"Central Premise & Proposals" - A Series About Fixing Steemit - Part 4

in #steemit2 years ago (edited)

This article is the 4th in a Series of Articles about "How to Fix Steemit." The first three were:

  1. Jerry Banfield, Down-Voting & Freedom of Speech
  2. "Down-Voting as Censorship" - A Series About Fixing Steemit - Part 2
  3. "Derivatives" - A Series About Fixing Steemit - Part 3

* The comments and replies to these articles are worth reading as much as the articles themselves.

Central Premise  

Every organization has a core idea around which it is organized. Christians believe in the Divinity of Christ. Nike believes that sporting equipment increases the excellence of athletes. Armies believe in the concentration of force at the enemy's weakest point. 

Without such core idea, around which all else revolves, an organization has no center of gravity, no purpose and no direction. This core idea might be called an organization's Central Premise.  

To be successful, an organization's Central Premise must be sacrosanct. It must be the overarching objective that all actions multiply or, at least, do not diminish. It is the lens through which all deliberations must be viewed, the scale upon which all actions must be weighed. It is the tie that binds the boundless and the creed that creates the credence. It is an a priori assumption, an axiomatic First Principle.  

In short, it is an organization's raison d'tre, its very purpose for existing. 

It is an organization's ... soul.  

Steemit's Central Premise  

So what is the Central Premise of Steemit? 

This is an extremely important question to both ask and answer ... and, if Steemit is to survive, and thrive, it is one upon which everyone must agree. 

I would submit that Steemit's Central Premise is that: Content Shall Be Compensated Commensurate With Its Quality.  

Unfortunately, no one with more than a week's worth of experience on the blockchain believes that Steemit's Central Premise is being fulfilled, or that we are within a mile of its fulfillment.  

The Blame Game  

Everyone has an opinion about whose fault it is: The Whales; the Witnessess; Steemit Inc.; the Bid-Bots; or the Voting Rings.

Upon some lengthy reflection, I think I know precisely who to blame:  

No one.  

Cryptocurrencies were created by anarchists and anarchists don't believe in rules. No rules leads to chaos. And, chaos is what we've got. The design of the system itself all-but-guarantees dysfunction because when there are no laws, people will, predictably, act lawlessly. "Every man for himself" guarantees turmoil which undoubtedly explains why no society on Earth is, or has ever been, structured in this fashion. 

In theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality, they're not. Political and philosophical ideologues, of whatever persuasion, do not construct functional real-world organizations as they do not incorporate the realities of "being human." They assume a Utopian vision of humanity and assume a level of cooperation that has no precedent in all of human history.  

That's not meant as a criticism of anarchists. Cryptocurrencies were, and are, an experiment in the decentralization of not just computing power, but in decision-making. While perhaps naive, there was, and is, nothing immoral about such experimentation. Nevertheless, the observation is one that must be made if we are to understand how we got into this mess, and how we can get out of it. We're going to need some rules and a pragmatic way of enforcing them. 

We're going to have to become less ideological.

Top of the Food Chain  

Human beings are, compared to other animals, weak and slow. We don't have fangs or talons worthy of mention and our sensory systems, like eyesight, hearing and smell, are nothing about which to boast. Anthropologists wax and wane about why humans became the top of the food chain and it usually has something to do with having opposable thumbs, large prefrontal cortices and the ability to make fire.  

These were, of course, very important contributors. But anatomically modern humans spent a couple of hundred thousand years (give or take) with all these advantages and, for 95% of that time, were more often the prey than the predator.  

So what was the game-changer? 

Human beings possess two extraordinary qualities that are unique among all animals on Earth:     

  1. The ability to form Non-Kinship-based In-Groups; and  
  2. The ability to adapt to almost any environment.   

And it is these two qualities, I submit, that explain why Steemit is as it is, as opposed to how it ought to be.  

A couple years ago, people started joining Steemit. As they did, they quickly realized that having a pile of SteemPower gave one a tremendous advantage in earning post pay-outs. Moreover, they noticed that some of the pioneers had set up multiple accounts and were just upvoting themselves and each other. And why not, there were no rules against it. 

Having little SteemPower, these newcomers did what humans always do ... they sought to adapt to the realities of their environment in order to survive. And so, they began to form groups. There's strength in numbers. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Follow for follow. Upvote for upvote.

When even newer Steemians joined, they found themselves frozen out of these established voting groups. It was they who were now most disadvantaged. And so ... they adapted to their environment.

Bidbots were created allowing people to artificially boost a post so that it might be seen on the Trending Page, hopefully garnering additional upvotes because of the additional exposure. Of course, anyone not using bidbots were now disadvantaged ... and so, they too joined the party. They adapted to their environment. Dozens, and then hundreds, of bidbots materialized. 

By this time, the Central Premise was but an anachronistic memory. Pictures of ceiling fans and weeds in one's back yard started populating the Trending Page. And who cares about misspellings or grammatical errors ... you'll forgive yourself, won't you?

The Quality Content premise was relegated to the marketing materials used to seduce new Steemians: "Just create great content ... and you'll succeed." 

Tragedy of The Commons

In economics there is a well-known and widely studied phenomenon called the Tragedy of the Commons.

Here's how Wikipedia describes it:

The tragedy of the commons is a term used in social science to describe a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action.  

Sound familiar?

Depending upon the day, bidbots drain 25-30% of the Reward Pool. God only knows how much it is depleted by fat wallets with multiple accounts repetitively self-upvoting themselves. 

Imagine a lake. In the lake are 10,000 fish. Around the lake live 100 human beings. Through trial and error, it has been determined that the lake can provide 1 fish/person/day and still maintain a stable fish population. Simply, the fish can repopulate themselves at the same or greater rate than that which they are being depleted through human consumption. In economics, this called the "carrying capacity." 

Now imagine there's an asshole, as there always is, who decides he wants to get fat by catching and consuming 10 fish/day. And so, he invents a trot line and a bigger plate. OK, that probably won't make a difference. Probably, the lake can sustain the loss of an extra 9 fish/day. But here's the thing: It set a precedent and Assholeosis is contagious ... it spreads. "If he gets to do it, then so do I."

Before long, others are creating trot lines too. Some creative fellow comes up with a floating net. As you can imagine, the fish stocks soon plummet as do the daily catches, irrespective of the trickery employed to catch them ... you can't catch what's not there. Simply, the fish cannot reproduce and grow fast enough to offset the rate of depletion by humans. People begin to starve. Strife becomes rampant.

So what do the people do? If they're smart, they get together for a meeting and say, "OK guys, this is not sustainable. We've gotta have some rules. It's 1 fish/person/day ... and we're going to enforce it. And no bloody trot lines or nets." 

Of course, anyone with a passing familiarity with history is probably skeptical. Most likely, some of the people start yelling, "No one's going to tell me what I can and cannot do! I'll catch as many fish as I want, and in any way I want to!" 

Surprisingly, everyone, even the biggest assholes, know that the situation is not sustainable ... but self-interest is notoriously blinding. In order to continue with what is self-evidently destructive behavior for the group, the most vociferous trot out the Tyranny Card and start bellowing, "No Rulers, No Rules," in an effort to reframe the debate, turning practical matters into philosophical ones. 

Dunbar's Number & Why We Need Rules

Anthropologists have discovered that, due to cognitive limitations, human beings are limited to social groups of around 150 people before they need to introduce professional police forces and law courts. This is based upon Dunbar's Number.

Here's how Wikipedia describes it:  

Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. 

