The time has come --- you won't believe what's at the end!

in #open-letter3 years ago

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I think the writing is on the wall now, and has been for a while. Steem can still be something really world class, but it has failed to deliver on many fronts. I don't say that Steemit have failed to deliver (though they have) but that Steem has. And that's on all of us.

Now, I can hear the cheerleader types (some of which I like very much, don't get me wrong) saying look at all Steem has done for you, for us, for Ned! I agree, but any group of people can help themselves if they put their minds to it. If that's not obvious to you, and I think it isn't to many, you've been struck with some of the collective (no pun intended ;) ) amnesia going around about how "people power" is a real thing.

What is world class is building something that doesn't just work for a few prioritized members, it's something that is truly unique in providing a way for disparate groups of people to pitch in value and see that value grow. Too many people believe the following, unqualified:

Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist. - David Attenborough

In fact, there will be near infinite growth until life is extinguished once and for all some dark day in the distant future. That is to say that life is growth. Homeostasis is quite another thing and does not preclude growth, but rather the growth and then death of lifeforms.

To wit, without growth, we are moving towards death. We have to though of course be very very careful about how we are measuring growth, but in a sense it doesn't matter. Death happens whether or not the dying creature realizes it or not.

I am not saying Steem is dying, but I am drawing some parallels here about the lack of growth, and I would go only as far as to say that by my limit knowledge and reasoning it seems that Steem is on the decline. I'm not talking about the price. I would be very happy with Steem priced at 10c or even 1c. No, it's about the cartel leadership (kind of baked into the system), the extensive reliance on backroom meetings, and of course @ned and his Steemit Inc. Outside of all of these conversations about what @ned and his hair are doing still looms the bread and butter issues of blockchain parameters and so on, --- i.e. the economics ---, which has been sidelined constantly with the promise of SMTs. So much for that.

I was having conversations about a Steem-based new blockchain from very early on in my 2 years here, it has always been a temptation for people. Don't like it here? Well it's open source so go fix it yourself and make your own playground. It's tantalizing but at this point it's worth mentioning just how much @ned and his crew have put into the system here. Yes they rely on the continued hobbyist work of posters, voters, bot writers, up to semi-professional witnesses and then the fully fledged pros, but work they did. It's been quite clear to anyone close to them that they do it for themselves, but then what business person doesn't? Life itself continues only by such self-vested actors. That's not to say many didn't benefit.

In any case I'll make my core statement:

It's time to create something entirely new

I believe that a new chain is the way to go here. It doesn't even need to be Steem code based, but it would be very cool if it were Steem community based, there are a lot of cool folks here. Of course that said, using the code as a basis, or at least learning from it, is very important. This is what I'm talking about with all that talk of "life" and so on. Life begets expression in new lifeforms, this is the natural way. Embrace it. Grow.

There will be many of you who will read this and say, pfft, off with you, I'm in for the long haul and quitting is for quitters. I agree with your sentiments, and I don't say the new building path is for everyone. I think there will likely be big rewards for the savvy who stick to their guns here and stick to the mission. I am not going to be one of them though because my analysis indicates that what you will end up reviving will be so different as to be something new.

While the big people here argue about and try to outdo each other with pious statements, it's clear to onlookers that a wedge is being driven, and those with their eyes open will see @ned at the blunt end pushing it in. Do not be surprised when he acts in his own interest.

Should we fork him and his accounts out? Should we not? Should he stop his power down? It's all a bit silly isn't it?

Holding @ned's stake ransom in exchange for desired behaviour is extortion, and tantamount to violence.

All you sensitive types, an important word there is "tantamount". A case could have perhaps been made closer to the time, but years later one cannot act on the premiss of ninja-mined stake. Sure that's a thorn that won't go away, but in everyone continuing to use the platform they have agreed that they are willing to operate on it's legitimacy.

The only principled decision is to let it be and roll with it. However I think at this point those leaders who have shown favor to the idea of modifying @ned or @steemit 's control of what their keys can do, they are morally bankrupt. From what I can see that include:

What am I going to do about it?

I hereby forthwith do solemly as the behest of the...

^^^ are you tired of this kind of language in these witness statements? Am I. There is no power in this language guys. Grow up.

