Proposal: Let's not get #rekt - Workshop + documentation-driven Study Group

I rarely feel good about downvoting initiatives. I don’t feel good about this, but I feel it’s necessary, as I don’t see this as a good use of funds.

Thanks for asking.

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So, I’m going to give my thoughts and observations on this subject:

Thoughts on the Proposal:

• The current proposal, from a risk/reward perspective is not a passable proposal.

• Retrieving the funds for the Joss incident is also not helping with the proposal offer. I have sympathy for what happened, as I too, have lost money due to misunderstandings of the technology/process/precision required to not make mistakes when operating within web3. It happens, learn from it, keep pushing for this research…but it should not be attached to a research proposal.

Thoughts on the interaction:

• Pat, you are in a difficult position because of how active you are in this community. From my limited perspective, you are GenDAO.

While I agree with you on this proposal, we should figure out a better communication process that prevents you from falling into the realm of possessing too much charismatic authority. (Perhaps more GenDAO members should at minimal, begin practicing in engaging the broader community when a proposal idea is introduced.)

• There IS an asymmetry of information, and we all sense that. From a users perspective, it is difficult to distinguish between the wants of GenDAO and the wants of DAOStack. When you reject a proposal written on an open forum, that view holds weight, and presents itself as the view of both GenDAO members and therefore, the DAOStack team.

Thoughts on the research:

• The pursuit of performing research (this being a continuation of the DAO Landscape research) is something that I believe should be valued by GenDAO.

The point being that, you have at your disposal a community willing to put forth the effort to help build the informational infrastructure necessary for DAO’s to succeed. If GenDAO/DAOStack members have a vision for this informational infrastructure, there is a group willing to listen and contribute.

• With that being said, I think it is important to educate each other on what a good research proposal looks like, how we derive value from that effort, and most importantly what knowledge do we desire most.

I, as well as many others, look forward to helping with any research/work that needs to be performed to help this community to become successful…and that means being hyper-aware of how we communicate with each other.

Learning how to have difficult conversations, and ridding ourselves of informational asymmetry are tough tasks, but they need to be done.

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CARAMBOLA. It seems Pat had legitimate reasons for downvoting, and he is being shamed for downvoting. This kind of guilting other for their honest opinions strikes me as CARAMBULA. Pat was articulate, he did not say anything personal against any person here. I do not feel he was “quieting” anyone and it became personal when the thread started talking about having an effect on other people’s lives and shaming him for being influential. There is nothing wrong with being influential. I call CARAMBULA on Joss for implying that Pat is being irresponsible in any way, asking his "feelings’ on his effect on others, and on her for quieting his voice, rather than being able to accept these constructive criticisms. This isn’t a therapy session. It is an open debate and making people feel bad for disagreeing is completely inappropriate.

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So this is a good point to make, and one I try to be sensitive to, and I think it’s worth declaring my role: I am the Communications Lead for DAOstack Technologies, and I am compensated to be an active influence that represents the interests of the project as a whole, that is, both DAOstack Tech and GenDAO. As has been stated in the past, these interests are one and the same, that is to advance the development of the DAOstack open-source technology, grow the GEN economy, and increase adoption of the DAOstack technology. I don’t know how much this relates to the proposal at hand, but I want my position and my aims to be as transparent as possible. If there is an observed charisma here, it’s hopefully due to me filling this role appropriately.

There’s two things I want to highlight as additional folks have joined the discussion:

  1. First, there is the identified conflict-of-interest between this proposal and the previous – I would advocate that generally we should avoid these sorts of riders – as you elegantly put:
  1. Second, as identified by @eric.arsenault there are more effective ways of solving the problem this research is trying to solve – that is, to “help better prepare stakeholders against crypto volatility and ambiguity,” such as by adding additional cues in the interface. If we do research, let it advance directly Alchemy’s UX, in alignment with product development needs – but even as I’m writing this I still find it hard to say “yes, this is within the scope of Genesis” – I don’t see why it’s our responsibility to educate on markets, except perhaps in regards to the GEN token and its relationship to the market:

From Disqus:

Hi @natesuits ! Allow me to touch some of the issues you mentioned

  1. “Passability” - Even though this is a helpful statement, would you care to elaborate how could it become passable or at least why it isn’t?

