I'm incredibly excited to announce that my biggest project for Quorum yet will be released early next week: the DAO Anthology.
The DAO Anthology is a curated collection of the best articles in the DAO space published over the last few years on all corners of the internet. There are 15 articles, 21 writers, and a total of 25 people involved in creating this.
This is a collaboration with Metalabel, which produced the anthology, and Daniel from Something or Other, who designed the zine. I served as curator.
The DAO Anthology takes us through DAO time in three sections:
- Theory: the basis for why we build what we build.
- Practice: the experiments and ideas tested by all different types of organizations.
- Future: taking what we learned from the experiments and speculating on what DAOs could become.
The DAO space is one massive ongoing experiment. In any experiment, you start with the hypothesis, which is the Theory. It gives you the guardrails for building and helps you identify what to test.
Then you test that hypothesis in Practice, by running experiments, failing, and learning. Sometimes these experiments are long and ongoing—like the meme-hyperstructure of Ethereum—and sometimes they're short and smaller-scale—like testing a new way of giving grants in BanklessDAO.
After you run the experiments, it leads you to wonder, what can we do next? And that’s the Future: speculating on building better structures and organizations than we have today.
And that leads to another round of hypotheses, which are the next Theory. It’s an infinite loop—experimentation all the way down.
Daniel, the designer, captured this idea really beautifully in the cover of the zine:
The DAO Anthology is 64 pages of beautiful, colorful print in a retro, mini newspaper style printed by Newspaper Club. This is a single-run edition of 444 copies.
You can get a copy of the DAO Anthology a few different ways:
- Print (!!!): My first foray into print media! When we drop it early next week, you'll be able to purchase a copy of the DAO Anthology with a credit card on the Metalabel site. Put in your mailing address, and voilá! It's print szn.
- Onchain record: You'll be able to mint an onchain record of the DAO Anthology on the Ethereum blockchain using the Metalabel protocol. Keep it in your wallet for ever <3 and show your support to the writers represented.
- IPFS link: A few weeks after we launch the print and onchain versions, the DAO Anthology will be available publicly via an IPFS link. Read it and enjoy!
The DAO Anthology is the culmination of work from so many different creatives, and I'm so excited to see it go live! I'll be back at the beginning of the week with official links to remind you all to get your copies before they sell out :)
The writers represented get a revenue split of sales, so when you purchase a copy, you'll be supporting these writers as well!
Writers by order of appearance:
- Li Jin + Katie Parrott
- Sam Hart + Toby Shorin + Laura Lotti
- Jon Hillis
- Frogmonkee + Julia Rosenberg + Chase Chapman
- Mr. Nobody + Lisa Wocken
- Jon Hillis (2)
- Al Mithani a.k.a. Links
- Steph Alinsug
- Austin Robey
- Patrick Rivera
- Sam McCarthy
- Packy McCormick + David Phelps + Luca Prosperi
Intro and transitions by Samantha Marin
Curation and direction: Samantha Marin from Quorum
Production: Austin Robey from Metalabel
Design: Daniel Bromberg from Something or Other
So, why a DAO Anthology? That's not AI-generated? In this economy?!?
Let me take you on my journey.....
How often do you see a message like this?
Or you search for an article published over five years ago to see that it's nowhere to be found on the publication's website.
Or you try to find a page that you can't remember the name of by typing in some words that come to mind, but find that it's been buried under SEO-farm articles and paid ads.
The internet, which should theoretically bring permanence to artwork and literature, is somehow less permanent than what we had before.
The (semi) Permanence of Print
I had a professor of medieval literature in college who taught us about how literature from the medieval era was built to last longer than the mediums we have for literature today.
Writers—mostly monks back then—created books made of materials so strong that they lasted centuries, and we can still read them in museums today. The ink is still not only legible, but vivid—it’s incredible.
The half life of a medieval book might not even be reached yet! But the half life of a page online is so short that a lot of great pieces and artwork get buried and lost in the infinite ocean of the internet.
This is a paradox, because theoretically the internet should be better at preserving artwork. But because of the sheer volume of what’s put on the internet every day, in some ways it’s can be worse at preserving work than print media.
So, I launched into the wild world of print media.
And wow, is it wild.
There are so many more constraints to consider with print. Word count was a big one, because we couldn't go beyond a certain page limit for the zine to not be a full-on book. So we adjusted some of the pieces to fit the format and cut down some sections to make the most important points the most digestible for readers. This was mostly the case for the Practice section, where each article is intended to have clear, actionable takeaways for readers.
We also had to think about the visual look and feel of the zine. The inside of this zine is FULL of color, which I love. We also have graphics, pull-quotes, and really beautiful transition pages. Working with the visual side of print was all completely new to me and a ton of fun.
The timing, shipping, cost, and other logistical factors were also new to me. While challenging at times, I'm so thankful to have had the Metalabel team by my side to help with so much of the production. Again, it was an adventure that I really enjoyed and learned a lot from.
So, there's the print side.
But, why isn't the DAO Anthology a completely new set of articles? Why is it a collection of previously published works rather than entirely new ones?
Because right now what we need most as consumers of the internet is curation.
Curation in an age of infinite creation is essential
Bard researches your article topic. Chat GPT gets your article started...or writes most of it. Grammarly edits it. You make an image using a preset template from Canva, or just ask MidJourney to make you one. The piece is published online just hours after you first had the idea to write it.
We live in an age of infinite creation, enabled by our digital tools and AI. Pretty soon, humans won't be the ones moving this process forward—it will be AI doing all the work. AI-generated content will become just "content," and we won't know the difference.
The infinity of creation is the reason curation is so essential in our modern era. Swimming amongst all the possibilities, our brains getting pulled to the next source of distraction and entertainment. And with a quick refresh, there's more. There's truly no end to the deluge of content.
Without curators, we will all be lost in this sea of words algorithmically optimized specifically for our own tastes, never crossing paths with an article written by another human being. AI content generation could get so specific and fine-tuned that we might read articles written exactly for us, because everything will be generated on demand precisely to our liking.
This is not a future I look forward to.
Which is why I set out to curate articles in this zine, not create entirely new ones. It's not because creation isn't a worthy endeavor. It's because curation is more necessary than maybe it has ever been.
This zine is a statement that in this modern era of creativity, we need curators more than ever.
Without thoughtful human curators, we end up relying only on the algorithms of large tech companies to curate for us. These algorithms are optimized to entertain and keep you staring into the blue light, but nothing more. They do not force you to think in new ways or open up your mind to unique ideas. They continue to drill you deeper into a rabbit hole, until you're so far down you don't know what's up or down anymore.
With human curation of the content on the internet, we can start to pave a different path for humanity. We can choose a path that is more empathetic, more diverse in thought and in knowledge, and more in-tune with our experience as humans.
Like any good experiment, let's try it and see how it goes. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
I'll see you back on this newsletter next week! As always, thank you for being here. <3
You can also listen to Brandon and I talk about the DAO Anthology on the podcast! Listen here: