NFTs are blamed for everything from tacky art to economic inequality and environmental destruction. But, the arguments by critics don‘t add up, writes Something Interesting‘s Knifefight.
“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Toward the end of January, one of my favorite content producers on the internet Dan Olson (aka Folding Ideas) published a video titled Line Goes Up — The Problem with NFTs outlining his complaints about nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. At the time of writing, Line Goes Up has accumulated over six million views — almost twice as many views as his next most successful video. That’s an impressive reach for a 2.5 hour documentary with very little marketing behind it.
In the film, Olson lays out the following argument:
Cryptocurrency is useless except to sell to a greater fool.NFTs, DAOs and play-to-earn games are just ways to find more fools.The fools who buy in become accomplices in marketing the scam.NFTs are ugly, centralized, pointless, exploit artists and damage the environment.
To be honest, the movie bums me out. It is not because Olson doesn’t like NFTs — it is perfectly reasonable not to like NFTs. It bums me out because one of my favorite things about the Folding Ideas canon was how much sympathy he brought to previous subjects. Consider how hard Olson worked to humanize flat earthers or 50 Shades of Gray. In contrast, Olson describes NFTs as “incomprehensibly tasteless” and cryptocurrency enthusiasts as “terrible people” with “poor judgment” and “low social literacy.” He calls Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin a “butthurt warlock.” He summarizes the entire space as “Amway but with ugly ass ape cartoons.”
In short, NFTs make Olson angry. He is not alone.
super normal discourse pic.twitter.com/ejLsaOmGMH
— 𒐪𒐪𒐪 𒐪𒐪𒐪 𒐪𒐪𒐪 𒐪𒐪𒐪 𒐪𒐪𒐪 𒐪𒐪𒐪 (@SHL0MS) January 28, 2022
To be clear, I agree with a lot of Olson’s criticisms of the space. It attracts…