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Reputation and trust are important in a free society. I was thinking today about ways that a blockchain-based reputation network might work and be immune to gaming. Then I thought of how so many people love to destroy reputations just for fun. Finding a way to keep them from wrecking the system is a very hard problem.

@gmcgath Indeed. You need a reputation system for your reputation system 🙂

@mindhog Some thoughts I've had: Give a person X quatloos to spend upon verifying real-world identity. Active participants periodically get more quatloos. They can spend them to enhance or reduce another's reputation. Reducing is more expensive. Limit the no. of points you can give to any one person. Problems include spoofing, tit-for-tat agreements, and of course mob thinking.

@gmcgath @mindhog There's this little detail those who can't or won't verify their real-world identity won't be able to participate.

@billblake2018 @mindhog There's no way to establish a real-world reputation without real-world identification.

@gmcgath @mindhog Current reputation theorists seem to disagree, believing that at a pseudonymous identity (as represented, say, by a PGP key) can have reputation.

@billblake2018 @gmcgath Yeah, I've always been a proponent of "opaque identities." Mainly because I'd like to see a reputation system that allows/promotes anonymity.

Generally, I think PGP's "web of trust" provides a nice model for this sort of thing. In that model you would tie a real-life identity to an opaque identity with in-person verification in cases where it's desired.

@mindhog @gmcgath The big problem with web of trust ideas is that "trust" is not a scalar. It's not even a constant. I don't really think it can be automated.

@billblake2018 @gmcgath I completely agree (at least with what I think you're saying). Although in this case, it's really "reputation" rather than "trust" that we're trying to quantify. But both trust and reputation are multi-dimensional: I may trust someone to fix my car and charge me a fair price for it but not trust the same person as a reliable news source.

But I think this problem is endemic to any reputation system.

@mindhog @gmcgath Sorry for the sloppiness, yeah, it's reputation not trust we're talking about; trust is a product of reputation, among other factors.

Or maybe you do trust the guy as a reliable new source, but only about sports news. Or, worse, the guy is a reliable news source about local politics but only when talking to someone he regards as on his team.

The idea of automated reputation is basically unworkable.

@gmcgath You're asking for the impossible. Reputation isn't a commodity, it varies with time and circumstances, and from person to person as they evaluate the times and circumstances.

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