Amateur Environments

"issue": 077

alternate title: becoming each-other’s everything

In technology, we consistently speak on the democratizing force of the internet and the subsequent effects on society.

But lately I’ve been thinking not just on this shift of democratization and more tools in more hands. Instead, thinking of this force as “amateur-ization”.

The realization that software is able to abstract a typically professional environment, to a more open for participation amateur one.

For a short list of examples:

  • Twitter = amateur intellectualism

  • Instagram = amateur photography

  • Youtube = amateur videography

  • Robinhood = amateur finance

  • OnlyFans = amateur pornagraphy

  • Depop = amateur retail

  • Crypto = amateur governance & capital

Amateurizing has compelling effects on the environment. It reconstructs our referent objects from those that have situated themselves “above” through some means → towards each other.

Like streetwear, it creates new rules of construction. New possibilities of interaction - both socially and with the materials being sourced.

What’s brand new is the distribution and ease in which our peers can contextually shift their identity towards the rest of us.


I believe this is the meta-tension between generations. Those that grew up in predominantly professional environments vs amateur ones.

It manifests itself as “misinformation caused by Twitter/Facebook” or “crypto is a ponzi-scheme” or “streetwear isn’t fashion”.

But ALL of these breakdown eventually.

Quick reasons why amateur environments are interesting to me:

  • Tiktok is fun because it’s like a double amateur environment. A lot of Tiktokers want to be YouTubers. This double amateur environment gives clues as to what is desirable in a higher sense / where attention still stands / etc.

  • Robinhood is interesting because it’s an amateur environment where the participants do not desire to become professional. They simply want to have access to a similar outcome. By that I mean, no one spending their time in this way wants to graduate up to working at Goldman Sachs. Those are the suckers stuck in the professional environment. It’s better to organize on WSB and play their own game.

  • Continuing on the above, Robinhood is interesting because the arena of the amateur and the professional are the same. The structure of market can no longer exclude the amateur.

  • Once the amateur environment becomes the primary environment, the professional one becomes the anti-environment. Warhol putting the Brillo Box in the center of the gallery.

  • The amateur environment is the direct-to-consumer-to-consumer. “my producers, are they not my consumer”

Software is the ultimate de-materialization tool. Turning entire machines and organizations into pixels. Spreading that light across any hand holding a pocketcomputer.

What other professional environments are ripe to be dematerialized, amateurized, restructured for new participants to adjust the nature of the medium itself?

I think what web3 understands spiritually, is the previous amateur environment has become incredibly professional. This loop continues in perpetuity of our existence and provides us with the opportunity to build… anything.


I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.

Thanks so much for giving me your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not… unsubscribing will not hurt my feelings, and will give you back time you literally cannot have back.

Much love.

Live in the light