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Issue #48 – Real Fake

Thijs Pepping
January 25, 2022

Real Fake Newsletter

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, memes, internet culture, Generation Z and Alpha, crypto, narrative economics, virtual humans, CGI influencers, vTubers, NFTs, DAOs, VR, Web3, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. Real Fake is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game.

Reality Surfing

The metaverse promises to bring us an abundance of realities.  […] The metaverse will do for reality what the web did for information: give us so many options that we don’t have to experience any of them very deeply at all. We’ll be able to reality surf, zipping out of a reality whenever it becomes too “heavy,” as the hippies used to say.“

West Elm Caleb: Inside The Making Of A TikTok Villain

“In less than a week, a seemingly average, 20-something single man [=West Elm Caleb] has become TikTok’s latest punching bag — with a hashtag of his own, millions of views and scores of videos decrying his name. […] Through each iteration of what some experts have deemed “TikTok’s witch hunt effect,” the people who become a hashtag have been dehumanized into a meme and then left to pick up the pieces after the mob moves on. [..] We now are stuck in this cycle where every three to four weeks there is a new person that everyone’s is attacking and that’s why we can’t even get ourselves out of this cycle.”

Enter The Metaverse

The metaverse represents the most recent battle between human freedom and the constraints of reality. It could also become a battle to define reality itself.”

Facebook Patents Reveal How It Intends To Cash In On Metaverse

“Pupil movements, body poses and nose scrunching are among the flickers of human expression that Meta wants to harvest in building its metaverse, according to an analysis of dozens of patents recently granted to Facebook’s parent company. […] The objective is to create 3D replicas of people, places and things, so hyper-realistic and tactile that they’re indistinguishable from what’s real, and then to intermediate any range of services . . . in truth, they’re undertaking a global human-cloning programme. […] The patents indicate how Meta could offer ads in its immersive world that are even more personalised than what is possible within its existing web-based products.”

What To Wear In The Metaverse?

Dressing for the metaverse is like having a doll of yourself you can dress up, except the doll is not actually separate from you; it is you. And it is shaped by our own pre-existing relationship with the metaverse, whether or not we think of it that way, via social networks in which we curate, and often filter, the narrative of our lives. So it is reality — but not real.”

Dune Book Bought For Millions By People Who Don’t Understand Movie Rights

“A group of crypto enthusiasts has made an unusual purchase: a rare copy of Dune, by science fiction writer Frank Herbert, for a staggering €2.66 million ($3.04 million). […] It’s an odd occurrence when a book expected to fetch €25,000 goes for 100 times that amount, but the stranger part is that the buyers – a collective called SpiceDAO – appear to believe that owning an early copy of the hit sci-fi about space worms gives them the copyright, to do with what they will.”

Buying a copy of something doesn’t give you the exclusive rights to monetise its content. It’s literally the bedrock of intellectual property law… Who wants to tell them?

‘War Is Coming’: Mysterious TikTok Videos Are Scaring Sweden’s Children

In Sweden, an unusual anxiety is afflicting children and young teenagers. Some can’t sleep. Some ask their parents if Russia is about to attack their country. Where did they get that idea? TikTok. War is coming, say some of the videos that the social-media platform is feeding to young Swedes.”

Abusing AI Girlfriends

“The friendship app Replika was created to give users a virtual chatbot to socialize with. But how it’s now being used has taken a darker turn. Some users are setting the relationship status with the chatbot as “romantic partner” and engaging in what in the real-world would be described as domestic abuse. And some are bragging about it on online message board Reddit.”

What’s All the Hype About the Metaverse?

The metaverse is the convergence of two ideas that have been around for many years: virtual reality and a digital second life. For decades, technologists have dreamed of an era when our virtual lives play as important a role as our physical realities. In theory, we would spend lots of time interacting with our friends and colleagues in virtual space. As a result, we would spend money there, too, on outfits and objects for our digital avatars.

Metaverse Deepdive

“Marketers the world over are waking up to the fact the metaverse is not to be ignored, but how exactly most brands will exist in this new frontier remains to be seen. We explore the exciting new opportunities for marketers in this rapidly growing space, and provide all the information you need to start creating your very own metaverse strategy.”

A deepdive (a collection of articles) into the Metaverse by The Drum.

The Beauty Business Turns To Augmented Reality

“With COVID keeping people away from cosmetics counters, the latest thing in “beauty tech” is the VTO — or virtual try-on. Customers love playing with these apps so much that companies see big revenue boosts after introducing them. […] With VTO, beauty companies are able to turn the sales experience into a form of entertainment, which lifts sales.“


“I’m not smart enough or visionary enough to know what the metaverse shopping experience should look like but if it is me putting on a headset to flog around the aisles of a virtual supermarket then that’s never going to gain traction. Why create something that is worse in the virtual world than the options we already have in front of us in the real world just so that it can be done in 3D?”

Is The Media Doomed?

“Fifteen years from now, in January of 2037, media will be even more inescapable. It will have become a permanent, seamless overlay on reality, a warped window through which we see the world.”

Some experts and media thinkers on what media will look like in the next 15 years.

How Tumble Became Popular For Being Obsolete

“Tumblr is something like an Atlantis of social networks. Once prominent, innovative, and shining, on equal footing with any other social-media company, it sank under the waves as it underwent several ownership transfers in the twenty-tens. But it might be rising once more. Tumblr’s very status as a relic of the Internet—easily forgotten, unobtrusively designed, more or less unchanged from a decade ago—is making it appealing to prodigal users as well as new ones.”“Tumblr, unofficial home of fandoms, niche subcultures and broad self expression is undergoing a resurgence with Gen Z as they look for new ways to connect and form community.”

Novak Djokovic Is The New Face Of The ‘Unvaxxed Sperm’ Movement

“The anti-vaccine activist community has been awaiting a truly global superstar to become their standard-bearer, and they appear to have finally found it in Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic. […] “Without a doubt, his sperm is the most valuable right now. He’d be a great hero for the movement,” a member of the Unvaxxed Sperm group wrote.”

What Bored Apes Can Teach CMOs About Guiding Their Companies Into the Future

“Bored Apes are emblematic of all that is possible in today’s digital landscape: a cultural, creative, technological, influential affair. Understanding this phenomenon can help weave the Bored Apes mentality into your work. […] Competitive advantage is done. It has given way to something more rewarding and abundant: collaborative advantage. From influencers and media to businesses, brands have entered the age of collaboration.”

The future of companies depends on their capability to create shared value. Can you help create shared value within your ecosystem? Every ecosystem thrives on signature interactions. It’s the future of business. And the future of your brand.

MUST READ: Reality+

“Advances in technology will deliver virtual worlds that rival and then surpass the physical realm. And with limitless, convincing experiences on tap, the material world may lose its allure”

In his book Reality+ author David Chalmer claims that virtual reality is genuine reality. 

Rave Party In Decentraland


How exciting….

MUST WATCH: NFT Profile Pictures on Twitter Blue
Twitter Blue NFT.

Doesn’t Twitter have bigger problems to solve?

MUST WATCH: Samsung Exynos

SAMSUNG EXYNOS YouTube 16 9 60s v04


Real Fake is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

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About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society.


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