Proposal: Change Up and Downvotes to bids

25일 전

Hi everyone,

The Problem:

People don't seem to get how downvotes work and see them as personal attacks against them or their content or even worse as an attempt of silencing or censoring them.

The problem I see here is that up and downvotes are not very flexible.

Short example:

Post A has a value of 20$,
In my subjective opinion I believe this post should not be worth more than 10$
I downvote it to 19$
A whale comes along and downvotes it to 0$
Now I have to go back to the post and remove my downvote since I don't agree that it should be worth 0$

How likely is it that I will come back to a post I downvoted later to check if it turned out a reasonable price?

  • Highly unlikely

My Solution:

Thus, I believe that the way Steem should work should not be by up- and downvoting but by bidding on content.
And the weight of the bid depends on the quantity of SP the user holds.

Short example:

Post A is valued 20$ (Let's assume all voters up to now bid the post to 20$)
I bid that the post should be worth 10$
Post goes down to 19$
A whale comes along who wants to bid the post to 0$, he not only has to counter all the 20$ bids now, but also my 10$ bid since the value he considers is below the one I bid for the post.

Why would this help?

You might ask now, why this would make any difference, if the whale wants he can still downvote the post to 0$.

And I say yes, he can, and that's his right, he purchased a ton of Steem and if he believes a post should be worth nothing he can try to use his power to do so.

The difference of this system is two fold:

  1. It will be more difficult to completely zero posts since some people might agree that rewards are too high, but most people don't believe the person shouldn't get any rewards at all.

  2. Most importantly, this will change the culture of Steem, people will see that it is an actual bidding process on each of the posts. Thus, people won't be mad if someone places a lower bid than what their post is currently paying out.
    Since these people are just evaluating how much they think the content is worth.

At the moment we also have this bidding process, but, the problem is that
a) This doesn't appear as clearly to the user
b) It is not very flexible as I showed in an above example

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I think this idea has a lot of merit. A user views a post and chooses to assign a "value" to it. Their VP is then used to push its payout up OR down at payout toward that value, according to all the other users assigning value to it (and their SP). It might be tricky to implement but it IS do-able and it could help resolve the downvote stigma/drama.

This is an interesting idea – but there is an inherent problem with it.

It's not a bid. It has nothing to do with bidding. Bidding is the process of transferring some sort of value from a pool you control to a pool someone else controls as a wager on the outcome of another event. While I have repeatedly described the functionality of the Steem blockchain as "a bidding game," the bids are not made via of the proximal mechanisms of votes in that sense. I would say that the underlying point is that they are implicitly relative.

That's not to say that you aren't on to an important facet of the failure of the design by pointing out that it is repeatedly sold as the idea of "this content is not worth more/is worth more than X value" while the vote itself doesn't actually communicate that at all, not least reason being that "X value" is not a stable expression within the context of valuation of a post. (After all, the actual reward value of a given post isn't the only thing that changes – the underlying value of the token can change rather aggressively from moment to moment, so just saying "I don't think this is worth more than $10" doesn't communicate enough in the context of mechanisms available on the blockchain.)

What you're talking about isn't bidding, however. It's a far more elemental part of communicating value – pricing.

What you're talking about is explicitly telling the system what you think the value of a post should be. And then your idea is that the system should mechanistically apply your voting power to push the value toward that desired price. Which is an interesting idea, except for the fact that in actual use it would be pretty cumbersome. Rather than simply signaling to apply a portion of your voting power to changing the value as you saw it of a given post, it would require you to specify a value for every post you see, and that kind of cognitive overhead and mechanical overhead just leads to people not engaging with content.

Imagine reading Reddit and instead of upvoting or downvoting content, you had to put in a desired/intended number of total votes. You just wouldn't engage with the system because it's too much mechanical overhead to deal with.

In a system in which you were only expected to interact with 10 or 15 pieces of content a day, and assigning a value to half of those, it could work. But that is not how social media consumption happens, and because of that it's not really a feasible design. Interesting, but not feasible.

At this point, I maintain that there is already too much cognitive overhead when dealing with upvotes and downvotes on the blockchain as it stands. "Is this currently under or overvalued?" "How much of my voting power should I use?" "Is it within seven days of creation?" "How much of my voting power do I have left for the day?" If I were going to re-work the voting system, part of the core of doing so would be to remove most of these questions entirely. Simply keep a sliding pool of voting power, let people vote for as many or as few things as they feel like, and divide that voting power equally over everything that they have voted for, up or down, over that particular window. Oh, yes, and eliminate the seven day voting requirement and reward content if it had a vote during that cycle. Done. Massively less complicated and much easier to deal with.

Unfortunately, we will never see this.

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Thanks for the comment, Yeah, I don't care how you actually name it, but you got a grasp of my core idea.
I agree partially with you. I think there is already a lot of complexity going on. Thus I also agree on the importance of:

  • Evergreen content
    Now, distributing the share of the vote over all votes you cast without a VP limit is complicated, it would mean that your past upvotes will become worth less because you are upvoting more which itself is something people wouldn't get easily I guess.
    Tbf, I don't know, right now out of my head, a solution for this complexity.

In terms of the complexity of the system I am describing, I think the frontends could guide the users through this, how about the frontend offers you a value +- the value the post is currently at.
Let's say the post is at 5$, it would offer you, on clicking the vote button a slider around the current value.
Maybe, if the value is under the median value of that user or of that category/community it could further indicate certain things.

I do agree it would be a bit more difficult cognitively, but I also do believe that it is the only way to fix the "game theory" of "upvote/downvote" which actually almost no one seems to get on this platform.

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Now, distributing the share of the vote over all votes you cast without a VP limit is complicated, it would mean that your past upvotes will become worth less because you are upvoting more which itself is something people wouldn't get easily I guess.
Tbf, I don't know, right now out of my head, a solution for this complexity.

Honestly, it's not really that hard. We already have, in theory, a pool of value associated with you – your SP. We already have mechanisms which act as sliding windows. All the pieces are there to build a sliding window, automatic allocation system which distributes your voting power equally across all elements you voted for in the last cycle.

