What happened to these ideals?

Someone recently shared this video on Telegram: Contact @grinprivacy :
Coinscrum_talks :: to Grin's Daniel Lehnberg - YouTube

I think it worth to watch it and think how far we are from those ideals. I think it would be nice if we ask ourselves: are we still circumscribed to those ideas?

While I was watching the video I remembered the book The Cathedral and the Bazaar from Eric S. Raymond, pretty cool stuff.

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That is the only idea.Hope one day in the future

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The person interviewing Daniel asked about a year ago for an interview and I suggested a few other individuals. It seems like none of us wanted to be interviewed :see_no_evil:

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For me the answer is simple, yes, we/I am still subsribed to those ideas.
Nothing changed to the reasons why I first became enthusiastic about Grin and as far as I can tell these ideals are still what Grin is working towards. Still a lot of work to do, e.g. the self forming teams to work on different aspects and have better decentralized governance and better scaling. The community council is a step in that direction to help facilitate those teams and initiatives.

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I agree with you on this, at least in theory I think that a Community Council is the right thing to do.

I can understand that moving from those excellent ideals (which I share a 100%) expressed by @lehnberg in the interview to where we are right now happened after years and years on constant pressure from many vectors. I feel empathy and respect for each member of the Core and I think they have received a very unfair treatment, specially Daniel who had to take all the hits many times during the last year or so. I believe that the approach of keeping Grin protocol simple, which @tromp defends, will payoff in the long run. Overall, I think they have done an incredible job. We can disagree in many things but it is a fact that Grin is still moving forward, and this is not a race but a marathon.

But, it is clear that Grin has become too centralized, it isn’t a secret. After watching the interview I could even find good arguments that could be used against the Core itself. I think the Core wants the best for Grin but Usability doesn’t seem to be a priority and trying to make things easier is what I’ve been doing since I started contributing to Grin++ in late 2019. I will be contributing to Grin until we can buy a pizza using this yellow thing. I will be posting later the road-map that I personally will try to follow. My initial intention was not to spend so much time on this, but I started to invest more and more time and energy into this.

Now… my question is: how could the Community Council prevent becoming another centralized front for Grin to avoid having 2 centralized fronts fighting each other?

Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room, we all need to work together on this, and at this point while I’m writing this post I recognize that we have sings of a broken relationship between some Grin advocates. I’m not taking sides, I don’t like how the Core seems to be holding Grin either, but it is painful to read how some conversations ends. It doesn’t help anyone. Some people will say that this is a common thing in the crypto space, sure, it is common, but at the same time it is counter productive and we all end up suffering in one way or another.

I love Grin, I believe in Grin and I’m more than willing to be part of a Community Council if the Community and the Core think that I am a good fit for it, but I think we should all be committed to the greater good for Grin. I liked watching that interview, it was refreshing and I think we all should to be subscribed to those ideals, if we do it, we could disagree but we will be able of taking the right decisions for Grin.

PS: I have not been very vocal regarding to this because I try to not jump into a conclusion without having a clear idea in my mind.

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And that is something many happy Grinners are eternally thankful for to you :pray:
Yes, @lehnberg has done great but difficult and necessary job for the Grin project.

The way I see it, it is not that the core does not want to improve usability, it is simply that they can’t for the most part. As @lehnberg points out, you need people from all walks of life in a successful project. The core developers are not GUI developers, and that is ok, as long as they support others who can do the work. As such the step to fund Grin++ mobile and Ironbelly has been one of the most important ones made since they simple allow easy usage of Grin. That is one step closer to buying a pizza with Grin, I will post once I have done that :slight_smile:

