November 20, 2021

Metaverse, Reality, or Twilight Zone

Proceed with caution.  The thoughts below are my own opinions, and in this highly volatile and political climate we find ourselves in these days, I'm sure it will be offensive to some.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes miss the good old days before the internet. Some days I'm not so sure we aren't living in the Twilight Zone. 

We live in a world now where you can create your own reality.  Facts are whatever you believe and anyone that disagrees with you is a sheep deceived by fake news.  You can find anything on the internet to support your version of the facts since someone put it out there it must be true.  They don’t have to present legitimate credentials, experience, or expertise to back up anything they say.  They just have to say it, post it, and suddenly it’s true and any evidence counter to it is just false. This is our new reality, or thanks to Facebook, the new ‘Metaverse’ we live in.  While Mark Zuckerberg wants you to think of the Metaverse as something different from Facebook where you essentially have an avatar and can go have fun around the world from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost, we have been living in alternative reality for years and years now thanks to Facebook.   The pandemic has just amplified it since people somehow had nothing better to do with their time than fall into the Internet abyss.

People are now morally conflicted about a vaccine because of the unsubstantiated 'research' they have found to support their created reality.  They are no longer morally conflicted about what’s best for the greater good of society and those most vulnerable in it.  A public health issue has been politicized, and so we can only get into a self-righteous argument about which stance is morally superior if we are to discuss it.  They aren’t antivax in their version of reality because they have all their childhood immunizations and so do their kids.  They just need more time to feel comfortable, and thank God they didn't hit the death lottery when they or their kids actually got Covid that one time.  Followed by 'thoughts and prayers' for those that have lost a loved one, or more fake news they were all going to die anyway.  They have ‘done their research’ even though they don’t have the training, expertise, jobs, or resources to actually ‘do the research.’  But the people that do can't be trusted and are just lying or publishing altered results in order to push something that is 'unnatural' on us.  For a purpose that still hasn't ever been articulated to me.  Meanwhile there is nothing ‘unnatural‘ about ingesting a pharmaceutical at the advice of Joe Rogan or other blow hards on tv or radio, none of whom have any training, experience, or expertise in pharmaceuticals or medical science.  They are instead patriots standing up for freedom and being persecuted for it.  Now in the face of vaccine mandates, they are morally conflicted about whether to support their families or stand by their convictions and leave their jobs.  Providing for one's family is not something anyone should be morally conflicted about.  And I don't know if it is a truly a useful exercise for those that are able to work from home and don't have to interact with the public given all of the misinformation polluting the Internet right now along and the inability to by many to cut through the clutter.  Most weren't taught about discerning nonsense on the Internet in school. 

Let me tell you what is real.  I work in corporate America now (not for Facebook/Meta) and many of my colleagues in my division were just fired, laid off, told they didn’t align with organizational changes that were taking place.  Six months earlier they were told the new boss coming in was told it wasn't a rebuild or division that needed to be fixed.   Five months later after an assessment period, in a matter of hours our lives are changed forever.   There was never any opportunity to discuss if there was a good fit for any of them that made sense in the new structure.   To make matters worse my impacted employees told me when they received the news.  This shook me to my core. I didn’t know it was coming.  My boss didn’t know it was coming.  And yet we survived what I can only describe as a blitzkrieg attack, the likes of which I have not experienced before now. 

That is real.  I saw it happen. HR didn’t help or advise me or others how to address what happened with our surviving team members.  I didn't know when they were hit if any of the others were next.   I was called to a meeting that basically laid out the new structure and confirmed it was over.  That was when I found out how many were impacted and it was many more than I had even heard about to that point.  I called my surviving team together and broke down in front of them as I shared the news and told them I had no clue, and how I felt like an ass for trying to allay any concerns or fears only the day before advising them to treat rumors as just that. I apologized for how this happened and went down.  I apologized for not maintaining composure. 

I got the crass emails from the system at the end of the day to go over the termination checklist to transfer data etc. from them.  Their system access was cut off well before that could be done because one of them tried.  I told them not to worry about it.  Those emails were followed by the system emails that their terminations were ‘successfully completed.’   A termination that neither my employees nor I had initiated.  So those words are ironic, callous, and robotic for such a traumatic event. It happened to them. It happened to others.  It happened to me.  

I’m still trying to provide for my family.  And I am now living with survivor's guilt because I am genuinely relieved I didn’t lose my job.  I am grieving for those that did.  I will return and I will support and participate in the rebuild, until a I have an exit strategy or alternative offer, because I have a family to support.  I don't have to agree with how it was executed to support the future.  This is real and this is hard.  But I have no delusion that I should ever feel comfortable as I watch the top leaders make moves that serve their future positions at the expense of average everyday grunt workers and low level managers that live paycheck to paycheck.   

I also live in a reality where my second X chromosome is considered weak because I got emotional.  Sure I had my game face on in the meeting with leadership that I was summoned to, but not with my team, and I should have handled it like the Y chromosome would.  I live in a reality where, thanks to a form a feminism I don't subscribe to, those that came before me said we are the same as or better than men.  Indeed if we want to be men by all means we can turn ourselves into them and our 'dreams will come true.'   They chose that route rather than fighting for equality where it matters and celebrating the strengths we each (XX & XY) bring to the table and embracing the differences that come with the 2nd X chromosome.  We are expected to be stepford wives, stepford mothers, and stepford leaders all at the same time.  They created an expectation that is impossible to live up to if you want to join the ranks of executive leadership in the work place.  And for those that actually do, they are royal bitches that lack empathy and compassion.  So you're either weak or a bitch, and it is possible to be a weak bitch.  But you can never be a great or even good enough leader, because let's face it, that's still men's work first and bitches work second, all others need not apply.  Depending on your perspective or maybe upbringing, one is better than the other.  This is the world I'm trying to raise my daughter in.   I hope she never feels compelled to apologize for what comes with her second X chromosome, or that she somehow handled a situation poorly because of what came naturally with it.  I'm optimistic that as the pendulum swings, she will have an experience better than mine, and gracefully contribute to a better experience and work environment for the women and men that come after her.  

Finally I live in a reality where "Me Too" cherry picks some bad behavior and gives passes to others.  As long as Q (or is it god?) ordained them to save the world from all the evil in it, then their "Me Too" behavior gets a pass.  Also this person suddenly cares deeply for the average person in spite of the fact that his business and personal actions demonstrate he only cares about himself.  I was taught that actions speak louder than words, and I still believe that.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Metaverse.  I just have one question Mark Zuckerberg, when your vision for the Metaverse is realized, is it still rape if it happened there?  

For those that once had or still have identity in Christianity, your (our) religion has been hijacked.  Though since history repeats itself, this certainly isn't the first time.  The Bible is full of wisdom about not being deceived (Mathew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21).  It also says the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-39) are: 
    1. To love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, and mind. 
    2. To love your neighbor as yourself.  
Notice it doesn’t say to love yourself first then them.  And if you’re unclear on who your neighbor is, go watch the documentaries on Mr. Rogers.  He understood it well and taught it to many of us. 

The Bible also says pure and undefiled religion is to care for widows, orphans, and strangers (also known as refugees and qualify as your neighbor)  (Matthew 25:31-46 and James 1:27 among others). 

You don't have to be a Christian to find these to be good principles to live by, or to find resources other than the Bible that teach these principles.  If 'we' spent as much time learning and living these principles and less time with cultivating passion and distress caused by own personal self involved Metaverses, maybe, just maybe this world can be a better place for you and for me in the few short years in our lifespans that we have left on it.  How do you want to be remembered?

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