Simple. Free. Unlimited. Forever.
That’s the short story. If it’s enough for you, visit https://nicepfp.art and mint yours.
There’s a longer story though, or maybe I’m just trying to find a deeper meaning for a website I built in a free weekend.
This is what peak capitalism looks like. Produce more. Consume more. Productivity! Profits! Build a company, create a catchy website, use buzz words, get investors onboard, exit. Never deliver. Or maybe you deliver, but Google kills it after you make your deal with them. That was their plan all along.
Enter NFTs, or how I like to put it, peak capitalism on crack. Create a collection, promise you’re building the next metaverse big thing, pay some anon guy with 200k followers for a tweet. Whitelist! Mint! Mint! Mint! OMG LooksRare! I can get paid to trade NFTs now! It’s gonna kill OpenSea LFGGG WAGMI… oh wait.
See a pattern?
Many of the things around us are overhyped, overinflated, unsustainable or just plain stupid.
But muh art!!!
Look, I’m not in the slightest an art critic, but most NFT collections are junk. You create some assets, layer them in Photoshop, export, use a python script to stitch them back together and TADAAAA 🎉, you’re a digital artist now. Or you can get it from fivver for 40 bucks.
Sorry to disappoint, that’s not how life works.
I don’t think art has an assembly line and it can not work as a 1970 factory spitting dozens of products a minute.
But muh decentralization!!!
Yeah…no. First of all, most collections don’t host their jpegs on a decentralised storage medium, they just kinda have it on their Dropbox and gave you a public link. Then, there’s this. Just because the tech allows us to create immutable smart contracts, that doesn’t mean that everyone uses it as intended. In fact, most crypto projects have all sorts of kill switches, ADMIN roles, and onlyOwner functions. Don’t get fooled by the buzz words.
But muh community!
Ok, you win this one. This is a good argument for NFTs, but in reality it rarely applies. If that community does not have a common goal and builds towards it, you’re just lying to yourself.
I’m a firm believer in public goods. If the entire crypto space really wants to change the world and become the next huge milestone in our society, comparable to the widespread use of the internet, we must change people’s lives for the better. We need to!
There’s a weird phenomenon that NFTs created, that’s pfps.
Pfps is short for profile pictures… you know, the thing no one cared about until last year.
Well, that changed.
Because of the cryptographically uniqueness and digital ownership properties of NFTs, people started to get attached to them. So much so that they started identifying themselves by their NFTs.
I know, it’s weird and I have no idea what a therapist would think about that, but you know what… This is when I FOMOed into NFTs.
By FOMOed I don’t mean I joined the ~~NEWEST-WHITELIST~~LFGGG rocket emoji rocket emoji Telegram group. I mean I started feeling the urge to have a consistent online presence, build an online persona.
First thing I needed: a pfp, and that’s how this idea was born.
Cool. We need to create public goods by providing everyone access to a tool which helps you have a consistent online presence. But how should it look like?
I don’t know about you, but I feel all these collections empty. They lack emotion. Some might look cool as a desktop background, but I don’t want to identify myself by any of them.
I think most NFTs are in some sort of uncanny valley of art.
The uncanny valley is a common unsettling feeling people experience when androids (humanoid robots) and audio/visual simulations closely resemble humans in many respects but are not quite convincingly realistic.
Let me explain.
They sort of look like art, but if you saw that in an oil painting shop a couple of years ago you wouldn’t give two fucks on it.
At the same time, if you watched your kid draw that, you would be impressed, but probably he or she wouldn’t win any international award for it.
It’s not a doodle, but it’s not a masterpiece either. It’s uncanny.
I started looking for some kind of simple generative art algorithm hoping this is the type of problem where I can just throw math and algorithms and some more math at it until it fixes itself.
That’s when I found https://ml5js.org.
It can do this
It can generate doodles it learned from real users of the Quick, draw! game. It’s wholesome. It’s simple and pretty and human and most important, not uncanny.
On top of that, this entire project is open source and aims to make machine learning approachable for a broad audience of artists, creative coders, and students.
See? Public goods!
So yeah, maybe I’m overthinking a bit, but that’s how https://www.nicepfp.art was born. I hope you like it, I hope it helps you with your consistent online presence and I hope it makes your day a touch better.
Build public goods and… try to give them a sparkle of humanity.