The Brightest Minds Have The Hottest Takes

Ahead of the second annual FWB FEST, we asked a few of the internet's cultural pioneers if hot takes might be making us dumb.


In the digital age, where the average internet user spends roughly six and a half hours a day immersed in the virtual realm, we find ourselves dwelling in distinct cyber communities. These spaces serve as our workplaces, playgrounds, and, often, our primary sources of interaction. Whether we engage in rigorous debates, share in collective wonder, or even chuckle at the idea that time online is limited to single digits, our presence on the web is both an individual exploration and a communal experience.

This August, ultimate-internet-community FWB (Friends with Benefits) is bringing the online IRL for the second annual FWB FEST. FWB, since its inception in 2020, has positioned itself as a decentralized social network embodying a vision of a better, more inclusive internet. As a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), FWB has produced a multitude of events, collaborations, and products that not only cater to our community but strive to propel culture forward.

In the lead-up to the festival, we've asked a few speakers, founders, and participants to share their out-of-the-box perspectives on everything from technology to society. Here are some of their hottest hot-takes.


Editors note: speakers include your very own Gutes and Megan! Purchase tickets here

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What’s your hottest hot take?

In order of coldest to hottest:

Cold brew is disgusting.

TikTok is killing music.

It’s easier to eat salad with chopsticks.

Too many social platforms are A Bad Time™ and there won’t be any “winners” on Threads.

Is the internet too used to hot takes? Could too many hot takes make us dumb?

I think hot takes are a function of the self-serve publishing model of social media, and they’re also FOX News for folks who aren’t boomers. They’re used to create false idols. The person firing off the hot take isn’t correct; the reader just finds them agreeable. I wish more people optimized for being durable and sturdy, rather than the quick hit of being first/contrarian to whatever’s being served by FYP or the Trending Topics algo. It sucks, and it screws with how we trust people. Hot takes make conversation feel like cheat codes, makes knowledge feel like “QUICK HACKS”, and allows folks with some control of language to develop trust (that may not necessarily be well-earned!).

Outrageous comments have been part and parcel of human communication since prehistoric times (PDF link from Dunbar, he of “Dunbar’s Number” fame), but I think there’s a huge difference between gossip and hot takes.

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What’s your hottest hot take?

Every time an internet bro posts a hot take, an edgelord loses his edge (this is obvious, since edgelords mostly post hot takes, and hot takes are not edgy at all)

Is the internet too used to hot takes? Could too many hot takes make us dumb?

Hot takes are rarely hot. At best, they are lukewarm. Most times, and especially in the crypto world where I'm immersed in, the internet men try to seem contrarian or edgy and post their inner most dumbest thoughts labelling them as hot takes, to hedge against being labeled as simply not so smart or innovative. In that context, of course too many hot takes make us dumb. People should focus more on memes - two brilliant examples right now is the discussion about "onchain" vs. "on-chain" that I definitely expect to end up with a cage match or something at FWB fest, and of course, the Barbie - Oppenheimer memes that have been giving us life for the past half a year.

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What’s your hottest hot take?

Erewhon is just a grocery store. Please don't kill me. I love it, don't get me wrong, but everyone just needs Chill Out. It's just a grocery store.

Is the internet too used to hot takes? Could too many hot takes make us dumb?

This is absolutely true! I follow enough NBA Media people on Twitter to know how overused the Hot Take is, and how boring it's become. "Paul George is the greatest player of his generation"-type shit. Give me a break (no shade to PG). Might I suggest a Fresh Blast of Cold Takes. I want to see headlines like "Emails are neat" or "Live music is too loud" or "Nice food tastes good". Why not bring down the temperature a bit here! The world is literally hot enough, why do our takes need to be so hot too!?

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The internet was made for hot takes, and they would exist with or without it. It does, however, unlock a valuable distribution layer that adds meaning and context to these takes. Anyway, my hot take is that while the internet made us more anxious, divided, and uncertain, I think a rebalancing of the internet is what is going to save us from existential doom. I'm hopeful we can touch grass, make community, and live better by coordinating through the internet.

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What’s your hottest hot take?

It's kinda been taken over by Agnes Callard, but I find travel culture to be tiresome and uninspired. Everyone goes to the same places, does the same things. It tends to be highly superficial and rarely is a true life-changing experience gained. A lot more people should stay home in my opinion.

Is the internet too used to hot takes? Could too many hot takes make us dumb?

We've definitely become habituated to hot takes. I see people scroll through posts that would make a Boomer go ballistic. I think the younger internet-native generation realizes that most "hot takes" are not made in earnest and are mostly follower growth strategies. On the contrary, the avalanche of hot takes makes us more resistant to brain-worms.

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