Life Ain't "Fair" and Neither Is Steem. Deal with It and Self-Vote Away.

in #steem3 years ago (edited)

Steem is currently being flooded with well-intended newbies (welcome, friends!), some of whom believe that Steem would be even better if it were "fairer". By "fairer" they generally mean more egalitarian, with large SP holders having less influence over the community.

While I appreciate their sentiment, I respectfully suggest that they just don't get what makes Steem special and why it has value. Steem (and particularly Steem Power, or SP for short) has value because it is in demand. Demand for SP is rooted in many factors, but a primary one is that owning more SP gives one more "say so" over the Steem blockchain and the Steem community. In short, owning SP gives one more POWER. People want power, hence people want SP, hence SP has real world value.

Making Steem more egalitarian inherently means giving each account a greater voice, or a greater chance at earning rewards, regardless of the SP held by that account. Said another way, making Steem more egalitarian means diminishing the role and importance of SP. When SP has less influence and less importance, the market value of SP declines. So, yes, SP tokens may be more evenly distributed in a more egalitarian system, but those tokens will be worth less. Much less. The prize won by the the proponents of egalitarianism is therefore somewhat of a booby prize.

And this is always the case. Take "communism" as an example. The communists sought to make the world more egalitarian by dividing up resources more "fairly". However, by doing so they destroyed all market incentives. The end result was a booby prize--everyone was more equally poor rather than more equally rich.

While I'm generally a fan of the last hard fork (which did bring more "fairness" to the system), it's a fact that the market price of SP has declined sharply since the fork was implemented. Perhaps that was a reasonable trade off for now, but I'm increasingly concerned that this push for egalitarianism will be taken too far. The latest example is the current debate over the "fairness" of self-voting and the push by mostly newbies (or so it seems to me) to end it or shame it.

Self-voting has always been an accepted part of Steem since it's founding becasue it makes Steem more valuable. Denying SP holders the ability to self-vote diminishes their influence considerably and therefore undermines the value of the Steem that they and you hold.

It seems to me that that this fact can't seriously be contested. Imagine a world with two different flavors of SP existing on the same Steem blockchain, one that allowed self-voting and one that didn't. Which one of these two flavors would have the higher market value? Undoubtedly the one that permits self-voting, right? I mean, all else being equal, would you pay as much for SP that only allowed you to vote for others as you would for one that allowed you to vote for yourself AND others? Of course you wouldn't. That would be insane.

Consequently, depriving SP holders of the right to self-vote, or shaming those who responsibly do, will undoubtedly undermine the market price of SP and thereby damage every single SP holder and the entire Steem ecosystem.

I understand that some rightfully fear self-voting abuse that could undermine the entire system. I respectfully suggest that such fears are overblown. Again, self-voting is only helpful if one owns a material amount of SP. By owning material amounts of SP, one has an inherent financial stake in the success of the overall system. No large group of rational persons would seek to undermine the value of their own stake by abusively self-voting such that Steem becomes a worthless circle jerk. That would be insanity and large groups of people don't generally behave in insane, self-harming ways.

That's not to say that a few here and there won't seek to game the system by abusively self-voting, but they can be easily dealt with by those with superior amounts of SP and/or rep who don't want to see the value of their holdings diminished.

In short, responsible self-voting of reasonably good content by large holders of SP should be ENCOURAGED since it greatly increases the demand for and market value of Steem. Abuses should be dealt with on a case by case basis. Radically reforming Steem to make it more "fair" or egalitarian or by attempting to shame all self-voters will undermine the built-in incentives that give Steem value. It's a sad fact of life that valuable systems are never fair and fair systems are never valuable. Steem may be "virtual reality", but it's still reality and fundamental laws of economics, like supply and demand, will still prevail.


Great post, Sean. Just as you mentioned in the comments on my post, seeing Steemit as a competing corporation does shed some light on how the value of Steem Power should trend towards those who use that power in their own self-interest which aligns with the interest of the whole network.

