Look at the quality of this 3D animation
January 5, 2022 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Welcoin to Cryptoland!

Protip: Stick around for the cryptomusical interlude
posted by They sucked his brains out! (57 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I found out about this via Molly White's tweet thread providing commentary as she watched the video and afterwards as she dug into supporting materials.
i spent a fair bit of time trying to determine if this is a real project or some beautiful satire. i'm still holding out hope it's the latter, but unfortunately it seems like it may be the former. there is an NFT project behind it, an active twitter account, and a 10k+ person (though possibly bot-heavy) discord server.
posted by brainwane at 9:30 AM on January 5, 2022 [6 favorites]


Heh, was just gonna mention that same thread as brainwane. I couldn't bring myself to sit through the video itself and very much appreciated her summary.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


Related: Odo and Quark discuss crypto
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:39 AM on January 5, 2022 [25 favorites]


This is for people who thought that the problem with Fyre Festival was that it wasn't year-round, right?
posted by gauche at 9:49 AM on January 5, 2022 [16 favorites]


That Odo and Quark piece is awesome. The voices were mostly spot on, but the dialogue was perfect.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it's satire or not, but I do know that none of the company reps featured in the non-animated parts of the film are "real" people.

I know what crypto people look like and I also know what 20-something aspiring actors look like.

These folks are definitely from the latter category.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:29 AM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


The subtext of the animation gets interesting when you pay attention to gender, race, and the implied economic role of the characters portrayed. I couldn’t bear to watch more than 1/3rd but I definitely saw a property-owning white dude interacting with a bunch of demure female service employees. Does it improve?
posted by migurski at 10:33 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]




Does it improve?

Nope.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:02 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I do wonder if the folks who created this were laughing during the creation as much as we are when watching it...

Previously on the blue:
Building a crypto-utopia in Puerto Rico


And my personal favorite: Trying very hard to have the good time they paid thousands for...

Side note:, did anybody spot the location on the island where the support staff are suppose to stay and the warehouses to hold food and beer? Or did logistics not enter the planning phase?
posted by SegFaultCoreDump at 11:15 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


did anybody spot the location on the island where the support staff are suppose to stay

Maybe they are just planning to buy that Crypto cruise ship and park it just off shore?
posted by cirhosis at 11:21 AM on January 5, 2022


I look forward to the eventual Vice article about how badly this goes wrong.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:36 AM on January 5, 2022 [4 favorites]


Someone put a fuckton of work into this and I have no idea what is real anymore.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:37 AM on January 5, 2022 [4 favorites]


Maybe they are just planning to buy that Crypto cruise ship and park it just off shore?

In the spirit of Move Fast and Break Things shouldn’t they get it going at full steam and run it aground like Alang shipbreakers?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:38 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I watched the first couple of minutes. It's obviously satire, but it's not funny?

So it's real? But it's obviously satire
posted by plasmatron7 at 11:47 AM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I've seen this one before. One of them lured the others to island to murder them, and the movie ends with the wellness woman from the video as the sole survivor somehow getting rescued from a leaky homemade boat, her face all sunburned and crusty with salt. She no longer speaks.
posted by pipeski at 11:49 AM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


It is entirely possible that the video is intended as satire by all the people who made it but intended in earnest by the people who paid for it.
posted by straight at 11:49 AM on January 5, 2022 [22 favorites]


I'm glad they finally got around to another Bioshock installment but they dropped the ball when they hired the team from the Grubhub commercial to do the game design :-(
posted by mcrandello at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2022 [6 favorites]


I'm sure there's a corollary of Poe's law in there...
posted by DreamerFi at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I understand so very little of this.
In other news I think I’m getting the hang of incorporating whole wheat flour into my bread dough!
posted by eggkeeper at 12:17 PM on January 5, 2022 [9 favorites]


I am reminded of Galt's Gulch Chile. Perhaps some of the same people are involved.
posted by adamrice at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I understand so very little of this.
In other news I think I’m getting the hang of incorporating whole wheat flour into my bread dough!


Sounds like you have your priorities set correctly.
posted by eye of newt at 12:28 PM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I like the part where Grady Booch drops in to make fun of their nonexistent planning skills.
posted by ardgedee at 12:33 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there's a corollary of Poe's law in there...

