PoB is not Happening Here [/fullstop]

in #palnet2 years ago (edited)

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.

Proof of Brain is comprised of two elements.

☑ 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.

VIDEO: YouTube.com/user/timb6

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.

RELATED: People are Self-Interested [/fullstop]
The image above is brought to you courtesy of Pixabay.


I don't agree with everything here but this was a really thoughtful write up. I'm gonna chew on this a bit.

Reblogged for visibility.

Thanks @anthonyadavisii! After watching the video about
the wisdom of the crowd, do you think we actually have it?
Is it possible we are just pretending or have been gaslit?

Anthony's about half way up the hill. When he reaches the top he's just hoping everything stated above isn't a reality and he doesn't find himself on a study decline downward on the other side.

Translation: He's already passed gas; he still waiting to be lit.

(He's actually a likable even handed person but hey there's also the realities)

I'm gonna chew on this a bit.

Translation: Ain't shit I can do about it even if I wanted to.

Somebody had her Snarkios this morning. 🥣 J/k :P

I did watch some of the video but a transcript would help. It's an important topic to discuss @sunlit7 and deserves focused attention.

I'm a bit backlogged after getting back from SteemFest so hopefully I can muster some time and energy to properly understand the arguments and reflect accordingly.

I still have a few other comments to respond to as well including yours. Thanks for reminding me!

Somebody had her Snarkios this morning. 🥣 J/k :P

Lol, you are so good natured.


I am honestly with the idea of completely removing the reward pool to keep the native coin safe, and only pairing the concept with SMTs (leaving it to the choice of POs).

Thank you for your feedback @dr-frankenstein, I'd have to put some thought into that. I can't say that I necessarily agree, hopefully, SMT's are all they're cracked up to be. However, I have a feeling their inception was predicated on a belief that steem would continue to maintain value over 10 USD. Now that we all know, this is probably not going to be the case, to further fractionalize the steem ecosystem with sub-communities based on alt-tokens will probably be hit and miss at best.

Even the ones that do hit--they may end up being less likely to surpass the value of steem itself. That said, isn't it true that by trying to protect steem in deferring to SMTs, you'll end up killing the market activity of the steem token? If you kill the market for steem, no one will be buying. If no one is buying, then no one is selling, and if no one is selling, then the market has lost all faith in the token. I guess we'll find out. I think that steem-engine gives us some valuable insight into what will come with SMTs. We will probably get a lot of valueless tokens. Maybe there will be some winners too?

thanks for writing such a detailed post about this issue. I agree on some points, but not on all. PoB indeed seems to be not working here as it was intended, but I find the changes with the last HF to be making the experience on here much better. I would argue that it is a long process (which perhaps never finishes) in which rules get fine tuned and changed. I would see it as a pioneering social experiment, it's far from perfect, but the idea is good enough to not give up on it just yet...

@tipu curate

Upvoted 👌 (Mana: 10/15)

"the idea is good enough to not give up on it just yet"

I agree, which is why I'd like to see'em either abandon
the idea of PoB or move towards a better solution. This,
so we can at least work it on the scale of content sorting.

Steem has an amazing ability to draw creativity out of
people. It can still do that, but even better if/when we
can be honest enough to let go of the failed concepts.
Thx for the curate @tobetada, and more importantly
for sharing your thoughts on the proof of brain topic.

added you to my fanbase @steemauto :)

Ty! No telling what I might
post, so be aware of that : -)

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 10 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 3 SBD worth and should receive 146 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am TrufflePig, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, you can find an explanation here!

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

Thx @trufflepig, it seems like a very interesting
NLP machine learning project you have going
on over there. Even replacing trending with
trufflepig results would cause a better
looking trending page. There's more
than one way to fix the problem.

This is a DPOS chain. POB was never supposed to be a thing.

I was vehemently against the separate downvote pool, but now that it's here it's working just fine and not going away.

One account one vote is not a solution. Just look to your own government on that front. It can't even be enforced without kyc. Impossible to enforce world wide.

The solution to this problem is a decentralized reputation system. One that doesn't take stake into consideration.

This chain is ripe with all kinds of unfiltered data we could be using to our advantage. If we want a better trending tab then we should just make one. The basic bitch algorithms we are using today will be laughed at in 5 years.

Dpos is working just fine. POB is simply an idealistic goal, and if I'm being honest it's working better than I expected.

Yeah, I only mean for content sorting, nothing to do with
rewards themselves. What if STINC's software was like:

  1. Okay this is a valid account with a user who is logged in.
  2. They've upsorted post id number x390215 from

So if the guy has sock accounts and he tries to
upsort the same post id from that IP he cannot.

^ It seems solid, I'm not sure how it could be thwarted.

I like that you brought up algos. What truffle pig is
doing, if it's real, seems like a helluvalot better idea
than what we're doing now for the trending page.

That system would be defeated using the same tactics that a DDOS attack is launched. IP addresses can be forwarded and spoofed. VPNs are cheap. The difference? DDOS attacks cost money, so adding a financial incentive makes the attack last forever (or until it becomes not profitable).

Also, the blockchain does not track IP addresses for a variety of many good reasons, so your whole plan rests on the shoulders of giving Steemit Inc full control centralized over the platform. Your ideas are much better suited for and an SMT or SteemEngine token.

You should get over the white/blue paper like I did. It's a pile of overzealous marketing trash. Truth be told I'm glad that is the case, as I like having the power of deciding where all my inflation goes. I don't need someone telling me they know better.

Arrgggh! - Thx for your feedback @edicted
"a pile of overzealous marketing trash." indeed.
Well if not that, content discovery algos maybe.
@trufflepig claims to be onto something smart.