The Metaguide (#3): Religion on the Internet and the Financialization of the Internet on Web3

The next metaverse is based on Web3. It is a logical evolution of the static Web1 (read) and the interactive Web2 (read and write). Web3 adds property to this. Thanks to cryptographic technology, it is now possible to own a piece of the Internet, a piece of Internet history, or a piece of Internet culture.

Web3 thus introduces digital scarcity and signifies the financialization of the Internet. Now anyone can buy, own and trade a meme, image, crypto currency, virtual sneakers or any other digital artifact.

For the past two years, Sander Duivestein has been hiding in the world of deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, influencers, virtual personas, Gen Z, memes, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Web 3.0, virtual reality and the metaverse. This resulted in the book really fake outlining how the fake and the real are intertwined and how the fake might be worth more than the real. At De Metagids, he refers weekly to Marketingfacts about the impact of the Metaverse on our economy and society.

But the underlying architecture of Web3 is radically different from previous phases: it is no longer centrally controlled by big tech companies, but control of the network is in the hands of the people who use it (decentralized and even distributed). Exactly as the Internet was originally intended.

The different phases of the World Wide Web have also caused another change. The underlying algorithms of social media have created digital echo pits, filter bubbles, and myth traps in which self-right is constantly reinforced and there is little or no room for dissenting ideas. Add to this fake news, conspiracy theories, and deepfakes and we are left with an extremely poisonous and explosive cocktail that, once brought down, creates alternate realities, pseudo-realities, and reality bubbles in which mistrust of government and science is so high that any form of reason and reason is missing.

Reality, falsity and the filter pass each other. For this, we only have to look at the assault on Capitol Hill or radicalized anti-vaccines. The direct result is a hypersegregated society. It means a proliferation of emotions, a radicalization of those emotions, and a fragmented society. This is so dangerous that it undermines the very principles of democracy.

spirituality on the internet

We’ll also see this hyperpillarization in another way in the next metaverse. People go to church less and less to profess their faith. People believe less and less in God. Internet is the new religion† “Algorithms promote content that combines Christian ideas like prosperity gospel with New Age and non-Western spirituality, along with some conspiracy theories. […] Part of the appeal of Internet spirituality is that it fits right in.” This is also reflected in the capital that various faith-based apps such as Hallow and Glorify are raising: “from $6.1 million in 2016 to $48.5 million in 2020 and $175.3 million in 2021 ”. And the Gloo app uses its Big Data technology to help some 30,000 churches search online for people who want to convert. Winning souls in the metaverse: who would have ever thought that the new architecture of Web3 facilitates another profession of faith?

The articles that colored the metaverse even more this week are the following:

  1. The Decentralized Country. Not only is faith recalibrated by Web3, the idea of ​​what a state or country is is also in jeopardy as a result. Now there are initiatives such as Decentralized Countries or Cloud Nations that transcend borders. What does it mean to have a nationality in the physical world in the future, if you can assume different identities online? Perhaps in the future you would rather be identified as a bored monkey than a Dutchman?
  2. Play to win and shitty jobs. Years ago, the influential anthropologist and thinker David Graeber (1961-2020) argued in an essay that much of the work we do is pointless. It is an exhalation of capitalism to make people feel useful. According to software developer Paul Butler, we now see this reflected in so-called play-to-win games like Axie Infinity. By playing the game, people can earn money. How useful is this? What value does this add?
  3. How NFTs became a $40 billion market in 2021. Last year, $40.9 billion was spent buying and trading non-fungible tokens. According to research by Chainalysis, 9% of all NFT owners command around 80% of the market. They are called Whales make a lot of money in this unregulated space.
  4. The dark side of the metaverse. It’s not all roses and moons in the emerging metaverse. Harassment, assault, bullying and hate speech are already widespread in all kinds of gaming environments and are now increasingly taking place in virtual environments as well. Reporting on these types of excesses often makes no sense, since they happen in real time and are not recorded. How do you prove someone is stalking you in the metaverse? And how can someone be sued for this?
  5. And finally, the metaverse is full of hype terms, acronyms, etc. Fortunately, there is Avalon Penrose. A normal lady who explains things in a simple way.

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