Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
About the moderated decentralized community
Feedback from the trenches of independent contribution, for the creator of Ethereum
Paraphrasing one of my patrons: Ethereum, I expect nothing from you other than what you yourself expect from your highest self.
DISCLAIMER(s): In the following, I am bound to hurt some feelings. Even the very soul of some people who I consider generous and well-intended. I do feel sorry for having to tackle this. I did lose some sleep over it.
- I am not tackling the conscious intent of any of the mentioned people — I cannot possibly know it. The effects of an action are the same regardless of conscious or unconscious intent and biases.
- This is feedback from the trenches of truly independent contribution to a system that has the publicly expressed intent to be/become completely decentralized.
- There is a paradox: You can be biased when bringing criticism while being one of the directly involved parties. You can also be unbiased, especially if you have experience on both sides. Regardless if you have a bias or not, people will still accuse you of bias and obstinately view everything you say as coming from a biased view. Similarly, people are inclined to give more credibility to external people “coming to the rescue”. At the same time, the directly involved parties are the ones who intrinsically have all the information and are the best representatives of their positions. They are the only ones who have standing in a conflict. One cannot fully vouch for anyone else than oneself. One has a duty to fight against any wrongdoing that one finds because you will not be the only one.
- abuse — To use improperly or excessively; misuse. To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use. An unjust or wrongful practice. (https://www.wordnik.com/words/abuse)
Conflict of Interest: I do not personally own any cryptocurrencies. My company owns only ETH, which was bought with the intent of being used as gas, to create protocols on the Ethereum network and hence, has never been sold. Since 2017, I have worked for no other blockchain project than Ethereum. My rational interest is that Ethereum succeeds.
- Ethereum is a decentralized technology that has nothing that imposes brute force legitimacy in its protocol.
- Ethereum is also a community that uses, supports, and develops the technology.
- Legitimacy can be accrued by (from Vitalik’s article https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/03/23/legitimacy.html):
- brute force: someone convinces everyone that they are powerful enough to impose their will and resisting them will be very hard. This drives most people to submit because each person expects that everyone else will be too scared to resist as well.
- continuity: if something was legitimate at time T, it is by default legitimate at time T+1.
- fairness: something can become legitimate because it satisfies an intuitive notion of fairness. See also: my post on credible neutrality, though note that this is not the only kind of fairness.
- process: if a process is legitimate, the outputs of that process gain legitimacy (eg. laws passed by democracies are sometimes described in this way).
- performance: if the outputs of a process lead to results that satisfy people, then that process can gain legitimacy (eg. successful dictatorships are sometimes described in this way).
- participation: if people participate in choosing an outcome, they are more likely to consider it legitimate. This is similar to fairness, but not quite: it rests on a psychological desire to be consistent with your previous actions.
- to this list, I would add existence: an elected person may have more legitimacy if representing (by existence in circumscription) more people than another elected who was voted by more people but with a smaller circumscription. And this is further dissected into: existence as an entity in a set, existence in space (area/volume of the circumscription), existence in time (elected period)
- also my addition: origin: if a person or entity owes its existence to another, the second entity has more origin legitimacy than the first.
- also my addition: clarity: definition and transparency give legitimation. E.g. a transparent process for a public service is more legitimate than a private process. Hard to understand legalese takes away from the legitimacy of a law.
Leverage Points in a Decentralized Structure
The leverage points are strategic points in a decentralized structure, which shape and change the direction/strategy/ethos of the decentralized structure. They are or end up being control mechanisms for accepted, rejected, or suppressed narratives.
News disseminators, official social media accounts, newsletter editors, popular Twitter accounts, Reddit moderators, editors, etc. are in a leverage point position.
Moderators are trusted by the community with a monopoly on the application of cancelation over information dissemination.
Moderators in general and moderators of /r/ethereum, in particular, have legitimacy by:
- delegation, through legitimacy by performance. They have demonstrated performance in guiding, informing, and curating information for the Ethereum community and they have been appointed through a non-public process.