Let's do a bit of gedanken.

I'm going to throw out some numbers here and they will largely be arbitrary. Specific numbers might be very different, but as a loose idea…

Imagine that you have 100 SP. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that right this moment there are 10,000 SP worth of tokens floating about. The amount of voting power that you have available to steer inflationary value is calculated to be 1%. When you vote for things, that is effectively saying you can direct 1% of the inflationary value to all of the things that you voted for in the cycle.

To keep things relatively simple, let's assume that "a cycle" is seven days long. A cycle is a seven-day sliding window which accumulates your votes and then distributes the value accordingly.

We also have a pool called the inflationary value. For the sake of the arbitrary moment, let's say that it has 1,000 tokens in it. (Things will get complicated very quickly, but that's not our problem at this moment.)

That means that this cycle all of the votes that you have left will distribute 1% of 1000 tokens, or 10 tokens. It doesn't matter what you voted for, it doesn't matter how many things you voted for, it doesn't matter how active you've been – when this update cycle is completed, you distribute 10 tokens evenly across those votes. They could be for your content, they could be for other people's content, theoretically they could even be for groups, organizations, or communities – any entity which can accept tokens.

If we still want downvotes in the system (though I am generally systemically against downvoting), we can simply consider a downvote to represent applying a negative value in your share of tokens – and it can come out of the same inflationary pool value.

So at the end of our arbitrary time for value assignment, let's say you have seven upvotes and three downvotes. You have 10 tokens worth of value to assign, so each of them gets a value of one token, and they are applied to change the amount of the inflationary pool you have control of.

If we want to be clever, at the end of the sweep where values are assigned, if there is extra money left in the pool (that is, people have used downvotes), the money stays in the pool for the next allocation. If we want to be painfully stupid, have to track a lot more extra information, and do it much the way things are currently done, we redistribute all of that extra funding to everyone who didn't receive a downvote from the original voter. This, of course, ends up distributing those overflow funds quite likely to the same people who received downvotes, just on other posts.

Now we have actively decoupled voting from trying to give a price of value to a post. Instead, we are more narrowly focused on directing a portion of the reward pool in directions that we think are appropriate. As a side effect, it becomes much closer to that original idea of "upvote as tip" without actually having to specify a tipping value.

This method is also keeping the vote window separate from the inflationary allocation window. The inflationary allocation tick can occur as often as you like. Once a day, once an hour, once a minute – whatever is appropriate to your level of computational availability (at a system level). The only thing that's important to keep in mind is that the smaller the inflationary allocation tick, the smaller the inflationary value to be allocated.

(That the inflationary allocation actively decreases the effective amount of funds that you can allocate from it as tokens are created through it is left as an exercise for the reader, but it is most certainly true. In our arbitrary example, consider that after the first cycle, the pool as a whole has 11,000 tokens in it – our rate of inflation is ridiculously high. If you didn't vote for yourself and no one else voted for your content, you still only have 100 SP, which will let you direct 0.91% of the pool. This is inherent to all inflationary Proof of Stake voting systems, however.)

So – really not all that complicated. From the user side, they just vote. They interact with content they like or don't like, signal to the system how they feel about it, and the resources that they are able to distribute get distributed automatically. And fairly.

The addition of the ability to "tip" alongside a vote would be nice, and would effectively just make it trivial to send a little something extra to those you thought were deserving of it, and would effectively function just like any other fund transfer on the blockchain.

But everybody understands tipping.

Note that this entirely removes the current mechanisms regarding betting on whether or not you think this thing will get more votes from other people and that alone gets rid of a vast number of follow-on problems. It doesn't matter when you vote, as long as you do – so there's no rushing to be the first, but not too quick. As long as you vote, that vote will matter and that vote will matter equally scaled to your SP. It gets rid of the evergreen problem, because we don't care how long ago the content was created, we just care about whether it received a vote in the last voting window. We don't actually care about what the eventual value that gets assigned to that post really is, because there's no way for us to know ahead of time. All we care about, because it's all we can affect, is how we steer the reward pool.

This specifically doesn't try to deal with issues of whether or not self-loading is a good idea, a social good, or an inevitability. I find those questions boring and ridiculous, so I design systems that just don't care. If you make one vote a day and it's for yourself, fine. That is your power to do, your power to direct, and I don't own your SP so it is ridiculous for me to think that I can tell you what to do with it. It's unwise, because it doesn't actually support more content being created on the blockchain, so you're not helping increase the value of the whole by creating more attractive content and thus bringing in more users who might themselves be interested in voting for your content, but that's your choice.

You'll notice that I have arbitrarily suggested that the voting window be seven days and have simultaneously pointed out that the reward cycle can run as arbitrarily short as you like. Yes, that means that any votes you place will have multiple impacts under this kind of system. That is to say, they will continue to direct part of the reward pool every reward cycle. For the sake of argument, let's say the reward cycle runs once a day. That means any upvotes that you have placed today will influence the next seven reward cycles and direct the reward pool accordingly. That's kind of a big deal because it creates a certain momentum.

You'll also notice that I have completely removed the "curation" system of rewards for voting – and that is by design. You could stick one back in here, with a flat portion of the reward pool set aside to be distributed equally across all voters for the last reward cycle, scaled by SP if you must, but I don't think that under the new description of how voting would actually work that you need to incentivize people to vote. If you feel like you must, take a flat slice out of the reward pool and distribute it to voters in that cycle. Stay away from any system that requires you to worry about sequentiality because that is wasted complication and drives behaviors which are both unhealthy and fiscally unwise.

Something like this actually gives you a voting system which is something more than just a betting system on what everyone else is going to do. Instead, it focuses on "what do you think should be rewarded that you've seen" and has another great, positive side effect that it will inevitably spread the value of votes across a broader selection of content. Removing the betting pool drive of "is this content going to be bad on by other people?" has great, maybe incredible, knock on effect.

I do agree it would be a bit more difficult cognitively, but I also do believe that it is the only way to fix the "game theory" of "upvote/downvote" which actually almost no one seems to get on this platform.

