“Sometimes one just gets tired of fleeing.

The world’s very small when you don’t have anywhere to go.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafon


Fujhi, poudes; escapa, non.

<flee, you may; escape, you cannot.>


So. Meta and the metaverse is now upon us.
Let’s be clear. The main lure of the ‘metaverse’ will be escapism – escape from decisions, reality, uncertainty. People seem to increasingly seek to throw up their hands and step back as they increasingly feel like the world is in more turmoil than ever (it’s not, that’s perception, not reality). And in doing so more people will increasingly seek escapism – from accountability in business decision-making as well as accountability for dealing with Life. So let’s maybe call the Metaverse a fleeing destination.

But. “Fujhi, poudes; escapa, non <flee, you may; escape, you cannot>.” I say that because in today’s world fleeing anything, in life or business, is tough. While it may seem like a great big expansive world, the shit that we have a tendency to flee either has some special ray gun that shrinks the world or it is so much faster than we are that it can appear before us no matter where we flee.

Which leads me to fleeing the stuff that matters.

There’s a lot of navel-gazing these days. I mention navel gazing because I often think navel gazing is simply a version of fleeing. It often constitutes too many conversations about things that don’t matter and not enough about things that do, in other words, fleeing the shit that matters. The metaverse now offers us an opportunity to step into some alternative universe where the stuff that really matters just doesn’t exist. Id be remiss if I didn’t point out that isn’t reality – it’s a metaverse; a fake reality.

What the metaverse, at its worst, offers is an escape when time should be spent spending precious attention, energy, and innovative idea skills solving meaningful problems in the reality.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t engage in thoughtful circumspective dialogue about shit, but the shit we discuss should be the shit that matters.

It often feels like we flee the stuff that matters only to run toward the shit that doesn’t. I get frustrated because it often feels like we flee the hard stuff and use the easy stuff as an easy target. I mostly get frustrated because even if someone does this … well … escapa, non.  You cannot flee. You cannot escape the stuff that matters. The metaverse does not slow down stuff that matters while you escape, in fact, I would imagine it keeps going so when you come back from the metaverse it has all just gained more velocity or more power.

I imagine the next aspect of stuff that matters is decision-making. Its not a big stretch to think that people will use the metaverse to pose questions and seek answers. Kind of like a high technology version of dashboard decision-making. What I mean by this is that business, and life, will only get more complex therefore decisions will become a bit more elusive AND businesses will be most likely encouraging more autonomy. In order to flee increased personal decision making responsibilities within seemingly unsolvable situations, we will use the metaverse to play out scenarios and use it to make decisions. To be clear. Scenario thinking or contextual thinking is good – to inform decisions and choices, not make them. What will happen is far too many people in escaping the work of choicemaking will use metaverse to make sense of things only to find that Reality is a different version of Metaverse and the decision will always be slightly off or misguided. I imagine I am suggesting the stuff that matters in the metaverse will never be exactly what the stuff that matters in reality is.


Which leads me to perception versus reality.

Well. If you are on Facebook or watch any of the 24/7 news channels, you would be relatively sure Armageddon was upon us. Apparently, everyone you have a different opinion with is evil and intent on destroying the world. Algorithms purposefully drive us to the extreme messaging and every headline suggests we are more stressed, more overwhelmed, more depressed, and, well, more of everything bad.

Its not that people become imprisoned by fear, but rather people just decide they cannot cope with all the forces swirling around the world. Reality becomes not just a bummer, but un-navigable.

Let me be clear on this one, fleeing something or ‘things’ <in today’s world> or even ‘reality’ is a common thought for the common person. Its not that we seek to avoid accountability or responsibility, but rather we seek to avoid the, well, lack of boundaries. What I mean by that is reality used to have some boundaries, not so much these days. Raise your hand if you have a smartphone <about 80% of you between 12 and 54 just raised your hand>. Over 90% of us have some handheld technology which permits texting, calling, scrolling, or emailing on a whim. Huge changes in technology and in society in recent years have blurred many of the old, familiar, reassuring boundaries.


