Anna Wiener: “If the metaverse materializes, it will probably look and behave like a video game, at least for a little while. For millions of people, video games already serve as everyday, immersive virtual experiences; gaming companies provide infrastructure for Hollywood films, spatial visualizations, and live performances. Aesthetically, the metaverse could have the gauzy realism of 2019’s “The Lion King,” the anesthetized cheerfulness of The Sims, the pixel-art graphics of the sixteen-bit era, or any other vibe. Physically, it will probably be accessed through headgear—V.R. headsets, A.R. glasses—or simply a computer screen. Financially, it could look something like FarmVille, in which players spent millions of dollars on virtual windmills, fertilizer, farm animals, and water, tending to what Alenda Y. Chang, an associate professor of film and media studies at U.C. Santa Barbara, has called an “ecologically absurd” landscape, in which dying crops could be revived by “unwither” spray, and sheep produced wool sweaters after eating tomatoes.”
Shankkar Aiyar: “India’s biggest challenge is to shift its workforce to productive domains. Reconfiguring growth calls for sequencing and speed in reforms. The rise of China illustrates this. In 1990, China’s GDP was $360 billion and India was at $320 billion. China modernised agriculture followed by rapid opening up of its economy in the Deng Xiaoping era. India was slow off the block. The much praised ‘1991 liberalisation’ came in the wake of a crisis, and reforms have been in fits and starts. Economic growth demands the leveraging of the factors of productivity — land, labour, capital and now technology. Attempts to liberate productivity have been shackled by parochial partisan politics at the Centre and the states. Leverage of technology is constrained by inadequacies in the regulatory landscape. In 2021, China’s GDP stands at $ 16.8 trillion while that of India is $2.95 trillion.”
Read: 2 books by Toshikazu Kawaguchi in the “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” series. A total of 8 short stories.