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RE: STEEM's Biggest Villian

in #contest2 years ago

I nominated marky in my reply to whatsup. This because he seems like the ringleader of the downvote posse. Steem is already too niche as it is. Having someone like him running around turning stakeholders against each other and souring people to the platform seems like a terrible idea. What it does is discourages those folks from HODLing their steem in favor of an alternative investment. Over time, this kind of behavior will have a real impact on retention of stakeholders. There are not enough altruistic capitalists that will keep this strange platform afloat, so by chasing off the capitalists (profiteers or what have you) that we do have invested in the platform will only end up hurting the market value of Steem.


There are not enough altruistic capitalists that will keep this strange platform afloat, so by chasing off the capitalists (profiteers or what have you) that we do have invested in the platform will only end up hurting the market value of Steem.

When they are cashing out faster than people can generate value, it's a problem. Profiteers are great when you actually have businesses and an economy.

What capitalistic thing has these profiteers done besides cashing out faster than people wanting to buy?

Did most of them run businesses? If you call a bot a business I guess. Did they offer products? Not really. They are just glorified "mining rigs". Steem Monsters is probably the only legitimate business you have on the chain. What else is there to invest on this platform? Nothing.

When the purpose of having stake is "be your own mining rig", that shows how little this platform offers. Steem is just that, "poor man's mining rig". No fancy tech or knowledge needed. Just have some stake and click buttons.

I see Steem as the foremost product to consider. A stakeholder secures the value of Steem in the marketplace. This is because, when stakeholders dump to market, it causes downward pressure on the prices. However magnificent or minuscule the selling, it causes the market to respond in kind. So when someone like Marky says a massive downvote on a whale is like a mini upvote for everyone else, what I think he does not consider is when he drives this money away from the platform the market will respond in kind by downgrading the value of steem. There are not that many altruistic capitalists in this world, let alone ones you can sell on blockchain social media. So when profiteers are part of a select few who prop up the main product, can beggars be choosers. Or should we respect their stake and appreciate what they do for the value of the token?

"...a massive downvote on a whale is like a mini upvote for everyone else..."

This is factually correct, and you do not address that fact. You bring up another aspect of such acts that @markymark did not address instead.

Steem does not need profiteers. It needs investors that seek to build value into the endeavor, and this is done by encouraging creators that market Steem with their posts and comments. Profiteers are poor substitutes for that. In fact, they are not similar at all in their effects, and should be eschewed even absent angel investors. Sucking value out of the platform does not benefit it at all.

Okay, so let us assume that it is correct. Let's assume that a massive downvote on a whale is a dusty upvote for everyone else. We don't know what the size of this dusty upvote is and the people who receive it aren't going to notice because it doesn't register on their account as an action. Even if it did, it would show as less than 0.01.

So, in essence, he's going around and bullying large stakeholders for using their stake on their posts. I'll tell you one thing, one of the few motivating factors causing people to buy a larger stake in Steem is to have a more powerful vote, and this gives them access to distribute more rewards from the pool than if they invest less. In this, the coders convey that because of the amount of steem you hold, your vote is more meritorious than someone else's.

I'm not talking about moral merit either, I'm speaking to fiscal merit. These investors in the blockchain chipped in more for the pie. Ergo, they get more slices. Now that makes sense to me. It is logical, and it is sound. Yet, it is only within the realm of upvotes that this is logical and sound. John and George both invested $5.00 in a twenty-dollar pizza. They can take their slices and give them away, or eat them, and that makes sense. However, when you throw downvotes into the mix, you're saying; Or they can have a pizza fight, ruin each others respective day(s) and make a mess of things.

@valued-customer, I do realize that you're stuck on the notion of morality as it pertains to stake-weighting. It's a fair thing to consider, and to some degree, I see and respect your argument. However, keep in mind, I'm thinking from the perspective that the value of Steem is only possible because of investors who create demand and value when they both buy and hold steem, this is why I believe the coders gave larger holders more access to the pool.

