Shit list


"is someone keeping a shit list of otherwise decent people who are issuing NFTs, so I know who to be deeply disappointed in?"

This list is exceptionally long and exceptionally depressing.

The most depressing and hypocritical remains the Long Now Foundation -- an organization claiming to be about long-term thinking -- releasing a documentary about their founder as a planet-incinerating NFT.

I used to have a lot of respect for them, but I cancelled my multi-decade membership over this.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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26 Responses:

    • jwz says:

      They are still promoting, endorsing and advertising it. They are 100% complicit.

      And even as backpedaling goes, that's incredibly weak.

      • Ingvar says:

        "Incredibly weak" is an understatement.

        The long-term merits of the underlying technology are a separate topic, one worth thinking about and working towards.

        This looks more like an endorsement than a condemnation.

  1. Dude says:

    It's depressing enough seeing some of my favourites endorse cryptocurrencies (Spike Lee, bjork, Donald Glover), but I can't be surprised when shitty people like Tarantino and Elon Musk embrace NFTs.

    Still, the sight of Li'l Nas X, Public Enemy, and David-fucking-Cronenberg on the thread is incredibly disappointing.

    I mean, Cronenberg? Seriously? Between Videodrome and eXistenZ, NFTs and crypto are the sort of bullshit tech Cronenberg should be making a film about. In fact, the Soska Sisters (who remade Rabid) recently RT'd this:

    • Doctor Memory says:

      I want to assume that in the case of a lot of these people, they have zero personal involvement and are just signing off on some insane plan that a social media management company is telling them they should do, which now that I say it that way really only makes it fractionally less disappointing if at all.

      • Dude says:

        See, I could buy that social media rubber-stamp excuse for Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, who are brands first, celebs after. I can even guess that Li'l Nas X, being super-young, believed the sales pitch without thinking in the long term.

        But with folks like Cronenberg, Spike Lee, and bjork (although, to my knowledge, the latter two have just done crypto rather than full NFTs... which is splitting hairs), they're folks who put their artistic stamp on things. I think they really believe that NFTs really are some new avenue for their work the way VHS was in the '80. And that, just like VHS (and the internet, for that matter), they believe the critics are just old-guard purists who "just don't get it" or can't stand something up-ending their infrastructure (like when Napster came on the scene).

        The fact that none of them even talk about the environmental damage or that this is an obvious speculator boom that has already gone bust means that they're just in denial about their digital Beanie Babies.

      • tfb says:

        I also wonder how widely the awfulness of cryptocurrencies is known at all, let alone NFTs. I'm in the UK and so we've recently had a lot of news coverage about climate because of COP26, and I'm not sure I can remember anything headliny about cryptocurrencies. So if these people aren't a bit nerdy about it they may just not know.

        That does not excuse them: if you're famous and you're going to publicly support something then you should do the math (or get the math done) on it. But it does mean that they're maybe not consciously just choosing to fuck people over to make some more money.

        • Derpatron9000 says:

          I heard no mention of crypto in the run up, during or after copout 26

      • phuzz says:

        I suspect a lot of them are being told "this means that you can own your art and nobody can steal it and make money off of it", (which was how NFTs were first described to me). Which would be great, if that was actually possible*.
        Then they hear a bunch of technobabble with words like 'cryptographical signature' and 'blockchain' and think "those are big words, they must mean something" and sign up.
        So I do have a certain amount of sympathy with those artists. It's a lot easier to con someone who's never heard of them, that NFTs are great and fantastic and will solve all their problems and even make them a cup of coffee every morning, than it is to explain how they're a scam.

        * Seriously, have these NFT people never heard of piracy? Nothing about NFTs stops someone from being able to copy/pirate a piece of art. They'd be better off using some kind of DRM, which will at least stop unmotivated people from pirating something, for at least a few minutes.

    • Elusis says:

      Where does Imogen Heap and her "something something music blockchain" project figure into all this? (IOW how disappointed should I be?)

      • jwz says:

        I haven't heard about that, but I can say with 100% confidence: if it says blockchain, bury it in the desert. Wear gloves.

