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RE: POLL: Should Moo! Wrapper be Removed from the Whitelist?

in #gridcoin4 years ago

I'm just imagining the sizable compute power that would be redirected to scientifically useful projects if we vote it out. I want to stress, however, that this opinion is based on the fact that Moo! Wrapper has 0.00000 ... (ad infinitum) value from an intellectual point of view. The same is NOT true of other projects like Amicable or PrimeGrid, which, though not application oriented, are still exploring unknown regions of mathematics with the potential to lead to important insights/applications down the road.

While I'm here I'd also like to point out one of the perks of owning Gridcoin -- increased weight in voting projects in/out of the whitelist!

Gridcoin = influence over which science is prioritized. Kind of neat.

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Having influence over which science is prioritized is a fairly scary concept to me.

We have seen almost every system where there are influencers degrade into ways to self-promote or act for self-benefit (symptoms of centralization). The grant system is one example for science. Universities are others.

If we build a processes where Gridcoin is truly "of the people", this is different. But that system is difficult to build and does not exist right now.

I imagine a system where there are parameters that are very clearly defined. Security and WU distribution are a few of these parameters that could be included. We could, as a group, decide what projects we are willing to reward, however this will limit future possibilities -- Superblocks can be used for more than BOINC!

As an off the cuff example for an alternative - What if people spoke with their IPP: if a project is worked on by people it is deemed valuable by the gridcoin community. What if instead of votes, there was a crowd-source type structure where once a project obtained a certain number of FLOPS directed at it by the GridcoinNetwork, it was whitelisted and given Magnitude. How that magnitude is distributed could but a further subject of discussion.

I respectfully disagree with your view of how owning GRC is a good thing. If we build that into a system, major players (science and research companies and institutions) might be able to buy our system. Personally, I am open to them using our system, but I would rather see as many people as possible making the calls and not a few wealthy individuals.

The more people making the calls the more people that must be informed. The more people that must be informed the more education that exists in the network. The more education throughout the network, the better decisions the network is likely to make.

Back to the question of what we crunch. I have two questions for you:

Can you define what constitutes a "scientifically useful project" without using an example?

Can you present an example where a central entity with influence over a money system (or any system, like a system of science) does not lead to extreme centralization of that entity and extreme control over that system?

This is part of a larger discussion that we probably can leave for later in a different thread. I will, however, say a few things.

The first is that 'decentralization' does not imply 'equal distribution of power'. It just means that there are enough independent stakeholders that there is no single authority or colluding oligarchy. Both these concepts are important, but the 'decentralized' aspect is what's key. I don't want to conflate the two. In particular, power disparity by itself does not threaten decentralization; in fact, I think moderate levels of power disparity are expected and beneficial in distributed networks. Thus, I'm just not convinced that allowing some influence to be directly bought will lead to such dire consequences.

I don't think it's an argument against the 'coin = influence' scheme to say the entire Gridcoin network could be bought. Ultimately, it remains a fact that pretty much any cryptocurrency can be bought out, whether by building an enormous mining operation or purchasing a majority of the coin supply. What blockchain does it make it really expensive for anyone to do so. I'm not sure blockchain by itself is able to provide 100% security against this.

One concrete thing we can do is continue to have magnitude carry a significant voting weight. That way, anyone who wants to dominate the network's voting will have to BOTH buy a huge coin stake AND assemble an enormous mining infrastructure. Besides making centralization much more difficult, this should combat [extreme] power disparity as well (c.f. the 'pareto distribution problem' in PoS).

But giving the coins themselves a voting weight is important too. This gives them a concrete unit of value -- a unit of 'influence' in the network, and incentivizes people to buy and hold. In fact, this isn't a new idea; Steemit works in precisely this way. So for now I'll stand behind the idea.

As for your two questions:

  1. Something is scientifically useful if it contributes to knowledge. 'Knowledge' here refers to nontrivial, objective facts which can be verified empirically by others.

  2. I'm not sure I understand this question. A central entity with its own money system is by nature centralized and controlling, is it not? As I argued above, I don't think the 'coin = influence' scheme seriously jeopardizes the decentralization of Gridcoin.

I've been thinking about your definition of of useful science and I can't get away from it.

"Triviality" is a measure of value. Value is a measure of opinion. Now we're back at the beginning. I don't think "useful science" can be objectively defined.

If this is the case -- I invite challenge on the subject -- but if this the case, the question becomes: do we want to impose our values on everyone else? I can think of arguments for both sides of the discussion and am very much looking forward to when we as a community get to delve into this issue in a more structured and objective way (without the fate of a project on the line).

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Words are hard.. (why I've never been a fan of philosophy..)

I suppose one example of triviality is something that could easily be inferred from what we already know. moo! wrapper falls under this category. One can think of other instances, e.g. calculating as many digits of Pi as possible "just to check" that its decimal representation doesn't terminate.

Checking the digits of pi is crucial!

So is the testing that collatz conjecture is in fact true!

So is SETI!

etc.

The thing about pi is we can prove its decimal expansion never terminates. On the other hand, there is currently no proof that the Collatz sequence always reaches 1 no matter the starting n, nor is there compelling evidence ET doesn't exist out there.

Learned a lot from this conversation. Looking forward to more = )

Likewise! We'll come back to these topics in later discussions I'm sure.

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The same is NOT true of other projects like Amicable or PrimeGrid, which, though not application oriented, are still exploring unknown regions of mathematics with the potential to lead to important insights/applications down the road.

This is the key point people pushing the 'slippery slope' narrative forget. There is no slope, just a hard boundary between 'there could be potentially useful outputs' and 'there is zero chance for useful outputs'.

I think keeping projects which do nothing is a slippery slope if anything. If we have no requirements on project results then there is a whole armada of projects we could spin up and try to get whitelisted.

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