Going Full ANML Style
Interview with Matthew Lawler on becoming a censorship-proof artist
Being an artist is a notoriously precarious occupation, and the “starving artist” is a cultural archetype. We are living in an era of “cancel culture”, and there are an increasing number of “starved artists” with hungry families to feed. To discuss making a living in the blockchain era, I spent an hour discussing the problem and solutions space with Matthew Lawler, who did the cover art for my banned book Open Your Mind to Change.
I plan to write more on this topic in the near future — and have an article in progress — but for me the big takeaway from this conversation is that we need both a new supply chain for digital content (with different foundational values to today), plus a radical new approach to governance of content creation, curation, and distribution. We have to learn to govern ourselves, as being governed led to the catastrophes of brainwashing by Disney, paedophiles in Hollywood, and authoritarian Big Tech.
Matthew has been working on a new crypto token — ANML — which is a form of decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO). Maybe it can be seen as a cross between airline frequent flyer miles and a kibbutz! You get rewarded for buying content in the new blockchain economy, but the “buyer miles” turn into voting rights in a software governance object. This can then be attached to many benevolent projects or commercial enterprises.
In my fantasy all of those management decisions — like which books to flag up as controversial (“Assassination for beginners”) or even unacceptable (“Home biowarfare with Crispr”) — would be taken out of the hands of unaccountable corporations and put back into the hands of creators, supporters, and buyers of creative cultural content. For instance, a few people have generously helped me in the past few years, and I wish I could have thanked them (even in my penury) with tokens that could have future governance value in some way.
Meanwhile, we have the next one-off NFT bundled with rare banned Open Your Mind to Change books for sale. This is the remaining personal stock of the first imprint than Amazon cancelled last April. The price doubles each time, this is the fifth (of eleven left) at 5600 ALGO (around $4300 today), and if you buy this you are betting you have a cultural icon that has the potential to appreciate in value (or at least outperform fiat cash or Big Tech stock). Not investment advice… just a good idea.
If you have any questions or need help, reach out via email@example.com. You purchase the (edition of one) collectible NFT and the buyer then gets sent the (signed) book in the post. I never have sold signed art or books in the normal course of things, so it’s also the only way to get signed stuff off me (without being a beloved fren).
All the proceeds of this one go to Matthew, who has been working very hard; you can think of it as philanthropy to support his efforts to pioneer new censorship-proof blockchain models (and keep his family fed as he does it). The next one is double the price again… and they keep selling… just saying! (It’s a naughty but fun way to screw over the censors who wage economic warfare on us creators.)