If Real Name Is HTTP, Pseudonym Is HTTPS

This is the most interesting page on the internet right now: https://github.com/AUTOMATIC1111/stable-diffusion-webui

It’s a group of people building a Stable Diffusion web front-end—a valuable peice of software—led by AUTOMATIC1111, a giga-chad anon. But the most interesting thing—the thing that blows my mind—is the contributors: most are anons, and some of them are brand-new GitHub accounts.

This is a glimpse of the future: a group of internet anons working together to create something valuable—nobody knows who they are, they might not know who each other are beyond their pseudonym. (By the way, the term “anon” here is interchangeable with “pseudonym.” Anon is easier to pronounce—try pronouncing “pseudnon.”)

If real name is HTTP, pseudonym is HTTPS. HTTPS encrypts internet traffic, pseudonym hides real name. The same way HTTP was deprecated in favor of HTTPS, real name will be deprecated in favor of pseudonyms as people realize the benefits of not putting their nameface out there. (Caveat to this analogy: HTTP has no benefit over HTTPS, but using real name has one benefit pseudonyms don’t have: ego boost.)

Crypto allows anons to earn pseudonymously.

Reputation transparency is a key to make the pseudonymous economy work. Before you do business with an anon, you can check their track record (follow count, “karma”, code contributions), see how they interact with others, see their communication skills on Substack or YouTube. And from there, you can decide to trust the anon or not.

Highly-valuable internet creators bring their minimum self to work. They don’t just blurt out about their awesome vacation last summer or their heartache after a breakup. Those life stories happen, for sure, but they just don’t dramatize or publicize it—when they do share it, they’re brief.

The market doesn’t care about you, the market cares about how you can benefit them. It’s human nature. The more you understand this without being outraged, the more effective you can be at value creation. And the fact that there are anons getting paid (handsomely) means people don’t mind not knowing the “who” behind the value, so long as they get what they want.

P.S. The “pseudonymous economy” idea is from @balajis (watch the video: https://youtu.be/urtXRg9Nl3k).