Request for Perspective
I’ve had some concerns about the technology we’re building over the past few days, and I wanted to share to get feedback on my assumptions and whatnot. My hope is that someone will come along and dissolve these concerns.
Is “fairness” just an epiphenomena?
Basically, I had this sense that, in general, “fairness” in cred scores is an epiphenomenon, and that what’s really happening to establish cred scores is the same old interplay of power dynamics, leverage, and politics.
The current discussion about adjusting cred weightings more fair for community cultivation work is another great example. What I see as occurring is a survival adaptation. We need the great work of our community cultivators, and this seems to be more of a means of appeasing that branch. Out of the 25 replies so far, not one attempted to even roughly quantify how much cultivation work value is missed by our instance. That would seem rather important if we were actually trying to establish a fair quantification of value for cultivation work, no? Note that the proposal is judged by the opinion of individual stakeholders and not by any quantitative benchmark indicating fairness or unfairness.
My point here is that cred scores are not optimizing towards fair quantification of value. If they are, it’s an epiphenomena. On a deeper level, cred scores seem to reflect what’s needed for the organization—the organism—to survive.
Cred weightings/allocations are useful or not, not fair or unfair.
What’s useful to organizational survival isn’t always humane…
I wonder if right now we’re in a honeymoon phase where due to our tight knit, insanely capital rich (thanks Protocol Labs) community, we have the luxury of resting in the belief that we’re building something that promotes fairness and truth around the value of contributions.
Under the hood, cred is really evolving game theoretic equilibrium of power and material constraints. We can think of “fairness” as social leverage, but it’s not the only lever in the system. And it’s not necessarily the most powerful. It’s possible we only have the luxury of being fair, virtuous humans because of our privilege in global civilization that allows us to be here in the first place, and to spend the time working on this. How well will this generalize to other organizations??
Is this just a momentary anesthetic for the woes of capitalist power dynamics?
The first thing this makes me think is that we’ve ended up in the same conundrum that we dislike about “capitalism”. If there’s a class of people in a community who’s work is taken for granted and does not have power over the politics of cred, they can (and likely will over time) be exploited, whether clearly so or subtly through a paradigm that becomes blind to the exploitation.