What is this thing we’re calling the metaverse?

There’s a steep learning curve for much of the emerging technology I write about – quantum computing, precision medicine, artificial intelligence, solid state batteries and cybersecurity.

Three years after writing about the quantum technologies landscape in Canada, I’ll return to the same topic but different country, come across new words and reach for the dictionary. Except it wouldn’t be much help because everyone means something different, and there are dozens of definitions.

Incidentally, if you want to find when a word was first used in print, try Miriam Webster’s Time Traveler. The non-fungible token was born in 2017 but is only now making the headlines.

So, anyway, how do you know what everyone means when they say ‘metaverse’?

With great difficulty.

Consider this, from a report I worked on – Sustainable Fashion in India – for KTN:

If we haven’t yet agreed on basic concepts like ‘sustainable fashion’, which have been around for way longer, with many more people keeping an eye on it, what hope for metaverse?

I love learning about emerging tech – it’s fun, but it can also be hard work. Just when you think you’ve caught up, it’s changed.

The last time I felt like this was reading A Brief History of Time. There’s a fantastic documentary Stephen Hawking: Can You Hear Me?

Surely there’s a word for that feeling of a fleeting glimpse of understanding something? If there is, it’ll be in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows