How did you find SourceCred? Share your experience!

The Outreach Team is working to understand how folks come in and out of our SourceCred community. Sharing your personal story can help us immensely!

We’d love it if you shared your experience in the comments of this topic. Regardless of when you joined, or how involved you are, tell us a bit about:

  • How you first discovered SourceCred. How did you find out that we exist in the first place?
  • How you first started to engage with SC. What was your first point of entry to the community? What was that experience like?
  • Did you stay, or did you float on?
  • Do you feel invested in SC currently?
  • Anything else that’s relevant to how you found SC, and how dipping your toes into the community made you feel.

Excited to hear from anyone and everyone regardless of your involvement level, time with the project, or skill level.

If you’d prefer to share your answer privately, feel more than free to dm @LB here on Discourse or on Discord (@LBS).

Thanks for taking the time to contribute to Outreach!

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Copying what I wrote earlier in a Discord chat,

#props to this particular post: https://github.com/sfosc/sfosc/issues/61 And https://sfosc.org/ in general. Which I got involved with because I care about the question of how to make doing things for the greater good sustainable. For me as a dev, open source is one of those greater goods :3

My trajectory from that was definitely:

  1. Run it on a community I know https://sfosc.org/sourcecred/timeline/@sfosc/
  2. Engage in discussion (forums first, then calls).
  3. Build something around it (skills needed: json, cli, generic scripting) https://github.com/sourcecred/widgets
  4. Ease into being a core dev.
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Super helpful!!! Thanks Beanow!

We met at Odyssey in 2019. While doing the rounds the SC team felt bright, creative, low key, calm and hype adverse.

I posted about non-prescriptive bottom up accounting. The response was empathetic in that enabling such was recognised as important but a longer term goal because scoping to the first verticals of Discourse/Github as an MVP was important

I floated on, but kept an eye on things. I tried to join a few community meetings but the cal link was broken so I couldn’t retrieve the Zoom link without pestering people or digging.

Hard to say, I like the non-violent communication so somewhat endorse you guys but having been burnt from belief I generally take the agnostic approach and remain indifferent.

I generally appreciate the culture you guys have been trying to build as I’ve watched the situation over the last year. Much more Credible than the rhetoric coming out of the like of Aragon and the other “governance” projects, it feels like you have some values in place and your generally congruent. Be careful not to dilute this until you have built resilience.

One last addition, which has probably been considered. Cred is fine grained right (grain for a reason I suspect) which is very yang in the focalisation and granular approach. How will you balance the yin, defocalise and integrate a more fuzzy macro view? Pardon if I’ve not caught up on progress and this has been covered ad infinitum :slight_smile:

Warmest, J

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Thanks for this interesting response @JoshAFairhead!

Sorry about that. Gcal has been a PITA, and we’re working on better organizing meetings. In the meantime, it’s always on Discord in the #General voice channel.

I hear you saying you’re been “burnt from belief” in respect to non-violent communication.

I’m feeling excited and apprehensive.

This is because I have a need to be understood, have clear communications, and work in emotionally safe environment. That you’ve picked up on the NVC vibe, even though it hasn’t been explicitely emphasized or formalized, makes me excited. That you’ve been burnt makes me apprehensive; indeed, non-violent communication can be very violent if done unskillfully or with malice. Even doing it face-to-face, with all parties having good intentions, it’s difficult to be skillful. In virtual, text-based environments, it could be hazardous.

I would request (not demand!) that you share as much as you’re comfortable any further thoughts you may have on this.

Not quite sure how you’re applying yin and yang here…but that’s interesting to explore. Wikipedia’s definitions of yin and tang:

Yin 陰 or 阴 Noun ① [philosophy] negative/passive/female principle in nature ② Surname Bound morpheme ① the moon ② shaded orientation ③ covert; concealed; hidden ④ ⑦ negative ⑧ north side of a hill ⑨ south bank of a river ⑩ reverse side of a stele ⑪in intaglio Stative verb ① overcast

Yang 陽 or 阳 Bound morpheme ① [Chinese philosophy] positive/active/male principle in nature ②the sun ④ in relief ⑤ open; overt ⑥ belonging to this world ⑦ [linguistics] masculine ⑧ south side of a hill ⑨ north bank of a river

So I’m interpreting your statement, “cred is fine grained…which is very yang in the focalization and granular approach”, to mean that making explicit, public value judgements on specific, small-scale contributions (e.g. this post), is overt (in the sunlight), positive (it is a positive-sum game by design), and masculine (perhaps requiring assertiveness and encouraging agressive competition)? I’m interpreting your “How will you balance the yin, defocalise and integrate a more fuzzy macro view?” to mean that the macro view (sum of all contributions) is currently less focalized and granular, containing more covert or concealed contributions, and feminine in nature (i.e contributions from feminine energy aren’t getting enough credit, per usual?).

