The Yuan requests your support! Our content will now be available free of charge for all registered subscribers, consistent with our mission to make AI a human commons accessible to all. We are therefore requesting donations from our readers so we may continue bringing you insightful reportage of this awesome technology that is sweeping the world. Donate now
Life and crime in the meta-thingy: Introduction
By Nigel Morris-Cotterill  |  Dec 08, 2022
Life and crime in the meta-thingy: Introduction
Image courtesy of and under license from
‘Seeing is believing.’ The Four Imaginary Friends dispute the nature of truth vs. semblance as they seek to pick apart the fundamental nature of Web 3.0 and the metaverse and their distinctions and overlap.

LOCATION: No one knows and very few people can find out.

To begin with, there are four things that people need to understand about Web 3.0 and ‘the metaverse.’

1. They are not new. I used to know someone who ‘refurbished’ machines. I asked him what ‘refurbished’ meant and he said, “No one knows. So, we can fix obvious faults, slap some paint on and resell it and so long as it’s safe, no one can complain.” 

That basically sums up Web 3.0, except that its faults haven’t been fixed and it’s not safe.

2. Web 3.0 is related to - even intertwined with - the metaverse but they aren’t the same thing, even though they are often talked about in the same breath.

3. In 1999, in an academic paper that is still quoted today, I wrote that, ″on the internet everyone knows your name but no one knows who you are.″ In the metaverse, this phenomenon is perpetuated - and hugely increased. Despite all the technology that is available to identify and verify that identification for banking and other applications, its effective identification is pretty much alien on the web and in Web 3.0 and the metaverse, so nothing has really changed. You are whoever you say you are.

4. In that same paper and in subsequent work, I have emphasized that the vast majority

The content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.
Continue reading
Sign up now to read this story for free.
- or -
Continue with Linkedin Continue with Google
Share your thoughts.
The Yuan wants to hear your voice. We welcome your on-topic commentary, critique, and expertise. All comments are moderated for civility.