As technology developers we are all for communications and technology bringing us together, but we are also concerned about how this technology can influence and enslave us. Picture this slightly amusing scenario: imagine you are inside one of these new virtual realities, chatting in a friendly manner with your mother, and suddenly she morphs into a bug monster from hell. Fiction? Not necessarily. Facebook, the owner of the virtual reality head-set Oculus Rift are expanding into this ‘shared reality’ technology. Their lead technologist? John Carmack, creator of the original Doom.
As soon as you put on VR goggles, your senses are dictated to by the owner of the software on the device. At present we have a God – while we may not always appreciate what that God does for us, we can all recognise that this Creator puts certain limits and physical laws on us. Our life is a gradual learning process determining what those limits are. Imagine if we could all do whatever we wanted to in this world without limits? There would truely be chaos.
The world’s largest ‘country’ in the world is now Facebook: larger than China. In terms of religion, Facebook is about the same size as Islam, and closing in on Christianity. And yet, there is just one individual who is largely responsible for what happens in this huge organisation (with currently around a 30% shareholding). He may appear to be a relatively benign dictator, who, while influencing our decisions in subtle ways, is still a human being trying to make a profit and improve our lives at the same time. But, when we put on his virtual reality equipment, we sucumb all of our senses to that one leader’s whims. He becomes our ‘God’. The question is, can we trust him?
The near monopoly of Facebook, is due in part to the technology that the company developed, and the network effect. We believe, however, that if anybody could create their own Facebook or Whatsapp server (Whatsapp is also Facebook owned), and the software was free and open source, there would be a much richer echosystem for anyone to contribute and benefit from. If the software had no ads, and did not support virtual reality, we could keep the good stuff, and get rid of the dangerous side of this monopoly.
This is why we open sourced the AtomJump.org product. Purely within a browser on your phones or PCs, you can now experience Whatsapp-like instant group messaging, and have full control over how the system operates. See AtomJump.com to try it out, and AtomJump.org to download or improve the product. Enjoy!
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