When groups are under 150 people, peer pressure acts to moderate behavior. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing and gossip is rampant. Social support is the reward for social cooperation. And, if someone misbehaves, someone will tell their Mom. Over 150 though and the wheels start coming off the bus. People start becoming strangers and self-interest overrides the self-sacrifice required of those dependent upon one another.  

And this leads to the most destructive force in any organization or group of people: Free Riders.

The Free Rider Problem 

Economists have been grappling with this one for a long time as well.

Investopedia's definition:                 

The free rider problem is a situation where some individuals consume more than their fair share or pay less than their fair share of the cost of a shared resource. 

In that same vein, I would add: "... or unfairly reap rewards to which they are not entitled, thereby reducing the legitimately earned rewards of others."

Nothing destroys the unity and cohesion of an organization faster than the appearance of a Free Rider. Free Riders create resentment amongst those who are pulling their weight and playing by the rules. "Fairness" is one of the Six Moral Foundations upon with ALL human beings construct their sense of right and wrong. And, it's not just humans. Rather, it is a phenomena that is widespread throughout the animal kingdom.  


The video is both humorous and incredibly revealing. Imagine if, after this experiment, you asked the Capuchin on the left, "Capuchin ... would you like to move to another zoo?" How long do you think it will be before there is a Steemit-clone promising a basic sense of fairness to its users? For God sake's folks, they have their own accounts on Steemit and are actively recruiting! A number will launch within a matter of months. 

The thing to appreciate about this video is that it under-represents the magnitude of the problem on Steemit. In the video, each Capuchin contributed the same input (handing a rock) while receiving a different outcome (a cucumber vs. a grape). On Steemit, the problem is an order of magnitude larger: A significant number of Minnows are creating far higher quality content (input) than those appearing on the Trending Page and, to add insult to injury, the disparity in post payouts (output) is more analogous to receiving a bunch of grapes.                

The thin veneer of civilization is just that ... thin. The English word, "civilization" derives from the French word, "civilisé" (civilized) which derives from the Latin word "civilis" (civil) which derives from the Latin word "civis" (citizen) which derives from the Latin word "civitas" (city). To be civilized means to live in a city. 

Living in cities, a very recent development for humans, required that many of humanity's baser instincts had to be suppressed lest everyone start raping and killing their neighbors. And hence, a whole litany of rules got created. Some of them got codified into laws. Others became religious doctrine. Some, cultural norms. In any event, they became restraints on instinctive behavior. These baser instincts didn't just disappear ... they simply got shackled. Without such restraint, human beings quickly revert back to their instincts and "Survival of the Fittest" justifies "Every Man for Himself" which, in turn, justifies "Anything Goes." 

Cheating, Free Riding by any other name, becomes rampant and the society disintegrates.  

Proposal No. 1 ... Ban Bid-Bots

It is hard to imagine an activity more obviously corrosive to the Central Premise than bidbots. When you can simply buy your way to the top, the Central Premise becomes little more than a philosophy for fools. As mentioned earlier, bidbots drain 25-30% of the Reward Pool. This represents an enormous misallocation of scarce resources ... of the limited upvoting capital that is supposed to be used to curate the quality of content. Bidbots are Stage Four cancer ... a terminal condition presaging death. It is simply inconceivable that the blockchain can survive if they do.

Bidbots must be immediately banned. It would not be difficult to achieve as they are not part of the blockchain's code.      

Proposal No. 2 ... Limit Self-Upvoting

Self-upvoting abuse, of one kind or another, is rampant amongst large wallet holders. For those who are unaware, here's how it works:

  1. You've got USD $1 million worth of STEEM. Open 11 accounts, placing 1/11 of the million dollars in each. Each account posts a picture of something stupid with a two or three sentence description containing numerous misspelled words, and, a concentration of grammatical errors one would think statistically impossible given the brevity of the description. 
  2. Each account upvotes itself, and the other ten accounts, at 100% power.
  3. Each account's upvoting power will recharge to 100% within 24 hours.
  4. Tomorrow ... repeat. 
  5. Periodically, "Virtue Signal," by expressing your moral outrage concerning how other people are raping the Reward Pool by using bidbots. 
  6. Run for Witness, promising to stop the abuse.

Solution: Limit all accounts to one 100% self-upvote per day. This would include self-upvotes on "secondary accounts" and self-upvotes on comments and replies. The self-upvote could be cast on a single post or broken up between multiple daily posts and comments/replies.

Proposal No. 3 ... Mandatory Disclosure of Real World Identities  

Each account would have to be linked to a real world person. Almost all social media platforms already require this in an effort to prevent SPAM.

By connecting each account to a real world person, detection of self-upvoting becomes much easier and quickly subjects it to enforcement (explained below).

This will likely be very controversial as secrecy is a driving motivation amongst cryptocurrency purists. Too bad. The destructive consequences of multiple-account-self-upvoting are so grave that it has to be stamped out ... and that cannot be done without knowledge of who owns what.   

Such information would not be made publicly available and would only be accessible by Steemit Sheriffs in their efforts to root out self-upvoting abuse. 

Note: Such central repository would create a database that could be subpoenaed by real world law enforcement or taxation authorities. So be it. The entire blockchain cannot be held hostage to those committing tax evasion or trying to avoid their soon-to-be ex-spouse's lawyer. Moreover, such database already exists to some extent in that each new account requires an email address and cell phone number to open. Such information could be subpoenaed by real world law enforcement to identify an account's owner. 

Cryptocurrencies, across the board, are learning that "Sticking it to the Man" is a lot harder than Satoshi imagined. A crypto's access to exchanges and institutional capital require Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) disclosure and compliance. ICO's have been deemed "securities" (of one kind or another) by all the world's major countries subjecting them to securities law compliance. Those requiring iron-clad secrecy for their cryptocurrency assets would have to go elsewhere.

Proposal No. 4 ... Sheriff & Jury System

In a prior article in this Series (about fixing Steemit), "Down-Voting As Censorship," I outlined my proposal to counter abusive censorship downvoting by creating a Jury System:

Steemit and Down-Voting Abuse
Steemit is a blockchain whose very raison d'etre is the Monetization of Content. And so, when content starts getting demonetized for any reason other than "Offensive Behaviors," we've got a problem. Specifically, when it's used to punish "Offensive Speech," we enter into the realm of Speech Suppression and thereby create the justification for a competing cryptocurrency-backed blockchain. 
The problem, of course, is that what constitutes, "Offensive Behavior," is subjective. Abusively, anything could be called, "Offensive Behavior," just as many activists now call anything they disagree with, "Hate Speech." So, how do we solve this seemingly intractable problem? I would submit, the same way it's been solved for over a thousand years in the real world ... a jury of your peers. 
Let A Jury Decide
Let's say that @trumpsmyhero creates a post supporting Trump. @theresistence doesn't bloody well like it. And, in his world, anyone who supports Trump must be punished ... because any such support, in and of itself, is immoral. @theresistence believes in de-platforming Trump supporters, silencing them so that their ideas, ideals and insights cannot be heard, and doesn't give a hoot if this constitutes Speech Suppression.  
And so, @theresistence downvotes @trumpsmyhero's post. 
There was nothing in @trumpsmyhero's post that would constitute "Offensive Behavior." It wasn't spam, a scam and there was no bid-bot abuse. It did not physically threaten anyone and did not untruthfully disparage anyone's reputation. And so, @trumpsmyhero feels that the downvote was abusive and decides to hit the newly-created Appeal Button
The Appellate Process 
An Appeals Request is randomly sent to three Steemians ("Jurors") with reputation scores above 35 (they're not complete newbies). To ensure there will be no retaliation from either @trumpsmyhero or @theresistence, the identity of such Steemians is kept anonymous (see the Note below). Further, the names of the two disputants are blanked out so as not to unduly influence the Jurors. The three Jurors review the post and the rationale for the down-vote, as articulated in the Down-Vote Justification Form below:  
 
