Cover photo

The Crowd Gets Downgraded [236]

On this scale, I am firmly a 5.

My default setting is to approach everything like I’m the idiot in the bunch. I assume everyone else around me understands everything and has more experience than I do. When I was younger I figured everyone else was old and so obviously had more experience and thus knew more about everything. Now that I’m older I look at the younger kids in awe at how much they have figured out already, always assuming they know things I don't. But when I take a minute I realize none of this is true and I’m just projecting insecurity and the truth is no one has any idea what they are doing and it’s all a front. And honestly, I've never trusted people who act like they have it all figured out. I’ve never wanted to play the role of know-it-all-guy because I think the know-it-all-guy is annoying af. But, I also realize that the know-it-all guy got to do a lot of shit I never did because everyone assumed they knew-it-all and should obviously be included. It’s a weird paradox. 

So back when I was living in LA and commuting to Tokyo every other month I racked up enough miles with United to get 1K status which I have to tell you kicks crazy ass. Tons of perks and service and everything, which I took full advantage of. One time I spaced and left my laptop on a plane - something I didn't realize until getting to my hotel, I called United 1k help line and they got people on the ground right away to go find it and I was able to swing back to the airport and pick it up right away. They told me that was only because I was 1K, had a been some lesser status I would have only been able to file a report and if/when my laptop was found by cleaning crew they would ship it to Denver and I would be notified and hopefully get it back in 4-6 weeks. So yeah, it was nice. Once I got 1k I flew enough to renew it every year, which was also nice. Until the Pandemic hit anyway. I stopped flying for a while, just like everyone else and United was kind enough to extend those services even though I wasn't flying, until last year when they said get your ass back in the air if you want to stay hooked up. Which I did, but not enough - by the end of the year I was about 1000 miles short of the requirements for 1k and figured "ah well, I'll just get it next year" and resigned myself to dropping back down to Platinum or whatever.

So next year comes around and I start flying all over, Paris, Tokyo, back and forth and I wonder how close I am to hitting the 1k mark so I look and see I'm no where close at all. What I'd forgotten somehow in all my years of living the sweet 1k life is that the game is rigged. 1k members make 3x the miles everyone else does, so it's much easier to stay 1k than it is to earn it initially. Basically if you or anyone else flies 300 miles you get 300 points, but 1k members get 900. So I'm screwed and destined to have crappy status for science only knows how long now. Blah.

Speaking of blah downgrades, people are up in arms over the blue check marks thing on Twitter which is a bit silly given that the way "verified" has been implemented on Twitter has always been a joke. The grandstanding is a bit much tbh. But in light of the ongoing slow death of Twitter I've set up accounts on many other not-twitters such as Bluesky (other users of which I've been affectionally calling BSers), Warpcast, Lens, Nostr and probably several others I'm already forgetting. If you are there, anywhere, let me know how you are using them different than Twitter because right now it just seems like everyone is copying the same thing from one place and posting it on all the others which isn't making a compelling use case argument for any of this. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I get it, I'm playing along and everything, I'd just love to see something new and exciting and different and not just the same thing but a little better.

Speaking of new and exciting and different, I'm excited about this new project I've been working on with Muggs thats quite a bit different than everything we've done before. 8TARI is a virtual lofi artist and the first video for her first single "Neon Sunburn" came out today. The ep "Lofi Punk" comes out next month and the full album later this year. We've got a lot of fun things planned and for now you can follow along on Twitter & Instagram and while this single is kind of a "traditional" release we've got some fun web3 things coming soon as well. Free claims, mints, burns. All of it, not to mention a really fantastic album to go with.

