If NFTs were really about supporting digital artists then you should just send your favorite artists money. That is the least mediated most useful material way to support their practice.

@emenel that’s what it’s all about! though, mediating commerce exclusively though state approved means does have its own major issues.

@xj9 I didn’t mention that aspect of things…

@xj9 then just send them whatever currency is most useful for them.

@emenel i think that’s about the same thing as buying an NFT. you just get an artwork attached to a token in exchange. i like how vreezy does it. literally promotes pirating her art right next to the nft listing. if you want to support her art, you send a little crypto and done.

@xj9 but it's not the same because then you are asking the artist to mint the token, exchange a volatile asset to currency they can use, and engage in a electrically hungry transaction. None of which is required to just send them some money, which they can use right away and has no other requirements.

@emenel ah so the only option is to have all commerce mediated by state approved payment processors? this is where we are not understanding each other. what if i don’t want to give visa, mastercard, or american express their processing fees? what if i don’t want to use a statist currency? what are my option to avoid state mediated commerce? i’m an anarchist and i don’t want these megacorporations and countries involved. what do i do?

@xj9 i also align with anarchism is many ways. however, crypto is definitely not anarchist, at best it's libertarian-capitalist in its design and philosophy.

You can send cash, for example. Unfortunately, as an artist I still need to use local gov currency for food and rent, which makes it by far the most materially useful and has the biggest impact on my life. It is stable and I know if someone sends me $100 for something then it will still be $100 when I need it.

Crypto is definitely not free from corruption or interests often as bad as creditcards, and worse than many governments.

@emenel i just don't think the arguments against NFTs are particularly convincing is all. you trade one horrible thing for another basically. i'm not saying that crypto is anarchist, but saying "just use cash" seems like a cop out to me. governments kill people you see and they are the ones backing the cash you're talking about.

@xj9 yes, and we live in a society... crypto doesn't avoid any of that, but adds technical obfuscation, instability, and electrical waste at a massive scale.

it also philosophically extends the late-capitalist notion of financializing everything and turning all activity into a speculative investment asset. all of which is unnecessary and fails to address the deep issues we continue to face.

@emenel adds? what's the comparison though? add to what? the energy use of popular crypto currencies is easy to quantify, what is the technical complexity and energy cost of the US dollar and whatever combination of payment processors that are involved in a given transaction?

@xj9 also, think about who's actually backing (and largely running) crypto networks. it's not really distributed or egalitarian ... if i am forced to buy into a fucked up system, i at least choose the one that facilitates my ability to live.

@emenel it also matters exactly which crypto currency we are talking about, right?

@xj9 for technical consideration yes. For ideological, not really.

I don’t think this conversation is going to lead to either of us shifting opinions, honestly.

@emenel that's not my objective. i just want to point at some things. this NFT thing has already gone polarized so it'll be impossible to convince people either way.

@xj9 I do understand. And what I’m saying is that:

a) “not-state” and “not-corporate” don’t mean that it is better

b) in order to live, and make art, i still need state currency. so any nft/crypto payment needs to be converted and is volatile. it isn’t useful in itself, so it always a layer on top of the existing structures.

c) ideologically it is aligned with the goal of total financialization — all transactions, relationships, and things as investable assets. this is not the world i want to live in.

@emenel it also doesn't matter if you understand me right now or not. you don't actually want to understand my point of view and you already made the assumption that i'm trying to convince you of something.

@xj9 aren’t you? Aren’t we both? I’m listening, and disagreeing.

@emenel nope. i don't care if you change your mind. i'm only expressing my point of view.
@emenel @xj9 I use NFTs to find artists I like, establish a relationship with them, and semi-frequently, commission original works through more traditional payment methods. I know it kind of sucks that it's like this, but sometimes less than ideal ways end up being the most pragmatic ways to get things done. Right now artists are, many for the first time, finding their audiences and making real money. For them it is a godsend and for the rest of us we can just right-click and save and enjoy some good new art for free.

@emenel I've done that, and I'm happy to do it, and will probably never buy an NFT.

But some artists make it *so* hard to give them money. The ones I support have got on board with the idea and taken the trouble to make it work, but sometimes it's so hard.

People: If you want others to give you money, make it easy for them.

(And I agree entirely with your post).

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