#OptOut: A Series of Writing Contests for Web3 Hacktivists by Āut Labs

9 Jan 2024

This one’s for the Web3 hacktivists who are seeking ‘true’ decentralization! Y’all are free to express, rant away, and write your hearts out on your anger against the monopoly and manipulation of centralization over our space - the Web3 space that should be truly decentralized.

Āut Labs and HackerNoon are glad to announce the Opt Out Writing Contest! The Opt Out writing competition series grants $9000 in USDT to the best web3 writers, and it expands over three (3) main themes for nine (9) months - making it one of the longest writing contests in the history of Web3.

What do we mean by Opt Out? it’s a call to all web3 "hacktivists" and thinkers who dare to question and challenge the status quo, the societal construct where we live in. Using decentralized technology and collective autonomy to shake its very foundations - made of bureaucracy, institutions, and authoritarian legacy.

It combines the core principles of decentralized technologies, inviting hackers and writers to push them forward - exploring these concepts from a creative and/or technical standpoint alike.

We start by opting out of a system that doesn’t represent us, and after 9 months, we arrive to define a whole new #system shaped through collective autonomy.

Opt Out is designed for writers to share their views and knowledge in a genuine, spontaneous way, in a variety of styles - spacing from creative writing to technical-scientific essays, to brand new mechanisms and system design. Offering solutions, perspectives and stories for moving towards collective action and societal change.

We’d mostly like to see:

  • Creative Writing: Including dystopian short stories and other speculative narratives.
  • Essays: Welcoming both academic and political essays that offer insight or critique.
  • Technical Analyses: Covering topics like DAO, SSID, DID, IAM, VC, new or existing Web3 primitives, models and proposals for systems like enforceable systemic autonomy.

About Āut Labs

Āut is a collective building decentralized standards for self-sovereign Identity (SSID, IAM), Reputation and Communities (DAOs, Hacktivists, Network States, etc.).

A laboratory of experimentation, pushing the boundaries imposed by the status quo.

Our protocols are designed to implement autonomy and personal freedom at a systemic level - in an effort to accelerate the transition from hierarchical power structures, to self-organizing forms of coordination.

Opt out of the system that doesn’t represent you!

Theme # 1: Opt out of a System that doesn’t represent you

The Contest Starts Now!

Decentralized technologies are designed to implement “unstoppable, self-enforcing rules (and logic)” at a systemic level - pretty much the very definition of Autonomy.

And yet, a quick buck or a brief moment on the spotlight, constantly draws us back - with enthusiastic disclaimers about “crypto main adoption.”

💡 Reminder: we won't take back our rights by "dialoguing with institutions."

Opt out goes in opposite direction, and it’s a way to genuinely reclaim the ethos behind decentralized technologies, communities, and economies.

Decentralization gives us the chance to rebuild a more human society from the ground up - from financial systems to governance and the very concept of “state.”

We have the responsibility to use that chance, and do something with it.

So don’t settle. Don't negotiate. Don't compromise.

Opt out of a system that doesn't represent you.

By “opting out”, we commit to more than a mere gesture – we are opting out of a system that doesn’t represent us, and in turn we're accessing a web of trust, where connections and actions are verifiable and intentional.

There are three main topics of this theme with $3k (in USDT) rewards for the top 6 writers:

  1. #autonomy: You have the freedom to write on autonomy in art, tech, decentralized systems, collectives, and DAOs.
  2. #identity: You can write on the history of identity, identity in the digital space, the evolution of identity, the impact of web3 and decentralization on identity, and more!
  3. #selfsovereignity: ‘To Sybil or not to Sybil’, ‘self-sovereignity in action’, ‘balancing self-sovereignty and collective responsibility’, - there are many ideas you can write on.

Our friends at Āut Labs have prepared this detailed writing prompt for web3 hacktivists with more context on these topics and more ideas for your creative juices flowing!

Prizes for the Contest #1: Opt out of a System that doesn’t represent you

A total of $3,000 (in USDT) is up for grabs, with $1,000 for each Tag: #autonomy, #identity, and #selfsoverignity

Prizes Breakdown for Each Tag

  • 1st: $750 in USDT
  • 2nd: $250 in USDT

The Opt Out Writing Contest by Āut Labs: Guidelines and FAQs

Who Can Enter the Contest?​

Anyone over the age of 18. There are no location restrictions.

Can I Write Under a Pen Name?

Yes! You can use your real name on your HackerNoon profile, a fake name, or even create a persona to write under.

How Can I Enter the Contest?

1. Signup or login with your Web3 wallet. Details here.

  1. Log into HackerNoon with your Web3 wallet to submit your entry.
  2. Use this template to enter the contest.
  3. Write your piece and ensure it aligns with the chosen topic.
  4. Each entry must include the topic-specific tag (e.g., #autonomy, #identity, etc.) along with the general competition tags (#optout).
  5. Post your story on Twitter using the #āut and #OptOut hashtags and tagging @opt_au and @hackernoon.

Can I use AI to write a story?

​Sure, you can! We will notice it, though, and you will be disqualified 😇 Humans can write beautifully - and we can’t wait to read beautiful human submissions.

How Long Will the Contests Run?​

The contest consists of 3 themes and will run for nine months. We will announce the shortlisted top ten stories every month. The final results and winner for each round will be announced at the end of each thematic contest. This is the announcement of the first writing contest in the series.

Active Contest

Contest #1: Jan 9th - April 9th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: April 2024

Contest #2: April 10th - July 10th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: July 2024

Contest #3: July 11th - October 9th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: October 2024

Can I submit more than one entry to the contest?

Of course. Each story submission shall be considered a new entry into the writing contest.

How are the winners selected?

Each month, we’ll take the top 10 story submissions that receive the most eyeballs (real humans, not bots!). We will announce the shortlisted top ten stories from every month. The editors will vote for the top stories of each month. The winners will be announced at the end of each contest.

Apart from $9k in prizes, the sponsor has committed to offering the winners and standout contributors a place at ĀutDAO in a creative role!

You can use this prompt to enter the contest.

All the best, hacktivists! Visit contests.hackernoon.com for more updates from us.