MGRC Diversity

Its too unwieldy, the instructions were very confusing since you’d have to enter 5x of the same question

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Instead of unnecessarily arguing, focus on how to make zcash popular by many people on the planet.

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Approval voting was chosen because it was less confusing? Pretty arbitrary criteria, right? I’m afraid it was chosen specifically to entrench interests and to avoid giving up control

Now @zooko is campaigning for longer terms. Not sure why… He has his own devfund! Wth


No, Helios does not support restrictive selective choice voting (only pick five from 19). So it would have had to have been five votes over the same list. - which would be confusing.

It is a limitation of helios not bad intent.

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Select 1 from 19. Next page.
Select another 1. Next page.
Repeat until 5.

We’ve done that before?

Choosing a selection mechanism should not be done so arbitrarily and I don’t believe it was an afterthought.

AFAICT it was always approval voting (emphasis mine):

As with previous polls run by the Foundation, the poll will be decided by approval voting for 5 members out of the pool of candidates, and the 5 members with the most votes (with a maximum of one ECC and one ZF representative, if selected) will become the founding members of the MGRC.

That doesn’t result in the “choose only 5 of the candidates” poll that you appear to want; a voter can accidentally (or intentionally) select the same candidate multiple times.

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I was running off this information, which im pretty sure predates that info. (may 14th v april 15th)

I dont have a problem with approval voting or the legitimacy of the process. I was just curious as to what changed from this post to the blog post. As amiller pointed out helios doesnt support this exact format.

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I think we should be very concerned. Again, MGRC should resign

Wait, your tweet says two different things. That quote is what Josh C. said was going to happen but is not what actually happened. The vote was not limited to each panel member only having 5 votes. Is that guy responding to your text above or the quote from Josh?

Plurality Voting is an electoral system in which each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate.

If it had been the way Josh C said then it would have been Plurality voting (?) but we had Approval voting (choose as many as you want)


Thanks for putting this forward, and it helps me catch my own biases a bit, especially the phrase about passing the buck: I want to believe I’m good person who wants good things, so if there’s some problem I contribute to, it much “just” be some external mechanical cause which should be easy to fix without changing who I am.

OTOH, I also think in addition to changing hearts and minds changing the mechanics is also super important. For example, there is probably not a single person in LA who wants traffic jams, and yet every day millions of people participate in them. I believe the reason is due to incentives and the way the infrastructure has formed due to incentives, even when every single person wants something different.

But, to follow the LA example, people’s hearts and minds need to be in it. If LA built great new bike paths and super convenient light rails and changed zoning rules so that it was easier to live close to work, people would still need to be aware of those improvements and want to change their lifestyle to use them before the traffic problem would be abated.

For me the case for diversity in the governance, design, and community engagement for Zcash is straightforward: if we want ZEC to be a global permissionless currency adopted by billions of people, then it has to be designed to meet those people’s needs, and that requires requires people with the tacit knowledge of direct experience based on their culture, gender, abilities, and beliefs to help build that. It also requires people to have a sense of stakeholdership in ZEC, and that means connection along these axes of human experience.

So yes, voting on MGRC one key piece, but there are so many others, like which ppl receive dev funds, how the CAP is formed, how community engagement happen, and so forth.

In particular, I personally am interested in figuring out how to grow the CAP to be more diverse and also how to connect a critical mass of participants to Zcash governance & development who’s preferred language is not English.


Thank you for taking the time to write a polite & thoughtful response.
This discussion reminds me of the phrase “res ipsa loquitur”. The thing speaks for itself.

The results speak for themselves here, whether it was the objective intent of the system builders &/or users, or the revelation of unconscious biases. However unpalatable the results, it is what it is. Though it may be shocking to speak so plainly, the direct causation of the lack of diversity is the thoughts held in the minds & beliefs held in the hearts of the system builders & voters… This time around.

As for the LA traffic jam analogy, it can seem that way as an individual user who derives detriment from the status quo, but when the system is viewed as a whole one can also see an entire industry of people whose livelihoods depend directly on the consequences of those traffic jams. There is an entire local industry built on LA freeway fender benders & therefore there are many who not only want them but require them.

Some groups do benefit from the status quo & will not want that to change, but would never have the courage to say so publicly. To even hint at such things would undermine their objectives. This is true in any group subject to governance.

The point is, there are always groups in power who directly benefit from maintaining the status quo, or it would not be the status quo. But this may not be readily apparent to those born into the groups who benefit from the status quo, who have known nothing else but existing as a beneficiary at the expense of others in the population.

