You’ve heard of cryptocurrency. You may have heard of NFTs. They are all the rage right now because folks think they are a new form of asset class for investment. Others think they are a new form of digital currency. Real nerds know they are a lot more and it’s all way deeper than some get rich quick investment. They are the first signs of a new Internet, referred to as Web3.
Imagine if you could go back to the early days of the Internet. That’s where we are today. The Internet you know now will be irrelevant. A new distributed Internet will emerge based on blockchain technology and away from the big server farms of Google and Amazon. This new Internet will allow you to take your digital assets with you and into a new virtual world that you create. Think about Fortnite, but for every part of your life, and way more encompassing. Have you seen Ready Player One? It’s basically the Oasis. Today it’s called the metaverse, a name taken directly from this science fiction book — Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson.
Jeff Bezos once said “the dreamers come first. It’s always the science-fiction guys: They think of everything first, and then the builders come along and they make it happen. But it takes time.” That’s exactly right. Stephenson dreamed of the metaverse in 1992. Nearly thirty years later we see the first signs of it’s creation. It may take a couple more decades to be fully here but it will eventually be here.
Stephenson places us a few years in the future after a complete global economic collapse. Many people are living virtual lives in the metaverse when a computer virus appears that can fry the brains of computer hackers while turning normal people into religious cultists. Our main protagonists are trying to save the real world and the metaverse by figuring out where the virus comes from and how to destroy it.
Snow Crash is science fiction with a ton of religious dogma weaved within it’s action. I loved it. If you’re a nerd you’ll love it too.