Without boundaries where does one flee?

Where does work stop and life begin?

Where does my time stop and your time begin?

In less turbulent times the boundaries were very clear. And this is where the “metaverse” enters into the discussion. In the metaverse I can not only avoid reality, but I can actually craft the boundaries in my imaginary universe.  This is dangerous. These boundaries are actually some aura shell around “metaself”. By the way, no one can see this boundary but yourself – this means you are screwed.

You may think with this invisible force field around you that you may be able to flee the things swirling around you … uhm … escapa, non.  “The things” are better and faster and more resilient and, well, more <as in sheer quantity> than you. Fleeing simply means you will get smothered from behind. You may as well stand there and face ‘things’ and strengthen your own personal boundaries. You can never escape things, but you certainly can deflect things if you stand there and see them coming.

Which leads me to fleeing yourself.


“People are running, running, but there is no place in the world to which they can flee to escape themselves. Ultimately, each one must face himself.

Paramahansa Yogananda


While I do worry that this metaverse will encourage people to flee reality, I worry a bit more that it will become some false haven to flee yourself. What I mean by that is in the metaverse you can, conceptually, create the “perfect version you seek” in yourself – as a person and in some context. It is not difficult to see people running to the metaverse as it almost seems like today’s world, reality as it were, the self help people and the advertising and the futuristic blowhards, encourages us to think there is something wrong with us. That we aren’t ‘enough’ or passionate or focused or … well … we are lacking in some form or fashion.

Add in the fact that today’s complex issues facing us have no clear right or wrong answers and Life has become a contentious blend of flexible and inflexible boundaries.  Because of that individuals and societies will try to organize all their own personal chaos with boundaries with some intent to keep out all the external chaos. Here is where the Metaverse gets tricky. Whatever ‘metaself’ you create within this Meta universe actually means you will inevitably have to face yourself … uhm … the same self that society & all the expert shit is suggesting doesn’t have its shit together. I imagine what I am suggesting is in Reality or in Metaverse at some point you will create a boundary and reflect upon what is “inside” that boundary. In other words, escapa, non. Whether inside some finite space boundary or wandering aimlessly outside the boundary in some seemingly infinite space, fleeing yourself just doesn’t work. Mostly because where you are, well, you are there. Now. This is what the metaverse promises you – a different place to be where you are. This is a Faustian bargain with reality.

We may not always like what we see when we look in the mirror, but I can guarantee one thing – external critics will ALWAYS find something they don’t like. Fuck ‘em. Don’t flee them just ignore them. And don’t flee yourself, just remember that perfection is mostly found in glorious imperfections.

Don’t flee your imperfections, they make you who you are. And don’t flee to the Metaverse to flee yourself because, inevitably, reality holds all the mirrors.


I see the potential for good with the metaverse – conceptual thinking, spatial thinking, contextual thinking – opportunities abound to help hone thinking – for Life as well in business. Where my concern resides is most likely with Meta, itself, and how the world is currently arcing – increased ambiguity with perceptions skewed by loud voices suggesting Armageddon. That combination creates a scenario in which even if the metaverse were Utopia, there would be a bunch of doors available for escapism and a bunch of asshats writing algorithms and such encouraging you to go thru those doors.

As Jaron Lanier said: “no matter how petty a flaw might be in utopia, that flaw will be where the full fury of the power seeking will be focused.”

In the end. You cannot escape whatever you are fleeing.


No debate.

Doesn’t matter what it is or where you are.

Mainly because whatever you think you are fleeing doesn’t reside only in the place you are running from. Those things you elect to flee are the things that most often live in a variety of different places and spaces.

In other words, the world is a very small place when you have no place to go. I say that to suggest even by building an alternative universe, a Metaverse, doesn’t make reality go away. It is there. It exists. And it awaits your return. And, for the most part, it will do anything in its power to remind you reality is reality and the Metaverse is the Metaverse. Ponder, but, escapa non.

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Written by Bruce