A Design Failure of Steem, Pointed Out by the Architect and Creator of the Steem Blockchain, Dan Larimer

in steem •  2 years ago  (edited)

In Dan Larimer's recent post on medium, he mentions the inability to deal with corrupt or bad behavior in an anonymous system, and the emergence of vote buying stemming from profit-driven motivations.

The only way to maintain the integrity of a community is for the community to have control over its own composition. This means that open-entry systems built around anonymous participation will have no means expelling bad actors and will eventually succumb to profit-driven corruption. You cannot use stake as a proxy for goodness whether that stake is held in a bond or a shareholder’s vote. Goodness is subjective and it is up to each community to define what values they hold as good and to actively expel people they hold has bad.

The community I want to participate in will expel the rent-seeking vote-buyers and reward those who use their elected broadcasting power for the benefit of all community members rather than special interest groups (such as vote-buyers). I have faith that such a community will be far more competitive in a market competition for mindshare than one that elects vote buyers.

I have also written about the lack of ability for the community of users to govern the community/platform that is the Steem blockchain. There is no functionality in place to establish norms and rules. It's merely "code = law", and so many people love it that way. They justify anything and everything because the code allows it to happen.

Any objections to the behavior of individuals, or the improper use of functionality (like flags), is dismissed in favor of blind adherence to the code being the law = right = moral. If anything is allowed by the code, then there is no right or wrong about it, because the code allows it. These people don't seem to understand how to form a real community that can deal with issues.

People are the community. People in the community should be the ones to decide how the community functions, not a small subset of rich powerful users that have a concentration on power and get to do whatever they want and get away with it, without any accountability as determined by the involvement of the community at large. Steem is a plutocracy of rule by the rich/wealthy.


Dan Larimer, the architect and creator of the Steem blockchain, recognizes problems or failures in the design that are not being addressed. For a community to prosper, the actual community needs to be in charge of the community, not ruled by the concentration of power that fall into the hands of a few users on the platform or in the community.

Stake, STEEM Power or money as power to rule, is not how to organize a functionally integrated community. Abuses of power and corruption go unchecked, as the rich and powerful can do what they want and get away with it. The community has no way to hold individuals accountable, least of all those with the power to get away with it. There is no self-regulation at the community level towards members like can be done in the real world where the bad behavior of people can be dealt with, and you don't need to be rich to be able to do something about it. Individuals here are anonymous and untouchable as long as they are rich and powerful.


In the real world, people can unite as a community to deal with those who engage in bad behavior. People are more empowered as a community united against an issue, instead of being disempowered due to not having enough stake, SP or money to act against the concentration of power of a few individuals who don't want to listen or stop what they are doing. Profit-driven extrinsic incentives overrides intrinsic motivation and values. Caring about money and rewards first overrides our care to live by the values we hold deeper down at the core of our being, and the desire to work to change the overall behavior of a community or society.


Doing things we shouldn't be doing, and understanding why we should be doing something else that is better for ourselves and others in the long-term, doesn't matter for many when we get rewarded with a paycheck in the short-term. The extrinsic incentive in the present/now keeps us ignorant of how we are degrading the prosperity and success of the community or organization into the future.

The "rent-seeking vote-buyers" as Dan calls it, the bid bots, the pay-to-play behavior, are profit-driven motivations and contributes to empower more concentration of wealth on the platform. A few people get richer and have more power to do what they want and get away with it, because there is no community-driven accountability or way to make things change at a community level when so many are driven by profit and like to make more money so they don't want things to change. Everyone else has to buy votes and "pay rent" if they want to play on the same level, to be on the same playing-field. The users who pay for votes with their SBD are looking at the short-term gains and benefits through profit-driven extrinsic motivations for themselves, and enabling the concentration of wealth and power which is against their and the community's long-term gain and benefit.

SP = money = power = rulers. It's like Wu-Tang's CREAM: cash rules everything around me; cash rules everything around Steem (CREAS). Money rules. He who has the gold makes the rules (the false 'golden rule'). Where is the real golden rule?