- fairness — demonstrated fairness in handling contentious cases
Fairness is the rightful application of justice. If you have an output of rightful application of rules, you accumulate fairness.
Thus, moderating content implies imparting righteousness. This is done by having an orthogonal (right) point of view. An orthogonal point of view implies that you acknowledge the existence of an opposing point of view that is of the same importance as yours. You are seeing both points of view with the same weight, before emitting a judgment. When a person in the business of imparting righteousness has a bigger personal view, it is called an obtuse view and it implies that the opposite point of view is significantly smaller or non-existent.
In this instantiation: https://twitter.com/evan_van_ness/status/1394201166012108800 the two facts were part of the same point of view, making the opposite point of view non-existent: https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1394612624713822208. I called this type of thinking “obtuse”, with the proper application of the term.
Because /r/ethereum moderators lack tools to measure legitimacy (voting, performance polls), there is an information asymmetry between moderators and posters. The moderator has bird’s eye view information about contentious cases — public and private information, therefore, information about a mod’s performance and fairness. The poster only knows of himself. This is why the individual poster has the standing to moderate the moderator, because, in realistic terms, he cannot find others to make a community, to fight against the moderator’s repetitions of abuse.
This asymmetry of information imposes on me the duty to fight for the people that I cannot possibly know about. At the risk of seeming unsufferable for some. But I am as unsufferable as the victim who wants the perpetrator to pay, so the cycle of ethos manipulation is not perpetuated.
This is why moderating the mods is permissible, even dutiful. The only condition is for the poster to be right.
In this instantiation, I have produced arguments for why my post did not violate /r/ethereum rules: https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1393892115814526978 and https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1394032819127607296. No arguments from the moderators for why my post violated the /r/ethereum rules have been put forward. The tacit understanding was that “it was a mistake”: https://twitter.com/abcoathup/status/1394030429724807168, https://twitter.com/evan_van_ness/status/1394201166012108800, https://twitter.com/nicksdjohnson/status/1394730891578994693
The two orthogonal views that I see and acknowledge:
- moderators of /r/ethereum (https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/about/moderators/, 13 at this time) are volunteers doing moderation in their spare time. This can be daunting, thankless, boring, and repetitive. More, it can involve interacting with irrational, rude, obtuse, and insufferable posters. Any wrongful action taken against a poster can originate from subconscious rather than conscious bias.
- if the submission of a poster is wrongly removed, depending on time zone, it can cost the poster the majority of upvotes and views that the post could have had. By removing a post, you communicate that the other person did something illicit. If there is no penalty for wronging a poster, then the poster is the only one who is penalized. The moderator may think this one-sided loss is fair and normal. Normalization brings repetition.
In general, what is the righteous gut response of someone who has wronged somebody and acknowledges it internally?
- an apology with an exact explanation of why the wrong happened
- say what measures will be taken to avoid it happening again
- say what measures will be taken as a penalty for the moderator and/or compensation for the poster
If the wronging is done in public, then all of the above must naturally be in the same environment by default.
In this instantiation, by the above logic and knowing that my post did not violate the rules, I asked for a public apology and stated that removing my post was abuse (of power). I also started the Twitter discussion, pinging 3 mods. The post was not reinstated, nor a more specific reason for keeping it removed was given. I asked again. The post was reinstated, but no apology was given. I asked for an apology again, for the resistance in doing the right thing, pinging 6 mods. An apology was given both on Twitter and Reddit. I accepted the apology.
Moderators must follow the principle of innocent until proven guilty (better have unpunished guilty people than punished innocent people). In realistic practice, this means that if it is unclear that a post violates the rules or not, the goodwill view that it is not should be applied until the judgment is clear https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1394032819127607296.
Even more so on Reddit, which is a continuous voting platform already. There is no reason to remove when you are not sure. The people will decide anyway. Ethereum Foundation practices a policy of subtraction. It is implied that /r/ethereum should do the same.
