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RE: A fundamental change to my witness voting behavior

in #witness-category3 years ago (edited)

I greatly respect your position on not supporting vote trading. I've only been approached a handful of times from people who want me to vote for their witness, and I've done my best to always evaluate the witnesses based on the value they bring to the platform from my perspective.

I had many users contact me in the past, as they had me as a proxy, and ask me to give Jerry my witness vote. At the time, he was doing a lot of promotion when no one else was so, eventually, I gave him a shot. I spent significant amounts of time talking with him at Steemfest2 and at the end of the event, I told him honestly I was going to remove my vote. It was a personal decision based on my understanding of how he views the world, his motivational psychology, and more. Again, it was a personal decision. I feel we should be allowed to have opinions about people's actions without everyone else thinking we're being "judgmental" or unfairly attacking them as people.

Immediately after I removed my vote, he removed his from me. That showed me what I already suspected. His vote for me wasn't based on principle in terms of what value he thinks I bring to the blockchain, but on what value I can bring to him personally through reciprocation. I can't find another way to interpret that. When he celebrated a tool for "mutual support" here and I called him out on it, he never replied.

In my view, some of his actions are not good for a secure, healthy, decentralized DPOS system. Witnesses should remain independent, and they should be voted on based on the value they bring to the network. I think running a secure server and backup is a given. If someone doesn't have this expertise, they aren't the right people for the job. If they are working as part of a team of people, I'm fine with that, but not okay with it if that team involves other witnesses. They should be independent to increase decentralization which improves the security of the network and decreases the likelihood of a bad actor taking over control of a majority of block-producing nodes.

As much as I'd like to see more C++ and blockchain developers in the top 20, I also think there's room for some community advocates who also run solid servers. For a long time, I thought it should be strictly sysops people only and that's why I didn't become a witness for over a year, even though many people were asking me to take on the position. I've done devops and managed servers, sure, but my career has been in programming. Eventually, I changed my mind and now think there is some room for social witnesses who also run solid servers and know what they are doing. This is a social blockchain powering social apps, and I think at least some of those who help secure it should be social themselves. Otherwise, it's very easy for them to lose touch with what's most important to the users.

I hope we can get a solid group of witnesses who are not only technically excellent, but also regularly engaged with this social community. That's my ideal witness.

Thanks for putting your views out there, @pharesim.


this is exactly our view and the reason why we are doing this with a small group of people, one that is very technical and two that are more active in the community... this is what will hopefully be the future. Small teams taking responsibility on multiple fronts because a witness is not just having a good server but its also being in contact with the community that you are "serving"

If you so choose btw...I'll give you the chance to let people know why you think they should vote for you when you're a guest on the show.
Looking forward to meeting you.

Looking forward to it. My approach has always been to do my thing, educate people, add value, and then help them make a good decision. If there are 30 other witnesses who can add more value than me, they should vote for them instead. I like to think I've demonstrated some value over time, but thankfully it's not up to me to decide (because, clearly, I'm biased). :)

And then pay fucking shit loads of bots to upvote that post so it goes on the trending page like you do with each of your video post? Shit like that needs changed too!!!

I like this comment a lot @lukestokes as well as I admire the new way @pharesim is going - Finally people wake up about this selfish "personality" - we all are kind of selfish but it should be to a certain extent only.

Yeah. I like to think in terms of rational self-interest. I think altruism can be a misleading word because even someone people would describe as the most altruistic person they've ever met (say, Mother Teresa, for example), they are still acting according to the rewards system in their brain which says, "This action helps create the world I want to live in." Rational self-interest, to me, is an honest way of looking at our motivational psychology which says, "Yes, this benefits me and it benefits the community over the long-term which also benefits me." We're a social species, and we do find joy in meeting the needs of others. When people lose sight of this, they get desperate and make poor decisions which, on the long-term, harm themselves and the community.

really dig your approach. happy to see this social intelligence from some of the active invested stakeholders in steemit :)

YouAreHOPE and SteemStar Network and The Writer's Block and SteemShelves and Steem House Publishing do plenty for user retention, user participation and steem awareness (YouAreHOPE /Steem Logos are on donated school supplies and apparel and wall size murals all over the world now.) and SSN and SH both publish on channels beyond steem, but refer everyone who sees them back to steem.

I'd say "social witnesses" are WAY more important than just box operators. That said, coding for the platform is also very very important, but it's NO WHERE in the witness job description. NONE of this stuff is, beyond "run a node" so we all make up arbitrary reasons to vote around that. Like "value" and to be honest @luke.stokes, you can't define that word here and neither can I. Same with "quality". Your definition, mine and every other user's opinion differs here.

Witnesses run boxes. Anything else we do it optional. Voters can decide accordingly. I am a social witness, and I code a small app contribution too, with more in development.

So yeah, social witnesses. Cause if you didn't say that, welp, there would go all the "community mayors" in the top 20, eh? Any metric on what people do/contribute is undefinable. It's a cult of personalities here and always has been. I believe everyone is guilty here, including you. Your very apt mother theresa comment is why.

I disagree with you that witnesses just "run boxes" as their primary job description. They define consensus which directly includes knowing what software they are running on those boxes. That means they should have someone on their team at the very least who can do a code review and recognize if a change being suggested is beneficial for the network or not. Downplaying this important role is dangerous to the security of the network. I don't think that's my opinion, but a well-supported fact, and I'm quite confident people like Dan Larimer who invented DPOS would agree. If those defining the consensus just push out whatever code is sent to them to push out then there is no decentralization at all. Whoever creates the code controls everything.

Please, please, please, understand how important this is.