@tarazkp said this recently:

We are held to ransom, as is our stake. They have formed a decentralised government who are taxing other users by making the system a pay to play environment. They are restricting the use of stake by drawing large gulps of the pool for a narrow band, those who play their game. This is similar to net neutrality, throttling internet speeds of some users and only opening up bandwidth to 'preferred' sites, those who pay.

There is nothing to be done. If you had an idea that at least here you had a little freedom, you are mistaken, you are governed, what you own here is governed, how you use it is governed and how much of it you use is governed. You might want to complain but, to who? They are faceless and for the most part, silent. They don't need to campaign, they weren't elected and the only reason they exist is for profit. You thought democracy was bad, this is a bidbot dictatorship.

There are a lot of great things done by Steem, but there are issues to recognize, talk about, and address. Corrupted links in the chain can lead to the breaking and crumbling of the whole edifice/platform.


Some damage can be repaired, but some damage can't. Perceptions of distrust and lack of integrity can stick for a long time. How long does it take to rebuild a tarnished image and reputation? An individual or organization can be hurt and never truly repair or rebuild the bad rep it has garnered.

Just because one person doesn't have a solution to a problem, doesn't mean they can't bring up the issue for everyone to start to think about it and deal with it together. Designs can be changed after they are constructed. Code can be changed. Communities can change. Will we?

Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.

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I've been circling around this broad issue since I came here, and have penned a few speculative rants of my own. But I think you've really nailed it here (and done so in a form that is so well-written it's a little humbling for me).

Your's and Dan's views on communities are pretty well supported in broader philosophy and literature. Yes, everything is contested, but the idea that communities can only exist if people in those communities can decide who can join (or not) is not a new one - i.e.: Michael Walzer's extremely influential ideas on immigration, the core of which was that "Admission and exclusion are at the core of communal independence". A community that has no control over who is in and who is out - and what behaviour is rewarded and which behaviour attracts censure - is no community at all. I'm not necessarily endorsing Walzer's broader views on immigration, but when it comes to communities of association, he does seem to have a point.

You are also correct to characterise the behaviour of vote-selling as rent-seeking in nature. This is true in the literal sense that buyers are 'renting' attention. But it's also applicable in the way that political economists use the term to describe activities that "seek to to increase one's share of existing wealth without creating new wealth" - this is distinct to profit-seeking, that is productive in nature and creates new wealth. In steemit terms, creating new content that enriches the blockchain is profit-seeking, collecting SBD from those creators so that they can get attention is rent-seeking.

In the political sense, rent-seeking is seen as businesses lobbying government to manipulate conditions of the business environment in order to increase the economic 'rent' they collect, without increasing productivity. Here, there is no need to lobby - the bidbot owners, and the people who make the big delegations to them are the government.

Great supplementary analysis, thank you for adding it :) You distinguish the profit vs. rent part well.

It was you and @tarazkp that pointed me in the right direction, but thanks!

Looking at what behaviour on steemit can be characterised as rent-seeking is really important, because rent-seeking is generally considered to be bad for productivity and growth within economies.

When rent-seeking is too easy a way to earn money, investment in production and innovation falls. We see this here, as people move away from content creation and manual curation in favour of investing in bidbots to generate passive income.

If the economy has enough diversity and overall strength, this might just skim a few percent off GPD. But if too much money leaves other parts of the economy, it can't end well, because modern economies can't run purely on rent-seeking. The equivalent here would be if so little new content was produced that seeking rent in the attention economy no longer paid a worthwhile return. I can't imagine that such an end-point would be very pretty.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Even as a newbie this is something I noticed about Steemit quickly. Most new non-Steemit themed content received few views or upvotes. Other content that focused on how 'to play the Steemit game' seemed to get many views and upvotes, even if the posts were very short. So many posts trying to sell bot services, or explaining how to use bots etc. If this continues, it seems to me Steemit will end up being a platform about itself, a mirror pointed at a mirror sort of. New content creators will have fled. As a newbie, I have the distinct feeling that if I don't pay for a bot, I will forever be invisible here. Time will tell. Thanks for the very useful comments and observations.

My solution.

