The meta-problem of the meta-universe: Mapping Critical reflection

Since the concept of "meta-universe" "landed" in the Chinese thought circle in 2021, it has become a new opportunity to trigger theoretical thinking. A variety of cutting-edge questions have been asked about this "event," focusing on the trendy terms and abbreviations repeatedly used in tech hardware; On the other hand, many questions focus on humanistic reflection and future assumptions, which are connected with metaphysics or ontology, ethics, philosophy of science and technology, law, political science, aesthetics, art, etc., and the investigation has two tendencies of optimism and pessimism. The urge to ask questions is natural, but there is also a lot of suspicion. On the first, much of the discourse is simply about rephrasing established things; The second, and much more involved, is the unstandardized "possible" question of scientific fact, to which one has all the answers, even if the answers are contradictory. We focus on the latter kind of problems because they are better reflected in the mental boundaries presented by imagining future prospects. Our approach is to attempt a philosophical "meta-question" mapping of these questions. In other words, it is to re-examine and evaluate the "ways or attitudes" in which the humanities and social sciences have raised various possible questions over the past year or so; At the ideological level, what theoretical structure leads them to believe that "a problem exists (or does not exist)" in the meta-universe phenomenon.

The "drawing" method is a kind of "ideological geography" treatment, that is, the "problems" of different positions and field backgrounds have different "conceptual geography", which contains the plural "meta-problems" of different distribution. The reason why it is necessary to draw such an original problem is that the meta-universe is the "place to go" that has yet to be drawn. It has the potential to give us exactly what it has not yet given us, and that is why it is possible. Based on the various "meta-questions", we can see which are true questions and which are merely repetitions and branches of the original question. This paper attempts to start from five perspectives, which relate to five positions on the meta-universe, respectively, from the typical propositions put forward by some scholars in the past year or so: first, the converging free world of extended mediaism and its conception; Second, the fractured imagination based on postmodern difference theory; Third, the equal demand and capital criticism of the meta-universe; Fourth, the ultimate significance of the meta-universe to human beings from the perspective of existence; Fifth, the fantasy of the new person based on the virtualization of the body. In each case, we will generalize with one or more "meta-problems" that contain contradictions, thereby revealing the limits of how the mind can deal with the phenomena of the meta-universe. For such a new concept of the meta-universe, this may also be a new way to summarize and evaluate.

The same Utopia: extension and suppression

Since the space of the meta-universe is virtual, and information resides in matter and transmits the meaning understood by the mind, it is natural that the meta-universe should be equated with the information medium. This is why many communication scholars pay special attention to it, and their position can be named "extended mediaism". This theory is based on McLuhan's classic definition: the medium is an extension of man. They are trying to make the medium universal, to accommodate (and even replace, replace, and reconstruct) the entire real world, and the meta-universe is exactly what they need for this infinite medium. Their argument can be summarized as follows: First, media is the expression of human social relations, even the relationship itself; If relationships reach infinity, the medium is everywhere; Since the meta-universe is a cosmic medium, it (necessarily or possibly) gives the medium the greatest extension. Second, when this extension reaches infinity, since the connection between the medium and human thought and activity is at its strongest, then the meta-universe becomes an indispensable infinite medium for contact with reality; Because reality and the media are so closely related, reality itself is the only omnipresent medium.

For example, some scholars confidently predicted the media vision represented by the meta-universe: "The future media will no longer be (or mainly not) a series of fixed 'entities', the new media form is a' network 'woven and weighted by algorithms, is a complex system", is "the highest form of' human relationship connection 'in the real world". So the future will be the "era of context," the era of "always on," where "almost everything you do offline is done online." Here the "intermediation" of the media itself is emphasized, although all the affairs are handled online, the difference between it and the offline is still obvious. However, he also argued that the iteration of media will evolve into an era of "everything is media", and media will shift from "a tool for conveying information" to "a link of relationships", even a cup of coffee is a medium for conveying information. Leaving aside the fact that coffee seems to convey information without the iteration of a medium, here he seems to extend the medium to all actual beings as long as they can serve as a contact medium for social relations. However, the contradiction lies in the fact that the medium is only the carrier and "online" system of the information of the existence (the existence), why has it become the existence itself? The answer seems to lie in the metaverse itself, which as an information medium or "open source platform" has been extended into the "form" of the universe itself, the objectified data model. In a sense, this is a modern "algorithmic" version of ancient Platonism. In the meta-universe, "the virtual and the real are highly interoperable." The meta-universe "through the upgrading of immersion, participation, sustainability and other characteristics", with the help of "many independent tools, platforms, infrastructure, and collaborative agreements between various subjects", the boundary between virtual and real is completely eliminated, and unified into an infinite, organic "ecological level complex system".

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