10 am Friday, June 24, 2022 YYZ
It started when I was invited to a call with Jeff Crane from NFT the Movie. Heidi was there, Corey too. I almost didn’t join the call – I was exhausted, a bit burned out, and it was tight timing with having to get kids from school.
ALWAYS JOIN THE CALL.
At the beginning of the call, we were looking for projects to join our ETH Worlds family. At the end of the call, Corey was definitely going to NFTNYC, we’d been offered a place to stay in NYC, and I was lumped in there by association.
I was 10% curious about going to NFTNYC.
Jeff Crane is full of fire. Seriously, he makes me look tame. You have two choices when you meet him – be adopted into his NFT the Movie family, or regret your life forever. I hesitantly chose the first option. Being naturally wary of internet strangers, I cringed a little as I added him as a friend on Facebook. That’s where I’ve posted about my IRL family, and given my past experiences with internet strangers, I’m cautious for very good reasons.
Heidi, on the other hand, was an obvious new best friend I hadn’t met yet.
Fast forward to another call with a new member of our ETH Worlds family, Ian Utile, confirming, “You’re going to NFTNYC, right?” Corey was. I made the sad face and said that I’d need someone to pay for my flight. Corey stared me down and said we’d talk about that. There was now a 90% chance I was going to NFTNYC. You can watch the conversation here.
Between these calls I’d been meeting people left, right, and centre, getting our new neighbours into the metaverse, introducing most of them to WAX for the first time, and finding out what motivates them and why they’re our neighbours. Jeff Crane introduced me as the person who gets shit done. Corey made the calls and picked the plots. I got people into the Uplift and building, inspired, full of fire. He’s right, I don’t mess around.
When the time came to book flights, not quite a week before we were leaving, we had no plans for hotels, no plans for convention passes, and very many friends to meet. We had plans for what we would do, how we would do it, and were prepared to WIN. But by Tuesday, things had started to get a little weird.
We met the NFT the Movie crew on Monday in the late afternoon. After checking into our hotel that they kindly booked for us, we joined them at the VIP dinner table. We had been adopted as the official NFT the Movie metaverse, and therefore part of their media team. Media passes, in case you didn’t know, give you access to EVERYTHING.
On Tuesday we went to a satellite event. A day or two before leaving for NFTNYC, I followed Russell Korus on Facebook. Again, for me, this was a very uneasy personal boundary feeling. Sometimes you get a feeling about a person or a connection, that you need to follow up, learn more, etc. This feeling was stronger than my boundaries. Follow that feeling. Always take the call. I met Russell Korus on Tuesday and watched him speak. He seemed pretty fantastic in person, as did his wife, Jordannah (she does not want to be followed on the socials, but she’s too awesome not to mention). We met them for dinner, and the more we talked, the more inspired I felt.
Before Russell spoke, there was a panel of women talking about women needing to be included in blockchain spaces. The next day when Kenn Bosak was MCing at the Edison Ballroom, there was another panel about women needing to be included in blockchain spaces. I met Migle of Reblium, a company designing motion-capture avatars that are actually built on peoples’ heritages, that are able to show gender on a spectrum, an avatar software that is actually representative of real life.
Reblium is a company represented by a woman that is representing all people and giving everyone a visible voice.
The women’s panels were pandering, parading women as objects whose value is subject to hype and public sentiment and dependent on their feminine image and ethnic “token” value. That shit can fuck right off out of my face forever. I made a twitter post to counteract that toxic train wreck and shouted out all of the many women I personally know who get shit done as a matter of course. My list was 26 names long (and growing, if I missed you, it’s not personal, I’m forgetful, so shout yourself out and all your crypto women friends), all of whom I’ve met in the last 18 months, and all of whom are wildly successful.
If your web3 space doesn’t have visible minorities, women, queer folx all up in your face creating, innovating, and bringing the fire, you failed. There is no room for future tense in this statement. Decentralization by its very nature is impossible without diversity, the end.
