Wallet Readings: What Kind of Collector Are You?

Don’t be shy, give it a try

Text hannah baer
illustrations Mary Zet
Published 31 Jul 2023

Consumerism provides us a beautiful mirror; the things we buy reflect infinite, spinning stories about our ever-shifting selves. In this frame, material utility can be an afterthought; what we purchase or collect helps us feel known to ourselves and show ourselves to others. Nowhere is this more true, perhaps, than in the realm of our wallets, where our collections (and therein, our aesthetics and beliefs about the market both) function as prismatic ciphers about who we are and what we do. Answer the questions below to understand what kind of collector you are!

First circle your answers, then add up your score, then see where you land!

  1. What best describes your general feelings about the art world?

    a) extremely cool
    b) reprehensible but also whatever
    c) depends, it’s complicated
    d) it’s a good place to invest, if you know what you’re doing

  2. Do you or did you ever collect Funko Pops, Pokemon Cards, or Magic Cards?

    a) nope
    b) yes, one of the above
    c) yes, two of the above
    d) yes, all three ^.^

  3. Cancel culture...

    a) makes me wanna know why can’t people get along with each other
    b) exists because people want to silence those whose ideas have more power than theirs
    c) is a basically reactionary label usually but not always used to disempower people on the left
    d) raises a real question about whether discourse is possible in our time

  4. When huge corporate brands make a token...

    a) it is interesting
    b) it is not really that different than huge corporate brands doing anything else c) it is possibly quite valuable
    d) it could be pretty cool, especially if they had a whole creative team working on it (4 points, Lost Boy)

  5. Are you more…

    a) Carrie?
    b) Miranda?
    c) Samantha?
    d) Charlotte?

  6. When crypto dipped in 2022, you...

    a) held on tight, WAGMI!
    b) made strategic choices and actually didn’t lose as much $ as others
    c) consulted a lot of different advisors so I had all the info
    d) expected it, didn’t change anything

  7. GPT-3 and its offspring...

    a) will start to replace jobs like screenwriters and graphic designers, then move on to social service jobs like therapists and teachers
    b) exemplify a massive opportunity for innovation
    c) are just, like, so cool
    d) instantiate in real life the heretofore hypothetical philosophical questions of science fiction

  8. The wealthiest 1%...

    a) played their cards right
    b) raise some challenging questions about the most just and efficient economic models just by existing
    c) get to do whatever they want, which seems rad
    d) are a vestige of a bygone time, gluttons feasting on an almost rotted banquet

  9. What is the difference between rights and preferences?

    a) no difference
    b) wow, what a fantastic question, I’m so glad you asked
    c) easy, it’s cheaper to convince people their preference changed, more expensive to convince them of the other one
    d) not sure—I guess one is protected by law and one isn’t?

  10. A DAO...

    a) seems complicated, but cool too
    b) could make or lose you money depending on what’s going on
    c) can be transformative or can be just garden variety bureaucracy
    d) is a fascinating proposition

  11. What’s your approach to the grocery store?

    a) big market for basics, specialty market for specialties
    b) no strategy, freestyle, I do a different thing every time
    c) I haven’t set foot in a grocery store since FreshDirect
    d) get a cart and walk up and down every aisle thinking about stuff, like in White Noise

  12. What percentage of your retirement is in crypto/tokens?

    a) 100% baby
    b) none of us are retiring, the old world is dying
    c) depends on the market, honestly
    d) I’ve tried some different investment strategies at different times, always consulting people in the know and people with a good eye

  13. You find a stamped, addressed envelope on the ground; what do you do?

    a) opening someone’s mail is a felony but only if you get caught
    b) most mail is junk mail
    c) depends on size and shape
    d) the only ethical thing is to put it in the mail

  14. What’s your feeling about linear time?

    a) total scam, it’s not real
    b) some theories suggest it may be more complex than how we treat it in our current way of doing things
    c) you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone
    d) it’s pretty crucial to “buy low, sell high”

  15. What are you most likely having an argument about at a dinner party?

    a) Pixar versus Dreamworks
    b) IRA versus Roth IRA
    c) Plato versus Socrates
    d) insurrection versus infiltration

  16. Stance on climate apocalypse

    a) carbon capture will happen, especially because there’s a high demand for it. We’re fine
    b) seems really ... scary! But maybe it’ll be OK!
    c) inevitable: any interventions at this point are basically going to result in Snowpiercer
    d) it is the great problem of our time, the solving of which will define us as a generation

Add up your score!