No, I'll say it this way. I'm put my vote of no confidence right here in this post. Or rather, half of my vote. Here is the first half of my master key for this account, @personz:

P5KKKF8WHmRv2N1uF4BzgnBYdn

In one week, after payout on this post, I'll post the other half. I would post it all at once but then anyone could change the contents of this post, and I'd like it to stick around, so I have to do it this way. Of course from now (or slightly from now, I'd perhaps still like to make a few more comments posts today) I'll be silent until then.

My account certainly has some value. 66 rep (lol), 2.5k followers, estimate dollar value today of $100 (though I'll transfer a bit more out), some rep on the street (though not after today no doubt!), this account is yours if you see the post first.

But that's not the point. The point is the vote of no confidence this signifies. After that I don't give a hoot about the value. I'm going to skip the gushing retrospective and just say that most of you guys rock and thank you. I will lurk and see you on the next ship.

--- Yours psuedononymously, --- personz

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Just to make it clear, I have not made any attempts at blackmail or extortion. I have not issued any type of threat that I would support a hardfork if they don't cancel their power down. I have never come out in support of a hardfork that would impact the current chain, nor have I implied that if Steemit doesn't comply with some list of demands that I would do so.

Thanks for framing my position on something without having checked with me though, or having any facts to back it up.

If you stop the power down then I commit to not fork accounts out. Pretty clear Tim. Why the "if"? Why not commit unequivocally?

The “threat” of any witness applying any fork is always there. As a witness, I can choose to support or not support any changes I want. (Whether I will stay voted in is another matter, but unrelated to what we are talking about now.)

I am not going to make a blanket statement that restrains me from ever considering changes such as this in the future. I am not a witness who will never fork out someone’s stake. If there are extreme circumstances, I might consider it as an absolute last resort.

I have never indicated that the current situation is even close enough to an “extreme last resort” situation that I would ever do such a thing. In fact, I have indicated the exact opposite.

There is nothing in my post saying that there will be any type of consequences if the power down doesn’t stop. I am not making any type of threat that there will be consequences. There is no extortion or blackmail there.

What I have done is stated that if Steemit is willing to “give up” something on their side (powering down), I am willing to “give up” something on mine (my freedom as a witness to move forward with any type of hardfork on the main chain that I deem appropriate).

Again, I want to stress that even if they don’t give up something on their side, and I reserve my freedom to choose what changes to support - that does not imply that I will use that freedom to make any particular choice.

Certainly you have been careful to leave multiple interpretations open and multiple paths of action.

Everything is there to interpret. You disagree with my interpretation but by giving so much scope you beg the question. I'm simply assuming the most likely cases.

That you confirm that you will not disavow blocking them out is enough to set the record straight.

You are free to interpret however you want, and post whatever you want, but just pointing out - this is inaccurate and untrue:
However I think at this point those leaders who have shown favor to the idea of modifying @ned or @steemit 's control of what their keys can do

I am not in favor, nor have I ever been, nor have I ever expressed that I am.

I expect you haven't surpassed the cognitive dissonance - yet. I hope you do.

The statement you issued, whether you meant it to be or not, was an implied threat that if Stinc didn't obey you and use their stake per your demand, that you would fork it out.

See my reply to @smooth for more detail.

The bare underlying facts are these:

  1. witnesses have implied an existential threat to Stinc's assets.

    a) it's Stinc's asset - no one elses.

  2. @ned has a legal fiduciary responsibility that should he not meet will subject him to criminal prosecution, besides tort actions.

  3. There is no other way for Stinc to secure it's assets than taking them off chain.

  4. the witnesses are employed to secure the blockchain. This implied threat is do the opposite.

Were it your stake what would you do?

You have a choice now: fork or move beyond demanding Stinc use it's stake per your demands and perform the duties of a witness nominally, as I have come to expect from you during my tenure here. Expect consequences, because they are inevitable.

I have no personal animosity towards you, nor anyone. However, I am not willing to abandon my principles that demand I respect private property rights, and reckon demanding others use their stake per my orders is doing just that. I have thought you also respected this principle, and frankly, am surprised, shocked even, to see this issue ongoing.

Please retract your demand to control the stake of another account. It's not yours. When you do return to sound principles, there will be more to undertake, but until that happens this shitshow will continue.

The statement you issued, whether you meant it to be or not, was an implied threat that if Stinc didn't obey you and use their stake per your demand, that you would fork it out.

No, that is not correct. Please see my reply to personz. (I've also sent the same reply to you in another thread.)

