The Universe is a Joke
Meme Abundance and the Protocols of Tomorrow (Today)
We’re still at the very earliest part of the Meme J-Curve (thanks to FIP-2)
You’re on a trip to Washington, D.C. - just a few days of work that you decided to extend into a bit of a vacation.
You briefly stop in to the National Archives to finally see the Declaration of Independence in person (it was getting restored last time you were here).
You spend some time taking it all in, reflecting on the knock-down, drag-out brawl of a process that fighting a war and then debating a new country’s founding principles into existence must’ve been, and as you ponder you close your eyes, tilt your head back, and breathe deep.
When you open them again you see this image looming motionlessly in space about 5 feet above your head.
You snort-choke-laugh in surprise, quickly gesture your fingers, and your Apple Vision Pro 5 seamlessly dismisses the meme as you reflexively hope nobody filmed your reaction.
Reader, we have not yet begun to meme.
It basically changes the social protocol to let you reference any object with your casting (your posts).
Of course, the idea of referencing things isn’t novel (or really all that interesting).
SIKE - that’s what I would say if I had no imagination 😈
On most of the Internet, we reference objects all the time and the object we generally reference is itself a piece of content.
These content objects exist in silos - meaning databases owned, controlled, and maintained by whatever content platform you’re using at the time.
This content is not truly siloed to be fair.
Screenshots of tweets make it to Reddit, a ton of YouTube shorts are just recycled TikToks, and the memes that speckle our group chats usually originate elsewhere before eventually making their way to that smallest of silos (your phone’s camera roll).
Yet for the vast vast vast majority of content, its life cycle pretty much starts and ends on the platform on which it is created.
But with FIP-2 that object doesn’t have to start in a silo.
And it doesn’t have to end in one either.
The object can be its own thing… essentially outside the control of… well… anyone.
The object could be the word “cats” or “cranberries” or “cats-with-cranberries”.
(If this feels weird just think about the concept of a subreddit)
But going even deeper, FIP-2 doesn’t have to just be a word.
It can also be a URL that anyone accesses the normal way, but also has an attached message stream not controlled by the URL owner.
Just imagine the memes (and stories) that’ll come out of the raw Waffle House Jobs Page content feed.
Or the sense of humor that turned r/superbowl into a decades long joke forum for pictures of owls that can be unleashed for… well pretty much anything.
Or, getting even more imaginative, think about how wildly we change the fabric of the internet by referencing the URL of a regular ol’ piece of content instead of a platform exclusive content ID.
With that single change you’ve opened up the stream of Creator feedback, jokes, and conversation, to the entire internet instead of keeping it myopically (or perhaps selfishly) limited to just the captive users on that platform.
The object can also be an NFT (non-crypto friends please stifle your groans), but don’t worry we’re not here to talk about that right now.
Later though… maybe have some chamomile tea and gently sit with the fact that any onchain object (eventually perhaps the deed to your house, your resume, or even your AI assistant trained on your personal corpus of notes to complete tasks for you) can have messages with rich metadata temporarily or permanently linked to it that are accessible to whoever you want to have access, without needing to rely on the database and goodwill of a private company or public government.
This is both a technopunk dream and dystopian nightmare (mostly depending on client-level decisions)
Cool cool cool So what?
For my part, I’m enthralled with the possibilities unlocked for the single player internet.
Most people are and always will be passive consumers of content.
In some ways this is obvious - simply watching is less work than replying or creating from scratch, and the data generally bears out that most of the internet is here for you and you alone (or rather maybe us alone, together).
I’m not going to moralize here, I’m just going to assert that this implies that most content is created for basically passive consumers (“PC’s” for short 😬).
As PC’s, we spend most of our time on the internet in those content silos we mentioned earlier.
I tend to think of most of these silos, especially the one’s that aren’t explicitly part of a PC’s workplace, as essentially collections of jokes or jokes with extra steps (image jokes, moving picture jokes, audio jokes, dance jokes, etc)
With the FIP-2 we have today, we’ve attached the connective tissue of a joke’s context to the URL - a massive expansion in the breadth of meme distribution to a TON more PC’s.
With FIP-2 + something like Vision Pro, the collection of jokes becomes your life… wait… your actions … uh no I mean…
The joke is a comment slapped directly onto the context of the physical and digital things you experience in your life at the moment of the experience.
We suddenly and simultaneously create incredibly deep and staggeringly wide content opportunities and distribution capability to reach… all the PC’s at every moment of their lives no matter where they are.
FIP-2 makes everything Content-ifiable.
I hope this added value to your day.
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