Discover more from Stew's Letter
Why virtual reality matters
For most of human history, knowledge was scarce.
It was often stored in people's brains and, occasionally on stone or paper, both of which were easily lost or destroyed.
It was often transmitted orally, always one game of “telephone” away from being lost or degraded.
Knowledge was highly localized; and knowledge that did survive was often held behind closed doors and only accessible by a privileged few.
To read Confucius, to know that he even existed, you’d not only need to be in the East, but you’d need to be friendly with the dynasty guarding the library of Eastern knowledge.
Two millennia later, our relationship with knowledge has been revolutionized by the internet.
Rather than being stuck in a single library or a single human mind, most knowledge that lives on the internet is immediately available to almost any human, largely unencumbered by gatekeepers and geography.
Today, experiences are very similar to pre-internet knowledge.
Experiences are highly local. To experience a sailing trip in the Mediterranean, you must go there.
Experiences are protected by gatekeepers. You can't experience a concert from the front row without buying the tickets.
Experiences are ephemeral. The circumstances which allowed a specific experience may never arise again.
Today, we are at the dawn of building technology which will allow us to do for experiences what the internet did for information.
Virtual reality will democratize experiences.
People will be able to experience what it's like to sail through the Mediterranean without leaving their living room.
It's going to be wild.