Metaverse: The Great Migration to the Non-Place

Why was everyone screaming on Wall Street? That display was always entertaining, even if I didn’t understand the rules (the same happens with American Football), in which everyone seemed to seek the attention of others. Logic would indicate that if everyone yells, no one listens, but incredibly it seemed to work, just like American Football

6 min readNov 27, 2021

The place of reality was the trading floor where they danced to the sound of figures, papers, phone calls and physicality and not to the beat of some music. The cadence was imposed by the rise and fall of supply and demand from the screaming stock market and futures professionals who pranced like herons. In this corporeal open market, everyone had the possibility to buy and sell, and for four centuries that was the communication method most used by traders. Four hundred years screaming! How long did it take for analog to go digital? A sigh my friends, what a house of cards to crumble.

According to Marc Augé, a Place is a space for exchange, a relational site, in which people have shared names and interactions. There the ancient and the modern come together because there is a history of real encounters. On the contrary, the Non-place is a space of exchange in which the human being remains anonymous, but the perception of a spot as a Non-Place is subjective.

In the digitized world, no one shouts at exchanging anything because it is no longer necessary as it was in the analog place on Wall Street. Does anyone still listen to the silence of the trading floor? Nobody, because if nobody screams, nobody listens! A 20 years old open-outcry trader. An era of brash physical trading finished with the whimper of a traditional Lion dance in the pits. I was forced to hang up my jacket and frayed necktie. After 15 years on death row, my time was up, and my career was over. Or so I thought… (John Lin in I started my career as a“ dead man walking ”. Let me explain.)

Is it possible that this physical space has migrated to a virtual Non-Place that is considered a site by digital natives? Places, like Hamlet, will not listen to the news and will prophesy as they die. The rest will be silence.


O, I die, Horatio.

The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.

I cannot live to hear the news from England.

But I do prophesy the election lights

On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.

So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,

Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

O, O, O, O. (dies)

As in all areas of life, facing innovations or changes, there are always defenders and detractors who cling to old models or become attached to modern ones. Proponents of electronic trading claim that it is cheaper, faster, more transparent and efficient. The loudmouths want the yelling system because physical contact allows one to speculate on the true intentions of traders and adjust their positions accordingly. As in all walks of life, there are also the romantic idealists who want elevator operators in the elevators instead of machines and the practical realists who affectionately pat the MRI machine after their work is done. But (and I’ve already experienced this enough times) there is no stopping technology from challenging the status quo. (John Lin)

In the physical world the screams are silenced, the floors are emptied and the papers are digitized. The Great Migration has begun. What will happen? Millions have already moved from the physical to the digital, but now the translation will be even further, to the realm of virtuality. And there is nothing that can stop it. What is causing it? The new and very comfortable slippers and pajamas job opportunities. The unexpected disregard for the rituals, protocols, and discomforts of real predigital sociability and politeness. The appearance of the increasing idolatry of loneliness, confinement and superficial poses and gestures. What is the destination? The agglomeration of virtual areas on the internet 3.0 that has a shortage of player-worker manpower. What effects will this have towards virtuality? The values of digital spaces will increase, cities will be created within cities, new artistic manifestations such as NFTs will be born, unions, parties, gangs, factions, associations will emerge…

As a Telmah I prophesy more and more lights out in physical space. Youthful hands will move from consoles to gestures. Young feet from the ground to the clouds. Their minds from things to fantasies. Their emotions from the physical to the chemical. Their yearnings from the tangible to the ethereal… The rest will be noise and constant flashes in the binary infinite nimbus.

When the pandemic arrived, social distance was incorporated as a norm and as a rule of coexistence. The physical world was virtualized at an enormous speed, so fast that there are still those who could not assimilate the tectonic changes left by COVID-19. We no longer see the shoe seller face to face nor do we listen to his comments and suggestions. It is bought, tested, used or returned. The wars are with drones and viruses, the automotive plants with computers and 3D printers, the purchase of fast food with televisions, the claims with telephone answering machines, the dinners with delivery, the trips with chinstraps and distancing, the first dates by chat and audios from WhatsApp, Zoom screen jobs, headphones music and concerts have moved to the Fortnite Metaverse with Travis Scott.

The physical trading floor is empty and it’s a museum of walking dead men. They all migrated to Apps spiced by Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, AR, VR and Blockchain. “People are living online. The pandemic accelerated the interaction with the screens. This is already happening. Artificial intelligences already almost mimic reality and human behavior. Each iteration is better than the previous one”, as stated by Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro on Facebook’s Odd “Metaverse” Move. Who has the most power today?, they exchange both: the one that can unplug the power grid. If that happens, the consequences will be worse than an atomic bomb. A whole generation of people will be new zombies, dead men walking through an unknown, cruel, alien and silent physical space.


In this new trading without shouting world, it will be necessary to shout more as in the trading floor and even hit more as in the incomprehensible NFL México. To do this, someone must unplug the machine if they don’t know how to disconnect from the unreality. A while, step by step because: Some things start out big, and some things start out small, very small. But sometimes the smallest thing can make the biggest changes of all, as some Dinosaur (2000) said.

In Gandalf’s words in The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien: Well, no need to brood on what tomorrow may bring. For one thing, tomorrow will be certain to bring worse than today, for many days to come. And there is nothing more that I can do to help it. The board is set, and the pieces are moving (…) But the Enemy has the move, and he is about to open his full game. And pawns are likely to see as much of it as any (…) Sharpen your blade!

And not to forget the harangue from Théoden in the same book: For a while the king sat silent. At last he spoke. ‘So we come to it in the end,’ he said: ‘the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away. But at least there is no longer need for hiding. We will ride the straight way and the open road and with all our speed. The muster shall begin at once, and wait for none that tarry (…) For if we must ride now in all haste, then we must ride light, with but meal and water enough to last us into battle.’

The board is set; the pieces are moving! We come to it at last, the great battle of our time. Let’s play for a while.