  1. Allow only "community approved" interfaces to do upvoting. Sure, this removes some of the decentralization of Steem, but it will reduce applications used to do auto upvotes. Just like witnesses, people vote on the applications and the applications have a duty to perform correctly or have their vote removed.
  2. Add a human check (like the slider used on Binance) when a person does an upvote on all apps that access Steem. That will eliminate 99% of the upvote bots. Again, this will require the app builder to follow the rule and for the community to remove the vote if the app doesn't.

This means that open-entry systems built around anonymous participation will have no means expelling bad actors and will eventually succumb to profit-driven corruption.

The fact that they couldn't see this at the beginning is laughable. Maybe before people start a blockchain app, they should talk to someone who has studied human nature first.

I like this as a possible 99% solution. Bravo.

If we want to eliminate upvote bots we can just start reorganizing the site so it's not 100% ordered according to stake weight. This isn't something we need permission to fix. We don't need the witnesses' help. We can just do it.

How does this impact bots at all? VP is based on SP, stake. All the minnows on the platform don't have 10% of the stake. 35 whales can just approve whatever they want.

Are you replying to me? Witness votes are even, I think. Because you get a certain number of votes.

Of course, it wouldn't stop the bot makers from making a bunch of accounts and voting, but it would be something. I personally would prefer that only Steemit has upvote ability, but one of the witnesses (who I removed my vote from) said that was stupid to centralize a decentralized system on one UI.

Witness votes are stake-weighted. The whales elect the witnesses that will run the code they want.

This means that Steem isn't decentralized at all, but that control is centralized in the form of SP--money.

Equal votes for witnesses is something I have advocated, even beyond my desire for equal weighted votes generally. I prefer rep as a weighting mechanism, however, especially if it is fixed so that it can't just be bought, as it can at present.

I have talked (I am sure) to that witness regarding these matters. 2FA as a means of eliminating bots particularly drew their ire, which makes me think it's definitely something we should do.

When I bring up 2FA or human check on one of the Flag war posts, it is either ignored or called stupid. The "tech" person of Steemit ask me if I knew how the Internet works. I never hear back from them when I challenge them further.

Think about who is talking to you when you consider what they have to say. You may not be a coder, but you can understand that code works a certain way, and you can see examples of code that does 2FA around the web.

It's not rocket science. You're not stupid.

Some people don't want it--in fact they need it to not happen--because they rely on the income from the way things are presently. 'Fixing' the problem of increasing concentration of Steem is a harm to them. For those that make money from delegating to bots, or running votebots, proposing removing bots from Steemit is tantamount to offering them a job digging ditches.

Even folks that aren't dependent or benefiting from the bots, some that would prefer Steemit was an actual social media platform, rely on the opinions of those that convince them too that it's either technically impossible, unrealistically difficult, or otherwise not a good idea.

Not everyone tells the truth.

I've discussed this matter with many top witnesses, and Stinc. Your experience isn't singular, and many others have had the same conversation. It's been a successful strategy so far at keeping a serious discussion of 2FA or removing bots from being undertaken.

When someone explains in detail what exactly is the technical impediment to 2FA, then you will have some matters to consider. It isn't done, because there are no actual technical impediments.

Folks profiting from bots want to keep profiting from bots. The top witnesses and Stinc itself are dependent financially on the whales, who are the folks profiting from bots, so they either toe the company line, or they find other work.

If they ask you how the internet works, tell them it's a seriies of pipes, and 2FA is like a valve that only lets good stuff in them.

It's that simple.

Wow. Excellent poins and discussion.

Interesting ideas. Those would require the community to get more involved and care to do something about it :/

Not everything can be predicted. In the present, everything in the past is seen with 20/20 hindsight vision, but at the past time, you can't foretell the certainty of the future that will develop.

No, not everything can be predict, but human nature is fairly basic. They expected everyone to be altruistic in the upvoting.