Continous Voting — Important Source of Legitimacy
I consider that the synergy of Ethereum as a community and Reddit as a platform is not by chance. It follows as a consequence of the alignment of mechanisms of legitimacy. Reddit implements continuous voting that accrues legitimation by:
- continuity: each vote is added to the tally of the specific option. No other change is operated.
- process: all Reddit has the same process, adopted by the platform users when they join.
- fairness: all votes have the same weight.
- clarity: users are well-acquainted with the voting mechanism.
- existence: the subreddit is selecting for users interested in the subject (existence in a set). Furthermore, because the voting is continuous, it covers the existence in time starting with the post creation, for all foreseeable future
- partially on participation: not all people with existence in the /r/ethereum set are participating
But: Reddit provides continuous voting on only one vector: we may call it interest. It does not provide voting on the dimension of “abiding by rules of the sub”. Not that such matter would benefit from a voting mechanism nor preclude the gross abuse by eventual vote manipulation. Because such more legitimate mechanisms (guarantee lack of vote manipulation) are hard to implement, the community (even the decentralized one) accepts the moderation by trusted individuals. Their performance can be assimilated as a shortcut for continuous voting on post cancel.
My Experience of Bringing Constructive Criticism to Ethereum Gatekeepers
Why I consider I have Standing
Legitimacy by existence. I contributed financially to Ethereum’s success by buying its gas coin, when it needed support.
Legitimacy by participation and performance. These are my volunteer contributions to Ethereum: https://github.com/loredanacirstea/CV/blob/master/Ethereum.md
This is the amount I have been paid for my contributions to Ethereum: https://www.patreon.com/loredana (presently €48/month)
I have not had any vacation, nor a free weekend, nor a free day in the past 2 years, working an average of 12+h / day, for Ethereum. Somewhat provable by https://github.com/loredanacirstea. Meanwhile, refusing several CTO offers. I am fully dedicated to the ideals of Ethereum.
Abuses by the Watchmen
The following is the experience from my perspective, as an independent, volunteer contributor. I provide links to the raw material, for you to make your own opinion. These are the cases that I know, I do not have in-depth knowledge of others who have been through similar or worse cases, as I could not find such statistics.
While working in the interest of the Ethereum community, I faced a series of gatekeepers’/watchmen’s abuses. I will describe some of them — those that I have somewhat documented. I should mention that I have not felt any one of them to be related to me being a woman but rather to me being a whistleblower and a non-consenting victim to an initial smaller abuse. So they are abuses-on-top-of-abuse.
Abuse 1: by Standards and Research Editors/Publishers
My first contentious topic was dType — a decentralized typing system that I brought forth for examination: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/1882. My conflict was with Nick Johnson https://twitter.com/nicksdjohnson. At that time Nick was an EIP editor and was actively advocating to merge drafts faster https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/pull/2147/files#r297057639. My draft ( https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/pull/1900) stayed unmerged from Apr 2, 2019, to Jul 7, 2019. Even after extensive technical discussion with Nick, unrequired for any other draft merging, started on Jun 26, 2019, the draft was not being merged. He then stated that he plans to not offer any more technical feedback. Not offering detailed feedback was ok, but I was puzzled as to why my draft was not being merged: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/1882#issuecomment-507619192. The reason was: he was not acting as an editor, but volunteering technical feedback to me. However, he never pinged any other editor to take on the draft.
Eventually, that draft and subsequent drafts have been merged in a timely manner. But only because I had raised the issue in the first place.