The Jurors will have two choices about how to proceed: 
1. Support the Down-Vote, in which case the down-vote stands ... but the down-vote gets doubled.  The reason for the doubling is that the poster wasted 3 Steemians time with a spurious Appeal when he/she knew that he/she was guilty. This is necessary as, without it, every down-vote will be Appealed. 
2. Overturn the Down-Vote, in which case the down-vote is erased from the author's post ... and is instead applied to the down-voter's account, adversely effecting the next post, or posts, that the down-voter makes, until the full amount of the down-vote has been used up. This is to punish the down-voter for down-voting a post with no motivation other than censorship ... Speech Suppression. 
Note: As everything that occurs on the blockchain is publicly accessible, this would have to be built into a  non-publicly-accessible side-chain, or, off the blockchain entirely (like Discord), so as to ensure anonymity of the Jurors and prevent retaliation.  

And, from the comments section of that post (in response to @bossel): 

Jury duty in the real world is not voluntary, it's an obligation of citizenry. As so too would it be under my proposal. Nevertheless, there are practical realities that cannot be ignored. If someone hasn't posted for a month, what's the chance they'll even see the Notification? The system has to adjudicate the incident quickly and move on. 
So, when the Appeal Button is hit, the blockchain determines that there are currently 12,000 users online and it randomly sends the Notification to three of them. Each one of them will have 48 hours to respond. At the end of 48 hours, if there has been no response, their ability to post or comment is frozen for a week and the Notification is transferred to someone else. Nothing in life is free and there is a price for citizenry ... so do your duty, and do it without complaint.  

As you can see, the Jury System would be used to adjudicate censorship down-voting abuse and other "Offensive Behaviors." Note the fourth checkbox on the form: "Bidbot or Self-Upvoting Abuse." 

The Jury System would be accessible in two ways: 

  1. By Steemians wishing to challenge a downvote, as described above, via the "Appeal Button;" and
  2. By Sheriffs, who have uncovered what they believe is Self-Upvoting Abuse (or any other kind of abuse for which they have been authorized, by a consensus of the community, to stop).

Sheriffs

Sheriffs will be permanent and salaried employees of the blockchain and will be paid from the Reward Pool. Their job will be to use data analysis to uncover "Upvoting Abuse." According to my proposal, this would include bidbots and self-upvote abuse using multiple accounts. It would also include any other manner of "Upvote Abuse" that was agreed upon by the community.

With respect to that last sentence, some people are exceedingly creative when it comes to cheating. It seems an inescapable conclusion that whenever one door is closed, cheaters will seek another. A permanent "police force" therefore will be required to uncover the more sophisticated of these innovations.

Upon discovery of alleged upvoting abuse, a Sheriff would create a Dossier, outlining the alleged abuse while providing supporting proof of such allegation. When completed, the Dossier would be sent to the alleged offender and given a week to respond, countering the allegation. The Dossier and the Response would then be randomly sent to three Jurors who would decide the case.

Sanctions may include: Reversal of ill-gotten gains (reversed back to the Reward Pool); temporary suspension of posting activities; and, permanent banishment from the blockchain.

Sheriffs will also, from time to time, publish a report outlining the most recent innovations in upvote cheating techniques and make recommendations respecting changes to the Rules of Conduct.   

Proposal No. 5 ... Clean Up The Accounts

I have a number followers with reputation scores of "- Infinity." I'm not sure what you have to do to earn a negative infinity reputation score but one would presume it's something pretty dastardly (probably unending amounts of SPAM, but I'm not certain). Could we presume that such accounts have no constructive future on the blockchain? And what about the -25's?

How many of Steemit's purported 1,2000,000 accounts are such junk? I don't know but such data inflation serves no one's interest and the presence of such actors are but problems waiting to happen.

I propose that such accounts be frozen such that the only action they may take is liquidation of their account. Recall that under Proposal No. 3, all accounts, new and existing, would have to be linked to a real world identity. Individuals behind such liquidated accounts would be permanently banned. Yes, banned individuals might open up new accounts using their kids' identities. But, if the offensive behavior continues, sooner or later ... they'd run out of kids.

Additional Proposals

I have two additional proposals about: 

  1. Creating a Capital Formation structure, tailored to the realities of Steemit, for the purpose of financing blockchain start-ups (specifically Steemit Star content producers); and
  2. The creation of a Synthetic Derivatives Arrangement (for lack of a better name) that would allow Steemians to purchase products and services from a wide assortment of online retailers via Steemit wallet transfers of STEEM ... and hence, transforming STEEM into a functional currency.

Given the length of this article, and those, they will be discussed in future articles in this Series.  

In Summation 

Steemit is in the midst of an arms-race, each person trying to obtain a more powerful weapon to counteract the weapons of everyone else. The Whales have nukes. In an effort to reestablish the balance of power, others have deployed biological and chemical weapons because they're cheaper. But an arms-race ends in only one of two ways: A ball of fire; or, in a court of bankruptcy. We need to mutually disarm and ban all the weapons of mass destruction.

We have to get back to the Central Premise for which Steemit was originally created, that: Content Shall Be Compensated Commensurate With Its Quality.

I can already hear a chorus of critics, "But what about this or what about that?"

My proposals are not designed to make Steemit perfect. But, as I've argued in the comments section of the previous articles in this Series, "Let not perfection become the enemy of the good." As I tell my daughter, "95% is, by definition, imperfect ... but it still gets you into Harvard." There will still be abuses of one kind or another but if we don't fix these ones, the other ones won't matter. 

If the engine doesn't run ... don't bother about the paint.

Quill

UPDATE - Day 3

By the end of Day 2, this post became the 7th "most commented on" post on the blockchain. Whatever else you're doing ... STOP IT ... and read ALL the comments and replies. They're long ... but extremely enlightening. 

While you do, keep in the back of your mind one question: Do we need reform?

Now imagine there's an asshole, as there always is ... 
... the most vociferous trot out the Tyranny Card and start bellowing, "No Rulers, No Rules," in an effort to reframe the debate, turning practical matters into philosophical ones. 

When reading comments on this article, be informed that: @noblewitness is a partnership between: @sircork, @gmuxx, @rhondak and @anarcho-andrei 

Yes ... these folks are one of your Witnesses.