I do wonder, though, if you trust a bit too much in the rational action of those involved. You take it as a given that people will flag those who abuse the system with self-voting combined with meaningless comments, but I think what has started this conversation is that many haven't been doing this. They don't want to get involved in flag wars and they don't want to waste their now precious voting power to go around flagging comment abuse with self-upvoting. I'm talking about the "Great post!" comment making $50+. To flag those comments is, in many ways, an altruistic gesture which few people will see in terms of long-term protection of their investment unless their investment comes under real threat.

There's also the issue of new user adoption to consider. Steem isn't just a cryptocurrency. It's also a growing social media platform which needs to grow exponentially in order to thrive. If new users see people upvoting their own comments to receive large rewards while they only get a few cents working on long posts, they often leave and consider this place a scam. You address this in your post and in the comments here with somewhat of a "well, good riddance we don't need them anyway" perspective, and you may be right. But... I think the long term value of Steemit isn't just in the cryptocurrency, but it's also in the growth of the network effect the social platform itself provides. Ideally, both need to grow together. If actions are seen by many as selfish, unfair, scammy, ponzi, etc, etc that can have a longterm effect on the reputation of the platform which can impact investors negatively.

The price has gone down since HF19, but so has the entire altcoin market. I'm not sure a correlation there is causation.

I think your views are important and accurate and a good balance to those who think in black and white concerning what should and should not be allowed. I also think it sheds light on a very large ideological discussion between capitalist and socialist thinking which is so deeply ingrained for many people that they won't understand or appreciate the opposing views any time soon.

I agree with the general thrust of your argument. You make good points.

The people arguing on the other side of this seem like either well-meaning people who are ignorant of how Steem works (this is usually obvious because they think they can "punish" away this behavior and that it won't immediately come back in sock puppets) or idealogues.

I got into it last night with the creator of the "Smackdown.kitty" bot that is literally designed to troll Steemit and auto-flag self votes, then name-and-shame the targets in a regular report post. I asked him a question on his position and he just kinda flipped out. Seemed pretty innocent.

I have a tiny nitpick:

"That would be insanity and large groups of people don't generally behave in insane, self-harming ways."

Extraordinary Delusions.jpg

exactly I agree anything that is less than linear would result in many sock puppets

I got into it last night with the creator of the "Smackdown.kitty" bot that is literally designed to troll Steemit and auto-flag self votes, then name-and-shame the targets in a regular report post.

Well, I wrote the bot 🙃 It's not for sure we'll go ahead with it, still discussing it with everyone.

The name-and-shame report is almost certainly going ahead though. And why not? I think there's broad agreement that assigning yourself $70 of Steem for a comment constitutes a valid disagreements of rewards, to put it mildly. In lieu of a systematic solution we are doing the best we can to highlight the issue.

And regardless of broad agreement, are we not entitled to use our stake as we wish to influence the platform? I don't mean that facetiously, I think it's one thing we can all agree on.

"I think there's broad agreement that assigning yourself $70 of Steem for a comment constitutes a valid disagreements of rewards, to put it mildly."

Is there, though? I'm not just being a pest here. What if I write a high-quality comment, say 10 paragraphs, with time, research, citations? Suppose that comment would have made $80 if it was a separate post (I realize we can not know this, but hypothetically), but I made this comment as the 6th reply in a nested conversation? Maybe even in the dreaded "show more replies"?

Isn't self-upvoting this quality content, that is highly likely to make no rewards, justified?

What if I feel that comment deserves my self-upvote, but I don't want to be perceived as attempting to win the argument by putting big numbers on my comment payout? Or perhaps I don't want to reorder the comments? Suppose I then upvote another, more innocuous comment of my own instead, to create that value I feel is deserved without attempting to "bias" the audience of my comments?

The preceding hypothetical is an actual thing I've done, by the way, not a game of Devil's Advocate.

"And regardless of broad agreement, are we not entitled to use our stake as we wish to influence the platform? I don't mean that facetiously, I think it's one thing we can all agree on."

