He Conceived of the Metaverse in the ’90s. He’s Unimpressed With Mark Zuckerberg’s.

We are quickly approaching the dystopian future that Neal Stephenson outlined in his 1992 best seller “Snow Crash.” That book anticipated and coined the term “metaverse,” a concept that 30 years later has become a reality for many gamers, and the North Star for a certain Mark Zuckerberg. In his latest book, “Termination Shock,” Stephenson sounds his next alarm bell — this time on climate change.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara Swisher discusses the perverse relationship between personal wealth and climate survival. They chat about sulfur guns, earth suits and the need to ramp up the space race for human survival. And they lament that politics and sluggish government action to rein in climate change may mean human survival will be left to the benevolence of future “carbon capture trillionaires.”

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

He Conceived of the Metaverse in the ’90s. He’s Unimpressed With Mark Zuckerberg’s. 1
Brady Hall

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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe, Elisa Gutierrez and Wyatt Orme, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Mahima Chablani.