The Crowd Picks Up A Book [245]

First and most importantly, my son who many of you know, is launching his new “Crow Friends” NFT collection in less than a week. He wanted to get it out before he started 8th grade but kept refining the art and the new traits he added are really great. It was important to him that he support the communities he’s been a part of, and the people who have supported his work over the last few years so if that’s you, right now you can claim a Friend Pass. It’s free, it’ll give you a 50% off the mint price next week, and it’ll convert into an edition piece of art after the mint. How do you know if that’s you? Well if you have bought any of his collections, or any of my collections, or hold cryptopunks, any Obey Giant NFTs or 0N1 Force it’s probably you. So show the kid some support and grab a pass here.

Speaking of NFTs, the market is down bad right now. SO BAD. There are 1/5th of the active Ethereum Wallets last month as there were 1 year ago, lowest it’s been since before 2020 I think. While many people are lamenting how many people have left, I think it’s important to see that 20% of the people are still here. I’m super bullish on the artists still here making things, and the collectors who recognize why thats important. When the market picks back up in the next cycle, the people who were here the whole time are going to be seen as legends. If you think that’s just hopium just look at how people who were in crypto between 2018-2020 were talked about in the 2021-2022 cycle.  I really like Misha’s take here about why the future is looking exciting

Of course the recent news that “95% of NFTs are worthless” meme has been popular with the haters but it’s kind of hilarious because the same could be said about basically any other collectable or media. Art, music, books, fashion, etc… the very top high end gets the attention but there is a very very long tail worth absolutely $0. But what is the point of obsessing about a dollar value anyway? I look at art on my walls and enjoy it because it’s beautiful or because it means something to me, not how much it’s worth. Same with books I love, I don’t worry that most have no resale value. But to keep things positive, I enjoyed the flip of that narrative which pointed out that for several years major media has been saying 100% of NFTs are worthless, so this seems a concession that maybe 5% of them now have value. 10% is next!

Speaking of delusional claims, I recently had a little back in forth with someone who displayed an impressive collection of bad logic. I had to take notes, and thought I’d share them here with you. 1. The False Consensus Effect is a cognitive bias wherein someone over estimates how many people agree with their points of view. If someone is telling you “everyone knows” or “most people believe” or some equivalent it’s most likely that they are insecure in their position and desperately want to think everyone else agrees with their positions and using this is telling on themselves. 2. Confirmation Bias is often coupled with this, where someone will only listen to people who agree with them, or look for a reason to invalidate anyone doesn’t. You see this with religious debates a lot, people only talk to others who already share their faith, and refuse to talk to someone who doesn’t. The conversation I was having wasn’t a religious debate, though in a way it kind of was. For the trifecta, add in 3. The Anchoring Effect which is where people rely heavily on the first impression, or the first piece of information they have and then try to measure everything else against it. I’ve experienced this one most often with journalists who have a thesis locked in for piece they are working on and are trying to find soundbites to support it, and discard or ignore anything that doesn’t. If you come to a conclusion before you have evidence, and then ignore the evidence because it contradicts your conclusion, you might be flexing the anchoring effect. When you see someone using one of these things in an argument, pay attention because chances are they are also relying on the others. Inoculate yourself against them by assuming no one agrees with you, and be willing to change your mind when presented with a convincing argument. Build your position one piece of information at a time like a puzzle. If your goal is to have the best argument rather than to be right, it’s easier to recognize when you had an incorrect assumption and adjust course. If being right is more important, well, then you’ve got problems.

So how about those Mexican aliens right?

Speaking of problems, I’m having really strong “throw everything in the trash” urges these days. Feeling the clutter both digitally and physically. I have too many tabs open and too many apps on my devices. Too many books I want to read and too many emails I don’t. Feeling like revisiting the ‘100 things’ challenge, even if just as a thought experiment. Over the last decade I’ve slowly drifted from “If I get the best thing, then I only need one of it” to “I need one of the thing and a back up just in case and also this other version of because it’s different and this other version which might be different but I can’t tell and if I just want to have the single best one I should compare between these 5 different ones and I can’t really tell so I’ll put them in this box and revisit later” and have gone from “I’m not installing any apps that aren’t 100% needed” to “sure I’ll try that and these are on sale right now so maybe I can use them later and here’s a whole bunch of things that I could see myself maybe sometime using because they sound great but I don’t have time to RTFM right now so I’ll just put in this folder and revisit later.”

I saw someone talking the other day about cutting out their news consumption entirely and it sounded like a dream though I also know there’s no real way for me to even consider something like that because so much of “what I do” depends on knowing what’s going on. But I do need to build some rails. I used to have time to pick up an art book and casually flip through it finding inspiration on its pages, which I’d chew on for days and then bring back into my own work. All I’ve done with my art books recently is move them from one floor in the house to another. It’s heartbreaking. I need to get rid of every pedal that doesn’t fit on my pedal board so I can stop wondering if I should have this one or that one and if I can’t tell the difference pick purely on simplicity. 3 knobs is better than 4. I’m too old for this much variety, I just want to make noise, I don’t want to think about how best to make noise.

I’ve been consciously not taking my phone when I know I’m going to be waiting somewhere for half hour or so and just taking a book instead and it’s been glorious. I have a round of flights coming later this week and I think I’m not going to load my iPad up with movies like I usually do and just take some books instead. My will power right now doesn’t let me chose between the two options, so I kind of have to force it by restricting which options I have. If I only have a book, I read it. If I have my phone and a book I scroll social media.

Speaking of books, I’ve picked up a few recently I’m looking forward to or already enjoying. Dan's new astroid mining thriller, Civ's tour book, Mitch's new Occultism thing, Faxneld's Satanism reader and Mooch’s memoir. See? I need more time for this.

Speaking of time, let me now tell you about how much I've spent sitting doing nothing.

Here in the household we also binged the 4th and final season of Sex Education on Netflix and both Tara and I got teary eyed several times. What an absolutely amazing show that was. Those characters were just so beautifully written, capturing the complexities and struggles so many of us have felt so many times. I don’t think there’s been a show recently where I felt a connection with the characters since I don’t know maybe Deadwood. Conversely, the new season of And Just Like That was mostly a piece of shit. The magic of Sex & The City is the balance the 4 characters provide for each other - I’ve said this before but that show wasn’t really about 4 characters so much as it was about New York being the character and the 4 leads all being part of it’s personality, and each playing a role we the viewer could relate to. Removing one of those characters and trying to rewrite the remaining 3 to compensate doesn’t work. And adding in another handful that don’t have their own purpose fails even harder. And also it felt like everyone was phoning it in.

Sorry I haven’t written in a month, hope this random scattered chaos makes up for it.

October is right around the corner. Which scary movies are you watching? I feel like I've seen everything and I have my favorites, but tell me something I might not know about. I want to see something new.



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