However, if you want to get into the notion of morality; You must realize that all of this bickering is over an inflation pool. If it's not right or moral for the federal reserve to inflate, or create fiat currency, then what are we fighting over? A corrupted pool of wealth of which each newly generated steem further goes to devalue every other steem already in existence.

Is the reward pool the swamp? Are we like congress critters bickering over pork-barrel spending? Can anything be moral in this regard? Can the use of the currency itself be any more moral than using any other fiat in existence? If you have a million bucks in a high yield savings account and collect a generous APY, because that's how the system is set up, is that moral?

What if every other customer at the bank had a balance that doesn't exceed 50k; and then suddenly they were informed of how much your APY is in comparison to theirs? Does that make you the bad guy for doing business with the bank? If you uproot your money and leave after the mobs get their pitchforks and force you out, that'll be fewer loans that that bank can lend to that community.

I very much appreciate your considered and substantive reply. However, you have misapprehended my purpose. Money has no value intrinsically, at all. It only has value in relation to people. People are generally morally motivated, with ubiquitous tendencies to vices, I do admit.

Considering Steem only as a financial mechanism renders it devoid of value. It is the people that use Steem that give it value.

" of the few motivating factors causing people to buy a larger stake in Steem is to have a more powerful vote, and this gives them access to distribute more rewards from the pool than if they invest less."

Who cares if they self vote? Stake weighting enables substantial stakeholders to manipulate the rewards pool and take from it for themselves. This does not increase the distribution of Steem and does not put upwards pressure on the price of Steem. The reverse is true, because users that post and see @berniesanders self voting an insulting and inane comment for 30 Steem (Bernie, don't pretend you don't) while they get nothing, or only pennies for an hour or more work go away mad.

That decreases the market for Steem, and puts downwards pressure on the price.

I am not extemporizing morality. I am advocating sound business practices. Chasing away the market is not a sound business practice, and user retention to date reveals that Steem is not executing sound business practices in this regard. [@smooth and I discussed retention. He feels it is 7% or more, and I feel it is 5% or less. Either way, it sucks]

Build up the people using Steem, and you will build value into the price of Steem. HF21 does the opposite, and we are observing the results today. I elsewhere (replying to another comment of yourse) discuss how investment and profiteering differ. The former is a tide that floats all boats by increasing the value of Steem, while the latter only profits the profiteer, while decreasing the value of Steem, decreasing the ROI of the entire community as a result.

As to morality, I account the former good, and the latter evil, but no one cares what I think is right and wrong. The concept of fairness exists, and is not merely a human cultural construct. Octopi, crows, and dogs act way out of proportion when tidbits are not fed fairly to them and their peers. Hell, dogs will fight to the death over scraps - because it involves their social standing.

Steem is primarly a social media platform, and social media has proved to be the most profitable business model on Earth, so the FAANGs demonstrate. Steem, due to the encouragement of profiteering and focus on financial rewards, has failed to benefit from the socia media business model nominally, and here we are.

Build up the users, and you will increase the value of Steem. Put the horse before the cart and we'll get somewhere. It is people that have value, and money is worthless without people to value it.

"Who cares if they self vote? Stake weighting enables substantial stakeholders to manipulate the rewards pool and take from it for themselves. This does not increase the distribution of Steem and does not put upwards pressure on the price of Steem. The reverse is true"

Let's assume that is correct because it probably is to one degree or another. There is no promise of rewards, and the Steem white paper pokes fun at that suggesting that people will get under-rewarded in comparison to the work they put in because it exploits human psychology in the same way that gambling does. However, wouldn't it also be true that if we had 5 aspiring whales who bought into Steem today at 500k each, just so they could self vote, that that in and of itself would drive the market value of Steem upwards?

I don't think that would much affect Steem price for long. Extant whales would get fiat for their Steem, which they would not reinvest in Steem, but spend on hookers and blow (at least that's my assumption based on my knowledge of extant whales), while the SP of the new whales would not encourage anyone and would have a negative impact on user retention as normies fumed at the shitposts making $200 on trending while they got nothing.

