Today history took a significant step forward with the craziness around constitution DAO bidding on a copy of the constitution at Sotheby’s. They didn’t end up winning (a classic American tale of a larger community losing to one rich person), but they stretched the limits of what was believed to be possible, and that makes me think despite the possible ~$3 million USD that was and will be burned in gas to send donations (and now receive the refunds of those donations), it will have all been worth it to show the world what communal action can do.
It felt like a historical event for humanity, yet the day still went on as normal. My parents flew in tonight for a short stop before heading to San Diego to stay with friends, and I gave them a tour around my house and took them out to dinner at Rintaro. When I was explaining this event to them, they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. So some tech people got together a group to bid $40 million on some rich artifact, so what? It was so abstract and out of reach for them that it didn’t immediately click. I realized that the scope of normality is so different for people depending on where they’re coming from. Something that seems so important could seem trivial to someone very close to them. Normal is variable, an always-shifting concept in our minds, that binds us together or drives us apart.
With respect to the world of crypto and web 3, I’m realizing that there’s still so much of the world to evangelize this new world to. Despite all the tremendous growth from when Vitalik was convincing enthusiasts from across the globe to fly to Switzerland to help him with this project for the new world computer to the present day of ETH being an official currency for bidding for the peak of luxury goods at a Sotheby’s auction, it’s still a very nascent sociological phenomenon. And for good reason, it hasn’t been able to penetrate the broader culture or force the larger public to care. Gas fees are crazy high, speculation on worthless coins runs rampant, and hacks of large protocols and DeFI platforms are still not completely rare. There needs to be a very tangible reason for the broader public to care for these technologies to matter. The technology is neither good nor evil, but we will need to make it matter (hopefully in a positive way) to those around us. Will the current canonical “web 3” make it? Will it be the trigger point that pushes us to a new status quo of the Internet? If so, what will that future look like when we can own so many things that we didn’t own before?
This is the 86th installment in my experiment of publishing raw, lightly edited mini-essays every day towards achieving 100 public pieces. Check out the rationale and the full list here.