I do not think the centralization in Grin is that bad, I think it has to do with the governance being somewhat of a meritocracy, to be more precise, it is a technocracy. Now one thing that should improve in my opinion, is the appreciation/merits given to non-technical contributions. Once that is done, the projects moves away from a technocratic governance structure to a true meritocracy. This again improves the feeling of worth and belonging of all its members. This is something @lehnberg has started working towards, but since there was no community council to provide funding as well as a smaller community at that time (end 2019) it did not take much of. Thanks to him stimulating others to contribute I got tangled up in being active in the Grin project, as well as others like @Mokhtar, so I guess it was not for nothing :P.
I think moving towards better governance is iterative, I have seen the same discussion come by many times, each time the community (including the core) moved a bit more towards letting go of control, which is needed to allow everyone in the ecosystem to contribute and flourish.
I think probably we will have a discussion again about governance in 6 months or a year, and that is fine. It is just evolution of the project. As long as we hold on to our ideals and do not let these often negative discussion govern our spirit, the project will each time rise as a phoenix from the ashes, a bit more mature and a bit better than before.

This is also why it is fun to look back at old posts on the forum, just remembering my own enthusiasm as well as that of others makes me remember why I am here. It is important to celebrate more as community our roots, our milestones and where we are going to.

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I believe that too

Probably, but people overrate decentralization when it comes to important decision making. Imo if it was fully decentralized we would have a mixture of all possible solutions in grin and it would die in a few years - due to people not understanding the downsides of some solutions.

I agree with you, but at the same time we can’t even come to a conclusion of whether we like RSR or not, whether manual acceptance should be implemented or not etc. I think it’s important to figure those things out before we scale to more users since we don’t want to be changing the interfaces once they are used to them. I would love to see more opinions on that from the core members or anyone else who understands these things. But most of all i would love to have some productive non-insulting conversations about the pros and cons of different proposals - i believe that different kind of attacks are what lead to the situation we are in

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True, it is hard to keep composure and a positive spirit when others attack you, your ideals or your intentions to something you care about. Crypto projects can also fail due to attacks on its governance structure or simply by making too many good conversations go sour. That is why having a code of conduct as well as moderation is essential.
Anyhow, here we are even after many sour discussions :joy:, so I am positive we as a community can overcome these obstacles and keep moving forward.
Regarding the SRS and RSR, What I think we need to move forwards is make-ups/drawing of how these flows would look like to a user. In the end visualizations make most difficult topics much more comprehensive and easy to discuss. I think we will simply move towards using both in the future once the details are worked out on how to present them to users and for which use cases to use SRS and for which to use RSR.

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100%
People that really understands the protocol and loves to code (not to mine, insult others or margin-trade).

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i think less users less problem for Grin community and devs. Less exchanges and less pools.

Grin problem solved.

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Speaking for myself, the ideals are mostly the same as when I have joined the community. What is changing is that we’re slowly getting to know MW better including its downsides and it takes time and manpower to come up with the solutions to these new problems.

What I would personally like to see is less division on “us vs them”, specifically “the community vs council”. People need to recognize the council is trying their best to protect Grin and is not “against any and all changes”. The failure to recognize this by many is the sad part of the story here. Whether the community likes it or not, it often requires technical understanding of the protocol to understand why a feature is not fit for Grin. And it’s the job of those that do understand the change to evaluate it and hit the breaks when needed. There is no fast route to success as we have no magic wand to make problems disappear. It just takes time and resources to improve the software and figure out how to make it better - usability is a big part of this. I think we are lacking a bit on the programming side at the moment and hopefully this improves over time as the project’s codebase slowly matures and Grin gets more used/recognized. Perhaps we’d need more simple resources to explain also the technical parts of Grin to ease the onboarding.

There’s no guarantee Grin will succeed, but let’s have a little more faith towards some of the decisions.

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[draft]
I did write a small answer to your open question on Telegram (Telegram: Contact @grinprivacy) but I don’t want it to get lost in GRIN telegram history, so I will c&p it in here and later draft a full version of my answer
[end]

As my approach to it would be more on an infrastructure side , not so focused on development, as I am personally consider myself not a very good developer (in terms of programming) . But allowing to create more solutions around grin, this is mainly where I would on - to get GRIN used and understood. 

