Some questions about building a data center

Honestly for Jeff Bezos it’s a pretty insignificant amount of money either way :rofl:

What is the alternative? The miners dictate how the protocol advances? (Thats not intrinsically bad… but it’s also a choice. All designs need these hard choices)

Also… it seems the docs gave you the impression that people have way less influence than they actually do in governance. I should clarify that:

Due to the “follower” model, a cryptographer like Dan Boneh May have few ICP but have many followers who vote how he votes. This gives experts more voice.

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  1. Jeff besos is worth around 130Billion. He couldn’t buy 51% of ETH even if he wanted.

  2. The ping was less about Bezos but about risk… how easy do we want to make it for people to tamper? Or take control? These are security concerns. A network that can be tampered with $1MM is less secure than a network that needs $1Billion to tamper with. Nothing is perfect.

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I think a token holder voting model is good, I was just saying it’s not realistic to think any of these major decisions will go against the will of Dfinity any time soon and once a precedent is set it is very hard to change. I do think token holder voting should be reserved as a last resort for things that can’t be done algorithmically, basically network upgrades. It’s a lot harder to get people to vote to enable a permissioned model than to get them to abuse one that is already there.

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You are right. I do think Dfinity foundation has a lot of inertia. Even without the foundations tokens, it’s reasonable that a lot of people just default to “follow” any researchers or engineers who work here.

Our goal is to seed and make sure IC is healthy. It will be a steady progress as more people take our place. I don’t expect it right away.

However… I do think you will be surprised how many data centers, node providers, organizations, there will be even within 1 month, or 1 quarter or 1 year.

I realize we need to prove that to you: words won’t matter, but having an IC that does not need Dfinity is the goal.

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Fwiw… I really do appreciate your points. They helped me clarify my own thinking. You did point out some areas where I was lazy in writing or thinking.

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Teasing apart decentralization - Notice we teased apart what people usually mean when they say they want decentralization. They usually mean two things:

  • Their apps are living in an environment that no one can tamper with (no 2 + 2 = 5)
  • There is a way for people to take part in the growth of the network (getting rewards by voting not doing puzzles)

Just want to let you know, this reads as “you think you know what you want, but you don’t”, which I’m not sure was your intent. I don’t think many developers would choose to develop on the IC if they didn’t understand what decentralization is and what the benefits are.

The main point of decentralization, not listed above, is trustlessness. The promise of “unstoppable canisters” touted by Dfinity was in line with this… up until today, where we learned that canisters can be frozen by ICP staker vote, and that becoming a host requires a ICP staker approval, in addition to a legal public identity.

It’s fine to have this permission model, a lot of cryptocurrency projects have it, but I’m sure developers would have appreciated knowing that this is the case before deciding whether or not to invest their time in the IC, and not one day before launch.

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I think you are right. My writing does read more condescending and bull headed than I intended. That was certainly not my goal.

I guess I’m surprised by your concerns since the stuff mentioned is actually stuff we have been talking about for years: NNS being able to control everything (I think it’s even as far as 2017). The new stuff just fills out the details (types, proposal categories, etc…). That surprise may have bled needlessly. That is my fault, not yours.

I guess it’s just a classic reminder that if you write something and someone does not get it, it’s the authors responsibility.

To quote from a blog post from 5 months ago:

The NNS enables the holders of ICP governance utility tokens to lock them in voting neurons, which can then be used to vote on proposals submitted to the system that can be automatically executed, and can be made to follow each other in various ways such that they vote automatically — which in some sense, represents a form of liquid democracy. The workings will be described more fully in forthcoming technical reveals, but needless to say, many of the proposal types that it can process relate to the management of the Internet Computer’s underlying network, such as pushing upgrades and fixes to node machines, and creating subnets to scale out capacity, and this is where the real complexity currently lies.”

Source: Announcing the Internet Computer “Mainnet” and a 20-Year Roadmap | by Dominic Williams | The Internet Computer Review | Medium

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“The main point of decentralization, not listed above, is trustlessness

Clearly our goal of “tamperproof” Is not enough, so It seems (but I could be wrong) that you are saying a very valid goal: “I want no one to ever change my code… even if the whole community disagrees with me,” is that right? Honest question.

If so, you wouldn’t have that promise even with Bitcoin. If 51% of Bitcoin miners wanted to zero out your account, they could.

We are just putting out in the open and directly embracing that risk and designing failsafes and ways to channel it.

There are game theoretical reasons why they would
NOT do that (arguable as network becomes more valuable, it actually becomes more secure…).

I still suspect I may not be getting your high level concern, but I’m clearly not seeing it (alas… 18 hour days leading up to genesis May have fried my brain, so I’m sure i am not paying close enough attention to your posts).

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I respect you people for the great work. Dfinity is the blockchain with by far the smoothest UX I’ve ever seen. My dev experience is great so far. I very much would like to see it success and bring to the world some real innovation. So tired of seeing EOS, TRON and the kind over the years.

I read about NNS, I’m fine with NNS and votes, but I have issue with what can be voted on.

You see, people didn’t expect that joining as a node is one of those things that needs to be voted on. It’s understandable if the requirement is one needs some ICP tokens at stake to become a node. But why would we need approval on top of that?

Well, decision is made, there’s no point to argue further at this time. I can only voice out my concern.

Yeah people vote but who make the proposal? And who got the resource to lobby? So far what I hear is just, “trust us, we’ll make the right decision”. I have no problem trusting people, I have no problem using AWS either. But man, you guys are building a blockchain, trustlessness is everything.

This model just feels wrong. Even if you guys are good will champion of the project, questions still remain. Why bring in human factor in the first place? Isn’t cryptography enough? How to ensure votes won’t be controlled by cartel?

Guess we can only sit and see how things play out.

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I agree with your general attitude and you hit the nail on the head few times (we had similar observations).

After, making the network upgradeable is our way of saying: "We know we did NOT think of everything and the IC needs to improve beyond us. Past us."

One of the reasons we call it the Internet Computer is because the Internet was seeded by a few orgs (such as Xerox, Stanford, etc…), but it lived beyond them and upgraded past their designers intent.

You can also propose and vote to change that! We do not know what the future will hold. we are sure the IC will need to change and adapt and needs to be better than any of us. That is why from the get-go we decided it must be not just tamperproof and upgradeable… a tricky balance to get right.

Anyone with a neuron. it wikll be trivial to make a proposal as per the Genesis demo on the NNS UI.

I guess what I am saying is that the human factor is ALWAYS there in consensus protocols… we are just making transparent and on-chain. How many Bitcoin mining company CEOs would it take to reset something? Cryptography guarantees that consensus rules are followed. People can collude and do bad or dumb things and still be following consensus rules. We design against two scenarios: one where few people collude behind closed doors to control… or one where protocols don’t advance. We opted for transparency and upgrades to balance those risks.

You are 100% right that as a new network the IC does not have anywhere near enough players to as we would like. And you are right to be skeptical. Hold us to it.

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i value trust, I don’t value lack of trust. I personally think this project is interesting inasmuch as it helps create distributed computing infrastructure. I don’t think the blockchain part is useful or helpful at all, unless it is indispensable for the project, which I do not think it is. I think it is good if we are all known to each other.

Can’t agree more. Many of us are sick of seeing EOS, TRON and these BS coins controlled by cartels. The more I read about what dfinity does, the more I feel like this coin will be headed to the same direction.

The requirements to join the network as a node should be measured and granted automatically instead of giving “numbers of people” who hold the tokens to have a full control on whos to be datacenter.

I’m pulling all my investments out and telling all my friends as well.