Well, I agree here certainly, and though this is not technically a contradiction, I feel like it's a little unfair to use this argument when you are the "aggressor" and the self-voters are on the "defensive". Not meaning to use loaded language here, but I'm not sure of a better description...

Self-voters aren't creating the Dawg.Bot to follow you guys around and flag all your posts about the Smackdown Kitty. They are just kinda doing their own thing, which as much as I hate to admit it (because I like standing against what I perceive to be unjust), might be a better approach.

For example, I'm not flagging those Booking Team posts, even though I try to expose it. I'm willing to attempt to win that battle with words, but flags are sort of like SteemIt's version of force, and I don't want to be that aggressive. Attacking what someone perceives as their property (pending rewards), even if it is not their property, is going to be perceived as force, particularly when it is economic property.

Plus, full disclosure, I feel that would be a drop in the bucket and therefore a waste of my VP, and I likely couldn't handle the retaliation.

Ps - I really enjoyed catching up on your replies today, thank you.

Yes I'm enjoying our exchanges too, the challenge is welcome.

Your first scenarios I would still file under "you shouldn't be in a position to directly determine the value of your own posts or comments". Regardless of how you feel you should be rewarded I am firmly of the opinion that in a social network these values should be assigned by others.

And still, as I said elsewhere, I do not consider flags to be violence or an attack. People can view pending rewards as their property but that's similar to viewing gambling winnings your property when it appears the betted on event is going your way. I'll continue to do everything I can to highlight that pending rewards are not actual rewards and I still also think we need a front end change here to highlight this (it would be really easy to do).

If we go ahead with @smackdown.kitty flags we have to accept the possibility someone will create Dawg.Bot 😅 If that happens we'll roll with it and I hope the larger community will get involved in whatever way they are moved to.

I don't hear anything here I haven't already discussed with you.

"Regardless of how you feel you should be rewarded I am firmly of the opinion that in a social network these values should be assigned by others."

Well, there's the rub. Steem isn't a social media platform, only Steemit is. Even Steemit isn't really just a social media platform, is it? I put $45,000 (I may not have bought at the optimal time though =/) into Steemit as an "investor", given where that puts me in vested, I'd likely have stock with voting shares were this a company. What social media platform can we compare to that is even remotely analogous? That does mean I deserve to determine some of the rewards, and it says so right in the white paper. I'm providing value, huge value, to those that want to cash out. Even if I, hypothetically, self-upvote spam, that is rightly considered a payment for liquidity that I provide, especially in the case of those with capital losses. We can quibble about numbers on what that is worth, but it is worth something.

If I had put in $0, then I agree with your premise, I wouldn't deserve to "decide" part of my posts value. But I do deserve that when I am in the top 5% or top 1% of vested, in a proportionate amount - and that's why I agree with the hard fork changing vests from exponential to linear, even though I think I'd be benefiting from having the old way more, personally. Your argument applies much better to minnows, than to whales (or orcas, or whatever), but there's already not much of a problem with minnows. And again, I am assuming the posts being upvoted are NOT SPAM or 3-4 words - I'm assuming these users are all at least self-upvoting reasonably whole-assed content. The liquidity value is just another bonus wherein it could be possible to both be self-upvoting spam comments AND providing value, because your capital loss is funding others cash-out because you bought into a crash or downtrend.

As it stands, minnows already really can't abuse it, so I still don't see the problem. Nor do I think flagging them with a bot will help.

I just posted what I think is a much better solution in my newest blog entry - give us a flagging power separate from voting power. That way, we could make a dent in spam posts as a community without sacrificing value we can give to others (or ourselves), curation rewards, etc. You can't make it directly financially counterproductive for people to try to clean up spam - even though the rewards get redistributed on a macro-level, on the micro level of the individual user, they pretty much just lose that voting power if they flag.

Again, I think this would be many times more useful than flagging bots, I'm worried about naming and shaming which almost always causes...secondary effects, and I would love to get into the Trending page and flag the heck out of the spam-junk mail that's in there, but if I do that, I can't vote for my commenters on my articles, or my own blog posts to try to get them to Hot, or even you while we have this discussion.

