Love.Law.Robots — 11 November 2021 (Metaverse Edition)

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I am sure you have already heard about the metaverse. The opinions are pretty polarised – it's either a ticket out of hell for Facebook, or it's the point where your digital life is worth more than your real one.

Killer use case for a sociopath all right.

— houfu ang (@houfu) October 29, 2021

As your resident sceptic, it's probably neither of those things. We still haven't figured out many things – for example, what is the blockchain for? Lawyers in Singapore are supposed to know everything about blockchain, but I suspect it's merely a buzzword to most. It increases the value of your company or LinkedIn profile by a factor of 10, though.

For now, most people are trying to get by. A fundamental problem I foresee is how the way we work and play is changing. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to look at remote working more seriously. Once we can take off our masks, though, will we go back to the way we used to work? There's no guarantee that it won't happen. Check out exhibit A: law firms. I spoke to some lawyers in Singapore, and they quickly pedalled back to a half remote, half office model once the Singapore government lifted workplace restrictions a few months ago. It's tiring. I am not sure if it's sustainable. It might lead to the Great Resignation.

I prefer working remote, but I am not satisfied with it. Some aspects of office life are difficult to replicate when working remote. Spontaneous interactions between different groups of employees. Water cooler exchanges. In a compliance role, my eyes and ears are open about how our colleagues do their jobs. When working remote, interactions have to be deliberate. Senior management seems to idolise these experiences (don't ask me why); they dissuade them from fully committing to remote work.

Making Work an Adventure

Replicating these experiences is also a problem for conferences. I've attended TechLawFest recently, for example. The online experience was OK, but it felt like I was watching a bland version of Netflix. Compare this to GeekCamp Singapore – they featured an event space using Gather.

Attendees in Gather are featured as cutesy 16-bit avatars, but what impressed me was the array of methods to interact. If you get close to an attendee, a private video conversation is automatically started up. You can create a room for an open mic session. You can generate breakup rooms by creating zones around tables on a map. I felt embarrassed in a virtual world.

Many of such spaces believe they are helpful for remote working. Besides creating those spontaneous exchanges, you can create posters that show your corporate materials. Oh, it makes you feel like you're going to work. 🤢

I was so impressed. I wanted to create my own “virtual” office. Not for my actual work (why would I want to do that), but for this blog. When I am writing, I can show up in my office, and you can come to say hi. We can meet for virtual coffee. ☕ ☕

In my ideal office, everyone gets their dustbin.

Besides being a place for me to do serious stuff, the virtual office also offers a place for visitors to learn more about this blog and interact with me. I am considering guestbooks, interaction corners, and even a coffee table where you can find books I have reviewed on this blog. Maybe even play games.

Gather isn't open-source, so I chose to work on this using Work.Adventure instead. It's been fun, almost like writing or designing a game.

It's a work in progress, so hopefully, there will be a post where I can show this off and invite you to come and experience it. 🍿

As I am working on this project, I gained a few insights into what the future may hold:

What I am reading

Docacon 2021The annual conference of the Docassemble user community will take place on-line on November 30, 2021.Docacon 2021

Jones Day Professorship of Commercial Law Lecture 2021 | SMU MicrositesSMU

The leading role of #English #law according to court citations.

Very insightful findings in this paper!

Well done @DanHLawReporter and others! 👏🏻👏🏾👏

— Václav Janeček (@DrVenca) November 6, 2021


Somebody foundmy traefik and docassemble post useful. Hooray! It's always nice to know my writing has helped someone.

Unlike humble me, our friend plans to push his virtual private server by having traefik, NextCloud, two docassemble servers, wordpress installations and an email server. That's going to be one mighty docker-compose file. The service he is using is from Contabo. I have to admit that the price point ($250ish a year) is pretty sweet for a general-purpose VPS. Maybe I should shift to the cloud too!

That's it!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to reach out!

Author Portrait Love.Law.Robots. – A blog by Ang Hou Fu