Memetic Arrows & Narrative Currency // part 1?
|Reggie James||Mar 21|
In the highest sense, I care deeply about the nature of progress. The belief that we can design progress, intentionally, and it fuses with our environment. An ever cycling constructed collective-selves we place and hand down to our next of kin. Until that reflection is too distorted for them to recognize, and they build again.
Progress, as an abstract, has been going through a sort of meta-renaissance of discussion and focus. How we define and measure such a thing in the macro sense — life expectancy, economic production, blah blah blah.
One thing I still haven’t heard yet, listening to Tyler Cowen and the likes, is the spiritual awareness of one’s environment and how it impresses upon them. Both consciously through their participation, as well as subconsciously through their very… passing through.
I believe that this is why McLuhan has had such an impact on many of us. The understanding of the entire working over of a medium on the individual and collective.
As we tend to freely define ourselves as technologists, we have an almost hippocratic oath like responsibility to understand the nature of our accelerated ability to terraform our lived experience through our design materials of choice… namely, for the past 20 years, software.
I’ve been turning over the “software is eating the world” meme for a little bit of time. Why did it have to happen,?,? because it had to happen. And I keep coming back to this idea that humans are terraformers. As Peter Thiel laments, we’ve slowed in our progress in the world of atoms. There’s many potential reasons as to why… but my primary one is that pre-internet-software we terraformed our environment by first putting intention and plan and law into writing. Setting out from the script, the series of actions necessary to move atoms around. Software had to eat the world because it was set to become the unified language of the world. Without this shared language, there was no terraforming to be done. Code is law, setting new batches of atoms firing around that were previously somnambulant. Over the past few years a new awareness has been born, seeing the effects of this retribalization in dazzling clarity… or maybe swirling stupefaction…
Crypto is one of the bleeding tools of our strange terraforming environments that has been gripping me with a new sort of obsession as of late.
My warning right here is that this is not a cohesive piece. I don’t know what it is. There’s a lot of scatter shots of thoughts/probes.
Our environment is capital. Like blood running through our body, it is a known invisibility that maintains us, propels us. What makes capital act, what is the sequence of events, how close is capital to lived reality…
Now I got you in my space
I won't let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I'm latching on to you
Mmmmmmmmmmm the environments we find ourselves in. Where this makes perfect sense. We’ve retvrned. There is value in seashell, and I should be able to trade it for corn.
On SUSHI I made a BAO-WETH pair. The story of filling a Pixl town is the current wave. We went full archeological dig for the first generative art NFT, saving kitties from the moon. Dylan Field sold his CryptoPunk for an equivalent of $7.5m… we’re out here.
In short, we’ve made currency feel less like currency, and closer to that which we have an intuitive understanding of. Narrative.
We shoot memetic arrows through environment. As it travels, it disintegrates or fattens. Some memes are built to hold capital direction in perfect form… retreat to Miami being a good example.
Capital continued to flow into the meme, the first tongue-in-cheek stance turned into an all at once flooding. Greeted openly by the Mayor himself.
We live in an age of capital abundance. This isn’t without recognition of the nature of distribution of said capital, simply that, it is everywhere. Capital moving, is the least interesting part of any story. Because it is the final reactionary layer to compounding of previous narrative.
Currency is simply another design material, embodying decision making… it’s a kinetic force. The very idea of stagnation that can take hold is the scourge of progress. This is an infinite game, to stop moving capital would be to spoil the fun. There always has to be more, and there’s always a place to put it.
So if capital is the base of the current environment, readily available to be exercised, what is the edge?
Said another way, what is it that the environment is hurdling towards…
Mmmmmmmmm that assumes a timeline model. Maybe it’s more of a cauldron. Stewing. Waiting for a new protein to congeal around. Breaking through the meat to steam through. Have it sink back into the stew, provide flavor for the next and the next…
Maybe it’s hmmmmmmmm too many forms and shapes in my head now. Will sketch for next time.
We typically think that information is presented, a decision of capital is then put into motion… no no no. Maybe before, but that’s such a dead way of thinking about the kinetics of the present.
Narrative arrows shooting through the perfect meld of capital environment and the real edge being information. Capital now pushes new information reveals, not the other way around.
The story shoots from within, it gains capital as it tries to break through the informational membrane layer. Desperately trying to be part of the permanent environment.
Crypto is the first currency that can move at the pace of narrative. (Funny enough, in terms of trad finance, venture is a form of capital that has come to act narrative first. In a capital abundant environment, there’s no reason not to other than shame. Power laws typically solve for this.)
Fiat holds plenty of history, but history is the sum of completed finite games. That history is long, and muddied, and fought over. Formal history moves too slowly. Our awareness of potential history becomes similar to our awareness of camera, forcing us into pose.
This reminds me of how prescient “reality based community” really was.
That's not the way the world really works anymore... We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do
— unnamed official in the Bush administration
In order to take the actions the administration reasoned they needed to take, they had to move faster than history formation allowed. They became part of the bleeding edge of information and narrative. Filling in the gaps with their own actions and relaying it back to the analysts, while they filled in new gaps from fresh batches of actions.
In the age of diamond hands to the moon, 300% change within hours… only meme can compress that arrow into reaction-capital in time.
Meme is narrative x environment… cmprsd. (the basis of education? damn there’s a whole side quest we could go on about narrative currency and embedded education)
This marriage between meme, communal distribution speed of the internet, and currency cannot be understated in its current and potential impact to our environment.
What happens when we make currency slightly less, currency like. It softens… it becomes generative… We replace print & cut, with mine & pool. Our communities can generate for itself, exchange within itself, produce and distribute beyond itself. Squad wealth.
We are turning towards each other at an increasing rate for more and more needs.
I’ve been trying to organize everything good on DAO’s as possible. (prepping for a deep dive weekend)
The greatest lie the devil ever sold was to make you believe you’re on single-player mode. The social profile has exacerbated this to the tenth degree.
There’s this wave right now of abstracting and folding in our peers. At first this felt like a distortion. A too closeness of the subject. But again… it’s feeling more and more of a retvrn. The smaller knits we once set ourselves in, before the hyper-extended-accessibility of it all.
Social has increasingly turns our peers to our own entertainment.
OnlyFans turns our peers into our pornography.
Crypto turns our peers into our economy.
Perhaps we are in the middle of turning within the tetrad…
What is this strangeeeeee progress? What is it doing to us?
In this land of rented platform existence, it’s the least surprising notion that this new engine lives on proofs. Proofs of ownership, creation, identity, transaction.
(Ownership as expression concerns me for many reasons… Who owns the sun? Do we not all feel the warmth from its radiance. Is expression not the same? Does it not radiate from the motion of others in perpetuity.)
Perhaps we just want to own our stories. Record it. It’s all memory storage. Yes, we want proof. Proof we were here. Proof this interaction happened. We want our reality based community.
This happened. This really happened. We did this together, and it was beautiful, and it had value… real real value.
I don’t do this nearly enough. But all of these writings are the results of colliding minds with my beautiful peers. Off the dome, these were the friends that influenced this piece in some way.
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.
How often we think THIS is the final form as build. Passing through to pass through… this is all just passing through.
The chain is long before us and long behind us.