A new episode of Crypto Island
A new episode.
Hi! I have an episode for you today, an interview with Miguel Piedrafita.
(Note: This is an episode that sprung from the Constitution DAO story, and you should listen to that one first.)
Of all the people from the Constitution DAO core team I spoke to, Miguel was the most mysterious. Even after I was done reporting, I still felt like I needed to know why a 19-year-old from Spain had wanted to buy the US Constitution.
And talking to Miguel, I found some answers to the larger questions about who is in crypto and why they’re here. Those ideas felt separate from the story of Constitution DAO, hence this being its own thing. I hope you enjoy it.
Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / RSS
Questions for you, my listeners?
When you’re done listening, I have questions for you about Crypto Island, if it’s not too early to ask.
So, these stories are meant to be interconnected. They start in one place and move forward, meeting people and then running back into those people as we go.
But within this very broad plan there will be a lot of tiny experiments. And as I go, I want to learn about what you’re enjoying, and what you’re not.
So here are some questions —
This episode was a short one. Was it OK to have a short one? (I miss short podcasts, they’re trickier to do once ads come into the picture — the middle break is important. )
Which parts of crypto do you have questions about? No such thing as a dumb question, and honestly, the too-obvious-to-ask questions usually make the best stories. I’m here, an email-able person, for whatever you have.
Lastly, another part of the airplane I’m trying to build in the air is this newsletter itself. I’d like it to be more than Thoughts On An Episode. Like, maybe recommendations, if people find that useful. Do you want newsletters that don’t have audio attached to them?
Thanks for doing homework, ya suckers.
Something I liked on the internet recently
A lot of the time I used to spend on Twitter and Instagram has been replaced with my new screentime heavyweight, newsletters. I’ve gone pretty heavy on newsletters. One that I like a lot is Garbage Day.
It’s written by Ryan Broderick, who by this point is a veteran internet culture reporter (funny thing to write). I’m not too proud to say Ryan is better at internet dumpster-diving than I am. He has a freakish ability to pick through all the strange detritus of the internet and find gems in the trash heap every few days.
True to form, he recently found an answer to a minor internet mystery that was driving me nuts.
The mystery started with a Twitter account that surfaces obscure information from Wikipedia. The account posted what they said was one of the earliest recorded examples of a man-walks-into-a-bar joke. It went like this: “A dog walked into a tavern and said, ‘I can't see a thing. I'll open this one.’"
For a few days in March, people online were breaking their brains trying to figure it out, and I wondered too. I liked the minor feeling of loss associated with the idea of a joke that arrived here from centuries ago, without its punchline. The setup would always just haunt us, like half of a melody.
But … because the internet isn’t always bad, someone actually found the punchline to the joke. Is it funny? Mm, you’d have to decide. Does it make sense in context? I think so. You probably want to know what it is. You can find it at Ryan’s newsletter.
One more thing
Sometimes things are just wonderful enough that you don’t need to say anything clever about them.
1. Short is fine. I don't mind what length the podcasts are.
2. My only question is what makes you feel like it's a topic worth covering at this stage? I worked for a crypto startup, I coded an ICO, I worked on developing a crypto a fintech app, so I know more than most. I follow crypto via /r/cryptoreality and /r/buttcoin, which is how I know about stories like constitution DAO. If you want to cover truthfully the state of crypto (it's all a scam) I think you should reash out to people like David Gerard (wrote books on crypto), Jorge Stolfi (computer science professor who explains how bitcoin is a ponzi), Molly White (of https://web3isgoinggreat.com/ and articles like https://www.mollywhite.net/annotations/latecomers-guide-to-crypto).
Like... even Miguel in this episode tries to explain why he likes web 3 is "creating new things, not just adding to existing things". Basically sums up web3, rebuilding everything we already have from the ground up, except worse.
3. I like the newsletter even without audio.
1. Short is good. If anything, just make them supplementary for your paid subscribers. I think microcasts still have a skin in the pod game despite not being as marketable to advertisers. I love supplementing my feed with shows like Radio Headspace, and other shows shorter than 15 ish minutes for when I don’t have time for a full episode.
2. Jeez, where to start? I think the most absurd trend I’ve seen is this crypto NFT real estate. I’ve seen it a few times, and it’s all quite obviously just digitally minted house schematics with artsy flair. And who are these real estate agents champing at the bit to get in on this illogical trend? Why differentiate it from art in the first place? This article for example: https://torontolife.com/real-estate/it-will-outlive-any-condo-toronto-artist-krista-kim-on-selling-a-virtual-house-nft-for-650000/ -- was this an April Fools day joke? And if it was why is it so hard to tell in this space?
3. I love a good “further reading” section, and am constantly good for good recs when it comes to books, pods, and recipes. I also wouldn’t mind hearing more about your internet dumpster diving processes. I too love Ryan’s newsletter and love when he explains how he comes across the stuff that he does.
Pj and company, have you listened the Underunderstood podcast? They also have a keen interest in Internet dumpster diving and love to sleuth. If you haven’t listened you should check it out. I recommend How Cooler Ranch Doritos got Cooler to start.