So, Howard is at it again - as usual. I want to jot down some of my general thoughts about the bigger picture and perhaps get a discussion going.
If you are unfamiliar with who Howard Chu is, he is a Monero developer, and “saviour of NASA”, “saviour of the space shuttle”, or “saviour of a space shuttle radio”, depending on which of his re-tellings you want to believe. Most tellingly the chief engineer of that mission actually haven’t heard of him and pointed out that Howard got the dates wrong and mission launched after he claims to have left NASA [ 1 ].
“It is just a community member”
This is the usual way Monero likes to deflect any criticism. It is nice and flexible (after-all everyone is just a community member). Of course it ignores the fact that the whole community is structured to funnel money to people at the top. For a case study of what happens when a community member doesn’t toe the community line, I suggest looking into the “Xeagu affair” - when one community member added his own donation address to his leaflet - he was ejected from the community faster than you can say “community member” - he even wrote a long apology letter and was still told to bugger off [ 2 ]. Therefore Monero is quite capable of dealing with community members, they just choose not to in cases like Howard, Magical Crypto Friends or neo-Nazi members.
Gather 'round the gaslight
Right after @sgp organised ZCash funding debate on Monero platform (itself a subtle message that Zcash is incapable of sorting out its own affairs without help from a Monero platform), and letting Monero community members troll Daira and Sonya for 180 minutes straight on a livestream [ 3 ] I had a conversation with one of the ECC members, he said “The guy that moderated seemed ok” - seriously?
In the same vein, none of non-technical readers here will know that @daira helped to review the fix for the biggest bug Monero had in its history [ 4 ] - you certainly won’t read about it from their press release. I’m not sure how ze feels to be called by the same people a developer of “pure snake oil”, but the general strategy is fairly clear and consistent.
Whenever Monero wants something from Zcash (technical expertise, money for their conference, or to expose themselves to trolling) - it is portrayed as “working together” [ 5 ]. Whenever Monero needs something from Zcash - it is swept under the rug as soon as possible. Whenever it is time to trash Zcash - it is just a community member doing it.