How about something like Rand's Theorem:
Any earnest depiction of a hypothetical Libertarian Utopia will be indistinguishable from satire
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 PM on January 5, 2022 [12 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the ape NFT on the wall marks this as satire, but not 100%
posted by hypnogogue at 1:17 PM on January 5, 2022


I keep waiting for the coin to say "Do you wanna get high?"
posted by credulous at 1:21 PM on January 5, 2022 [4 favorites]


I like the part where they haven't actually bought the island they plan to build on. Truly crypto is revolutionizing the ability to sell land you don't even own.
posted by Pyry at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2022 [5 favorites]


If it's satire they got horrible taste in jokes to play straight. (Yes, I saw that load for me on Twitter before it got deleted.)
posted by foxfirefey at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of the crypto guys have the same brain worm as the right-wing pundits where they'll do anything to provoke a reaction, even if or especially if that reaction is the entire internet dunking on them, so they make it incredibly easy to dunk on them.

The other one I saw recently was someone claiming that Web3 would have enabled Theranos to keep the grift going for longer, but phrased in a way where that's good, somehow.
posted by RobotHero at 1:29 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


If it's satire they got horrible taste in jokes to play straight.

OK that tweet convinced me: not only is it satire, it's pitch perfect satire.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


About halfway through the video, my whole computer locked up and I had to force shut it down to recover. I think my computer knew something I didn’t.
posted by njohnson23 at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


The other one I saw recently was someone claiming that Web3 would have enabled Theranos to keep the grift going for longer, but phrased in a way where that's good, somehow.

For lack of sufficient government regulation — and there will never be enough — I could perhaps see a kind of coldly rational, if punishing or even pyrrhic argument that letting parasites like Bernie Madoff and Elizabeth Holmes operate on some level could be a net good. Maybe by ripping people off, they play some kind of abstract function in helping move laissez-faire economies towards stronger methods of accountability in the long term, say via towards entirely independent auditing and assurance services, write-once ledgers, etc.

That didn't keep Enron from happening, however, and Arthur Andersen had to change the company name along the way — and a lot of these companies and their management still own pieces of each other — so I'm reasonably confident that state regulation is ultimately the way to go. In any case, none of this is probably the "good" that that crypto guy had in mind, I suspect.

Anyway, one of the delightful bits of social media floating around this included a company founder taking down Mozilla a few days ago for pushing crypto. The larger conversation that needs to happen about this grift is starting to happen, on some level.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:58 PM on January 5, 2022 [9 favorites]


Dear God, this is going be Trump all over again. Something that nobody can bring themselves to believe is real, but also can't find any indication that it's satire. Every rational person you talk to for the next 2 - 3 years is going to dismiss the whole thing as an obvious...piece of satire...pipedream of fools that will never actually happen...blatant fraud!....cult!....and then, when it's actually happened against every sane expectation, as a "terrible aberration". And somehow it will destroy the world economy entirely, and radically accelerate climate simultaneously, and then everyone who spent a couple weeks in January '21 making fun of this is going to be looking out over the ruins and wondering how their gut level instincts could be so freaking wrong.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


I didn't think satire and reality could overlap that much. It's too bad it's only 1000 feet off of the largest island in Fiji... it limits the size of the disaster. They'll probably just pocket the money instead of buying the island anyway.
posted by netowl at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


The monument to scams is the part that most strongly says satire to me but I’m for sure not 100% convinced
posted by aubilenon at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2022


"Welcoin to Cryptoland"

Shouldn't that be "Abandon all (of your real assets) ye who enter here ?-)
posted by sammyo at 2:11 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


Nananu-i-cake, Fiji

I wonder if they did any research into Fiji foreign real estate investment law? It's only a quarter mile off the main island so actually swimmable to escape. A small house on a small island could be lovely, unless all the neighbors are all entitled moonbat insane crypto-wackos.
posted by sammyo at 2:27 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


This was like watching The White Lotus, season two, with the role of Armund being played by a handsy coin.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:38 PM on January 5, 2022 [2 favorites]


Y'know how most spam email looks outright scammy to most people, so it self-selects for the most credulous people to respond to it? Would not be surprised if this is operating under the same mechanism. "Of course it's satire" to the incredulous, "but we'll still take your money, if you want" to the true-believers.
posted by Aleyn at 2:54 PM on January 5, 2022 [6 favorites]