Everyone needs to learn to step outside themselves & into the shoes of those they seek to empower, with meaningful empathy, or risk looking like “just another white savior” who has little chance of making connections along any axes of human experience but the ones with which they are already familiar.

Making people want a product once its available: Yes. I could bend your ear for hours on exactly how to make that happen & why that hasn’t happened in this case so far but that’s neither very pertinent to the current conversation nor my place to say these things without request.

Yes, it does require people have a stakeholdership, not a sense of, but an actual stakeholdership. Otherwise its nothing better than all the other promises from all the other groups & companies. When results turn out such as they have in the current voting circumstances, people who seek inclusion once again see more of the same industry status quo lack of diversity.

From the outside there does not appear to be any “walk the walk” regarding DEI issues. This creates unnecessary constraints & preconceived notions about the project before meaningful connections along any axes of human experience outside those represented by “the board” are made. It can even preclude those connections from being made. From the 10k foot view all homogenous boards look the same to someone on the outside. Why make things harder than they already are?

We all know the project faces significant sentiment problems. To pretend otherwise is doing a disservice to the main objectives. Entrenching some of those issues with another homogenous board does a disservice to the main objectives. If the project is to be successfully adopted by billions of people, it must do the opposite. But again, that’s outside our scope here. The bottom line on this issue is that you can be very good at math, very good at science but you also must be “very good at people” or meaningful adoption is at best at jeopardy.

The fact that this must be discussed at all speaks volumes about how much work needs to be done to give the project even the appearance of actual diversity. I’m not saying that to be mean or rude. I’m saying that because it’s true. I’m known for pulling no punches & will always extend the same courtesy here because there’s no benefit to corporate sugar coating language. I have no fence to straddle for the sake of my personal business interests, as others do, so I’m taking the liberty to speak freely.

I can tell you how to grow the CAP to be more diverse. I can tell you how to connect a critical mass of non English participants. But again that’s outside the scope of this thread…which I’m very glad to see being taken seriously with significant participation.

You can’t out math, out game or out code human nature. Despite being some of the most brilliant minds in the field, you are human. No human has ever been able to out math or out science human nature & they never will. It’s tilting at windmills. The only thing that can change lack of DEI is a legitimate change in perspectives & beliefs in the minds creating & using the solutions.

Or a diverse enough, large enough group of stakeholders, system creators & voters so that those who caused the current lack of diversity issues are a smaller percentage stakeholder of power & control than those who are the intended recipients of alleged empowerment.

If you don’t understand people, you can’t empower them. If a board is homogenous, it is at a great disadvantage to understanding those they need to reach & persuade, to at the very least achieve their stated business objectives, whether they truly take them to heart of not.

Otherwise the biases, conscious or not, will leak through to the results every time. It has for all of human history & I am skeptical that this time is different. The thing is the sum of its parts & that means everyone involved is charged with the personal responsibility to do better. We can split hairs all day about what constitutes “diversity” or how to quantify “meaningful”.
But at the end of the day the results speak for themselves.

PS: I don’t know how to do the cool quote thing on this platform. This reply is in response to Nathan’s preceding post.


There are many ways to achieve this, i think. I don’t mean to make the process unnecessarily complicated, but since we are brainstorming… here I am spitballing:

  1. Pick a panel. The ZF picks panels of candidates that cover the requisite range of diversity metrics (it may not mean gender or race specifically. Just whatever leads to better potential outcomes for Zcash, e.g. people with different backgrounds/exposures), and CAP members vote on the panels.

  2. Pick roles, then pick people for the roles. ZF (or the CAP) votes on how what roles need to be filled, e.g. the privacy practitioner, the legal person, the BD person, the user, the crypto enthusiast from a different network, the VC guy. The CAP then votes on people for each role. This allows you to pick the best combination of roles, and then the best person for each role (rather than the five best quarterbacks, to use a sports example).

  3. Vote twice. Approval voting to narrow down from say 30 candidates to 10 candidates. Then vote again now that you have more color on the composition of the remaining candidates.

There are other ways to make the votes a little more nuanced:

  1. Have people rank or weight their votes. It better expresses preferences (though i haven’t spent much time thinking about the downsides).

  2. Ensure that voters have done a fair share of homework, to avoid “just vote for the person i know” behavior (aka familiarity bias). Even in restaurant voting the professional voters are asked to confirm the last date of their visit to the restaurant: The voting system | The World's 50 Best Restaurants

I want to be very clear that the elected five have my full support. I am very happy with the results; most of my favorites made it into the MGRC. (Though I think @alchemydc was a big miss. Integrating what the ECC is doing on the protocol level into how we shape the applications of our community is vital, IMO.) Last thing I want is to detract from the quality of the results with “how do we do this better talk.”

