I recently learned of a user that was reluctant to post an idea due to the fear of the reactions of others. After some thought I had some ideas that seemed worth sharing.
As one of your humble volunteer moderators I’m primarily concerned with promoting this forum as a place where inclusion and freedom of expression are raised on a high pedestal.
Most online cryptocurrency communities that I’ve seen tend to become echo chambers of predictable and repeating narratives that often lead to errors of inductive reasoning (reasoning towards future probability). This is generally the result of heavy censorship. I’m repulsed by the situation that it has created at those widely used venues.
I believe that including diverse viewpoints will continue to make this forum an increasingly trusted resource. When more and diverse ideas are available, we are able to see a more accurate picture. That makes widely differing opinions a strength of these forums rather than weakness. Seeing arguments towards things we disagree with might not persuade us, but it could help us think in different ways about a problem that eventually help lead to a solution. It will also help us sharpen our own perspectives by analyzing the logic behind each viewpoint. I believe that this ‘plasticity of ideas’ is extremely valuable.
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” - Aristotle
Personally, I’ve become more open to changing my opinions on several issues here as a result of taking off my own ‘bias glasses’ and thinking honestly about differing views. To me, differing opinions have been more valuable than ones that I’ve agreed with.
“It’s hard to get a someone to understand something when their job depends on them not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair.
In contrast, inclusion and free-flow of ideas is usually what users with a specific agenda are trying to prevent. They do this by turning their focus on the user with personal attacks rather than addressing ideas with facts of their own. This has the effect of silencing and preventing new opposition as new users become reluctant to put their ideas out there. This situation almost always devolves the discussion and wastes the time of everyone involved. No new knowledge is gained. In situations where this has happened I’ve done my best to remove the name calling or outright threats, but it has admittedly been a difficult process balancing that with freedom of expression.
One thing I’ve learned is that being nice is incredibly important if you actually want people to listen. Emotionally charged topics about ones livelihood, profitability, investments or risk assessments can make something as simple as being nice extremely difficult, but it’s important if you actually want to influence another user with your perspective. Some users in the past have used this forum as a place to vent anger, but none of those efforts have succeeded. By all accounts it turned other users away from their message rather than persuading them.
So, if you want your ideas to have an impact, the best thing you can do is to begin with kindness and end with respect, no matter the outcome of the discussion. If you call me a mutant poptart, I’m not very likely to trust your approach to problem XYZ, despite the possibility of it being the best solution. It’s just an example.
Many ideas presented on this forum will influence the future arc of development that Zcash will take. This makes inclusion, openness and freedom of expression a compounding factor for future development. It’s hard for me to envision Zcash being successful ten, twenty or fifty years from now without openness and inclusion.
The foundation of Zcash is being built right now. We need your ideas and your expertise. This is the perfect time and place to make them known.
Thanks for reading!