Missed Doge and Shib? You need to regain the meme economy

Meme economy is also the history of personal experience of capitalism in the 21st century: it is to identify the right scarce digital meme at the right time.

I wrote this long article at full speed, because in the past week, it was completely boiling in my mind, and all kinds of absurd ideas emerged endlessly. If you want a coherent explanation of the GameStop, Reddit, Robinhood, and stock manipulation series of events, please read this article by Taylor Lorenz published in The New York Times. At the same time, I will analyze this subject in a slightly different way: anecdotal, abstract, and investing with resentment for the 21st century economy that we have unfortunately experienced.

Meme economy

During my first year in high school, I was obsessed with an online role-playing game called Ragnarok Online (this kind of game is called MMORPG by nerds). Like all other games of this type, it has a variety of roles for you to choose from and play with millions of other players: knights, wizards, thieves, archers, priests. There are also merchants.

Each MMORPG is also a digital market for trading various commodities: players earn in-game currency and use it for in-game purchases, mainly weapons, potions or special armors. You fight with monsters, you will drop loot, and then sell it to the automatic (NPC) shop in the game in exchange for currency, you can use these currency to buy new equipment. Never ending.

The whole game is almost based on this principle: the slow growth of digital currencies and increasingly expensive items.

But the role of the merchant in the game is not just fighting monsters, but arbitrage when exchanging items. If you are a merchant, you can sell loot to the NPC shop at a higher price and buy items at a cheaper price. The most important thing is that you can open a shop through the bubble dialog box that pops up on your avatar. Sell ​​directly to players, the price is up to you.

Missed Doge and Shib?  You need to re-eat the meme economyScreenshot of the game. Reminds me of the cold air in the basement of my childhood…

Suppose you are in a town in the game, and you can buy a dagger from the game store at a 20% discount on the regular price. The money-making strategy is to set up your own store outside the real store and sell the dagger at a price lower than the normal price, for example, 5% off, and then you can pocket the difference. Of course, this has to rely on volume to make money: you have to sell dozens of daggers at a time to make a lot of money, so you need enough funds to buy from the store to create a meager profit, and then you can reinvest the money to more Many items.

That’s how I did it at the time! For me, this is more fun than killing giant monsters or other things in the game. Usually, you will see hordes of merchants in front of the store. They may offer different goods or lower the prices of each other until one player gets up and leaves-then the remaining merchants can raise the price and increase again Profit margin.

This cyclical cycle should be the first lesson I learned about post-industrial capitalism involution. I have to face this capitalism involution for the rest of my life: we not only compete on supply and demand, even in a virtual economy. In this way, the objects in the virtual economy are completely man-made, but the pixels and the calculated drop probability can be adjusted by the game company at will. Economy is arbitrary, and any set of pixels is better than another set of pixels.

For example: There will be monsters wearing Santa hats during the holidays. You kill the monsters, get Santa hats, and put them on your avatar, but after the week of Christmas, they are cancelled, your dream object Disappeared, until a full year later, you can repeat the process.

There are also many frauds: I sometimes use external robot programs to manipulate my characters and hang up while I sleep to upgrade. I don’t want to cheat too much, because our players do it just for fun. In the 2000s, there was no actual connection between the U.S. dollar and the virtual goods in the game; you get rewards, just a kind of glory, let you have items worth showing off in the game, it is you in the “Ragnarok” game Glory or influence in a career.

Unfortunately, I did not take the nutrition of this random digital capitalism course well, otherwise I might be rich now.

I took an economics class for the first time when I was in college, calculating supply curves, tariffs, import and export balances, and currency exchange rates. This seemed important to my international relations major at the time. When I graduated, I tried to find a job that would pay me an annual salary, and understood that this is a way of making a living for one person, and received a pay check from an entity called a company every two weeks. Of course, in the real world that had just experienced the financial crisis in 2010, I first got an internship opportunity, a meager allowance, and then I got an informal salary. Up to now, I have worked for myself for ten years. Never got such a thing as salary.

Now I realize that “Twilight of the Gods” has taught me everything about money and profit in our time, and this lesson is more important than almost anything in my life. The lesson is: Santa’s hat is everything. Digital scarcity is usually more important than material scarcity. It is almost always better to have capital in your hands than to work hard: to become a businessman, not a worker.

Missed Doge and Shib?  You need to re-eat the meme economy

As an adult working in the economic field, my professional experience is composed of a series of shocks, or it can be said that it is a negative epiphany. My parents live on the salaries of engineers and teachers; it’s not that they don’t own stocks or participate in the stock market, but I think: I don’t understand the concept of equity in capital or means of production until-like many things , I fully felt its huge impact in my own life.

Because I wrote articles on art themes at the beginning of my career, the first thing I noticed may be that the prices of young artists’ works have skyrocketed. It means that they once sold for 1,000 US dollars, and even the works that were given away for free, suddenly were worth 100,000 US dollars.