I have spent a lot of time tinkering with the game theory of voting systems, of content discovery systems, of a lot of social media architecture. This is what happens when you are really old (in Internet time) and predate the web so you had the opportunity to see pretty much everything that's happened in terms of social media evolution. Also, I love game theory. I consider it a curse.

Targeting an end value is mechanically difficult and ultimately is going to be an emotionally unrewarding interface, because in almost no situation are you going to get what you want. The vast teeming masses of users on this platform have very, very little influence over the allocation of the reward pool. So saying "I believe this post has a value of $10" or $100, or $1000, or $1 million all has effectively the same emotional payoff, and that is not a feature. When you make it not really matter what user says when they interact and signal the system, you decrease their desire to want to continue to engage with the system.

Instead, when you treat the user like an individual and make their implicit resource allocations specifically tied to their personal resources, you get a lot more emotional connection. Even if the real financial value of those resources are extremely low, they are still owned by the user/player, and as such they will want to use them well.

To that end, it would probably be a good idea to add "you get to allocate X tokens from the reward pool in the next cycle" somehow, somewhere on the interface if someone were to implement the voting system I just described. Along with "you have made X votes in the last voting cycle." With those two pieces of information, you know everything you need to know to decide whether or not you want to drop another vote. No matter how many you drop, you still will allocate that much of the reward pool, it just may be spread thinner. For many of us, that's not a problem. Some people are more interested in playing the game, which is fine, and in this case "the game" will be the trade-off between a few large votes and spreading that resource pool over a wider number of posts. That would be up to individuals to decide.

This would seem to solve most of the problems that both of us see with the system.

(It does actively and intentionally leave aside the issue of whether or not Proof of Stake systems are inherently bad for resource allocation. Personally, I believe they do a terrible job of achieving a "wisdom of the crowd" mechanism for determining what "the best" content is, because nothing suggests that whales have the same taste in content as I do. It's an absolutely useless system for determining good content. However, it may be a reasonable mechanism for determining where mechanical rewards get assigned. It's not my favorite, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because it provides an automatic kind of scaling. Fine. As long as we never confuse it with determining "what the best thing is," I can deal with it to some degree.)

And now I've spent enough time on this that I think I'm going to turn it into a post on my own steam feed. This happens more often than I should probably admit.

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I think we all agree that proof of stake is basically only a "solution" because we don't have any way to guarantee one person one vote reasonably. And even using KYC the way Voice does it will eventually fail because one person can create only one account buy can control arbitrarily many. Nothing stops me from paying a million people 10 minutes of their time to go through the KYC of Voice and give me their access.

So, what it leaves us with is some sort of balanced stake based voting.
Now, the problem is from the game theory aspect there are two things at play:

  • My direct rewards
  • My rewards from the growth of the value of my stake due to the growth of the platform.

Before the last HF we saw pretty much where it leads us:

  • My direct rewards is the determination for 90% of the stake

Even in such a way that people deemed the platform as broken.
If we take what you suggested, and I can just give myself 1 upvote a month with 100% of my own stake, and there are no downvotes to prevent this from happening would quite definitely mean the death of the inflation based reward mechanism of Steem.

There is no reason whatsoever to vote for someone else (Besides the benefit of the platform, but we know that almost no one cares about this).

Now, you are right, if we calculate every 7 day the split, that'd be an easy way to calculate the share nicely. But, the problem is that every vote I give, the interfaces will have to update the value of all posts I voted for already (bad overhead).
While this is not that bad, I wouldn't like it personally, I think especially when you got a big stake to upvote, you might want to give different values to different posts.

But, for me this would definitely be something to have for the "smaller stakeholders" who don't care too much and just want to use the platform. Maybe a secondary system where you can choose "weight: dynamic" and one where you assign it specifically.

Game theory based you could make dynamic the default so most people would just go with this.

Still, it doesn't fix the problem of:
a) Distributing Steem to as many people as possible to decentralize it
b) The problem of everyone just selfvoting
c) Grow this platform (Directly related to b)

I think the current system does a reasonable better job at A to C than the previous setup but still doesn't do a very good job at making people understand that downvotes are not mobbing but are a way to balance the payouts people get for the sake of the platform.

Which would be solved by my proposal.

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I think we all agree that proof of stake is basically only a "solution" because we don't have any way to guarantee one person one vote reasonably. And even using KYC the way Voice does it will eventually fail because one person can create only one account buy can control arbitrarily many. Nothing stops me from paying a million people 10 minutes of their time to go through the KYC of Voice and give me their access.

I'm not sure that we can agree that is the primary motivation for Proof of Stake systems. I think it's safe to say that POS is largely in place for two reasons. Firstly, to encourage people to lock resources into the system and drive up the rarity of the underlying token so that its value is higher. Secondly, as an ongoing mechanism to draw outside investors in with the promise of being able to capitalize on that investment and take that value out along the way. The second one is actually the more dangerous of the two because we have simultaneously created an environment which demands investment come on in and a social order which is greatly against the idea of extracting value for that investment. The schizophrenia is generally dangerous.

That the blockchain only cares about pseudonymity and doesn't actually care about entity identity aside from the concept of consistency makes any kind of KYC system a bit of a joke, as you have already noted. On top of that, it's perfectly reasonable for you to pay a million people for 10 minutes of their time with your own resources to do something for you with their own resources. Hell, that's pretty much the definition of advertising.

The problem under the current architecture is philosophical rather than mechanical. POS coupled with Proof of Brain explicitly states that the people with more stake are/should be better at determining what is "good content" for everybody with stake in the blockchain. That's just an invalid assumption. It's just not true. Until you have a system in place that denies that to be true, nothing that derives from it is going to be useful. That's why I explicitly changed the terms from "determine the value of this post" to "give some of my resources to this post." The first is obsessed with minutia when it comes to deciding what an appropriate value is. The second is concerned with giving out what you already own.

If we take what you suggested, and I can just give myself 1 upvote a month with 100% of my own stake, and there are no downvotes to prevent this from happening would quite definitely mean the death of the inflation based reward mechanism of Steem.