Here's a taste of what's coming:

 quillfire (50)  ·  2 hours ago@palasatenea

What percentage of people do you believe would actually want to hijack or blow up an airplane? I'd bet it's somewhere around one millionth of one percent. Not many. And yet, society has to spend  countless billions of dollars for security and undergo huge inconveniences because of those few. 
Nobody wants to spend the money to be x-rayed and no one likes being body-searched. But the potential adverse consequences of one person slipping through with a gun or bomb means we tolerate the cost and inconvenience. The alternative would be to shut down civilian aviation or get used to planes flying into skyscrapers. 
And that's what's happening on Steemit. A very small number of people have figured out ways of enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else. Because the blockchain has no "airport security" there's actually nothing preventing them from this odious behavior. 
And so, I come along and say, "Enough! This has got to stop. Posts are supposed to be compensated on the basis of merit ... you're supposed to have to earn your upvotes, not buy them. We need to adopt some simple rules to stop this non-sense." 
"Commie. Dictator. Fascist." But who's doing the name-calling? 
Is it the quality content creators ... or the cheaters? 
In @sircork's own words: 
I have just realized you are pretty much A DOUCHE, and with any luck, I'll irritate you enough to leave the platform, and take your ridiculous ass back to commie land. 
That's the strategy. Either you stay silent about what we're doing ... or we'll drive you out. 
Here's an experiment. Go to @sircork's blog and pick 3 posts at random. Now go to my bog and do the same. Do you notice a difference in quality? I know, I know ... quality is subjective. Nevertheless, it's relevant because your subjective opinion controls which posts you upvote and which ones you don't. 
Sircork says he's got 12 Steemit accounts? Why does he need twelve? I can barely keep up with one. How does one even create enough content for twelve accounts? Do you think multiple-account-self-upvoting might be a possible motivation ... and hence the reason he and his @noblewitness crew have spent so much time and effort trying to shut down conversation about my proposals? 
My DM is filled with supportive commenters that are intimidated to comment publicly for fear of retaliation. Is this the system we want to preserve? These goons are Witnesses!!! 
And where are the other Witnesses? Where's the Whales? Crickets. 
This is why I want to implement some Rules of Conduct and a manner to enforce them. (I will remind you that there are several articles that precede this one addressing abusive down-voting.) 
As I explained in my post: 
1. You've got USD $1 million worth of STEEM. Open 11 accounts, placing 1/11 of the million dollars in each. Each account posts a picture of something stupid with a two or three sentence description  containing numerous misspelled words, and, a concentration of  grammatical errors one would think statistically impossible given the brevity of the description.
2. Each account upvotes itself, and the other ten accounts, at 100% power.
3. Each account's upvoting power will recharge to 100% within 24 hours.
4. Tomorrow ... repeat.
5. Periodically, "Virtue Signal," by expressing your moral outrage concerning how other people are raping the Reward Pool by using bidbots.
6. Run for Witness, promising to stop the abuse.
So, 11 accounts for self-upvoting and 1 "public" account to run for Witness. 
Twelve. 
Imagine if my proposals ever got adopted: The Real World Identification aspect would link Sircork to all 12 accounts. Any attempt to multiple-account-self-upvote would be immediately detected. 
Boom. 
Any scheme where a few hoodwink many, requires that The "Silent Majority" remain "Silent." 
After two days, this post became the 7th most "commented on" post on the blockchain (look at @arcange's comment). 
But look who did 95% of the commenting. The post got swarmed by one Witness Group, @noblewitness. Go look at the comment upvotes. Notice a pattern? Why are these guys trying so hard to suppress this article? 
Noticing this pattern, I started attaching notifications to their comments, informing people that @sircork, @anarcho-andrei, @gmuxx and @rhondak were all partners in @noblewitness. Those notifications started getting flagged! 
@gmuxx's explained that it was because it was depleting the battery on his cell phone. 
Now look back at YOUR comment. As of this writing, it has received an $0.17 upvote for @youarehope and @sircork  ... both are his accounts. Why the generous upvote? 
Because you said  something negative about my proposals. Now go and look at their response to anyone who said anything positive. Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with my ideas, is this the way civilized people go about resolving their differences? 

A quote from @palasatenea's comment:

... I always prefer softer solutions to the problems than banning, 

I continue:

Fair enough. Discourse and the exchange of ideas was, and is, the whole point of this post. What softer solutions do you think would solve the problems? In any event, my article was not meant to be The Plan. 
Rather, it was meant to stimulate conversation and get people thinking. We have got systemic problems so large that, if they're not solved soon, will lead to the not-distant demise of the blockchain. A lot of good people will lose a lot of money. 
As you can see, there's a group of people who will fight very hard to prevent others from even talking about it. 
You should ask yourself why. 
Quill  

Folks, you too should ask yourself ... Why?

From now on ... I WILL NOT be responding to any of the members of @nobelwitness. Decide for yourselves if you will ... but giving them more attention just perpetuates their behavior. 


And ... you might also want to check to see if you've voted for them as a Witness.


Quill ... BTW, here's a FOLLOW UP Post. 


 

You guys know the drill. Be verbose ... but articulate. 

And remember ...  

Go Love A Starving Poet! 


@cryptogee @old-guy-photos @d-pend @c0ff33a @derangedvisions @jaynie @karenmckersie @ervin-lemark @steevc @fionasfavourites @joanstewart @bossel @wordymouth @greer184 @juanmiguelsalas @darth-azrael @palasatenea @toddrjohnson @lymepoet @trumanity @girlbeforemirror @angelveselinov @madevi @drakos @dollarsandsense @bengy @rebeccabe @blockurator @hash-tag @sunravelme @ecoinstant @lynncoyle1 @rensoul17 @crystalhuman @blueteddy @steemflow @niko3d @claudiaz @sircork @roselifecoach @stever82 @darklands @mysearchisover @bleepcoin @bluemist @tarazkp @kenny-crane @dustsweeper @anarcho-andrei @crescendoofpeace @timcliff @steemitbloggers  


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When reading comments on this article, be informed that: @Noblewitness is a partnership between: @sircork, @gmuxx, @rhondak and @anarcho-andrei

What's wrong guys?

Do you not want everyone to know that 95% of the negative comments on this post emanate from a single Witness Group ... @noblewitness. Perhaps the rest of the group would like to distance themselves from @sircork and his theatrics.

Folks, scroll through @sircork's litany of comments on this post to see what he thinks of you. You're a bunch of stupid, lazy morons who don't deserve to be compensated because you don't play the "1,000's of vectors" ... that it to say, "game-the-system."

And he, and his group, is one of your Witnesses.

A serious post, about a serious subject that effects us all ... personal insults and memes. Perhaps you ought to check your Witness Vote tab to see if you're supporting this carnival.

Quill

Dude, I literally made a post and SENT people to you, and still none of them voted on your dismal drivel.

But they have in some cases, joined us in schooling you, witnesses, no less!

Curious as to why you're getting insults and memes? It's because you refuse to answer even basic questions that would invariably invalidate your solutions.

Want me to screenshot you of where Cork acknowledged you having an astute grasp of the issue? Or are you big enough to admit that you're being an ass? I still haven't heard from you how you plan to implement a ban feature.

I agree with you in the analysis of the problem but the measures that you propose are far from my point of view, first of all I dislike very much this proposal:

Mandatory Disclosure of Real World Identities

I don't see this having a big impact neither a justification for it, there are spammers? yes, but there are countermeasures for this, and they work pretty decently, they could be better I agree with you at this.

The issue of the bid-bots is another thing that I agree with you but I don't know if ban is the better solution. You tend to wish banning for too much things to my taste, I always prefer softer solutions to the problems than banning, indeed when governments ban something usually they manage to incentivate illegal markets, as happened with the banning of alcohol, or other drugs. The banning almost never manages to solve problems only move them to a place where we can't see them.

I've shared this with a few people and got remarks like...

"is he high"

"god, nazi much?"

"sounds kinda orwellian"

and my favorite...

"oh fuck no!"

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Maybe I'll periodically hit these one by one.

This one just caught my eye while scrolling.

Solution: Limit all accounts to one 100% self-upvote per day. This would include self-upvotes on "secondary accounts" and self-upvotes on comments and replies. The self-upvote could be cast on a single post or broken up between multiple daily posts and comments/replies.