Abuse by lack of clarity of process:
- EIP editor acting in a different capacity than reasonably expected
- some editors were inactive, cannot determine who is actually performing this duty reliably
- no process for how to get the attention of an editor for review and merge, without out-of-platform direct contact
- no process to rate the priority level of a draft
Lack of clarity leads to lack of fairness:
- double standards applied to drafts without the reason being transparent
Lack of performance:
- tens of drafts, especially those made by contributors external to the Ethereum core team were being left unprocessed for many months
Abuse 2: by the Same
Because the main complaint that Nick had was: “editors are volunteers and do this in their spare time”, I wanted to actively help by starting to create a process for expanding the editor list. I made it as strict as I could and of course, I was not eligible. See https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/pull/2166 and https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/pull/2172. In both discussions, Nick was the most legitimate figure (editor) and he dismissed my ideas without wanting to acknowledge that there is a problem that needs fixing and without constructive criticism. There was simply no intent to improve the process. Or no intent to let me participate in improving the process.
Note: When I speak about intent, think about this: you love your child and want your child to develop a good mind and curiosity. So, even if you are tired after a day’s work, even if you are hungry, you will go and engage/play with your child with joy. If you do not have the intent to develop your child’s mind, no amount of badgering/explanations from someone else will make you want to play or feel joy. Because children question everything, including you. They are uncomfortable.
Abuse by considering the legitimacy of continuity is higher than legitimacy through performance:
- “I think this reflects a misunderstanding of the EIP process” in a case, where I specifically wanted to improve the parts of the EIP process that were not performant
- “EIPs do not have assigned editors. You may think they should, but that’s not currently the case, and your proposed change seems to assume it is.” — with no data or arguments regarding performance
Abuse by lack of clarity:
- the process for electing EIP editors is not transparent
Abuse by lack of performance:
- see Abuse 1
Lack of clarity leads to abuse by lack of fairness:
- “There is a PR made by someone who wanted to become an editor: #1558. It was left unanswered for months.”: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/pull/2166#issuecomment-508934269.
Abuse by obstructing participation
- see above
Abuse 3: by Amalgamation of Abuses 1 and 2
There might have been a conflict of interest. A dType done well could have been either a very good ally to ENS (Nick Johnson’s creation) or a competitor. I was not sure if Nick was acting out of the intention to block any competing or overlapping ideas to ENS, so I wanted to bring the conflict out in the open (if there was one) — I wrote https://loredanacirstea.medium.com/flexible-alias-or-why-ens-is-obsolete-a1353030f445
This lead to a timeline thread https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1168204572848021504 and a detailed analysis of semantics, morals, and tweets: https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/case-discussion-on-the-eip-process-based-on-eip-1900-eip-1/3627 and a refused offer to work for free, for ENS, to integrate dType: https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1168076215925772288
Abuse by lack of clarity:
- the entire Magicians discussion stemmed from an unclear tweet, from a person with performance legitimacy in Ethereum.
Abuse by lack of fairness:
- a person with greater legitimacy challenged a volunteer by dismissing the volunteer’s fairness and therefore, legitimacy to criticism. When the volunteer pressed forward for a detailed analysis, the person invoked a lack of time, so no clear resolution on the topic at hand was achieved. An unclear resolution between two individuals of mismatching legitimacy results in the person with higher legitimacy being perceived as winning the argument. But an argument won on an irrational premise leads to an increased chance for further moral and intellectual corruption of the winning party and of the audience.
Abuse 4: by Grant Dispensers
I applied for an Ethereum Community Fund grant for Pipeline in October 2018, where the only feedback was: we need to see interest in Pipeline from the community; no other technical feedback, no explanation as to how “interest from the community” is measured, no other offer.
Gitcoin wanted to discuss a grant for Pipeline in December 2018, but by that time we decided to work more on our vision and planning, to make sure we receive grants for the right reasons: our tech.
I applied for an Ethereum Foundation grant to improve the existing ContractFinder in June 2019, entered the interview process on August 14th, and was rejected without a clear technical reason, other than — you should collaborate with another project that is just starting now. More details in https://loredanacirstea.medium.com/i-have-gambled-and-lost-devcon5-meditations-on-why-i-am-here-f174ae946aa2 and https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1167747800626618368?s=20
With another conflict in https://ethereum-magicians.org/t/i-have-gambled-and-lost-devcon5-meditations-on-why-i-am-here-loredana/3611/6, with a person who was a member of a DAO, controlling a significant amount of other people’s money. After he was able to respond with “lol” to my serious challenge, I decided that I do not want any money from the Ethereum ecosystem, as long as people who are in charge of decisions that influence the future of your project can be so dismissive.