Coding for the platform (as in building applications and such) can be done separately from the witness position, for sure. But so can promotion, helping with user retention, steem awareness, user participation, etc. A witness role is not needed to do any of that. If funds are needed to do that, partnering with witnesses to fund those things could be a good plan.

Additionally, Witnesses have some say in economic policy with SBD interest, price feeds (with our without bias) and bandwidth concerns via the block size settings. It's not just running boxes.

@sircork, I know you have a lot of people looking to you for leadership and education. Please be sure to give them the whole story of what witnesses do, even if that doesn't make the greatest case for you personally as a witness. I readily admit I don't code in C++ and that I haven't (yet) directly contributed to core blockchain code development. I've programmed professionally in half a dozen languages for over two decades, but C++ is something I need to skill up on to improve my value as a witness. I plan to do so and in the meantime, other witnesses who run a solid node, backup, and seed and who can do more than I can (i.e. more than just code review) as far as contributing to the consensus code which defines the blockchain are actually better witnesses than I am right now as far as securing the network.

I do program, in many languages, including c++, and i've been doing it professionally longer than the majority of witnesses have been ALIVE. (I began working professionally in tech in 1985) so I do know what's at stake, and sure, 17 of the top witnesses do in fact make that consensus out of the top 20.

I have yet to encounter any requirement in witnessing that doesn't basically require a pumpkin/freedom vote to get anywhere near making any decisions though, and even then, you gotta be in Ned's not-so-secret super secret slack to be even aware of potential changes. Cause if you didn't ride in here with the bitshares posse or become one of the chosen ones by less than 100 voters after the fact? LOLZ at "need to do anything" but run a box.

Reality, bro. Simple math. You can't get in the top 20 to think about decision making without a blessing, and of those that are up there, I'd venture about 2-5 of them can read c++.

So maybe we should tell users the REAL truth... like you know, you just admitted you hold this criteria up to preclude lesser witnesses in the minds of the people, but you yourself admit you cant currently do. Shit Aggroed can't even work windows very well. Program? Ha, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ha. hah ahem.

And many others of the same ilk.

So if you want to talk "truth", Let's count how many witnesses even built from source, again probably fits on 1-2 hands worth of fingers out of 200+ active. You know, those ones that aren't on the top 100 page at all, but do more than half the top 20, in their sleep, for the communities, for the platform and for it's future?

Now call me a sore loser, and tell me I just need to work harder, and ignore the available SP math, how its been distributed since the beginning of time, and please elaborate on how all those top 20 people meet the criteria you and pharesim are laying down here, yourselves included. Because you know it cannot be done.

Sounds more like 2 years in, you guys all thought you could hold this forever, but people came along and started outperforming you all (look at public consensus via VOTE COUNTS, not sp, to see what people REALLY believe in and want for witnesses, not who the rich kids deemed reliable at time to vote for anything STINC wants.)

Dan LEFT because of this shit. His own words from bitcointalk and other sources. Do your own research. It's fact.


I didn't explicitly state the need for certain dev skills I support social witnesses too as long as they have someone on their team to take care of the tech.
Code reviews are important, but I don't expect every witness to do that individually.

Jerry has shown on countless occations that he doesn't care about the community, at least not those parts that can't make him more income. You yourself said in another comment how he paid smaller witnesses, others said similar - in the end it always boils down to vote buying.

And his bullshit videos talking about 10/100/1000000$ steem in the future are not the kind of marketing i'd regard as healthy. Wonder about low retention rate? Check the expectations that are given to new users...

He empowered smaller witnesses to stay in the game, as I understand it, this did not require a vote back, in fact, one recipient I know is actually quite anti-jerry, but still met the criteria and got the funds. So that argument is invalid.

If we need more funds for smaller witnesses that's something to be decided on in the code (or maybe witness parameters?), but it's not a responsibility of other witnesses. And it doesn't help the general community a bit to give handouts.

There may be exceptions, but in the general picture it's obvious that all "support" coming from him is pure marketing, either for himself or to pump steem.

Extending this to include the reply to your other comment: Of course nobody is forced to vote for him. That'd be stupid, bribes don't include threats. Although there are several cases where he withdrew support after being unvoted.

Ha, this POST Is pure marketing, a total publicity stunt, seeing as you believe you get to decide who is responsible for what, I've just decided this is a stunt, which it is, since voting is a private decision and you just had to self aggrandize your virtue signalling. Meh lame.

I like this entire blog post and discussion. I find it refreshing for it to be discussed openly and also really appreciate people giving different points of view and explaining their reasoning and experience.

You've articulated better than I could my concerns about The Banfield. I'd add that another problem is that he's not an 'expert' in steemit, or you might say masquerading as an expert in his videos (same goes for his setting up a witness server) because he believes in the platform, he's turned himself into an 'expert in steem' because he's realised there's money it - It's as if there's zero substance to the man. He's as soulless as his voting bot.

It's the same with his Parys prodigy - his instructional videos aren't entirely useless, they will teach you something, but they are mediocre, and at the end of the day he's just some bloke in a blazer with no real expertise in anything.

I absolutely agree with your general view that in order for someone to be voted as a witness they should actually be doing something substantive for the benefit of the platform.

There's lots of worrying stuff in these comments... still, we live in hope, and I think I've got my witness votes right!

well you are voting for wackou who has not been active for over a month and has not update his price feed for 2 weeks longer than that

apart from that, you have 2 slots open which could easily be given out to some of the lower ranked witnesses that are struggling to make it up the ladder or even to break even on the costs.
so use those votes and spread them around
I would appreciate one for the project I am part of but there are others out there that are just as deserving

Thanks - will review and revise as necessaRY!

great brother i am agree with you. I also want to thank him for puttig his views out there.

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