Many futurists and science fiction writers are adherents of the theory that we're heading towards "Vearth," a state where the entire world is essentially replaced by a giant virtual reality made of "computronium." (Computronium is Charles Stross' jokey term for matter that's optimized for computing.) You see this fantasy cropping up in movies like The Matrix, where the world of 1999 has been completely replaced by a computer simulation; and in countless novels ranging from Greg Bear's Blood Music to Rudy Rucker's latest Postsingular. Now Rucker himself is railing against this idea of Vearth, in a terrific essay on why virtual reality will always suck compared to the real thing.
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