The Crowd on Crows and Crews [246]

Hi Crowd!

(circa 2013)
(behind the scenes of the above shot, captured yesterday by Tara)

Crow Friends. If you have followed me for any period of time, you know I have a thing for crows. They show up in my work all the time and have become weird muse inspiration ghosts that I just keep finding myself finding. This should not be a surprise to anyone. So anyway, when we moved to Vancouver we were quarantined for weeks and so we'd sit out on our porch and hang out with the neighborhood crows. We got to know them, and they us. Especially Ripley. My son, now 13, who many of you know as Nomegla on the internets. He started throwing the crows peanuts when we'd walk to school and they started following him. And then they started waiting for him. And then they started attacking anyone who came near him who they didn't recognize as cool. They know when he leave in the morning and when he comes home in the afternoon. Crows are smart like that, and they became his crow friend gang. It's fantastic honestly.

So a while back he tells us he's been drawing some of them, and that he decided his next NFT project is going to be dedicated to his crow friends. Enter Crow Friends. I admit to being an unquestionably biased source and as a proud parent I'm not apologizing for that, but he did such a good job with this. There are something like 50 different beak traits alone in this. It's so fun. This was officially released on Oct 1 and he's going to cut off sales on Oct 31. He gave a bunch away for free to people who have bought his previous art, but there's still a lot of these left, and I'd love for him to be surprised by some overwhelming wave of support. They are super cheap, if you have some extra eth laying around and want to support a kid putting himself out there with his art, please go mint a few and/or tell your friends to do the same. It'll make his day and ways you won't even believe. Here's one of the ones I got:

This is a fluffy crow who is molting and I suspect it's modeled after a crow we call "Fluffy Pants" who always has these puffy feathers going on. This one also has the "greedy" trait - which he drew to show the crows who aren't happy with the one peanut he throws them, and run over to steal peanuts from another crow. There's a story behind every bit of this.

If this isn't news to you because you've been following along online, then maybe you claimed a "Friend Pass" when he offered them last month, and if you did then make sure you grab the free photo edition I've made available for anyone who grabbed one. Claim link is here, and yes if you look closely you'll see this is proof of peanut.

Speaking of telling stories, the first episode of "punks as told by.." which is the behind the scenes series doc being filmed by people who are involved with the cryptopunks book I've been helping with was just released. Episode 1 is Matt & John from Larva Labs and if you know what that means and is immediately exciting for you, then you should go watch it right now. Somewhat related, I just got back from lovely Charleston SC where got up on stage and talked Cryptopunks with Beeple. It was a pretty fantastic event and I have more to write about that but need to process it a bit more internally first. There's a bigger thing I want to say about the social aspect here, but need to put pen to paper. But it was fun, and it's always great to meet friends in person that you've only interacted with online.

On the theme of cryptopunks and friends, this latest episode of Punkcast with my old friend Ian Rogers is full of fun stories about early internet and punk rock and hip hop and friend trust networks and finding out about cool shit from each other. It's really good and enjoyable, and not only because Ian says nice things about me. But really, if any of those things are interesting to you it's worth throwing this on and listening to it.

In less interesting and exciting new, for anyone who, like myself, is riding the sinking ship of Twitter (or X if you are nasty) all the way to the bottom, then you know it's a garbage fire right now, worse than it's ever been. Here are a few tips I've figured out that help a little bit:

  • Pay for verified. At this point if you aren't paying for verified no one will see your posts, so for better or worse, if you want to use the site you need to fork over $8 a month to do it.

  • Post longform. Gone are the days of 140 or 280 character tweets. Gone are the days of Tweets. Elon wants people to spend more time on the site, so the longer your post is the better. You need to post more than 300 chars to correctly trigger the "read more" detail. Which you can only do if you have a verified account.

  • Similarly, links are punished because Elon sees that as taking eyes away from his site. So if you need to include a link, do it in a reply to your first post, not in the first post itself.

  • Include an image.

There you go, hope that helps a little.

Have you heard of SoFi? Social Finance? It's like DeFi or TradFi but social, or something. It's all the rage at the moment in some circles. The tldr is that people pay for your "key" (or ticket) to get access to a private chat with you, and the more people who buy your keys the more expensive they get, unless someone sells them then they dump. So you get paid for giving people a reason to stay around, and everyone gets punished if others decide to walk. Generally, I think financializing personal relationships is terrible idea, and making human interactions transactional is going to end badly so I try to avoid it. I'd hoped it would just go away, but it hasn't. Friend.Tech was the initial one that set this all off and that felt sketchy and red flaggy to me right out of the gate so I avoided it. Recently a friend convinced me I should at least look at what was going on with Friend Tech clone Stars Arena, so thought I'd create an account just to look around. The site got hacked and drained twice in the next 48 hours. So yeah, that doesn't seem too exciting. I saw this post by Bharat talking about Friend Tech and how bad the UI was and my curiosity got the best of me - you have to sign in to see the site so I thought whatever I'll sign in, see how bad it is and then forget it. I signed in, and holy crap it's horrific. Made no sense at all. So I closed it and didn't think about it again until 2 days later when I got a bunch of messages on other platforms from people telling me I was doing friend tech wrong and had been botted and this or that and I needed to do something to up the price of my keys. I'm not touching it in anyway, I think it's bullshit, so it's kind of hilarious to me that people are telling me I'm doing it wrong.

I saw a chef on instagram call pre-chopped garlic that comes in a jar from the grocery store "jarlic" and I can't stop laughing about it.

Speaking of doing it wrong, if you are thinking of deepfaking your own nudes to avoid taking actual nudes, be warned that they apparently suck. You know what else sucks? The Canadian housing market. I mean, I knew it was bad because I live in Canada and can see what's happening just around my neighborhood, but I didn't know it was this bad. People are fucked, and it's only going to get a lot worse really quickly. I actually had no idea the way Canadian mortgages are structured and this is scary.

Speaking of living in Canada, one thing I learned after moving out of the US almost 7 years ago now is how many Americans don't know that the US is the only country that requires it's citizens to pay taxes no matter where they live. Everyone else follows the "you pay local taxes where ever you live" rule which seems like common sense, but the US is like "nah pay us too" and there's literally no way out of that except renouncing your US citizenship, and even that isn't an easy path. And this complicates others things, because due to to the US filing requirements there are businesses and banks all over the world that simply won't work with US citizens. Enter Accidental Americans which is a new term to me but makes sense in context of people who by one reason or another are US Citizens even though they might have no ongoing connection to the US, and that causes them all kinds of drama. Some people have paid through the nose to give up their US citizenship, because the US made you pay through the nose to do that (to make up for lost taxes or whatever) but that is kind of changing now, which is causing new kinds of drama.

I don't know if that's even interesting to anyone except expats of the American variety, but it all goes back to my ongoing thesis that in 2023 citizenship and national borders are stupid and serve only to keep established power players in power and global class structures in place. I'm sure that comment will make someone mad and they will write to tell me how wrong I am and maybe I am but to be honest I don't actually give a shit. Nationalism never made any sense to me and I've spent too much of my life traveling around the world to believe that anyone is special anywhere. We've all got our own shit to deal with and are just trying to get by day to day and it would be so much easier for everyone if we all didn't keep trying to make it harder for everyone else. That's totally obvious to me, I don't know why all these politicians can't figure it out.

OK, I've been trying to write this one for over a week now and need to just get it out to you before it gets any longer. Hope you are well.


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