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RE: Open Letter to all Steemians - Hardfork 21: Culture Change

in #steem2 years ago

The huge thing that you and all the other folks proclaiming that this solves problems are missing is:

Steem is a social media site. Most interactions are people interacting with their community. The communities that thrive draw new people in. Not rich investors usually, but friends and family. You're all jumping the gun on this "Steem is broken" line and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The new curve is going to incentivize piling on to popular content rather than discovering and welcoming new users. If my vote can give someone I like $0.20 or someone I don't know yet $0.10, I'm going to vote for the former. And will I ever offer an encouraging upvote on comments??? Never. Because the comment isn't going to get other votes.

You will change the behavior of most users. You will change it so that we no longer behave like regular people.

I joined just before we got linear rewards. I was near quitting feeling like my posts would never be worth anything. Then it switched. I didn't know why at the time, but suddenly they were worth more. They were proportionately as valuable as other posts I saw around. Still less, but not exponentially less. It made this thing seem possible.

I wish the people in power had the imagination to understand what Steem is like for minnows and what it will be like in hf21. And not everyone is the same. But for a lot of users who have given a lot to building and bringing their communities to the platform, it will be a gut punch.

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Steem is a social media site. Most interactions are people interacting with their community. The communities that thrive draw new people in. Not rich investors usually, but friends and family.

This is precisely where Steem is failing. Very few people want to expose their Steem wallet to the world while having it tied to their walking world identity. Do you accurately report your Steem income to the IRS? If not, would you want hundreds of people in the walking world to know that @improv is you? Only one person you have pissed off could cause you significant harm by reporting your Steem income to the IRS if you don't accurately report and pay earned income tax on your rewards. And everybody's wallet and their post earnings are displayed by every front end.

If everyone were able to carefully track their Steem earnings and sell enough of the liquid portion of their income to pay their taxes, that would add a great deal of selling pressure on STEEM.

If we want millions of new users, they will have to be entirely cut off from the reward pool. Billions of people happily use social media without ever earning a single cent. Light accounts (mere wallet addresses) are key. Those users will not come here to earn money but to spend it on playing games like Splinterlands. Blogging for crypto will be remain a mere footnote in Steem's history. Those who mined STEEM were the first wave of early adopters. Those who earned it by creating and curating content were the second wave of early adopters. The masses will not earn anything here. They will be the consumers who will spend money here. There is no other way the economy will be able to work in the first place.

Well that's certainly one vision for Steem. It's not an inspiring one, seeing as traditional social media already serves that purpose. Why would anyone switch to Steem in your vision of that future?

Also also, "people won't want money because then they have to pay taxes" seems illogical at best. In the world where Steem incomes are prominent and reliable, a service to take care of your Steem taxes for a fee seems like a profitable business idea. Do people avoid buying stocks and bonds because they have to pay taxes on profits?

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Well that's certainly one vision for Steem. It's not an inspiring one, seeing as traditional social media already serves that purpose. Why would anyone switch to Steem in your vision of that future?

People certainly are not switching to Steem now. On the other hand, billions of people have joined traditional social media.

But social media is by no means the only possible use case of Steem. Steem can also store JSON objects (text), which is made use of by many games such as Splinterlands. Blockchains allow for the true ownership of digital assets such as Splinterlands cards. The state of the game is recorded on Steem, which means that even if the creators of the went AWOL and shut down the front end, anyone could develop a replacement and the players could continue the game. That is impossible on a traditional centralized platform.

Also also, "people won't want money because then they have to pay taxes" seems illogical at best. In the world where Steem incomes are prominent and reliable, a service to take care of your Steem taxes for a fee seems like a profitable business idea. Do people avoid buying stocks and bonds because they have to pay taxes on profit?

We are extremely far from Steem incomes being prominent and reliable. Most people here are anonymous or pseudonymous and are most likely not paying taxes on their income, which makes it understandable that they're not "doxxing" themselves en masse out there. There are very few people on here willing to go and get people to join Steem in the walking world, which organic growth is all about.

You do realize that if everyone actually paid tax on their earned Steem income, that would increase the selling pressure tremendously.

Also, it is completely impossible to pay any kind of significant rewards to, say, hundreds of millions of Steemians in any case. It's completely clear that even with the low price of Steem, most of the content here is not worth the fiat value of the rewards. STEEM is a middle-tier altcoin whose valuation is largely speculative at this stage.

