“You will never be defeated if you know yourself and your enemy.”
When you don’t know your enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.
“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will surely be defeated in every battle” Sun Tzu’s Art of War.
Failure occurs when a group of people can achieve a desired result by working together, but because they do not collaborate their decisions. Collaboration failures are often the reason we reach the desired outcome, as they are common in many systems around the world.
What is Collaboration Failure? Some examples of collaborative failure in the modern world are.
Nation states refuse to give up their nuclear weapons because they want to protect themselves, even though they pose an existential threat to the world.
Consumers refuse to give up fossil fuel-powered services because they want to travel conveniently, despite the damage that burning fossil fuels does to the world’s environment.
Users of OSS consume OSS because they want to write new applications faster, despite the obstacles cumulative use poses to OSS maintainers.
The individual cells of the human body live in harmony and become the resource by which the organism brings them together; but if one cell is defective in this balance, it becomes cancerous-eventually overtaking all other cells and taking over the body.
Collaboration failure can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if one company decides that a crisis recession is imminent so it fires its workers, other companies may lose demand because of layoffs and then respond by firing their own workers, leading to an economic crisis.
Collaborative failure is a utopia without a dictator, a situation that every citizen, including the leadership, hates, but it is still unconquerable. From God’s point of view, there is an obvious problem with collaborative failure; from within the system, no single actor can create change, so the best option is to continue to ignore the problem. Multipolar Trap Collaboration failure is also known as a multipolar trap. A multipolar trap looks like this.
Individual humans want to breathe clean air.
There are things that need to be accomplished so that the air we breathe does not have high ppm.
Since clean air is non-competitive (me consuming it doesn’t stop you from consuming it) and non-exclusive (one cannot put clean air behind a rope and charge for it), this means that each individual actor has a reasonable incentive to use the system for free. If I’m already getting clean air for free, why should I contribute to a fund to keep it clean. This is the first trap: the single-player trap.
If enough participants choose to participate for free, the whole system starts to take on the burden, and if the burden increases to the point where the system breaks down, no one gets those public goods. This is the second trap: the multi-player trap.
From God’s point of view, the obvious solution is for everyone to contribute a little, but without a collaborative mechanism to ensure that everyone contributes, they won’t do so.
One way to reduce the impact of collaboration failures is to improve collaboration sufficiently so that the individual players in the game play like a multiplayer game. When participants in a game perceive that they share a common identity or purpose with each other, or if the negative externalities of their behavior are factored into the market-based decisions they make, they will play the game together rather than separately and avoid the second trap. Prisoner’s Dilemma A well-known example of collaborative failure is the prisoner’s dilemma. The Prisoner’s Dilemma is an example of a situation analyzed in game theory that shows why two perfectly rational people may not cooperate, and it seems to be in their best interest to do so. Here is the example. Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is held in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict both men on the main charges, but they have sufficient evidence to convict both men on the lesser charges. Meanwhile, prosecutors offered each prisoner a deal. Each prisoner has the opportunity to betray the other by testifying against the other for a crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The possible outcomes are.
- if A and B each betray the other, each will serve 2 years in prison. 2. If A betrays B, but B remains silent, A will be released and B will serve 3 years in prison. 3. If A keeps silent, but B betrays A, A will serve 3 years in prison and B will be released.
- If both A and B remain silent, they will both serve only one year in prison (for the lesser offense).
Because betraying partners offers greater rewards than cooperating with them, all purely rational self-interested prisoners will betray each other, which means that the only possible outcome for two purely rational prisoners is that they betray each other. In reality, despite what the simple model of “rational” self-interested action predicts, humans exhibit a systematic bias against cooperative behavior in this and similar games. The more participants trust each other, the more they will cooperate for the best common outcome. Bentoism Bentoism is the theory that self-interest is multidimensional. Today, we look at self-interest from the perspective of short-term individualism. What do I, as a person, want right now. While this view is consistent with our self-interest, it does not capture the full picture. Bentoism (an acronym for Beyond Near Term Orientation) is a broader view of what is valuable and in our self-interest. This includes what I want and need as a person right now (the present me). But it also makes room for considerations of our future selves (future me), the people we depend on and who depend on us (present us), and the next generation (future us). All of these spaces affect us and are affected by us. They are all in our self-interest.
Moloch: The God of Collaborative Failure In addition to the game-theoretic form, collaborative failure has even been attributed to a more intuitive form; the infamous 2014 article “Meditations on Moloch” imagines that collaborative failure is like a powerful demon that rules over humanity, tempting individual humans to choose defection over collaboration and ultimately imposing human suffering.
