Politics is Bullshit, Beeple, 2020
Politics is Bullshit is the third piece in Beeple’s first NFT drop, called “The First Drop”. The NFT is a series of 100 tokens, and was originally released on October 30, 2020. Priced at only $1, the series sold out almost immediately, eventually going on to regularly sell for over $100,000 on secondary markets.
After Politics, many of Beeple’s NFT works were released with companion physical collectibles. Beeple, being an unorthodox showman, would bundle interesting and sometimes risqué items along with a lcd panel that displays the digital work.
Beginning sometime around the end of 2021, rumors started to circulate that a physical collectible might be created, and by January of 2022 it was confirmed that a physical was in the works.
In April of 2022, completion of the physical editions for all 100 editions of Politics is Bullshit was announced, and the editions started shipping out to registered owners on April 12, 2022. The first recipient of the physical piece is our very own tech leader, NiftyMike, and he live streamed the unboxing to Youtube (see sidebar).
In August of 2022, an ask-me-anything (AMA) with Beeple was held for Beeple owners, and in the session, Beeple disclosed that there was a secret hidden in the Politics physical that would unlock a prize.
“The Politics is Bullshit physical has something hidden in it, you’ll see. If you have one of the Politics is Bullshit physicals, you’ve got all the clues to get yourself a sweet, stinky prize.”
Owners AMA, 2022
The AMA session kicked off a few weeks of frantic searching by Politics owners. However, all of the searches ended in futility, with no owners able to crack the cryptic hint. Many physicals had not been claimed yet, and quite a few owners had opted not to unbox their physical in order to preserve it. Additionally, the owners who had unboxed, assumed that some sort of deconstruction step might be necessary and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to pursue the puzzle. So, the trail went cold.
Then, in December of 2022, a Beeple collector, Aizome.eth, announced that he had cracked the first of the Human:One puzzles. This set off a flurry of hunting on other puzzle. Along with the announcement, a few key hints bubbled to the surface.
On December 13th, a Beeple owner named RadicalNotions.eth, leaked in the Beeple Owner’s forum that he had solved the PiB puzzle and had received the prize. The following day he published a tweet thread describing some of his attempts as well as his solution. The prize for the solution was Rebirth a piece that was part of Beeple’s Spring Collection, dropped on April 30, 2021.
RadicalNotions sites the following hints from the Human:One while detailing the process he used to discover the solution.
- Morse Code
- Valuable Red Dot
- Interesting URLs in Human:One puzzle
Interestingly, the third investigatory area ended up leading RadicalNotions to the solution, partially through brute force and partially through internet sleuthing. While he was sufficiently able to decipher things to trigger the prize award, he was still left asking questions and returned to the Beeple Owner’s discord to engage other owners regarding the full solution.
Working with other Politics owners, RadicalNotions ruled out a physical item being stored in the base of the Politics display, and our own NiftyMike and FomoBaggins analyzed other parts of the physical box in comparison to Gigachad to determine that most likely there was not a physical item hidden in the foam of the box either. Once again a deadend, however the ultimate seeds of the puzzle’s unraveling had been sown.
On December 15th, NiftyMike announced the solution to the Politics puzzle had been found. BeepleCollect later confirmed that the solution was correct. Without further ado, here is the solution to the Politics is Bullshit puzzle.
Video showing correct placement of metal card on Valuable Red Dot.
Picture of the hand written transcription of the morse code contained in the flashing lights that play when the Valuable Red Dot is triggered.
Translating the morse code into text
While unpacking the Politics box, something NiftyMike had done countless times, he noticed a change to the standard pattern being displayed by the box’s lights. Thanks to the earlier work by Aizome as well as RadicalNotions, Mike quickly identified it as likely to be morse code. After closing and reopening the box a few times, and letting the full loop play, it was clear that the special flashing pattern was not part of the regular display, and must have been triggered somehow. After a while of fiddling, Mike realized that the metal cards might have an RFID chip embedded within them or somehow might be part of the process for triggering the lights. He then captured the video that you see above, where the red card was placed on the Valuable Red Dot, the morse code sequence was triggered, and after many months, the Politics is Bullshit physical puzzle was finally solved.
Source NFT Culture