The White Paper assumed that 30% of rewards would inure to those normies, who are presently only getting around 1% of them. Casinos don't long survive and profit if they don't parade some winners from time to time, and 1% is woefully inadequate to lure in gamblers.

I don't think 30% is a joke really. It's far more than most folks get IRL, compared to banksters.

Distributing Steem to ordinary folks and great authors would encourage them to post, comment, and interact, and ordinary folks are innately social - they want to benefit others. It's why upvotes on Fakebook and Reddit exist. Handing out 30% of Steem as rewards to those folks would distribute Steem more widely, and they would gladly upvote their friends and good authors more if they could. They're not spending it on hookers and blow, like whales. Those that do never become of greater import to the Steem society. Some folks need potatoes more than they need bigger upvotes to hand out. I am glad if I can help them with my upvotes, because I want them to have potatoes a lot in that case.

Potato buyers would not have ire at Steem as a result, and would be likely to invest in Steem if they become sufficiently potatoed, and also to recommend it to their friends, putting upwards pressure on the price.

Angry folks that see the $200 shitposts on trending while they are reduced to eating recycled food will never invest in Steem, and never recommend it to their friends, and they will leave, putting downwards pressure on the price.

User retention rates indicate the latter is happening a lot more than the former. That's bad business.

I've concluded that we need to admit to ourselves that the whitepaper got it wrong. We can't get any good measure of a post's value based on the weight applied to a post or the number of votes. This, because the stake-weighting is real, and so are the bot armies and vote trails. That said, first thing needs fixing is the trending page to hide problems like $200 shit posts. Algorithms will do it better than the community can. It's not optimal, but it's the truth. I'm just talking about the way things are presented on trending. The page should show multiple popular tags which include the best of the newest articles in each.

I see Steem as the foremost product to consider.

And what product is that? You mean the tokens? Like every bloody crypto project? Wow, Steem is so special.

There are not that many altruistic capitalists

There's no such thing as altruistic capitalists. Everyone is here for their own benefit. Period. Capitalists actually build things for profit. Simply holding tokens is not being a capitalist. Simply stacking coins is not being a capitalist.

So when profiteers are part of a select few who prop up the main product

Again, what is that product? They are here for themselves, not for whatever altruistic reasons you keep citing, but not providing. Oh? You mean propping up tokens? They bought in once. They started non-stop selling. That's not propping up anything. That's called priming their own pump. Or in crypto terms, priming their own mining rig.

a massive downvote on a whale is like a mini upvote for everyone else

And what type of whales was he speaking? All whales or just some bad ones? Because I don't see him openly tell people to take on @theycallmedan or @acidyo, etc. You know who he's referring to.

Or should we respect their stake and appreciate what they do for the value of the token?

Respect what? Your right to be the last bag holder?

I can concede that the initial distribution and reward mechanism favor those unsavory behaviors. The way Steem is set up, it makes no sense to vote for anyone else.

That’s pretty much my point, there are no, or very few altruistic capitalists. The combination of the two words is mostly an oxymoron. So, what reason does any capitalist have to buy into Steem? When you buy Steem and power it up the math dictates the influence your SP has on the reward pool. If people like Haejin are doing something wrong, then maybe the math in the blockchain didn’t adequately account for human nature. Why not consider human nature and the fact that some people will capitalize off of their stake to its maximum potential and then work to get the numbers right? Having the coding accommodate for human nature makes a helluva lot more sense than trying to get people to change their behavior to accommodate some random coders failure to predict the inevitable. People with a low stake upvote themselves at 100% all the time, I do it. So if someone gives up their standard APY to invest in the blockchain in a large quantity, then isn’t their stake in and of itself meritorious enough? At the very least, shouldn’t they too be able to upvote themselves at 100% if they value their posts? If not, please show me how you plan on pitching new capital investments.

