The Frida Kahlo NFT

Like a Phoenix rising from its ashes, Art is reborn into Eternity. In July this year, a Mexican businessman named Martin Mobarak allegedly destroyed a painting by Frida Kahlo in order to liberate it from its physical shackles and unto its “eternal” existence henceforth as an NFT that he is selling for $4,000 apiece. He has … Read more

Crypto: Climate change means new tech has less time today to prove itself

I spent this weekend reading about permissioned and permissionless blockchain systems. If you want to get in on it, I can’t recommend this post by David Rosenthal enough. Much of the complexity of executing transactions of the major extant cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, arises from the need for these systems to ensure they are permissionless from … Read more

Let’s release more carbon and then store it

Would you look at this hypocrisy. George Church’s startup Colossal recently raised $15 million towards his longer-term effort to revive woolly mammoths – at least, he wants to splice woolly-mammoth genes with those of an Asian elephant to create a ‘mammophant’ – to bring back the Pleistocene-era ‘mammoth steppe’, a landscape he hopes will preserve … Read more

Pseudoscientific materials and thermoeconomics

The Shycocan Corp. took out a full-page jacket ad in the Times of India on June 22 – the same day The Telegraph (UK) had a story about GBP 2,900 handbags by Gucci that exist only online, in some videogame. The Shycocan product’s science is questionable, at best, though its manufacturers have disagreed vehemently with this assessment. (Anusha Krishnan wrote a … Read more

On crypto-art, racism and outcome fantasies

If you want to find mistakes with something, you’ll be able to find them if you tried long enough. That doesn’t inherently make the thing worthless. The only exception I’ve encountered to this truism is the prevailing world-system – which is both fault-ridden and, by virtue of its great size and entrenchment, almost certainly unsalvageable. … Read more