Five Links #040
Symptomatic of sad feelings; Bullshit Bachman jobs
Sad about Saget..
In 5L Issue #033, I made the point that all these people talking about the promise of web 3.0 and proposing platforms with either equity ownership or simply service credits managed on the blockchain are carrying on as if they’ve never played an MMO with in-game currency.
So I enjoyed this riff by Paul Butler along a similar theme.
I’ve recently been exploring the themes around web3 to see if there’s a “there” there, and Graeber’s book has been on my mind again. One of the most apparently successful examples of web3 that people point to, aside from art NFTs, is so-called play-to-earn games. The most successful of these is Axie Infinity, a trade-and-battle game reminiscent of Pokemon.
But it is dissimilar in an important way: the “thing I don’t want to do” is completing tasks contrived by a game designer. The very existence of these tasks, and people willing to pay for them, might be the purest example of a Graeber-esque Bullshit Job I’ve encountered. It’s worth understanding who is ultimately paying for this labour, and why.
The Richard Bachman effect..
I enjoyed this article, which looks at the question of why success begets success but with the magic of statistics and probabilities.
It also has a nice ‘give yourself a break’ vibe towards the end.
Think about the story you tell yourself about yourself. In all the lives you could be living, in all of the worlds you could simulate, how much did luck play a role in this one?
Have you gotten more than your fair share? Have you had to deal with more struggles than most?
I ask you this question because accepting luck as a primary determinant in your life is one of the most freeing ways to view the world. Why?
Because when you realize the magnitude of happenstance and serendipity in your life, you can stop judging yourself on your outcomes and start focusing on your efforts. It’s the only thing you can control.
I know this because I have had far more luck than most. If I ran the world 1,000 times over, in less than a handful would I be where I am today.
We are living in the future..
I’m writing this the day after I had my COVID-19 Booster Shot, and it has left me feeling really shattered. So that’s why this issue’s links are lacking much commentary. Hopefully you still found them interesting though!