(I once interviewed for an internship opportunity at a gallery. A Rothko painting leaned casually on the chair next to the chair I was sitting on). On another occasion, I visited the country house of a friend of an art dealer who handled art affairs for a wealthy family; they took a small statue of ancient Rome from the wall and threw it around. The close relationship between the art world and money does not mean that you will be able to make money in it; in the art circle, some people can earn extremely rich net worth and can afford luxury accessories that have no function at auction. Of people desperately need money to continue their artistic career.

The next shock is the re-emergence of Silicon Valley in the 2010s, becoming an engine of great wealth for my age (or younger). An early employee of a technology company, he may just be a developer with a normal social life, accumulated a small share of the company, and became rich as the company’s market value soared to billions of dollars. Because these companies have replaced some of the previous filters in large-scale capital flows-for example, Google has a monopoly on advertising. These technology companies are listed or acquired, and the small portion of the shares held by the above-mentioned employees is worth millions of dollars: employees immediately become rich, not because of their salary or the importance of their work, but because they participated in the devouring The world’s software blast. In 2013, as Tumblr was sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion (a deal that was too funny), a Tumblr employee who was hired early enough, even an editorial employee, earned dozens of shares from the company’s stock. Ten thousand U.S. dollars. It is a small amount of money for technology companies, but I have never seen so much money once in my life, and so are my parents and grandparents.

The impact of cryptocurrency and GameStop

Cryptocurrency can be called the third shock to me. Currencies like ETH and Bitcoin  BTC are a mysterious equation that takes up huge server resources to maintain an unbreakable level of digital scarcity: like the Santa Claus hats in “Twilight of the Gods”, they are actually The above is gold and cannot be cancelled after the holidays, but there are only 1,000 of them, and you can trade the fragments of the hat.

As a reporter, I have witnessed these sudden changes in capital and become worth a few dollars. very interesting! A strange experiment with digital currencies, and then their prices increase exponentially. Cryptocurrencies that sold only a few dollars in the early 2010s are now worth tens of thousands of dollars, and then hundreds of thousands of dollars. People who used to buy LSD on the dark web became millionaires.

I think this is the same as people’s feelings when Gutenberg started printing the Bible in the 15th century: from scratch, we used to think that sacred things seem to be produced infinitely, and the world has never been the same. It breaks some unspoken rules of the social framework.

I will not regret not buying BTC or other cryptocurrencies as soon as possible because I cannot understand what this money means to me. There are no major problems in my life, nor is there a lack of important opportunities that money can solve. I cannot afford to buy my own real estate in major cities in the United States, but by the standards of our time, my life is perfectly fine. However, as these magic numbers flood into certain accounts, I know that some people have become secret stewards of mysterious venture funds. If they choose not to work, they will not need to work for the rest of their lives. I think this is the real change that money can bring to me: a sense of security for the future, where threats outweigh opportunities. If you buy BTC, then you can afford the rights to water in 2050, or you can get the new crown pneumonia vaccine without waiting in line.

The same thing happened again last week: a small group of stock traders on Reddit, after careful research and action based on bets from at least a few major hedge funds, pushed the outdated video game retailer GameStop (and “The Twilight” also prevailed in the early years of the 21st century) The stock price surged a few weeks ago, and its stock price soared to 10 times and 20 times its previous price a few weeks ago. Hedge funds that short the stock have to buy when it rises. This is an era where young people rise up to fight against corporate overlords, but there are still some little guys who have made a fortune in it.

If I knew these clues in some way, would I invest $10,000 long in GameStop stock? Can I leave the market in due course? A profit of $200,000 is equivalent to more than four years of my income.

The point where money still has a huge impact on me is that money is very little and a lot. When Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky’s company made an initial public offering (IPO), his personal net worth soared to billions of dollars. As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos) has benefited a lot from the paralysis of civilization caused by the quarantine. The money these people make may never be spent-you can call it a rich and enemy country, just like the pharaohs, even if they make high consumption such as space travel, they still can’t slow down their wealth growth. In the face of such a huge inequality, salary, family health insurance policies, or accrued accounts for a cup of coffee, everything becomes insignificant.

I’m not trying to discredit anyone’s work; I know that to notice the right opportunity, seize it and become a survivor until it can finally be fulfilled requires as much skill and awareness as luck. You must also pay taxes, unless you also come up with a tax avoidance route, and there are many such routes in the United States. It’s not that I think what I’ve done in the past ten years is worthless, sitting in front of my laptop, noticing certain things, and writing them out, collecting data points of my personal worldview, and trying to share it with others—— This kind of work necessarily requires a certain degree of narcissism. I could have chosen to become a private equity banker or move to San Francisco to start a big lottery; I could have invested according to my hunch instead of publishing them for public consumption.

