I remember being in high school and reading articles from various techno-optimists. Stories about the bright future, where all information is free, accessible, and shared for mutual benefit and betterment. Where people engage in fascinating debates, refine and broaden their world views, exchange art, unbounded by restrictions of material world, wrapped in the warm embrace of universal basic income.
Fast-forward fifteen years and the information that spreads best is shallow, false, and designed to cause a strong negative emotional response. People perform mental backflips to impose artificial scarcity on digital objects, wasting amounts of electricity measured in weeks of individual person’s energy consumption, in order to be able to tell that they “own” a pointer to a PNG file.
Have you ever wondered why “non-fungible token” sounds like a disease? Maybe because it is one.