If and only if we assume that the only reason that people interact with the Steem blockchain is to maximize the value that they can derive from it in a financial sense. If that is the only reason that people interact with the Steem blockchain, then absolutely, you are correct, the obviously degenerate play is to make one vote per cycle and to make it for yourself. All of your reward pool allocation will go back to yourself and thus maximize what you can extract for a given operation.

Making the degenerate play that obvious is actually an intentional side effect.

When it is that obvious, it becomes clear when there is nothing else of value to be derived from interaction with the platform. Though they don't generally have the vocabulary to say so, that is really the problem with the Steem blockchain as it stands. POS combined with a deeply complex bidding game which has no connection with the individual or content except as a means of trying to decide what other people are going to vote for means that the entire system is driven toward expressing a monoculture and deliberately trying to shrink the number of posts to increase the probability that whatever you vote for is likely to be what other people have voted for, unrelated to whether or not the content is good or you even care about it.

That is why I suggest getting away from that kind of architecture altogether and going for something that has a clear degenerate strategy.

What we need is a reason for normal, every day users to come and both create and consume content, not because they can make money (though that would be nice), but because they get an even greater value from interaction with the platform. That value can be the formation of communities and people of like mind, it can be the value of getting to see content they find interesting on a regular basis, it can be the opportunity to reach an audience – it can be any of those things and should probably be all of those things if you really want to have an underlying base of value for the token.

Because that is what we are missing. That is what the Steem blockchain has been missing for a very long time. Cryptocommodities in general have the same problem, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. There is no underlying thing of value for the token to be useful to be a signifier for. In theory, the Steem blockchain was supposed to be valued by the "value" of the content which lives on it. Unfortunately, because of the mechanisms chosen to determine what that "value" is, the systems pushed people into making very clear and sensible choices because the systems don't value individuals or content.

My personal theory is that it's because the original creators didn't have the imagination to consider that the decision-making architecture of the users will occur in an environment in which the system that Steemit Inc. designed exists. In a magical world where individuals interact with the Steem blockchain but their decisions aren't affected by it, the mechanisms in place might work. That world has nothing to do with our world.

Now, you are right, if we calculate every 7 day the split, that'd be an easy way to calculate the share nicely. But, the problem is that every vote I give, the interfaces will have to update the value of all posts I voted for already (bad overhead).

Except that's not true. Or at least it would be doing that kind of calculation anyway, except more of it, under the system you present. After all,, every time someone expresses an intentional value, the system has to recalculate whether or not your intended value has been reached, exceeded, or dropped beneath, and affect your vote intentionality accordingly.

Whereas under my suggestion, the system doesn't care about calculating that value for every vote you give – it only cares about calculating the value of the votes that you have given when a reward tick happens. Which is why I stated explicitly that you choose the length of your tick according to your computational resources. If the tick happens every hour, then once an hour you go through the list of votes, calculate the vote value (which is easy because it only happens on a per-user basis) distribute the reward pool, age out the oldest votes in the list based on whether they have gone beyond the voting window, and then do nothing until the next tick. A longer tick would require more memory overhead for storing the list of votes which would happen within that span, and necessarily affect more post entries in the database, but could functionally take longer because it's not as pressing. Choosing a one minute reward tick would decrease the number of votes that happened in its span and obviously decrease the number of database entries for posts that get touched, but the calculations remain very easy though the required time span for executing it becomes much smaller.

It's a scalable trade-off based on your available technology, expectation of activity, etc. On top of that, you can change it without any real repercussion as long as you do so on sequential blocks because it's an intermittent process.

While this is not that bad, I wouldn't like it personally, I think especially when you got a big stake to upvote, you might want to give different values to different posts.

Part of my objection to this is philosophical. If you have that large a stake, actively trying to micro game the system is a mechanical problem. It leads to an ever greater focus on automation, because there is no way that you can juggle that much and still have a hands-on, actual content-focused, interaction. I want to take that off the table altogether. If you have a large stake, that means that you can vote for a lot more things with a significant redirection of the inflation pool. Being able to direct how much of your voting power you allocate on top of directing where your votes go is just a recipe for what is generally thought of as corruption. It certainly leads toward a push for ever greater automation and a disengagement with content.

Again, the degenerate strategy becomes obvious. If you see a whale who is only voting for themselves, it's immediately obvious. You don't have to dig into how much is going where, you don't have to do any of that stuff. Degenerate strategies become obvious. (Strategies which involve mutual voting rings or pseudonymous multi agent self-reinforcement are an entirely different class of thing and much harder to ferret out. Trust me, I put in the time.)

But, for me this would definitely be something to have for the "smaller stakeholders" who don't care too much and just want to use the platform. Maybe a secondary system where you can choose "weight: dynamic" and one where you assign it specifically.

See, this is not how you design good systems. Now you've multiplied the number of interfaces and mechanisms. Now you have two potential mechanical sources of failure, and duplicated effort. That's not a good plan.

If you want people to engage with a system, you've got to make it easy enough to understand that the casual user will bother to, make the degenerate strategies clear and obvious enough that the big players will either not care and it's immediately obvious or expend the effort to come up with less efficient degenerate strategies, and you've got to make it easy to determine where the points of failure are.

Still, it doesn't fix the problem of:
a) Distributing Steem to as many people as possible to decentralize it
b) The problem of everyone just selfvoting
c) Grow this platform (Directly related to b)

You're assuming that these are problems. Perhaps worse, you are looking at the environment and coming to the same position that the original designers of the Steem blockchain came to and which is directly responsible for the situation being what it is today:

You believe that the most important thing about the value of the Steem blockchain is money.

That is not the case. No amount of distributing the token to more people will make it more desirable if the token is worthless. Self voting is not a problem (and honestly has never been a problem), but it's even less of a problem if the token is worthless. Growing the platform has nothing to do with self voting or with the way that votes happen, but it is surprisingly related to the token being worthless.

