Monday, March 15, 2021
This week we decided to aggregate a few headlines.
First off digital versions of art and tokens and creative works are becoming digital, unique, and recorded on the blockchain. Works, tweets and possibly even video or audio versions of things are being presented, auctioned off and made available to fans for sale. From artists like Beeple and Grimes to digital dunks of LeBron or even presidential themed creative meme art photos many people are piling onto the NFT scene with commentary on the subject from Mark Cuban to Elon Musk to even goldbugs like Peter Sciff.
First off what are NFT’s or nonfungible tokens? Well while you could exchange a twenty dollar bill into twenty single dollar bulls or four of the five dollar bills the NFT is sort of a digital equivalent of a Mona Lisa with no exact exchangeable equivalent. Its value really just depends on the willingness of people or fans to pay for it. It is one of a kind on the blockchain or digital ledger on the Internet
You sort of saw this with the digital kitties or CryptoKitties game a few years ago when you could buy unique and raise modifiable artistic cartoon kitties. Sort of a like a Tomagatchi of sorts but using digital currency to buy and swap your kitten with others once you’ve “cultivated” your kitten to a cat and how you want it to behave or look like. This was done on the ETH blockchain.
You could say that a lot of the Internet has in essence accelerated the gamification of the real world (SPAC’s and betting against WallStreet has been headlining in the last month). Are people insane to pay a lot for these digital versions or is it really worth that much? One might argue you could take a screenshot or make a photo copy of the art as many times as possible versus outright buying the NFT. In fact some of the prices of NFT’s sold have even made the news on some channels like CNBC and other news outlets like Yahoo etc. Nearly 6 million dollars got exchanged on a single NFT a few weeks back.
I mean if you’re buying a work of art or a painting or collectible for your new living room apartment and really like it I’m sure you could justify the cost. But now with many people going digital and owning a majority of their life online through their high priced iPhones and watches and laptops especially those in this Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, period perhaps it doesn’t seem so outlandish that they are opting to acquire a minimalistic mindset and put all their information on a carriable digital medium or upload it to the cloud to access later. Are we putting too much of our lives on computer and the Internet or trusting that it will be there later without having real world assets or is this the new era where we value transacting our information to any other part of the world as quickly and fast as possible?
With Covid and everyone working remotely perhaps this has accelerated the transition to a digital based world. Money is now sent to you with $1400 printed out of thin air and electronically sent to your bank account for instant use. Pizzas are sent to your door with DoorDash and left there without having to see your driver and you can tip through an app ahead of time. Many millennials are opting to send money across borders faster and quicker especially when they could actually travel before restrictions. The savvy webonauts could find deals and clip coupons faster and negotiate car buying by price checking without the time consuming task of going physically to stores and wasting gas and spending time in traffic because Amazon and the like were able to send things quickly to your door. Digital currencies and digital commerce has made a interconnected global world possible. And many cable and phone companies have ripped off the band-aid and removed data caps in this Zoom-based remote learning world out of necessity to prevent transmission of viral vectors, thereby ushering in the 5G world a bit faster.
Of course some are resistant to change. Just as there are those that will always panic and worry and hoard gold and stash cash under mattresses (a fire hazard). There are those that will wax and wane nostalgic about a Luddite-like world pre-invention of the wheel and automobiles and computers and praise the technology of typewriters. But these new digital technologies are here to stay unless some scared conspiratory movements spurs politicians to try to halt change to “protect the people”. But hopefully such back-a**-wards ideology doesn’t materialize.
One area of innovation that could be used for NFT’s is for bachelor degrees & certificates. Since there’s only one unique version of something and you can only have a digital signature or ID of sorts you could use it to grant someone perhaps a unique version of recording their learning progress or maybe certifying they completed a Master’s Degree etc. You would have a verifiable hash of sorts. That might be an interesting use case. But then on the flip side people might start to worry about use cases that could be seen as potentially on the fence as useful or nefarious and heinous depending on your political view points. Some out there are already wary about the world and have distorted view points, borderline depressive outlooks and haven’t been to the gym or had real life contact with their friends and family for several months out of abundance of caution in this post-Covid world. Their heightened stress levels have perhaps started people to hallucinate or theorize conspiratory views of the world and worry about vaccination certificates for their jobs and even travel passport ID’s. Perhaps they lived in a 1940 nightmare world in fear of draconian rule and return of dictatorial powers having lived through World Wars. Understandably perhaps previous generations and Boomers often seem like they are at odds or the Karens of the world while millennials that only have ever had to worry about their video feeds and TikToks not connecting or inability to grab a quick cup at the local StarBucks due to the egregious long lines in certain rush hour morning schedules to work. We ourselves as writers and ravenous consumers of news on this site no doubt indulge in these postulates and theories out of abundance of caution and consider with an open mind the plasticity of the current world. Much has changed and a few years ago many of the life changing headlines on main stream media, we would never have dreamed would materialize and alter the real world landscape as it has today.