I have my stake in nearly a dozen accounts here so no one wallet is exposing my worth.

Which 12 are me? Limit me to one vote? I have 12, but I can just as easily make 1200. The largest voting ring here has over 25,000 accounts.

Seriously the depth of misunderstanding the platform here is getting tough to cope with.

@sircork,

This one just caught my eye while scrolling.

You know, maybe that's the problem. Perhaps, before leaving dozens of comments ... You Should READ The Whole Article. Some things that are not explained in paragraph 1 ... are explained in paragraph 2.

I have my stake in nearly a dozen accounts here so no one wallet is exposing my worth.

Which 12 are me? Limit me to one vote? I have 12, but I can just as easily make 1200. The largest voting ring here has over 25,000 accounts.

Seriously the depth of misunderstanding the platform here is getting tough to cope with.

Try reading Proposal No. 3 ... Mandatory Disclosure of Real World Identities

Problem solved.

Quill

When reading comments on this article, be informed that: @Noblewitness is a partnership between: @sircork, @gmuxx, @rhondak and @anarcho-andrei

I read enough of the entitled whining from a platform user who hasn't managed to accomplish anything to see the same old story weve heard a thousand times from entitled users who don't do the work.

But hey, I can see from your results so far, NO ONE reads your stuff, so I guess you got more from me at this point than anyone else.

Mandatory disclosure or real world identities? Oh okay, Chairman Mao.

Anyone who follows our witness knows this. Your multiple mentions are however quite annoying, as I am currently in transit to a conference in Toronto. 8 in a little over an hour is gonna drain muh phone dude. Give it a rest.

When reading comments on this article, be informed that: @Noblewitness is a partnership between: @sircork, @gmuxx, @rhondak and @anarcho-andrei

I guess you feel like you stuttered the first 450 times you vomited nonsense?

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I love a great deal about your proposals, but I think I loved your anthropological analogy the best of everything.

As for a jury system, yes, that's probably a good idea, but having an account frozen for a WEEK if you don't respond in time seems pretty extreme. There are many situations in which my computer might register me as being online when I'm nowhere near my computer. It might be running in the background on my cell phone while I'm off on vacation or busy with life or something. My point being, while I support the random jury selection, I think even 1 day would be an effective deterrent.

I also don't exactly support the idea of salaried sheriffs. While there is probably enough money to go around, I think that position would be abused just as easily as any other position of power. While safeguards could be designed and coded and implemented, I think that the people would act as decentralized sheriffs through the jury system referenced above. Steemians would gladly take the mantle for free as well, as can already be seen in the number of policing groups that are ubiquitous on the platform.

Negative infinity??? That's going to be my new scavenger hunt item: find a steemian with negative infinity reputation. Seriously though, what did they do??? :-)

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a long post where only the king of the world could make it happen

You spelled "dictator" wrong.

@wales,

I agree ... it's an ambitious plan with little chance of being enacted. Nevertheless, one tries. All reforms to any system, of which there have been many throughout history, started because one person stood up and risked the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Why should this be any different?

Steemit is our blockchain too. And, it is more dependent upon you and I, as content creators, than it is upon front-ends created by developers. If everyone says nothing, you and I included, then the whole thing will collapse ... as corrupted systems never last.

And Steemit ... is corrupt to the core.

Quill

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I would respond except that @sircork seems to have done a far better job than I could. I might point out that there are already alternative social media blockchains in the making, and that there will surely be ones that have a higher element of centralized control. It is only a matter of time before facebook and reddit have serious answers for monetizing their own users' content, and at that point it will really be a decision for purists of whether they want a platform grinding along the road of "fairness" or the wild west approach. Me, I have no idea which sounds "better" as an option: the most I take away from this site so far is having met a few good people, and been inspired to be more creative. But that could have happened on facebook as well if I had dug deep enough into a more active subcommunity. I think the financial aspect of steemit is a distraction more than anything. I haven't "made" anything off of this platform that i couldn't have "made" by leaving money on an exchange and for me at least the idea of having to make the decision of "what to do" with my account one day if I decide to cash out is pretty stressful. Which probably means I am not very well suited for this environment and would be better off someplace else, but hey now I am invested in it with a lot of time and effort, so I'm staying.

Stick around even if you just hodl some for a bit, the best IS yet to come. I know this, because im on several app teams, working on that. We're really just getting started here. Dilution over time will ease most of the pains focused in a few pockets.

big fish in tiny ponds, arent so big in the ocean...

Ocean sounds good =) and don't worry I'm not going anywhere. The longer I am on this platform, the more cool people I meet who I would hate to lose contact with.

"Come for the money, stay for the community"

You've earned a witness follower today. See how easy that was?

And you get a minnow vote for your witness! That's how this works right? =D =p

Hah :) Yes, and I'm not even sad about it. "support your local business" and here "local" means the people you commune with in communities. So I see nothing wrong with mutual admiration :)

I must say I like the proposals.

Just as a quick aside, the fishing scenario you describe is essentially what the European Union have done which is sensible as you cannot 'grow' new fish once they've all been eaten.

Anyway I digress, I'm not sure how easy it would be to ban bidbots but I agree. However if they can't be banned, then at least reconfigure the trending page so that people who constantly use them do not appear on it.

As far as self upvoting is concerned I don't think you can limit, it's either you can do it or you can't. The problem is, as you allude to above, anyone can make any number of anonymous accounts, so they would get around the self upvoting that way.

I could make account no.2 fill it with Steem that I have sold from account no.1 and vote to my heart's content.

I like the foundation fund and also the goods4Steem idea, the latter though will take cooperation from vendors, and I guess that's the hardest to get.

If SBD works in the future, then it would definitely chill vendors out about potential losses. However I'm not so sure we can guarantee that $1 peg. It's working now, but for how long?

Cg

@cryptogee,

I'm not sure how easy it would be to ban bidbots but I agree. However if they can't be banned, then at least reconfigure the trending page so that people who constantly use them do not appear on it.

A brilliant idea.

Bidbots are rarely directly profitable anymore. At least not reliably so. The motivation for their use is to get a post into Hot and Trending where it will get more exposure, and upvotes, while attracting curation-bots for the same purpose. If you negate their ability to get into Hot or Trending, you negate the motivation for their use. And, auto-detecting their use is quite simple. Nice.

You see folks, this is what INTELLIGENT discourse looks like. No ranting or raving ... just the application of intelligence in a thoughtful and methodical manner.

As far as self upvoting is concerned I don't think you can limit, it's either you can do it or you can't. The problem is, as you allude to above, anyone can make any number of anonymous accounts, so they would get around the self upvoting that way.

So here's my thoughts:

  1. For the Curation System to function properly as a quality filtering system, as was the original intent, the blockchain's limited upvoting capital has to be focused on that purpose. At present, huge amounts of such upvoting capital is misallocated, diverted into bidbots and multiple-account-self-upvoting schemes. These schemes have no quality criteria ... and hence, the whole curation of, and by, quality concept is negated.

  2. We can handle the bidbots by banning them and then enforcing via the Sheriff & Jury System, or, as you propose, banning posts that use them from the Hot and Trending Pages, largely negating the motivation for their use.

  3. Effectively ridding the blockchain of multiple-account-self-upvoting is a lot harder ... but no less necessary. The only way I see to do that is attach every account, new and existing, to a real world person. Give all accounts 30 days to complete the identification process and then freeze posting activities until the non-compliers have complied. People could have as many accounts as they want ... but the blockchain would treat them as one with respect to the daily self-upvoting limit. Data analysis software would be able to flag suspicious patterns very quickly and the Sheriffs would soon catch on to every new innovation in cheating techniques.