Perhaps I’m reading too much into that, and I don’t mean to single out groups. But a couple generalizing thoughts:

I do think the yin is underrepresented. Largely because it’s difficult to measure many things, making them “covert”. E.g., we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to value emotional labor, which is very difficult. One way we’re trying to address that is the #props channel. This allows people to say thanks for any range of things, allowing them to be as vague or specific as they want, depending on their comfort level (e.g. “props to X for supporting me today” could be for emotional support). We’re also trying to be more expressive with the Initiatives plugin. For example, below is a whiteboard session where we mapped out cred flows for CredCon (event at EthDenver).

Here we can see a lot of actions getting cred that wouldn’t otherwise, including emotional labor, domestic labor (cooking, cleaning, etc.), logistics, etc. The first Initiatives are set to merge in this recent pull request if you’re curious or have ideas there.

Another approach that hopefully incorporates yin is encouraging more synchronous, high-bandwidth communication (e.g. hanging in Discord voice channels, two weekly open team meetings (community call and team meeting). I think this goes a long way in surfacing information otherwise lost to text-based comms. E.g. I try and hang out in the #General voice channel when working just to shoot the shit if people want to.

But I agree, there’s still a long way to go. My general opinion is that we need to a) be proactive in building and protecting values, and b) increase the bandwidth generally, via more synchronous comms and more expressive, data rich sources (e.g. we’ll soon be officially merging the Discord plugin and capturing that).

Phew! OK longer answer than I was planning to write, but was a good excuse to express some thoughts!

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A Tweet. Sometimes I trip out about how much a single Tweet changed the course of my life :grimacing:

Posting a rant about how SourceCred could be used in the coming revolution. Felt excitement bordering on anxiety.

Stayed.

Very.

Felt more dragged into it against my will by realization of its potential power and the values of community, which I identified with.

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Hey @s_ben cheers for the detailed response.

So addressing the thoughts about NVC I think it became decontextualised once separated from LB’s comment. I was actually addressing the “do you feel invested” question so my answer was more intended as a no, I don’t speculate generally having been burned from belief several times, I’m now about as agnostic as they come - rather than talking about NVC in particular.

Addressing that one though; my thoughts around communication is put out high signal, minimise noise - Shannons communication theory.

The form that communication takes (violent or non-violent) should IMO be considered contextual - I endorse both when the context is correctly inferred. There are some people that need to be communicated with violently; non benevolent leader/celebrity types that be ego trippin’, while most others should be communicated with more softly. From my perspective the patterns our actions take most often come from a place of unconscious trauma that we’ve not integrated.

I’d say that your synopsis on the TAO of currencies is pretty good apart from (IMO) falsely considering yin currencies to be positive sum - that would be more of a yang trait. Yin currencies from my frame are scarce and thus zero sum - I guess another way to look at this dualism would be qualitative(yin)/quantitative(yang).

I’m hesitant to talk further about these concepts publicly because I’ve learnt from experience that language is easy to appropriate and then simulate without actually doing the character work required to actually assimilate the concepts; there are a few entities in the Ethereum space actively appropriating this kind of material for top down stage dances while failing to model it congruently (cheap signalling) so I’ll have to stop here for now. If you want to take it private I’ll happily discuss these concepts further :slight_smile:

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Would you feel more invested if you knew that by posting and interacting here, you’ve earned 474 Grain (latest payout balances)?

Think a lot about information density generally.

Interesting. Think of the game as generally positive sum. But there is some tension in the algorithm generally due to necessity (by constraint or design) of negative feedback loops. E.g. when a finite amount of cred or Grain needs to be distributed among contributors.

Happy to talk interesting stuff privately. In DM’s if you like, or in the voice channel if you’re game. I’ll hang there sometimes just in case people want to shoot the shit, announcing my presence in the #chat-announce channel. Could also schedule a time :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info but to be honest not really, I’m here out of intrinsics :slight_smile: I’m generally unsettled by notions of gamification, hence staying far away from the likes of MetaCartel and most other DAO’s - epigenetics would suggest that the people involved will loose sight of the big picture and normalise into reductionism by repeatedly optimising for a number and becoming prey to more malicious game designs (e.g. DarkDAOs). So while I love the culture and content you guys are building/producing here, I wonder if your optimising too specifically? How are you going to avoid reductionism? How can you defocalise and think macro rather than micro?

Cool, your referring to which game? the CredSperiment?

Yeah, I feel this tension and can see you guys are trying to solve a really tough problem. How can we achieve abundance from scarcity? Think about the term “open source” - what is the source and how open it? Do you think the originators of the term were referring to software or themselves? Can we give abundantly? How open/closed does the membrane need to be in order not to dissipate/atrophy? How can we progressively open the sources of creation and creativity? Extrinsic carrots are better than sticks but how can we move beyond the paradigm of extrinsic conditioning entirely? How can we gain more agency in our lives?

My personal bent lately (not necessarily shared by all), is that we avoid reductionism by ingesting ALL THE DATA! Get a rich graph to analyze, then develop human-centric processes (i.e. decentralized governance) to reach consensus on macro issues. E.g. a couple times now we’ve come together as a group and discussed in real-time what the high-level weights should be for macro-level contributions, with real reputation and money on the line. I think it’s gone surprisingly well. There’s a lot of work to be done, for sure, and governance mechanisms to be explored, but I think we’re on the right track.