Steem isn't a social media platform, only Steemit is. Even Steemit isn't really just a social media platform, is it? I put $45,000 (I may not have bought at the optimal time though =/) into Steemit as an "investor", given where that puts me in vested, I'd likely have stock with voting shares were this a company. What social media platform can we compare to that is even remotely analogous?

You are completely wrong. Steem is a social media platform. You cannot remove the social media functions from the cryptocurrency functions because they are tightly bound together as the blockchain itself. This is not even to mention that the tradable coin gets part of it's value from it's distribution within the context of social media. Honestly I'm surprised that you have this opinion.

"Steemit" is just the company and front end branding. You are not a Steemit investor unless you bought shares in Steemit Inc., otherwise you are a Steem investor and social media user.

Because there is no precedent for Steem does not make it not a social network, it just makes it a pioneer!

I've read your latest blog entry, and glad to see different solutions (and the honorable mention 😉), though I don't think the incentives are there for that particular idea.

I think we may be reaching the end of any profitable discussion because, as is often the case, the root of our disagreement is becoming apparent. You are happy with the recent boost in your ability to allocate resources to yourself to grow your investment. I certainly understand this position, and I agree that it is at least plausible it can grow the platform by attracting people who would want this.

However it is not the kind of platform I want, and I'm more in line with the idea that the investment will grow anyway at a reasonable rate with basic activity (i.e. phoning it in) and potentially a lot with exemplary activity, and that we should keep the incentives for social engagement high priority.

"You are completely wrong. Steem is a social media platform. You cannot remove the social media functions from the cryptocurrency functions because they are tightly bound together as the blockchain itself. This is not even to mention that the tradable coin gets part of it's value from it's distribution within the context of social media. Honestly I'm surprised that you have this opinion."

I'm not wrong by definition. I don't know why you'd get so...weird about this. I am right by definition in exactly what I said. Steemit is NOT just a social media platform, and it not comparable directly to what we call Social Media today. There is a lot more going on with Steemit and it is therefore much more complex than FB or Twitter.

Steem is NOT a social media platform, it is a cryptocurrency that, among other potential uses, powers Steemit.

You are totally wrong here:

"Steem is a social media platform."

I mean, just ask anyone. You are wrong by definition. I don't get most of this reply. You've totally ignored the value of providing liquidity and assumed I just want to assign myself rewards.

I don't even want to address any of your other points, because you claimed I said things I didn't say.

"You are completely wrong. Steem is a social media platform."

No, no it's not. I can't believe you are arguing basic terminology against the white paper.

What do you think makes Steemit special? For most people, the rewards (I like the anti-censorship). Who provides the value in cashing out rewards? Not posters, they are sellers. Only buyers. Only capital.

Demonize capital and you get communism. Equality of outcome. It seems like this may be what you want?

Why won't you even acknowledge the value of capital? Do you know what would happen without investors? What's the opposite of "to da moon"?

What do you think the honest value of a token, in USD, would be if only content posters had it, because you have utterly driven away capital? About as much as Reddit karma, that's what. The order book will be all red.

Well I'll do you the dignity of a response.

Steem was always designed as a social media network, it's right there in the whitepaper. It is evident, I have nothing to prove here.

I don't know what you mean by "weird" but I have to assume that is just a put down and ignore.

You've totally ignored the value of providing liquidity and assumed I just want to assign myself rewards.

I emphasise that you do want to assign rewards to yourself, you cannot deny this. That's not to say you do not want other things.

I'm forced to update as you're doing a lot of edits. I'm not demonizing capital, you need to accept that. I am not in favor of increasing the reward share of those with capital though via increased self rewarding. Equality of outcome is not the goal, never has been.

I acknowledge the value of capital but didn't think it was needed as nothing I've said has contradicted that.

and if you want you upvote power to go up....GO BUY SOME STEEM POWER!!

It is the best investment ever.

@sean-king loved the article and the perspective. I'm now following!
When launching a new platform easy barrier to entry and mass adoption is key. At the moment SP is that attraction, by devaluing you're making the key success of the platform void which could hurt growth.