Yes, it would require people to be involved and understand that the upvote bots doesn't help Steem.

really love this piece and i want to thank you for bringing this issues to light with such clarity. first off, thank you for sharing dan's medium article as i hadn't seen it yet and look forward to giving it a read.

obviously a lot of these issues are on many of our minds, but as you said, without $$$ to talk or high enough SP in this case, our voices don't matter very much. i'm curious if the community he's created on the EOS platform will seek to challenge these issues and if so, how it will do so.

i think many of us just continue steeming (and i speak for myself here) even amidst all of this " bidbot dictatorship" as @tarazkp coined because this is the best we've seen on the net as far as blogging and getting compensated for it. plus this community is literally the best i've ever come across. like in life, we can create niches of our own reality, though major injustices plague the world. steemit is no difference; many of us just keep swimming in our own corner of the pool slowly gaining steem while the same people remain at the top of the trending page all the time. basically i just ignore it.

one way i look at it as well is to focus on create strong communities. the bid bot buyers can just continue to circle jerk and stay on the trending page. that doesn't have to matter to the rest of us. yes the reward pool is heavily endowed in their favor, but if we took our energy away from feeding their accounts, whether with our vote, comment or resteem, it is slowly revealed for the sham that it is.

all in all in appreciate you writing on this pervasive systemic issue and will watch to see how it evolves and unfolds over time. we can certainly do better. i found myself nodding in agreement to your entire article.

edit: wow just read @tarazkp's piece... incredibly eye-opening and if i had read this first, would have amended a few things i wrote above. this is much more serious than i realized!

I'm curious too :) Time will tell how EOS does, and what happens on Steem too ;) Steem has done a lot great as I said, just some issues are manifesting and we need to pay more attention, as I see it :/

one way i look at it as well is to focus on create strong communities.

Yup. It's a good way to make the experience more meainngful even if you make little rewards ;)

Well said @mountainjewel I'm of the same opinion as you. But collectively this also can be worked out and solved for the future. 😊

The users who pay for votes with their SBD are looking at the short-term gains and benefits through profit-driven extrinsic motivations for themselves,

I take issue with this statement. The fact is most of the vote purchases result in a net loss for the buyer, a profit above what the vote normally handed out would have garnered once all the bids are payed for received by the the vote giver. Much like self publishing where the platforms (Amazon Kindle, etc) have so much new material being loaded that your book quickly loses any visibility, it is the same here and will only get worse if they quit dragging their feet letting new members join. And if anyone of substance used the hot or trending categories the loss would be worth it. But it is throwing money away and enriching the bots. I find it ironic that just like in real life, those who set the game and profit from it seem to have their role minimized while those trying in desperation to use the game to advance from the bottom usually take the brunt of the anger and blame, as ways in many cases (not here from you but I have seen it) are looked to make sure they are penalized to keep them at the bottom.

As to the idea of Dan Larimer being against what is taking place, I have my reservations. This is his creation and was set up purposely to be centralized with the power in the hands of the few. If you haven't read this thread where Steem was created, I recommend you do.

The mining thread for Steem

It is a long read as they mine it in the thread, and leaves no doubt once finished that this chain was meant to be centralized. What you have here now is the result of centralization. All of this was easily foreseeable in its creation, and it was the cause of most of the whale creation. I was rivited to reading it, especially when you find people so proud of their newfound whale status they are bragging on names they used for wallets.

Everyone needs to realize this was created for exactly what is taking place right now. Either live with it or don't.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

I've calculated the returns on a few posts that use the bid bots. SBD is at a loss most of the time since they don't get much more SP voted support to counter the SBD loss vs. payout return, but SP is gained, making it a profit overall. Although this was a few weeks ago, maybe it has changed now.

I've quoted Dan in the understanding he has now, based on realizations of issues with the original design. Quoting his mindset in the past is beside the point. You could do that with many people who advocate for something in the past, yet change their minds because they see how it has issues. The realizations of the mistake later on is more important than quoting the original mistaken goal in the past, lest one wants to simply keep going with a mistaken model just because someone said it in the past.

but SP is gained, making it a profit overall.

That is actually where it appears to hit the so called profit, turning it into a loss. I haven't really been using the bots so much the last month, but can tell you when I was before that if I spent 2 sbd on upvotes, I was lucky to get 2 sbd worth of votes, often it would be less. Then you subtract for the curation rewards, that leaves 1.5. But I don't get .75 SBD and then .75 SP. I would get .75 SBD and maybe half (.4-.45) in SP. Given that they are very close in value, it is because I am getting SP I am losing here (after the fact that many of the bots will accept bids that incurs a loss for the bidders)

If they were making all this mad profit everyone talks of, I would be posting so much and throwing every SBD I had into them because there would be no loss in it for me in searching for the rare person who searches through Hot (never had enough to get into Trending). It would be worth me posting daily quality posts. But I found myself losing, so no thanks. As I said, the profit seems to me to be on the part of the bot owners. Especially since some of the talk now seems to be if we could just strip all profit from them for the bidders it would stop the spam posting. It was a rare bot that was profitable from my view to begin with, so not seeing where making sure only the whales make every drip of profit is the cure. This is the type of logic one sees in a centralized place. Squeeze just a little more for the good of the small fry.

