Decentralized Governance - OR - How to align your values to a new system before your preconceptions destroy us all.
Welcome to Steem! Its a new frontier here, an anarcho-capatalist frontier with a boisterous, voluntaryist community, many of whom have no idea what they are doing. Interested? You should be! We are closer than ever to true individual freedom, and the steem 'experiment' will hold many lessons for future communities, even outside of steem.
This is one of those posts, so obtuse and obscure to people that know me but not steem, that lead me to the creation of the @ecoinstats account. Want to see periodic photographic updates of our life? Check out @ecoinstats!
So I have been reading and listening to a big discussion going on about hard forks, unaccountable actors and the future of steem. Like so many other parts about this revolutionary new system, I suspect that most of the people engaging in the discussions do not understand the full scope of what they are discussing (myself included). I am not accusing any one or any side of being stupid, instead I am stating a fact that we are all quite ignorant about decentralized governance, voluntaryist economics and markets.
I would like to add a quote from @cryptoctopus here:
So for those of you who are getting worked up about conversations that other people are having, this post is for you. This is a post to remind you that there is nothing else out there like what we are doing here, and all future roads (EOS, TRON, and any other comers) will have to march straight through the decentralized governance swamp that we are already waist-deep into!
But let's remind ourselves what we are talking about:
Do you want to know why decentralized governance sucks? There are too many voices, and from those too many voices all manner of ridiculous notions and ignorant blather are inevitable. Imagine a democracy where tens or even hundreds of millions of people could propose legislation. Nothing would ever get passed, indeed nothing could ever even get discussed!
And there is our challenge. In a decentralized system everything is suggested, everything is said - and that includes a lot of dumb ideas too.
Let me dig a little deeper, with a summary quote that is even well formatted:
It is within the above situation, with a 'bad actor' on the throne, that the idea came about of implementing a coded fork of the chain to 'unstake' Steemit Inc. This is a situation that John von Neumann would have fully understood in the context of game theory. It is as simple as these actors (witnesses) looking for leverage where there is little, against a high-stake actor in our ecosystem. Even @timcliff's middle ground statement screams nuclear-deterant game theory to me:
Accountability in a Free Society
Are claims that Steemit Inc are 'unaccountable to us' valid? I would argue that they are true but not valid, they miss the point of free, voluntaryist interaction. Steemit Inc. is accountable to itself, just as I am to myself, you are to yourself. We are all here voluntarily, and we continue to operate not because of external parameters forced upon us, but by voluntary exchange.
Taking this to the next level: Steemit Inc. is a company, like any other, whose influence will fade or grow depending on its own actions, performance and results. They are learning (as are we all) and are (most likely) hopeful that they are heading in the right direction, but if not, they will face those consequences. The more Steem Power they sell, and the faster they do it, the less influence they will have over our community.
Their future is up to them.
But wait Alex. The way they gained their stake was not FAIR
You are right! But the 'fairness' dilemma has a number of problems, too many for me to deal with exhaustively here. But let me leave some thoughts in a bulleted list.
- Fairness has no objectively fair definition.
- All systems are rooted in original unfairness. Maybe the big bang banged unfairly, I wasn't there.
- Fairness moves forward.
- Fairness is asymptotic, we can only approach a 'relative' fairness, and comparing steem to central banks seems incredibly, relatively fair!
- Natural dilution has already taken Steemit Inc stake from 80% of the total to closer to 25%, and I believe selling will continue to take that lower. Is that fair?
It often seems to me as if some people are eager to depend on a central entity to make the decisions, but this is only culture. We still have to learn how to do it this way! And that is valuable. We must respect the process, and not allow it to freak us out. Just like comparing the simple straight lines of the city to the rampant verdant growth of a jungle - centralized systems look neat and straight, but hide systemic inefficiency in many areas while, decentralized governance looks messy, but hides an underlying vitality, resilience and sustainability.
And the messy part? Its exactly this deluge of 'everything' being said; decentralization is full of pull requests. Let me say that again for you:
Decentralized Government is a project with 7 billion pull requests.
More if we are going to get organized about it, because we each want more than one thing. It is the ultimate optimization problem, and the market mechanism is working! I personally think that a powered down ninja mine is a good thing, because I want to pick up the slack. I want to grow my stake in this revolutionary platform that is leading the way in decentralized digital governance, among other promising aspects, and I want to do it at as low a price as possible!
A note to the witnesses and about witnesses:
Keep up the great work witnesses! We have seen incredible progress on many developmental fronts, and I think future communities will look to the lessons that we are learning now to guide them. Though fork-theft isn't a great idea, with so many ideas going around, many of them have been very good. Check out this crazy brilliant idea from Jack Miller!
While we all appreciate your efforts to keep the behemoth in line and mitigate the damage they can do with the powers available to you, please don't die on this hill. Take a step back, think about first principles, and remember it is exactly these governance challenges that define us as a community!
Make sure you are voting for witnesses, here is a list of witnesses I vote for to forge our blocks - I update periodically; feel free to use me as a proxy for your witness voting. These are very important actors in our decentralized government, in our checks and balances.