How Kabocha will create new kinds of work and play… and the story of Chris.
Technology companies have created new platforms that have enabled new kinds of work, jobs and play that weren’t possible before. With that in mind , what kind of work and play could Kabocha enable?
Please don’t expect a professionally structured piece. I’m just writing what comes to mind. If you make it to the end, then let me know, say hello.
Work and play
The Internet brought many new kinds of jobs, which is a pretty obvious statement. New kinds of work for people have been created through technology platforms. More specifically, peoples hobbies, interests and passions can be leveraged to audiences interested in watching and supporting what they do. To give just a couple of examples of platforms:
Twitch has created new kinds of jobs since it’s inception. People broadcast what they’re doing, as passive as watching other people play games, while fans and followers watch along and interact through chat.
Another example is Substack, which enables writers to get paid to write. Writers easily set up their writing newsletter area, while many readers look for writers that they can subscribe to. Former journalists get paid more to independently and directly write for their subscribers. But more interestingly it has enabled people who were not professional writers before, to now become paid writers. Many have decent sized followings that pay the writers, better paid than anyjob. Many of these people may have not necessarily been paid writers if Substack hadn’t existed.
Now, in regard to what I’m working on, stewarding and founding the Kabocha blockchain – with Richard Welsh – on behalf of the Edgeware community. We’re hovering around the concepts and design process of sustainably funding public goods, as well as funding talent. But it’s not all about funding, it’s about starting with community values and designing systems and attracting people that interact on Kabocha and show up in different ways that they would act elsewhere.
In an interview between Justin from Twitch and the founder of Substack, they talk about how the same people act differently on different platforms. This is what we want to tap into, creating a community that allows people to show up in weird and wonderful ways so that different possibilities can show up for humanity.
Kabocha, born from Edgeware and looking to join Kusama in upcoming parachain slots, will use its community treasury, amongst other things, to fund people’s talents and public goods, similar to its mother Edgeware, but more weird and experimentally like it’s father Kusama.
Just like Substack (or Medium), this may create new kinds of work and play. Not everyone just wants fans and followers necessarily. But there may be hidden genius in people that requires cultivation that others would be interested in. For many people the pressures of this reality may get in the way of people showing up with their weird genius at all times. A construction worker who has to make “bread” for his family, only has limited time if any to dig into their deep and quiet interest in metaphysics and theology. A mother, for example, who has to look after children and work, may have left her artistic endeavours by the wayside. What if they had Kabocha or some new social technology that enabled them to pursue their interest without having to labour so much in the trivial unspecialised work.
Now for random past memory which bares little relevance to what is written thus far.
Short story of Chris
A fair while ago, when I was in school in London, Camden, at around 15 years old, I would sometimes hang around with two older friends who were in the school year above me. Both, in school academically, were middle of the road. They were rebellious and slight trouble makers, but more on the cheeky side than outright bad. Ruari, my closest friend, was a lead singer and guitar player in a band, dedicated to his craft, and early to tour the Camden indy music scene. And the other, Chris was a lanky lad, shows and Irish (but without the accents), who would sport Reebok Classics and a Nike string bag with his school uniform. At face value, he did not have any interests other than getting very drunk and causing mayhem on the weekend, which I might add was a very entertaining watch. Star quality in fact. Let’s explore further.
Nighttime notables with Chris
As we would traverse the streets of northwest London in the night, those two would drink booze and I would accompany them on long strolls, as the sober observer. I hadn’t consumed alcohol yet as I was a good boy, with a passion for becoming a footballer. We would follow along with Chris, his interactions with normal society would be the source of our giggles, as well as our hysterical laughter. Ruari took on the role of egging him on to bring out the more uninhibited Chris.
The Purple Monkey and his alter-egos
At one point in the night the “Purple Monkey” would come out from Chris, an alter ego of his. A very mischievous monkey, who would stand in the middle of the road and do the Purple Monkey dance, just as a performance artist giving an impromptu show. Better than any cartoon, and in real life. Without seeing for yourself, the Purple Monkey possesses similar genius to Mr Bean and had the poise of a ballet dancer, he made great use of his lanky limbs, the purple monkey came to life.
He had other alter egos. In another fearless blackout ego, he would strip naked while walking into a Tesco’s petrol station, and take what was rightfully his, a large crate of beer. Stark naked, he locked eyes with somone recording on their nascent noughties camera phone, “Do you see fear in these eyes?”, he would calmly state. All with his completely unkempt birds nest brandished under the harsh lights of Tesco’s, and after walking very casually out the door, being illuminated by a full moon.
As you could imagine, he would also enjoy altercations with the police. At times Chris would have the power of 10 policemen.
There was a natural showman in Chris, with ancient Celtic traits of wisdom and comedy that emerged in glimpses of his progressive inebriation. To get into these states required a shamanic cocktail called “snake bite”, comprised of crap cider, vodka and some blackcurrant Ribena. This is what Chris consumed on many an occasion, many of them after Ruari’s gigs.
Chris vs Police
After attempting a futile break-in to a local Threshers (wine shop) in west London, the police were called, jumped Chris and tried to cuff him, as myself and Ruari would stand there like popcorn-eating-watchers in the front row. This would be the grand finale of Chris’s performance, and it was why we were there, roaming the streets to wait for him to provide such value.