I think you really hit the nail on the head. People who accumulate SP, either through the rewards system or an outright purchase have a vested interest in Steemit succeeding, and hopefully wildly so. If we play the fair game, we all end up with a meager ration of SP and at the first sign of trouble, we power down and liquidate and take our content, interest and influence elsewhere.

The other scenario is we set up several other account, and self vote anyways to our second, third, forth account etc. Get out of the "poor me" mindset and either earn or purchase SP. If you really want it, you can accumulate SP. I'm considering selling a set of golf clubs and two metal detectors so I can buy more SP and add it to the 349 SP I bought today. You earned my vote and I intend to self vote this comment...

I agree with @sylviamiller; so as a baby minnow, I'm just going to comment a lot, upvoted my comments, write content, upvoted that, resteem whales and upvoted that, comment on their posts and upvoted those. Then maybe spend a few grand to power up and upvote, upvote, upvote! Just as an experiment. Like, perhaps an @jeffberwick hopeful or to become more like the virtual @papa-pepper! All their constant is fabulous. And I enjoy Steemit - it is teaching me so much about the Blockchain and technology in general! UPVOTE! STEEM ON!

Just remember: absolute power corrupts absolutely.


You have opened the EYE's of this newbie. It is often the only vote we get, the Self vote. / Pity Vote.

I believe it is also makes the Newbies feel a little better when at least they see the Beautiful Blue Upvote even if they had to upvote their own post, most say they have voted and followed on a post then you see they have not VOTED...?? This happens A LOT!!

It can be very hard to get a Reaction out of folks these days because of the flood of new Steemers. Welcome!!

It also seems as if some FOLLOWERS only follow those with decent sized wallets.. The spam from generic posts is ever so real..
Should we down vote the SPamers?? Not sure on the Steemit way of dealing with them..

Maybe if the Wallet was not Public.. Just thinking out loud.

Thank you for your time and for sharing this very insightful Blog.
It has helped me better understand the Big Steemit picture and the feelings of those around the community I was not even aware of..

HAve a great day!!

Should I upvote my comment?? JK ;)

I think that if the option gets taken away then there shall always be a way around it, so it is better for it to be transparent and open to the public.

I do not believe that banning anything shall fix anything.

Banning drugs and alcohol, for example, just created the Prohibition Era and drug cartels.

Now, this is a post with value. As far as I can see, the whales for the most part have made happen. A large investment in time and resources. The others have risked their money/currency and thrown a ton of resources into buying steem to support the platform and increasing the actual value of steem.
To think that a new user automatically deserves an equal part of the pie is rediculus. Money is power by it's very nature and if your not willing to invest in gaining some personal power, But demand others share their hard earned power with you. Your missing the point altogether.
I'm super happy with the recent fork. Now I can see things change when I click. Before it was useless almost.
The big players made that happen and I'm pleased with the results ( Thank You )
They sacrificed some of their earnings to make things fairer for all the new comers. Some will hord, some will share, nothing will change human nature.
I guess I could keep going all day, but will stop here as @sean-king has really cover the topic better than I can.
Step up to the plate and create some good content or throw some money into steem and raise the price. ( No Free Lunch ).
Maybe I'll blog about my take on things, I'm super excited to be part of and wish I had some money to invest, All I have is my time.
Here is what I'm doing with it....

My Signature Post ---> Hop on My Love Train ( with music )

Follow & Sing along :-) Life is Good @

I absolutely agree with your thinking Sean. Responsible, reasonable self-voting is a positive for Steem. If you take away the power and reward from accumulating Steem Power, then everyone might as well head back over to Facebook.

Hard to argue with the main points - although the question of what amounts to "responsible" self-voting is going to vacillate pretty wildly depending on who is interpretting it. Plus the ability of other high SP whales to regulate is dependent on their knowledge and their willingness of the abuse - which may be presuming a lot.

Slightly hijacky sidenote - but inherently relevant to Steem/SP value - I have some thoughts on the taxation of steempower in particular that I would love your opinion on, whether you upvote or not. I think my interpretation of newly earned steempower as an unexercised stock option may have legs.