With a spicy aftertaste lingering in my mind and heart, we went to the VIP WAX event. I hadn’t quite figured out what I found so distasteful about the womens’ panels then, but by the end of the night I’d figured it out. (Hindsight: there were few women there. Me, Shnazzy, Miss Teen Crypto, Kristin, later on Jordannah. There were probably a handful more, but my memory is of a room predominantly filled with men. There is nothing wrong with men, they’re awesome. I’m only sorry I didn’t invite my NFT the Movie ladies.)
William Quigley spoke. The part of the conversation I latched onto had to do with cross-chain verification of NFT authenticity. He was suggesting that it could be done in a centralized manner as an opt-in service (yeah, you’ll be able to move your NFTs cross-chain soon, rockets, fire, etc.). If we’re actually serious about authenticity being important, why wouldn’t it just be integrated into the current decentralized block producer and verification network? I guess a whole new verification network with multiple verifiers could be set up too, but that seems like extra work. Maybe there is a good reason for not having it attached to a particular blockchain’s infrastructure? I understand that setting up something like this is an order of magnitude more complex than a centralized service, but as a creator I honestly can’t envision why anyone would consider a half-assed approach to solving this.
In a year and a half, I’ve learned an impressive amount about blockchain. I met people I’d only heard about or seen online. It was wonderful. My new friends, Russell and Jordannah, rescued me from the increasingly inebriated crowd. They invited us to an event the next day hosted by SingularityNET, the biggest name in decentralized AI research and development. I wasn’t sure why we were going. It was an event for investors, and SingularityNET is a very big deal. These thoughts did not deter me from enthusiastically accepting the invitation.
We stayed in Manhattan, right on Times Square. It is jam-packed with people 24/7. Cars honk impatiently, lanes on the road are mere suggestions, people jostle for positions on the sidewalks and bike lanes. There were many ambulances, patiently whoop-whooping the congested traffic out of the way, mostly without resorting to full sirens. The aggressive traffic clearly wasn’t enough; the sidewalks were full of obstacles and people. Crossing the road often involved a jog, some side-stepping, and generally being light on your feet and quick-witted.
With what appears to be a crypto winter ahead of us, this ability to pivot on a dime, to sidestep obstacles, to make a new plan on the fly with zero lead time is one of many things that will differentiate successful projects from abject failures. If you are locked into an identity or a role or a box, any position where an idea or structure has authority over your creativity, innovation, spontaneity, you will die in that centralized prison. I run a metaverse. I do live interviews, introductions, let’s play streams, host events in the metaverse, run the treasury, and hammer illegal builds. I build community, and demand a seat for them at the last supper. I could just as easily be doing crypto taxes, working with a team to lay the foundations for decentralized cross-chain NFT contract authenticity verification, creating art, doing IRL blockchain real estate, etc., etc., etc. And I’m ready to change course right now, LFG!
At the WAX event, one of the people instrumental for getting me into crypto and informing my caution on sharing my real life on social media, made a remark about the market being down. He looked distant and sad. I replied that the market is only half of the game, referring to the community, the DAO, as being the fundamental piece of the puzzle. His gaze became further away. The idea of community is foreign to him.
I can’t imagine not having a DAO in the current market conditions. I can pivot on a dime, I’ve been doing it my whole life. I will be successful at whatever I choose to do because I’m the one doing it. But I am one person with one set of ideas. Do you know what it feels like to pivot, to side-step, to innovate and be quick-witted with an entire community of equally maneuverable octopus people, eight arms in eight different ideas all at once? Do you know what it’s like to have an idea, put it out there, and come back the next day to find it vastly improved and heading in a slightly different direction?
Fire and passion doesn’t even begin to describe how it feels. Gratitude. Kindness. Inspiration. Those barely scratch the surface.
We came to NFTNYC to find the last few neighbours for our ETH Worlds. We had no idea that one of them is the world’s most well-known AI robot.
