In my prior post I introduced a proposal for creating a decentralized community governance system. This post will expand upon those ideas further and incorporate feedback from the EOS community.
To begin with it will be helpful to make a distinction between the existing EOS community and this new EOS governance community. The EOS community is a superset of the EOS governance community. The current code-name for the governance community is Eden Operating System (EOS). Eden is a process automated by smart contracts for identifying who is a member of a community and how much budget they are allocated.
The Language and Time Zone Barrier
One of the biggest challenges of any community is facilitating communication. Absent clear communication it is easy for two groups of people to distrust one another. The broader EOS community is composed of core developers in the West and a majority of users in the East (China). There are also important, but smaller, communities that speak Spanish.
One of the principles from my book, “More Equal Animals - The subtle art of true democracy”, is that democracies should be grouped geographically to support greater local autonomy and protect against tyranny created by the inability to effectively organize a secession movement. The people of the United States would have more power and representation if every county (~3000) elected one representative and the country acted as a democracy of counties instead of a democracy of 300 million people. The democracy of democracies approach protects the independence of the parts and empowers the people.
I therefore propose that EOS be set up as a democracy of democracies. In this case, there would be two independent communities each of which is allocated 50% of the budget. This would be like giving each state in the united states an equal share of the new dollars that are created. The result it democratic sharing of economic power.
The needs and wants of the Chinese people might be different than the needs and wants of the English speaking people, but we can coexist without worrying about the internal politics of the other side. Any time a decision needs to be made that impacts the entire blockchain (such as hard forks and system contract upgrades) then the leaders of the two communities would have to reach unanimous agreement. It is only the leaders that would need to worry about negotiating with the other community.
Furthermore, the local English and Chinese community members would be in a better position to hold their local leaders accountable.
The Eden contract would allow anyone to start their own community. I would start one community and I would work with the Chinese community to identify someone to start a Chinese community. Once these communities reach a threshold of 1000 members and have completed their first election, then the EOS block producers could vote on allocating 0.125% inflation to each community.
People from other countries speaking other languages would be free to start their own communities. When those communities reach a similar size to the English and Chinese then the English and Chinese can vote to bring those communities into the broader EOS community.
Becoming a Member
To become a member you must have an invitation and approval of 3 existing members, pay a membership due of approximately 3 hours of minimum wage (currently about 10 EOS), and be vetted by one of 5 randomly selected elected officials.
This is a “high” threshold and that is a good thing. As a member you are being given a lot of economic power and are expected to participate in live video chats with other members while fulfilling your duty to help govern the blockchain. If you are unable to find the time to earn the 3 hours of minimum wage required then how will you have the time to participate in governance?
The broader EOS community, which is not participating in governance, would benefit from abstaining from governance and allowing those more committed to funding the building of the community to set the direction.
There was some concern about the elected officials having too much work to “vet” people being invited. I believe this is a non-issue because assuming maximum growth (each person inviting 20 people per year), this would mean that the elected positions would have to approve at most 4 people per week. Given the example budgets, this would mean they are paid at least $60 per validation and each validation would only take 10 minutes. Since the growth rate is likely to be substantially less, these people will not be over burdened and will be well compensated.
Evicting a Member
If a member of the community is found violating the community code of conduct then they should be removed. To remove someone a bond must be paid by the individual making the accusation of a breach of the code of conduct. This bond needs to cover the cost of the trial in the event no eviction is made and should dissuade false accusations.
After making an accusation and posting a bond, 5 randomly selected elected officials are called to review the case. This might involve scheduling a zoom call and giving both sides an opportunity to defend themselves. If 3 of the 5 agree to evict then the individual who made the accusation gets double their bond back. At this time an investigation may be launched into the parties who invited / endorsed the member being evicted. If they are found to be inviting sock puppets then new charges might be filed and the process would continue.
There was some concern that the evection process could swamp the elected officials. I think this is unlikely given the stringent requirements of becoming a member in the first place.
Funding Development of Eden
I will personally fund development of the Eden MVP by hiring a small team with the request that if adopted by the community that the elected officials reimburse me for the costs. This will be done on the honor system, which means that the community could elect people that choose not to reimburse me.
Since I am proposing that Eden be split into English and Chinese communities it will not be possible for me to be part of both. I will participate like everyone else and if I win then that would imply consensus to reimburse me.
Bootstrapping the Community
When a community is first created, the founder will have complete control over inviting and evicting members until the founder decides to hold the first election. This means that a community can get some initial traction without a lot of overhead and that it can start to organize off chain before being formalized on chain.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be publishing updated design documents and specifications for the Eden smart contract. Most of my development team will start around April 15th. In the mean time I will be looking for community members with experience building interfaces for the smart contract, perhaps working with the Anchor team to integrate the governance process into their wallet.
Clarion will eventually become the decentralized communication platform that facilitates Eden governance discussions and community building.