Dinis Guarda, author, global influencer and serial entrepreneur reviews Snow Crash, a science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson in the latest episode of BooksABC. Published in 1992, Snow Crash presents one of the most notorious representations of the concept of The Metaverse. In fact, The Metaverse constitutes Stephenson's early 1990s vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future. The podcast is powered by openbusinesscouncil.org, citiesabc.com, and fashionabc.org.
BooksABC highlights books as the key elements that lay the foundations of any transformation in our society. According to the host, Dinis Guarda:"I write books, but I read a lot of books. Books make me a better person, inspire me, and get me out of the noisy moments of being an entrepreneur, author, and researcher. It gives me different narratives that help me to take things to the next level."
In the fourth episode of the series, Dinis reviewed Snow Crash, a science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson. The book is popular because it introduced the key concept of an evolved internet: the metaverse terminal, which is shaping modern society as a whole.
Snow Crash: Almost three decades ahead of its time
The first publication of the novel was launched in June 1992. It was the epitome of art, featuring all the facets of writing: history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, mathematics, and philosophy.
"This is a modern classic that predicts the concept of the metaverse, and inspires the generations of Silicon Valley innovators to move forward with what we have right now as part of the narrative of the Web 3.0", highlighted Dinis.
Narrating the ideology behind the original plot of the novel, Dinis recommended the book because of the mix of action and drama that makes it a thriller, and also because it gives an insight into key concepts like the Metaverse, the virtual environments and habitats, and avatars, the very topics that our society is discussing today.
"I think what is interesting is how this kind of vision and reality are mixing together. This book is a context of everything that we are living right now, especially in terms of the metaverse and how we can take it to the next level, and find actions and ideas that can guide us in the present time", he said.
Snow Crash was nominated for the British Science Fiction Award in 1993. It was also nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, a British award given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom, in 1994.
Neal Stephenson: Coining the Metaverse
Neal Stephenson coined the phrase ‘The Metaverse’ in the book as a successor to the Internet, and constitutes Stephenson's early 1990s vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future. Resembling a massively multiplayer online game (MMO), the Metaverse is populated by user-controlled avatars, as well as system daemons. Although there are public-access Metaverse terminals in Reality, using them carries a social stigma among Metaverse denizens, in part because of the poor visual representations of themselves as low-quality avatars. Status in the Metaverse is a function of two things: access to restricted environments such as the Black Sun, an exclusive Metaverse club, and technical acumen, which is often demonstrated by the sophistication of one's avatar.
Dinis also highlighted the author, Neal Stephenson, as an author who is known for his exemplary work in speculative fiction. Neal was born in 1959 and has written science fiction, cyberpunk, historical fiction, baroque, and post-cyberpunk.
His work has been a mix of concepts related to mathematics, philosophy, cryptography, science and history, linguistics, and currency. Some of his non-fiction articles have also been published in popular journals like Wired.
Besides writing, he also advises corporations, including Blue Origin, a company that was founded by Jeff Bezos to develop a spacecraft and space launch system. A futurist, he has also been associated with Magic Leaf and Co-Founded Subutai Corporation.
Concluding the episode, Dinis encouraged his audience, by concluding:
"Keep the ABC of your books available. Keep reading, keep learning, and keep innovating. Don't stop."