A Historical Perspective On the Latest NFT Insanity:
Digital assets are newish luxury products in a country incentivized to pursue rapidly-appreciating assets that some people ascribe great value to. It doesn’t matter that most NFTs, like tulips, are going to die and become completely useless both practically and aesthetically. It matters that for a fleeting moment in time human beings like them. There are some differences: As Goldgar points out, Tulipmania was much more rational financial trend than the rapidly evolving, wildly inconsistent Web3 boom. But who’s to say that slurp juice is any stupider than people competing to buy and sell the rarest strain of tulip? Do I personally think it is stupider because tulips are pretty and all NFTs look like dogshit? Sure. But what rapid advances in mass communication have done is emphasize the inherent stupidity of the vast majority of things people do every day, not increase it. We may have more opportunities to slurp the juice these days, but in the end, our apes haven’t evolved that much at all.
I kind of agree with Jack here.
I sometimes think that what is different now than in previous generations and eras is that, with the internet and social media platforms, any ignorant, silly, or appalling thing some rando says or does can end up being broadcast to millions of people. When I was a kid, we could all just ignore the guy standing outside the post office trying to hand out his mimeographed Lyndon Larouche pamphlets. Now, that guy probably has a YouTube channel and a Substack, and can get thousands of followers, and the platforms he uses make money off from pushing his nonsense out to as many people as possible.