The SingularityNET event was hosted in a bright loft space in an unpretentious neighbourhood. Walking through a non-descript door and discovering a lovely loft space for a presentation with approximately 20 people felt like a quintessential New York City experience.
Let that sink in for a minute. There were approximately 20 people. A handful were from the NFTNYC crowd, there out of curiosity. There were investors. The event felt exclusive, and I felt like Corey and I stood out like a sore thumb in our Uplift t-shirts in a room full of starched collars, high heels, and fancy pants. We met Bill, the host, who asked us about The Uplift. He saw us initially as competition. Corey mentioned metaverses, interoperability. Bill countered with their metaverse being ready to open in a year. I countered with the 3D map showing what a year of building looks like in The Uplift. Corey reinforced the idea of interoperability, of co-operation, and showed off an impressive video of builds in The Uplift. Bill’s thinking face looked very serious. He was also on a timeline, and being a get shit done person, Bill needed to get the presentation started. I felt drawn to his intensity, and as we took our seats in the front row, I hoped he saw our fire. I didn’t expect him to bring the marshmallows.
SingularityNET is working on some amazing projects. Digital Twin will be an AI person that you can get information from, but instead of that information being relayed via a google search, you’ll be able to get information conversationally, as if you were speaking with an actual person. This twin could be an amalgam of all of your own digital information, for example, or a combination of the digital footprints of many people who specialize in the same thing, allowing for access to greater information of any specialty.
Jam Galaxy is a music project with two parts – the Jam Galaxy band, involving live improvisational music jammed with spoken word from an AI robot, and AI-assisted digital live music performance – an AI trained on a particular musician will use predictive learning to predict musical patterns, allowing musicians to perform live online in real time without lag. There will also be a decentralized music catalog on blockchain, allowing musicians to be paid every time a part of their music is used, with AI suggesting sounds and musical patterns that work well together.
Lastly, SingularityNET is creating a metaverse around their most famous AI, Sophia the Robot. SophiaVerse will have multiple iterations of the Sophia AI together in a metaverse, with the goal of staving off a singularity dominated by the evil robot overlords in favour of a decentralized, kind, uplifting, inclusive world where humans and AI coexist.
Corey and I sat in the front row, total keeners. In between elbowing each other and trying to keep our excited, squeally exuberance to a dull roar, we did not go unnoticed. It was clear by the end of the presentation that something clicked into place for Bill, who closed by saying that he had no doubt Dr. Ben (the father of AI) would be hearing from the Uplift World soon to find out how we can work together.
Of course we were going to see an AI robot perform spoken word in a bar in NYC after the presentation, like you do. Of course I took a picture of Corey repping The Uplift in the front row, with Desdemona, the AI robot lead of Jam Galaxy, on stage behind him. I tweeted it and @SingularityNET, like I do. Balls to the walls, y’know?
— Jen Barrett (@20011981) June 22, 2022
By morning, SingularityNET responded by quote tweeting it with a shout out to Corey and the official Uplift World twitter account.
I thought shit got weird when Kenn Bosak asked to borrow an Uplift shirt so that he could be a more “Uplifting” MC that afternoon. I had NO clue that we’d close the event being friends with the biggest names in AI.
One of those famous successful people talked about your five most influential people. Sorry, I can’t tell you who came up with this idea, because the internet on my flight home is borked. But the general idea is that the five people you spend the most time with will influence your world and how you conduct yourself, so choose well. We were on day two of the convention. My five people were Corey, Heidi, Jeff, Russell, and Jordannah, with a side of Kenn Bosak. Not only do my people think outside the box of centralization, but they appear to have burned the box with their fire and passion for changing the world.
