sorry for copying and pasting my reply to someone else, but I think it applies perfectly here:

If you have a look at the part about the voting market vs content creation, the reality is that every account that's solely lending voting power (many of whom are whales a lot larger than me) is self voting at 80% efficiency on things that are guaranteed to be mediocre (votes that are bought). Also, I don't think I use up 80% of all my voting value on myself.

My self voting is just visible. My steem was bought to invest predominantly in myself, as well as help the community. But lets assume that deserves no sympathy. The question then is this: is it better for a content creator of my caliber to continue doing what I'm doing, or to be a passive vote lender described above?

Basically if I don't vote myself, I'm effectively moving to vote for guaranteed mediocre content and internalizing 80% of that value. Without the criticism. It's just how the economic incentives here are structured. As you can see from my situation, I can't quite afford to take the risk of the currency tanking while not signing up to passive returns.

I just want to know if the content is worth $30? or is that $30 better off randomly cast to buyers. Also, the kickback of $30-$50 is likely less than if I had just posted all the short posts on my main account, without self voting. It's to kickstart something at a cost to me that may be better for myself in the future, as well as the platform

I don't think either of those approaches are preferred. I think everyone who passively sells their vote is undermining their investment, but self voting is as well if it's done crudely.

Steem is an active investment. You can support all sorts of things, including your own work, and you get more out of it by using it in ways that make the network more valuable.

How much have you made on Steem by self voting? How much wealth did you make when the price rose? The latter was vastly more, as a matter of public record. You can put Steem Power to work and make that whole investment more valuable, and the returns are vastly more than what you can get by self voting.

I realize that you're saying that you vote for yourself because you think your content, attention etc. is worth that much. To you presumably it is. But we all get to have our say, if you really think it's worth that much to the network then go ahead and self vote, but don't be shocked when someone else disagrees and says 'no'. Consent is the root of consensus, and a downvote is how we express non-consent.

yes it's a game theoretical problem, but I don't see a win here. If everybody sold their votes, steem is worth very little due to the system being undermined. Unfortunately, selling your vote from the individual perspective is the best case scenario for themselves, either others do it too and you all lose, or a few suckers try to carry it and you free ride. Classic prisoner's dilemma

the voting market is an inevitable and unfortunate consequence of the rewards system which isn't really flawed. Granting this, I don't think it's a false dichotomy. It's not so much as if people don't agree that my content is worth $30. It's is that $30 better off going into traf's content, or vote buyer's content really.

I can't afford to make less than doing nothing, which is pretty much where I'm at already.

If everybody sold their votes, Steem would be worth very little. Short term thinking from the individual perspective is what's bringing Steem down, it's not the best scenario, not even for vote sellers or buyers themselves.

If everybody would spend a great amount of time finding the greatest content and upvote it accordingly, Steem would be worth a LOT soon. If you don't have the time, then sponsor (trail following or SP delegating) a curation group that reflects your perspective on quality.

Here's the win.

Prisoner's Dilemma is one scenario in isolation, with nothing following. Steem is a system where your outcomes can be affected by other voters on an ongoing basis. That's true for both selfish voting and vote selling (sold votes can be countered the same way self votes can).

The system depends on those with the largest stake countering those who act selfishly with lower stakes. Those people have the least to gain from self voting (they are only taking from themselves) and the most to lose. Under such a paradigm selfishness is no longer the most profitable approach. People like @berniesanders and @transisto downvoting smaller players are rationally protecting their investment and changing the 'game theory' math for smaller stakeholders like you and me.

Well, a lot very much depends on a handful of individual's ability to discern the market value of things, for they dictate it, I hope for my sake too that they get it right and don't ever undervalue something

It won't take anywhere near that much for me to stop producing content of course, the economic incentive isn't there, at least not for someone with my limited ability.

Thank you for your input demotruk, appreciate it