The Power of the Ordinary and the Limitation Mindset on Steemit

in steemit •  6 months ago

I’m going to play devils advocate and suggest that the manner of flagging posts such as @haejin’s is the wrong way of going about “fixing” Steemit. The idea of reward pool rape seems to be based upon a limitation mindset that says that there can only be so much and no more and if someone else wins, I lose. This is the wrong way to look at Steemit.

@taskmaster4450 has also suggested that the numbers don’t support the idea that the rich get richer on Steemit. The wealth is actually becoming more distributed through time and the whales have a smaller percentage of the overall wealth with a flattening distribution curve.

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I think a large portion of this flagging is based upon mental comparisons drawn from ego about whose content is really better. There is no absolute criterion by which to judge what a sh*t post is. It depends upon values that are almost completely subjective. Was Andy Warhol’s painting just a lazy way to make a buck? Or was it modern art? If Andy Warhol did this to a canvas now on Steemit, posted one picture per post and upvoted all of them, I’m pretty sure that it would be flagged.

What about the fact that Rancho Relaxo invested millions in Steem back when nobody had faith in the platform? Does not that risk justify his/her right to vote in any way he/she wants? Has it occurred to anybody that Rancho Relaxo votes in rebellion of the flagging? Maybe Rancho Relaxo and Haejin are the same person?

I haven’t seen anyone forced to vote against their will. In fact, the biggest problem on Steemit seems to be the large number of accounts that don’t use their voting power at all. Then there’s the question if @haejin is able to command so much attention, how did he do it? Did he sign up multiple accounts all for the purpose of upvoting his own content? I can see this as an issue in a few cases with a few users, but signing up thousands of accounts in ones own name is an unfeasible and unworkable strategy to get ahead (and a sure way to get hacked).

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I think that the best rule is to ignore such content using the mute button. I would at least try to use that instead of flagging. Flagging should be reserved for serious violations of copyright law instead of borderline content judgement. Everyone should be free to choose who they follow and who they vote for. One person’s sh*t post might be another person’s gold mine. Now I see myself wondering if I vote for anyone on Bernie Sanders hit list, that I become one of the ones whose income has been wiped out in the middle of a political fight. Will they think my post is worthless? How do I know? The potential damage done here is most likely unable to be seen because the ones who stay away won't vocalize their reasons.

Because of this, I no longer feel completely free. I now potentially have a bully looking over my shoulder even though I’ve worked for decades on some of the most difficult mind bending code in software development imaginable. If this continues, then I’m sorry to say, that I think Steemit will become a failed experiment. I have never seen an instance in internet history (and I was there in the beginning in the 90’s) where a flame war was ever resolved in favor of justice. All sides lose in a flame war.

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It’s essentially the same phenomena as terrorism which is attracted and attracts authority. It’s always the ones who are willing to force their own will on others who think they are better than everyone else.

The Power of the Ordinary

There are those of us who sit in the background now, old and grey, insignificant clothing who don’t stand out while the flame wars adorn those who are “over the top”. Everyone thinks that fame and infamy are the same thing. This wasn’t the case in my youth. The culture has changed. Modesty used to be more valued than bling. We now worship the wrong gods. I now see all of those whose contribution to society has been ignored due to their modesty. You yourself will not be able to see them until you cultivate that virtue in yourself.

In case you just think I'm too much of a wimp to stand up to anyone, know I've been down that road before. I know where it leads. This is me about 15 years ago...

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(6'4" 322 lbs)

Use of force is not the answer.

I'm not going to suggest that this platform is perfect because it isn't, but it is far superior to all forms of centralized social media. If we keep flagging sh*t posts, which is just another way of forcing our own will upon others, then others will see it and may stay away thinking that their investment in Steem will be lost. That infighting will make us weak against the real enemies who we must face ahead.


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In fact, the biggest problem on Steemit seems to be the large number of accounts that don’t use their voting power at all.

Not the problem, if the 75% of sp that doesn't vote did vote, our votes' value would drop by 2/3.

A problem is in folks voting for the folks that trend time after time.
This problem is resolving it's self, it's just going very slowly at the moment.
As more folks get more influence the folks getting outsized rewards will see themselves getting less and the everyday folks getting more.

If anything is a problem, it is the echo chamber voting where folks only vote on things that ding their confirmation bias.
Unless dissent begins to get some support we only reward the conformists, leading to a circle jerk, and regular folks leaving the platform.

Voting on things that make our cognitive dissonance go ding, ding, ding is what is needed to insure that we are a platform that supports free speech, and not just popular speech.

I was told straight up that my content would not get support here, too controversial they said, and they have proven themselves correct.
The votes I get are from folks I have connected with what I say, I get very few from the conformists that get their biases dinged, or the whales that do bother to vote the little guys.

Which is ok, I am here to make a record of my passing, not to enrich myself by taking away from others by being favored in the math by those that have the power to do that.

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I was not aware that voting power gets redistributed to those who vote. Are you sure of this? My impression after reading the Steem white and blue papers was that it gets wasted.

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When a combined 1000sp votes that 1000sp distributes the entire reward pool.

When 1000sp votes and a vote with 100,000sp votes those first votes get nearly nothing and the large vote gets what they lost.

Large accounts voting make small account votes worth less.
Delegation by large accounts is what is keeping minnows from mattering more in the math.
It is how proof of stake is designed, more stake, more rewards.