Well written and great insights. I'm a newbie and it is frustrating to not have your articles noticed but my new mantra is "determination and patience". Like any venture it's up to you to build your following customers/clients. I upvote my posts 1 time. I believe in my posts and I am not ashamed to show it. Following

What you don't understand, since you have been up on high for some time, is what it's like to be down here at the bottom. The vote power now decays so fast that the default self-vote post takes away your ability to even give a cent to anyone. We are campaigning for the abolition of self voting primarily to allow new users to not have to read a war and peace to learn how to interact on the new platform. They dish out likes as they are used to, and before they know it, they have no more.

I and everyone who has been here long enough, especially the more technically minded, realise that more advanced users can always skirt such a ban. So you think that means it should not be implemented? That's not the point. Not only that, you should realise, and this really is why you are getting cranky, is that being forced to go to this extra effort to defend your right to assign yourself rewards out of the pool, is going to both be diminished, and become more blatantly antisocial to the rest of the community.

If we let things continue your way, there will be a second round of massive attrition of the userbase, your precious big Steem Power will again drop back to under a dollar a piece and what good has all your grasping done for you?

Friend, how do you think I got "up on high"? I mostly paid for it. I took my hard earned money and I used some of it to acquire SP. Why? Becasue I wanted to have more power and influence over Steem, including the power to help my personal posts get more exposure by means of upvoting.

And you, friend, could easily do the same. Take some of your hard earned money and buy more SP. If you can't afford that, then at least invest the time to post thoughtful comments that might earn you some SP. And, if you can't do either, then...why are you here? Or, more importantly, why do I care whether your are here or not?

Steem is a self-sustaining ecosystem. Looting is impossible and moochers will quickly get bored and move on. Consequently, the folks that stay around and who do well here will be those who add value to the ecosystem either by purchasing and holding SP (which supports the market price of Steem) or by contributing great content that earns Steem.

So, you may be right. There may be another round of "massive attrition" as the looters, moochers and trolls realize that there's no way for them to gain from the Steem ecosystem. But if history is any guide, they will be quickly replaced by actual contributors--productive Steemsters that add massive value to the ecosystem by posting good content and/or holding large quantities of SP.

Steem is the Galt's Gulch of the Internet, a haven for contributors and producers. Mere consumers are welcome (they will find some great content and amazing people here), but they can't loot and won't succeed by mooching or trolling. If many of them decide to move on, all the better.

I already did, it composes maybe 25% of the total that I got from powering down.

I consider promoting my own posts with votes to be both redundant and egotistical. So I don't do it. But I'm in a minority, and always have been with this. This didn't stop me from working my way up, without sacrificing my at the time, non-existing capital. I used my time, and my brain, instead.

The solution is not going to be either obvious, or, probably, as complicated as some think. I am continuing to use my brain to explore options, as you can see in my latest post. The changes in HF19 were not completely thought out, and the evidence is available for everyone to see.

Also, I think it can be debated extensively that sacrificing time and brain power is more costly than risking an easy to calculate amount of surplus capital monetary resources. It also happens to demand of the player, in this situation, more rigorous logic to defend the initiative usually born from a simple hunch, than the simple economic calculation of profit, loss and risk, simply because it is a far more complex set of variables. These are the things that our brains have evolved to solve, and the simple economic calculations are a product of that, not the computational process of our subconscious minds.

its the old communist bollox - he has more he should have less.

not - he has more, i should work to have as much as him or more.