Quoting his mindset in the past is beside the point. You could do that with many people who advocate for something in the past,

I get what you are saying, but on the flip side if someone does something repeatedly it is smart to account for that when making considerations. Sometimes there is truth to FUD and there is still plenty of smoke coming from his current project that has been questioned in such a way by those who understand this better than I, that it makes me pause with reservations.

But as I have said repeatedly, he made this and it is by the rules he wanted. If anyone doesn't like it they can feel free to make their own with their own set of rules. And again to the profit from using bots, if it was there the way everyone says I would be posting every day, maybe several times per day but it isn't and I am not. It takes time to post a quality post that has value for others (which you understand as I follow you because of the time you take into putting thought into yours). The difference between ours is that yours will pay you much more nicely than mine. I don't have hours per day to craft quality posts in exchange for .10 or less of payout if I am lucky. Once again, not complaining about this at all. I understand what I have experienced and adjusted accordingly. Truthfully I seem to do better finding quality posts and interacting with the authors and other commenters as quality posts seem to attract quality responses. For newcomers that would be my advice to growing here on the platform. The only workaround of the design (once again, not a failure as it was designed like this on purpose) that a new person coming here will find, in my opinion.

For the record, I don't know Dan, so all of my thoughts are entirely as you point out based on his own words and actions from the past. Maybe he has taken a huge change of heart on it all. But we all reap the karma of our actions, and my views would be one of them for him, not that I imagine it keeps him up at night worrying what practicalthought may think of him, lol.

I really like this look at things... it opens up so many questions and gives some new insight on where we should be going in the future.

Can we fix this problem? Will real world solutions develop?

Understanding the problem is 50% of the way to a solution. I hope we find one that can work for generations to follow us.

BTW, I am upvoting you as witness too... I know how hard it can be to get there. Maybe eventually top witnesses will get rich enough to retire their positions to newer people willing to share in the responsibility over time. :) I'm struggling with intelliwitness the same way. I've been watching you for a long time now, and you're getting to a point where you realize communicating your ideas is more important than going toe-to-toe with one particular individual.

Thanks for the support, I gave you the vote too ;)

Maybe eventually top witnesses will get rich enough to retire their positions to newer people willing to share in the responsibility over time. :)

Hehehe, that seems like an unrealistic conclusion. They won't give up anything, only voters can change their positions ;) They will hold onto it as long as they can, because they can.

I've been communicating ideas since I got here in August 2016 ;)

See you around. Peace.

Humanity's potential for greatness seems to be hindered by it's baseness. Selfish short term agendas. The inability to put off immediate gratification for long term benefits of first the whole, then the individual, are nearly impossible to implement.
I may be wrong but I think Dan recognized this flaw in SteemIt and is planning to make evolutionary improvement on the EOS platform.
Some say competition is one solution for changing behavior on SteemIt, but if the reward pool continues to produce funds for the plutarchs to reap, even if the price falls, will they change? Or will they redouble their efforts to gather more?
I applaud your "call to arms" here.
My question is what change can I help initiate?
I don't write the code which is law. At this point it appears my only power is presence. And that is insufficient.
Competition would give me an alternative. Probably to my benefit.
As far as code change I suggest:
Not only implementing communities, but dividing up the reward pool to those communities. Individual communities would then have the ability to reward content according to their standards.
Ironically, this is antithesis to decentralization.
Human rules: we can't live with them, we can't live without them.

You know my stance on SP weighting VP. It's the source of the problem. Voting isn't the problem, it's weighting votes on stake that creates the imbalance.

Weighting votes on rep (even rep as broken and gamable as we have now) will eliminate the problem, while leaving investors the opportunity to profit from their investment through the traditional mechanism of capital gains.

