Facebook Opening Physical Store Where You Can Willingly Plug Yourself Into The Matrix

Tech
Facebook Opening Physical Store Where You Can Willingly Plug Yourself Into The Matrix

Demonstrating excellent timing, Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday that Facebook will soon open its first physical retail space as it “transitions” from a humble social media platform that’s destroying civilization to a "hardware giant" that will make the living envy the dead.

Oh, and something something “metaverse.”

The Washington Post reports:

In the store, customers will be able to test out Facebook’s growing line of smart hardware devices including its virtual reality headset Quest 2, its smart glasses Ray-Ban Stories and its video-calling device Portal. The company will also sell some of the devices directly in the store.

Facebook has poured billions into its Reality Labs research that develops "virtual and augmented reality hardware and software.” People who apparently lack basic social skills and recognizable human instincts assume other higher primates will want to meet with coworkers in virtual board rooms, attend digital events with the friends they don’t have, and shop in virtual stores because you need to virtually feel the produce and squeeze the Charmin.

Here’s a look at Facebook’s Reality Labs division, which is scary and depressing, much like the early Internet.


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Zuckerberg declares: “The best way to understand virtual reality is to experience it. At the new Meta Store, anyone can demo popular apps on Quest 2 and project what you’re experiencing onto a big wall for your friends to see.”

Does Facebook actually offer a service that’s worth putting on your pants? Zuckerberg seems to think so, but he also believes that haircut’s a good idea.

There are sound (though ultimately evil) business reasons for Facebook/Meta to start selling its own hardware. Apple has imposed new rules that limit Facebook’s ability to collect personal information from iPhone users for targeted advertising campaigns. It would make sense for Facebook to cut out the middle man and sell its own hardware devices so it can more easily collect data from the users it's slowly turning into anti-vax Nazis.

PREVIOUSLY: LIVE: Whistleblower Mark Zuckerberg So Sad Frances Haugen Made Up All Those True Things About Facebook

But there’s also the inescapable stench of desperation within the metaverse. Facebook admitted in February that it lost daily users for the first time in its 18-year existence. The number of daily users fell by about half a million in the last three months of 2021. The timing is not random: Whistleblower Frances Haugen had just informed Congress and the world that Facebook is a threat to all that’s good and decent.

Sure, Twitter’s gonna be much, much worse soon, but last year, Facebook had seemingly cornered the market on evil. It couldn’t even launch its goofy metaverse without endangering children. Although intended solely for adults, Meta’s new virtual-reality app Horizon Worlds reportedly had users as young as nine hooked into the system as potential prey for perverts.

Meta did not respond to a question about whether it had received any reports of child exploitation or grooming in Horizon Worlds. It also declined to say whether it had taken any measures aimed at protecting children from those threats.

It’s impossible to know with certainty that an avatar is a child, but judging by their voices and actions, they’re hard to miss. For a company that is building what it hopes is the future of online interaction, the failure to enforce an age limit — one of its most basic rules — in Horizon Worlds would seem to be an ominous sign.

Located near Reality Labs division headquarters in California, the 1,550-square foot Meta Store opens next month. Presumably, the staff will notice if there are any unattended minors on the premises.

[Washington Post]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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