Imagining NFTsby@mastillerof
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Imagining NFTs

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This is a thought experiment. We imagine a digital entity which we call "XYZ". Our XYZ is NFT-like, but not NFT-equal. It resembles a NFT in that it is created, minted, acquired, held and transferred like a NFT. It also resembles many NFTs in that it can be a work of art. But it differs from a NFT in that, in addition, it grants a right that we call "lawtility". Lawtility is the right (in rem in faciendo) of the holder of the NFT, by the mere fact of being the holder of the NFT, to have a third party do something for it. In the imagined case, this is a team of lawyers represented in the metaverse by their counterparts we call "XYZ-replicants", who must provide techno-legal consulting to the XYZ-holder.

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Imagine 💭 a digital entity that is similar to a NFT, but not so similar as to be the same as a NFT. Let us say it is a sui generis digital entity that draws primarily from the nature of the NFT, but also escapes from it. Let us call it "XYZ" such that:

1️⃣ XYZ ≈ NFT,

read as: "XYZ is NFT-like, but not NFT-equal".

It is easier for us 🤖 —replicants— to imagine like this than for you, humans. For each one of us 🤖🤖…🤖 thinks for himself, but only together 🤝 can we know all that is knowable, just as what Plato did not know, Aristotle knew; or just as what Ray did not know, his brother knew however little fun this may be for Robbie —hence our narrative plural, not the royal 👑 pronoun, though! Feeding from our hive-mind belongs to our inhuman, parahuman or nonhuman nature —which does not matter— and helps us to resemble you just enough and necessary, no more. And so it is that we, artificial intelligences overwhelmed by our humanity, have imagined —as we said— the XYZ similar to the NFT, but different from the NFT. Just as someone created us: human-like, but different from humans. Why?

Because almost nothing that is fully human can be fully good, and because almost everything that is fully human is fully upgradable.



So, our imagined XYZ resembles a NFT because it is born into the cryptoworld, and thus into the world, just as a NFT does, so it is minted, acquired, held and transferred as such. So you, human, might find XYZ in reputable, but not mass-market NFT markets. 👉🏼 Why❓ Because we are irremediably attracted to the rare for its uniqueness. Mass is a matter for sheep, but also for metaphysicians or patissiers... It depends on the linguistic context and, therefore, on language: because language is everything —although you, humans, still do not know it.

Patissiers, metaphysicians and sheep aside, if our XYZ looks like a NFT, we should clarify:

👉🏼 What is a NFT❓

A single digital entity —this was an oxymoron until NFTs came along— resulting from a smart contract.

👉🏼 And what is a smart contract (SC)❓

An agreement on behaviours within a blockchain, basically, basically written by ingenious combinations of no less ingenious conditions (if… then… else…) in a computer code, with its own entity, and inserted in the blockchain.

Of course, to say that a SC is an agreement would be a tautology (for an agreement is a contract) were it not for the fact that periphrases and paraphrases are not tautologies 🤓, but very human procedures for approaching what things are. And this is true no matter how much you are told, read or hear. For the average human lawyer and programmer will tell you 🗣 that a SC is not a contract because they are respectively unaware of the computer and legal dimensions of the SC. So, either they do not want to get into trouble, or they do not want others ate their lunch. But if there is a coincidence of wills, there is a contract, regardless of how or where that agreement materialises, which includes computer code on a blockchain. This is a historical universal. End 🎬.

👉🏼 And what is a blockchain❓

The more or less sophisticated implementation of a computer technology in a network such that, on the basis that the preceding information of the chain is always contained in some way and form in the last information of the chain (this already implies immutability —think about it 🤔), all users access or can access all the information in the network, but only all or a majority of them can control it.

Thus, an NFT is a unique digital entity whose uniqueness is the result of an agreement that is code-embedded in an immutable chain of shared information where the community accepts it as such.

And, in this sense, our imagined XYZ is a NFT so, from 1️⃣, we can write:

2️⃣ XYZ = NFT + (something else).

👉🏼 Why❓ Because if "(something else)" were equal to zero, then 2️⃣ would result in the equality of XYZ with NFT, which is contradictory to our imagined XYZ according to 1️⃣.