Separately, I actually disagree with the last few posts that seem to imply that people were voting based on biases. While there are (self-aware or unaware) misogynists and racists in most groups, I don’t think there is likely to be many such persons on the CAP (although this is better left for people who personally know most the CAP to adjudicate on).

However, people do vote for the people they have met/interacted with/understand. I would probably do the same without the right structures/assists in place… even if I knew that that might lead to a board that was not as diversified as it needs to be to be most effective. Not everyone plays Moneyball in their free time (I don’t!).


Impeach MGRC, expand ZCAP to <33% insiders and their first order referrals; Then, (invite more candidates) and re-elect MGRC with 5 of N voting instead of n of N.

@ml_sudo Vote twice. Approval voting to narrow down from say 30 candidates to 10 candidates. Then vote again now that you have more color on the composition of the remaining candidates.

This stands out to me as a simple and easy-to-understand approach, one that keeps all the power in the hands of voters, and one that has other advantages.

@zecretary Lack of diversity is not caused by nor can it be solved by modifying or replacing a voting mechanism.

This is definitely true. But it seems like there’s some process of getting from where we are to where many of us want to be, and that if we don’t try changing things like voting mechanisms, we’re more likely to get stuck along the way.

It would be great to be wrong about this, but it seems worth trying, alongside other efforts.

I can tell you how to grow the CAP to be more diverse. I can tell you how to connect a critical mass of non English participants. But again that’s outside the scope of this thread…which I’m very glad to see being taken seriously with significant participation.

To me, making the CAP more diverse definitely falls within the scope of this thread, since the power here flows from the CAP, and many future candidates will likely come from the CAP. So I think it would be fine/great to discuss your ideas here!

Starting another thread or restarting an existing one would be great, too.

I’m not a fan of diversity for the sake of ‘diversity’, however defined. I’m for merit, and I voted based on that.

I’m happy enough with the results. Even if I weren’t happy, it’d conform to the mechanism previously agreed upon.

Though what I’d be happier with, is getting down to business, rather than hand-wringing over optics. (That may not be what’s going on here, but I feel it should be said.)

If the MGRC thinks it’s within the best interests of Zcash to onboard further advisors in some more official capacity within their committee, that’s awesome – it’s their committee. And their decision-making process was always up to them anyway, so you do you.

There can always be a change in the voting mechanism for the next term. (IRV?)

However, I don’t appreciate having to fill headspace with what I see as possible drama, especially if somehow that’s overturning the results of the election.

Just get down to brass tacks and make us proud. :muscle:


what he said :point_up_2:t2:


It’s not necessarily their committee if it was created through capture.

Losses compound as creators capture and
entrench themselves… Say, by extending term limits in light of their own long-term projects and discussing trade-offs and dictating voting mechanisms behind closed doors

Meanwhile, diversity also compounds like a Cambrian explosion… We should not lose the initial conditions to do this… These were our initial stated intents And we are facing a faux pas…

If we expand the Z cap slowly and unsurely then after 4 years we have lost 4 years

I will make the case to expand the zcap first and hold a re-election where we choose five instead of a pool party with the popular table. Stop the presses

If not now then when? What’s the rush? Everyone has their own fund. Roll it back


I fully support this board and the process that lead to it! I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear in my earlier posts.

Totally concur! I think it’s natural for these discussions to crop up now because the process and outcome are fresh on everyone’s mind, but if I could wave a magic wand I’d have the forum go almost silent about MGRC for 2-4 weeks on the expectation that the MGRC will show up with an announced plan of action for this term. :wink:

Otherwise, I’m worried they’ll be swamped reading posts about changing MGRC voting in the future instead of having time and space to execute on their mandate.

So again, to be super clear: I very much support this board and the process that selected them, and I look forward to what they come up with.

(Meanwhile, in a couple months we could pick back up on how to improve on future iterations of MGRC cycles. Alas, I misplaced my magic wand.)


I love this phrase and thinking.

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Thanks for the detailed response. Lots for me to mull over. I especially like the entrenched interests and LA traffic jams conundrum.

Ironically, I’m now going to tackle the easiest issue to address in your post, a technical issue: :sweat_smile:

If you select some text in a post, then click reply it shows up as a quote in your post. While you are editing a post, if you scroll up and select text from another post, a “quote” button pops up. If you click it, it will pop that quote into your draft.


(Edit: Those instructions are what work for me on desktop Chrome. Not sure about mobile or other platforms.)

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