Elsewhere I have ruminated about the idea that the underlying value of the Steem blockchain is literally the "value" in the non-financial sense of the content that lives on it, and the reason that the value of the token is just above trash is that it accurately represents the value of the content on the blockchain as a whole. STEEM trades on the usefulness and value that people find in content available on the blockchain. If you really wanted to increase the value of the token, you have to increase the value of the content – not in a monetary sense but in a content-focused sense.

Your proposal explicitly doesn't talk about content. Economically, it talks about setting a price post hoc. You are still engaging with a betting pool, is just that you are explicitly stating what you think everybody else will set the value of a given post to. You have made the game exactly like it is now, just about rewarding players for an accurate guess orthogonal to any particular content.

The individual has no stake, ironically enough, in the content itself, and stating its value to them or lack thereof, it's quality or nature – it's just about playing with numbers. And that's it.

That does not solve the underlying problem the Steem blockchain. It increases mechanical complexity, it makes the UI even more ugly and nonsensical, and it doesn't provide an individual advantage to a common user on a day-to-day basis. It adds no value to their experience. It gives them no ownership of a resource, it requires more active management, and effectively it has all the failures of the current system, just with more things that can break.

I think the current system does a reasonable better job at A to C than the previous setup but still doesn't do a very good job at making people understand that downvotes are not mobbing but are a way to balance the payouts people get for the sake of the platform.

The problem for you in this particular paragraph is that, all too often, downvotes are mobbing. We have seen repeatedly evidenced that downvotes get used as a tool to mob people for personal reasons, and they are a great tool for that. They have almost no cost (and that cost has been decreased in the latest hard for work), they bang on an account's Reputation which is difficult to affect by the user, and as a mechanism for affecting payouts for the sake of the platform, downvotes just reallocate a tiny portion of the reward pool away from a given post to the rest of the reward pool – where it is almost guaranteed to that a spammer or exploiter has un-downvoted content which receives a portion of that down voted value anyway.

Don't feel bad, like a lot of people on the platform you have an unhealthy obsession with the financial side of things without actually understanding the process side of things. Things are as they are because people are involved, and the systems that have been suggested and definitely the systems that have been implemented, don't care about people. They don't care about individuals. They don't care about making people responsible for something of their own. They care about playing with numbers, and when that is the only game to play, that is the game that people will play on the platform.

Which is exactly how we got here.

Your proposal doesn't change that. It attacks none of the underlying architecture which leads to people engaging in what are largely negative behaviors. It just doubles down on some of them, in particular when it comes to downvotes.

That's not a good situation to be in.

Ultimately, I think everyone has to agree that the current mechanisms behind the Steem blockchain are untenable for a social media platform. At a very deep, basal level, they are directly at odds with the things necessary for a social media platform to grow and flourish. That problem can't be solved with the mechanisms in place because their basic assumptions are simply philosophically incompatible with getting the results we want.

It can't be patched to fix that because these are the axiomatic underpinnings of the whole system.

So it's going to go away.

The only thing that remains in question is whether or not one of the front ends will pull in enough standalone social media architecture systems to survive the process, putting a focus on content, putting a focus on user discovery, putting a focus on an individualized experience rather than the expectation that everyone knows better than you do – all of those things have to happen, and at that point really all you're doing is using the Steem blockchain is a storage database and maybe a way to keep score. Everything else will be done via some other database mechanism.

But it won't be the Steem blockchain as it's currently envisioned and as it's currently architected.

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Okay, I think one thing you are definitely and completely wrong about is that PoS is not to make it "One Person One Vote" but that is actually exactly what PoS or PoW is about.
The reason for PoS or PoW to be created is that in a permissionless system you can't make it "One process One Vote" (Assuming anonymity obviously). The only way to do this without KYC is by either making it about processing power (while making sure that it is really really sooooo costly that no one else could simply turn on enough processes to game the system) or about stake.
Since if you want to endanger the consensus, you need enough stake, but if you have so much stake, you benefit from not endangering the consensus more than you would if you try to game the system.

But we can extract this to Steem the same way.
Without KYC if you make it one account one vote, you'd be so overrun by bots, that probably it would be again about "who has the most stake to run all these bots".

Now, I completely agree that Steem should NOT be about rewards, and I think the biggest problem Steem had until today is that it wants to attract people with rewards and not with communities. Most people are here for the money and especially previous to HF20 but also pre HF21 90% of all interaction on this blockchain was about extracting the maximum amount of reward out of here.

While this reduced, I think we're still far from there. Maybe the community feature is going to improve this significantly.

I don't think that downvotes always have to be bad, Stackoverflow has ways to give up and downvotes and I think it is an important feature.
Maybe some people were able to solve a problem in a certain way, but actually that way is not good for you, there has to be a way to push this answer below a "more valid" one.

Back to Steem, now while Steem should OF COURSE not be about the economic incentives, it should be about content, about communities, about fun, etc, but it should be also a part of Steem in the future as well.
Making sure that the user gets a bit back of the platform he puts his data in is just fair.

The problem is always, how are we going to define this.
And my proposal is one of the ways I would solve this. Aligned with the fact that we have a PoS system and aligned with that doing it with KYC is not in the spirit of this platform (besides the possibility of gaming KYC too).

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Since if you want to endanger the consensus, you need enough stake, but if you have so much stake, you benefit from not endangering the consensus more than you would if you try to game the system.

Except for the fact that is completely not the behavior we see, not the behavior that they intended according to the white and blue papers, and makes no sense in any context, sure. Aside from the fact that your description is absolutely wrong, it's fine.

Of course, I never said that POS was to make it "one process one vote," and in fact I said the exact opposite. Because that is impossible, as anyone who has ever tried to implement any kind of voting algorithm in any context would tell you. POS was never designed to implement that kind of approach. All POS is designed to do, when it comes to voting, is attempt to map "one dollar one vote." It doesn't matter where that dollar lives, it doesn't matter how that dollar got there, all it matters is that the dollar is recorded as held and that it's voting power is directed.

