Genuine Inquiry 009

The Metaverse, Millionaires & Democracy









Owen Kelly



September 10, 2021


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Late last June while addressing a meeting of Facebook employees, Mark Zuckerberg claimed that Facebook would grow from a company involved in social media to building “a maximalist, interconnected set of experiences straight out of sci-fi — the metaverse”. He argued that “you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness”.

Second Life attempted to build and popularise this idea fifteen years ago with a very limited success. Two questions therefore arise. What makes Mark Zuckerberg think he can succeed where Philip Rosendale failed? What consequences will we face – socially and individually – if he actually succeeds?

In this episode of Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly explores these questions and the deeper problems of “virtual reality”.