simondlr #14 - Markets *as* Medium (and new blog!)


I finally managed to finish the final instalment in my “New Markets In The Arts” series, titled: “Markets *as* Medium”. In it, I explore the possibility of using markets as an artistic medium. This concludes the series (for now).

You can find all 3 parts here:

#1: Property Rights.

#2: Generative Art Economics. arts-generative-art-economies

#3: Markets As Medium.

I hope you enjoy. You will also find that I’ve moved to a new blogging platform. I used Squarespace for my short story (‘Earth Has Been Margin Called’) and found it a delight to use. It’s also just aesthetically nicer. The biggest issue I had running my own static blog site (Gatsby + Netlify) is that whenever I updated or edited the site, it had to rebuild ALL of it. This meant, annoyingly, that the more I wrote, the longer it took to publish changes. It became extremely demoralizing, especially when the text editor itself was a bit clunky.

I’m glad to have a blogging platform available again that 1) looks good, 2) allows customisability and 3) has a decent editor. It makes me excited to write more.

I didn’t port over my articles that was on Medium, so if you want read my old writing and it is 404’ing, check out this article with links to Medium:

‘Hope Runners of Gridlock’ Book Update

Speaking of writing. Yesterday, I finished the draft of my second rewrite of “Hope Runners of Gridlock”. It has been an interesting experience. I ended up roughly rewriting 70% of the book (with the other 30% being straight copies from the previous manuscript). It went a lot faster than the first draft, but for obvious reasons: I know what needs to be told, and what is happening. When that’s the case, I can easily churn out 2,000-4,000 words a day. As opposed to ~500 a day when the story had to keep being invented.

I’m quite happy where it is. I will (very) soon be giving it out to beta readers, where the purpose will be to find out if I left in any gaping plotholes. However, I decided to split the book into a serial of 13 episodes, which does change a bit how the writing is presented. Some very early feedback from friends and family made me realise that I need to do more work in fleshing out the scenes to reduce ambiguity. It’s a valuable skill I’m learning: I can see the scene, but the reader can’t. If I pad it too much, the editing process will hopefully cut back enough to make it more readable. So, a few weeks of writing before it’s ready to be read.

Here’s the current progress:

Draft 0 (First writing) - June 2019 - December 2019.

Draft 1 (Rewrite) - December 2019 - February 2020.

Draft 1.5 (Make it episodic) - Planning to finish in February/March.


Draft 2 (Plot Editor!)

Draft 3 (Copy Editor!)

[*unknown area of how many edits will continue from here*]

Draft N -> Done.

Currently, after the last draft, I plan to release the whole book online in a serial format on my blog (releasing an episode a week). After that, the book will become available to purchase as a self-published e-book for whatever e-reader you prefer.

Distribution and publishing might still change as time goes on. Still unsure. But my gut feeling tells me: It’s my first book. Publish it for free as online serial and sell it afterwards as an e-book (for those that prefer that format).

I’m excited. :)

Interesting Link Drop!

Sparse Merkle Trees: An Introduction

For a while, I wanted to write a simple introduction to sparse merkle trees, one of my favourite data-structures. I’m happy that someone did. What I find so cool about is that you can prove non-inclusion of information in a very simple manner.

100 True Fans

I found this article quite interesting, because for a long while, working on Ujo Music (and the music industry, in general), I wondered why they haven’t adopted the ‘gaming revenue’ model as much. The gist is: a small percentage of your fanbase account for most of your revenue. In Western streaming services, there’s no way to disambiguate normal fans from super fans. I wish there were more ways to support my favourite musician. This blog describes some ways in which creators can leverage their crowd to earn a living.

Fairmint & Continuous Security Offerings

I’m a big of Fairmint and their work on Continuous Security Offerings. They use bonding curves to allow investors to share directly in the revenue of the organisation. What’s great about it is that they started from crypto-jargon (such as ‘bonding curves’) and moved to make it easy to understand for others. Innovation is just not technical, it’s also how you describe it. Excited to see where this leads.

There Will Never Ever Be Another Melee Player Like Hungrybox

One of my favourite hobbies is the game Super Smash Bros: a fun fighting game. When I travel, I try to find local tournaments as a way to engage in local culture, and also to play with fellow enthusiasts. I frequently get my ass kicked by 15-year olds. The game series itself has a long history with interesting stories about various players. This one was very well edited with stories about Hungrybox, one of its players. It also shares some of the more interesting history of melee, including the history of the “Five Gods”. Fun watch, even if you aren’t into the game or esports.

That’s all for this newsletter! I plan to be writing more, so see you soon.

Enjoy the sunset.