Neal Stephenson, Metaverse, LAMINA1, Long Now, Fort Meade, Cryptology, Pseudonyms, Blue Origin/Jeff Bezos, Magic Leap

@Gino Ah, yes. I just ordered the book earlier this morning.

From the Metaverse in Snow Crash to digital currency in Cryptonomicon, Stephenson’s thrilling stories offer uncanny insights into our future.

A long-time friend of The Long Now Foundation, Stephenson contributed early ideas for the 10,000 Year Clock which grew into elements of his 02008 novel, Anathem.

Abovitz was born to an Orthodox Jewish family,[1] the eldest of five children of Isaac and Itta Abovitz.[7] His parents immigrated from Israel to Cleveland, Ohio in 1962.[7] Abovitz’s father worked in the real estate industry and his mother was an artist.[3] He grew up playing Atari video games, and at the age of 8 he received his first computer which he says was an Apple Macintosh [Introduced in 1984, when he was 13].[8] In 1983, his family moved to Hollywood, Florida where he attended Nova High School in Davie, Florida.[7] After high school, Abovitz aimed to have a career as a scientist.[3]

Abovitz attended the University of Miami, where he eventually obtained a master’s degree in biomedical engineering.[9] While attending the University of Miami, he also was a cartoonist.[8]

Immersive Tech Executive Rebecca Barkin Joins LAMINA1 as President

Barkin brings two decades of IoT, Augmented Reality, and Metaverse expertise to the Layer-1 blockchain founded by Neal Stephenson and Peter Vessenes

August 25, 2022 09:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LAMINA1, the Layer-1 blockchain purpose-built for the Metaverse, has appointed seasoned technology executive Rebecca Barkin as President. Barkin brings two decades of experience shaping creative strategy and product, partnering with world-class brands, artists, and developers to craft and deliver unforgettable interactions and stories that leverage emerging technologies. Most recently, Barkin served in leadership roles at the groundbreaking immersive venue Madison Square Garden Sphere and Augmented Reality (AR) pioneer Magic Leap.

“I’ve always been passionate about the opportunities that disruptive technologies offer creatives, brands, and businesses”

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Neal Stephenson, the renowned futurist and author who coined the term “Metaverse,” and Peter Vessenes, the cryptocurrency pioneer and founder of the first VC-backed Bitcoin company, co-founded LAMINA1 in June 2022 with the goal of empowering current and future creators to build the Open Metaverse.

In addition to Stephenson and Vessenes, Barkin joins an esteemed bench of LAMINA1 leadership – including Chief Strategy Officer Tony Parisi, formerly head of AR/VR at Unity Technologies, and Vice President of Games Partnerships & Media Jamil Moledina, former EA and Google executive – who will soon bring LAMINA1’s visionary infrastructure and creator-centric economy to life.

With a deep understanding of immersive technology, design, and entertainment, Barkin is a clear choice to lead LAMINA1 in delivering a Layer-1 blockchain purpose-built for creators as they embrace the Metaverse and Web3. In her recent role at Madison Square Garden Entertainment, she worked with top brands and Directors to ideate experiences that leveraged the full suite of Sphere technologies with the goal of transporting audiences and creating memorable, high-value engagements with customers. As VP of Brand & Platform Design at Magic Leap she led the redesign of both brand and operating system for Magic Leap 2, and prior, as VP of Studios Strategy & Partnerships drove development of AR experiences with premium partners like Alibaba, Weta, Warner Bros, and HBO’s Game of Thrones – award-winning creative that saw augmented reality hit consumer retail for the very first time at AT&T. She also served as Executive Producer of Tónandi – an interactive audio-visual experience, which took home a DICE Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

“I’ve always been passionate about the opportunities that disruptive technologies offer creatives, brands, and businesses,” said Barkin. “At LAMINA1, we aim to build the preferred blockchain for the Open Metaverse – a chain that honors and incentivizes its makers, respects the agency and privacy of its patrons, and is purpose-built to sustainably power this new economy. I’m thrilled to join visionary Neal Stephenson and crypto pioneer Peter Vessenes to lead LAMINA1 in materializing a vision of the Open Metaverse that empowers creators and consumers alike.”