You amplify that by actually failing to understand what "the consensus" is. "The consensus" has nothing to do with what votes register and is purely about whether or not the database represented by the blockchain has nodes that agree with each other about transactions. That's all that it means. That's all that it can mean. So it's impossible for a voting action to "endanger the consensus" except insofar as it does any kind of action to the database, which gets registered by a node and that data replicated and verified by other nodes. Voting does not endanger the consensus. Stake has nothing to do with endangering the consensus.

(In theory, a larger stake should mean that you have more interest in the platform as a whole gaining value in order to increase the value of that stake, with the long-term view of eventually cashing it out in order to make use of it. In practice – because the underlying value of the platform doesn't actually matter anymore, if it ever did, large stakeholders only have an interest in making the mechanical process of expanding the proportion of their stake numerically larger at a rate faster than the inevitable degeneration of the value of the underlying token. That's the behavior that we see.)

Without KYC if you make it one account one vote, you'd be so overrun by bots, that probably it would be again about "who has the most stake to run all these bots".

Congratulations, that is an accurate statement of the way that it is and has been for the last several years. Not because that things are "one account one vote" or even because pseudonymity is easy, but because a larger automated base of execution is a more efficient means of keeping SP active when voting power is strictly bound to the temporal domain. With one account holding all of your SP, you are limited in how many 100% votes you can drop. By distributing your SP across a larger number of active accounts, you see a net efficiency gain in leveraging that SP because the decay rate of using it is distributed.

We have bots because actually using the platform as a social media system that is interested in content is deeply inefficient because of the temporal constraints placed on "one account." Humans sleep. They engage with only one thing at a time. They take time to actually consume content. There is an active pressure (since the last hard fork) to put any votes in exactly 7 minutes after the content has been posted to the blockchain. When timing and numbers are more important than content, machines are better players of the game and humans – and thus we see vast numbers of bots active on the system. This is one of the reasons that my voting architecture specifically avoids timing issues and sequentiality, because machines are much better at dealing with them then humans are.

Now, I completely agree that Steem should NOT be about rewards, and I think the biggest problem Steem had until today is that it wants to attract people with rewards and not with communities. Most people are here for the money and especially previous to HF20 but also pre HF21 90% of all interaction on this blockchain was about extracting the maximum amount of reward out of here.

While this reduced, I think we're still far from there. Maybe the community feature is going to improve this significantly.

In order for the Steem blockchain to not be "all about rewards," it would require a fundamental architectural change – one which is entirely unsupported by the software and design which underpins the whole thing. Or, more succinctly, "you can't get there from here." And that's not a problem "until today." That's an essential and elemental problem at both a philosophical and mechanical level. You can't do it. Or at least you can't to do it and still be a thing which is vaguely similar to the Steem blockchain.

Currently, 90% of all interaction on this blockchain is about extracting the maximum value of reward out of the blockchain, whether that be with posts which are strictly cryptocultist in nature or mechanized interactions between bots acting solely to keep SP active and thus direct the funds in the inflationary pool too high SP holders. SP which is not being used as part of a vote is effectively dead weight, increasing the rate of inflationary value decay without providing any sort of benefit to the holder. This is part of what delegation was supposed to improve, by removing an aggressive pressure on high SP holders to use all of their SP for automated voting mechanisms and instead delegate their SP to other users who were more active and could more efficiently use that SP for voting thanks to the aforementioned temporal restrictions. In practice – delegation just made bots warms that much more efficient than actual human beings because you don't actually have to transfer funds to another account and accept the risk that they will be used in a way you did not intend, you can delegate those funds as a sort of zero interest loan which can be revoked at any time. Zero risk and low friction means that it's much better to give it to a machine that it is a person.

While this reduced, I think we're still far from there. Maybe the community feature is going to improve this significantly.

I wouldn't bet on it. Look at what little documentation we've seen as regards to how the Community system is going to come into being. You are going to have to pay STEEM to create the group, you're going to have to pay STEEM on a per seat basis, and the Community is going to require an ongoing SP holding it order to cover its RC costs. Steem blockchain-based Communities are effectively a big economic push to try and drive a purchase of STEEM for the creation of SMTs under the magic argument that a Community-based SMT will allow you to earn enough Steem to keep the Community afloat.

Yes, I am saying that even more than the usual cryptocommodity pyramid scheme, Communities are doubling down on that.

That is not going to be a healthy aspect of the platform.

I don't think that downvotes always have to be bad, Stackoverflow has ways to give up and downvotes and I think it is an important feature.
Maybe some people were able to solve a problem in a certain way, but actually that way is not good for you, there has to be a way to push this answer below a "more valid" one.

A downvote system is inevitably an inefficient means of conveying your will. That is definitely true on Stack Overflow, slightly ameliorated by the fact that they do have a one account, one vote, all votes are equal architecture. However, in pretty much every case, you would be far better served by voting up the answer that you think is better than you will be served by voting down the worst answer. This leaves aside all of the other massive differences between the use and consumption habits of a content creation platform and a question/answer platform, which are vast and important, but all that aside – voting for things that you consider good is a much more efficient use of your voting power than voting against the things that you consider bad, because the latter doesn't ensure that you get more things that you want nor does it ensure that you will get fewer things that you don't want. Voting up good answers ensures that you are more likely to get things that you want. That is, answers which are accurate and at the top of the list when you search for them.

There is a way to push bad answers below better answers – vote for the better answers. If voting for the better answers is insufficient, you have a problem with the answers that you're getting and not with the quality of the answers.

Back to Steem, now while Steem should OF COURSE not be about the economic incentives, it should be about content, about communities, about fun, etc, but it should be also a part of Steem in the future as well. Making sure that the user gets a bit back of the platform he puts his data in is just fair.

What does that even mean? Seriously, what does it literally even mean?

If your argument is that the user deserves to get financial incentive for using the platform for his social media engagement, I would point out – again – that being obsessed with financial incentives is part of the massive failure architecture that we have seen lead to the current state of the Steem blockchain. The financial incentives architecture is exactly what is failing. You get what you reward. The value of STEEM is the value of the content on the blockchain. Or, more properly, the emotional reward of engaging with content on the blockchain, whether that be through posting it, reading it, or commenting on it.

