The Power of Digital Communities

How can they transform our future?

Note to reader: This is part of my 19-day sprint, here. I don't know how I feel writing this but today felt weird.

The transformative powers of Bitcoin have still not been fully felt. I say this with 2 assumptions I hold true in my life.

  1. I am a mid, have been an "NPC" and currently moving from squishy to actionable human.

  2. I am an edge, illiterate during portions of life, disallowing me to connect with words, forcing a different perspective, moving towards literacy.

The reason it is important to identify with these ideas is to attach the directional ideologies to the importance of digital communities.

This story takes a bit of a personal journey but taking a page out of Richard Hamming's book, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering, I say a personal story to remain the most objective so others can decide for themselves, in relation to a single point. He said it a bit different.

This story is really about the migration of literacy from physical spaces, to digital spaces, through digital communities.

Literacy is the medium in which progress is made.

It can change form and factor, with the hope consensus leans us into a positive sum future.

Currently consensus leans education into an illiterate state, me.

I'm immigrant boy from a communist country, two, Cuba & Venezuela. Landing in Miami with an older sister, a mom, and a dad.

With little historical context to much of any of my own past, then or now, I moved through the educational system, little biased by the biases of my parents. So I thought.

In truth, my educational story is nothing of any sorts good or terrible. If told, I would venture to say it was mid.

I was always mid. So mid that when I graduated from the educational system I attended an award ceremony, where kids receive awards for club acitivity.

I recall having a sense of disbelief, sitting in the chair next to my then high-school girlfriend, "wow, I never knew school had all these programs you could be a part of". Twenty years later I still remember the feeling. I was shocked that schools had such abilities.

College was not much different. I did take a gap "year." Left to the military, did a tour in the Horn of Africa, got married, divorced, tried to get my green beret twice and failed at SFAS.

Why so much context about me?

I'm mid. Everything you see there falls within the spectrum of mid.

College was mid, I'd think.

I got a career in Finance. Moved between positions. Firms. Chasing something, I'd imagine.

Until a transformative idea hit me.

Why does everyone see the world so much more different than me?

I spent most of my life moving between states of confusion. Looking to my left, receiving words, feeling confused, turning right, transforming that confusion into "explanations".

Never fully confronting the confusion. Till maybe 2018.

Bitcoin and my ideas of Finance began to clash. If you think this is a story of riches, you can stop reading now. Remember I'm mid.

As I attempted to handle more confusion from life, I began to somehow very clearly see the narratives around me mismatching from the narratives I saw in my head.

To this day it's a difficult thing to explain. The importance here is that the confusion began to feel like a sense of curiosity.

I was as some would imagine, pilled into a perspective that shifted a narrative, for me.

In the midst of this shift, I looked towards digital ideas that could help for a career transition.

From a physical state of beliefs to a hybrid state of beliefs. Attempting to adopt technology.

With a gap of hesitation, 2020 began the shift. Data science, Roam Research, Digital identity, Twitter, and of course, Farcaster.

The discovery in this process was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

I can't imagine.

The most important break-through for myself was writing. But I would sum each phase in these overarching ideas.

Data science gave me technical.

Roam Research gave me words.

Digital Identity gave me identity.

Twitter gave me compression.

NFTs gave me community.

Farcaster gave me literacy.

Each of these stages happened in digital communities. Each of them providing different narratives into myself.

The uncovering of my mid-ness happened in a somewhat exponential way, compounding into a singular tight pain-point.

500,000, plus, written words later, I can see it as clear as day.

I was illiterate.

How could I not be. I'm a CODA.

I lived my whole life saying "I have no connection to words". I may have read a handful of books up to high-school graduation. The only reason my baseball coach said "oh wow, your graduating on time." was because I was a mid-meandering student, with the ability to stumble through school, say some of the right things, but no one ever wanted to tell a normal looking kid, "you're illiterate".

My deaf community was definitely not going to either.

Until 2018, the majority of my perspectives were crafted by physical narratives, even the digital ones, Instagram, Facebook (that's all I used back then), mirrored the physical narratives. I would only follow the people I met IRL. I saw the world through signs. Words were a memory bank to pull from. Hoping I pulled the right one at the right time.

With no connection to words. Only signs.

Digital communities transformed this entirely. My literacy that is. It was all words, little signs.

And today it hit me.

Education is dead because literacy has moved online.

After attending data science bootcamp, writing hundreds of thousands of words, starting via Roam Research, taking a job in the digital identity space, becoming digitally technical, using Twitter as a public note-taking tool, becoming involved in an NFT community, and consuming Farcaster content for 2 years, I sat in front of my computer saying "wow, I can't believe the internet has all of this". Never having imagined the internet had such capabilities.

Remember, I can't imagine.

In this moment I realized I became literate.

The confusion of my world became a narrative I could easily see. My past was suddenly explainable. My mistakes were as clear as day.

My inability to connect with words was in large part due to the physical educational system failing me and society turning a blind eye but quickly recouped by the internets digital abilities to transport words and communities.

Digital communities gave me literacy.

I don't know how I feel about this.

This is part of the World Builder narrative.


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