The Prodigal Sun

I've been here about a month now.

My key takeaway is that I'm not too late. A big part of me thought, or rather felt, it was over.

That Andreessen quote -- thinking the web was over upon arrival in the Valley in the nineties -- was really ringing in my head. It's the nature of adapting to any new environment I suppose. When you first arrive everything is new and novel and there's so much new input, and so the natural assumption is that one is behind the curve. How wrong I was.

There's plenty more to do. As they say: we are so early.

Spending time on Farcaster has been instrumental. This place wouldn't be half as compelling or interesting if I were exploring alone. Meeting others who are already here makes exploring easier. Everyone I come across is building and learning in public. My maxim has been to treat it like a block party -- engage freely and openly with everyone. Default to being curious.

Case in point: I had my first one v. one exchange at the beginning of the month. I put out a request for someone to act as a spirit guide (馃鈥嶁檪), and the person who responded wound up giving much more of their time than I would've expected. Their willingness to share was refreshing, and what they had to say was fascinating even while our points of view didn't overlap as much as I had hoped. I came away with a greater understanding of this place and better context on how to engage.

That conversation, and the ones which have followed since, make me want to kick off an interview series. An ongoing series of deep dives into the personalities that are already here. Facilitating conversations is something which comes easily to me, so going forward I hope to have people answering questions and telling stories to share.

Sharing those conversations, as well and these dispatches and the other sorts of things I have planned, needs to be done with the tools of this place.

A case in point is Paragraph. Odds are the domain where this dispatch lives might be new to you. publishing here is about forcing myself to be of this place. If this is where I expect to see everyone sooner or later, getting familiar with the native tools is the right thing to do. It should feel indistinguishable to you from a Medium or Substack or anything else you may have read on the web. From my point of view however there are material differences, which will be worth covering in greater detail down the line.

The last thing worth outlining today are a couple of the most common nouns in this place. They're terms you've likely heard before but their usage here is going to be an area of ongoing education. They are: Keys and Wallets.

These two things are tightly linked. The object which enables me to publish this letter is a wallet, and the key is what ensures that I am the only one who can do the publishing at this particular web address.

The same goes for my ability to participate on Farcaster. Rather than maintaining a password, I have a key. On the surface this may sound like a distinction without a difference, but that's actually not the case. The machines operating the Farcaster protocol don't hold a copy of my key, as tools in the old place do with my passwords. In this place, I use my key to gain access to a tool without ever handing it off to anyone.

If that's not immediately clear, don't worry. There will be plenty of time to internalize the differences and why they're important. What's important right now is that wallets and keys are fundamental to making sense of this place.

That's it for today. More soon.



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