@ned has a legal fiduciary responsibility that should he not meet will subject him to criminal prosecution, besides tort actions.

That's an interesting one. I don't know if it is true (I am not a laywer) but it very well could be. If that is the case though, why would he not just come out and say that?

There is no other way for Stinc to secure it's assets than taking them off chain.

There is no taking them off the chain. There is only moving them to another account. Assuming the account that they are being moved into will most likely be an exchange, one could argue that they would be less safe than leaving them in their current state. There is already written "contract" from more than enough witnesses to ensure that his coins are safe if they are left there. It is cryptocurrency 101 to know that exchanges are not a safe place to store coins.

You have a choice now: fork or move beyond demanding Stinc use it's stake per your demands and perform the duties of a witness nominally, as I have come to expect from you during my tenure here.

Those are not the only choices I see. Also, as per my previous statements, I am not making any demands.

I appreciate very much your measured and reasonable reply. It is what I have come to expect from you, and strongly supports my personal assessment of you as an enterprising and forthright witness.

I will try not to comment back everywhere, but focus on one thread, as I am wasting valuable resources for both of us by doing so.

I remain convinced that the qualifier, as pointed out by @personz, constitutes an implied threat. You appear to not intend to threaten to fork, and here assert (as you have elsewhere) that you won't. The fact remains that stating 'If you do X, I will not do Z' is essentially threatening to do Z if they don't do X. It's an implied threat, and @ned does have legal responsibilities to protect the assets of Stinc as CEO.

It does not require a law degree to understand that, and it's facile to claim ignorance of that fact. I chalk it up not to malicious intent, but cognitive dissonance. Please try to overcome this confusion, as I believe it is preventing productive action to rectify the extant situation.

Consider the various ways in which similar threats can be made, such as mobsters offering 'fire insurance'. They don't say 'If you don't pay us, we're going to burn down your store.' They say 'It'd be a shame if this place burnt down. We can prevent that, if you pay us.'

The threat is implied, but it is definitely real, and something @ned must act to preclude, legally, as well as ethically. Furthermore, why even comment as to what Stinc does with it's stake unless you have a proprietary concern? IT'S NOT YOUR STAKE. That remains, for me, the underlying principle that would have prevented this entire misunderstanding had it been adhered to.

While moving off chain was indeed mistated, what I meant was moving the assets to exchanges where they are secure from forking. It is a technicality, yet factually correct, and I stand corrected.

Again you state you are not demanding anything, yet you are: the end of the powerdown. Please don't resort to semantics, as that impedes discourse.

You are right. There are other possible actions. However, the implied threat only specifies forking, and I was not aware you were entertaining other options, as those discussions are being held privately. Forgive my nescience, as it is not able to be rectified without information I do not have.

One of the main problems is that most people do not have all the facts of the situation. I realize that when I take something publicly to the blockchain that I have a responsibility to explain myself, but I am trying to balance that with commitments that I have made to keep certain private conversations private.

My wording was chosen very carefully for a reason, but that reason was not to present a threat. In addition to the post, there were also posts from a lot of other witnesses, as well as private conversations between some of the witnesses and Ned/Steemit. We really were doing all we could to assure them that there was no threat, and if you look at all the posts - there were more than enough witnesses who said they would refuse to fork under any circumstances, which ensures that any such fork would not have enough support to go into effect.

In terms of property rights, I'm not really going to get into an argument over that. I would ask you to look at the fact that I haven't forked (even though I didn't "get what I wanted" as some would say) as an indication that I am not going to toy around with these things. I do though still reserve the right as a witness to adopt any hardfork that I truly believe is in the best interest of the stakeholders and platform, and in absolutely extreme situations - that might include freezing somebody's account.

Here is one example to think about - if an exchange has more than enough STEEM on it to be able to single-handy take over all of the top 20 witness votes and they get hacked by a malicious actor who wants to destroy Steem - I would seriously consider it in that case. You can start to get less black and white - let's say that Steemit, Inc. somehow got "taken over" (not hacked) by a group of people that wanted to adopt a hardfork that would somehow screw over all the other stakeholders. Again, I might seriously consider it in that case too. Where does the line get drawn?

Honestly, it is a really difficult question. And a serious one too. Part of me would love to just take a simple "I will never do it" stance, but honestly - I feel that it would be irresponsible to do so. I take my job very seriously, and I reserve the right to use whatever tools exist in my tool-belt if I deem them necessary to do what is best for the Steem stakeholders.