I have recently joined several crypto-backed social media platforms. Each one required disclosure of a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ identity to join. As it turns out, this requirement does not cripple their ability to function or attract new users. All were recommended to me by Steemians who similarly disclosed their real world identities to join.

As you and I have discussed before, all this secrecy stuff that crypto purists insist must be preserved, won't be. Real World Governments Possess the Power to Compel. Any crypto that insists on complete secrecy will not have access to exchanges, ICO's, institutional service providers or institutional investors. And that will cause them to quickly die off. The world of cryptocurrencies is growing up and they'll have to start playing by the rules whether they like it or not. All this ideological stuff will be very dangerous to one's financial health, a lesson a great many are about to learn in the not-distant future.

Quill

I have recently joined several crypto-backed social media platforms. Each one required disclosure of a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ identity to join.

I think the problem with this is it is pretty easy to have multiple Twitter and Google+ accounts and seeing as Facebook only requires an email, ditto with them as well.

Unfortunately until we have 'anonymous identifiers' like a number on the blockchain that is issued to you alone. Which is impossible to have more than one of, this idea won't work.

I think you're just a bit ahead of your time Quill :-)

I have recently joined several crypto-backed social media platforms.

I'm curious, which ones? Do they work as well as Steemit; or even on the same premise?

Cg

@cryptogee,

My Comment:

I have recently joined several crypto-backed social media platforms. Each one required disclosure of a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ identity to join.

Cryptogee's Reply:

I think the problem with this is it is pretty easy to have multiple Twitter and Google+ accounts and seeing as Facebook only requires an email, ditto with them as well.

My comment was made as a passing remark about joining other social media platforms, not as the verification system for my Steemit proposal. There are numerous ways that Real World ID could be confirmed. With only one minute's worth of research, here's how one company does it:

https://help.thelott.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002563694-How-do-I-confirm-my-Debit-or-Credit-Card-

Undoubtedly there are many others.

With respect to the other social media's, I'll shoot you a DM.

Quill

Still haven't explained how you propose to ban accounts, other than to say "real world ID", which doesn't actually answer the question.

Atta boy, those are facts.

You are doing great things here, Quill. It is encouraging to see your series. I continue to read it in more detail when time permits. Does it count? Having an opinion or a discussion? I often wonder about that. All the same, I read it to develop a more informed opinion by reading your analysis and seeing the reactions to it. It takes time.

@trumanity,

Have you ever used a flint and steel to try to start a fire?

Every time you strike the flint, thousands of sparks fly off ... and almost none of them ignite. But, for whatever inexplicable reason, once in a while one does. Why? It's the same temperature as all the other sparks. The kindling upon which it falls is the same as the kindling for all the others. So why does one burn while all the others burn out?

Since I started this Series of Articles, I have been amazed by the reaction I'm getting by DM. There are A LOT of extremely disgruntled people. And it's not just Minnows. There are a lot of big folks who don't like what's going on and want to bring order to the chaos.

Although I had a different article planned to come next, I'm going to insert an additional one that really digs deep into how the vote-gaming is preventing the feedback-loops (between "content creation" and "curation") from occurring. The system CANNOT function this way. It's simply not sustainable. It's like putting diesel in a gasoline engine.

Quill

Up before 🌄 (here) and supporting your post @quillfire, due to the entry of it, by @stever82, into the Pay It Forward Community's weekly curation contest.

I and hopefully other Steemians admire the passion you bring to your subject(s). We can all obviously see your posts generate a "lively" and "vigorous" debate. I, for one, think that is a good thing for the long term growth and prosperity of our Steem blockchain.

All the best to you moving forward!

@roleerob,

Thanks mate. @stever82 has sent a number of people my way via Pay It Forward ... it's greatly appreciated.

I and hopefully other Steemians admire the passion you bring to your subject(s). We can all obviously see your posts generate a "lively" and "vigorous" debate.

Actually, one of my greatest concerns is that the debate is being squelched for fear of retribution by certain Whales or Witnesses. My DM is filled with supportive commenters afraid to say anything in public and, in some cases, even afraid to upvote the post. "Blacklisted" is a term with which I'm only now becoming familiar. This is not healthy and, in my opinion, not acceptable.

Quill

Good evening @quillfire. Up early this morning, a long day at work, and now have just finished getting my entry in for Week 24 of our PIFC Community contest ...

Honestly don't know that I have enough "brain cells firing," at this point, to do justice to a reasonable response to what you have written here.

Quill: You are a writer. A good one. Fire: You are passionate about it.

You are talking about a topic "high over the heads," of most of us, including me. From a distance, it appears there is a great deal of politics involved, once you get up to the Witness / Whale level. Combine that with the technical complexity of what is being debated and I view that as a potent mix.

So, if you view yourself as a "change agent," I would just encourage you to be very clear on the basis of your argument. And, for someone like me, above all else, I believe civility and respect must be non-negotiable. I wrote about my point of view on that in my words matter post.

If you don't get this last part right, then my post concludes with what comes next ...

Until we "meet" again, all the best to you @quillfire!


P.S. Your profile has "Being a Great Dad." All the rest is trivial by comparison to how important that is ... 👍

@roleerob,

Prescient points, all of with which I agree. Here's my Follow Up:

https://steemit.com/steemit/@quillfire/follow-up-central-premise-and-proposals-a-series-about-fixing-steemit-part-4

With respect to what comes next, I'm toying with starting a Petition for a Referendum (one person/one vote ... not stake-weighted) on adopting The Reforms that I've outlined. We'll see.

The problem is that I don't think we actually have all that much time. As I write this, STEEM is barely the 39th largest crypto which means that not only is it losing value by virtue of an industry-wide downturn, it's losing value (a lot of it) relative to other cryptocurrencies. Indeed, it may already be too late. Even with the price of STEEM below $0.70 as I write this reply, neither the broad market, nor individual Steemians ... think it's worth buying ... or even "powering up" their posts to obtain cheap SteemPower.

Unlike almost all other cryptos, theoretically, STEEM has an "underlying economy" and so it should be gaining relative rankings compared to other alt-coins, not losing it. This indicates to me, as I argued in my article, comments and Follow Up, that people "no longer believe."

Steemit is not what it says it is ... the pretense that it is a "social media platform where content is compensated commensurate with its quality" is a fiction that can no longer be maintained. It's just a rigged game where a few fleece the many and everybody knows it. Why would anyone invest in that?

In short, it's become a "shitcoin" ... and, is being treating accordingly.

All this could easily be remedied with a few common sense reforms ... to stop the cheating and kickstart manual curation ... but it would require a broad groundswell of support. This article achieved $0.54 in upvotes and 2 ReSteems. That's not exactly a rebellion, is it? One man cannot do this alone ... and I do not see the makings of an army.

Perhaps I'll just go write a poem. It pays better.

Quill

Good morning @quillfire. While a "newbie" online (since May), I am an "oldie" at life. I've "been through the wars" ...

A void in communication is almost never a "good thing." It is human nature to fill it. And typically (though not always ...) what we fill it with is not "good content" ...

So ... On break at work, I've come "in here" briefly to fill it, as it is overdue ...

As succinctly as I can state it, I don't have sufficient time to put together what I would deem to be an adequate response to what you have written. I work full-time, have a family, and after work leaving for a much-anticipated anniversary celebration of being wed to my beloved lifemate.

