Administrivia for changes to board


#1

I am preferring this communication mechanism over say, Skype. I want to move research-internal discussion to here.

I have two requests.

(1) I wish to make this messageboard password protected. Or requiring a verified login, etc. I desire this because I don’t want Twitter/Coindesk looking over our every thought and misstep. For example, I want to avoid the case of some researchers publicly disagreeing with Vitalik and it gets a little testy to morph into the coinbase/ethnews headline, “Ethereum research split! Fork coming?”

(2) I want to change the URL to something like http://research.ethereum.org or http://rboard.ethereum.org .

I volunteer to take the lead on both changes.

Comments appreciated.


#2

There are two sides to this. On the one hand, having everything totally open may hinder some types of discussions. Research member may avoid certain critiques.

On the other hand, the Ethereum is very much an open source project. It is a special open source, as it is also consensus driven. I am a fan of transparency (living in Sweden), and efforts to spread knowledge as much as possible.

Somehow enforcing verified users may be a good thing, minimizing problems with trolling (of which there has been none so far I think).


#3

Well, there are already invite-only Skype chat rooms for Ethereum research. I was thinking of this board as being the more deliberative version of those chat rooms.

I naturally understand that transparency is a good thing. However, I know I personally will be much more guarded in what I say if I know the ethereum-hungry media will be picking over our research posts. For example, I want to avoid articles like this:

https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-seeing-ghosts-vitalik-buterin-is-finally-formalizing-ethereums-casper-upgrade/

to start being based off on our posts here. (For me, trolls are not a concern.) For transparency, I think it’s sufficient for all of our work to be frequently updated on github along with the occasional press release. And when it comes to blow by blow conversation, I believe the value of being able to speak freely exceeds the social value to spectators.

Under my passworded version, obviously the board will be open to pretty much anyone who is active in ethereum research—there’s no desire for exclusion, merely not having to worry our off the cuff comments will end up on coindesk.


#4

I disagree pretty strongly with making this discussion board private. Not only will this seriously limit new members who might be interested in joining, it won’t prevent leaks for hitting the news.

If the Ethereum research git had been private I probably wouldn’t have joined (since I wouldn’t think I was qualified). It was only after spending some time lurking to get the feel of the place did I think I might have a little to contribute.

As for preventing news articles. It would be easy for someone to lie their way though the verified login to leak information if they wanted. The only way to stop this is to make it so the community can’t grow by very strongly limiting people who might want to join. This feels like a very bad idea for a free open source project. And the news writers will find other things to FUD about (Twitter comments, whatever), at least that coindesk article points to real papers that might lead a new dev interested in Ethereum to places where they can be of use instead of social media.

Ultimately, anyone who’s intellectually honest can see that reasoned disagreement (even if vigorous) or errors in a work-in-progress document are normal and healthy. Anyone who isn’t honest and is just out for blood doesn’t need anything real to make noise about.


#5

If the Ethereum research git had been private I probably wouldn’t have joined (since I wouldn’t think I was qualified). It was only after spending some time lurking to get the feel of the place did I think I might have a little to contribute.

I didn’t know Ethereum Research was getting organic growth like that. Thank you for disabusing me of my ignorance. @BenMahalaD, can you tell me more about how you came into Ethereum?

Well, if we’re going to continue getting organic growth, making the messageboard private would undoubtably limit that. Well, I suppose I rescind the suggestion at least until this board gets discovered by the wider world. If there’s then negative repercussions of the wide discovery, we can revisit the issue.


#6

I rescind the suggestion

The suggestion to move research over to here, or the suggestion to make it private? I’d very much welcome the former, as it may give myself and others more of a chance to contribute.


#7

I rescind the suggestion to make it private.

I immensely prefer a more deliberative message board over a chat room.


#8

Unrelated, I also propose we add MathJax to the Ethereum Research board.


#9

I was aware of Ethereum since the original ICO (I didn’t invest anything, it seemed like a clever idea but I wasn’t sure it would work or be good for anything). But I really became interested in Ethereum once I realized that with something like Ethereum + a decentralized storage solution like Swarm could allow you to host websites based on micro-transactions (where the user could pay for their bandwidth and storage usage costs directly) that could actually work. This could be a real answer to the dystopian add-based monopoly hell that the internet has become. Where businesses create Skinner boxes to harvest people’s attention for cash and allow people to use them for ‘free’.

Of course, Ethereum is a long way off from having a working alternative to the current system. Transaction fees are too high and the ability to buy and sell decentralized storage and bandwidth hasn’t taken off yet. But I think these problems are solvable in time, and I want to be part of that solution.

The fact that I’m going to graduate with a PhD sometime next year, want to get out of academia, and am looking for jobs is perhaps a more selfish reason for me to be involved in the community :slight_smile:


#10

@BenMahalaD Thank you for telling your story. I think a bit about our recruitment. And knowing our current “success stories” is very helpful in figuring out how to optimize it.

This one is you?
https://ww2.chemistry.gatech.edu/rig/group/index.html


#11

Yeah, that’s my research group. We moved from Georgia Tech to Johns Hopkins last year. Here is our new group page. https://rh.jhu.edu/web/


#12

MathJax seems like a very good plugin for this forum!

If you add it, please update the forum description with some link where to find more about it.


#13

I would definitely support both changes!

About the current state: Can anyone point me to other ethereum research resources (the mentioned skype rooms?)
Thanks!


#14

This is the public skype room.

https://join.skype.com/sY5sPn3qhTs1

The gitter is also popular.