A Lot has been said in the last couple of days about our decentralized blockchain and the need for some (new) direction for it. Direction, by whatever name you might call it is by definition centralized.
Do we need it on Steem? If yes, how much? Who decides?
It has occured to me in the last 24 hours that I have lived the last 29 years in an analogous situation: AA
Stay with me a paragraph or two and let me explain. I have been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 29 years and a successful member for well over 28. I live the life every single day.
I’m guessing here, but I think AA is the most decentralized large organization ever. It has no leaders (our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern) and no articles of incorporation. No body, individual or group can tell you to do anything. They can’t even tell you to not come back (the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking). I think there are some correlations between the two that bear looking at.
The Case For Centralization of Certain Aspects of Steem.
The first question is why? Why do we need leadership/centralization?
1: Left to it’s own devices, a herd will wander aimlessly. They may follow a leader for a ways, but will inevitably wander off. You’ve heard the analogy of herding cats? That IS the case here.
2: Some decisions have to be made. Why not let the already established witnesses handle it? The things I’m talking about are entirely out of the purview of the witnesses. They do what they do surprisingly well, but they are not leaders or trusted servants. They are witnesses.
3: Unified and trusted spokespeople are essential for our ‘outside’ reputation. Public Relations and Marketing will go a long ways toward the ultimate success or failure and those two need to have a unified front.
How do we organize a central authority on a decentralized blockchain?
1: With the least possible organization. It simply must reflect the voice of the majority in all things.
2: That said, the minority voice must be heard and considered IN ALL THINGS.
3: Consensus is utterly the key. If the opinion is 40% yes and 40% no with 10% undecided then the problem hasn’t been properly explained or studied.
Why not just leave this all to the witnesses? They are already in place.
1: It is NOT their job. Their job is make sure the information that constitutes the blockchain is safely stored and cared for and to monitor the health of the blockchain itself. By definition that basically precludes them from leadership. Not that I’m saying individual witnesses can’t be leaders, but as a group it is not possible.
2: Stake Voting does NOT represent the majority, it represents the money,
3: To me it would represent a conflict of interest.
Where Does AA Come Into This?
AA absolutely is organized with the least possible organization. Terms for elected offices in AA (there aren’t many) are strictly limited to two years. One year to learn your job, one year to do your job and done. Next in line.
Even the salaried workers are rotated in different jobs on a regular basis. The organizational experience is collective and cooperative.
If you think for a moment that organizing Steem Stakeholders is like herding cats, you might want to consider trying it with rummies. There is not a more contrary group in the world in my experience.
One more question? Am I angling for a leadership position with this?
Absolutely not. I have no desire to return to (futile disputes over money, property and prestige).
All the words in bold in this article are direct quotes from the 12 Traditions of AA (short form). You can find a full copy of them here. I wrote this article with out reference to this list, it is committed to my memory. They are read before every meeting and I have been to literally thousands of meetings.
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