  2. Extra funds - Just to make it clear, the idea is to have the extra funds request completely separated from this proposal. The idea here is emulate a “proof-of-work” from her part - working on mitigating the root causes of the trap she (and many of us) fell in.

  3. Soft reputation - Gotta say I completely agree with you here

  4. Info asymmetry - And here

  5. The research - Besides agreeing again about research, I’d like to say that our intention here is to go beyond that: a collective learning experience about a much need topic - crypto custody.

Back to 1) + some closing thoughts, allow me reframe the proposal structure here: a workshop for quick intro, a study group for learning deeper together, and a documentation consolidating shareable, actionable findings from both. A triple effort to improve the contributor experience of genDAO citizens. From this and previous perspectives, I struggle to understand what exactly makes this “not a passable proposal”.

Oh and I think this proposal is facing what @ezra_w discussed here, where prediction deeply affects proposal passing chances. Which apparently is more of a bug/exploit than a feature - as it brings plutocratic issues with voting that projects like Aragon or even EOS are facing.

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I think you need to read this passage again – @Ezra was arguing that positive predictions increase the likelihood of a proposal being passed – not that negative predictions increase the likelihood of a proposal failing.

These two concepts aren’t one and the same: negative predictions can only win viz-a-viz positive predictions if the proposal ends up boosted or passes through an absolute majority; timeouts don’t pay out. It’s actually very hard to predict negatively: you’re either a) buying time with the notion that the DAO’s greater majority hasn’t yet chimed in and will or b) hoping that a relative majority will swing your way in the boosted period (that positive predictors have had a lapse of judgement).

You’re probably thinking of the “Joe Lubin” attack where somebody could theoretically stonewall a proposal in perpetuity – this is a legitimate attack vector, but the sums of GEN staked would need to be far higher than what we’re observing now.


Good you bubbled this up as I think it’s an important topic… will add to the discussion in that thread when I get a minute.

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I agree it’s ambiguous, but reading it again I still have the impression he mentions both throughout the post.

Here, a quote where he directly mentions predicting to keep a proposal non-boosted as an issue:

This striking difference means that if a staker can contribute significantly to a proposal becoming boosted or staying non-boosted, they are having a very strong, direct effect on that proposal’s passing chances.

Gotta say I do agree it’s hard to predict negatively, but maybe not that much for GEN whales. And I believe that the cost of this influence is not super important if the protocol simply allows for strong influence in the 1st place. Which I believe is the core concern there:

Staking is not meant to have a strong influence on proposals passing” [Regardless of the cost]

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I am actually glad this happened, because the concept of riders is something that will naturally be pursued in different contexts of proposal creation. I’m not sure how you stop it from happening.

If you prevent the technical functionality for riders to exist, they will eventually just become embedded within the complexity of the proposal, with or without the communities consent.

If you enable the technical functionality for riders to exist, you allow for leverage to be created on behalf of the service being provided through such a proposal.

While this proposal isn’t the supreme exemplar, we can imagine that the concept of riders being utilized as a tool to leverage fraudulent (compromising) ends could become problematic (beneficial), especially in an environment of limited (competitive) service options.

I’d like to know everyone’s thoughts on this subject.

Hi @natesuits, could you clarify what you are referring to wrt the “concept of riders”? I can’t figure out how it relates to the staking vs voting issue, I’m surely missing something. Thank you!

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Yeah, I forgot about that… :man_facepalming:t2:
But yes, my concern was precisely the one you describe, the “permanent stonewalling”. I wasn’t aware that it’s been dubbed “the Joe Lubin attack”! Why’s that?
I just read Ezra’s post and his solutions make sense to me, especially the continuous boosting proposal.

Has there been any conversation within Genesis with respect to the parameters of non-boosted proposals? Would it make sense to assess the average and max of voters’ turnout, as well as the percentage of “dead” accounts, and take that into account to set a new threshold for passing a non-boosted proposal? Shouldn’t it be seen as aberration that not a single non-boosted proposal has ever passed?

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Because he’s a big fat whale :whale:

I don’t have a clear answer for you, but there’s a discussion here about it.


Hey! Apologies,

The concept of riders is not directly related to the staking vs. voting issue because I don’t think it should be evaluated from the perspective of whether such a proposal could pass/time out, but rather evaluating it through the dynamics of how the proposal was communicated.

