More Details Than You Could Ever Hope For
May 6, 2021 11:24 AM   Subscribe

 
lmao it even has its own substack
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:35 PM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Ah, I was wondering what possessed him to make an NFT at a time when their environmental impact was also viral on twitter.

I’d read a fair amount about NFTs (both good and bad), and I was a mix of sceptical and curious.

Huh.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 1:43 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


I thought this would be fun, but it just turned out to be depressing. Remember when people would just make a thing for fun?
posted by phooky at 2:03 PM on May 6 [12 favorites]


"Not fun at parties" was a warning apparently.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:40 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


I liked this a lot. It's quite fascinating to get such a deep dive into a superficially simple and transitory thing that's also a lens into so much of this moment in time, from container ships to Twitter algorithms to NFTs.
posted by bassomatic at 3:00 PM on May 6 [9 favorites]


I feel like this would have been a lot more fun in 2003. I now have to go discover what an NFT is. I unfortunately already know what react is.
posted by maxwelton at 3:06 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


We've discussed NFTs previously on Metafilter.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:16 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Isn't that what science is? Coming up with a hypothesis and then testing it to see for yourself whether it's likely true or not? All I know about NFTs is everyone says don't bother. I read the article and I still don't understand what they are, and I'm ok with it. Now I can be extra sure not to bother. I'm glad this author did a science experiment and published the results.

Also I thought the delayed rick roll ending was funny.
posted by aniola at 4:02 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


At a glance, that enviornmental org the author is going to donate to seems pretty neat, too.
posted by aniola at 4:04 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


I remember when the big boat was stuck.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:21 PM on May 6 [11 favorites]


I remember when the big boat was stuck.

They might have gotten it out of the canal, but it’ll always be stuck in our hearts.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:39 PM on May 6 [18 favorites]


NFTs: Before, an artwork consisting of a banana taped to a wall sold for six figures. We can presume the purchaser received some sort of certificate of authenticity (at least a receipt) as well. Now the banana is a website (in this case, often it's a digital picture or video) and the certificate of authenticity is digital and maintained by a distributed cryptographic computer. You can't touch or eat any of it.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 1:07 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


They might have gotten it out of the canal, but it’ll always be stuck in our hearts.

Like Romantic Traffic.
posted by srboisvert at 4:52 AM on May 7 [1 favorite]


NFTs: Before, an artwork consisting of a banana taped to a wall sold for six figures. We can presume the purchaser received some sort of certificate of authenticity (at least a receipt) as well.

The NFT is the receipt, and its authenticity relies on the fact that its first appearance on whatever blockchain it was first traded on can't ever be spoofed.

Anybody can run through the process of generating as many NFTs as they want that are provably derived from any given arrangement of bits, but the point is that although all NFTs derived from that particular bit arrangement can be proved to have been derived from it, only one of the NFTs derived from it will ever be the first one traded.

So if a creator makes a digital artwork, and derives an NFT from it, and sells that NFT before releasing bit-identical copies of that artwork into the wild, it's a mathematical certainty that the person who first bought that NFT actually paid the creator for their work; because at the time the NFT was built, the creator of the bit arrangement it's based on was the only one who had access to that arrangement. Subsequent trades of the same NFT create a chain of ownership that's verifiable all the way back to the original creator.

But if somebody has already released a full-resolution version of their artwork into the wild before selling an NFT for it, then unless there's some other publicly verifiable guarantee of authorship associated with that release (as in, for example, the case of @jack's first tweet) then no such guarantee is any longer available.
posted by flabdablet at 4:52 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


all the ad networks I found with a quick search required a potentially multiple day manual approval process

Eons of Internet time. Good. Please, Ad Networks, keep increasing this bureaucracy-based advocacy dampener. For the good of all.
posted by filtergik at 6:01 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


Anybody can run through the process of generating as many NFTs as they want that are provably derived from any given arrangement of bits, but the point is that although all NFTs derived from that particular bit arrangement can be proved to have been derived from it, only one of the NFTs derived from it will ever be the first one traded.

This is not my understanding of NFTs. The digital information, be it artwork or a tweet or whatever, that is attached to an NFT is not directly involved in the minting process. That arrangement of bits is not hashed or incorporated into the NFT in any way. The NFT merely contains a URL or an IFPS address, which each have their advantages and disadvantages but are notably not connected to the blockchain.

This is important because if the NFT actually included a hash of the original file as you say then even if the file's host or the NFT auction site disappeared you could still trace the NFT to a specific file, which could contain useful metadata like the name of the artist. This would make NFTs actually useful for verifying authenticity. Unfortunately, since NFTs primarally exist to pump up the value of Etherium and enrich the owners of NFT auction sites, they're actually completely useless records of a single address that has no guarantee of existing in the future, and in fact a lot of NFTs already point at 404s.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:36 AM on May 7 [4 favorites]


The NFT merely contains a URL or an IFPS address

An IPFS address is a hash of the addressed file's content.
posted by flabdablet at 11:15 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]


Sad that this thread got NFT'd.

Fascinating to me, how the site gained credibility as a source of journalism, and what the digital habits of journalists means for the news as verifiable truth.

In the future, will the Washpost host the "isthe[thing]still[state].com"?
posted by eustatic at 6:49 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


I do appreciate having an example of the processing fees involved with NFT though. 70$ coming and going? So if it sold for less than 140$ it would have been a net loss for him?
posted by RobotHero at 10:37 AM on May 8 [2 favorites]


In the future, will the Washpost host the "isthe[thing]still[state].com"?

Now that you bring it up, you could probably create a news source formed entirely around that idea. It works for any situation or controversy! Is fracking still being protested? Is 2020 election still inconclusive?

You would get hits and ad impressions for days! Heck, it could probably be automated with a bit of AI/ML.
posted by rhizome at 2:46 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


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