I can still remember Bruce Lee telling me to be water… It was the golden age of Advertising, and I was studying advertising. Everything was super new: horn-rimmed glasses, indie music, festivals, and designer drugs. Now you look back and they are all indelible memories that nostalgia misses. I guess someday it will happen to us with all that we are living. We’ll look back and see all those crazy transactions on Metamask. That .jpg you bought drunk and that colleague you met in Decentraland who was telling you about a token that eventually, will perform x10. I guess every moment has its stories and anecdotes. I guess every generation has its peculiarities, its contexts. A good friend of mine told me that everything is based on the relationship between concept and context. That connection never fails. Why are we heading towards the Metaverse era? Why do we give so much value to virtual objects? Why do I need to create an avatar to be myself? I’m not going to give you those answers, because I don’t know them. I just know that every day I learn something new from following people I don’t know. I just know that those people are creating a new way to socialize, a new way to create content and a new way to bring value to creators. I was a creator. I was just going with the flow like water. I listened to Bruce. But when I took that pill everything changed. The golden age of advertising passed and branding also started to smell stale. Everything had that boomer component that you have to run away from, until one day you wake up looking like Mr. Burns greeting some young people. You already know, the Memeconomy and all that goes with it. But let’s leave that behind, let’s always look ahead. The concept of the moment is Web3, the promised land of decentralization, security and ownership. Let’s leave decentralization and security aside for the moment…. Weren’t we the generation that didn’t want property? Or was it really that we were deprived of property? Now we have the power, or so it seems. At least we have the choice of which 100 Discord channels we want to follow (even if we only read 3). We can vote on the proposals of our favourite DAOs (You almost never get to vote on time, or you look at it and just don’t vote). We have an NFT that opens up a world of possibilities -you only pay attention to the projects they upload and still miss all their releases. Let yourself go with the wave. Everything is going to change, sooner or later. And why not now? Now that you’ve fallen for it, try it! It’s a new way to see the world. Some say culture. Or counterculture. Even a philosophy and it may even change your life. It’s happened to many of us. We are early. Some others call us freaks. Time will tell. Navigate to discover new worlds. Be ether my fren.
Embracing the spirit of the ether, this year propels us into truly inhabiting its boundless space. Observing the seismic shifts within the Web3 landscape, Ethereum doesn’t merely lie at its heart but permeates its energy across a burgeoning universe of chains and communities. Taking a leaf out of Bruce Lee’s philosophy to 'be water,' we've not only flowed but have actively shaped the banks amidst which we streamed.
That whimsical jpg purchase and the casual chatter in Decentraland have evolved into consequential cornerstones of our digital and decentralized reality, such as virtual museums and influential DAOs, respectively. It's the fluid transformation from a mere digital transaction to being foundational elements in a new virtual society.
Web3 represents more than just a redefinition of ownership; it embodies a reimagining of community, creation, and collaboration, in which Ethereum serves as a lighthouse, illuminating varied pathways. With an appreciation of its illuminative role, we acknowledge how, within a short year, our perceptions have shifted and adapted to the rapid-paced digital evolution, akin to Bruce Lee’s water, which becomes the cup, the bottle, and the teapot.
AI, enchanting and intertwining with our ambitions, gifts and takes away in a perpetual dance. Yet, amidst this, we've continued to build, innovate, and evolve in an ever-adaptive manner, reminiscent of water’s flowing nature. Authentic innovation persists behind the scenes, even when Web3 projects and metaverse explorations no longer dominate headlines.
This past year, the true beacon has been the community—or indeed, communities—at the heart of Web3, which have emerged resilient, adaptive, and committed to genuine growth beyond skepticism and critique.
Opepen, along with networks like Zora and Base, not only stand testament to the power of collaborative efforts but also signify the continuous expansion and adaptation of the digital ecosystem to intrinsic issues such as high gas fees.
With our perceptions of social networks also morphing, and platforms like Farcaster and Lens surfacing as true communities, we teeter on the brink of a substantial shift. While 'FriendTech' may face criticism, the persistence of Social Tokens redefines norms and exhibits that alternative pathways indeed prevail.
This evolution empowers creative collectives, who are not mere content consumers but are active influencers of narrative, shapers of experiences, and cultivators of community-driven platforms. Just as Bruce Lee emphasized the formless, shapeless nature of water, in the Web3 world, we find an analogy by being like bricklayers (builders) – attentively shaping, adjusting, and constructing with every detail, because each one of us is crucial.
With our gaze set upon the celestial and hands poised to build, we forge ahead. After all, our future is crafted of bricks, each one laid by our collective hands.
Be ether, my fren.
🎶 The Music
🔎 The Links
The BRICKS project embodies the power of collective construction. For the first time, a community has been built entirely on Figma, bypassing traditional platforms like Discord or Telegram. Together, brick by brick, we have the potential to create something both lasting and profound. It's a testament to our shared capability to shape, enhance, and navigate the world we cohabit.
In 'The Casino on Mars,' author Matt Huang provides a captivating metaphorical exploration of the crypto universe, likening it to a new planet being settled. While skeptics see barren wasteland, visionaries recognize a blank slate ripe for innovation. Despite periods of speculation, akin to the gold rushes of old, the true potential of this realm shines through in the enduring promise of Web3.
Austin Robey offers a candid reflection on his journey with writing, from feeling like an imposter to realizing the power words have to shape culture and connect kindred spirits. Through the establishment of the Lonely Writers Club, he not only seeks to find his voice but also to build an ecosystem where writers uplift one another, transforming the very essence of how they approach their art.
🐦 The Tweet
🗝 The Key
“There is another world, but it is in this one.”
🖋 The Word
Fren — “Friend”
They say it’s about the family you choose. Other times it is simply a person you like on twitter, discord or IRL. You choose who your “Fren” is. You may never meet that avatar, .eth domain or bot.
🌌 The NFT
Written and designed by @esdotge
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