Exploring Memetic Icons V2


(adj.) has the qualities of or is related to a meme


(n.) a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol

As culture hyperfies, we see increasing value in the representative symbols used to scale and manifest density around interests/morals onchain. Not only are we lending more credence to things like ‘brand’, or ‘design’, UI/UX, and ‘aesthetics’, we are trying to distill their wisdom for a globally coordinated reinterpretation, on blockchains.

Trying Again

Our first go at contextualizing this concept we came away with:

  • each hyperculture is centered around one

  • their aesthetic manifestations include skeuomorphic, abstract, and referential models (noggles, zorbs, & opepen silouhette)

Recently we added a little more context:

  • words, colors (gradients even), and symbols are working models

  • you can have more than one (Nike has the swoosh and just do it)

  • their functionality extends beyond cultural signaling

    • foundation for hyperstack proliferation (commerce, cultural, commons)

  • they are not the beginning of a culture, but the beginning of its iconography

Version 2

It wasn’t until a recent conversation on UFO Radio that I was struck with new insight. A skateboard is a memetic icon. A tennis ball, or any sports ball, is a memetic icon. This opens up new possibilities for digitally native ones.

A skateboard provides kinesthetic-functions that our current crop of icons do not; while providing the same kind of cultural vertex. These functions include:

  • riding the board

  • designing the board

  • upgrading the board

  • discovering new locations to skate

  • bringing gravity to complimentary aesthetics (music to listen to, food to eat, friends to associate with, clothes to wear)

A sports ball has some overlap and its own set of functions as well. Again, I’m struck with the diversity we uncovered when looking at the skeuomorphic, abstract, and referential models.


At the current limits of my purview it feels best to pose some questions:

  • what does kinesthetic-function look like digitally?

  • what are the boundaries of ‘hardware’ v ‘software’ in crypto (when dealing with token mechanics for example)?

  • will additional functions pattern the aesthetic model of established memetic icons

    • noggles become ar glasses? or something entirely different?

    • zorbs become incredibly diverse yet functional hardware?

    • opepens become functional ‘avatars’? or skins?

  • and to what degree does kinesthetic-function play in scaling the icon?

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