Bots can be eliminated via 2FA.



Lets get some 2fa in da houze!

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Claude Shannon suggested randomization helps deal with these kind of gradient climb problems. So randomizing the trending page a bit ought to help, I suggest. Or perhaps get rid of it entirely, so that users who are not logged in have more incentive to look at specific categories. @Dan was debating Vitalik and he was not trending. You had to scroll way down to see it. Most people don't scroll. Especially those not signed up.

This makes it less meaningful to buy votes that generally lose the purchaser money if purchased them but had to bed purchased to trend.

In the broader world there is no single shelf space on which products are ranked. There are many shelves at different places.

Anonymity or at least pseudoanonymity is still necessary for people to be able to post without fear, if those people lack any other microphone. I would sign up for a nonanonymous platform, because I have another microphone. I'd have more readers. Easily. But most people don't have another microphone and power asymmetry in the broader world would discourage many of them from posting what they post. Platforms with anonymity will be far more interesting so far as content goes, I suggest. If they're properly balanced.

How many writers of fiction would publish mainstream fiction, and I mean professionally, with a well known publisher, under their own name rather than a pseudonym, if they're starting out and employed elsewhere? Or if they have a social position that is higher than that of a typical writer per se? The answer is too few, I would argue.

Many highly paid contracts for most people have a clause that forbids publishing anything without permission of the employer . . . and people have been fired for publishing even academic articles in well respected journals under their own name without asking permission from above. Because the permission would be denied. Anything you do under your name usually reflects on the institution you're part of and that must be controlled to minimize the risk. People get offended so easily these days that most institutions are paranoid. In many cases correctly. State an opinion or argument under your real name, which is affiliated with the institution, and you may be out.

That means the best people can't participate. It's why China requires signing up with real address and state registered phone numbers. Because of the chilling effect on the most competent and most otherwise well positioned people. It prevents the organization of such people on social media platforms.

yeah, speaking up contrary to the group gets one ousted from the group, so it goes... Maybe having less fear would allow people to stand up for what's right rather than remain attached to an institution that prevents them from doing so... I guess we need abundance and easier survival in society to allow people to lose their jobs :/

It is sad and regrettable, but it is the reality, this ecosystem is harmed by the whales that make and break everything at will ... I have noticed that most whales do not worry about giving a favorable vote to their followers to give them a good comment, they are only thinking about how to earn more money and publish junk content that no one is interested in and easily put their item in trend, due to abuse of vote buying. They take advantage of its power and wealth. Here is an example of a humble person that I follow. @krnel You published this great article that I doubt will reach the trend if you do not invest in bidbots, it is a humble person that does not abuse the system, that is why I admire it and because I have followed it and I see that it helps others without looking for anything in return and this action makes you a great person.

Thanks for the support :)

Yes, the system is flawed. But what makes it better than any offline democracy or dictatorship is that we are free. We are just here until we find something better. Participation is strictly voluntary and as soon as there is competition some of the whales will reconsider. And if they dont, then I'll just say au revior.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

if they dont, then I'll just say au revior.

;) bingo. "au revoir"

Ever since I first heard of some whale justifying his decision to delegate his SP to a bid bot last November to the whispers of a certain travel blogger who sells votes and upvotes on the 6th day I have been wracking my brain how this can be fixed.

I still don't know what to except to still continue making good content and power up as soon as I can to be able to have a voice in the matter.

There are a lot of ways this can be fixed. 2FA is one. Equal VP, or VP based on rep, instead of SP, is another.

It's this way for a reason. It isn't accidental. 35 whales profit from this system, and they have all the Steem. They're in charge.

No matter how much you power up, you won't have a voice based on SP compared to others who have way more SP.

I think you had a very good post, I like that you are bringing this to the attention of everyone, and that you were not afraid to go against the current grain, and mentioned @dan. I do not recall having read anything from you in the past, I amy have seen some comments from you, but this post was enough for me to vote you as a witness. I invite you to explore some of the #newbieresteemday tag, and see what we have been trying to do to help new users get a leg up.