In 2020, Barkin was listed as one of South Florida’s 2020 influential business women by the South Florida Business Journal for her role at Magic Leap driving technology and live entertainment innovation. She was also recognized for her active role in mentoring female leaders, and driving diversity in product design, which remains true today with her involvement in Chief – an organization designed for senior women pioneers to strengthen their leadership journey.

“Rebecca’s personal skills, force of vision, and expertise are just outstanding; far in excess of her (impressive) biography. As the blockchain industry has grown over the last decade, it’s been able to successfully capture higher and higher grade leadership for key positions. Rebecca is the type of leader Neal and I love – detailed, visionary, grounded in technical, and creative expertise. I can’t wait to see what she’ll accomplish here!” said LAMINA1 co-founder and Chairman Peter Vessenes.

For more information and to get involved, visit and join our community


The brainchild of Neal Stephenson (Chairman), who first conceptualized the Metaverse in his 1992 million-selling book Snow Crash, and Peter Vessenes (CEO), a foundational leader from the early days of Bitcoin, LAMINA1 is a Layer-1 blockchain purpose-built to empower the Open Metaverse. LAMINA1’s chain technology, cryptographic model and extensive intellectual property partnerships (to be announced throughout 2022) will establish it as the preferred destination for this generation’s most creative minds – those who are crafting the digital societies of the future. It is the first provably carbon-negative blockchain in the world.

By Neal Stephenson at his website:


I was present at the origin of Blue Origin (originally Blue Operations LLC) and was its only employee for a little while. Under the title (shared by basically everyone in the company) of Member, Technical Staff, I worked there from circa 1999 until 2006. I performed operations as prosaic as punching down Ethernet cable, operating a plate grinder, and passivating rocket parts (which means making sure they don’t have any residue that would react with hydrogen peroxide) but the bulk of my efforts were devoted to investigating possible alternatives to conventional rockets as ways of getting into space. Basically this involved producing a lot of Mathematica notebooks. When the company made a decision to stick with a more tried-and-true approach, I found other ways to make myself semi-useful, largely in the realm of trajectory analysis, until I decided to make an amicable withdrawal in late 2006.

Neal Stephenson was reportedly born on Halloween (October 31, 1959) in Fort Meade, MD (the hub of cryptologic warfare):

My post on Neal Stephenson from last December. See blockchained code of Hammurabi re Asherah post.

“This vision is not unlike an automated Code of Hammurabi, which was Babylonian. There were tablets of the code, CODE, found in the sacred city of Nippur, the site of the University’s Babylonian Expedition. The Metaverse has been designed as a digital world the contours of which will be defined by domination and hyper-capitalism. The financiers, defense interests, data analysts will rule through automated legal agreements built on blockchain smart contracts where everything, every social exchange, every movement, and perhaps every thought tracked as electrical signal will become a TOKEN to be fed into Bettina Warburg’s imagined vending machine. With each token deposit, humanity gets closer to the Singularity and farther from our connection to the divine universe. A person’s accumulation of “tokens” will make their “character” legible to the machine, so the state, as Charles Hoskinson of Cardano has said, will know, based on your digital twin’s meta-data, if you are a good actor and worthy of having your needs of survival met. If we are not deemed worthy, what recourse will we have confronting a faceless fascist machine built on nefarious public-private partnerships and key performance indicators?”

Consider the Diehl Crypto Skeptic conference as a set up for an improved Blockchain Social Contract.

See Mayer Sulzberger on law benefitting the collective - kibbutz.

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You have to consider Magic Leap’s Florida presence in the context of the Space Coast, Disney, ADL military simulation gaming, too.

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@AMcD Excellent. It was super helpful for me to review your post, having a bit more context now. Funny that I had just posted a new thread last night with a label of “Babylon” (to connect with Babalon).

In any case, considering that I was born and raised in Philly – my dad went to high school with Benjamin Netanyahu and my grandfather attended Central High School – this information hits quite close to home.

