I'm sure at this point, everyone has seen the drama between several very influential whales. I will not name names in hopes that this post sees the light of day.
I have already invoked their ire with a recent post. One of the biggest problems with this flag war is that one user, has a large enough SP investment (a good thing for Steem) that he can down and up vote with impunity and influence the reward pool immensely.
The fact is that this problem will not go away if changes are made to voting weight algorithms. Curved, straight, N^2, whatever you want to call it. The fact is that SP = Influence in the form of Voting Power. That's not a bad thing, but what I am proposing is that SP + Interaction = Influence in the Form of Voting Power.
So essentially, in order to build voting power a user will have to comment and interact with other users' posts (this can be quantified and measured). As they interact, their voting power builds. An algorithm can be created that measures the level of user interaction. I believe that comments on others' posts is the best way to measure this, but there may be other ways to quantify real interaction.
What this would do is require users to make an investment of content and interaction with other users to generate voting power that would reap rewards.
This would also function as a way to expose high SP users to the community for corrective action (in the form of downvotes) if necessary. So, a user could not simply make a large investment, load a bot and reap rewards without contributing (positively) to the community. Spam comments would be downvoted (as they typically are now), negatively affecting voting power and reducing the ability for scammers to earn without contributing.
The STEEM blockchain is unique in that, while it is an impressive tool and certainly has other applications, it is a vehicle and infrastructure for Community. Proof-of-Brain, in my mind, is not an adequate way to describe the way users are rewarded (or should be rewarded). Proof-of-Contribution is a much better term for what I'm describing.
Let's incentivize the kind of use on the platform that we want to see. This vehicle would still allow for users to automate their voting, but only insomuch as they have real interaction with the platform. It would completely eliminate some of the issues we're seeing with bot networks of accounts that have no "soul" behind them determining large payouts and taking rewards from users that are truly contributing.
Beyond that, on a social level, I truly believe that if users spend more time interacting with each other, the level of discourse on this platform will increase exponentially.
I invite those that I have not agreed with in the past to join me in working towards this goal. Support this for the sake of the platform. We can do better. We can end the flag war. We can be a community.