Instead of posting nonsense just to vote for themselves, what they need is an option for them to burn VP and receive the equivalent in rewards.

It’ll look less spammy and ridiculous that way. It doesn’t sit well for any content creator or potential investors to see whales posting nonsense just to reward themselves in public.

There are ways to do things without a complete overhaul, but STINC and the witnesses aren’t in a hurry it seems.

Yeah, I suppose if everyone had that option, in theory
it would clean up a lot of the spam. Disingenuous
posts might become a thing of the past.

I think it will help with the perceptions a lot.

People will feel less agitated with bs being upvoted to kingdom come.

"...what reason does any capitalist have to buy into Steem?"

I recommend capital gains. That mechanism has caused investment to build businesses since time immemorial.

Hmm.. does that mean that when a whale engages in stake weighting, the net result it is not a capital gain?

Correct. While the whale gains more capital, their peers do not. That gain is not derived from increasing the value of the underlying investment vehicle, although the ROI of investors derived from increase in value of the underlying investment vehicle is proportionate to the capital invested, stake weighted, in other words.

Investment for capital gains has been the primary incentive for literally untold millenia. Profiteering, of course, has been undertaken as well. However there is an intrinsic difference between the two methods: one builds value into the enterprise which increases the value of the investment vehicle, such as stock or tokens, and the other extracts the value of the production before it can inure to the investment vehicle.

Financially manipulating rewards mechanisms via stake weighting on Steem extracts rewards that would otherwise inure to creators and encourage growth of the platform, which would in turn put upwards price pressure on Steem. This is tantamount to selling the forges and presses of a factory. Both methods produce ROI, but profiteering destroys, while investment builds. Both whales gain capital, but profiteers decrease the rewards of business, decreasing the value of the investment vehicle and preventing gains of capital by their peers, and investors increase those rewards, and all their peers holding stake benefit as well as the investment vehicle grows in value, increasing their capital too.

It's not a mystery to me why we are in this strait.

If both gain capital, you might need a different
word than capital gain to distinguish the diff
between profiteering and "ethical gains?"

You know what the funny thing is, outside of the whales who ninja-mined; Most people who bought their whale status bought in as speculators and speculators are profiteers. Their goal isn’t to add value, but to get in and extract value and then bail. But nobody predicted the BTC bubble collapse or understood how it would take all the crypto down with it. So they just stared at the falling prices pot committed certain that it would go up again because Steem is awesome, more specifically it’s awesome at profiteering off the creativity of others. Steem WP Zipf’s law [Page 16 of 32.]

"The economic effect of this is similar to a lottery where people overestimate their probability of getting votes and thus do more work than the expected value of their reward and thereby maximize the total amount of work performed in service of the community. The fact that everyone “wins something” plays on the same psychology that casinos use to keep people gambling. In other words, small rewards help reinforce the idea that it is possible to earn bigger rewards."

Well, good on ya mate. Personally it's his bidbot that offends me, as all do. Society is not bots, and buying votes is not curation. If Steem can empower people to interact while enabling them to reward one another with votes, Steem will succeed. It has not, and bidbots - and flags - are a big part of why it has failed to do so heretofore.

People have social value, not bots. Social value is where financial value comes from. One without the other has no value.

Well, maybe someone can take this model and since it is open-source, fix it. It inspires a lot of creativity, but also plenty of discord too.

@l0ki started to do exactly that, but @berniesanders was part of preventing him from succeeding. Personally, I think @l0ki was the biggest opponent of his success, and @berniesanders just had some fun while he blew himself up.

I actually don't mind disagreement. Disagreement can result in discussion that revolves around facts, and that can be a very good thing. Enabling people to just financially crush those they disagree with doesn't improve society, and stake weighting does not promote prosperity as a result.

But, yeah, I agree. It might even happen here on Steem, if the code promotes society instead of draining it.

Yeah, disagreement is fine but the unclear rules of this system are strange. For example, the code encourages both stake weighting and downvoting by not disallowing these operations. It's all very subjective and open to interpretation.