I was just about to post this to your attention, and then you posted the links above:

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Code of Hammurabi used in Snow Crash

5 uses

The black stele or obelisk is the Code of Hammurabi, which dates from about 1750 B.C. The treelike structure is a Yahwistjc cult totem from Palestine. 27-28 — Chapters 27-28 (70% in)

The asherah and the Code of Hammurabi are in museums. 27-28 — Chapters 27-28 (71% in)

There is a representation of Marduk here on this stele-the Code of Hammurabi. 33-34 — Chapters 33-34 (37% in)

Hiro wanders over to the Code of Hammurabi and has a gander. 33-34 — Chapters 33-34 (38% in)

Enki, or his son Marduk, tried to reimpose order on society by supplanting the old system of me with a code of laws-The Code of Hammurabi. 55-56 — Chapters 55-56 (64% in)


What Is an Asherah? by Ellen White

Asherah is an ancient Near Eastern mother goddess. In Ugaritic, Akkadian, and similar texts, she is a powerful, important goddess, the mother of the seventy great gods and the consort of El, the chief god. Asherah’s name also appears in the Hebrew Bible. Yet, it is not always clear that the biblical authors are referring to the goddess when they use the word “asherah.”

Who (or what) is Asherah in the Hebrew Bible?

The term asherah appears forty times in the Hebrew Bible, but only eight of these instances occur in the singular form. Most occurrences appear with the definite article (“the” asherah) or a possessive suffix (“his” or “their” asherah). Since Hebrew does not capitalize proper names the way English does, it can be difficult to know when a proper name is being used. Yet, in Hebrew, it is unusual for a proper name to be accompanied with “the” or a possessive pronoun (for example, I am not “the Ellen” nor would my husband call me “his Ellen”). This suggests that the majority of the references to the term asherah in the Hebrew Bible are related to the goddess but may not address her directly. One might infer that the reference is to an object when a definite article or possessive suffix is used, but without either, it is ambiguous. The term could refer to an indefinite object (one asherah among many) or be the proper name of the ancient Near Eastern goddess.

Why do most passages in the Hebrew Bible seem to refer to an object rather than a deity?

In the ancient Near East it was common for deities to be represented by objects (i.e., a cult symbol). These objects were a physical manifestation of the deity and enabled the people to worship the deity in effigy. Asherah’s cult symbol was a living tree or a consecrated wooden pole.

The vast majority of references to Asherah in the Hebrew Bible are found in the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), and one of the most important themes in these books is the rejection of other gods. One way the author(s) of the Deuteronomistic History could demean Asherah is by referring to her cult symbol rather than her name, thereby transforming her from a goddess to an object that could be discarded.

In the Deuteronomistic History, kings were often evaluated by how they responded to Asherah worship, which was apparently widespread among the Israelites. Evil kings, such as Jeroboam and Rehoboam, fostered Asherah worship (1Kgs 14:15, 1Kgs 14:23), and Ahab and Jezebel officially endorsed and promoted her cult (1Kgs 18:19). Yet, good kings, such as Asa, Josiah, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah (also Gideon the judge) attempted to eradicate Asherah worship (e.g., Judg 6:25-30, 1Kgs 15:13, 2Kgs 21:7). Despite these efforts, Israelites remained devoted to Asherah (Isa 27:9, Jer 17:1, Mic 5:14), which indicates that the beliefs expressed in the Deuteronomistic History are not the ones that governed popular practice.

Why was Asherah worship so ingrained in Israelite religion?

The answer is not simple or clear but is likely twofold. First, Asherah was connected with fertility, childbirth, and motherhood. These states were highly valued but dangerous and often elusive in ancient Israel. Therefore, people may have been scared not to worship her (basically seeing her cult as a form of insurance). Second, there is some evidence from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud and Khirbet el-Qom (archaeological sites) that suggest Asherah was the wife of Yahweh, who may have assimilated the persona of El. Since Asherah was associated with El, she became associated with Yahweh. Yet, these inscriptions refer to “Yahweh and his Asherah.” The possessive suffix again causes an interpretive problem: is this Yahweh and his goddess wife or Yahweh and his cult object? The idea that Asherah was Yahweh’s wife is tenuous, but it is the best explanation of the evidence so far. Therefore, if Asherah was indeed considered to be Yahweh’s wife, then she would have occupied an important place in the Israelite cult.

Ellen White, “What Is an Asherah?”, n.p. [cited 2 Oct 2022]. Online:

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Lucasfilm, the Disney-owned movie production company behind Star Wars, announced Thursday a new partnership with Magic Leap, a startup working on so-called “mixed reality” technology.

The two firms announced the arrangement during the Wired Business Conference, presenting the video above as a demonstration of what might be possible when fusing Lucasfilm’s intellectual property with Magic Leap’s technology. The footage, while rudimentary in terms of plot, offers an idea of the kinds of storytelling that might be possible with mixed reality.