I trust you will understand. My life was quite "full," before electing to "jump in" to this new world. Still wrestling with how wise a decision that was ...

Back to work ... Keep "fighting the good fight" ... Until we "meet" again ...

Posted using Partiko Android

@roleerob,

Happy Anniversary, mate. Have a wonderful evening.

Thanks for the kind words of support. There are a TON of good people on this platform and the underlying idea of the blockchain is nothing short of brilliant. As usual, though, money corrupts the noble purpose and the majority acquiesce to the few for the sake of
silence.

Arrgh.

You soldier on and hope for the best.

Quill

You've made a lot of interesting points here Quill, and judging by the comments, there's not much more I can add, except this:

Check out this post and let me know what you think. @abh12345 endorsed it, so I was already prepared to jump in with both feet because I trust him and his vision of what this place should look like, but after reading the post myself, I totally dove right in :)

I was directed here because @stever82 showcased your post in our Pay it Forward Curation contest :)

@lynncoyle1,

Always glad to see that smile of yours in the comments section. :-)

@steem-ua is getting a lot of support and I've had a number of people tell me to go take a look. I've read through the article and am still trying to digest it all. It has a lot of "mass" and so there's a lot to think about.

Quill

awww thank you!

There is a lot of "mass" for sure Quill! I delegated 50 SP and received my first .40 upvote from them; obviously there's a whole lot more to it! I like that I can remove my delegation just as quickly, so I feel like the collective "we" really does hold some of the power. Simplified yes. Is it going in the right direction? I think so.

Man that was something to read. I can't say I disagree with your ideas. I just can't see the whales going for it. They have such a good thing now. I have only been here a few months and your right it sucked until I got into a group. I would say that their are some smaller groups that are trying to allow smaller people in and support redfish and minnows. Given the biggest of them are only Dolphins so I am really aware of whales supporting the new accounts. Thanks for the time you put into this. I really hope people read it cause I do feel that this place might not be able to grow like we want unless things change.

I do wonder though how your rules will change what whales do. Would they really start looking for quality post to vote on? My guess is a side deal where they vote on each others stuff. They pretty much seem to have that already.

I do really hope that there becomes a way other than being high rep to avoid down-votes. It doesn't seem right that people can down vote a post to the point I have to click a special button to see it.

Also added you to the pay it forward contest might give you a few more eyes to this https://steemit.com/payitforward/@stever82/week-23-pay-it-forward-curation-contest-my-entry

@stever82,

Thanks a lot mate. It's really appreciated.

Quill

@stever82,

Well, mate, you're dead right. The chances of the necessary changes being made are dismally small.

But, as I've argued, the Whales DO NOT control this thing. STEEM and Steemit do not live in a bubble isolated from the rest of the world. Once a viable alternative to Steemit becomes a reality, reality will set in. The knuckleheads ranting and railing in these comments believe that because they're creating some fancy front-ends that THEY'RE going to dictate how things go.

They're not.

As I explained, STEEM has NO INTRINSIC VALUE except what is derived from the existence of Steemit's user-base ... which is mostly Minnows. The Minnows are getting screwed ... not because they're not making money, but because they don't even have a chance of making money.

They soon find out that Steemit is not about creating quality content, as advertised, but about engaging in vote-gaming of one kind or another. That's NOT the game most want to play. So, once the opportunity to play elsewhere presents itself, they'll leave.

I suspect this will not be a gradual erosion but rather an exodus. And, this will cause a bank-run and a subsequent collapse in the price of STEEM.

Common sense tells you that this not sustainable.

If things don't change quickly, which, alas, I'm not hopeful that they will, the Whales themselves will soon be Minnows. Poetic Justice.

In the meantime, I take some pleasure in provoking the knuckleheads with logical arguments and impeccable diction. They seem to hate that. :-)

Quill

As I explained, STEEM has NO INTRINSIC VALUE

I'm responding to this specifically because I had to do a double-take when I read it. There is no such thing as intrinsic value, so this is a moot point. You declaring it in all caps as some sort of revelation is meaningless and belies your misunderstanding of more than just the Steem blockchain.

Congratulations @quillfire!
Your post was mentioned in the Steemit Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Comments - Ranked 7 with 139 comments

@arcange,

Thanks so much for the highlight. Every bit helps.

Quill

I am happy to see you trying to come up with some ideas. However, at this point, I am inclined to say stick a fork in Steemit, coz it's done. Ban the bots is a great idea. I give it maybe a 1 out of 100 chance of happening though.

Personally I will keep posting what I enjoy. I will keep waiting to see what Dan does as far as a social media thingie over on EOS. Steemit still pays more than anywhere else I know of.

@old-guy-photos,

Hey Paul.

I am inclined to say stick a fork in Steemit, coz it's done.

On DM, I've been having a LOT of conversations since I published my last article about a week ago. The word "fork" is being used a lot. There are rumors that "work is underway." Who knows ... rumors. But one guy seemed to be pretty close to what's going on.

All this was so predictable and so completely unnecessary.

In addition to my proposals, I was thinking about proposing that authors get paid by the word... posts, comments and replies. I didn't as I thought it would be too, obviously, self-serving. :-)

Quill

I have an idea that would be super popular. I think the witnesses should make less and give that to curation. We need more readers/voters it seems to me. Bet that will go over like a lead balloon!

@old-guy-photos,

Paul ... I'm laughing my ass off. Are you trying to cut in front of me on our way to the gallows? Fine ... you go first.

For those who don't know, Paul was my mentor. When my account was bandwidth-frozen for hours per day, he stepped in, unasked, and delegated enough SP to solve the problem. He was always there to answer my plethora of stupid questions and made contacts for me within the poetry community ... despite what I've always suspected was his utter lack of interest in poetry.

He has done the same for so many people that it's hard to keep track. If you don't believe me, enter his username into GinaBot notifications and see how many people mention him by name. It will drive you crazy.

He's also one of the most painfully likeable guys I ever met. Easy-going, friendly, never a cross word for anyone. Guys like this are the glue that holds Steemit together.

So, when even he's uttering "stick a fork in it ... Steemit's done" ... you know the blockchain is in trouble. If he goes elsewhere, his departure (and, presumably, his subsequent recruitment for another blockchain) will have an incredibly powerful effect upon all those who he's mentored ... and the networks that they have subsequently established. I am not loyal to Steemit ... I am loyal to him.

I could name a dozen others like Paul (I call them "fixers" ... they "fix what's broken" and "fix you up") who are equally pissed off.

If Steemit doesn't fix what's obviously broken ... the rampant cheating for starters ... there's going to be a mass exodus once a minimally functional alternative presents itself. And then, we'll be able to gauge the wisdom of listening to the ideologues.

But hey .... "No Rulers, No Rules." Whoohoo!
Quill

Thank you for the kind words, Quill!

Yes a mass exodus for sure! I would be quite nervous if I were Ned because every day that goes by, Steemit's lead is surely slipping. I have seen Dan create 3 winning coins/sites. I have to believe in the not too distant future, Steemit version 2 will be up and running on EOS. Sadly Ned and crew have turned a deaf ear to the users experience to concentrate solely on SMT's. As I have said before, Fakebook has no SMT's but a half a TRILLION dollar market cap. I love all the development of the dApps, but what on Earth has Stinc been doing all this time?

@old-man-photos,

Prescient points, all. What's astonishing to me is that the Whales, perhaps not all but seemingly most, seem oblivious to the perils. But this is not 3-dimensional chess. The problems, and their likely consequences, are blatantly obvious.

