Lynn | Yolo Times

“How about Okinawa?

They say it’s Japanese yet very Southeast Asian at the same time. Also, a bit like Fujian and Taiwan too.”

July 2019
On a quaint island off the southern coast of China


Hidden on a narrow alley of red brick buildings, away from the main streets and crowds, was a cafe with three carefully placed seats. A young woman of not more than 30 was quietly sitting in the center seat, planning her next adventure. She looked at a regional map on her iPad as she took another mouthful of her chai latte. Korea? Japan? How about Mongolia? Hmm, or maybe westwards?

She couldn’t decide, and she was happy with that. Her eyes sparkled, wandered, and roamed. She rested her eyes on the owner, Lili, who concentrated on her latte art. A wing appeared, and then another, and then a tiny head with a handsome body and long tail. She smiled. She has created something worthy, something tasteful.

Lynn exclaimed in Chinese, “Piao Liang!”

“You really think it’s beautiful?”

“Yes, very tastefully done! Now tell me, where do you think I should go next!”

“Hmm, let me see, you want to stay in China or somewhere else?”

Lynn chuckled, “I’ve been in China for quite some time now. Speaking of which, I’ve been on this island, in your cafe for the last 3 weeks. I am so ready for somewhere else.”

“Seoul?”

“Been there.”

“Busan?”

“Been there too.”

“Jeju Island!”

“What for? Only honeymooners go there. I know you love Korea but how about somewhere out of Korea? “

“Oh! How about Mongolia then! I remember you wanted to go see the Naadam Festival.”

“Good idea! No, wait, if I am going to Mongolia, I want to do a two-week kind of thing. It’s too expensive right now. No budget.”

Just then, a pair of Japanese tourists entered the cafe and ordered takeaways.

When they left, Lynn exclaimed with joy, “It’s a sign! Japan it is!”

Lili rolled her eyes, and as she went back to practicing her latte art, she suggested, “How about Okinawa? It’s the nearest to where we are and probably the cheapest to get there. Many of my friends have been there for holidays, and they found the place…interesting? They say it’s Japanese yet very Southeast Asian at the same time. Also, a bit like Fujian and Taiwan too.”

Lynn liked interesting places. She searched for Okinawa on her Google map, did a quick read-up on the location, checked for air tickets and accommodations, and smiled.

Next stop: Okinawa.



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Let’s Connect:

Ethical Dilemmas of a Metaverse Society

Technology in 2063 has developed to the extent that “what you think can exist” in the metaverse. Due to the nature of the metaverse, audiences, especially fan-based communities, often equal the creative and technical prowess of Genesis 0 people with their personalities and characters. Sometimes, Genesis 0 people intentionally encourage such make-believe too.

There are in broad, four camps of people:

Moralists

One camp of people, especially educators and parents, believe that metaverse creators, especially Genesis 0 people who garner the attention of hundreds of millions of followers, must be “clean and moral.” This is because their influence in and out of the metaverse is immense. In their words, “they can light up a match, they can start a riot.” These people tend to think that the metaverse has corrupted society too.

Realists

Another camp of people is entirely against such control on a person’s private life, and that control should only apply to the performed content within the metaverse. Their argument for controlling the performed content within the metaverse may be fictional, but there are actual actors at play, i.e., us. Their prime example will be cyberbullying. You cannot discount cyberbullying just because it is virtual, can you? In addition, the sensory experiential nature of the metaverse is so profound and realistic that the human brain can hardly distinguish it from a real-life experience. “When a person commits violence, such as rape, in the metaverse. It is as if it happened. No, it happened. There are to be real-world consequences.” 

Liberalists

Another camp of people argues that though the metaverse is a public space, every human should have freedom of thought and expression. The beauty of the metaverse is that it is not the real world. And hence, it does not have real-world implications or impacts. And so, “don’t confuse fact and fiction, you cannot fault fiction either. We have two lives: your real-life and your superhero life. Live out your superhero life.” Not every thought is a product or representation of the person too. We cannot incriminate or hold a person accountable for every (private) thought and creation surrounding the creator in the metaverse.

Innovators/Idealists 

This camp of people argues that technology does not corrupt human nature but reveals it. We should continue to grow metatechnologies, and it’s applications for the benefit of humankind. For example, conduct extensive medical simulations and social-economic models within the metaverse to maximize real-world resources and successes. They believe the metaverse is a great equalizer for the world because those who can enter it interact via brain synapses. Their goal is to make the metaverse experience affordable for everyone to “increase the conversion rate of ‘on-screen audience’ to ‘in-screen audience.’ In other words, breaking the fourth wall, allowing more people to experience the metaverse within instead of experiencing it via their screen devices.