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RE: NO! Steemit Inc is not Steem and Ned is not our Messiah

in #steem4 years ago

I'm tired of reading about people who are tired about the deserved criticism of Ned and Steemit Inc., so I guess we're even.

The widespread reaction is based on a correct reading of the status quo as it at least has been up until now and it's justified. How it works is this:

The top witnesses, some of them very cosy with Ned and Steemit, are the ones who control the platform itself, not what people do on it which is a different matter, so the backlash is only concerned with that (where people get it right that is). @dtube is something on the platform not the platform.

Those top witnesses generally follow the lead of the main contributor and in fact owner of the blockchain code, Steemit Inc. and employees. This is because they have a working professional relationship, and because it has been cheaper for the witnesses to allow Steemit to do this rather than fund or do the changes themselves. That's not to say they don't disagree and even have heated arguments, I was up until recently privy to some of those and got to see the relationship first hand. Unfortunately now we don't see these conversations so much on the chain as we used to around say HF17.

It is also naive to think that Ned's comments do not affect the public image of Steem the blockchain, not just Steemit Inc. his company. Steemit Inc. intentionally positioned themselves as architects and guardians of the platform, as well as the main beneficiary if you look at finances alone.

All of this isn't to say that they haven't done good work. Their efforts created a mutually beneficial arrangement between them, devs and general users, a virtuous circle. They couldn't have done it without the users, but still it is important to recognize that Steem is essentially a gift. They've often done things which undermine various aspects of their own designs, they prefer to do things opaquely, and they can be arrogant, but this is par for the course.

If you are talking about the platform, then it is only witnesses than can change the cosy cartel with Steemit Inc., and it is only large stakeholders which can change the witnesses. Since Steemit Inc. have a large stake, and not all of what they control is actually apparent, you can see how this supports itself. So the message should be to the other whales and in fact every stakeholder to change their witness votes to those who support non-Steemit Inc. development. That would bring the change people claim to want. We need to step up as blockchain developers now.

As for making apps on the blockchain, none of this stops anything and people's recent lack of lustre pretty plainly comes down to the price drop, which isn't directly to do with any of these events as it's more tied to Bitcoin, which is tied to the stockmarket, which is tied to things waaaaay outside of this scope. To those developers I just say: keep going.

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Those top witnesses generally follow the lead of the main contributor and in fact owner of the blockchain code,

Mind explaining how you see the open source code as being owned by someone?

I'm very well aware that it is open source, but open source does not preclude the possibility of ownership. As you're probably hoping to point out though, it does bear thinking about as it's not entirely clear.

This post musing on the subject is a pretty good consideration of the subject, here are a few of the most relevant points:

According to the standard open-source licenses, all parties are equals in the evolutionary game. But in practice there is a very well-recognized distinction between 'official' patches, approved and integrated into the evolving software by the publicly recognized maintainers, and 'rogue' patches by third parties. Rogue patches are unusual, and generally not trusted

[...]

There are, in general, three ways to acquire ownership of an open-source project. One, the most obvious, is to found the project. When a project has had only one maintainer since its inception and the maintainer is still active, custom does not even permit a question as to who owns the project.

If you read this, and especially the entire post, perhaps you can see where I am coming from with my claim that Steemit owns the blockchain (the steemd project) code.

Here's another interesting announcement from the Steemit blog which could be considered the next one from the one you posted: Steemd is now completely free to use with an MIT License. The license before explicitly forbade anyone to create a new genesis block, that is, to start a different blockchain based on any part of the Steem blockchain code. It's only since this change that other blockchains like Smoke.io are legally able to use this code in their own projects.

The take home points are that open source software does not mean a fully permissive license (although Steemd now has one) and that customs and practice matter when considering ownership.

But just to be clear, yes, anyone can use it, which is probably what you're meaning to say I guess.

But just to be clear, yes, anyone can use it, which is probably what you're meaning to say I guess.

No, my point was that no one owns it. Your logic might hold, somewhat, on the Bitcoin Core code or the latest Google Android release. Yet even Bitcoin Core could not halt Bitcoin Cash's fork. However it goes even further with the STEEM Project, in my opinion, because the Witnesses decide the final direction of the package, not Steemit, Inc.

First of all thanks for the long reply, I appreciate people reading and taking the time to rely when it comes to topics like this one. I'm currently afk but in a few hours I'll get to replying to all of the comments.

That would be interesting, thanks

Sorry, I am newbi here. Why did you mention "it is only large stakeholders which can change the witnesses."? Is it not the number of accounts that crown witness?

It's the number of STEEM those accounts hold rather than the number of accounts that matters, hence the large stakeholders play a much larger role in selection of witnesses.