It was a comment on the original proposal utilizing a rider clause that allowed for the consideration of a condition to the service being provided; essentially holding the thing that the community wants — hostage to fulfilling a condition they do not want.

This power dynamic has the potential to exist when there is a limited amount of human capital available to provide whatever services a DAO may desire.

Regardless of whether or not the service providers’ ‘work’ is digitally native or not, the concept of riders has always been a tool for leveraging power within human communication.

In highly competitive environments, these riders are used as a method to balance highly contentious core issues that have the community split into a binary path through increased ideological centralization of the community members. (This subject is directly related to the Values-Based DAO’s discussion.)

The use of a rider clause in this case, becomes a negotiation tool that ensures one path doesn’t dominate another — preventing quick movements away from the declared, and always subjective core-values.

The intention of my initial comments were to explore this concept from the capabilities of a DAO.

The questions I have on this subject are:

1.) Regardless of current technological capabilities, does anyone else foresee the use of riders becoming a norm within DAO Governance?

2.) If we begin to see the capability for proposals to be public and edited before they are officially submitted, do you foresee organizations with combative core issues favor an approach that results in very large complicated proposals, containing many riders (similar to State legislation) via negotiation/collaboration, rather than individual proposals that incrementally kick the can down one path or another?

3.) Is there a way to prevent riders? If there is, would there be a benefit to preventing them?

4.) If not, how can we accommodate the use of riders through features in Alchemy, that enable responsible and transparent practices? Do we even need to?

I’m currently stuck on this exploration and just wanted to know whether this is a non-issue from the perspective of others, or if it is worth exploring more.

It was a comment on the original proposal utilizing a rider clause that allowed for the consideration of a condition to the service being provided; essentially holding the thing that the community wants — hostage to fulfilling a condition they do not want.

You know, I could say that this analysis is wrong or that it feels quite disrespectful and all that.
But really… I see your concern, it is relevant, your analysis is super valuable, but the model which this looks like coming from is neither appropriate nor effective here.

Really, there are no malicious actors here. Hear me out when I tell you, we proposers are not attempting kidnapping a valuable proposal in exchange for undesired demands. Listen to the other +13 ppl that agree and support this proposal. This is not contemptuous, this is not an attack.

  1. One thing is asking for future consideration, a whole other is kidnapping or hijacking. The current proposal is independent from the extra funds request. Our combined work, in the root cause of a collective bottleneck, is one thing; and the call for help, as extra funds request for falling into the bottleneck’s trap, is another.

  2. And their relationship is straightforward: working for collective solutions to problems that stuck her individually makes her (future) request more meaningful, better backed and maybe even more deserving.
    I strongly believe that the rider mentality here is misplaced, same with the perception of shady clauses.

  3. I’m sorry, but how can you be so sure this is something the DAO doesn’t want? Or, even if true, again: enriching the context of the request (from a “mere” call for help to something backed by meaningful, useful work) is NOT an attack against the DAO. It’s the opposite, an honest effort to build an acceptable collective agreement around the issue. But I guess this is something we will only be sure after the request’s voting results.

I’d like to invite you and the people who stood against the proposal for similar reasons to consider different models. I really do. Maybe we should have a breakoutroom about Proposal Valuation Models or something. Let’s brainstorm that together!

The power for creative mending of fissures in the DAO consensus is so precious, byzantine fault tolerance for organizations at scale is something to be deeply and joyfully experimented with. Not condemned, quarantined nor stone walled.

We are all in this together. ::]

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I don’t have a clear answer for you, but there’s a discussion here about it.

Thanks @papa_raw! Just read it, it’s awesome. I’ll comment there so that we stay on-topic here.

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Even if the “Joe Lubin Attack” works X / Y times, Y - X / Y times Joe will get beaten out by an absolute majority, and GEN will redistribute from manipulators to honest predictors. An “in the long run” argument that I like, but some will say “In the long run we are all dead”.

But wait, to clarify, under a “Joe Lubin Attack”, if an absolute majority votes YES, will Joe Lubin’s GEN be redistributed to the GEN upstakers of the proposal?

By “greater majority” you mean “absolute majority”?

If I interpret “greater majority” as “absolute majority”, it seems that this will never happen, as there’s no incentive for an absolute majority to burn gas downvoting a proposal that would otherwise time out and go away.

Yes, this is correct.

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