Of course

Britain will seek to regulate the rise of the metaverse popularised by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook under its flagship Online Safety Bill, the UK’s digital minister has confirmed.

Facebook, which rebranded as Meta in November, and dozens of other companies have claimed that breakthroughs in virtual reality mean that a seamless blending of the virtual world and the real world is just years away.

Chris Philp, the UK’s digital minister, said metaverse companies would fall under its plans to tackle online harms and bring regulation to Big Tech firms.

How could this not happen? After all, all those clever people can’t just be left to get on with it. They wouldn’t know what to do, would they?

Quite, quite, someone who knows absolutely nothing at all about the subject under discussion should tell them what to do.

12 thoughts on “Of course”

  1. “…someone who knows absolutely nothing at all about the subject under discussion should tell them what to do.”

    Scott Adams made a pretty good career out of that scenario.

  2. Quite, quite, someone who knows absolutely nothing at all about the subject under discussion should tell them what to do.

    But isn’t that the way Government and the Civil Service works? Run by “generalists” who move from Department to Department before they get a chance to learn much about what they do.

  3. Reminds me of one of the answers to a Christmas Quiz.

    The Japanese cyber-security minister who had never used a computer!

    Brings to mind too the old joke:

    Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it’s all organised by the Swiss.

    Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lover’s Swiss, the police German and it’s all organised by the Italians.

  4. Ecksy: “We need to have the means on hand to both defy and defeat these scum”

    You have. It’s called “a computer” and “internet”. It’s amazing how well this works. And how little of it is controlled by either the MegaMetaAlphabets or the Government, despite both pretending to have All In Hand.

    And when it comes to any Governmental UK interference in anything digital or internet related.. Honestly you dont have to worry. The track record of the UK over the past 25 years is so apallingly bad it’s not even worth a joke or a facepalm anymore.
    It’s like watching a geriatric, toothless terrier trying to impress a rat by staring it down like a cat. It’s so ..sad.. you can only feel pity.

  5. And “a seamless blending of the virtual world and the real world is just years away.”

    For a given number of years… And “Bwa-HAHAHAHAHaaaaaaahhhhh….”. Oh gods.. That’s a good one.. 😀

  6. “Quite, quite, someone who knows absolutely nothing at all about the subject under discussion should tell them what to do.”

    Yes, the argument you’ll hear from the left is that so much innovation is trial and error and examples of waste – all those VC investments that fail hoping for the big success that will pay for the failures plus a bundle. All those people who wasted their educations studying engineering or business or marketing, when all you have to do is ask the people who studied sociology or political science and law, and give them the money. They know exactly what is needed. Just ask Bernie.

    On another another note, I have a friend who loves every new innovation – an early adopter if ever there was one. Last time I was at his place he had me put on a headset and play virtual ping pong. It did feel kind of real. He says he gets a lot of exercise doing that. Personally, I’d rather walk the dog, but there will be lots of people who want to spend most of their time wearing headsets. While the entertainment value is likely to be lost on me, I expect something will come out of it of which I do approve, even if it’s just fewer people walking their dogs on the trails.

  7. TD,

    “Personally, I’d rather walk the dog, but there will be lots of people who want to spend most of their time wearing headsets.”

    I don’t think so. There’s lots of people who like gaming, but VR really hasn’t taken off. There have been some very good headsets for about 5 years, and I know people who like it, but most gaming is still not VR. And look at things like Second Life. It was a bit of a fad that faded out.

  8. The government doesn’t think we have any idea how to run the country. Does that mean we’re qualified to regulate Parliament?

  9. BoM4, the sister and myself got an Oculus Quest at the start of the lockdowns, mainly out of curiosity and as something to do if we were stuck at home.
    I have some very serious misgivings about the lack of privacy (they need a Facebook account to work) as well as a few other things.
    However, they’re not bad on the whole, and offer a few interesting use cases. Lots applications and sports games for keeping fit ( Beatsaber etc. ) that have high replay value and keep you entertained whilst exercising. Plenty of immersive documentaries and the like if you’re less of a fitness freak.
    The key advantage that the Quest has though is that it’s tetherless, yet can stream from a PC if necessary.
    It’s been huge hit the last couple of years and future iterations are only going to get better. But you wouldn’t know that if you’re not part of the ecosystem.
    The only downside is the amount of space you need – British houses just aren’t big enough – and that’s probably its biggest limitation.

  10. @BoM4
    The current problem with VR is that, to run it at high-resolution and high frame rates (the latter necessary to make it work and stop you throwing up), you need a very high-end gaming rig – the whole set-up will set you back thousands*. But doubtless give it a few more years and your average PC will be able to run it well enough.

    * some folks will happily pay that, of course, and good luck to them

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