SMT's seem to be the elixir that is intoxicating everyone. They'll fix everything. Personally, I don't think they'll fix anything. Does anyone honestly think the New York Times is going to create a private-label coin on top of this mess? Steemit has become a cheater's paradise. No wonder that Ned is powering down.

Steemit had a huge "first-mover advantage" but it pissed it all away. With this kind of strategy, who needs competition? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Quill

Exactly what I was going to say. Maybe Ned sees the writing on the wall and is thus powering down. The sad fact is he doesnt even use the site...I mean 3 posts in 2 months or something.

I have not given up all hope, but if I find a better place, I am gone. There certainly is no loyalty to here. All throughout, there has hardly been any communication, yet they want investors?!?! Simply incredible.

Please make a last posting then on where you are going, so I can come with you.

@old-guy-photos,

I haven't given up all hope either. The Silent Majority are called Silent for a reason. What I think it comes down to is whether there are enough "Good Whales" around which to start a reform movement. Any reforms would require their votes.

There ARE Good Whales out there who are trying to be responsible. I even believe there's a few bidbot owners who would willingly close up shop if the system were made fair. Hell, run a curation-bot. (I also have some other ideas about how Whales could use their capital productively. Future article.)

My DM is humming these days. There's a LOT of people who agree with my reforms, or close to them (with good suggestions on how to make them even better). There's also talk about a hardfork ... and rumors that "people are working on it." Who knows.

FYI: The knuckleheads spent so much time trolling this post's comments section that it's now 7th on the ENTIRE blockchain for "most comments!" Visibility equals free advertisement. How do you like them apples?

Quill

You realize, that no witness, no chain, no changes, no nothing, right?

I didn't say do away with, I said take less. You cant take from the creators, coz they are making nothing and are leaving already. We need more bodies in here reading/participating. We need to incentivize that more and the money needs to come from somewhere. Something needs to change coz its half a step from a ghost town.

It's more than half a step. Current numbers are at 83% attrition over 12 months.

But do you know why that REALLY is? It's not because of the money not being here. The current reward pool is around 275 grand to be dispensed and fills with 27 or grand more every day.

It's because they didn't know they were gonna have to do some work.

Now about the witness pay. It doesn't COME from the reward pool at all anyway. We get paid in minted SP, created when a block is processed, outside the reward pool of Steem, SBD and SP that users earn.

They are not related at all.

More misunderstandings.

For those of us who maybe read the white papers, learn the rules of the road and adapt to the market, we look at conversations on this page and shake our heads.

We see "I went to a casino, where I dont speak the language and played a game I never heard of or even googled and everybody won but me, so that place is fucked up."

Where the over paid witness money goes is straight to the exchange, where it creates further supply and depresses the price.

Not even close, only about 75 even make any profit over the seed node, witness node and rpc node hosting we carry. At position 50 you might make a couple hundred steem a month at BEST.

the top 20, make more, but ALL of them delegate, run 2-3K in hosting a month or twice that with backups, and run projects, pay teams, and write the code you live on - a $200usd an hour professional gig which is neither mandatory for witnesses or compensated.

Are YOU gonna write the blockchain code for free?

I've just glanced over your article... but it's too late for me and I shall go to bed now. (Nearly 2 AM here.)

I promise I'll bookmark it (thanks, Busy.org) and I'll make sure I'll read it with more calm tomorrow.

Thanks for your article, which I've only found because @stever82 featured you on his entry for the Pay It Forward Contest

things that burn your ass.

your post has been up two days and made 62 cents and 39 votes.
my first comment on the page has done 30% better on 1/4 the votes.

my most recent post only two hours old, beats your entire WEEK of lame ass drivel.

Have a nice day, commies.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2017/01/24/the-dunning-kruger-effect-shows-why-some-people-think-theyre-great-even-when-their-work-is-terrible/#492546fb5d7c

@sircork,

Ah sircork. How wonderful that after a hundred mostly useless comments ... you're still here.

You seem to have an unusually intense ... need for my approval. The tirades, the tantrums ... they're obviously cries for acceptance. People who engage in non-stop braggadocio and belittlement of others do so because of a deep-seated "inferiority complex."

"Look at me Quill! LOOK at me! Look how special I am."

Anyway, I'm glad you've finally decided on "Commie." I was starting to get conflicted by the whole "Commie! Dictator! Fascist!" thing.

For anyone not familiar, sircork is a partner in @Nobelwitness. That's right, he's one of the guys running the show. Need I say more.

Quill

Your approval? Lol, like a bird needs a worm approval to eat it?

I have just realized you are pretty much A DOUCHE, and with any luck, I'll irritate you enough to leave the platform, and take your ridiculous ass back to commie land.

Yeah, we're noblewitness, as the stuttering unkown psycopath keeps uttering even though his cheesy 50 cent ass is reaching NO ONE.

The alliance wouldn't even let you in, you fucking moron.

NO ONE IS AWARE OF YOU, NOT EVEN YOURSELF!

I'm embarrassed FOR you.

Trust me, bud, it ain't about your approval. It's about pinning you down so that you can see how woefully unequipped you are to discuss solutions. You lack a fundamental understanding of how the blockchain and account creation works, which makes your solutions laughably stupid. We've tried pointing this out to you repeatedly, and you just double down.

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Your notification comments were flagged because they are COMMENT SPAM. How many times do you need to be told this to understand it? Cheetah bot, the very first spam bot here on Steemit, has flagged innumerable accounts for the same behavior. Steemcleaners is doing just that right at this very moment, no doubt.

As for why me and Cork have been here on your ass? Your solutions are garbage. As both he and I have acknowledged, more than once, your assessment of the problem is accurate, so stop pretending we're virtue signalling. The issue we have is with your proposed solutions. Rather than address the valid criticism of your ban/freeze method for dealing with accounts, you just double down and avoid explaining the mechanics of how that will be implemented. I've asked you courteously, numerous times, for an explanation of the mechanics, so I can demonstrate to you why it isn't a workable solution, but you continue to deflect and dodge.

@quillfire, I'll ask you one last time: how do you plan to implement account banning without totally compromising the security of Steem wallets? This is a massive gap in your plan that you continue to gloss over and is the primary reason (aside from the draconian and fascistic conscription policies you want to implement to enable said banning) that I keep commenting. I want an answer.

Hi my name is quillfire, I'm completely unknown and super jealous of people who are successful here, so I want everybody better at this than me, banned. Because I'm into dictatorships and witchhunts and seeing as how nobody likes me or pays attention to me, I better tag as many people as I can in my posts like a spammer so I can maybe get my post up to a buck, and gosh it's so hard, because I'm so smart I don't even have to read the manuals about this place, I can just decide how it is, and make shit up. People think I'm a genius! Everybody who comes to my posts thinks so, just ask both of them!

I was a soldier too! In the army made of conscripted immigrants and convicts, I was really good at acting a like somebody a country wouldn't want in it, so the foreign legion was for ME! I learned a lot about other men there, but that's my private business.

Now I'm going to try and tilt at windmills and keep screaming the names of the people who ridicule me, because my skin is so thin I can't handle it and I need somebody to come SAVE ME! PLEASE SAVE ME!!! I can't do this alone, because I'm completely unequipped with any useful information with which to do battle!

/smh

What a chump.

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Imagine things actually working.

Still trying to imagine YOU actually working.

Or figure out if you are imaginary, since no one else can even see you...