You are right! Steemit is just being flooded right now with new people who try to make fast and easy money, most don't even invest in STEEM POWER or much time into steemit.... everyone should still be trying and working hard... If you don't try or start doing something against it, it will never change... So always give your best and maybe one day it works out! And best not to do is don't compare yourself with others... at least not too much :D

I like you post. I was afraid to self vote until I notice that older Steemians do. However I am still hesitant to self vote my comments especially when written on someone else's post. However I notice that others do. I think I understand the reason. I often spend the time to read other people's post - long or short and quite often I leave what I consider relevant feedback. When I do not get a response or any acknowledgement that my comment was read - it feels as though I wasted my time reading the post and making the comment. Time spent is valuable and we show appreciate by curating and upvoting - that is what it is all about - right? That said - I will upvote this comment and others from now on. Thanks for sharing. Upvoted and followed

Thanks for the good advice. I was a little unsure about updating my own posts. I thought it would be classed like googleing yourself. But now I don't fel ashamed to upvote my own content

Well the only thing fair in life is time, we all have 24hrs in a day!

Well said @sean-king, smile, do wtf we want, and self vote. Anyway, people will always have something to say now matter what.

All that I post at the moment is only for Steem Power and I am not planing to achieve something else here on Steemit, until I am a member that will bring some value to this amazing platform. that is because I believe in this platform and I believe that will have a bright future. I only more people will now how big steemit will grow and how nice would be for them to get in now and not later.

Thank you for this. I just got here and this is actually the first post I've read as a confirmed member. I'm just currently trying to find my way around and learn a bit more about this place before posting, and this was really helpful!

Welcome to steemit @rainbowcake.

i support the rights of all to self vote and am sick of these whingers who don't understand the investment in time and money that those wit influence have contributed to the platform -am now following you and upvoting too -- i hope you may enjoy my art and music all original -D

I liked your perspective, I resteemed :)

I agree 90 percent, even though it is hard to see "mobile phone"-shots or stuff like that get a lot in payouts and posts I worked 4h on get 0.46. The people who came earlier to Steemit are simply lucky - gotta accept that!

On the other hand, payouts very rarely reflect the entertainment/information-value of a post and I thought that was what those payouts were for.

Anyways, I dont wanna complain, like you said, life isnt fair and neither is this page :-)

I agree totally with you .

Thanks for putting this together - very well written. It's something lots of people have been grumbling about - And Perfectly titled - Life ain't fair, neither is steem. Thanks for bringing balance to the argument.

Yes, and there's a major issue here -- the more you change the system or fork it, the less confidence people have in it and the value goes down. So you really have to be sure any change is going to have a major benefit.

Comparing opposition to self voting to communism is very imaginative, I'll give you that!

However consider this.

Every day new Steem is printed by the blockchain. This is literally created by witnesses every time they create a block. When they create a block they also keep some of this new Steem for themselves because they are performing valuable work. The rest is automatically distributed by the system based on votes with the understanding that they will be distributed to those who do the most valuable "work".

You are not saying anything by self voting except that you deserve some of this newly printed Steem by virtue of your stake. You can think of it like a dividend on your investment, or interest on a loan. However influence was never about the ability to guarantee your reward, it was about influencing the take of others.

We always had curation rewards to incentivize (or pay if you want) people to vote for others. You could get more by collaborating on voting for others than you could by self voting, as the reward was not guaranteed.

Now however you can get more from self voting. Tell me how should this not be changed? Simply because we are all rational actors? That is false, we do not always with our long term interests at heart. See smoking, drinking, fast food, and all risky behaviors.

It's not whether or not those with more SP should have more influence, no one is disputing that, it's about how much and what that influence can do.

I didn't compare opposition to self upvoting to communism. I compared the lust for egalitarian fairness to communism.

By self-voting you are doing far more than just staking out some portion of the reward pool. The biggest impact from self-voting isn't in the few dollars that your own self vote awards you but rather in the additional exposure that such self-voting achieves. Someone with sufficient SP can help ensure that their post is seen by more poeple (via the "hot" and "trending" sections, for instance). In fact, this is the primary advantage of SP in my estimation. It's why everyone will eventually want to own SP someday, including even corporate advertisers.

You don't deny (becasue you can't) that depriving SP holders of self-voting makes SP less valuable. Again, ponder the scenario where two flavors of SP are offered to the public on the Steem blockchain, one that allows only voting for others and one that allows voting for others AND/OR yourself. Which will have more value? The answer is undeniable.

