Crypto, nft's, politics, science, the latest hit song, movie or successful actor/actress, things with or without cilantro/coriander. What do these things and pretty much all things have in common? People are divided on almost everything. This is why at any given point in time or any given subject no one knows what they're talking about, depending on who you ask and already agree with. See a pattern there? Pebcac haha. Can call this bias, pareidolia, projection, it's all or any of these things, depending on the angle of attack. I'm just wanting to draw attention to its effects for and against crypto and also the possible broader implications of our potentially more humble existence than we're used to acknowledging.
Crypto in general, but nft's especially, wow, what a lightning rod of hate. Been getting gaming articles about nft's and they are frothing, but more on that in a moment as I tie all this in. Not coincidentally, its algos that maintain your feeds and searches, so you're paradoxically a bit boxed in, even as you try to branch out, something is always connected, and so you, your data, arguably your existence, is almost controlled in a way. (Go ahead and try to unplug, you apes, it's actually really really hard to leave human civilizations and harder to leave human identity). This is actually a good approximation of apophenia too. The machines are reflecting you, you are thus the machine, it is an extension of you, and you, it. The search engine is searching for you, user input, revealing yourself back to you. To the extreme, psychologically, philosophically, neurologically, our brains can only perceive the inside of our brains themselves, words can only define everything they are not, "all that is solid melts into air," especially when concerning classically styled liberal markets and sometimes to the societal implications and norms. Which, taken to an extreme, is catastrophic for all human endeavors, including those sciences, language, civilization, and to some degree all meaning beyond which is assigned and the underlying hardware of raw, mechanical survival. We've been on this path all along though, how many civilizations have turned to dust and how many will be spared of that ultimate fate?
Most of us are gamers, or were. A diverse crowd, no doubt, but also characteristic of some stereotypes that can sometimes be painfully accurate. The bulk of the best of the benign of us are the tendies, cheerful, naive oafs collecting anime, meme stocks, working their day or night jobs, and looking forward to the next revision of whatever their favorite comic book movie or video games are. This is arguably most of us most of the time, there's nothing wrong with the average Joe except for the hate he gets from exceptional and arguable evil.
There's also the dark side to us, I hate to bring up the meme terminology for this as it's fallen out of vogue and hopefully continues to. They're the ones stuck in their ways, they hate all the updates to games and forever want a return to the good old days that never do, and they're blind to the good today's. They curse and moan into their microphones but do their fair share of spawn camping, they rage at this or that and quit and return next week, they "want to see the world burn," and are probably the next school or mass shooters, or otherwise are indicative of all the womanizing or harassing, breast milk lifting, on the job drinking news come out of Blizzard recently. Of course these things don't always correlate, except where they do. They correlate with anger, entitlement, immaturity, etc. Things that are basically bad, hopefully smaller parts of individuals that don't completely overshadow their identities or their broader communities. Just as we're lured into addiction of good things, when the dopamine wears off or wanes, we're then stuck with diminishing returns as we regressively hope for less not-bad things. Which is the sticky fingerprints all over the mass reaction to nft's, with or without gamers. People fear what they don't understand, don't value, or otherwise have some other vested reason to be unreasonable.
As we are all innate art critics, I can appreciate the medium, but I agree the appeal of the ape artwork itself doesn't do it for me, except for the primal eye of the ape which beholds the beauty. We are those apes. We're crypto apes, hence ape meme for crypto. Ape in you apes! It's both endearing and deriding. What of the other apes? Well, they're apes too. They're the apes that are staying in the trees, that won't explore over the next ridge, that go for the low hanging fruit instead of carving the stones, etc. Raging apes. Can we blame them? Are we not all endowed with the same error prone logic devices? Our minds reflecting ourselves and our environments back at us and into us? If machines are our creations, they're made in our image, imaged images. Approximate right and wrong guesses happening at some fair rate and bandwidth that's still arguably super computer level, and we "see" things all around us, 9 photons at a time, or in the mind's inductive eye. But what sucks is even perceiving the perception is subject to this. And the lines of reality, the definitions of words, the logic of math, the certainties of science and faiths melt on their respective horizons into incoherence. Quantum soup.
