Science and Technology

Popularization of the Outsider

By Rachel Haywire

Outsiders are a demographic, and a very specific one at that. Foot soldiers of history used as crash test dummies for the future, their moves are mapped into larger templates that serve as blueprints for product development. The boom of Web3, now being referred to as the decentralized web, is the latest example of outsider culture bleeding into the mainstream.

Tracing the evolution of the web in its infantile state to this recent explosion, it is undeniable that there are specific patterns that have appeared in each iteration of the web, regardless of which generation holds tickets to the peep show. From text-based strategy games to low-fi social networks to alternative message board culture, the online universe has a history of gathering outsiders into communities that evolve into the fabric of mainstream technology.

Is calling the latest decentralized madness “Web3” sufficient in making sense of this new chaos and its millions of intersecting nodes? How did we get from Usenet to Discord to Bored Ape Yacht Club? Who are the users and what are our experiences? Let’s investigate.

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