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DAO Punks Cohort_4 - Week 2

Where do Punks Work?

Where do punks tend to work? From my experience, I have generally seen punks work at pizza places, sandwich shops, at the door of shitty clubs, and tattoo parlors.

It is now week 2 into this DAO Punk blogging journey. It is leading me to reflect what working as a DAO Punk in the web3 world truly is.  Is it working in a glamourous web3 biz-dev job traveling the world attending conferences with exclusive side events and resort meditation retreats? “Sticking it to the man” from the inside? Is it just about working online in a DAO, attending endless community calls in your room behind a computer in your underwear with a bag of old Doritos on the desk and your cat sitting on the arm of your chair while you chat endlessly about hypothetical governance protocols? Is being in a DAO hardcore anti-establishment? Or, and I have seen this firsthand, is it leaving the corporate life to only LARP corporate models into DAO life? So many times I have seen people bringing language like “KPIs” and “metrics” into DAO conversations. I am not dogging the corp life or traditional work experience if that is where you feel comfortable and good. But deep inside me, it is something I have found that I am not cut out for. 

skatepark graffiti

The places I used to work before forming my own business did not really use the technical corp language because they were mostly rednecks, but they still said “we are a family” and gave us the standard pizza party instead of raises when the company succeeded as a whole. In reality, no one gave a shit. Everyone hated their job and for the most part they didn’t like each other. But as long as their coworker did their part in the hell-hole they were at, they tolerated each other and even laughed with each other occasionally. 

But back to the corporate jargon being brought into DAOs, do we tend to create the only thing we

are familiar with? Are we being skeumorphic? (C. Dixon p. 27) Being skeumorphic is creating something new with the language or model of the old because that is the only thing we know. The first iteration of the web was basically pdfs online. A repository of one-way information is all we could conceive the web to be at the time?  Are we currently doing this with DAOs? Are we doing this with jobs in web3? What possibilities does a decentralized community with a code-based flat hierarchy have? Can it even operate with the same language models?

So back to my starting sentences about where punks work. Punks either hate their job or they only work in a place that will accept them for the dirty shit bag they are. They only work in places where they can be themselves. For punks, their lifestyle is their mission. The J-O-B is only a way to eat and sleep without being on the street, (and in the case of crust punks, they will even willingly live in the street). That’s why punks work their shitty jobs.  They see life is more than their job. Their mission is about expressing disdain and dissent with a machine and moloch style of a corporate society. 

Can someone dance with the devil and be a chameleon? In JournoDAO we consistently have super candid conversations where we are either talking about Moloch or farts, or Moloch’s farts. Today I had a conversation with Crystal Street on the topic of being a punk in a corporate setting. Being a chameleon takes more skill than I have.  But she is more than capable of walking that tight rope. I’m too bull headed, literal, and obvious with very little nuance to be able to pull that off. I admit that I can also be pretty cringey at times too. I either fully submit, or I fully rebel. In this stage of life I am currently fully rebelling. I rejected the notion of having a proper full-time job I hate for the sake of benefits and a consistent paycheck. My relatives and family see me as a bit weird and natural to act this way, but in all honesty, it’s terrifying.

Does being punk mean that you acknowledge that there are no guarantees in life? Does it mean that you have a worldview that it’s you against the structured world? At the same time, does it mean that you have a certain type of stubborn faith that what you need to survive will be given to you by those around you? Not because you don’t want to work and are looking for handouts, but because you believe so strongly in standing up for what’s right and rejecting our mainstream comforts that you will proudly be derisively called a punk by the normie. As a result you have faith that those in your community that see the value in your stance, will see to it that you have what you need. 

On Monday morning after ETH Denver expenses I had $23 in my bank account. All my savings had been drained in a recent hack of my crypto wallets. I naively believed a Twitter anon about a job opportunity and was supposed to get on an interview call with them and “the team”. I desperately needed the work and let my basic security principles bend. I also had too much crypto in my hot wallet because I was about to cash out for a business I am trying to start. So when I clicked the link to get in the call, the malware was installed instead, and before I knew what happened everything was drained. 

Graffiti at 5-Hips ditch in Austin. TX.

This is what it’s like living in the streets. You have to be on your feet and aware at all times. In this crypto space, we are living in the digital streets. We have to be a punk to survive. We have to live in a trustless state, but again, have an ironic faith in community and humanity. The DAO is our gang.

The DAO Punks have taken me in and have come in clutch with their governance votes to help with the Cohort_4 grant. I am in the process of using the 1 ETH given to me to pay my mortgage, utilities, car, groceries and other basic needs. It has been a godsend to not have to worry about the next couple of months. It has also allowed me to mental room to not have to spend all my time working some lame gigs I would normally have to take to survive, and instead I went to downtown Austin to attend and participate in the Unrestricted Intelligence Summit. I went with the intention to cover it in the name of Crypto Sapiens and interview some presenters there on the intersection of AI and web3.  The summit was organized by Gary Sheng at Edge City, ATX DAO, Morpheus AI, and Uncommon Entrepreneurs. It was an amazing educational opportunity in which I learned tons about AI.  I learned about why we should it fear it, but also the importance of  AI being open and decentralized. I learned how Morpheus protocol works as the open source rails on which open ai models can be built and sustained. I set up my lights, camera, and mics in the back room and I got to interview some extremely smart people in the space and have them walk me step-by-step in how alot the moving parts fit together. Here is the first interview with David Johnston of MorpheusAI out of five that I made. There weres no scripts. It was just me asking thick-headed questions that they patiently answered.  I learned so much.  On top of that, the organizer was so moved by my efforts that even though it was not supposed to be a paying job, I was sent some healthy compensation for my efforts.  That meant the world to me and further reinforced my punk belief that if you stand solidly for what you believe in, you will be taken care of. This is an extremely difficult position to take when others depend on your income to live. It is not just me dumpster diving my way through life.  I have a family with kids. So the relief of pressure that these occasions have are incredibly joyous. So thank you. It is humbling, but empowering at the same time. This, to me, is part of what being a DAO Punk is about.

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