The Past Cannot be Changed: Interview with Noonies Nominee MAstilleroF by@mastillerof

The Past Cannot be Changed: Interview with Noonies Nominee MAstilleroF

The Master & Commander of [holoLAWn has been nominated for a Noonies award. He is exploring alternative forms of legal service delivery around art and blockchain. He believes that blockchain is the most exciting technology of the present because it is an instrument of freedom in the face of progressive state constraint. Learn more about his views on blockchain and his journey in the tech industry via the interview below.
Manuel Astillero HackerNoon profile picture

Manuel Astillero


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Howdy Hackers!

I’m @MAstilleroF and I’m the Master & Commander of holoLAWn.

First off, I’d like to express my gratitude to the staff, and all other beautiful humans of HackerNoon, for nominating me for a 2022 Noonies award!

I’ve been nominated for the following categories and if you think my writing offers good value, please take some time to check out these award pages and vote for me:

  1. HackerNoon Contributor of the Year- ART: Imagining NFTs.

  2. HackerNoon Contributor of the Year- PHILOSOPHY: Imagining NFTs.

As a writer in the tech industry, I believe that blockchain is the most exciting technology of the present because because it is an instrument of freedom in the face of progressive state constraint. Learn more about my views on blockchain and my journey in the tech industry via the interview below.

1. What do you currently do and what’s your favorite part about it?

I am exploring alternative forms of legal service delivery around art and blockchain (holoLAWn on Discord). Law must be accessible to everyone (this is enabled by the blockchain); and law must be freed from the forms that historically straitjacket it (and so art).

2. How did you get started with your Tech Career?

I always liked technology, although I never dedicated myself professionally. So, I have always approached, before most in my industry, the latest in technology, and studied it to the extent of my needs. I am self-taught. Technology is for me a tool that allows me to do either thing I can't do otherwise or the same things but in a better or different way (and sometimes different is better per se). In a dichotomous world like the one in Blade Runner (there is only a difference of degree between the current one and the one in the movie) I want to be one of those who work with replicants and, in my free time, go down to eat Chinese noodles in the darkest street of Los Angeles, and not the other way around.

3. If Utopia were a color what color do you think it’d be and why?

The color of utopia is "screen green", the very dark green of the typical retro computer screen. Why? Green because it is the color of hope and utopia is hope by definition.

Very dark because it is a symptom of the intensity of the color, and intensity is in turn a symptom of passion. And hope requires passion, a lot of passion to remain imperishable in the face of adversity and changes of course or circumstances. The story should not be told by means of a supposedly exculpatory eschema ("it is that this was so and so because so and so"), but by means of a sartrean structure of those that assume all responsibilities ("in spite of the fact that this was so and so, it is because so and so"). The goal must be reached at all costs as if we were riding a steamroller. And a dark green that emulates the retro computer screen because that is the past and, without the past, there is no future.

4. If everything about HackerNoon changed drastically, what is one detail you’d like to keep exactly the same?  OR What’s your favorite thing to do with HackerNoon and why?

Its variety, its pluridiversity, its interdisciplinarity, its cosmopolitanism, all as manifestations of freedom of expression.

5. Tell us more about the things you write/make/manage/build!

I like to be creative in what I do, in everything I do. Even in the practice of that very formalistic thing that is law. If we define "bureaucratic thinking" as that way of thinking according to which things are done this way or that way just because they are done this way or that way, I don't want to fall into that way of thinking. It is harmful. Imagine a child who has been taught to go from home to school by a route that is not the shortest, nor the safest, nor the most beautiful, nor..., in short, the most anything; it is simply the route that his parents taught him, perhaps because they were taught it by their grandparents... If the child never questions the route, he will undoubtedly miss many things. Well, I don't want to miss anything. Do you? That's why I explore new ways of practicing law, in forums, with tools and presentations never seen before.

6. What’s your favorite thing about the internet?

The Internet is like the Star Trek transporter. But I don't have to call Scotty, nor do I run the risks inherent in dematerialization. I log on and I'm on the other side of the world. And it's only a matter of time before when I log on I end up on the other side of the universe,

or somewhere along the timeline. When everything will be stored on the www, when human minds will survive forever as zeros and ones, then they will be able to go here and there, forward and backward as energy flows.

7. It’s an apocalypse of ‘walking dead’ proportions and you can only own a singular piece of technology, what would it be?

My computer. In it, I currently have everything I need to start from scratch or to fly from a thousand.

8. What is your least favorite thing about the internet?

Poor or no connection. Internet connection, from all points of the planet, and with a speed and bandwidth sufficient to handle any tool that works with the cloud, should belong to the category of human rights. Why? Because, otherwise, those who do not have these capabilities become something like a second-class human compared to those who do have them, giving them a comparative advantage that is not by birth, but by society. This is why Elon Musk's Starlink seems to me to be one of the most interesting and transcendent current initiatives which, however, is not given the hype it deserves.

9. If you were given $10 million to invest in something today what would you invest in and why?

Assuming it was a net figure (i.e., net of taxes): (i) 20% I would invest in Ethereum; (ii) another 20% in technology investment funds; (iii) and another 20% in real estate (in particular, in a residence and coworking for artists and technologists —which I already have a search for, by the way); (iv) 35% in developing my company technologically; and (v) the remaining 5% in donations (in the children's area: famine and education, and something to my family —despite the fact that sometimes they don't behave very well with me, ha, ha).

10. What’s something you’re currently learning or excited to learn?

On how to bring the uses of blockchain technology closer to common humans. The techno-epistemic barrier must be reduced in such a way that the creation of an NFT, a DAO or a WEB 3.0, ad exemplum, is reduced to a handful of clicks in friendly environments and interfaces. So currently I explore all the tools that I can, among those available, to analyze the state of that question.

11. Would you rather travel 10 years into the past or 10 years into the future? Give reasons for your answer.

Undoubtedly, ten years into the future. The past is a whole in which nothing can be changed. Pretending to go to the past to change just one thing (for example, to avoid mistakes that I now know thanks to the benefit of hindsight) is a fallacy: if you change something, you change everything or you can change everything. And I would never —I repeat: never— make a change that would de facto produce, or could in potentia produce, such a change that would deprive me of knowing the good people I have known —my family, and a handful of true friends.

About HackerNoon’s 2022 Noonie Awards

The annual Noonies Awards celebrate the best and brightest of the tech industry, bringing together all who make the Internet and the world of tech what it is today. Please be sure to check out our award categories, nominate, and vote for the people and companies who you think are making the biggest impact on the tech industry today.

The 2022 Noonies are sponsored by: BingX and .TechDomains. Many thanks to these sponsors for helping us celebrate the accomplishments of all our nominees.

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