.

Next, I think I’ll grab myself a straight-forward feel-good chapter. Something like Flickr that I can just get into the flow and type.

Talking

I am still scheduling and conducting interviews, but it will take a while until I have the time to write them all up, discuss & get approval and publish them here. Please hold the line. ☎️

Reading & Watching

The machine is Us/ing Us

I’ve been thinking about this video a lot. Back when it came out, we shared it a lot within the Web 2.0 community and beyond, as it crystalized what we creating all this stuff for. Some things were even highly controversial at the time: “What do you mean we need to rethink love and family?!” And while all of it came true, we didn’t really take the time to think what would come after Web 2.0, the issues it evoked and how they could be fixed.

But also, Web 2.0 was a movement around building things. Once you identified an issue, the idea was to go and create a small, isolated digital thing for it and connect it to the overall digital ecosystem. We weren’t talking about platforms, but services and APIs. It was probably the closest we got to an interoperable metaverse. That still resonates with a lot of people.

But ultimately it turned out to be undesirable. And that still stings, although not everybody sees it that way.


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