Thank you for the support :)

People are the community. People in the community should be the ones to decide how the community functions, not a small subset of rich powerful users that have a concentration on power and get to do whatever they want and get away with it

It has never been any different in human life. The powerful will rule in any system if we want it or not.

“Govenment is founded on property
Property is founded on conquest
Conquest is founded on power
All power is founded on brain and brawn.”

If the system doesn't allow it they will simply pay or blackmail the developer/inventor.

However, if we combine forces and remove them from power in some way we might have a chance.

The powerful laugh about us right now, do you think they care about us talking? Popular people talk shit about whales and the top 20 all the time but nothing changed.

Its like protesting -> A waste of time.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

However, if we combine forces and remove them from power in some way we might have a chance.

Yes, but that's why this is false and a contradiction to what was just quoted:

The powerful will rule in any system if we want it or not.

You can't have it both ways. Communities can create systems where the above is not true. Systems that can change, not rigid and stagnant ;)

The powerful laugh about us right now, do you think they care about us talking? Popular people talk shit about whales and the top 20 all the time but nothing changed.

Its like protesting -> A waste of time.

Let's not talk about the issue, and get nowhere at all then ;) LOL

Systems that can change, not rigid and stagnant ;)

Good idea, but I doubt any systematical change will happen here as the powerful decide that and they love their money.

Steemit needs to change fundamentally, Steemit, as it is at the moment, ain't of great benefit for people that joined "later".

A pay to play system.

I see this as being largely true, those who can buy their way onto the front page will keep getting the huge payouts and people seem pretty content to stand by while the few rule over the many.

As in the real world it's reflected here on steemit, that we want to live a better way, with more equality, but not at the cost of loosing their own share.

Yup, giving up power/control is not desired :P

Teach your kids to not lie,steal or cheat,and that greed is good...
Kinda sad when you get flagged for speaking your mind,or trying to help people who are to small to do anything...
post hidden is not hurting your views..lol.
waiting for steemit to get some competition,it will fix things a little faster or go extinct faster.. People have seen the possibilities and are waking up.

Thing is that morality does not buy food and pay the bills. Group morality always looses against money, gread and envy. To prevent such flaws system should have been built with no monetary rewards at any level. But in that case it would not grow anything near we have today and would be just another blogging site.

It is a clear and silly engineering failure
But it is possible to have a goal for the engineer from whom you must hear the eyes of the engineer

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Upvoted for discussion, but I don't like this approach at all. Some of the solutions mentioned in the comments are worse than the problem. Let's step back and look at the big picture. Dan was fully conscious when he based Steem on Money = Power. That made it possible to avoid a Sybil attack in an uncensored, decentralized, pseudonymous publishing platform. Demanding that it also avoids spam and corruption is perfectionism. This is the worst system, except all others that have been tried.

I have faith that such a community will be far more competitive in a market competition for mindshare than one that elects vote buyers.

Why wouldn't that competition for mindshare work within Steem? Especially when we get moderated communities. What most people are worrying about isn't mindshare, but a share of the loot. We're disappointed that being moderately greedy isn't as profitable as we expected, compared to being shamelessly greedy.

You don't need look at the Trending page. You don't need to worry whether a particular user deserves his profits. If censorship by whales becomes a serious problem, we can avoid it in a client.

Maybe Dan is still butthurt because Ned downvoted his post about Eos. But that stupid action only drew more attention to it.

"...Money = Power. That made it possible to avoid a Sybil attack..."

Not at all. What it meant was that a Sybil attack was potentiated through buying the original miners of Steem out--a golden parachute. It's hard to conceive of a more trivially easy centralizing mechanism than money, which SP weighting votes is.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Everyone is fully conscious. Just because you do something consciously, doesn't mean it's completely without issues that you can recognize later on :/ I don't look at the Trending page. That's only a symptom. Ask @skeptic how flagging is a form of censorship, because I've experienced it too.