          • グレェ「grey」 says:

            Elusis's comment from 8 hours prior to your post (4:05pm Pacific) seems to indicate that Imogen Heap decided to "double down" in 2021 despite the initial attempts years earlier being less than lackluster, which I consider a bad sign. ;-/

            Albeit, that article's approximate time stamp from 2016 may not reflect any market changes in the valuation, which doesn't particularly help when looking to it for debunking things from a 2021 vantage either.

            e.g. "According to Coindesk historical data, the price of ETH five years ago (on April 12, 2016) was $7.10 for one coin. If you bought $10 worth of the currency, you'd have 1.4 ETH. ($10 divided by $7.10 is 1.4.)

            How much is ETH worth today?
            The price of Ether as of April 12, 2021 is $2,144.42 for one coin. That's 302 times the price five years ago -- about 30,000% growth!"

            In other words, guesstimating, that Imogen Heap's $133.20 of ETH for "Tiny Human" in 2016 is now worth closer to $34,186.40, based on the 302 times the price quoted above.

            Which is to say: that may not be the best article to cite for helping argue against blockchain paradigms, unfortunately. Albeit, given that prices are given in USD and timestamps are approximate, my calculations may be imprecise. When calculating real inflation, it is always best to have the original currency and timestamps as precise as possible.

            After hearing deadmau5 chat on twitch about NFTs several weeks ago, I am inclined to concur with phuzz's postulation that a lot of these artists maybe simply don't know better and are themselves being conned?

            I attempted, unsuccessfully, to articulate some of my past experiences of the failings of such technologies I had conducted in research (circa 2010->2013 mostly, though with some additional nightmares in 2014 and as recently as 2016 someone at Noisebridge even asked me to create a cryptocurrency for him, h.f.s., no.) and was basically laughed off as a nerdy poindexter naysayer. Having had a career in IT with a lot of security nightmares, I am used to being the shot messenger, but it's one of those "I am not going to tell you 'I told you so'" but the inevitable train wreck remains, inevitable.

            Similarly, it doesn't make it hurt any less when I see others whom I know personally, such as DJ Q*Bert, caught up in the frenzy. Seeing Public Enemy on that list was horrifying. I know other conscious HipHop heads, but PE and in particular MistahChuck, with his "Celebration of Ignorance" I thought would be more likely to cut through the BS, not be uhh, celebrating the ignorance?

      • Dude says:

        I'm not familiar enough with her work to comment on her artistic intentions, though I'm sure she's grateful for all the royalty cheques she still gets from Jason Derulo.

        My guess is she's trying to get a jump on 2000s nostalgia and is doling out NFTs for what-was-once-one-of-the-internet's-favourite-memes: <img;>

        I know she did music for the Harry Potter stage show (which I saw and will admit is a fun spectacle). It seems that her "blockchain-based decentralised music platform" is something that (like her haptic gloves) sounds good when pitched to investors, but isn't the great leap she thinks it is.

        • Elusis says:

          I have't heard of her offering NFTs per se, just the "blockchain platform" thingy which I swear to god, have read about multiple times and still don't understand what it is.

          Watching her perform with the gloves in several concerts was pretty great. They work for her, and it looks like this gal may be using them or something similar as well.

          But yeah, blockchain: yeet it into the sun, man.

    • Dude says:

      And then there's this:

      RollingStone: Meek Mill to Share Final ‘Dreamchasers’ Mixtape as NFT

      Admittedly, I've never been the biggest Meek fan, but I respect the hell out of his prison reform work.

      In fact, RollingStone's NFT tag is pretty revealing of some other names that could go on the list... like David Lynch, Quincy Jones, and A Tribe Called Quest.

  2. Andreas says:

    In a move that everyone recognizes as not wholly cynical (but, honestly, hilarious), the author:

    • Derpatron9000 says:

      A really good shit list on shitter. I'm insure how they could make their UI worse of they tried.

  3. Eric says:

    I have a reverse case: Tim & Eric were going to do an NFT as a joke, got called out on it, and apologized and removed it.

  4. Alex says:

    I have never heard of "Long Now Foundation" before and their website presents them more like a group of philosophers and artists. Are there any significant projects they accomplished? looks fascinating though and they mention "graduation" from Long Now Foundation.

    • jwz says:

      They're building a really big clock as a multi-thousand-year art project, and they do a lecture series.

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