We observe as six men attempt to twist and force Chris’s arms behind his back. Three police on each arm as they try and crank his arms closer to the cuff rings, like a seemingly unfair arm wrestle. But we didn’t write off Chris at this point. That would be foolish. With his arms coming within touching distance of joining with the cuffs, Chris, channelling the archetypal rebellious-and-anarchistic-protester-of-all-forms-of-authority-and-convention, wailed in a berserk war cry, calling on the strength of his ancestors, “You shall not take me!” he roared as his arms edged away from each other and then dramatically break free, like Bruce Lee expelling the worthless ninja extras. He manages to stand up from a seated position. Chris 1, police nil, a clear win.
With the policemen overpowered, and literally in awe of his strength needing a rest themselves, battle two commences… As this process took close to half an hour, while Chris was in his transient state of a combination of higher states or being: Japanese “mushin”, the Buddhist “satori”, and the ancient Celts “berserk” (which translates to the power of ten men), he basically concocted into a drunk Neo, with similar superpowers, but dirty Reebok Classics replacing the leather swagger.
What was surprising was the banter between Chris and his badged adversaries, as this was not the first time they had encountered him. They’ve been in this situation before. What would surprise an onlooker (other than the one man taking on the most muscular of the Metropolitan Police riot squad), was that there was no anger nor frustration in them at all, they were entertained. They were in awe of this presentation of showmanship, comedy genius and protest of authority, all wrapped in one paralytic drunk. After a long while, when his snake bite induced super humanism started to subside, his blackout genius dissipated, and in need of respite, Chris physically capitulated like a floppy quadriplegic monkey. He became as hard to manage with his lanky limbs, the only thing left active was his sharp scowse mouth, mocking and emasculating his counterparts for their dismal performance vs him, the underdog.
As his head was eventually pushed into the police van and door finally closed, there was smiles and a sort of mutual respect and gratitude toward him, as it was by far the most entertaining events of the evening, for us all. Thank you Chris.
Chris by day… you couldn’t guess.
But by day after school on weekdays, you would not find Chris where you would expect a 16 year, disheveled Reebok Classic wearing boy from Swiss Cottage to be. He was in the least likely of places.
He was in the library. Not just IN the library, he was in the library, deeply focussed, researching history and lineage, looking for ancient books and studying ancient migration patterns of Mongols and Chinese Muslims. (This was pre Google Books.) This was as far as I understood it at the time, but it was interesting enough that at some point the university of SOAS was interested in reading through his many writings, with his elementary handwriting style, and was interested in providing him with some kind of honorary degree and research position. This guy was a genius. (The only thing I was really interested in at this age was football and girls.) I’m not sure what happened with SOAS but one would struggle to institutionalise such a person like Chris.
Chris in his later teens, had a vision. From what I remember he wanted to travel to China speak to the Chinese Muslims and share them a message that he said would start a revolution. – I kid you not – He began by walking to Scotland, from London, and back again, like a sort of pilgrimage practice. He was a London based Forrest Gump. After his journeying to and fro’ Scotland, (his Reebok Classics were demolished), soon after his pilgrimage from North Africa to China, setting off in London, hitchhiking his way there. I believe he stayed in Morocco where he was taken in by a family, changed his name to something more Arab fitting, I can’t remember it fully but it had “Abdi…” in it, (named after his Somalian school friend), and he wore the local attire (and probably over stayed his welcome). I don’t believe he made it to China, he got as far as Turkey, where he may have been sent back to England. But I remember when he came back he had a lot of stories to tell. He had long hair and beard, and looked pretty healthy, free from late night benders. Imagine the steps he would have racked up.
Anyway that was Chris. Haven’t seen him in years.
Back to Kabocha….
There was a point to what I was writing, then I got lost in some reminiscence of Chris. But there is genius in people, untapped, and that genius gets sidetracked by the conventions and distractions of this reality.
If Kabocha was around back in the Nokia 3210 days, I wonder what Chris could have become.
Kabocha aims to create new kinds of work for people, which perhaps wasn’t available before. This new kind of work requires a community of people that have values and interests that support such work.
Currently we are thinking about the community treasury in a “centralised” and general sort of way. When you picture it, it is one piece in a pie. For a treasury funding proposal to get voted in, the general community would have to vote it in. Which makes sense because it’s a treasury that belongs to the entire community.
Whereas in communities such as Substack, Twitch, and Youtube and many others, people don’t require a general vote from the entire userbase of Youtube (bad example) to get funded, only the people that follow them pay a membership fee. This brings to light that the General Treasury of Kabocha should fund things that are of general benefit, like core development and public goods. But there still is space to enable sub-communities, or followers, fans and patrons of people and teams to fund such people that interest them. That is what inevitably will be part of the system, surely. Maybe I will come up with it or someone else. But all I know is in a Web 3.0 system it’s going to show up in a far more magnetic and dynamic way.
What is coming to light is “monthly subscribers”. Because in the decentralised crypto world we think in a very deep-space-alien sort of way, we tend to conjure ideas that are completely different, because decentralised systems require concepts that are brand new and totally not inspired by old world systems. But there are of course. many old world system things that we can use, which already work well, but could work even better in the “Web 3.0” realm. Like monthly membership.
These are just some thoughts I’m having about Kabocha, past memories, and the future of humanity. I hope it was useful and/or entertaining in some way.
Founder, steward, engineer and conceptualiser.