(1)
Currently (still not fully public) we are focusing on a payment-proof (GitHub - Grinnode-live/payment-proof-verifier: Grin payment proof independent verifier) [URLS endpoints are partially working (no TLS) at the moment, as its not public] and help BISQ adapt GRIN to their eco-system. There are still some open issues on the BISQ Github where I am involved.

(2)
Public community GRIN mining pool (can not disclose much atm, as we need to solve jurisdiction issues and I need to get the permission of everyone involved to talk publicly) - This pool will be for all our iChickens .

(3) Monthly GRIN meetups (first online) then hopefully regional distributed , with certain topics
(3.1) GRIN Newsletter has not been released since Daniel left for a break, and I am receiving a lot of messages from friends why there isn’t a newsletter.

But I need some time next 1-2 weeks to formalize this and make it pubic on the forum and describe a bit more where the community council can make an impact in comparison with the current council.

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I think that the bulk of the funds were donated to the actual keyholders to continue the development of rust grin until depletion.
I also think that the community must be grassroots and self financed.
DO NOT, under any circumstances, split the funds. That’s my humble opinion.

To my understanding, there will not be a split. But there will be allocation of funds to build some functionality for the community as well as well selected community mebers having a vote on spending.

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I totally agree with you If you’re referring to decisions that change the consensus rules or somehow affects the security and privacy, we need people with the correct mindset to improve the protocol without introducing new vulnerabilities.

Yes, and I agree with that and I don’t think that’s an issue by any means, the technocracy, I personally do not like the dictatorship of the majority idea. Now, I think we’re in an extreme I think. I don’t know if before 2019 it was different, some people say that when @igno.peverell was around it was better, I don’t know for sure, but hear me out: if we care of Grin, we need to keep pushing forward this thing.

Yes, I think that’s true too.

I would like to see the manual acceptance implemented, I will use it myself, but this is just me, I don’t see why should I impose this to everyone. I think that these disputes could be solved by just putting these features in the hand of the users. What do we need to achieve that? it requires more manpower and in order to increase the manpower we need more people involved, that’s why a healthy ecosystem is important.

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I agree about manual confirmation being optional in SRS, the bigger question is how to solve the RSR problem where (it’s not optional there)

Can you refresh my mind on this? Why is a receiver not able to not complete the last step in RSR? Or just point me to the relevant discussion, I searched for it quickly but could not find it.

Step 2 is the manual confirmation, in RSR step 2 is the sender, so he needs to manually confirm that he wants to pay the invoice. So in SRS you can have auto-receive, in RSR auto-pay would mean you can steal people’s money

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This should be ok. E.g. an exchange would simply link the wallet to their database and check in their database if the user has an outstanding balance greater than the requested amount and would confirm. the transaction, locking the requested amount in their own database.
Probably best combined with some timer to self spend the transaction if the user does not confirm within a certain period of time,

The same goes for using RSR when paying in a shop. The shop keeper would show you a QR code requesting payment, the wallet would provide a pop-up to the user asking him to confirm or decline that he wants to pay a certain amount, I do not think the shop owner has any reason to decline any incoming payment. If needed a minimal amount could be put as threshold by the shop owner, e.g. only accept payments of at least 1 grin automatically. Additionally the one-time use addresses proposed by @davidtavarez could provide better privacy protection here.

So in both cases there is manual acceptance or acceptance of payment by linking to an automated system to check user balances but that is all fine since RSR suits both these use-cases perfectly. E.g. paying like this in a shop would be identical to how a user pays with fiat money, nothing confusing about it.
In any case, I think when basically SRS and RSR are translated in a use case story like this and when it is graphically shown to the user what the process looks like, this would quite easily convince the nay sayers and people complaining about usability that the process is in fact very logical and use friendly.

That would be the 3rd step of RSR, this can be automated

The initiator chooses the amount both in SRS and RSR (shop owner in your example)

I still don’t understand how you would automate the 2nd step of RSR (so the sender paying) unless you would include some additional signature which would prove who the creator of the RSR is and automate it based on that