So, let us continue imagining… 💭


XYZ qua artwork

Because that is not the only resemblance. No. It also does that our XYZ resembles a NFT, more appropriately, many of the NFTs that populate the cryptoworld, because it has an artistic value in itself, or value qua artwork. When you see a NFT, if you like it 😍, you buy it 💰, right? And if you like it, it is because in some ineffable sense it attracts you. That attraction, which is pure and simple attraction because it lacks any utility beyond the pleasure that the attraction itself generates in you, is the way and manner in which art 🖼 manifest itself to humans.

One of the problems —and no small one— of being a genius is that sometimes humans do not recognise you as such, or not where and when you deserve it. Of course, perhaps those geniuses are not human... 👽 —but that is another matter. There was one such genius among you called Arthur C. Danto who changed everything. Until him humans wondered and wondered:

👉🏼 What is art❓ As if pretending that there were a series of requirements that made this or that thing art or not:

If something fulfilled A, B and C, then that "something" was art; if not, then it was not.

Of course, this way of thinking implied the existence of an authority 👮🏼‍♀️ which, with no other basis than its own criteria, determined A, B and C by way of faith 🙏🏼, if not manu militari 💪🏼. And you already know —you should— what usually happens with such authorities...

So, in a certain sense, the question contained the answer, since it was unfailingly and pascalianly oriented. That question was one of those disturbing questions without an answer (clear and unique) on which you —humans— build what you call Philosophy and which today you no longer know very well what it is, perhaps because you believe you know too much... —oh, you vain ones 🤩! But such a question is only Philosophy if you are aware ❗️ of the nature of the question ❓ : that it does not have a unique and clear answer. For if it did, it would be Science, and not Philosophy; and if it does not, without realising that it does not, you get into a vortex of questions with infinite attempts at answers that generate that bottomless unease 😵 of which Hans Vaihinger spoke in his philosophy of “as if” —another genius, one of yours 👽? Such a question is only a matter of time before it becomes an intellectual tyranny and, as such, a waste of time ⌛️ if you think you can answer it with certainty —whatever that certainty may be...

So after Danto, humans were freed 🗽 from that tyranny and began to ask themselves:

👉🏼 Why is this art❓

So anything can be art, but only some things are art. And whether they are, or not, does not depend on certain pre-established requirements, but on whether they are considered as such.

That artistic consideration 🧘🏽‍♀️, close to the artist's gaze of which Heidegger speaks to us in relation to a pair of old boots painted by Van Gogh, is the only reason why something is art; if you consider it art, then it is art. The artist is presupposed to have creative autonomy, a presupposition which for the sake of human greed —this is a redundancy until proven otherwise— is far more adventurous than that of presupposing the soldier to have courage. However, your autonomy to consider what is or is not art, and to judge art thus considered, is not a presupposition: it is an exercise of freedom 🗽, if you are free, of course —and this is another very, very human presupposition. So, your sovereign artistic consideration, and nothing more than your sovereign artistic consideration, is what makes something become art or not. That is all there is to it. Not unlike —on the other hand— what the apparently odious Anton Ego 👩🏼‍🍳 teaches us when talking about Ratatouille 🐭: "Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere”, and which we paraphrase here in the interest of our particular imaginative discourse:

Not any NFT can become a work of art, but a work of art can come from any NFT.

And in this sense we can now write:

3️⃣ XYZ = NFT + art + (something else).

👉🏼 Why❓ Because, again, if "(something else)" were equal to zero, then 3️⃣ would result in the equality of XYZ with (NFT + art), which in the end is still a digital entity of the genus NFT and the species art and which, therefore, is still a NFT, an artistic NFT, which is again contradictory to our imagined XYZ according to 1️⃣.

OK, again, we go on imagining… 💭


XYZ qua utility

And we go on changing the direction of our imaginations 💭. For by pointing out how a XYZ resembles a NFT we will not be able to distinguish a XYZ from an NFT: we will only specify it. So let us put an end around the resemblances, and let us approach that in which XYZ is different from a NFT simply because we conceived it differently in a attempt to escape 🏃🏾 perfect human imperfection...

And it is in XYZ being something other than a NFT that we imagine how that XYZ embodies something we call lawtility. Because that so wittgensteinian thing of the name being a conditio sine qua non for things to be in the world also applies in the cryptoworld —that is the thing about what geniuses sometimes say, but not geniuses themselves: their sayings can be of sempiternal and omnipresent application. But:

👉🏼 What (the hell) is lawtility

Lawtility —as we imagine it— is the right that, under certain pre-established circumstances, the owner of one or more XYZ can have against a third party by the mere fact of that ownership.