Consequently, depriving SP holders of the right to self-vote undermines the price of Steem, period. There's no denying that. Undermining the price of Steem is not rational or helpful, especially when the existing system already has a built-in means of reigning in abusive self voting.

The biggest impact from self-voting isn't in the few dollars that your own self vote awards you but rather in the additional exposure that such self-voting achieves.

This is only true for posts (not comments), and only while the option is available. If it were to be taken away, or even cost more, the advantage of high SP holders to promote their posts would diminish. Now this divides people into two camps, but you'll find a lot of support here for the camp which thinks that good posts are not necessarily written by the rich and famous. If you want to promote posts a rich person you can always put your SBD down and hit the Promote button.

I don't know about your two flavors of Steem argument. You may be right, in that now we have opened the pandoras box of effective self voting (do not forget it was not worth it before several weeks ago) we cannot close the lid on it now that everyone, especially high SP holders, have had a taste of super charged self vote rewards.

The utility of SP on the platform would certainly be worth diminished by any blockchain change which either removed self voting or disincentivized it. However ostensibly that is exactly what HF 19 intended to do - allow minnows greater power, and when balanced diminished the voting power of whales. It was seen as good because it was seen as good for the platform as a whole.

The value of SP is really the value of Steem which I don't agree is as simply put as you claim and I agree with Luke Stokes in his comment here, with many variables and moving parts beyond self voting. But I don't think it's given that removing a large advantage over minnows will drive adoption and investment.

Awesome article and so true. Although as someone with almost no SP it hurts to hear the truth.

Thank you following

That's true, We should upvote qualitative content

That is very detailed,i agree on all of your points. I now understand it well.

I think it's well set up to make it difficult to just game the system with bots, and that's what we want or it will surely die.

I agree @sean-king

The people have to stop crying and work hard to increase their SP

YES. Exactly. People may complain all they want about having too little (money) basically, but what they really want is..wait for it.. more money, and more influence, and more power. But what they seem to forget in their indignation, is the fact that if that is more evenly distributed (some sort of wealth redistribution - the communist wet dream) the incentive to create good content, stay patient and earn more vanishes. So even if making money/steem(power) is not the ONLY incentive for us to be here, it is an important one. And in order to do that you should be rewarded by; Creating good content, curating, getting to know people, acting nice, having patience and of course being an early adopter - which then makes you money. That is how capitalism works, and that is the only system that doesn't corrupt itself.


Imagine a world with two different flavors of SP existing on the same Steem blockchain, one that allowed self-voting and one that didn't. Which one of these two flavors would have the higher market value?

Obviously the one where self-voting isn't "allowed", because people would see that platform pays better and has higher overall content quality so they all move there. The self-voting platform will only be left with self-voted spam and no new investors would come. The inflation would eat your STEEM tokens alive.

You really don't seem to get it.

You misrepresent my question to achieve the answer you want. By question involved to flavors of SP available on the Steem blockchain AT THE SAME TIME. So folks could CHOOSE to EITHER by the flavor that allows self-voting AND voting for others or the one that allows ONLY voting for others. Contrary to your suggestion, I'm NOT asking about two different blockchains, one that allows self-voting and one that doesn't. With two different blockchains, we must speculate as to which one folks would prefer. With the former, we already KNOW which one they prefer--they prefer the one that allows self-voting. If they did not, and if everyone agreed with your contention that self-voting leads to less valuable Steem, then people wouldn't self-vote.

I agree that if everyone votes only for themselves, the disaster that you describe is inevitable. But dear friend, you've been around here for over a year and self-voting has been both allowed and generally sanctioned by the community from day 1. The disaster you predict has not happened and shows no signs of happening. People are joining Steem at an exceptionally high rate, the highest ever in fact. Many who join describe it as "addictive". All the stats suggest that retention and time spent on the site are both doing quite well. New people join regularly and successfully earn good money.

In snort, there's no evidence to support the idea that self-voting will lead to the collapse of Steem or that it even hurts the price of Steem. By contrast there's lots of evidence that permitting self-voting helps the price of Steem.


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