The point is, it is not always black and white, and I am not going to make an on-chain commitment to never consider using it as a tool. I am also not going to cloud up a post which had a specific intention (to ensure Steemit that their funds were safe if they didn't power down) with a long drawn out explanation of when I found it appropriate to use this type of hardfork as a tool.

Thanks for the substantive reply. I clearly am outside the loop and not availed of information critical to deeper understanding. As I can only reasonably comment on what I know about, there's little more I can say.

I also agree with your assessment that all things aren't black and white, and there are certainly conceivable situations that may require action from witnesses that may appear surficially to violate sound principles, but actually be necessary because of them.

Just... Given the threat from multiple witnesses, I cannot see that Stinc can leave corporate assets in a position that leaves them vulnerable to that threat being carried out. Failure to exercise fiduciary responsibility involving such a critical corporate asset would be unconscionable, actionable, and criminal, IMHO.

Unaware of the insider details, I am unable to comprehend any other specifics that might mitigate this. Your reply certainly shows that you do take this seriously, and are capable of nominally parsing complexities of the matter I remain uninformed regarding. It's your responsibility, and you demonstrate here that you're effectively undertaking it.

Accordingly, recognizing my incapacity to cogently comment, I'll leave it at that.

Thanks!

I'll just quote you here for context, people can make up their own minds:

I would like to make a commitment to you:
If Steemit, Inc. stops the full power downs of all of their accounts and returns them to their normal power down rate prior to the first disbursement of the current power down cycle, I personally commit to you (on chain) as a witness that I will not implement, support, or condone any hardfork that affects the balances, keys, or security of any of Steemit's accounts on the current chain.

Are you sure posting half of your private key is safe?

Of course not! I did check how long it would take to crack the other half though and it's longer than a week. Post something if you get it before then 😂

Why quit by leaving a burden on us all to remember that account @personz does not belong to you anymore?

Because you are were an over-opinionated attention whore.

My account certainly has some value. 66 rep (lol), 2.5k followers...

Yeah, it is valuable to someone willing to impersonate you and most likely scam people along the way.

You'll be remembered as the person who hasn't been able to get @SadKitten code running in any stable manner after multiple commitments and more than a years or working on it.

You had many people's SPs delegated to it without feeling any shame about how broken it was.

I will lurk and see you on the next ship.

Hope you stick to the same usernames wherever you go.

Fuck you @transisto it was working really well as you know, it did a lot of work and those delegations were used actively. I did so much of what you asked, don't you dare slander me, it's you who should feel shame bro.

I'm just one voice.

I still had strong doubt about the consistency of it's flagging a week before it got shut down.

From checking our last DM:

25 days before final shutdown :

There is about 1 out of 20 false positives, I didn't have the time to figure it out. -You

10 days before

I'd have wanted to make posts about @sadkitten but am waiting on some data to be more confident it's properly and reliably enforcing what it's meant to do. -Me

9 days before

Still testing v4
Taking a bit longer than I'd hoped - you

Should I let @welcoming know about the downtime? -me

Since I won't be researching whether it was working properly or not the days before shutdown I'll assume it was and I apologize for what looks like slander.

It had not been working reliably enough or for long enough for me to risk promoting it widely like I had long planned.

Disappointed by the 1+ year it took but especially our interaction when I was pointing out it wasn't working as it should. - Now at least you know.

Giving out your keys with 100$ in to a random serves no purpose other than seeking undeserved attention to what must be an opinionated rant with more noise than substance.

The data I was talking about needing more of was on the v4 algorithm, the v3 algorithm was working the whole time until shutdown. That is if course except for the bugs and errors that happened in it's lifetime, which I was always committed to fixing as I did many many times.

There was a reliability problem I'll admit, the statistics were complicated for me and it was hard to verify data. However you are focusing on a less than 5% error, on the whole it was largely achieving it's aims. I poured hour after hour into that project, always riding torrents of abuse.

It's just cheap to say this to me here, I was transparent about what I was doing, what it required and how it operated.

I don't disagree that this post is "attention whoring", I'd prefer to say making a strong statement, but what's the difference? Just a level of class and perspective. Yeah I've got something to say, and I'm saying it, as I've always done. You don't like my post? Fine, I can live with that. It's probably not my best work.