The Evolution of Trust Game designer Nicky Case has created an HTML5 game that allows end users to explore how trust – a high order bit when you’re designing for collaborative communities – evolves in communities. The game is worth playing on its own (click here to play), but here’s a TLDR of the game theory behind it.
How the Industrial Age Solved the Problem It is worth noting that funding collaborative public goods is a problem that governments have traditionally solved (with varying degrees of success). By taxing citizens and by using force to mandate that everyone pay taxes, governments have effectively solved the problem of free-riding. Either pay the tax or go to jail. In some countries, this has led to heavy funding of some public goods. In other countries, the funds have been spent poorly, or in some cases, in a corrupt manner and without accountability. “Taxation is theft” is a favorite talking point of libertarians around the world – government policy experts may disagree. It is beyond the scope of this article to spend too much time discussing this issue; partly because it is a very complex topic, but also because the world is changing and non-coercive funding of public goods is increasingly possible with the emergence of new technologies and new cultures. Blockchain collaboration is a solution If only there were a technology that allowed groups of humans to choose to easily collaborate with each other! That is blockchain. A transparent trust game at the bottom, where everyone knows where they stand and whose rules can’t be changed against you. I believe this is the vision for Ether. We can now weave our values into our economic system – the ultimate form of a stateful internet allows us to collaborate the actions of multiple economic actors, and therefore solve the problem of collaborative failure.
However, it would naturally be foolish to deny the current level of greed in the blockchain ecosystem. My belief is that while this greed is necessary for blockchain technology to bootstrap itself, it is not the final form of the blockchain ecosystem. Greed (digital ascendancy) is just the bootstrapper.
Cryptocurrency was not created to make you rich – it was created to set you free. Another way to envision the adoption of cryptocurrencies is like a multi-stage rocket. The first stage of the rocket is financial incentives (getting richer). The second stage of the rocket is more sovereignty (more freedom). One is designed for the lower atmosphere and the second is designed for the upper atmosphere. Unfortunately, without the first stage, we won’t have a second stage. I believe in the second phase of cryptocurrency because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen glimpses of the “fourth dimension” – a place where the failure of collaboration has largely been resolved.
Gitcoin’s mission is to use Ethereum technology to help solve the problem of funding digital infrastructure. Open source software creates $500 billion in economic value each year, but maintainers of open source software are often underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated. It’s a collaborative failure! Blockchain collaboration is a solution
Right now, Gitcoin is doing $6 million/quarter in funding for open source software and has provided $20 million in funding for open source software developers. We use Ethereum to create economic games (and relationships) between funders and builders of open source software. In the process, we learn about public goods and collaborative failures, and how to collaborate on them. Our goal is to start with open source software engineers because they have an urgent need (funding). They understand the need for patience when dealing with new technologies/UX.
The ultimate goal of Gitcoin is to fund our digital structures and the OSS that powers them, but there is a deeper level of help – solving the OSS funding problem. As blockchain technology matures, the model prototypes used to fund OSS can be forked and used to assemble any type of community to deal with almost any failed collaboration. A recent example is DowntownStimulus. a Quadratic Funding project designed to fund the economic recovery of Boulder, Colorado after the COVID attack in the second quarter of 2020. Our next move is to use the model behind Gitcoin Grants (secondary funding) for traditional open source software – the project we’re launching next month called FundOSS will be our pilot, featuring a $75,000 QF round. What would it look like if we could build a machine that could unite and ultimately defeat collaborative failure – defeat Moloch?
Over the past two years, the Ether community has united to donate over $10 million to OSS funding on Gitcoin Grants. With the collaboration of Quadratic Funding, we have demonstrated that it is possible to use a stateful Internet powered by Ether to address some of the failures of collaboration.
This is a start that cannot be ignored, but there are still many issues ahead of us. Gitcoin needs to scale 100x to have a big impact on the entire open source ecosystem, and there is still a lot of work to be done to make these collaborative mechanisms mainstream. Enemies, the status quo, apathy, indifference, and complexity are prevalent.
Of course, collaboration is a choice, and no outcome is preordained. But, the situation is stacked against us. And, because we know your enemy, we know we are all agents in a multi-player game trap designed to make us unable to collaborate by default. The good news is that ethereum and similar technologies are here to stay. If we are to conquer Moloch and travel to the fourth dimensional continent, there is much work to be done. But we have hope because there is Ether. We have hope because we know our enemy. The solution to systemic collaboration failure is to build human communities and markets in a way that enables better collaboration.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/is-blockchain-an-important-collaboration-solution/
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