Not to mention that people who knew about my project, knew me personally, started acting as they didn’t know my projects, or even I existed. https://twitter.com/ameensol/status/1157781314268909568?s=20, https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1167907309957177347?s=20, https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1247536159829286912?s=20
Even people from core Ethereum teams, with whom I discussed ChainLens (ex-ContractFinder) more than half a year before ( https://hackmd.io/@aHg__0sdStO0UN9Z14Zlug/rko8VM_l4), started projects with similar purposes without ever mentioning my efforts, nor the ideas I shared with them https://twitter.com/ethchris/status/1172532788559523840?s=20. Worse, they knew both their plans and mine and did not have the decency to tell me to not spend months working on a project that would never have been supported in the first place. If they would have told me this early, I might have started helping them instead. Which, I eventually did by sharing with them all the data I had: https://github.com/ethereum/sourcify/issues/175#issuecomment-636792003.
Abuse by lack of clarity:
- unclear grant process and timelines
- lack of transparency — how many grant applications are processed? who are they originators? who decides and under what criteria? what does “community support” mean exactly?
- grant amounts were initially public, now they are not.
- no official feedback process, therefore no public statistics to analyze.
Abuse by lack of fairness, through lack of clarity:
- grant teams and core teams in Ethereum have direct communication and are under the same organization; there is an asymmetry of information between them and the individual contributor, who can end up with months of unpaid work going down the drain, on projects that want to be built in-house, by the Ethereum Foundation core members.
- lack of transparency on grant amounts and performance comparisons leads to information asymmetry; historically, bigger grants have been awarded to people who knew Ethereum Foundation people personally, than outsiders. We have no way to analyze if those amounts were fair.
Abuse by lack of participation:
- the Ethereum community was not invited to vote on grants
Abuse by lack of performance:
- if a grant process that could take less than 1 week goes on > 2.5 months there is an obvious lack of efficiency and individual contributors cannot afford to plan ahead
Abuse 5: by Conference Organisers
I applied at Devcon5 with both dType (presentation) and Pipeline (workshop). It should be obvious that dType is the most interesting idea and it would be revolutionary to computing if done right. But it was not acknowledged as so and it was not selected to be presented.
I got a positive confirmation for the Pipeline workshop. The rest is in https://loredanacirstea.medium.com/i-have-gambled-and-lost-devcon5-meditations-on-why-i-am-here-f174ae946aa2.
I started this Twitter thread https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1163008342672990208, where Nick Johnson also chimed in.
And another conflict in https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1168178558235267073, where I maintain that I am the best person to present my own content, knowing that a remote session could very well be possible in that setting if the intention was genuine.
Worth mentioning that I later found out that my application for Pipeline was approved by somebody who already knew Pipeline and me personally:
I know ppl like pipeline in fact
but not everyone is on twitter constantly (I just saw this now)
and with blockchain week, it’s even worse, even less people with eyes on twitter since a good chunk of the community is in Berlin
I was one of the ppl who reviewed your application for devcon, I think it deserved to be there
I trust the honesty of this person and the obvious technical capacity. But, for me, the question remains: if this person had not heard about Pipeline before, would it still be considered worthy to them? In the same vein: if somebody would have heard of dType beforehand and knew me, would I have received a yes for dType? I proposed an experimental track of community-voted entries at these conferences.
Abuse by lack of clarity:
- no public voting process
- the entire list of applications is not public, to be able to judge if interesting presentations have been left out (it can also act as a repository of projects to pay attention to)
- lack of feedback on application rejection (multiple complaints on my Twitter timeline)
- unprovable: the undocumented process of appeal, some projects have been able to appeal and receive a workshop/presentation spot because they knew some of the organizers.
