Using SourceCred to track Human advencement

I don’t know how possible this is but I just wanted to share this before it goes down into the void of lost thoughts.

Say we want to categorise human advancement as a project how feasible will it be to track this- the progress made by Scientists, Artists, etc. using SourceCred.

I watched a series Genius Season 1 which captures the life of Einstein and his work however one thing that stood out to me was one of his theories where he challenged Newton and got ridiculed for it but as it turned out he was right and a thought came to mind - Newtons Cred scores will start decaying.

Until that time, Newtons laws had been the governing standard of our understanding of Nature but if we look further back we find that even Newton depended on someones [Johannes Kepler - Wikipedia](https://Johannes Kepler) work to arrive at his and as a result influencing the likes of Euler who in turn made his own contributions so on and so forth leading us to our current level of understanding.

What do all these people have in common ? They pushed Humanity one step further and have been recognised for doing so.

How does SourceCred fit into all of this???

Great discoveries aren’t pulled from thin air - at least most times. There have been individuals who have contributed things as little as an equation or a contrary observation that have changed the course of history that are unknown and if these can be tracked and given cred scores then IMO SourceCred can be as a determinant in choosing Nobel Prize candidacy and better yet be able to directly trace individual contributions made by less recognised people leading to the Prize using the Cred scores.

This is all fantasy to me as certain limitations come to mind even while typing this like:

  • Where do we even begin
  • How far back can/do we go down the historical rabbithole
  • How is Cred going to be measured and assigned
  • Is it even possible to track non digital contributions- so far SourceCred works wonderfully with OSS and Discourse/Discord but how do we extend this ?
  • How do we apply this to non measurable contributions like Literature and the works of other people that have helped humanity out in some way or the other ?

Finally it brings me to the hope that SourceCred can further evolve into something that be able to capture this contributions somehow someday.

Thanks for reading!


First, I wanted to say that I appreciate your curiosities…

I read this point you shared and I imagined what might come of the research currently being conducted in our server/ community. I believe the Meta-eth research team might observe the cultural shifts and influences and document the more nuanced contributions just by way of thier research on governance. But that’s just my opinion.

We currently have a few contributions that I think have been undervalued during the course of this project. While one in particular is a digital contribution the nuance of this contribution has not been addressed to my knowledge. (It’s our meeting attendance bot)

Ethnography Research

Back on July 30th (:lion:Leo Season!:leo:) @Ellie introduced the concept of bringing Ethnography Research to sourcecred’s discord server in the following post:

:fast_forward:Fast forward to the time of this post…

While the researchers are collecting data (with consent) they are also dropping by to hold various forums with our community.

The next one is called : “Blockchain and Legitimacy” (:point_left: pre-reading :wink: ) in the SoureCred server this coming Monday (11 October) at 11:30am PST

:sparkles: I hope you’ll consider attending the upcoming forum. :sparkles:


I love this, Joshua! The scientific world has attempted to do this for a few centuries through citations, which are a means to track the lineage of ideas (and give credit where it’s due). Digital object identifiers have meant that these things are now also tracked online and there are projects such as ARTiFACTS that are using blockchain for even better systems of attribution and possibly reward. The conversation happening around funding public goods on Ethereum has also touched on the need to reward all the contributors, including to the original/core innovations that pre-date Ethereum itself. However, I 100% agree with you that there are things that are harder to measure than these examples. The ethnographic research on SC is still in early days, but one thing I find fascinating is not just that SC has systems for recognising other work (#didathing, #props) but also that the community is now actively looking out for these things and making them visible. The result seems to be a community that has a very high collective intelligence (emotional intelligence even?) for things that are often neglected. For a newbie like me who happens to come from the world that measures very particular and narrow things (like journal publications but not other forms of writing) it’s strange to enter a world where the small things (like taking notes during a meeting) are commended, rewarded, and amplified. We already know from social media that amplification of certain views/values can have momentous outcomes. Amplifying evidence of what people do/have done is more than a calculation; it’s an action that shifts culture too. That said, I take the point by @AL0YSI0US that there are things undervalued at the moment, so it’s clearly not perfect. Just some early reflections.


Haha! Welcome to SourceCred my friend! You’ve found the hook and you see the journey ahead. These are excellent examples of the kinds of applications that were envisioned in the beginning of this project. A great extrapolation of the past into the future.

You’re right on track. Keep exploring and dreaming. <3

1 Like