No. Most people that come here aren't leaving because of potential tax liabilities. It's a non issue. You equate blogging with mining, ignoring that Steem was actually mined into existence.

Lite accounts are crap. No one wants them. People want to participate in social interactions, and the FAANGs prove that social media is the most profitable business model in existence today.

Unless Steem enables rewards to inure to folks that socially interact here, it's gonna continue to die. You advocate a gaming platform. You aren't on one. This is Steem. The gaming platform you seek is called Steam.

Lrn 2 difference.

No. Most people that come here aren't leaving because of potential tax liabilities.

I've never said people are leaving because of potential tax liabilities. What I've said is that most people are not inviting friends and family to join partly because they don't want people who know their real identities to know they're earning on Steem, some very significant amounts, and that this is partly because most of them are not paying any tax on their Steem income.

It's a non issue.

It most certainly is not a non issue.

You equate blogging with mining, ignoring that Steem was actually mined into existence.

What are you talking about? Income gained by blogging on Steem is earned income. The issue of mining has nothing whatsoever to do with this. And despite some STEEM having been premined, most STEEM that will exist will be generated as content rewards.

Lite accounts are crap. No one wants them. People want to participate in social interactions, and the FAANGs prove that social media is the most profitable business model in existence today.

Using a lite account doesn't mean one cannot participate in social interactions on Steem. That is entirely doable using guest accounts provided and maintained by an app. Logging into the app could be done using one's Facebook account, an email address or whatever. That is the most convenient way for the average person to use any app. The average person doesn't give a flying fuck about decentralization and I suspect will not be bothered with creating an account for themselves using AnonSteem or any such service or even to maintain their own keys.

Unless Steem enables rewards to inure to folks that socially interact here, it's gonna continue to die.

Steem has failed to even begin mass onboarding. I've found the opportunity to earn to be highly suspicious in the minds of a lot of people I've told about Steem. And I'm not the only one having observed that. For me, it's a complete no-brainer to use it to earn. But most people do not care about that at all. In a way, that will make things massively easier for Steem as an ecosystem because it implies that the masses can be onboarded without any need for them to earn anything, just consume and pay for shit. They will eventually give our investment the kind of value we're hoping it to have one day.

You advocate a gaming platform. You aren't on one. This is Steem. The gaming platform you seek is called Steam.

(Steam does not provide players true ownership of their digital assets because it's centralized.)

App developers do not need your permission to develop precisely the kind of apps they see fit. Splinterlands operates completely outside the reward system. It has nothing to do with creating content. It is arguably the healthiest and most thriving application in the entire ecosystem.

Steem isn't decentralized. A couple dozen people own the accounts that possess the vast majority of Steem - all of which was originally mined by the ninjaminers. The rewards being issued are a fraction of that Steem, and most of them inure to the original ninjaminers because they use stake weighting to extract them into the wallets of their thousands of accounts.

The votes for witnesses are stake weighted, and therefore the witnesses serve at the behest of the ninjaminers. Splinterlands is great for folks that want to play games. Folks that want to play games are a fraction of the folks that want to engage on social media. You can restrict your vision of Steem however you want, but your claims and plans basically are in denial of provable facts.

Steem isn't decentralized. A couple dozen people own the accounts that possess the vast majority of Steem - all of which was originally mined by the ninjaminers. The rewards being issued are a fraction of that Steem, and most of them inure to the original ninjaminers because they use stake weighting to extract them into the wallets of their thousands of accounts.

I was originally talking about Steem rewards being taxable as earned income, in which context what you're saying above is completely irrelevant.

Splinterlands is great for folks that want to play games. Folks that want to play games are a fraction of the folks that want to engage on social media. You can restrict your vision of Steem however you want,

Despite paying its users to use it Steem is failing to attract large crowds of users. Steem is still paying its users something rather than nothing unlike every mainstream social media platform in existence.

Why is the Steem user base not growing organically and fast at that if the rewards are such an important attraction? (Surprisingly, they're not. Mainstream people can't be bothered with learning to use Steem and earn some money while blogging. Very few Steemians have been able to get people to join and STAY on Steem for any length of time. Either the rewards are too good to be true and stories of them are met with extreme scepticism or they're measured in pennies and nobody gives a fuck. Not even piss poor Venezuelan students who you'd think be interested in grabbing whatever money coming their way are clamoring to join Steem. These facts really boggle the mind.)

but your claims and plans basically are in denial of provable facts.

You can repeat that to yourself if it makes you feel better.

My point in response to your claim that aversion to taxation was a primary reason people weren't Steemers was that it was irrelevant, and the overwhelming majority of Steem was not available to most users on which to be taxed. You claimed that was not true, and now you claim that despite it being true it is irrelevant. You may not like the facts, but bobbing and weaving around them will not make your statements true.

"Why is the Steem user base not growing organically and fast at that if the rewards are such an important attraction?"

I address this issue in detail elsewhere. To skim: financial rewards are NOT a primary reason people interact socially, and people are extremely sensitive to fairness. Indeed, vertebrates are extremely sensitive to fairness, meaning it isn't just some meme issue. Dogs will fight to the death over tidbits if they are provided intentionally unfairly.

Profiteering is destructive of business endeavors, and the ninjaminers were great coders, not experienced investors that were well informed regarding mechanisms potentiating capital gains, the means used to drive investment since prehistory. ROI is not capital gains.

You can ignore these facts to your heart's content. That won't make them go away, and when you do not acknowledge facts your statements will remain false.

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The new curve is not a switch back to the old curve. I don’t know what else I can say other than I have the exact same concerns as you do, and I agree that they are valid concerns. Despite that however, I still feel very strongly that we need these changes.

Can we not make the two other EIP changes without the curve? Are top witnesses prepared to roll back the changes efficiently if what we think will probably happen seems to be happening? In talking to witnesses, it seems like everyone is especially concerned about the curve. That seems valid. Why isn't anybody leading from the front on changing that component? It's not too late.

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The time to decide against particular portions of the package has past. We don’t get to pick and choose parts at this point, we either accept the changes as a package or we don’t.

I mean, I'd say everyone should reject the package as a whole and then implement a package without the curve. You've all been aware of this problem the whole time, but it seems like it's been too late to change anything since it was announced. Someone has to be willing to do the right thing even when there's tremendous pressure to go along with what was decided by others.

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There was a lot of discussion about this prior to the hardfork being developed. There is consensus among the witnesses to proceed forward. You frame it as the “right” vs. “wrong” thing, but it is not that simple. I do not think that what we are doing is wrong, otherwise I would not be voting for it. The hardfork is the best deal we could come up with to try and fix our issues that could be developed in a reasonable amount of time and be accepted by a super majority of witnesses.

Fair enough.

You know how many of us are frustrated, though, right? There was to be community feedback on the proposed changes. Before we had a chance to point out the flaws and suggest fixes, it was a done deal. All we can do now is oppose it. And since the changes do especially benefit those with large stakes and we aren't far enough into this for the stake to have significantly decentralized, it's not something that even a bunch of dolphins can effectively oppose, let alone minnows.

It will be harder than ever to decentralize, as the funds will flow to those who can get whale votes even more, which has always proved to be whales themselves.

We all hope I'm wrong at this point, but if hopes were horses, we'd be crushed in a stampede.

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I do. There was a lot of feedback taken into account before consensus was reached. There was a lot of back and forth, push and pull. In my view, this really was the best possible deal that we could all reach. I am excited and hopeful that this HF will be a really big (positive) deal and that six months from now Steem will be a very different (better) place. I'm of course worried too, for all the same reasons that you are. The results of all this are going to be impossible to predict, so at this point all we can do is hope for the best and do what we can on an individual level to turn this into the place we all want it to be.

Which witnesses were pushing for the curve to be like what you landed on?

I'd love to see some whales commit to alleviating the reduction.

I proposed this to markymark and he seemed receptive, but I haven't seen anything since. I'll pitch it to you as well.

Create a whitelist of non-abusive users.

Delegate to a bot which:
Checks posts by users on the whitelist for vote values below the linearity threshold
Calculates what the Steem payout will be in EIP and compare it to what the same rshares would have been pre 21.
Upvote the difference so it pays out in Steem the same way it would have.

If this is really going to be good for everyone, the bot shouldn't be very necessary. But if it's terrible for most good users, it's absolutely necessary to keep this hf from punishing good behavior.

I'm especially worried about comments.

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"Are top witnesses prepared to roll back the changes efficiently if what we think will probably happen seems to be happening?"

No. They're not going to do that. Exchanges don't like HFs.

I don't think what exchanges like or don't like is going to matter much when none of them will exchange Steem after it crashes.