Magic Leap has yet to announce a consumer version of its product or many details about how it might work beyond demonstration videos like this one. But CEO Rony Abovitz said Thursday that his goal is “to get all-day, every day computing,” meaning any eventual device might be a head-worn device that he would like users to wear as frequently as many people carry a smartphone today. Lucasfilm Chief Technology Officer Rob Bredow floated that the device might allow users to “skin your world,” adding visual elements from the Star Wars saga, for instance, to the real world around you.

Based in Florida, Magic Leap has raised nearly $1.4 billion in funding from high-profile investors like Google and Andreessen Horowitz. This new partnership, meanwhile, is sure to fuel speculation that Disney may be interested in acquiring the company for its technology and talent.

@AMcD My post from last night is (cryptically) imprinted with Babylon/Hammurabi “code”:

From a link I had posted:

On 15 September 2017, an explosion occurred on a London Underground train at Parsons Green, injuring 29 people. The improvised explosive device was placed in a bucket but did not fully detonate, with injuries being largely burn related. No fatalities were reported. An 18-year-old Iraqi refugee was arrested the next day at the Port of Dover.[9] He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum jail term of 34 years, having found to have been in contact with members of Islamic State.[1

For context:

Hammurabi , also spelled Hammurapi , (born, Babylon [now in Iraq]—died c. 1750 BCE), sixth and best-known ruler of the 1st (Amorite) dynasty of Babylon (reigning c. 1792–1750 BCE), noted for his surviving set of laws, once considered the oldest promulgation of laws in human history. See Hammurabi, Code of.

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Lucas is deeply into competency-based education. He created Edutopia. His wife is a major VC Mellody (note music / frequency) Hobson - Chicago ties. I always knew there was something really dark behind Chicago and I think it’s the MED work.

From 2018

Back to your old stomping grounds - Abington

Withdrew Partnership Status After Khashoggi’s Death

Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone Group: investment capital, distressed real estate, donations to AI and STEM education, promoting private investment in public education, donor to NYC library, economic advisor to Trump (fin-tech, AI, education reform).

Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments: investment capital based in Chicago, wife of George Lucas, ties to education reform via After School Matters and the Chicago Public Education Fund, recently added to board of the Rockefeller Foundation (impact investing, education reform).

Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global: founder of Huffington Post, now promoter of well-being enterprise linked to better uses of technology (impact journalism, tech).

Jamal Khashoggi’s death punctuates a legacy of devastation wrought by the powerful Saudi royal family over many years. While US-manufactured bombs slaughter Yemeni civilians with limited media outcry, the death of a journalist who once occupied the inner circles of power has now drawn serious attention to Mohammed bin Salman and the transitions underway in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s planned move away from an energy-based economy means considerable capital must find its way into new global markets, including the finance and tech sectors.

The west has created new vehicles to manage such capital flows, namely Pay for Success social impact investment markets. There have been proofs of concept but thus far the machine has not achieved full functionality. To operate as intended will require: 1) the wholesale privatization of public services through public-private partnerships; 2) non-profits be scaled up significantly to accept massive infusions of capital and manage vast quantities of data for deal evaluation; 3) technologies capable of digitizing and platforming the delivery of social services, including education, to prove the “impacts” that will permit those at the top of the pyramid to take their profit from the essence of our lives.

While Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may sell FII attendees on cutting-edge giga-projects like Neom, the reality of urban living in the coming century will be far grimmer unless the masses can organize to resist the impact agenda and chart a different course.

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Mark Hamill - pitching digital overlays onto real people - plus we all know what the plan is for Brazil in ed-tech social impact finance to code the Metaverse - the Empire.

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@AMcD On Mark Hamill/Star Wars (and mixed reality for Empire) . . . I had just seen this the other day:

Mark Hamill has become the Ambassador for the Army of Drones as he joins forces with President Volodymyr Zelensky in an effort to help Ukraine.

The 71-year-old Star Wars actor announced the news as he joined the fundraising project for the country’s military efforts in the war against Russia.

‘Honored to be an Ambassador for the Army of Drones and to help President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine in any way possible,’ he wrote.

In a separate statement from the actor, he compared Russia to ‘the evil empire’.

How is that for some inverted spin?

