According to Steem’s blue paper, the authors derive the term Proof of Brain from two token features introduced to the cryptosphere by the Steem blockchain. They say these two features make Steem both “social” and “smart” compared to chains like ether and bitcoin.
Interestingly enough, they used air quotes for smart and social. Perhaps this is because, when you examine the features, they are flawed. If they derive PoB from two features, and one of these features isn’t real, the proof-of-brain on the blockchain does not exist.
The sooner we can come to this realization as a community, the quicker we can stop trying to mold human behavior to fit the product, and then we can start trying to adjust either the condenser or the blockchain to accommodate human behavior. This is how things in a competitive marketplace work. Ultimately, the product which best fits the customer will succeed. Also, bear in mind this is opensource software. So anyone can take it, run with it and evolve a better model.
☑ Rewards incentivize content creation and curation.
☐ A voting system
that leverages the wisdom of the crowd.
The first of the two features mentioned is called the rewards pool. The blue paper says that the rewards pool is to incentivize content creation and curation. This feature falls into both the social and smart categories. The second feature for proof-of-brain to work is the voting system, which is said to harness the wisdom of the crowd—however, it does not.
I wouldn't at all be so brash or bold as to drop a colossal assertion that proof-of-brain doesn't exist on the blockchain without evidence which supports my claim. Ergo, the video below shall elucidate further on how to harness the wisdom of the crowd in the right way.
For the wisdom of the crowd to work, there must be many participants, and all of them must weigh in with an equal voice. For a myriad of reasons, this is impossible on the Steem blockchain. For starters, all votes are unequal, and we don't have enough people manually voting. These two reasons alone, completely obliterate the notion that we have PoB.
Is it a tragedy? No. Is it unfortunate? Yes. However, the sooner we can accept the reality of reality; The sooner we can shape the product to fit the behavior of people. A handful of whales who downvote or collude to downvote is not a demonstration of crowd wisdom—it's a demonstration of raw power. What it is is collusive upvoting inverted, and instead of picking winners, your picking losers.
If Democracy, as described by Benjamin Franklin, is "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." Then how can we illustrate a Steem oligarchy as it pertains to free daily downvotes?
My suggestion is that we stop pretending proof of brain is happening here because it is not. We should also have the realization that many people purchased steem just for that higher upvote and that self-voting was a tick box on the original GUI.
Regardless if their posts are quality or not, if you punish stakeholders for investing, then what you're doing is creating an incentive for them to sell. You're also disincentivizing new buyers from purchasing steem from the market. Just think about it for a moment. Buy this new crypto. Why? So that you can give it away to people who are not yourself. This is not a sticky selling point.
I know it's obnoxious to see people grossly self-rewarding, and it also messes with the order in which stories are placed. But I tell you what; I think we can get closer to harnessing crowd wisdom with some simple condenser-level changes which promote desired behavior but without chasing off stakeholders or souring people to the platform entirely.
- Nix the free flags.
- Put the flag back where it was.
- Remove the downvote button.
- Call the upvote button a reward or tip button.
- Create on the condenser-level Reddit style buttons.
- I call these buttons up sort and down sort.
- They allow one equal vote per post and IP address.
- The up sorts and down sorts are anonymous.
By detaching the up sort and down sort functionality from the crypto, it will provide ample incentive for people to fix trending without doing harm or potential harm to someone else. And unlike someone in Bangkok has recently said, downvoting did not fix trending. I think it's safe to say that the majority of users don't want to read about steem all day long, and this is why we don't go to trending.
So you might be thinking, why should you heed any advice from some random fuckwit on the internet. That's a fantastic question. I'm glad you asked. A UT study suggests that a single account used tethers without sufficient reserves to cause the 2017 BTC bubble. It's common knowledge within the cryptosphere that all cryptos rise and fall as they ride the tailcoat of bitcoin who pioneered the whole thing before it was a thing.
That said, we may never see those prices again without market manipulation. Steem may have found its ground, and it's better than nothing. A lot of cryptos vanished into obscurity. We're still here. The question is, are we going to make it a place worth staying invested in, or are we just going to run around and piss each other off with downvotes?
If we do that and 2021 rolls around, and we find John McAffee chowing down on his bits. Many people are going to be like, fuck this. I've got better things to do, and they'll go and do that. So, if you're still with me in this long-ass spur of the moment post. Instead of immediately criticizing moi for saying shit that needed to be said. Let's think about ways that we can make this place appealing without shitting on our neighbors.
The image above is brought to you courtesy of Pixabay.