Delusional Opt Out: What Are You Opting Into?by@daowl
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Delusional Opt Out: What Are You Opting Into?

by DAO OwlMarch 26th, 2024
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If you are in Web3 and care about your autonomy, think about where your electricity and connectivity come from. True autonomy is more than Self-sovereign identity.
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You are deluded if you want #autonomy

Humans are the only creatures who believe in autonomy, and oddly, they are the creatures who are the least equipped to be autonomous. They burned down my forest to build a mall, and I just flew somewhere else. I can hunt my own mice, thank you very much. I can be autonomous because I am an owl. What are you going to do?

You think money makes you autonomous? What about the person who has to accept that money? Do they even accept Bitcoin or Ethereum at your local grocers or gun dealers (in case you decide to be like me and hunt your own rabbits)?

But let’s just assume the dollar goes to hell. Do you think Bitcoin makes you autonomous? Even if you didn’t need the miners, who is producing the electricity? How are you connecting to the Internet? Where did that mobile device come from? Even for me, an owl, I am not autonomous. I need those mice to keep being born. I need some trees around. I need a partner Owl to make more owls.

Seriously, only humans are stupid enough to think they are autonomous beings, as if they aren’t just fractional pieces of the universe like all of the rest of us. It’s absurd. I won’t bother go on about this ridiculous concept.

Is it true that people can make individual decisions? Yes, but only inside a very specific framework. I could decide to eat potatoes instead of mice but my body couldn’t convert them to calories, so it would go poorly.

I’m not being frivolous. You think these crypto-economic systems are making you autonomous, but you host them on AWS and Infura and Alchemy (all in the US). You talk about DePin but honestly how much are your systems autonomous? Maybe you use an alternative search engine to Google--when you’re on your laptop, of course, not on the phone. You use Android or iOS don’t you? You download all your crypt wallets from those app stores. Are you really ready to pay the price of #autonomy? I don’t think so. You’re just hoping someone will make autonomy easy enough so that you don’t have to sacrifice anything to get it.

Humans are so addicted to convenience. Probably fewer than 3% of the people in Web3 community are nominally autonomous. If you really want autonomy, you can’t have it alone. You can only have it in a group, because you are clawless, wingless, featherless human beings and you are completely interdependent. For those who want to get a reality check on how dependent and not-autonomous you creatures actually are, read One Second After.

Oh, and don’t preach to me about that Network State ridiculousness. Have you seen that crowd? <90% male. Every female looking at that group starts having nightmares of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s frightening how quickly good intentions by rich people turn dystopian.

BTW, I’m not avoiding the question of the use of ĀutID or Web3. Au contraire. What I’m saying is that autonomy is delusional, and Āut knows it. Humans can’t opt out of something without opting into something else, because humans are not autonomous creatures. Maybe in my next blog I’ll talk more about some of the products, but for now I’m not going to shill, just try to knock a few humans out of their delusional thinking.

You are deluded if you think you can #optout

Many humans are horrified by the way their governments are treating them. Whether it’s arresting climate activists, persecuting Bishops for tweeting bible quotes, closing bank accounts of peaceful protesters, or mandating how farmers do their jobs, it seems that the global leadership is intentionally trying to kill people. This may come as a surprise to people, but it does not come as a surprise to owls. If you don’t know what I mean by that, just watch a few minutes of footage of the destruction of animal habitats or anything about industrial animal farming. I don’t know why people are so surprised that their governments are trying to kill them. They’ve been on wild killing sprees for as long as they’ve figured out how to burn stuff.

Anyway, I get it. You want to #optout.

But what are you going to opt into?

The first thing you shouldn’t opt into is an ideology. Maximalism, anarchism, libertarianism, communism, capitalism… none of that holds water. The reality of Web3 and e/acc is that it denies the reality of having a body. You’ve got one, presumably. The crypto utopians are in sweet denial of the fact that they are using the evil empire’s electric grid, DNS, hardware servers, chipsets, waste treatment centers, restaurants, hotels, and airports. If the pandemic didn’t prove to you that all of that can be taken away from you if you don’t submit your body to whatever procedure they mandate, nothing will.