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It’s crazy how long we’ve been conditioned for this.

Also re the Asherah thread - I am thinking the character “El” (Eleven the girl with boyish haircut) in Stranger Things. Asherah was the consort of El.

"Hebrew Bible scholars have long recognized that the writer who penned the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and much other narrative in the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible (called the Pentateuch, or Torah) had a distinctly anti-Canaanite agenda, and that his anti-Canaanite polemic started in his Eden story. Focusing on this helps us to decipher the meaning of that story, as I have stressed in my new book, The Mythology of Eden, and in talks that I’ve given on the subject at scholarly conferences.

This author, known as the Yahwist (because he was the first author of the Hebrew Bible to use the name Yahweh for God), most clearly set out his anti-Canaanite views at the beginning of his version of the Ten Commandments, in Exodus 34:12-15, where Yahweh warns the Hebrews against associating with the Canaanites, intermarrying with them, and worshipping their deities; Yahweh also orders the Hebrews to tear down Canaanite altars, pillars, and asherahs (wooden poles (stylized trees) in sanctuaries that were the cult object of their goddess Asherah (in Hebrew pronounced ah-shei-RAH) and symbolized her). Against this background, the anti-Canaanite polemic in the Eden story becomes apparent, especially that against the goddess Asherah, who at the time was widely viewed by Israelites as Yahweh’s wife or consort. As official Israelite religion trended toward monotheism, the other local deities had to be eliminated (Asherah in particular), and Yahweh appropriated their powers and functions. Insofar as this process affected Asherah, I call this “Yahweh’s Divorce,” and the proceedings began in the Yahwist’s Eden story.

Before the rise of Israel, Asherah was the wife of El, the head god of the Canaanite pantheon. According to the archeological evidence, the people who became Israelites were mostly native Canaanites who settled in the hills of what is now the West Bank, while it seems that small but influential groups also migrated there from the south in the Midian (in and around the Araba Valley in Sinai). As the Bible itself testifies, that is where Yahweh veneration appears to have originated, and, in a process that in this respect resonates with the Moses story, the migrants introduced Yahweh to the native Canaanites who were becoming Israelites. Over time, El declined and merged into Yahweh. As part of that process, Yahweh inherited Asherah from El as his wife."

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@AMcD And of course, with respect to Mark Hamill . . .

Mark Richard Hamill was born on September 25, 1951, in Oakland, California, to Virginia Suzanne (née Johnson) and William Thomas Hamill, a U.S. Navy Captain.

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Redwood City, CA and University of New Mexico Albuquerque - interesting cities there.

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@AMcD . . . and I had just posted the following last night – in relation to the “Babalon”~“Babylon” events on September 15, 2017:

Encyclopedia Britannica

El | Semitic deity

El, the general term for “deity” in Semitic languages as well as the name of the chief deity of the West Semites. In the ancient texts from Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) in Syria, El was described as the titular head of the pantheon, husband of…

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The end of that Asherah article - “ASH” erah

" Yahweh is in charge of the garden (formerly the Goddess’ province), from which chaos has been removed. Sacred tree veneration has been prohibited and discredited, while Yahweh appropriates and identifies himself with the Tree of Life (see also Hosea 14:8, where Yahweh claims, “I am like an evergreen cypress, from me comes your fruit.”). The serpent has been vanquished, flattened, and deprived of divine qualities, and thus is not worthy of veneration, and enmity has been established between snakes and humans. The Goddess has been discredited, rendered powerless, and is eliminated from the picture and sent into oblivion. Yahweh’s divorce from her has been made final, at least in the author’s mind. But in fact she persisted, and her equivalents in the psyche inevitably have persisted to this day, as they must."

We are not files. : )
The sacred feminine cannot be closed and archived, lol.

Interesting @stephers the create of this blog seems to have Theosophical ties - numerous talks with Krotona at Ojai.

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@AMcD Magic Leap funded by Andreessen, and Andreessen has the purported connection to both Iowa and UIUC – as does Stephenson . . .

Andreessen was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and raised in New Lisbon, Wisconsin.[5] He is the son of Patricia and Lowell Andreessen, who worked for a seed company.[6] In December 1993,[5] he received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC).[

Stephenson’s family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1960 and then in 1966 to Ames, Iowa. He graduated from Ames High School in 1977.[4]

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