Metavirus… does it improve human life or alienate it?
Never before has philosophy or poetry opened a space that attracts and grabs the attention of hundreds of millions of people like technology does today. It has already been able to overcome linguistic, cultural and religious obstacles and pattern human behavior to turn it into an object characterized by addiction to smart digital screens, until the common denominator between the majority of the world’s children and adolescents today is sitting in front of these screens without indifference to what is happening around them, as if the technological tool had stripped them of A sense of belonging to their original place of residence to immerse them in virtual places to which their minds and souls yearn.
Whoever contemplates the conditions of the world will find that the cultural and intellectual arenas are becoming narrower in front of philosophical and poetic creations, as if the philosophical discourse and the poetic poem had exhausted their purposes, thus vacating the place for a new discourse whose stars are shining more and more, which is the discourse of technology.
We do not think that the technology represented by glasses that enables us to interact with virtual reality and augmented or augmented reality can intensify the sense of presence in the tangible place, but rather increase the human sense of alienation in this place
When we listen well to “Mark Zuckerberg” presenting the features of his new project “Metaverse”, we realize that we are at a new turning point in the history of human thought. His talk about existence, presence, and the universe indicates that the major questions of existence are no longer an abstract philosophical or purely poetic affair, but have become questions for which technological answers are required of a practical technical nature.
In heralding the metaphysical conquests, Zuckerberg says this new technology will help us intensify our sense of presence elsewhere. Perhaps we find in his saying this what makes us needless to search in the folds of his many details of the intent or purposes behind working on the development of his seemingly amazing technological project. In front of the talk about the intensification of the sense of presence in other places, we find ourselves confronted with the question of technology and existence, a question that many have previously fought, led by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.
If the apparent meaning of the talk about the intensification of the sense of presence in other places suggests that we are facing a new destination that has not been previously reached, then its interior refers us to a philosophical legacy that is very old. Zuckerberg and others like him from the pioneers of technology today seek to achieve this goal but to embody perceptions of existence. Their owners say the possibility of establishing an ideal world free from the impurities of the given world. They provide souls and desire them to places other than where they are, as is the case of utopian thinkers, for example; The connotation of the word “utopia” in its Greek origin, Utopia, means no place.
Talking about the intensification of presence in other places implies an axiom that says the corruption of the natural place and its narrowness in front of the being. We do not think that the technology represented by glasses that enables us to interact with virtual reality and augmented or augmented reality can intensify the sense of presence in the tangible place, but rather increase the human sense of alienation in this place. The truth is that technology does not promise to solve the problem of philosophies that led to the separation of man from the world and stripping him of his sense of belonging to nature, but rather increases this man’s immersion in worlds created by his mental imagination and industrial skill.
Metaverse applications may have many practical benefits that cannot be denied or underestimated, such as helping to organize administrative work, study and distance learning, or enjoying the company of friends and relatives who separate us from long distances, or contributing to some games, and other practical applications. However, these applications do not rise to the level of answering questions of meaning associated with human existence; Rather, they remain mere technical innovations like their predecessors, as soon as they control the regulation of people’s relationship with time and place, until the need to transcend them appears.
What is worrisome is that technology is no longer just techniques and tools used to move the mill of life, but has become a culture that defines man’s relationship with time and place, and dictates his forms of presence in the natural world. Technology, as embodied in the Metaverse project, indicates that the human mind has transcended the stage of original existence, as man used to live poetry on this earth, as the German poet “Friedrich Hölderlin” says, meaning a natural life based on the feeling of immersion in the given natural existence; Or where a person refuses to thrive within narrow patterns that obscure him from seeing the vast universe, as we understand from the verses of the Arab poet al-Shammaq, whose beginnings are:
I came out of the houses and the domes, and no one could find my veil difficult
My house is space and the roof of my house is the sky of God or pieces of clouds
If you want to enter my house with a Muslim without a door,
Because I did not find a shutter of a door that is from clouds to dust
The poet does not make doors, because he sees in the door a tool that separates the inside from the outside and deprives the being of a sense of belonging to the universe. In this sense, poetry is an expression of the stage of feeling the presence in the universe.
Technological projects also indicate a transcendence of the stage of philosophy, where man seeks to rationalize the world, that is, to leave the realm of absolute vastness, and then enter the realm of closed narrowness. The philosophical mind dismantles reality into parts, defining the nature of each part according to the logic of the boundaries based on “inclusion/exclusion”, that is, the separation between the inside and the outside, before it reconstructs these parts into a purely rational systemic structure. Thus, the title of the stage of philosophy is “Extending the mind over existence.”
The point is that metaphysics and similar technology is not a technology that facilitates human communication with nature and intensifies his sense of life in it, as much as it increases his alienation in artificial worlds.
As for technology, it has become, along with metaphysics and other similar technological projects, aiming to extend industry over nature, thus emerging from the stage of making philosophical systems and the philosophical controversy that accompanies it. The technological mind no longer stops at the limits of existence as it crystallizes in mental patterns, but rather goes beyond that to beg for the technological tool to infuse the soul into a programmed existence.
It is no wonder that programmers have a prominent place in the world of technology today, because we live in the era of programming existence. Do you not see how the person who owns a technological tool, represented by glasses, turns his face away from the real existence represented by the scenery of the sea in front of his eyes, in order to ask for enjoyment in another existence, with another seascape that is better in composition and composition and in the most beautiful colors and shapes. The least that can be said is that these technologically programmed worlds enter a stage where the original existence has become suspected of false existence.
We don’t think this human being, with the passage of time, but excessive in the programmed worlds, excessive in the real world. That is because the generations that have grown up in the lap of digital culture, or the digital natives as they are called, have become disconnected from the natural space, spending most of their time in digital virtual spaces in order to enjoy the visual senses.
The point is that residing in these spaces only increases these generations’ passion for virtual worlds, and does not stoke their sense of the need to go back to the natural world. Like children who are concerned with programming games, this programming distracts them from playing. The human being who engages in the programmed reality, loses the ability to deal with the natural reality.
The contemplator of today’s technological discourse appears to have exaggerated the preaching of abstract worlds, and the marketing of types of “programmed existence” until the listener became delusional that technology would sell him a part of his life. The point is that metaphysics and similar technology is not a technology that facilitates human communication with nature and intensifies his sense of life in it, as much as it increases his alienation in artificial worlds. In this regard, it is correct to criticize the technological discourse, and to dismantle the intellectual foundations on which it is based.