In other news…
Okay so this was weird enough that it was worth mentioning in passing.
We read an article that Bill Gates is one of the visionaries trying to foresee what the world will be like and often his premonitions have also changed the landscape of what is to come. But of course other business magnates and influencers have their own views ot eh world and have influenced things. In an article it mentioned how Gates envisions a eco-systainable world where meat is grown from cells taken from normal food we eat and grown larger equivalents of petri dishes and the meat is strengthened and tenderized and given mass through simulation of exercise via chemical and physical means. The cells can be obtained for the most part without cruelty of slaughter and a large space for raising animals. But there are still things to iron out of course such as texture and some of the normal things that are in real meat. It is a weird thought experiment, but then again the world is a big place. Populations are rising but steady enough to keep pace with modern food production methods and preservation. Have you ever wondered how we are able to see so much food and crackers, canned food, vegetables and other food products when there are millions around the world even in the dead of winter? It’s a miracle of technology and innovation that has the modern world able to ship food to other areas and logistics and supply chains keep the world running.
Supercomputers and Linux
Fugaku supercomputers in Japan are going online, open source code WarpX is making it easier to check and calculate particle acceleration, Nvidia is building a Cambridge-1 supercomputer in the UK with the help of a mobile robot during Covid, and ATERUI-II is using its supercomputer to check cosmological data.
Moral of the story: Computers are the future and Linux which is often the cheaper and custom base of these computers is important to learn. Many scientists used Unix in the past based historically on universities and computer scientists and students developing on these platforms. IBM and Redhat and other companies have worked on these systems over time and many contributors have refined and tested the computers on standards and they were built and designed to run computers and blades in parallel. From Beowulf to now Raspberry pi clusters, many projects use these cheap efficial tools to hook together and build their own custom projects. Sure we still don’t have great games and video and editing apps for Linux like other platforms and perfect driver support, but without these different systems and tinkering we would never have bright young mind and gamers / hackers that are now computer administrators, scientists, NASA engineers and cybersecurity penetration testers. Tinkering on an Apple II or messing with LogoWriter and WordStar and Lotus 123 and Carmen Sandiego might one day be the spark for the next digital platorm creator, CEO or influencer of tomorrow. Tinker away boys and girls!
The stimulus is coming out for many people in America. $1400 for single individuals and double for married. The kids now also may be getting $1400 whereas they might have not gotten it in the first two rounds. Chew on this now. We have had three rounds of stimulus money in about 12 months. The most in any time just about. The economy has partially recovered for many but not all. And many are trying to figure out if they want to invest now. Millennials are super interested in investing now so we’ve heard. But don’t forget to save for a rainy day. Build for your financial freedom and independence and don’t forget that easy come can be easy go. Be prepared for SHTF scenarios in the next few years. Remember, every decade there’s a money maker out there and when the economy has a bust scenario, have ready cash so you also can buy some things when the price is low.
There are some funny AI videos and deepfakes out there that are mocking the issuers of the stimulus and other neat AI altered videos, but it is pretty eye opening to see this technology is getting better.
Also tax season may have been partly extended for some to May. Check your local guidelines.
If you’re a lawncare nut, the time for applying pre-emergent herbicide chemicals to treat your lawn or turf may be coming up. Use great tools like Greencast to check for soil temperatures in your area and also your local weather stations to get upcoming weather temperatures and precipitation levels. Also check out the gddtracker at msu.edu. They have a great tool for checking growing degree days so you can get a good window for preventing crabgrass. We saw some dandelions breaking through just a day ago in the lawn and so know that spring is here. Get ready for making your lawn beautiful this year. It’s what kept most of us sane last year by going to the hardware store when every other entertainment venue was shuttered. Develop your green thumb! And it’s not yet planting season yet for many but we’ve started checking out the flowers available. Don’t forget to calculate your yardage of your property so you can apply just enough chemical and be wary of applying too much feed too early and greening up too early.
We heard there was a devastating 7.0 to 7.2 level earthquake in Japan a few days ago with minimal injuries and damage but worries of tsunamis. We hope everything is well on your side of the globe.
Lots of other news happening, but that’s a good read for now.