No amount of obsession about the fiscal side of things is going to change the fact that until and unless the focus is on building a social media platform that people want to engage with, that ratifies them for their engagement, that provides them value in their standard usage case, there won't be any value to infuse the token with. It literally is just a way to keep score.

And my proposal is one of the ways I would solve this. Aligned with the fact that we have a PoS system and aligned with that doing it with KYC is not in the spirit of this platform (besides the possibility of gaming KYC too).

The issue is that it doesn't solve any of the problem. All it does is increase complexity, increase the already overwhelming vertical cliff of the user interface, inject a place for people to find more emotional dissatisfaction from their engagement, and do nothing about the underlying dysfunction which is why we see the crumbling infrastructure we do. We do have a POS system, and the fallout of that is not just occasionally problematic. KYC is impossible. Not just difficult, impossible, and the fact that money laundering is still a real crime that happens every day with fiat currencies that have thousands of years of people banging on those mechanisms to try and rub out the rough spots is proof that it's impossible. (I would not be hesitant to make the argument that the impossibility of KYC in a fully digital, even loosely anonymized token is one of its selling points.)

Your problem seems to be that the issue you think is most pressing is "the application of my voting power is inefficient," and to make it more efficient you want to signal to the system what you think the price/value of a given post should be, and then leave it to the system to try and invest/disinvest your SP/voting power to reach that point. But that doesn't help you get what you want. It is largely functionally identical to a straight up or down vote because unless you have truly magnificent amounts of SP, you will never be able to influence the results significantly toward or away from a given value. Never. And if you have that amount of SP, you won't care about a specific post making a specific amount to little or too much, the only thing you really care about is whether you think it should be more or less than what it currently is rated at having made, because your influence is best spent on upvoting your own content or that of a member of your bot squad, which gives you SP directly or by proxy.

What you want as described provides no benefit to you or anyone else, while introducing significant impairment in understanding, UI design, and likelihood of getting people interested. Rather than drawing people's attention away from an obsession with financial numbers, it doubles down on putting every single voting interaction front and center, concerned with "how much money do I think this content is worth?" Every interaction becomes about controlling the value of something else and not about engagement with the content and an allocation of resources that are yours.

That's a bad design. It's a bad design not just because it won't work but because it actively tries to undermine everything that you've described is what you want.

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Sorry, I worded the "One Person One Vote" thing wrong, general consensus relies on one process one vote, this doesn't work in a permissionelss setting, so the two options are one CPU one vote or a stake based voting system (PoS) (yeah I know there is proof of elapsed time, memory based systems etc too). BUT, PoS "fixes One Person One Vote" for permissionless systems was what I was meaning to convey.

Nonetheless, the conclusion is the same. Either you don't have any financial incentives at all, or you have financial incentives with voting based on stake in an open system.

Of course, you gotta get the game theory elements right to incentive the right behavior based on this stake.

Second, I'm tired of your accusations, I barely care about the rewards here or multiplying my stake in any way (I do care about the value of my stake though).

If you strap the rewards of Steemit you got reddit, that's nothing new, nothing helpful. So you gotta make a new platform which is neither steemit nor reddit (hf trying). Or you try to fix the game theory behind the system to fix the incentives...

Communities != SMT, I think you got that one wrong. Communities only need 3 steem to buy a steem account and ready you are. If you want an SMT that will cost extra yes, but you don't need one.

It's a "soft-consensus" feature.

I really like the idea of signalizing your “reward target intention” when casting a vote. Could
be game changer in terms of accepting downvotes / avoid retaliation.

  ·  24일 전

This is a sympathetic idea, but it will be complicated for both developers and users. What's worse are the game theory consequences. If there's only one vote, can you give yourself $1000? In your scenario, if the whale downvotes to $0, you can try to reach $10 by bidding a much higher price. Others will program a bot to respond immediately or at the last moment to such bids etc.

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Actually, running a bot could be a way to adapt your own vote automatically according to a target value. That way, you could give a subtle downvote without changing the rules at all.

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Of course your vote can not move the value by more than your vote is worth in any direction. So if you vote 100$ with a 1$ vote it will go max to 1$, same in any direction

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basically the idea is that your vote is still worth a fixed amount, but it has a tendency into a certain direction. (Around the value you set for the post). To make sure its not over or under.

Of course you could setup a custom frontend with a bot which makes sure your vote is like you want it. But undoing unvote to upvote etc costs a) RC and b) voting power

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Your vote does not have a fixed value. The value of your vote varies by three different metrics: the first is the SP you possess, the second is the weight of the available VP you assign it, and the third is how depleted your VP is from casting votes,, or becomes during the vote window as you cast votes thereafter. Another issue is that some folks have even more variables they consider prior to voting, such as curation rewards. Some people only vote because they get paid. This is already a nebulous target, because it depends on who besides you votes how hard and when they do so.

I'm not even going into circle jerks, purchased votes, or promoted posts, and how this might complicate them.

Most people have but little idea of how to calculate the third variable, and even for those that do know how, the work to do so if not often undertaken. I don't undertake it at all, and just always vote at 25%, because I have discovered that if I vote at that weight, I generally remain within VP that can recharge in ~1 day, which maximizes the VP I have to vote with.

Finally, I have to agree with @lextenebris on one thing: voting is already too complex (witness my rule of thumb regarding vote weights) and this would make it more complex. I do not agree that people don't vote at all due to lack of robust comprehension. I observe that even idiots express opinions, or vote, despite demonstrable complete lack of comprehension of relevant issues and consequences, so reckon very few people actually even vote less when incompetent to do so rationally and well.

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I was simplifying it for the sake of simplification in the comment, I'm well aware that the value varies based on many things (VP, reward pool, curation, SP, etc).

But, for sake of simplifying the implementation, all this "could" stay the same, the only thing changing would be anchoring the value around a certain value the person assigned to the post.

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The algorithms that compute the value of your vote on a post do not generalize that value. They set it precisely. Since the target value you assign a post is attained, or not attained, depending on all the votes cast on a post, the calculations become impossible as the VP of voters is depleted or recharged by voting.