There are advantages and disadvantages of anonymous systems vs non-anonymous. I think both have place to live as proved by many anonymouse internet forums, chats etc however the most money seems to be flowing into non-anonymous systems (look at facebook for ecample)

my answer to him:

So, I am just an idiot, but let me tell my opinion(sometimes the truth comes from the humblest of the people, like Bible tells you)

"So, basicly, 2/3 of people are honest…..but there are grades of honesty…and if one starts doing shit and not getting punished for it, all the system will become a shit. My point is, like the Bible say, humans cannot rule themselves….artificial intelligence is a mean to do things…..but ultimately there should be one person to program artificial intelligence….that dude is God…….so, all the system should be programmed by a person that is a better person than the average….that person on steem 2.0 or whatever could be you….power ultimately should be centralized in a person that is a much better person than the average person….artificial intelligence,etc, etc are just tools for it." (sorry for the bad words)

I voted this post because this is an extraordinary and deep conclusion written by a wonderful human being.
(Nah joking....I just voted it because its mine)

That guy's name start by a "D" as mine....they say people whose name starts with a D use to be special people as some mystics say....that's because they don't know me or they would change their minds

The problem will be who decides on what and how, so that it does not become a power hungry censorship.

As I wrote in a previous post, the question then becomes what is "good content"? I'm probably one of the odd women out considering I produce content with no images, for the most part, and it seems that the ones that have the most images are the ones that get the most money. Intend to read Dan's article; see what he has to say. I'll be honest. I never joined this community to make money, but knowing that the potential was there, and the potential to give myself a voice, now I'm not so sure. I love the prospect of not having to run ads on my web site to potentially make money, but the power struggles going on don't seem to be favouring the smaller bloggers such as myself.

Have you guys seen "The Beach"?

It's pretty much about an idealistic group of system-dropouts, that try to create a "perfect community" of everybody sharing and caring. It works fine until some day somebody fucks it up and it's all gone.

Hasn't the idea of democracy started the same way than the idea of steemit? And what have we (humans) done with it within a short time?

Another movie eplaining my point is "The Gods Must Be Crazy". It's about an african tribe that lives peaceful for themselves like hundreds of years before. Until one day, an empty Coca Cola bottle drops out of the sky (from an airplane) and the whole tribe suddenly starts fighting for that bottle. It is inside of us, no matter how long it has been sleeping.

I wish to come to another conclusion, but it seems that in the bigger picture we are just that virus, Agent Smith talks about in Matrix.

Sorry :)

I am seeing more and more articles with similar perspectives on this platform. You are reading my mind!

Every revolution began from a minority of one.

I's a larger minority than one, @tarazkp! I know at least two leaders of small communities here who have been thinking similar things.

One of the reasons I came to steemit was to blog about my interesting life and connect with others that are unique, unfortunately all I usually see on trending pages is such a lot of abuse by paid for voted posts that have very little value.
It can be disheartening to post interesting blogs and then get upvoted less than a doller for youf work, and the only way around this is to buy your way to the top!.
Their must be a solution, I would love it to be worked out and then implemented for the good of the whole. 😊
Thank you for actually caring too 😊

Communities are the solution. And I mean that doubly. Enabling the community functionality on the blockchain will increase the 'community' behavior. Your positioning is dead on. At the moment much of the 'community' is happening off of Steem. I seen some communities able to extend some change but to have a larger, more impactful effect it needs to be part of the direct ecosystem. There would need to be some governance around community creation and the dismantling of the bid bot "rent-seeking vote-buyers" ability or usage. By and by, I would see a more harmonized approach as commuties build value, drive value and contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Steem blockchain.

Great article and very well timed! #informationwar

Under the current system of linear reward it's easier to game the system than play fair. Dan also pointed this out in one of his post. I also pointed this out in many comments now and explained the rational and I was never proven wrong.

I explain the issue here in part.
Witness felixxx gave some more thought on the subject here
and here
I'm not going to go into the detail of this here but I will in a future post.

Dan explain some of his points here thought they might not be obvious for people to understand.

I commented on the post and the above comment by Dan is under this post too.


Very well thought out and articulate post. You have written what I have been thinking recently, and written it much better than I could have. I am new to Steemit and still learning. However, the terms 'pay to play' and 'rent seeking' nail exactly what I have been thinking about what is going on here. I wrote a post about it, asking if Steemit was a pyramid scheme, requiring money for newbies to get anywhere. Anyway much to think about in your post.

Read through all the comments. Interesting viewpoints here. This is a problem we hope something can be done. so far, steemitinc dont listen