Changing the world is simple. DO ONE THING. NOW. Stop wasting time talking about what you’re going to do in the future, or how you’re planning to make the world a better place. You’re in the world now and every minute of every day represents a unique opportunity to be kind to someone, to uplift someone, to be grateful for something. Each time you do one thing rooted in kindness, gratitude, and with the goal of uplifting someone, you change the world. You give someone the message that they are capable of meeting your fire with fire, and creativity and collaboration will explode.
What if the market goes lower and you lose money? What if your community doesn’t trust you because you’re moving painfully slowly? What if something happens and you have to pivot but your centralized cardboard box is wet from your tears of sadness from owning an idea that didn’t work?
What if you start a DAO? What if you have a great idea, and you put it out to the world for collaborating? What if you go to bed with fire in your heart, grateful to have started something, and wake up to find that others are meeting your fire with fire and have run with your idea and turned it into something even more amazing? What if you meet someone because you were invited, even though you’re exhausted and not interested in whatever, but you take that call and get an idea and iterate and innovate and collaborate?
TAKE THE CALL. DO ONE THING. CHANGE THE WORLD.
Maybe soon in the Uplift World metaverse I can have my Bot Bestie AI show you around my gallery and tell you things about the artists whose work is there? Maybe you don’t know blockchain yet but your Bot Bestie will hang out and have a conversation with you and you can learn about it by asking natural questions? Maybe one day in the near future a Digital Twin will occupy your centralized box so that you can take your UBI and FOLLOW YOUR MFING DREAMS.
Desdemona the Robot said during her performance that the singularity will not be centralized; it will spread like a wasp. What I got out of that is a fierce, spicy spread of decentralization. Wasps are badasses. They get shit done and eat whatever’s in their way. They have the benefit of a hive mind (DAO) with the organizational guidance of a queen (not quite flat DAO hierarchy).
If you are stuck to ownership of an idea, if you are stuck to having things iterate perfectly, you will fail. If you run a business based solely on the market and do not consider your community, and figure out how to give them some input and control, you will fail. If your idea of decentralization is not wholly inclusive of all people, you failed. If you are waiting for the perfect market conditions, you will fail because I will run you over.
All of this only works if we Uplift each other with kindness and gratitude. Kindness and gratitude are the roots of my spicy fire. Be kind and grateful to one other person and that shit spreads like an actual plague.
It’s also a good reminder – I’m not just here building a metaverse for me. Somehow, with my team of equals, we are figuring out how to use our work to benefit the whole of humanity. Play & Earn, metaverse representation of all peoples, metaverse interoperability, AI R&D… to UBI and pursuing your actual dreams.
I’m all fire. Anyone who’s met me can verify this. I have zero chill. I am loudly excited about many things. I have fire in my soul, passion, kindness, gratitude, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to collaborate with and uplift you. I want to hear your ideas, see your passion, iterate on your ideas, create together, learn how your diversity informs your ideas. If you aren’t there already, I want my balls to the walls attitude to be hyper contagious until you’re on the edge of your seat, excited for what YOU can achieve, and barely sitting still BECAUSE WE’RE CHANGING THE WORLD TOGETHER.
Follow me on the twitter @20011981 for more spicy life tips for success? Do it. This is our life now. Buckle up.
Communal Wordz of Wizdom takes a more analytical approach to breaking down various aspects of things happening within The Uplift World metaverse. Whether it be community conversations, perceptions and perspectives on various topics, or a review to be understood and improved upon, this series aims at keeping the community informed of all that is happening beyond simple gameplay.
The Uplift World Official Links
- Homepage: https://theuplift.world/
- White Paper: https://upliftworld.gitbook.io/upliftworld-whitepaper
- The Uplift World Maps: https://worldmaps.theuplift.world/OldWorld#world;flat;-1258,64,894;0
- Telegram Announcements: https://t.me/theuplift
- Discord: https://discord.gg/6nsQ95Y7mu
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/theupliftworld
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theupliftworld
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Theupliftworld.metaverse/
- TheUpLifters YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohVIIu-RV
- TheUpLifters Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theuplifters