Last spring, Sequoia Capital wrote the memo that officially kicked off pandemic panic in startup world, suggesting that a good time to fire everyone would be immediately, if not sooner. Lockdown in tech turned out a lot more complicated, so take it with a grain of salt, but Sequoia is back, this time predicting a “hot startup summer” ahead. The apps are horny, and the valuations are positively engorged. $4 billion for a conference call that never ends with at least 35 incoming competitors? Put down the v1@gkra, fellas! And what are the apps horny for? Content.
Your feelings are content, although James Vincent found out that the computer can’t tell what they are. But who cares, because your face alone is content for creepy face recognition company Clearview AI. Buzzfeed can now tell you if your local cops have used it (spoiler: probably). And maybe “Salad Is Content,” but the pasta is definitely content, writes Kyle Chayka in Dirt. Vogue has the story of a Big Sur pandemic wedding where literally everything is content, and every paragraph and caption includes an amazing phrase like “newly launched hibiscus water beverage,“ “a truly killer necklace by Picasso,” or “thank God we didn’t have the added pressure of being in front of an audience!” Again: this is in Vogue Magazine.
But what will the horny apps do with all this content? In Wired, Lauren Goode wrote about her cancelled wedding and the endless reminders of it from a hundred apps and a thousand ad markets, all thirsty for that high-value engagement (in both senses). Cory Doctorow posted a lot more background about what Eric Meyer called “algorithmic cruelty,” when Facebook’s “Year in Review” feature celebrated his beautiful six year old daughter’s death with balloons and dancing Corporate Memphis characters. Apparently at Pinterest they call it “the miscarriage problem.” Charming. What can we do? We could encrypt everything with Signal, which is now testing out private payments in the UK, but that‘s garnering mixed reactions. Maybe actor and Ponzi-schemer Zach Avery had the right idea when he collected $227 million from investors and never made any content at all.
The cows were a lie. Daily Beast media reporter Max Tani in particular is not impactful, by Insider policy. “Missouri Man Gets 12 Years in Prison for Trying to Buy a Chemical Weapon” (with Bitcoin ofc). The Capitol Insurrection was a race riot, writes Hayes Brown. And Jacobin is at it again.
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Intern Pernell went looking for the most soul-crushing new crypto venture and I think when you see what he found you’re gonna be very depressed.
Do It For the BitClout
BitClout is a new type of social network and cryptocurrency that monetizes social clout. I hate that I just wrote that sentence. With NFTs so hot that they’re not cool anymore and actually stink, the crypto world is looking for the next definitely-not-a scam to pump up.
So what is BitClout? You can read their boring white page.pdf or this much more colorful and accurate Venn diagram:
BitClout is like a stock market for people, but if the people and the money were both fake. Creators on the site have their own individual coin that fluctuates in value based on their IRL reputation, so it’s a way to bet on how much you believe in someone’s potential popularity. What a world.
Anyone can make a profile, though the platform (anonymously led by user @diamondhands) pre-loaded accounts for Twitter’s top 15,000 users. Some have already claimed their blue check, while others are pissed and would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.
In theory, if you invest in a viral creator early on, you’ll both reap the financial benefits. But currently, you can put money in but you can’t take any out. User coins only exist on the platform for now. Again: this is extremely not a scam. Since you can’t take money out, there’s either incentive to reinvest in early creators, or no incentive to participate at all.
Still doesn’t make any sense? Looks like you’re caught up!
Thanks Pernell, I hate it! I did, however, buy 0.0475 ETH of PernellCoin, because the last 9 years have taught me that the stupider a crypto idea sounds, the more successful it will be. Let’s Yahoo! and gtfo.
Today’s Song: Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ on the Sun”
~ it’s just like any tab it retracts before impact ~
And just like fashion, it's a passion for the with-it and hip.