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DAO Punks Cohort_4 - Week 3

Between Two Junkyards

Have You Seen Him?

Innovation is never static. It always moves and is like The Search for Animal Chin. Johnny Rad says in the movie, “If you look too hard for Animal Chin, you’re never going to find him. You just gotta relax, and have fun.” The ramp where Animal Chin was supposed to reside was located “In between two junkyards just south of a town called Guadalupe”. “Everything will come together, If you find your ramp.” 

When I was growing up, being punk meant taking a huge risk and standing up against the conservative mainstream establishment Right. It meant ripping your khaki pants, putting safety pins in your ears, coloring your hair crazy colors, spray painting anarchy symbols everywhere, and giving the middle finger to the corporations and the conservative church at the time. It meant making yourself ugly to the establishment.

In an ironic twist of fate all those things that made someone punk in the 80’s is exactly what that mainstream media and culture tells you is cool and the right thing to be and do. So many Gen X’ers have not been able to accept that and still continue to push their 80s punk ideals on a society that is no longer rejecting them, but has in a sense co-opted their culture for the purpose of profit and power. So our language changes. What was once used to describe innovation and change becomes the establishment. Much of the philosophical moral high ground that made it rebelliously fun moves on becomes lost to those who choose to hold on. What has not changed, however, is a yearning for those who do not have power or feel at home in the current power structure to create a force that goes against the hierarchical power structure. I described in the previous two weeks the term anarchy, the DIY skate community, the idea of there being no financial guarantees in the punk lifestyle, and how we bring skeumorphic language (using old language to describe the new) into innovation to describe the next phase of change as we move from one power paradigm to the next. 


So one of the new words we like to toss around as a way to express our disdain for current hierarchy is “DAO”. However, DAO is an infrastructure. That’s just it. To be in a DAO is to be attached, associated, or have an identity to that infrastructure. To be a DAO is to be an organization that uses that infrastructure. Many people are trying to find ways to make a DAO recognized as an LLC. A DAO is recognized in Wyoming and a few other states. People are setting up DAOs in the Marshall Islands as legal entities. I questioned last week if a DAO can even operate in the same language models as traditional organizations. Are people trying to use old 80’s punk language on a new model for a new era? 


On another note, Is Vita DAO, heavily funded by large corporation Pfizer, (not that I have anything against them) the same as DAO Punks (liberating us from the corp-rat lifestyle) just because they both use the word DAO to describe themselves? In a podcast called Many Such Cases I did video production work on this week, one of the hosts, Ted (not lasso) described the idea that in this next

Many Such Cases Podcast on Hypersub

wave of crypto we need to get more specific about the language that we’re using and we need to move beyond describing everything that uses a certain infrastructure, as that (the word “DAO” for example). She also illustrated that the same idea can apply to NFTs. Using an NFT for a subscription is not that same as owning a 1 of 1 art piece NFT.  They are very different from each other, yet they are both called NFTs because they use the same infrastructure. She goes on to talk about referring to all clothes as “cloth”. Are we talking about a shirt, pants, socks, etc…  All very different, but using the same base fabric. 


But back to DAOs. You can slap a multisig on anything and call it a DAO. But you can also use tools such as party.app and Jokerace to handle decisions, build out activities and events with chats, create memberships, set up funding, make polls, etc…  In the same podcast episode, Ted (not lasso) and Jonny Mack talked about Farcaster channels such as Cryptoart Channel having wallets and becoming their own mini-DAOs using the tools I listed among many others. There are so many ways you can use the word DAO. With regulators breathing down everyone’s necks and the uncertainty harshing everyone’s mellow, I agree 100% with Ted (not lasso) that we need to get more specific about the language we’re using.

It seems to me, that the DAOs that the regulators are getting all squawky about are not the same DAOs artists and innovators are calling their home communities. DAO is just a word.  An acronym describing a concept. There is no company, or corporation, or mission to maximize profit in many of these new DAOs. These DAOs just ARE. They are there for community. They are Community.

They are dandelion flowers that have grown up in the cracks of the concrete in the form of our isolation of our home lockdowns. They are humanity persevering and doing what we do when the power structure chokes too tight. They are fun. They are punk. 

You can’t regulate a DAO, because regulation is supposed to be about preventing an entity from becoming too powerful, and taking advantage of others, right? If DAOs are punk, and punk is that sweet spot of innovation constantly moving in the trough of the sine wave between two power peaks, then there is no regulation. And if you are constantly on top of the peak of the sine wave, you will always miss the trough. And if you reside in the trough, you can only look up. You can’t take advantage of anyone and therefore should not be regulated. 


Back to Johnny Rad speaking about how to find Animal Chin. “If you look too hard for Animal Chin, you’re never going to find him. You just gotta relax, and have fun. The ramp where Animal Chin was supposed to reside was located “In between two junkyards just south of a town called Guadalupe”. In one of the least desirable places. “Everything will come together, If you find your ramp.” If you are actively searching, you have already found him.

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