What’s the diff?

Perusing some of those old computer mags again after thinking of Weizenbaum and Eliza, I noticed holograms as a new and promising development.

I remember my first look at a real laser-viewed hologram in 1966. It was on display** in K-State’s physics building. In the ’80s holograms were part of Big Entertainment, seen in rock concerts and parties.

After that, nothing. Currency and credit cards have holographic watermarks, visible only with the right combination of lasers, but those are just new versions of the old chemical watermarks, not meant to create a 3d image for public viewing. Holograms are not hyped or advertised. Google’s Ngram thingamajig shows a big rise to 1971, a second peak for the rocks and raves in 1991, then gradual fade.

The “metaverse” is similar in concept and timeline. It’s a 3d image that emerges from 2d, it started as part of military trainers and simulators, and now it’s Big Entertainment, in a MUCH bigger way than holograms. Massive hype and puffery.

What’s the diff? QE. Holograms were invented and commercialized before Infinite Free Money and idiotic venture capitalists.

No tech company tried to bring holograms into every eyeball. 3d movies and 3d TV had already failed, so real investors with FINITE BUDGETS didn’t waste money on another guaranteed failure.

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** K-State used to have open mini-museums in many buildings, where profs and students could show off their latest work. This type of openness disappeared in the ’70s when Nixon generously gifted us the first wave of EMERGENCY! SECURITY! PANIC! TERRORISM! EPA! OSHA!

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