Good to know you man, your words are your own. If you ever see a personz elsewhere it won't be me, I'm done with this skin.

Are you seriously leaving that flag on?

It doesn't even need to be Steem code based

FYI theGolos devs team is working on HF which would be actually an EOS fork. All the blogs will remain and the label probable too , but all the Steem codebase abandoned.

Beautiful post with nice images. Thanks for sharing.

That is not a good idea to give away your account keys. Why don't you keep it and watch how the drama unfolds with Steemit.inc? Its just a privat company that tries to survive in the crypto bear market. If they fail their stake will get sold of to the public or hopefully some smart private investors.
Take it easy, if Steem has any value in this Blockchain space than some smart investors will pick it up when the time is right.

very well thought out post am i the first? lol

I didn't realise you wrote this as I haven't been in the feed at all today. Yeah, my post before had nothing to do with this. I have no idea about moral bankrupcy but I don't think they have really thought through what they are doing either. It al seems very knee-jerk and idorganised from one respect and, engineered from another. In my opinion, Stinc handled HF20 better than the witnesses are handling this situation at the moment.

I hope you find a place you enjoy and as said, you have my discord.

Yep it stinks, but it's the larger issue, just precipitated by the recent events.

I've left Discord too and retired all associated emails so this is goodbye buddy. Perhaps I'll bump into you in another guise but in any case good luck, look after that little one you have

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them

Too many people believe the following, unqualified:

Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist. - David Attenborough

In fact, there will be near infinite growth until life is extinguished once and for all some dark day in the distant future. That is to say that life is growth. Homeostasis is quite another thing and does not preclude growth, but rather the growth and then death of lifeforms.

I don't think you're disagreeing with what Attenborough is saying. Injecting new people, or more work by existing people (such as publishing new content on Steemit) is exactly a non-finite situation, so to speak. Though yes, either you grow, or decline, in systems such as this. There's never real homeostasis.

And I agree to some degree. People come to a system. They accept it. But as time goes on, they grow dissatisfies. This is normal.

Now they can either leave, or try to change the system. The thing is, too often people don't realize they can't change the systems, such as coming to a subreddit, or a privately-controlled company, and telling them how to do their stuff. The people running the place don't have to listen.

Steemit purports to be the sort of place you can bring change to, but the entrenched players can always block it, so not really.

Now, I want to question you on one thing you say:

I think the writing is on the wall now, and has been for a while. Steem can still be something really world class, but it has failed to deliver on many fronts. I don't say that Steemit have failed to deliver (though they have) but that Steem has. And that's on all of us.

I think of "Steem" as the coin, and "Steemit" as the blockchain and the community. I think Steemit is what failed us, not "Steem." The coin is just there, as another coin. It's this so-called social-network platform, and as you point out, parts of the community, that failed, no?

I love this comment. Yep you are right, hanging in there is the smart move for most, it costs nothing to do and it might be fine. But I'm making a statement, trying to make a strong one. I'm willing to trash this account that I've been working on for a little over two years to signal the last few directional steps have been really bad, the leadership (which has been the same few guys btw, don't think they're going anywhere) aren't up to the challenge.

It's the strongest possible vote of no confidence I can think of.

I'm actually crushed.

Change your key. Stay, if only to watch as Rome burns.

Please.

How can I? You have to assume that anyone speaking from this account one week hence is not "me". If you see someone say "hi I changed my mind" it's not me.

I no longer believe Steem to be of world class potential, as I said above, and it's time to keep building where it will be useful.

I've enjoyed your friendship! Think of it as moving to the other side of the world in times gone by, a true goodbye, but not a death.

If you change your key prior to that time, it is verifiable on the chain, I believe. Not a coder, so am but assuming.

Not that that changes your decision. I have made my plea, as sincerely as I can, and can now but thank you for edifying me as you often have, and contributing to making my experience as world class as Steem allows.

Thanks!

You still here? Interested in @steemalliance? I think you should be. After you made this post, the world turned upside down, regarding Steem.

I think you should be on the committee that's about to be selected by the community tomorrow. You have many qualities and skills that would be of enormous benefit to the steemalliance foundation.

Dear @personz

Do you have any idea why promobot downvoted you so badly?

Terrible to see someone like you leave, we may never have had much in the way of conversations, but I've always been aware of your contributions both as a developer and as a voice of balance.

Posted using Partiko Android

And I yours. Thanks for the kind words. Be well.

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