Another approach to getting a clearer macro view is data visualization. Tweak the weights until it feels right…then propose changes. I’m excited that @vsoch is creating a python implementation for this reason, as python is more accessible to the data science crowd. This will also be aided by the new CredRank algorithm, which groups contributions into time-based windows (called epochs), which will make temporal analysis easier.

If you haven’t seen it, in @decentralion’s podcast interview, they do a good job explaining the basic high-level philosophy, including a discussion of how to avoid creating a Black Mirror dystopia.

Yup.

They were thinking about making money :money_mouth_face: From wikipedia article, “The term “open source”, as used to describe software, was first proposed by a group of people in the free software movement who were critical of the political agenda and moral philosophy implied in the term “free software” and sought to reframe the discourse to reflect a more commercially minded position.[3]

The holy grail :slight_smile: The problem of funding open source has been worked on for decades by some of the smartest people on the planet. Yet it remains uncracked…But I do think blockchain is providing some major breakthroughs. I make my living primarily from working on SourceCred, and another OSS project (Decred). That’s pretty amazing. SourceCred is still funded with investor money, for now, but Decred has block reward funding that will go for years, possibly decades. And once SourceCred implements boosting, I think it has a real shot at financial sustainability (so bullish on boosting…). We also have a kind of dream team working on all the related problems, from ex-Googlers, to a PhD social scientist entrepreneur that models membranes for a living (@mzargham), to an veteran OSS developer that’s been working on the OSS sustainability problem (@Beanow), and more. But yeah, lots of hard problems still to be solved.

Lately, I have been meditating a lot on power. Specifically Faucault’s idea, explored in this amazing podcast series, that there’s two types of power:

Foucault would want to draw a distinction between two different types of power that we come face to face with in our societies: a distinction between what he calls repressive power and normalizing power.

Repressive power is the type of power I was just referencing…boots on the back of the neck, military invasion…essentially someone forcing you to do something you don’t want to do. But there’s a sense in which this type of power is inefficient and really only necessary if someone is actively defying you, which can raise the question: are you really in power if someone has the ability to cross you like that. No, TRUE power would be if you could somehow get people to believe that it was their idea to behave the way you want them to behave. True power would be if you could get people to think it was part of their personality, the very DEFINITION of what it is to be themselves is in accordance with the way you say they should be. THAT is the task that’s accomplished by the normalizing power of society."

SourceCred has explored repressive power a bit, in the form on licensing–even in cuddly OSS projects that comes down to state violence, if used. But I haven’t heard talk of that in a while. The current approach relies on game theory, which incentivizes projects to flow their project-specific grain to each other (extrinsic carrots). But, I also suspect that we’re playing with normative power. We’re creating cultural norms, and scaling them. One way SourceCred has been described is that is “scales community values”. The dystopian potential, as addressed by @decentralion in their podcast, is primarily mitigated by not having a single, monolithic system rating us all. But rather each community setting their own norms, customizing the algorithm, using decentralized governance to set weights, etc. This to me seems idealistic and pragmatic. It enables decentralization, localism and the power of exit. Macro issues are solved (within projects) by their own governance, to which SourceCred is just one input. Boosting (if it works) brings in funds from outside the “membrane”, allowing projects to trade and be financially sustainable…holy grail.

A short answer might also be, I believe SourceCred will work for the same reason I just spent 45 minutes writing this for free. Or rather, a likely small, but still as yet undetermined amount of cred->grain->USD.

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Just so there isn’t confusion, I started a python-implementation but it was decided at cred con to hold off since everything was changing so quickly. The last time I worked on it was February 13th (branch here https://github.com/vsoch/sourcecred-python/tree/add/sourcecred-core) and there needs to be some kind of “freeze” and plan in place for continuing development before I pick up again.

Edit: and just to be clear, when I say “freeze” I don’t mean “everyone stops everything no coding allowed!” I am referencing more of a version release to base the first implementation off of.

Update: on the team call meeting today it was decided to to “freeze” the current release so @vsoch can move forward with the python implementation.

Woot! And I think this will be https://github.com/sourcecred/sourcecred/issues/1679 ?

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Hey, I am contributing to the MANA project : a crowd sourced index of worst-in-class companies regarding their impact on forest accessible to everyone.

pitch : https://vimeo.com/225069570 v1 : https://mana-vox.org/search-results

I found your project a while ago but it’s only recently that it came back to my attention. (Recent insights on sourcecred for metagame contributed as well).

MANA is still early stage, the 2nd version is coming this year (400 companies will be followed). The different hooks I can think of for now is :

  • the MANA sources are certified (identified as experts in their field) at the moment. We are looking for a mechanism that onboards new & more granular sources. We need to find a way for which they can send alerts & get reward at some point

  • engage people to contribute in the platform development for the version 3 could be interesting as well