image from unsplash.com by Anders Jilden
Tale of the great flying blood bag & the mosquitoes that keep it aloft, whilst lifting their voices in song
Imagine a bag of life-giving blood representing the Steem reward pool. The precious daily inflation of the Steem supply is what feeds the bag, a delicate balance between the inflation and the perception of value that enables it. The bag is held aloft by the beating wings of the mosquitoes, over a dark abyss. As more mosquitoes desire to feed from the bag, the larger the bag can grow but the harder it is to keep aloft. One other thing draws the mosquitoes to the bag beyond the promise of blood, their singing. Large or small, some mosquitoes beat their wings harder or sing better than others.
Now imagine thousands upon thousands of mosquitoes, the majority almost too small to see, all attempting to find purchase and penetrate the bag of blood's membrane in order to access the blood. Imagine thousands and thousands of mosquitoes singing their individual songs. Sounds of varying quality, amplitude and timbre, coalescing to form a single song. The character of the song ebbs and flows according to the harmony or disharmony achieved, greatly influenced by the most powerful voices.
The size of the mosquito is relative to the amount of blood it holds and many, try as they might, are unable even to pierce the membrane. They may valiantly and desperately persist for a time, before eventually dying from starvation and exhaustion, their tiny desiccated husks fluttering down, down into the dark. Many will take flight with their cargo of blood, never to return, still more will offer their Steem-blood in exchange for blood from another bag.
The biggest mosquitoes are very few, but massive. With tick-like barbs buried into the surface of the membrane, with even the smallest movement causing waves across the surface, felt by all.
Some of the more gargantuan mosquitoes elected to leave the bag of blood, alighting instead upon a nearby vantage from where their large, multi-faceted, compound eyes observe the great engorgement of many of their peers and the ever evolving blood flow.
In days past, many of the massive mosquitoes would regurgitate blood from their own bodies, back into the blood bag. This habit has grown less and less common as many of these monolithic monsters elected instead to allow specially selected mosquito "friends" to feed upon their own bodies, greatly accelerating their growth. These accelerated mosquitoes form a two-way blood connection to the giant "mother" that nurtured them, helping to form an ever expanding network as they mature and eventually alight upon the main bag.
For many of the smaller mosquitoes, as long as they can get the odd sip of blood, they seem content to beat their wings, sing and enjoy the singing of others. However, lately the singing has become more and more discordant. It has become secondary to the blood feeding frenzy. Consequently, as the singing becomes more discordant, so does the beating of their wings and the flow of blood becomes less healthy and stable.
Awarness of the increasingly parasitic harvesting practices and the disastrous changes in the nature of the giant mosquitoes, (acting to secure an ever greater supply of blood at the expense of the health of the bag and all the other mosquitoes,) was growing.
What could be done in time to save the blood bag and all the mosquitoes who wanted to sustain themselves from it?
The first option was to penetrate the blood bag with multiple tubes, in order to siphon off blood from the main bag into multiple mini blood bags. These mini blood bags would attract mosquitoes with an affinity to a particular song, ensuring greater harmony. Mosquitoes unable to sing in harmony would be unable to visit these special bags. A great mosquito my even feel inclined to disgorge additional blood into the mini bag to support it. Unfortunately, the mini blood bags, as beautiful and harmonious as they may be, would remain reliant upon the primary bag for flow and therefore sustenance. It's growth would be limited to the generosity of a giant and the volume of blood available through it's tube. Growing the tube would be costly and risky because of competition for blood flow from the main bag. In addition, the mini bags would remain tied to the fate of the primary blood bag which, under this scenario would seem to be even more likely to decay into abuse and depletion. After all, which mosquitoes are going to remain among the grotesque abusers and their friends?
The second option would be to for a titanic mosquito, way bigger than all the other massive mosquitoes, currently one of those primarily watching, to choose hundreds of specially gifted mosquitoes to receive a mega sized portion of it's own blood. These special mosquitoes' entire purpose would be to challenge the monopolistic, abusive and greedy use of the primary blood bag, thus bringing greater harmony back to the mosquitoes' song and strength to their wings.
I mean no disrespect to any individual or account. I hope this analogy serves to create further discussion around the economic incentives and behaviour at play within Steem today and the future. Life is not black or white, it is shades of grey.