Wrote Article on SourceCred

Hey all. Have just published an article on SourCred and how it could work with DAOs:

DAOs and the Missing Link: Reputation Protocols

Let me know what you think!

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Nice work @s_ben! Thanks for writing it, and @mzargham for ensuring that it got promoted to the official SC medium.

Awesome! Thanks for putting this together :slight_smile:

What is a DAO

  • The autonomous portion focuses on the code enforcing how the organization behaves, but I think we can take it one step further: to be truly autonomous a DAO needs to own and control it’s assets. This includes it’s code and the interface for members to interact with it, but also the website, docs, code repo, etc… turtles all the way down the stack. Everything the DAO needs to exist in the world needs to be owned by the DAO in a way that is trustless and that no one can take that away from it unless they completely shut down an entire system like the internet, Ethereum, IPFS, etc…
  • Also, the decentralization portion of that is really all about who can affect the state of the DAO and how. Some of this is influenced by the infrastructure which the DAO is built on, but the other half of decentralization is decision making. I think this point needs to be emphasized. An organization does things and it needs a way to do those things. The decentralization portion means that no one person or thing can do whatever they want. The governance process needs to be decentralized. Most people don’t make the connection that without decentralized governance you don’t have decentralization (unless you have no governance in which case you’re just deploying stateless non-upgradeable infra).

Governance

  • “While it is possible for DAOs to use off-chain governance, where decisions are made at the social layer (reddit, GitHub, etc.), to avoid centralization, most DAOs reach consensus via some form of voting.” Are there examples of this in the wild? How and why would decisions for a DAO ever be made off-chain? Doesn’t a DAO have to have functionality for decision making built in? Or are you viewing “Ethereum” (code, network, community) as a “DAO” in the sense that it is somewhat organized, somewhat autonomous, and more decentralized than most other projects?

Valuation

  • “As seen in centralized systems such as corporations, subjective valuations can be used to reward loyalty or retaliate against those that challenge the existing power structure.” +1 to this! Having experienced this over and over it’s really refreshing to see alternative models being developed and tested :slight_smile:
  • “Members are free to add value in different domains, at different levels, and collaborate in new creative ways; if they are not paid for that work, the value prop vs traditional companies diminishes.” This is the life changing question: how do we make sure that value created is rewarded so that contributing to the commons is sustainable, fun, and rewarding. Solving this problem unlocks so much potential in so many areas of human society.

Intersubjectivity

  • “Because the SourceCred contribution graph is composed of both contributions and contributors, it is inherently intersubjective.” This part is not clear. I mean I know what you’re talking about because I’ve done a little research on SourceCred, but anyone just reading this article would not. As a reader I want to know why. Why is this sentence true? Maybe add more stuff to the post explaining what SourceCred is and how it works?

Proof-of-X

  • Really like the pictures and visuals here

Summary

  • It would be nice if there was a “summary” paragraph before the conclusion paragraph summing up all the other sections that were just discussed. I’m already familiar with everything you’re talking about and I can’t even remember or list off all the sections I just read. For a reader hearing about SourceCred for the first time it’s probably a lot to take in. Reviewing and reinforcing the core ideas from each section in a summary paragraph would really help it all the ideas come together. Then that would be a great transition into the “conclusion/future” paragraph

Hope that’s helpful! Overall really stoked about this post so that more people can learn about SourceCred :slight_smile:

My 2c: cred as a concept is inherently intersubjective, because it represents a shared subjectivity. An individual’s belief about how credible someone is, or how valuable their work has been, is subjective. Cred is one step further: it’s the communities shared conception of how valuable some work has been.

SourceCred scores are an attempt to make quantitative and explicit this intersubjective reality of cred, and it does this by mixing the objective (who wrote which commit) and the subjective (I liked a post) together. However, I don’t know that the “mixing objective and subjective” is what makes it intersubjective, per se. Since cred (the concept itself) is intersubjective, I think even a version of SourceCred that only used “objective” data would still be intersubjective; it just probably wouldn’t be a very good/useful intersubjectivity.

I recommend reading Sapiens to get more of a feel for intersubjectivity.

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Agreed. I think once IPFS, DAO platforms like Aragon mature, I think we’ve reached escape velocity.

Yup. Referring mainly to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other “no governance” projects here. Many argue Bitcoin is the first true DAO. And while I think that requires using the most high-level, flexible definition of a DAO, those networks are also the only truly decentralized ones (so far). But, that off-chain process (e.g. BIP, EIP) are essentially technocratic councils at the end of the day.

Same. If we could just achieve one goal, the ability of people to speak their truth to power, while keeping their jobs, it would revolutionize society.

  • “While it is possible for DAOs to use off-chain governance, where decisions are made at the social layer (reddit, GitHub, etc.), to avoid centralization, most DAOs reach consensus via some form of voting.” Are there examples of this in the wild? How and why would decisions for a DAO ever be made off-chain? Doesn’t a DAO have to have functionality for decision making built in? Or are you viewing “Ethereum” (code, network, community) as a “DAO” in the sense that it is somewhat organized, somewhat autonomous, and more decentralized than most other projects?

One of the reasons I’m excited about SourceCred is that it seems to have the potential to do this:)

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Dude that’s awesome! Please write that down and put it somewhere prominent where people will see, reference, and remember it. That’s such a great way to sum things up and I wish I had had that succinct explanation when I was explaining SourceCred to people

Ok cool. Since DAOs are opaque and new/weird to most people out there it would probably be good to explicitly define what you mean when you say that.

OMFG this is so refreshing to hear. I mean I know we’re all thinking it, but man… this would just be a dream come true :slight_smile: