The Crowd Continues [234]

Hi Crowd!

Stop me if you've heard this before - I'm being way too precious with this mailing list. I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend about 15 years ago and he was commenting on what he perceived to be my prolific extremely onlineness, he said something like "I never have to wonder what it is that you think about any random topic of the day because I know whatever it is you've already been talking about it and I just go read your blog/twitter and see the 10 things you've written about it in the last 24 hours. You are like my cheat code cliff notes. Also you are shockingly handsome." For legal purposes I'll admit to some paraphrasing there but I'm pretty sure that was the gist of it. And it's true, I used to post a lot. I won't really waste any time being introspective or reflective or whatever but the fact is I used to have very little filter and over the years have gotten way to "it's not ready yet, I can't post until it's ready" which I think really works against me because if I'm honest nothing is ever ready so the end result is nothing ever gets posted. I'm even down to only a handful of tweets a day, many of which are replies and that's just not helpful. For me. Because then all the stuff I want to say just keep swirling in my head. If you've been a subscriber to this list over the last decade you know I've discussed this before, so this is I guess a reminder that it's an ongoing issue and I know I need to work on it. For example, this is the first newsletter I've sent out in 2023 and when I started this thing my goal was basically weekly. So maybe this is a warning to expect a little less polish.

A quick update from me: I'll be in Paris this week for NFT Paris and will be bouncing between the venue and NFT Factory which is where a lot of the interesting (to me) side events are taking place. I'm looking forward to seeing many friends from the Ledger, Cryptopunks and Bright Moments circles as well as some non-web3 Paris based friends who I'm glad to catch up with whenever I have a chance. I promise to give you a nice recap next week. I also have a photo being exhibited as part of the conference thanks to the crew and if you happen to be there you should swing by and check it out. Most of all after several years of living in Canada and seeing no one I'm just excited for the opportunity to see some people int he flesh rather than in the zoom as we can't start convincing people to move to us if we don't even know where we want to be.

Also, this week is my birthday. It's the first one away from the family since the family existed so I'm hoping to distract myself with delicious vegan treats around Paris and riveting discussions about obnoxious blockchain bullshit. Last year for my birthday I gave away a bunch of my existing NFTs that no one had bought, but I thought for this year it would be fun to do a free claim for anyone who happened to be holding one of my earlier releases when I took a snapshot this morning. This claim will go live at the stroke of midnight on Feb 24th and end when the calendar shifts to the next day, but if you want one this will be the claim link. I took this photo on my birthday in 2017, a few months prior to moving to Japan from Los Angeles. It's a sort of digital recreation of a film photo I took 5 years earlier in Akihabara that was chosen and published by Leica in their "Leica Myself" book of self portraiture. I love that the viewer doesn't know where to look, as so much is competing for attention and even though I've positioned myself dead center in the image, I'm easy to miss. Just like in real life.

Speaking of being extremely online, Tara and I were recently forced to reactivate our Snapchat accounts which in addition to being full of people we didn't even remember existed, now lets you do silly shit like this. Tara made this sticker of us which is actually kind of a sticker of us as our cryptopunks but whatever it funny. At least I can rock the sweet Adidas gear in this virtual representation of myself. Aaaaarrrrr.

Speaking of virtual representations, this is going to be a thing. No really, if you aren't paying attention to the coming wave of celebrities/artists/etc that exist only in the virtual world you are missing out on something a lot of other people are watching closely. There's more going on than you might immediately imagine, which is one reason I'm really excited about 8TARI. She's also worth paying attention to.

Speaking of paying attention to things, In 2020 I started talking about NFTs a lot. So much so that a bunch of people in this very list got very upset and started calling me a cryptobro or whatever other silly insult they heard someone else say and mindlessly repeated to which I often replied - no one made you subscribe to this mailing list which is explicitly a collection of things I think are interesting and also there was no terms of use stating you'd get to sign off on all topics so that I only talk about things you are interested in to, so scram. It's no secret that all of this has taken up a giant part of my life in the last few years and I continue to find it exciting and fascinating and thrilling and can't wait to see what happens next. That said, lot of people on this very list also circled back to me in 2022 saying things like "I wish I'd payed more attention when you started talking about NFTs because I get it now and I wish I'd gotten it then, and also you are shockingly handsome." To which I responded, I know, remember that next time. This is the next time, and if you were one of those people trust me when I tell you that you should be paying attention to Ordinals. I said that 2020 and 2021 felt very much like 1998 to me and now I'm saying 2023 feels very 2021. These cycles are getting faster. This didn't exist 2 months ago, and now there are new wallets and how tos popping up every day. Learning it as it's happening is much much much much easier than trying to play catch up 12 months later.

This is all happening right on the heels of a major civil war in the world of Ethereum NFT marketplaces which is also right on the heels the Open Edition boom. Like my friend Ferris always says, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Circling back to the virtual thing, someone forced ChatGPT to play chess against Stockfish, which is the best chess ai on the planet. And it's, well. Wild. You should watch it. Especially if you are one of the people who is a bit worried about ai taking over.

Speaking of ai and things you should be paying attention to omfg. I don't even know where to start so here's a dump: music generation is getting good, hackers are bypassing ChatGPT restrictions, these prompts will help improve your midjourney results, voice actors are getting deep faked (though this applies to anyone who has a bunch of their voice recorded and easily indexable).

Here's some unrelated things that are also interesting: Emerging tools and frameworks for working with psudoanonymous teams, a dead mans switch for your crypto assets, and LACMA gets a massive donation of top tier crypto art. Also, the FBI is up to it's old tried and true tricks of hiring people to start shit in protest groups to give them a reason to go bust them up.

I learned about the first vending machine which was used to sell holy water to unsuspecting rubes I mean fools with too much money wait no I mean devoted Christians in the times of Alexandria. This and other fun facts on the Wikipedia cabinet of curiosities.

I've been annoying my neighbors with Uboa. You can too.

OK, that's all for now. I have to go pack.