So if you are opting out, here’s what you need to opt into:

  • Physical and network layer (OSI layers 1-2) hardware and services
  • End-user hardware
  • Electricity generation and delivery
  • Homes to lodge your body
  • Food production
  • Water
  • Waste removal or circular management
  • Community in the real sense of the word: people who share real-world stuff with each other.

That’s a lot of stuff that Web3 doesn’t have. The DePIN movement is starting to get to grips with that reality, and you have a few OGs like Kong and Holo who have always known that you are useless without the hardware. New players like CabinDAO and Helium give us some hope (though it’s far from clear that Helium isn’t a scam). I know I said above that the Network State people are full of it, but Cabin actually looks like a community driven effort rather than a real estate scheme. You also have the ReFi folks, almost all of which is a scam, but despite itself is managing to preserve a tiny bit of the ecology and spawn a few experimental regenerative agricultural projects.

Am I telling you it’s a good idea to drive all your Airdrop Farming into regenerative farming and go off-grid? Yeah, that’s what I’m telling you. But that’s my opinion. I’m an owl. The more people who are off-grid, the more places I can hunt mice. And by the way, land is going fast. Foreign concerns have bought up almost a third of the farmland in the Ukraine while Bill Gates and China are snapping up farmland in the US. (But don’t worry about China, they aren’t buying it to grow food.) So don’t let them distract you with memecoins and trans rights… all of those news stories are designed to get you to take your eye off the ball.

#autonomy only happens if you have confidence that you can feed yourself and your family. The second that you are afraid for your food or water supply, you are owned by those who control them, Bitcoin or no Bitcoin.

Non-delusional #selfsovereignty

Digital systems that allow you to have self-sovereignty are all the rage this year. Some are better than others, and the idea of a digital backpack is my favorite. But again, it’s a bit delusional. Someone is issuing you these credentials. As we all know, a Harvard education today isn’t what it used to be. So you are always interwoven with other people in one way or another.

All of this means that when humans talk about self-sovereignty, they need to think of “self” as more than one person.

Self-sovereignty of a network is probably a better framework than the self-sovereignty of the individual. That’s not to say you don’t have the right to #privacy and control over your data and your digital identity. It’s a layered approach. The network itself should be able to self-govern and determine the levels of autonomy that are granted to individuals and groups within the network. Individuals and groups may belong to multiple networks. (In fact, all of us do.)

Yet, when it comes to discussions of sovereign or autonomous financial systems, you Web3 people are not even close. Y’all got so lost talking about L1s and L2s that y’all forgot about the original OSI Layers (making it extra hard for many opensource OGs to figure out what you are talking about)

It’s later than you think

So let’s see… where do you want to start and how long do you have? This competition is extremely timely. The world is on fire, and if you are a crypto libertarian, you probably have a tad more time than the rest of the world to get your ducks in a row. And you already have quite a few more ducks than the rest of the world. And, as long as we are on animals, the bull is among us again. Now is the time to use that bull to buy some more ducks so you can truly #optout.

The problem is you get distracted and excited by your bulls. The best thing is to have a plan. Ask yourself honestly:

  • How much do you need to really be autonomous?
  • What are the ways in which you are completely addicted and dependent on the default systems?
  • If you want to opt out, what are the parts you absolutely must opt out of and why? M
  • What price are you willing to pay for that #optout?
  • Who are the people you want opting into a new system with you?
  • Where can you provide the highest contribution to the communities you care about so they can become autonomous together?
  • What is the full picture? What other pieces of economic activity do you need to include inyour Web3 cadre in order to have a functioning alternative to the default system?

Finally, it’s important to note that opting out is not your only option. You can opt in and obey until it all blows over. You can opt in and just have some slippery crypto under the radar. You can try to change from within the current system. After all, you are human.

Owl out.