Market’s crashing, war’s looming, planet’s dying, government’s corrupt, and your web3 news source is proudly using the passive voice. On the other hand, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s floor price is nearing 100eth and #Shiberse is trending on Twitter. So, who’s the real winner?
Chad & El Prof
(Price changes reflect past 7 days as of 1.25.22 @ 4:20 PM EST.)
- The DOW had its worst week since March of 2020.
- Bitcoin and Ethereum hit their lowest lows since last July.
- The Beatles circlejerk was once quite literal. Not relevant to the markets, or anything, really. Just felt like this section could use a little levity.
Into the Metaverse
Pictured above: a Metaverse ‘live rave’, shared with no apparent irony by entrepreneur Alex Moss to his 10k followers. The future is a beautiful place with boundless possibilities. It also does not exist, because we’re perpetually in the present. And, when those possibilities do arrive, they don’t always look as promised. Sometimes, we ask for a solution to global inequity and get pixelated argyle print pants instead.
But any shaman worth her ayahuasca will tell you the key to peace is acceptance. So rather than raging against the blockchain, for once, I’d like to dedicate a few words to working with the lackluster state of our potent, laughable culture, circa 2022.
There’s an interesting theory floating around called ‘state of play‘ — all our beliefs, values, and cultural norms create the rules of our game of life. You believe in the original sin? Value basic decency? Don’t want to get doxxed on TikTok? Cool. You probably won’t go all American Pie on your Big Mac in the middle of a food court. You physically could. Perhaps you even want to. But you won’t, because it’s against your rules. It’s outside your state of play. The Internet has expanded almost everyone’s, in both major (Arab Spring) and minor (normalizing masochism for clout) ways.
The Metaverse, then, is like an expansion set, complete with a whole new board. Even though it looks dully and somewhat depressingly similar to the old one — awful for the earth, run by capitalists, the aesthetic equivalent of a Brokencyde song — it is a new frontier with few rules set in place. A web3 state of play doesn’t exist yet.
There’ve been attempts to define it, of course; cringe at best, cheese-grater-to-the-face-feeling at worst. (See the island nation DAO trying to abolish age of consent if you’re unsure.) But we can chalk it up to the current frontiersmen being all anarcho libertarians and lizard people, which has the unfortunate side effect of scaring off the demographics who could shape the landscape for the better. At the same time, there are some bright sides to the Metaverse’s state of play — racial diversity, rising gender balance, and a general sense of optimism and enthusiasm for the future of which the mainstream media is all but bereft. And while I could take or leave the live raves, I’d like to keep a little hope… even if it comes in breaker pants.
So, r̶a̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶ in addition to dunking on PFP projects, I’d urge you all to at least dip toes into some of these communities, no matter how ridiculous they all may seem. From the outside, you can fire off some one liners on Twitter for quick dopamine. From the inside, you can make new rules for the game, the one you and the rest of us are always playing.
And, in case you need a little help getting started, here are a few communities that aren’t out to sell you a racist generative PNG or legalize statutory:
- RefractionDAO, a diverse and tight knit collective of artists working to build an equitable corner of the creator Metaverse. The Discord channel is open invite.
- Crypto Writers Discord, a welcoming hub of poets and artists, with a few web3 natives down to mansplain crypto basics to the n00bs. DM the founder to join.
- Our very own Sn0bsDAO, because self-promo is and will always be our state of play. Also, we’ll like airdrop you an NFT, or whatever the cool kids do.
Talk your shit. Own your self. Be a snob.™
Release the hounds
Web3 saw more ill-advised adoption this week than a pandemic-era puppy shelter.
- $SHIB announced their official entrance into the Metaverse. How you can get more ‘officially’ meta than being a literal meme coin is beyond me. But now we have the ‘#Shiberse’ to look forward to. Such treat.
- Youtube and Netflix sent out threatening hints at NFT features in the near future. Projects like Stoner Cats are already experimenting with blockchain-based video content and, well, it’s not great, unless shelling out 0.35eth to watch an adult animated cartoon sounds like your ideal afternoon.
- Twitter finally rolled out its NFT profile picture functionality, which managed to piss off web2 and web3 maxis alike. The former, naturally, because lol JPGs rofl right-click-save. The latter, because by allowing cross compatability with any NFTs (not just verified) you actually can just right-click-save, say, a Bored Ape, mint it on OpenSea, and it will appear official on Twitter. Cue subtweets.
Me whenever I see a trending PFP:
El Prof here with Stud Finder Web2: Electric Boogaloo. I did some tumbling through the Instagram discovery section, and, although Meta may be cracking down on any web3 properties that don’t financially benefit Zucc exclusively, at least the old reliable has finally started tailoring some quality obscure artists into my feed.
Ruth Satelier has under 100 followers and even less engagement on their posts, but somehow I caught a glimpse of their abstract cityscapes in all their somber, uplifting glory. Guess the algorithms are still good for something.
A German artist with over 25 years experience, demonstrated naturally via a web portfolio selling limited edition prints featured in stock photos straight out of our own Printful playbook, Satelier embodies the web2 approach to making it as an artist. But this artwork is deserving of far more than 57 followers, and there’s no shortage of web3 degens waiting to blow their easy money on acid trip landscapes like these. An artist previously featured in this column has already reached out to us to make the transition. Be next, Satelier. I’m sure we have just the sn0b for you.
Hustleporn for thought
This weekend, I sent out a classic, out-of-left-field, El Prof tweetstorm about hustleporn culture, privilege, and the exciting advantage that capital as a commodity resource in web3 will have on the future of economic development. Per usual, nobody paid attention. Tweeting out your life story in Internet shorthand and self-help jargon again and again is a tried-and-true content strategy, but the Internet is fickle, and since my Twitter audience didn’t bite, I’ll subject you all to it here.
In short, I recommend my personal path to success.
- Enjoy your childhood and don’t do shit until you turn 16,
- Spend the next 10 years mastering 3 to ∞ unrelated, seemingly useless talents,
- Kick it into gear building a career that somehow taps into all three, because well-rounded and developed passions give the inside track to quality work.
(And it’s especially effective if you’re a rich white guy. Pro tip.)
Historically marginalized communities have always had to work harder to access capital, and that becomes increasingly true the further removed from capital you are. But, because capital is a commodity, or a function of web3, rather than a requirement to enter it, it is retained by quality projects that deliver on their promises, rather than hyped up projects with deep war chests. As always, the latter model will still work in the short term. But, on the blockchain, it’s far more likely to end badly, because brands are the moat in web3 and quality is the backbone of said brands. And quality is something that those among us who already have to work harder to access capital today are (un)fortunately predisposed to focus on, because they can’t afford to fuck up like I could, basically.
TL;DR: not only is DeFi more accessible and attractive to marginalized communities, but it is more likely to reward the quality of work they’ve been historically forced to bring to the table. Which, in an ideal world, will empower diverse creators and inspire mediocre white guys to rise to the challenge. An entitled little bitch can dream.