Abuse by lack of process:
- stemmed from lack of transparency on the process (see above)
Abuse by lack of participation:
- instead of being events for the whole world, Ethereum conferences were restricted to mostly the same power groups. I proposed digital meetings and was refused by event organizers. (this was before COVID19)
Abuse 6: by News Disseminators
In 2020 I proposed a news section, dedicated to Ethereum volunteers: https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1287845436024389632, who do not have the money to market themselves, nor the time to spend retweeting more legitimate accounts or to enter in Twitter feuds, in order to maintain visibility (a continuous and time-consuming process). To such a proposal, they gave no answer.
News dissemination -> visibility -> interest -> grants, developers, clients, users.
If the news is biased, favoring projects who already have financial resources, this reverberates into the Ethereum project and community. Instead of fostering new, innovative, weird, ideas from outsiders, the Ethereum community might drive them away to other platforms or to start their own platform.
Bias creates spaces in the fabric of a system, which can be filled by competitors.
Abuse by lack of transparency of judgment and therefore, by lack of fairness. Judge a project not by the money but by the tech and give a fair chance to those with equal tech but less clout. Here, the modus operandi smacks of graft and graft-solicitation.
Abuse 7: by /r/ethereum Moderators
The /r/ethereum post that generated this article and the Twitter discussion https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1394612745245532162.
This conflict could have ended after the apology. But it was followed by disparaging posts, legitimized and liked by moderators. And, again, by Nick Johnson leading the /r/ethereum moderator’s narrative, even when he has no jurisdiction there and no posts were addressed to him.
His point is the same as in my first conflict with him: moderators are volunteers, so you cannot even complain, or I am deemed unsufferable.
All moderators have banded together like a cartel. All mods have the exact same opinion and like each other’s posts. The opinion is: the individual poster must not complain because the moderators are volunteers and therefore, they should pay no price for any mistakes.
Be not fooled. The moderators have their personal projects listed in the subreddit description. The moderator and EIP editor capacity brings greater legitimacy to the Ethereum ecosystem. Legitimacy in Ethereum is tightly linked to pecuniary resources, receiving grants, having an active role in decisions, being retweeted, accumulating power. These are people with millions in ETH and fiat, abusing the people who truly are volunteers.
Moderators, editors, reviewers, grant deciders, etc. say that they are volunteers, as to not actually disclose how much they have to gain from these positions — it may be very hard to get to a number.
At this point, it seems to me that anyone coming into this space as an independent contributor is blocked on all fronts by the same people and they follow you from one place to another, even when they don’t have jurisdiction. The alternative is total ignorance of what you produce. And one feeds the other.
Abuse by lack of clarity
- the reasons for post removal do not include quotes or descriptions from the removed material — it is not clear how to fix your post if you want to
Abuse by lack of process (or lack of transparency/clarity of how that process currently works)
- no process for how the rules of the subreddit can be updated
- no process for what happens if a moderator wrongs a contributor
- no process for appeals
- no process for how and by whom are new moderators appointed
Abuse by lack of aggregated performance statistics
- performance for each mod — how many posts do they moderate, from that, how many appeals they receive, etc.
Abuse by lack of fairness
- the above results in the content contributors and voters have no direct say, through continuous voting, regarding the administrative and unpublic processes
- no intent of righting the wrongdoing initially, with a degree of resistance after I pointed out what should happen
Abuse by lack of acknowledgment of legitimacy by origin
- moderators acted as if a contributor has less legitimacy than a moderator because wrongdoings by moderators against contributors are deemed as acceptable. But wrongdoings of contributors are unacceptable (banned). Realistically, content producers have legitimacy by origin, through their content.
Abuse by obstruction of participation
- a wrongfully removed post is obstruction of legitimacy by participation
Conclusions on Such Abuses
When is the lack of response from an editor abuse of power?