1. a) 4 points, b) 1 point, c) 2 points, d) 3 points
2. a) 1 point, b) 2 points, c) 3 points, d) 4 points
3. a) 4 points, b) 3 points, c) 1 point, d) 2 points
4. a) 2 points, b) 1 point, c) 3 points, d) 4 points
5. a) 3 points, b) 2 points, c) 1 point, d) 4 points
6. a) 4 points, b) 3 points, c) 2 points, d) 1 point
7. a) 1 point, b) 3 points, c) 4 points, d) 2 points
8. a) 3 points, b) 2 points, c) 4 points, d) 1 points
9. a) 1 point, b) 2 points, c) 3 points, d) 4 points
10. a) 4 points, b) 3 points, c) 1 point, d) 2 points
11. a) 2 points, b) 4 points, c) 3 points, d) 1 point
12. a) 4 points, b) 1 point, c) 3 points, d) 2 points
13. a) 3 points, b) 1 point, c) 2 points, d) 4 points
14. a) 1 point, b) 2 points, c) 4 points, d, 3 points
15. a) 4 points, b) 3 points, c) 2 points d) 1 point
16. a) 3 points, b) 4 points, c) 1 point, d) 2 points

16–31 points = Accelerationist
32–43 points = Skeptic
44–51 points = Capitalist
52–64 points = Lost Boy

Who are you?

The Accelerationist

You know it’s over, basically, after a few more go-arounds. The world is heating; the markets are collapsing. But like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, underneath that cynical shell, you’re a little sentimental, a little political. The Accelerationist has some searing political critiques of Web3, but you also just can’t be bothered.

  • Investment strategy: Extremely opaque. Based on ethics and what you think is cool, but you would never tell anyone that
  • First impression you give to strangers: Sullen
  • Aesthetic sensibility: Goth
  • Relationship to irony: Erotic
  • Unstated wish: For this fake world to end so those of us who survive can experience the real

The Skeptic

You are hesitant to put chips on the board but are interested in everyone else’s justification for doing so. Earnestly inquisitive, you care about strategy, and you’re thoughtful. Problem is, it’s hard to put your money where your mouth is if you’re saying a bunch of random stuff. Still, a Skeptic can be a surprising interlocutor or collaborator, just as long as someone else is there to execute.

  • Investment strategy: Studied, careful, based on a few different perspectives
  • First impression you give to strangers: Cautious
  • Aesthetic sensibility: Pretentious but not unsophisticated
  • Relationship to irony: Interested
  • Unstated wish: To understand everything and appear clever while doing so

The Capitalist

You believe things work as they should, and you think people who do not get that are missing the point. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, but it’s all good if you can stay on top of the heap (and you’re pretty sure you can). Love it or hate it, The Capitalist gets stuff done. Whoever said that “money is the root of all evil” was probably broke.

  • Investment strategy: Variable, but designed to maximize value above all else
  • First impression you give to strangers: Confident, maybe callous
  • Aesthetic sensibility: Somewhat tacky and conventional, but you call it “classic”
  • Relationship to irony: Can have a little, as a treat
  • Unstated wish: To avoid the humiliation of losing

The Lost Boy

You’re a true believer! Lawful good and as naive as that sounds, but endearing nonetheless. You don’t shit talk, don’t make it about ego, and have some fear when things get a little too complex or heated. But don’t worry, y’all! It’s gonna be OK! A great team member for morale, not necessarily for strategy. Nostalgic, fantasy prone. Puppy dog vibes.

  • Investment strategy: Like a child trying to decide what to spend their allowance on in a toy store
  • First impression you give to strangers: Warm, smiley
  • Aesthetic sensibility: Frozen at age 11–13
  • Relationship to irony: Inaccessible
  • Unstated wish: For everyone to be happy and no one to be upset
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