But now I describe these phenomena, just to sort out my own thoughts around them, to show everyone that the world and normal life have been far away from the small-scale expectations of my growing up, and far away from the vague promise made by society: merit-based education. , The value of pursuing happiness, the value of hard work, and so on. Since we were forced to live like medieval peasants under the rule of a mentally ill king, I tried to digest the lessons that capital gave me so that I could better judge the future momentum. For what purpose, I’m not sure-know when it might make my head bigger so I can avoid it? Or trying to seize your chance? Sometimes I think that I have no other choice. This feeling of dilemma is like if you hold a very small amount of Amazon and Palantir stocks, you can make a small profit while being exploited by a giant crocodile, or you are simply being engaged.

When we look at what is happening in the digital capitalist economy, we believe that wealth is a measure of success in some way; the recipients of wealth are completely deserved; or so many people are engaged in trivial work and cannot get Sufficient support is inevitable; how long can this illusion last? When I was growing up, I always believed that labor is worthwhile and it has stable value. This may be true, but the fact is that the non-labor value of capital is much higher. The latter is like a tide, while the former is just a few small splashes on the beach. However, I also think that if meaning has any value, its meaning is even smaller.

Lucky Roulette

French economist Thomas Piketty published a book called “21st Century Capital” in 2014, which summarized our problem with a theory: R> G. The rate of return on capital (profits or dividends of the company; rents for real estate, etc.; interest) has been greater than the economic growth rate, overall social output or labor compensation. This is easy to explain: a GameStop retail clerk bought $GME stock with his salary a month ago. As a result, he/she earns from the stock many times more than his/her monthly salary, even though they That’s why the company can exist.

Of course, this is a lucky roulette, you need a lot of upfront funds to buy enough stocks to profit from the stock rise. But it is indeed a simple R> G: the labor of operating the store, and even the basic value of the physical infrastructure of the store operation, is just a drop in the bucket in the face of the random trend of stocks. The trend itself is artificial. The principle of GameStop’s stock rise is not because everyone believes that GameStop will be worth more money because of the substantial improvement in its operations; this stock price surge is essentially a participatory joke. When the inevitable stock sell-off subsequently occurs, GameStop’s The stock price has been beaten back to the original stock price of 2020. The inventor of this joke has become rich from this farce, and all the funds invested by subsequent followers have been squandered.

This is a Meme economy, which is ultimately settled by solid U.S. dollars, not just vague social media influence.

Missed Doge and Shib?  You need to re-eat the meme economy

GameStop clearly demonstrates the Santa Hat theory of “Twilight of the Gods” of digital capitalism. Making money does not come from the salary of the job, or even the slow index fund return, but to identify the correct scarce number meme at the right time and know when to catch it before the Santa hat disappears. Guessing the return multiple of the correct meme is not inferior to the best venture capital or becoming an early employee of Apple. You need capital to play this game, but the capital required is much lower than to become a qualified investor in the United States, which requires an annual income of more than $200,000 or a net worth of $1 million. In addition, all the meme economy needs is time, snooping, and cultivating accurate judgments through long online time-when I was a child, Internet addiction was an embarrassment, and it may still be a kind of Mental dysfunction.

For me, Bitcoin, GameStop or working for Facebook is like every Christmas hat I collect suddenly sells for a high price of $100,000. It seems that you got rich just because you know which episode of Great British Bakeoff is truly the best. Please forgive me, but what is this? (This is already the case in the art world, but you must know the right person in the real world and pass the correct test to enter this money-making game.)

The earning power of capital far exceeds that of labor. In the Internet era, capital gains have soared, and its replication rate has continued to peak again and again. It is more related to entertainment, meme and fans, rather than income, productivity or utility.

If my high school teachers knew this reality, they would send me home and let me play video games in the basement. I used to think that stability is formed by career advancement, slow returns from work, respect from peers, and the establishment of authority in a certain field, even if not through paid full-time work. However, my concept of career development has been replaced by a series of increasingly mysterious gambling in our lives and digital platforms. Any successful bet, the benefits may exceed the income of many years of work.

We hope to join the right start-ups, buy the right cryptocurrency, and become an early adopter of the new platform before the influx of audiences, and become our own meme. This is how the meme economy works: you spread, you get attention, you get sponsorships, you sell members, and you can publish books.

Missed Doge and Shib?  You need to re-eat the meme economy

Being satisfied with the job sometimes seems to be succumbing to the invisibility that capital wants (because it is more efficient if not noticed), like forgetting the existence of the game behind the scenes. Or believe that all this has a more solid foundation or logic than the appearance and disappearance of the Santa hat-shaped pixels. And that Christmas hat is scrambled by millions of players in the virtual world.

Usually, at the end of an article, some suggestions for solutions will be put forward, or the future of a problem or an industry will be put forward. The purpose is to leave some hope for readers and give a clear description of this originally indescribable world.

But my article is not a traditional publication. I think that we are in a chaotic world, and we are still trying to summarize the rules of this era of accelerated development. In 2014, the US government told us that companies are also people. In order to survive or benefit from the evolving structure of digital capitalism, one must do the opposite and become a company, market, platform, or meme. Because only these things can flourish.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/missed-doge-and-shib-you-need-to-regain-the-meme-economy/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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