Multiple variables that are calculated exponentially increase the complexity of the calculations to account for each other, and this level of complexity is unattainable with our present tools.

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But the same problem exists at the moment too.

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No. Your proposal adds a layer of exponential increase in calculation difficulty. The decay of VP is calculable since there's only one factor to calculate. By introducing the target payout of the post, you multiply that calculation by all the VP applied to the post. This is incalculable.

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  ·  22일 전

OK, that makes sense. But if you have $100 voting power and you want to change a post from $0 to $10, it's still in your interest to bid higher against a whale than the value you actually want.

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No, you can vote 100% on 10$, and you will guarantee with 100% of your stake the 10$. That would be the idea of this proposal.

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This strikes me as an even more clunky Rube Goldberg machine than what we already got.

At least with upvotes/downvotes, it only asks a user to consider if they liked or disliked something. A bidding model, in theory, might solve some of the problems he mentions. But now everyone has to make up a number for what dollar value they believe something is worth, a lot more work and cognitive load. And if you really liked something, it would just mean you put a very high bid, so that you don't risk yours becoming a future "downvote" should others vote it higher than you originally did as an early curator.

In any case, for something to actually be a bidding system, it has to be that the curator actually makes a transfer themselves. And don't allocate from a rewardspool. Perhaps an idea for how to let multiple people bid for a sponsor role in a community?

My solutions is 1. that we just remove the inflation-based rewards pool from STEEM completely after SMTs are here. 2. That we focus on non-inflation-based ways to run a successful platform economy in which we make use of the fast and fee-less SBD and the removal of middlemen to allow more efficient, fairer, and better connections between advertisers, sponsors, promoters and other clients and the content creators. If creators who get good amounts of views are able to monetize their work well thanks to Steem without needing new tokens to be printed, then the whole worry of downvotes goes away anyways.

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Even if we go for an SMT based system, there will always be this fight about up and down-votes and how much SMT something is going to be worth. It is not going to solve this problem, but shift the problem away to a different "currency".

I do agree that the base concept of it has a higher cognitive load though, but, as I described in an above comment I believe that a lot of it can be solved on the UI level.
You could have a slider similar to the voting power slider which might be centered around the current value and give some indications of the median value of this particular user or community. I do think that most of these complexities can be easily adjusted on the frontend.

Reddit works fine with up and downvotes because actually people don't see who casted this vote and no money only visibility is involved. This makes their system inherently simpler. Imagine how toxic reddit could be if they actually displayed who up and downvoted your content, imagine how many toxic DMs you would get. That's why I think, even for an SMT, the concept of only "up or down" is not helpful.

Thus, my concept would remove the concept of down or up-votes from the system, yes, of course, someone can just put a ridiculous value. But if he doesn't, his vote will never turn to a "downvote" because this concept doesn't exist. If I vote 5$ on a 50$ post, maybe I am shifting the average a bit down, but at the same time I am guaranteeing the author a minimum value. If I don't vote 5$ on his post, and a whale votes with 0$, he might get 0$, but if enough people assess it with 5$, this will be much more difficult for this whale to counter. Thus, I am helping the author to guarantee this minimum.

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" Imagine how toxic reddit could be if they actually displayed who up and downvoted your content, imagine how many toxic DMs you would get."

I personally think that would vastly improve Reddit. I might even have a look at it then, because it would become a less toxic echo chamber overall.

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It is an echo chamber that's right, but it would definitely cause much more toxicity.

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I think you misapprehend carrots and sticks. There are toxic snakes. Because of this people avoid pissing them off. This decreases the toxic behaviour snakes have to endure.

On Reddit, enabling folks to suffer the consequences of their toxic behaviours would reduce the toxicity of their behaviours.

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There are downvotes on reddit, but you can't see who upvoted or downvoted it.

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"... just remove the inflation-based rewards pool from STEEM completely..."

Just... No. Unless you just propose that Steem is no longer availed a voting mechanism at all, and all of the functionality of voting is completely removed from Steem itself and becomes solely the province of SMTs. That is an enormous sea change for Steem that completely alters what it is and everything about it, which requires an equal amount of detailed consideration.

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Yes, besides it removing one of the biggest incentives of holding Steem power right now, we would need a strong shift to a RC based system before doing so.

I haven't read the comments yet, but I do find the idea intriguing. One issue with the bid process you describe in part, is that say you think a post has a higher/lower value than you have the SP to deliver. What does your bid mean in that context? What weight is your bid given? You are able to cast 10 100VP votes per day. Are your bids 100% votes, or 25% votes, such as I have long delivered, or .001% votes as some deliver? I don't think this is an insoluble question, just one that requires greater thought before it is more than a idea, and capable of being an actual proposal.

Thanks!

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Actually, the system I am proposing would not be too different from what we have now, you got votes which are worth a certain quantity of vests depending on the vests and VP you got and the % you vote with.

The difference is that this vote will evolve around a fixed point (the value you set).
Meaning, if the value of the post is under the value you set, your vote will contribute to add more and if the value of the post is above, it will remove from it.

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So, that basically renders the algorithm that will calculate VP deployed per post utterly incalculable, given that you vote on more than one post and others vote on those posts. The change in payout value will change on each post and change the calculation of how much VP to assign to that post. It will do this simultaneously on all the posts you vote. Each assignment of VP will then change how much VP you have available for each vote, and then have to change again on all posts every time someone else votes.

Not even the best quantum computer in the world can do this. It's basically an insoluble mathematical problem.

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Nono, the quantity of % of VP you add to it will stay the same always. The thing that changes is the actual value of the post itself.

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The quantity of VP is not stable. Every vote I cast at 25% VP changes the value of every other vote I cast, because my VP is depleted as I vote, and recharges when I don't. It's not possible for VP to remain the same when it is depleted to vote.

It seems you envision the VP slider eliminated. Not sure I like the idea of only being able to vote at a level set at the factory. I settled on 25% because that best fits how I use Steem, allowing my VP to recharge nominally to keep my votes relatively equally valuable.

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