I pity the apes. I feel for them, I feel for us. We've strapped together on this rock with our old hardware dictating too much of our behavior into tribalism, which was well adapted to a world of blood thirsty, thieving, conniving, evil apes. We'd sooner want blood and war in exchange for peace rather than making sense of peace in the first place. We've only one foot out of the caves, or the jungle, or the trees, let's not mistake ourselves haha. But look how far we have come, it's pretty impressive for apes, you have to admit. But again the pessimism, we've no real way of discerning what's best, nor often between right and wrong, a grey quantum fuzz within and thus without, and so we see what we are seeing, see it in ourselves and each other, in the world writ large. We won't overcome this until we over come this very sheer limitation within the human condition itself and transcend merely being human.
Personally, I think we are well on the path of transcendence, not that I think it's destined to succeed. But our descendants and successors will know for us once they've arrived and we are no longer. More often than not I'm an optimist, a 51% attack on pessimism, we are here after all, despite and against all the odds. We exist, or appear to, so we ought not lose too much sleep imagining that we don't or that we aren't here and this isn't happening. Paint me for a Plantonist, Cartesian, and Kantian, a fan of all their descendants. You might not be alive if your life data was copied into a synthetic clone, but it would certainly seem like it was you, and if it was thinking it would mostly likely that it was you. My best approximation I think we are here riding along the quantum wave function and within the uncertainty and observer principles, where something almost like a singularity happens in our still too limited self awareness and minds, but thank the gods for all our ancestors for surviving.
So all we have is our best guesses, individuals and out into the collective. But some of the guesses are pretty damn good, and that's what we have to work with. The present confusing moments at any given present always make more sense in hindsight and that's unfortunately how we learn. And inductive inferences that we can extend outward, like we do with our coordination driving on a road, whether looking ahead or in the rearview can and will always be error prone.
And so, I think all of us see the nft apes and we see ourselves. We can either see ourselves seeing that and laugh a bit and facepalm, yup that's us, look those crazy apes haha. Or we're the other less enlightened apes that rage at the light and turn to the darkness within themselves. They see themselves and don't recognize their grotesque reflections and move to smash the mirrors, they sharpen their bones to picks and go to war with the other apes.
That should remind most of you of a movie you're probably to young to have seen. A masterpiece that was heralded as the apogee of film, and also at the time, as an abomination destined for history's rubbish bin. Given the possible facts of human nature and history, something of both. If fire was Prometheus' first gift of double edge tech, of course it burns and destroys and consumes, but when used appropriately it cooks your food, and can keep you warm and safe. This theme and relationship with humanity and our technological children persists. If you had known in hindsight now what Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, or Google have become, would you still go back in time to invest in them and tell people to? Even knowing their present track records and perhaps all of their contributions to bringing liberal democracy's existence into question? I most likely would in any case. But what is to become of our beloved crypto? Are we damned to repeat history?
The future is always uncertain to a degree, but there do also exist some relative certainties. All broad and difficult subjects I hope never to tackle here much further, such as, is democracy in its form not worth saving? Is it obsolete and needs a firmware update? Ooph. Be careful with the step into the thin air, it might not hold us, as much as the ground beneath itself us seems to be dissolving into air. Philosophers and psychologists, at the very least, employ these notions to devastating what-if's. What if some form of determinism is true and thus notions of free will is thus illusory, and therefore luxuries like delusions of democracy are too grand for us to realize? What if we are afterall reflections of our environments and we reflect back into it? What if these are the chameleon skins of adaptations of humans and we blend into the machine around us and become part of it? We might not know what the answers are, but maybe we already do, we're just too afraid of them.
Anyway, just sharing some thoughts so that I'm hopefully not just a brain in a vat, give a chance for our minds to meld, to broaden our horizons and expose more nerves to understandings, even if it is only of ourselves. Sharpen your proverbial bones and be ready for the war the tree apes will wage on us with their low hanging fruits, survival is at stake. We can win, but they are many and they are determined to be fearful and ignorant. These coming years as crypto ascends will be the most heated as it is derided and attacked from all sides, including from within. Keep the faith, hodl the fire, burn within but remain whole.
I wish there was more I could say, more to approximate and give more form with less words. But we're on the cutting edge of space time and human existence, it takes a lot of time and energy to deal with the exponentially increasing complexity. It's just a fact of the matter. We're headed towards tomorrow whether we like it or not. Stay calm and quietly desperate, and keep on keepin' on!