In only kind of new and different news as I've been back and forth to Tokyo recently I've been back on the my camera bullshit taking pictures of people in the streets. I had having some focusing/blurring issues because I was a little out of practice so I decided to really mix things up and busted out the flash which is not something I tend to do often even though I really do like the results. I'm going to leave it on the camera for a while just to shake things up and make me think about it a little differently. Here's how it's playing out:

That last one wasn't in Tokyo but it was of Harper, so I figured 3 or 4 of you would enjoy it. Speaking of photos and firsts, I did something the other day that I think is kind of interesting even if only 3 or 4 other people do, likely a different 3 or 4 people who enjoyed the Harper photo but such is life when playing with super niche audiences. Long story short, I have a photoset of the first sunrise of the year that I made on Jan 1, 2023 after hiking up Mt Takao, and recently had the opportunity to mint them as one of the first smart contract driven NFT collection on Bitcoin, and the very first photography. 100% onchain. That's right, BRC721 not ERC721. I know most of you are like "wat" while a few of you are like "wtf" and a few others of you are like "wow" and for those people I present this link. Almost no one cares about this today, but I think a few years from now that's going to mean a lot. Guess we'll find out one way or another.

But I know you don't read this just to know what I'm up to and I've clearly spent enough time telling you what I'm up to so I might as well tell you more of what I'm up to. I read this twitter thread about the worst (intentional) volume control UX and laughed so hard it hurt. Most of the people I showed it to were like "wat." Turns out that the fentanyl panic being warned about by the cops is also being caused by the cops. Who could have seen that coming? If you suck at kissing this new Chinese kissing machine might be able to teach you the ins and outs to perfect your technique. Speaking of technique, apparently "young British males" technique is lacking and Amsterdam is asking them to please gtfo. They should have practiced on the Chinese kissing machine first apparently. At least worked on their foot massage, or maybe their chess game. Or maybe they just need to shift the object of their love interest to AI. True story, I was in my high school chess club during my freshman year. I don't remember why I didn't stick around the following years though, I guess I got distracted by other things maybe. But there's a funny picture of fat high school era me with long hair and wearing a Bones Brigade t-shirt standing in the middle of a bunch of other kids with button up shirts or Ron Jon Surf Shop drug rugs in a Manatee High yearbook for anyone who wants to go digging.

Back to what I've been up to, I wrote a long piece about the concept of respecting artist's wishes, it's in direct reference to Cryptopunks but I think some of the points I get are general enough that it's probably readable by a wide group of people. Let me know what you think, or if I'm full of shit.

Governments all over the world who derive their power from money are up in arms about people deciding they no longer need (or want) the govt controlling that much of their lives and looking into crypto. Hand wringers are talking about "protecting the consumer" and pitching their own govt backed crypto tokens as something "safer" but a new Eruo-pegged stable coin being backed by a French bank has options in the code allowing the bank to seize and or burn all the tokens at their own discretion. Literally this is the kind of shit people are trying to get away from. This interview with the head of the US SEC from the other day is just insanity, and it's no wonder the crypto industry is leaving the US behind. I remember in the early days of Safecast there was this disconnect where the people who used to be "the authority" didn't realize they'd made themselves obsolete and were kind of standing there dumbfounded that no one cared what they had to say anymore, and it feels very much like that's what's about to happen with the world and the US dollar. The US thinks the world depends on it, the world is moving elsewhere.

Unrelated, I'm starting to fantasize walking away from all this "internet" stuff. I mean, I know ADHD and all that but also, how much is enough? I've been thinking back to the times in my life when I was super productive and at least in my perception actually finished a lot of what I set out to. And also what has changed since then. Pre-social media, pre always on. I often think about Ray Tomlinson who sent the first email deciding 50 years later that he was done with it and had had enough. I got a pager in high school which was admittedly only really used by my boss at work to ask why I wasn't in the video store yet and I got my first cell phone in 97 which was also mostly just used by my boss at the time to ask why I wasn't in the office yet. I used to have this time blindness thing when I could start working on a project and then only realize hours later that I hadn't eaten or looked away from my computer all day long, but I'd made a ton of progress. Now I can barely type 3 or 4 sentences without switching tabs to make sure I'm not missing something or to google something to make sure I know what I'm talking about. This is kind of why I really enjoy just walking around on the street with my camera, and honestly feel like "accidentally" forgetting my phone at home when I do. I also spend all my "guitar playing time" watching youtube videos about pedals trying to figure out which ones I should put in what order and what setting. I think I've given myself too many choices and too many options, and should apply some of my personal uniform logic to basically everything else in my life.

That was quite the round trip wasn't it? See you next time!