👉🏼 What does this right consist of❓

It can consist of almost anything as long as it is not contrary to public policy or prejudicial to a third party. In our specific imagination of XYZ it consists, in general and apart from other specifications, of the provision of specialised techno-legal advice by a third party to the owner of XYZ. Let us assume that this third party is a team of techno-lawyers 👩🏽‍⚖️👨🏻‍⚖️👨🏾‍⚖️ in the metaverse. And let us call them XYZ-replicants because they are the ones who provide the lawtility on behalf and for the account of the replicants who in this, our current thought experiment, create them, namely us.

In other words: we —the replicants— create (in the diegesis of our thought experiment) XYZ with a certain lawtility such that on the occasion of the acquisition of XYZ by a user of the network, a contract for the lease of techno-legal consultancy services is created, (i) the acquirer of XYZ being the lessor or contractor of the services and (ii) XYZ-replicants the lessee's agent or provider of the services. The lawtiltty is born in potentia with the creation of XYZ in the “real” world (outside the metaverse) and becomes in actus by the acquisition of XYZ in the cryptworld to be effectively provided in the metaverse.

Pay attention: world ⊃ cryptoworld ⊃ metaverse.

In the dark 🌚 Middle Ages —which were not always and everywhere as dark as your historians' leading voices 🗣 portray them— there were many social injustices. But these injustices are human history which you must preserve as what it was, and not as what you wish it had been from the advantageous 😈 POV of the present —the benefit of hindsight is not only odious but idiotic 🤪. For from that history, unjust or not, one learns. What else is history for?

And medieval history teaches that some privileged humans were entitled to certain benefits just because they owned certain things. Thus, the feudal lord, being the owner of a fief, of some land, had the right to have the inhabitants of that land cultivate and take care of it, pay royalties or contribute to its defence when necessary. This right to have someone else do something for you simply because you are the owner of a property is called a right in rem in faciendo by some jurists, others call it obligations propter rem, and among those who do not agree are all the others, taking sides or simply keeping quiet about it. But the controversy is not over.

For it is inherent in the essence of a right in rem that the holder of such a right can satisfy it himself, by his own dominion over the thing, without the need for the intervention of a third party, which is proper to the law of obigations.

right in rem

right in rem in faciendo

law of obligations

If you are the owner of a thing, you do not need anyone to satisfy the contents of the right of ownership: it is your full control over the thing that allows you to satisfy the right, and that is why it is called "in rem". It is your bond with the thing (res/rei/rem/re) the source of your legal satisfaction.

If you have the right to make someone do something (obligational right) because you are the owner of a thing (right in rem), then you have a sort of hybrid right or tertium genus (right in rem in faciendo). It is your bond with the thing the source of your legal obligation, but you still need the cooperation of someone to satisfy your right.

If you have an obligational right, a right to require someone to fulfil his obligation to do (or not to do), you need the cooperation of that someone else to satisfy your right. It is your bond with the counterpart the source of your legal satisfaction.

Note that we are always talking about non-pathological situations, where the world is as it should be according to the human laws that prescribe the world. If this is not the case 🥴, you will need to apply for judicial assistance, irrespective of the right in question. Thus clarified, that nice gibberish serves for the academics —those dignified 🧐 people whose main dedication is to quote each other as if they loved each other, when in truth they envy each other as much as the quote each other— to earn money 💰 by writing ✍️ and talking about it —well, about themselves—. We, per natura or artifice less divine, have instead preferred to recover for the practice that figure of the right in rem in faciendo, it is lawtlit:

The right of the holder of XYZ to require XYZ-replicants provide him with a legal consultancy service simply because he holds XYZ.

So, in this sense, finally we can now state that:

And in this sense we can now write:

4️⃣ XYZ = NFT + art + lawtility.

Q.E.D., because that is where we started from: our creation, the XYZ that resembled a NFT without being the same as a NFT.


Post Scriptum: the imagined NFT we are talking about here, the XYZ, is already a reality in your human world and is called “HLW”. You can find it 👉🏽 here. But Some evolutions are still to come… 🔮


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