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DAOs After Lifestyle
A conversation between Steph Alinsug and Toby Shorin on the latest episode of Building At The Edges.
DAOs After Lifestyle
Are DAOs the logical evolution of a post-lifestyle culture? Toby Shorin is the co-founder of Other Internet, and author of the recent essay “Life After Lifestyle”. In this conversation, Steph Alinsug (Media Steward) sits in for Jess while he’s AFK.
A few times a year, niche corners of the internet take a collective breath when Other Internet publishes an essay. Their essays are known for their theoretical depth, often elevating them to the status of industry-defining canon. Pieces such as Headless Brands and Squad Wealth are heavily referenced by web3 builders despite Other Internet’s organizational crypto agnosticism. If not crypto-native, then what, exactly, is Other Internet?
Other Internet is an applied research institution, yet DAO builders will surely find resonance with Other Internet’s founding purpose: to build squads around the proliferation of ideas and peer review as a collective practice. The Other Internet team collates research from previous revolutionary cultural moments (referenced in this conversation is the French Revolution) to contextualize our contemporary conditions. They then apply this research to protocol consulting work in pursuit of functional collective governance at scale.
Toby is unabashed in his skepticism of the current DAO rhetoric. In his most recent essay, “Life After Lifestyle”, he challenges the compulsion of lifestyle brands to tack on community as a revenue-generating afterthought. He argues that most people actually have little experience with truly meaningful community, DAO members included. We have few persistent examples of these kinds of spaces, with religious communities being most applicable. Present there are strong design principles for community and belonging. Paradoxically, their ineffability is what gives them their meaning.
Yet world and community building remain an evergreen liberal impulse. The attempt to build spaces of positive moral influence and social change is what connects web3 builders to French revolutionaries and religious communities. Crypto’s nascency is a dual opportunity — the infinite design possibilities — and a challenge — the lack of doctrine. In a space with limited doctrines, it’s critical that we attune to our influence. Community members are watching community leaders, absorbing things we implicitly teach through our leadership. Our daily practices inform the subcultures we’re building on the internet.
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