If the 75% of sp that doesn't vote did vote our vote value would drop by 2/3.
My curation rewards dropped by a factor of 10 when delegation became a thing.
The bidbots suck most of it up because of the amount of sp that they bring to the math.
If the vote/delegation sellers stopped all of us would have larger vote values.
It's just a fact in the math.

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It's my understanding that the difference between PoS and PoW is that the reward curve is at least linear with PoS but logarithmic with PoW. This is because with PoW, the miners can wholesale their hardware expenses.

But the impression I had about minnows not voting is that it helps the large stake holders get an even larger portion. Is this not correct?

Any chance that Dan would go to PoI (proof of importance)? This would be similar to using rep score instead of steem power to weigh the voting power.

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I couldn't tell you about reward curves from mining, just that posting gets you linear rewards.

Large stakeholders voting means small stakeholders get less.
If the large stakeholders don't vote then the minnow's vote has more influence.

Dan is out, Ned doesn't appear to be doing anything but raping the reward pool for his favorites.
I wouldn't expect anything to change anytime soon.

I just had a comment convo with berniesanders about seeing things from the wrong perspective. He told me I wasn't seeing things right because I disagreed with his over-the-top flagging of one of the bitconnect supporters. I told him that perhaps he was right, and that my perspective is constantly evolving on Steemit.

4 months ago I hadn't even heard about Steem or Steemit. I had barely heard of BTC or cryptocurrency. Now I don't know how I would go back to regular life without it. I so wish for Steem to be successful. I feel very connected to it now. After reading this though, I feel like I am once again feeling a change of perspective. I have been pushing a #fight4steem with a bunch of other users in order to keep the website alive, but I have not necessarily been on board with excessive flagging, though a lot of the supporters are. I find the flagging of third-world posts especially egregious. Crappy picture? One sentence with broken English? A person from a tiny country? Must be a shit post! Flag it! Never the mind that some of these people for the first time in their lives are able to support their families off their $10 a day shit post. I feel very strongly against this, but feel like I have had to tow a certain line within the mentality of Steemit so as to not be downvoted myself.

As you mentioned, this is a huge Achilles heel of this platform. Is it any better than YouTube if you have to self-censor around every corner? Fearful of what might happen? When I saw that BernieSanders had replied to one of my comments, my heart dropped and I was filled with dread. I don't always have nice things to say about him, so immediately I assumed that all my hard work here had been lost and it could happen so fast with someone with so much power. For now I think I have gone on unscathed, but it makes me think twice about what I say. We might as well have though police on here, because in a way, we already do in the form of whales.

You have given me a lot of food for thought here though, so thank you for this post!

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I think that some forget that there's already a quasi "proof of work" algorithm that combats spam posts. It's called "no upvotes". There are those on this platform who waste all their time commenting one or two words and get ignored, which means they did that work for nothing.

Steem uses "proof of brain". The idea behind those with more steem power having more voting power because they have more to lose doesn't necessarily take into account suicidal whales. The problem of agnoia makes it more difficult for other whales to balance out.

I think a separate tab called "disputed" could pop up next to hot and trending to balance this out. I wasn't aware of the @berniesanders and @haejin debate for quite a while here when I first signed up last summer.

The proof of work algorithm idea comes from those Captcha's you see on websites proving you're human. This might be done for those short posts that are obviously copy and pasted for posts that appear to be automated. Unique posts done once would not raise a captcha, but repeat posts from the same user with the same wording would.

'' It’s always the ones who are willing to force their own will on others who think they are better than everyone else.''

So true. I completely agree flagging should only be reserved for serious violations of copyright law.

Fun thing about all this is that people are always going to do it, it would be better off to seriously just not upvote something that you see as garbage like Spam or someone just posting non stop images of nude women or something for the sake of trying to get upvotes. Starve them of the attention and those guys will go elsewhere. However I disagree with people trying to flag each other in flag wars like what happened and still happens on YouTube and other social media giants (FB included).

No two people are alike and everyone has their own opinions on this or that, it's going to happen. For me, I don't really care a hell of a lot about learning every single in and out of cryptocurrencies and learning everything about the blockchain even though it seems to be the most common thing on the Steemit platform.

Granted, I've seen things like Steemit in the past and honestly Steemit and Minds are the first two things I've ended up joining up on while I've let similar project in the past come, and then go completely failure mode.

One such community that had the whole "Proof of Brain" concept that Steemit has was none other than what people are rightfully calling today a scam and that old community that's long since dead was also even publicly traded "PLPE". I'm talking about PeopleString.

PeopleString wasn't the first nor the last that I've seen come and go, but it was the first one I've seen come and then die that was a publicly traded company and that's why it gets mentioned in this comment.

Let's see how this goes. I have high hopes for the blockchain in general, but I'm not going to rely solely on it because I do see a potential for both success, and a potential for complete failure.

I am very neutral on this one. I would say that people can use their downvotes and upvotes for whatever they want. And in addition everyone has a right to tell what he thinks these should be used for.

However, I believe that the basis of steemit is flawed. We are dealing with a virtual reward token thats value is derived from getting a large number displayed on a social media site. (And that is fine, it is the same as paying for optical upgrades in computer games).
But at the same time having a lot of steem allows you to get more steem, making the system quite inflationary. And I think this is a problem as it does not generate a helpful mechanic for the community.

If instead we would have ads and distribute their reward based on screentime of the respective posts, I think that would be much better.
On top of that there could still be value generated from premium avatars etc..

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