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Starting a coffee shop, maybe. Thinking about Encarta. The Game. Killers of the Flower Moon.

Okay, but what if I start a coffee shop?

I never expected two extremely specific niches in my life to directly intersect, but here I am, proposing the creation of a coffee shop in the name of a decentralized ecosystem.

My friend Derek G Taylor and I authored Nouns DAO Prop 450 this week, requesting funds to purchase and rebrand a coffee shop in LA as a hub where creatives can learn about Nouns' unique approach to funding creativity and proliferating a CC0 brand.

One of the most interesting things about the shop is the use of batched and bottled espresso shots, eliminating the need for an espresso machine. Reader, if you consider yourself a coffee enthusiast and approach 'bottled espresso' with skepticism, know that I did too! Only after multiple blind taste tests where I picked it over a traditional shot did I realize how good this product is — and now I keep it stocked in my fridge at all times.

What makes this product (known as 'Pure Espresso') so interesting isn't just that it tastes good, but that it has some pretty serious implications for running a coffee shop. Without the need for an espresso machine, the complexities of training staff are greatly reduced. If you can teach someone to use a standalone steam wand, they can make incredible drinks all day. Not only does this mean that each cup of coffee maintains a high standard, it also creates a streamlined process for possible expansions.

More shops, more pop-up locations, all under a community-owned brand. It's a concept that aligns perfectly with the ethos of Nouns, where each funded project isn't standalone but a node in a network of creative and communal exchange.

The vote goes live tomorrow, and the Nouns community will decide whether this vision of a community-driven coffee shop will come to fruition or remain a blueprint for potential. Regardless of the outcome, this journey has been a lot of fun. Check back next week to find out what happened!

Luna // Eight Months, Three Weeks // On Computers

Luna recently discovered my laptop. She'll clamber over to where I'm sitting, waggle her arms over my keyboard, and start mashing the buttons. I don't blame her for being interested in technology. She's simply taking after me.

It got me thinking about tech from my own childhood that I can't wait to introduce her to. I hope she can experience some of the things that shaped my early understanding of computers and the internet before jumping straight to modern fare like Roblox.

I still vividly remember the first time I opened Microsoft Encarta 95. My parents had splurged on a computer with a CD-ROM drive, and I can envision the plastic jewel case and the holographic disc inside.

When I booted it up, I lost myself clicking from article to article, gorging on facts about bees and pyramids and physics — but what thrilled me most were the multimedia elements that brought these topics to life. I realize the power of this may be entirely lost on Luna, growing up in a world where there's a YouTube video on almost any topic. "Multimedia" isn't even a word that today’s children would recognize — and of course Encarta itself has been completely obviated in a world where sites like Wikipedia are able to easily dwarf its scope.

But I still want Luna to sit with me and browse through the 90s-era software I love, partly for my own nostalgia, but also because I think it will be important for her to see how far technology has come in such a short period of time. For now, Luna will continue simply running her fingers across my computer's keyboard. But one day, we'll use these devices to create shared experiences, and to learn.

What I Read:

Thinking about Luna sitting in front of a computer, I'm reminded of Andy Baio's approach to gaming with his son. At the age of four, Baio began his son on simple arcade and Atari games, and then methodically progressed through gaming generations leading up to modern consoles by age seven. It wasn't just a history lesson in gaming, but a way to build understanding of the medium. As Baio says:

This approach to widely surveying classic games clearly had an impact on him, and influenced the games that he likes now.

Like seemingly every kid his age, he loves Minecraft. No surprises there.

But he also loves brutally difficult games that challenge gamers 2–3 times his age, and he’s frighteningly good at them. His favorites usually borrow characteristics from roguelikes: procedurally-generated levels, permanent death, no save points.

One of his favorite games is Spelunky, easily one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played. Paste Magazine called it “a game with ‘hard’ carved into its very being.” I’ve never beaten it. I will probably never beat it.

A month after his eighth birthday, he beat Spelunky on his own.

As Luna grows, I wonder what technology might capture her imagination — and how to best teach her in a way that lets her surpass me.

What I Watched:

Last week's viewing of The Killer made me realize I hadn't seen all of Fincher's filmography, somehow missing — and never hearing a single word about — The Game. It's always nice when you're able to go into a film completely blind, and that's exactly what I did. Without saying too much, this is a twisty thriller centered around a wealthy investment banker who receives an unusual birthday gift from his wayward brother: an invitation to play a game run by a mysterious entertainment company. If somehow you too have managed to never hear a single detail about this film since it came out some 25 years ago, I encourage you to go watch it.

THE GAME (1997) • Frame Rated

I also managed to get in a viewing of Killers of the Flower Moon. This may be his bleakest yet, and that's saying something after having recently watched Silence. Scorsese tells the harrowing true story of the systematic murder of Osage Indians in 1920s Oklahoma for their oil fortune. It's about bad people doing bad things to good people, and doing it in the most callous and brazen way imaginable.

One of the things (spoilers, i guess?) that I appreciate about the extended runtime of three and a half hours is how long it allows the story to linger in hopelessness. For approximately two hours, people just keep getting away with terrible things over and over again. Law enforcement doesn’t show up until about three quarters through the film, and when they do, they button everything up pretty quickly. It drives home the reality that the killers weren’t masterminds, they were just victimizing people who nobody cared about. How genuinely awful! But also probably one of the most powerful realities we can possibly bear witness to.

Where Was 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Filmed? | Architectural Digest

I was struck by the treatment of wealth and power in both films. In The Game, it's a shield and a weapon. In Killers of the Flower Moon, it's a curse.

That's all for now.

From the present moment,

~ Drew

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