The problem is simply this : dooglus does something absolutely usefuli for which he's currently not getting paidii. This is in my view immoraliii, inasmuch as what he is doing is useful he should be paid for it. The problem is that what he's doing is principally useful to S.DICE, and him being on S.DICE's payroll is singularly the one thing that'd damage the credibility of his work.
This creates a painful dilemma, whereby highly qualified work that takes time and effort creates a product which is valuable mostly to the degree those chiefly benefiting from it aren't also the ones paying for it. As such this is a more acute restatement of what's known in literature as "the disaster of commons", which is an unfortunate state of affairs with no known good solutionsiv.
This problem isn't by any means limited to the convenient example I chose, everyone benefits from dooglus' work just as everyone benefits from Gavin's work, and from a lot of similar such efforts. Paying for the burnt coal however is pretty difficult to arrangev yet an inability to arrange for it significantly hampers the quality of everyone's bitlife and coinenvironment.
Even if any further meaningful bitcoin development will be done by professional teams on miner payroll, which is probably a good solution for that anyway, and so that particular subset of the problem (which also happens to be the largest part of it) isn't very pressing, this problem still looms. One solution I'm currently experimenting with is the pay-to-read model, right here on Trilema. The uptake is pretty decent and the model is perhaps workable, but the only thing I can say definitely about it is that we need more data.
Another solution (mostly implemented in the fiat world) is to just bite the bullet and pretend like the interested party paying for the service doesn't corrupt the service provider. Fiat world scandals like Arthur Andersen etc would seem to indicate this solution is mostly wishful thinking, and its continued application strictly depends on the use of the reality-suppressing set of governmental tools & apparatuses (which, of course, are unavailable in Bitcoin).
At any rate, I would like to humbly solicit the best and brightest minds of our generation to consider this problem. Who knows, maybe a solution emerges. Together with the (still unresolved, but much more technical) payments problem these are pretty much the only considerations of any import in any field of research currently. Nobody cares about a cure for cancer - and I say this from the bottom of my heart - and the hungry of Africa, Asia and Bumfuck generally may all die in agony to the last man if only either of these actual, important, real problems of humanity are ever so slightly advanced towards a solution. Thank you.———
- He processes about half the blockchain transactions (ie, the ones to and from S.DICE) in order to calculate actual site income, expenditure and net revenue and then publishes the result with daily regularity. The proof that his work is indeed useful is that the graphs he plots and summaries he releases are pretty much the standard used in any S.DICE discussion. [↩]
- I'm in a position to absolutely confirm he's neither on MPEx' or S.DICE's salary, so. [↩]
- This entire issue of work and pay is discussed in detail in an older Romanian article titled Ce ma intereseaza pe mine intr-un proiect. [↩]
- The only known solution, and a pretty poor one at that, is government intervention - something particularly unuseful in Bitcoin. [↩]
- And the arrangements people have tried so far are particularly dysfunctional and have little hope of lasting past the effort of their proponents. In a sense stuff like the Bitcoin Foundation are extraction engines - they do resolve the problem of paying one (small) developer salary at the cost of creating significant credibility problems for those involved and generally taking more work and resources to administer than the benefit in the first place. As such they can only continue through wilful inefficiency and consequently won't likely last and can't possibly scale. [↩]