I bet it's partly that, and partly for the guys who'll go "Ho ho, how absurd, this will surely attract the most gullible of fools! I, a brain genius, should buy a ticket to resell at a huge profit!"
posted by rifflesby at 3:05 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


Nananu-i-cake, Fiji

I have actually been to the island just to the north (Nananu-i-Ra). What I remember about ocean conditions between Viti Levu (the main island) and Nananu is that it can, at times. be hardly navigable with a small boat, let alone swimmable. My gal and I were 'trapped' on the island for several days when we stayed there. (I quoted 'trapped' because, let's face it: it's still a bit of paradise.)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 3:17 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


I'd also add: my memory is that all (or almost all?) land rights in Fiji are controlled by the indigenous populations and are generally licensed to foreigners, not sold outright. There's various systems of 'tribute' that have to paid every year and rights remains revocable at any time. Curious if anyone can add to this.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


Because of course crypto-fantasists want to steal indigenous territory for their fantasies.

I'd add that in Fiji the Indigenous folks are sort of in charge of a remarkably large and solidly trained and armed military, politics can get rough, and at only a quarter mile off the biggest tourist center in the country, getting yourself off the island might not be a bigger challenge than other people with guns deciding to get on it. These Natives have a goddamn Navy. Just in case the fantasy involves some sort of sovereignty cosplay. As it often does.
posted by spitbull at 5:26 PM on January 5, 2022 [3 favorites]


I think a lot of the crypto guys have the same brain worm as the right-wing pundits where they'll do anything to provoke a reaction

No brain worms needed, but yeah it's the same deal: they both are running a thing where any reaction benefits them.
posted by away for regrooving at 8:39 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


I dipped out and closed the tab at precisely 0:40, but I'm still mentally doubled over from laughing at "blockchain hills". This could have been such beautiful satire.
posted by Yash RE at 8:47 PM on January 5, 2022 [1 favorite]


It's like an NFT, but for real estate.
posted by foxtongue at 8:51 PM on January 5, 2022


Blog version of Molly White's tweet thread.
anyway, this has been my villain origin story
posted by brainwane at 8:35 AM on January 6, 2022 [1 favorite]


My conclusion is this is a real scam but a fake plan, as in, I don't think the organizers think this will be a real thing in the future but they'll still happily take your money for it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:53 AM on January 6, 2022


they both are running a thing where any reaction benefits them.

I mean, maybe? At least they believe it will benefit them.

The analogy popped into my head of a Nigerian prince scam that's so egregious in some way that people who hate Nigerian prince scams will post about it.

And like, the Nigerian prince scam relies on you believing you're the special person who has received this communication. Anyone would take this opportunity if they had the chance.

I guess NFT scams rely on you believing what makes you special is your willingness to take this opportunity. You, Dear Reader, are a member of an elite group who have Done Their Own Research and are immune to the FUD that most people have fallen for.
posted by RobotHero at 1:48 PM on January 6, 2022


Mr.Encyclopedia: "My conclusion is this is a real scam but a fake plan, as in, I don't think the organizers think this will be a real thing in the future but they'll still happily take your money for it."

The question then is, will there be bologna sandwiches for the credulous bros who show up?
posted by adamrice at 1:57 PM on January 6, 2022


Well, this is only v1, which exists digitally. You don't get physical bologna sandwiches until v2.
posted by RobotHero at 2:09 PM on January 6, 2022


So for the time being, it's just baloney sandwiches.
posted by adamrice at 5:05 PM on January 6, 2022


caution live frogs: "I look forward to the eventual Vice article about how badly this goes wrong."

Oh lordy
posted by chavenet at 3:59 PM on January 7, 2022


And this video is now private.
posted by RobotHero at 5:26 PM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]


Can't stop the signal.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:47 PM on January 9, 2022 [1 favorite]


"My conclusion is this is a real scam but a fake plan, as in, I don't think the organizers think this will be a real thing in the future but they'll still happily take your money for it."

They'll probably take your cryptocurrency for it, which might be just as worthless in the long run.
posted by straight at 11:22 AM on January 10, 2022




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