RE: Locking stake for 100% passive income, improving content, helping apps

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Locking stake for 100% passive income, improving content, helping apps

in steem •  26 days ago

As someone who has witnessed communism collapsing (it would have worked if only people had been altruistic!...) I'm convinced you can't build sustainable success on an assumption that a lot of people will behave as anything else than maximizers.

You can have small, tight communities where social stigma might prevent people from bringing out their basest instincts but a "faceless", anonymous community, like mostly any online community, cannot expect people to behave in an altruistic (or even simply honest) way.

It's the famous "tragedy of the commons" - people will go the easiest way to maximize their ROI and when they screw the original intent of the platform up ...

This is when some serious "out of the box" thinking is most needed!

What I see in the above post and in so many others I've read over the past year or so is a frustratingly 'inside the box' thinking!.

Inside the box thinking - like this post does too - means looking at the system in a static way: we have the people that we have and behave in a way which we all agree is not excellent, so how do we tweak the incentives of the system to make them behave better?

I'm convinced this type of thinking is doomed to fail.

Nobody could save communism, the "new Man" that our manuals were touting back when I was in school , you know, the one who would altruistically take from the society only as much as his needs are and would on the other hand give back to the society as much as his capabilities permit ... never materialized !

Instead "old Men", those who were taking from the society as much as they were able to get away with, while at the same time giving back as little as they could get away with ... were everywhere and overran the system.

Outside the box thinking implies looking at the system in a dynamic way

From a game-thory point of view, the current system is not robust, we are seeking a Nash equilibrium which simply does not exist.

The only way out of the conundrum that has been proven to work historically at scale is to emulate Christianism

Think of the Christian religion in its first centuries. How could a religion which was preaching non-violence and was saying "if someone slaps you on the cheek ... turn the other cheek!" overcome the persecutions and the mass killings of the late Roman Empire ? How could it spread over the whole world not with the sword and not with money but ... with love ?

If you analyse that and understand how the Christian religion has managed to survive and thrive despite openly rejecting the "an eye for an eye" talmudic principle then you are contemplating a path of salvation for Steem too.

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Christianity was a small sect until the leading class realized it could work better to keep the little guys under control than the former religion, and made it the state religion. Very bad example.

That said, this proposal goes out of the box. It embraces the reality that there are maximizers, and gives them the ability to keep doing what they're doing without stigma (not necessarily love, but tolerance), while staying out of the way of those who want something else.


"Christianity was a small sect until the leading class ..."

  1. It was not the only small sect. There were hundreds ... and yet Christianity came on top. While others withered away ... Your conclusion is that "looking at the winning sect is a bad idea, bad example to learn from the winner" ... ???
  2. Being a sect that was non-violent it could not defend itself ... it took about 300 years until Constantine made it the state religion. It could have disappeared thousands of times before that, yet not only it did not, it only spread from about 20-30 people in 32 AD to presumably many tens of thousands, 3 centuries later ... it scaled ... yet it is ... not even a bad example but ... a very bad example ???
  3. So, if I understand you well, if 300 years from now the leading class realizes that Steem could work better (than the current financial system, for instance) to keep the little guys under control then you'd count that as a failure ....

No, this proposal stays painfully inside the box - it is a mere tweak whose ultimate objective is to "make Trending meaningful again". It does not address the biggest hurdle Steem faces, i.e. bringing more people into the system, growing.

What we need is growth. The problem of bid bots and their distortion of trending is a red herring, a distraction.


You should have a look what the main criticism of outsiders is right now, then you'd see that the bots and vote selling are a lot more than a red herring.

While we of course need users, we also need a use case for SP so these users give it value. Right now you don't need to power up to get eyes on your posts, you have to pay. That goes straight against the value proposition of steem.


Inside the box in at least two ways:

  1. when you mention "outsiders" you clearly have in mind people who have come in contact with steem and have left because of bots and vote selling. From, say, maybe 1 000 000 people who have tried Steem, only about 1/5 remain, the others have left because of bots and vote selling. That is not good, indeed. But if you look outside the box, there are another 2 000 000 000 (2 billion) people who have a Facebook account and haven't even approached Steem; they have no idea about bots and vote selling. These 2 billion people are outside the box. Calculating the (absolute) number of wonderful content creators that would nevertheless choose to stay on Steem despite the bots and the vote selling is left as an exercise to the reader. Calculating the price of STEEM when the number of dynamic, talented content creators on steem reaches 400 000 000 also.
  2. More importantly - right now you don't need to power up to get eyes on your posts, you have to pay. Right. But that is because of the algorithm for Trending ! You seem to treat that as immutable, but is it really ? What prevents Steemit Inc. from completely changing the way it displays posts and introducing something that doesn't look at rewards thus making bots and vote selling irrelevant ? What prevents Steemit from taking the logic of Utopian and Oracle-d and registering communities, each one with responsibility to promote authors in respect to their previously published (and potentially voted) specific "charte of good conduct/content"?

No, I have not been talking about people who left, but about possible investors who had a look and decided the system doesn't work due to what they saw.

Getting more social media users is nice, but utterly useless if they're not willing to invest because the investment doesn't have any use for them.

We could easily attract more people by giving them more free stuff, but in the end that just leads to a price decline. Utopian is a good example. While it may bring in users it wouldn't work out without the delegations that allow to promise them money.

We need reasons for users to put in money, not just new people who draw some out.


It has to do with the nature of money then. Money, what it is, where does it come from, many people think they know it. But they don't.

Money is a truly complex topic that not everybody understands, far from it.

Money is work. Money is credit. Money is distrust.
Probably the best explanation of how money works that I read is "Evil is the root of all money" by Kiyotaki and Moore

STEEM is credit. A promise. Whoever puts money in STEEM implicitly believes a promise. Think about what that promise might be? What is STEEM implicitly promising to investors ? It promises work in exchange. The ultimate backing for money is human work.

We need more work, more good quality work in the system.

That can in theory be achieved inside the box, from the existing users, by improving Trending. I contend that is a shortsighted focus and unlikely to succeed (even if it was only because of the opposition of those who benefit from the current system).

It can also be achieved by thinking outside the box - complementing Trending and bringing more great content creators to steem in the spirit of "turning the other cheek" - content creators who come on Steem not for the rewards but because they want to not be hooked to Medium for instance, or any other reason you can think of.

agree with you regarding thinking out of the box.
although brief remark: communism did not "collapse" - it simply didn't exist anywhere in the world. :D
at best was something like socialism - and even that most likely in Sweden. (some also accused Obama of making his own socialism in US). otherwise in USSR, socialist block countries and in China now too - it is rather more like a ... "state-controlled capitalism" at best ... (or oligarchy etc)
(I will abstain from commenting on how Christian religion has spread ... all the Emperor Constantine's methods, Nicaea gathering ... slaughter of Cathars and all other Crusades ... witch hunts ... constant killings between the various sects and denominations ... all the tricks used by missionaries to "spread the gospel" ...)

anyway, better focus on the present Steemit environment. :)

so how do we tweak the incentives of the system to make them behave better?

for that very core of the system (explained in details in whitepaper) has to be changed. which is unlikely to happen. :)
incentives will remain as they are - due to all the reasons explained in there. therefore one has to adjust to the system. because "There is no spoon! you only bend yourself" :D