The Final Frontier

“Virtual reality IS the final frontier.” Anderson over stated. He stood over his kitchen table, strewn with old pizza boxes, spam mailers, and his 27” plasma monitor displaying computer code. “We have to keep the platform adaptable for users to build a livable reality.”

His best friend, Brad sat at the other end of the table in front of his own monitor. “Dude, you’re talking about years of code…”

“Yes, but if we pull this off,” Anderson answered him “we won’t just be successful computer geeks. We won’t be Mark Zuckerberg, we’ll be fucking Columbus.”

PS4Brad looked a little skeptical. His two-day-old ACDC t-shirt hung over his greasy body—stained. “But we don’t have hardware for livable interface yet.”

“It won’t matter,” Anderson countered “Just think about our generation…the millennial generation. We want a just world, a socially just world. Tolerance is our new morality…but it’s impossible.” He riffled through some clutter, found the last slice of pizza and took a bite “Hayek knew this in the fifties: Utopia only exists when the dissenting voices are oppressed. One person’s version of utopia is another person’s oppression. Millennials don’t get that, we actually believe in the ends justifying the means. That’s why they fired the CEO of Firfox…”

“Or the violence surrounding Black Lives Matter…” Brad was catching on.

“Exactly,” Anderson finished his slice of pizza and belched. “Historically when a minority was being oppressed, they just immigrated to a new land and established their own societies on values that they believed in. I mean, that’s why we have America.”

Brad monitored carefully the algorithm running on his screen, half listening. The three computer towers stacked along the wall to his right hummed busily. He typed a few keys to start the next cycle.

“The irony is that whatever land these minorities moved to, they had to take it from the indigenous people, but that just proves my point: One man’s Utopia is another man’s oppression.”

“So…” Brad prompted.

“So…We, the idealists that we are, believe that as long as we create a more just society it doesn’t matter what we have to do to get there. In the name of creating justice we will create atrocity.”

Anderson and Brad had talked about this before. There was a polarizing nature to their generation. The immature fury that comes with entitlement and idealism was already creating a rift in communities across the world.

“But we can’t colonize new territory, and establish our own version of a more just society. The world has already been colonized….where do minorities go to establish their own kingdom of like minded values?”

That was the big reveal for Brad, “Ah, they go online.”

total recall“Virtual technology is evolving much faster than space colonization is.” Anderson leaned back in his office chair and put his feet on the kitchen table. “The only place to create a new world, a just world, is in here.” He patted the top of one of the computer towers.

“Remember Hoover saying a car for every garage?” He asked.

“I thought it was FDR…”

“Nah, Hoover,” Anderson paused “I’m pretty sure it’s Hoover. But anyway,” he continued, “now it isn’t a car for every garage, it’s a world for every man.”

Brad nodded his head “We could do it, pretty sure.”

“If we can create a virtual reality platform that allows the end user to create whatever kingdom or version of just society they want and enable them to live in it, we could see the world move completely virtual. Commerce, employment, trade, politics, legal jurisdiction, marriages, friendships…virtual and customizable.”

“Dude,” Brad raked back his dirty blond hair “that’s wild. It’s like, a way of having peace in our time. Everyone lives in the world they want, so they stop fighting over this one.”

“It’s the new frontier, man.”

“I could see how the hardware would develop with demand. I mean, the beta launch wouldn’t be so immersive. It wouldn’t be like living, but if we write the code well and the hardware evolves…” He shrugged his shoulders.

“People could almost live entirely in their virtual world.” Anderson was impressed with himself.

“Shit.” Brad let out “we are Columbus.” They both sat in their creative genius, smiling with excitement. “But we’ll have to learn how to code some high end AI, I mean, there will need to be people in their worlds…”

Anderson nodded, “It’s true. Humans: You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. But it shouldn’t be as involved as you think. The up coming generation socializes online more than in real life. And most of what they get from online interaction is just a reflection of themselves. People don’t want other individuals with minds of their own and needs of their own that they have to love.”

“But what if the program creates people the end user doesn’t like…I mean opposites attract right?” Brad was thinking “So let’s allow the end user to create the people they want.”

“Yeah,” Anderson agreed “And a patch to allow other users into be citizens of the worlds. They can have their family members, friends, whoever. But in their virtual world they get to be selective.”

Brad was getting excited now. “Have you pitched this to Solicor yet?”

Anderson wavered “I’m waiting to flesh it out a bit first.” In truth Anderson wanted to make sure he could get the patent on the code before getting the funding. Ideas have a way of switching owners when they become profitable.

“If we get this code right, Brad,” Anderson theorized “we could be the first people that allowed humans to actually be like God—virtual God’s, but still…”

 

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