The editor has legitimacy by performance, in the domain of reviewing EIPs. His position is dependent on the quantity and quality of EIP reviews. If the editor is asked to review an EIP and that EIP conforms to the imposed quality standards and the editor refuses without a reasonable argument, this lowers the editor’s performance and legitimacy.
Similarly, this can be extended to moderators and on-topic contributor requests or news disseminators and on-topic requests.
These positions substitute for a process: the continuous voting on cancelation. This is the only reason for their existence. As a substitute, they should have the intent to find out how to do a better job, if possible. If not, try to automate their job as much as possible.
Obstructing participation by cancelation
If editors do not review your valid proposals, moderators remove your valid posts, news disseminators do not disseminate your valid news, they effectively obstruct participation and preclude you to gain legitimacy by participation.
And also, they block your legitimacy by origin — somebody else can steal your idea and pretend that it is theirs.
A look back
I shook hands, talked, laughed, went to conferences, hackathons, and parties, discussed technical matters in person and in writing with many of the people from the core of Ethereum. I have the experience that when you do not criticize the legitimacy or ethics of the people in the space (or at least the more powerful people in the space), people more or less like you and they appear favorable to your face because you help them keep their status. But I would rather have the peace of mind that I am not helping a corrupt system to become more corrupt.
If these people will create the Googles and Amazons of tomorrow, they will create and enforce policies, choose what projects to fund and what narratives to kill at a much larger scale.
I want to make sure that I do all I can to make them aware of their wrongdoings and next time, maybe they will think again — if they have character and heart.
The Effects of Gatekeeping
By eliminating me, they preclude access to valuable technologies for the Ethereum community. I will remind the most strategic:
- The first interpreted (and functional) language for the EVM (taylor)
- The first decentralized type system with type checking and typed database on EVM (dType)
- The first arbitrary-precision library on EVM (tally)
- An optimized EVM bytecode interpreter in EVM
- The easiest IDE for dApps to learn and run on mobiles (Marks Factory)
- The first chat engine that treats conversations as Ethereum shards with EVM support (ark)
With such gatekeepers, who knows how many other useful technologies were obscured from public view in order to shun them or their creators…
After all this work and tribulations, I remain dreaming: If only I would have at least 1 more dedicated developer (at least as good at programming as me) to help, we would make wonders…
But returning to the matter at hand: who should watch the watchers? And how? Why don’t the watchers of a decentralized community have a transparent output for the whole community to consider? As a decentralized community: don’t we have the duty to watch our watchmen?
The gatekeeper hierarchy is not transparent to the public. If there is no hierarchy, then I, the contributor, am the first and last recourse for moderating the gatekeepers.
If we are to hold Ethereum at its highest self (the one presented by Vitalik and collaborators), abuse by power is the norm. With the advent of Ethereum 2.0 which brings a change in technologies, teams, and more public attention, this is a perfect moment to reflect on the wrongdoings of the past and prepare for the next decade of building a truly decentralized community, from the ground up, not from gatekeepers to bottom.
The Ethereum, as a community, loses fairness legitimacy when members abuse each other’s legitimacy. It also loses fairness and performance legitimacy when it accepts with impunity and even promotes ICO companies that do not fulfill their promises.
At the end of such a long-winded and dramatic piece, I can only wish that each of us in Ethereum respects the legitimacy of others and nurture our own. And only by doing so: you Ethereum community member, I expect nothing from you other than what you yourself expect from your highest self.
- This article by Vitalik Buterin: https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/03/23/legitimacy.html
- This Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/lorecirstea/status/1394612745245532162
- This Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/ncxg1t/ethereum_cryptoblessing_1/
Poll and Actionable Stuff
Answer in the poll if you want to help create an Ethereum weekly with open-source, volunteer-led projects and projects who want to collaborate with other projects.
I am thinking of a video weekly of a very short format, wherein 5 minutes you can learn about 10 projects.
Originally published at https://github.com.