So Daira has locked this thread that Eric Meltzer started about changing the consensus rules.
I disagree about Daira’s decision to do that, and I also disagree about the suggestion that changing the consensus rules is unethical. Eric has the right to run whatever software he wants on his own computer, right? If he chooses to run some software that enforces different consensus rules than the current consensus rules, he has the right to do that. I’m pretty sure we all agree that it would be wrong for anyone else to compel or threaten Eric to prevent him from running whatever software he wants on his own computer. Also, Eric has the right to talk to other people and to advocate to them that they should run certain software on their computers. We all agree that Eric has the right to say such things, don’t we? Everything else flows from that. There is nothing coercive or unethical about the proposal that Eric advocated.
But more than disagreeing about this particular moderation decision, I would really like to get the company out of the business of moderating forums. For one thing, it gives the company undue power over conversations, as demonstrated here. For another thing, Daira is a fantastic cryptographer and hacker — one of the best in the world — and there is a whole lot of core protocol work on Sapling and beyond that she could be focusing on more if she had fewer moderator duties.
Previously, I thought that The Zcash Foundation should take over the forums. But, thinking about it in light of the current issues, maybe they shouldn’t have undue power over conversations, either?!
You know who has done a fantastic job of running https://chat.zcashcommunity.com, where members of many different organisations and factions have been meeting on neutral ground for years now? @Shawn! That’s one of the reasons why The Foundation awarded him the first ever Privacy Guardian award. I propose that, if @Shawn is willing to take over running the forum, that the company transfer all ownership and controls to him, and that the Foundation give him a batch of 48 time-locked ZEC payments (one unlocking each month for the next 48 months) to pay the costs of running the service plus a little bit to compensate him for the tremendous amount of time that he has always put into serving the community in ways like this.
The point about pre-paying with timelocked ZEC payments instead of just sending him more ZEC each month is that this way he remains relatively independent from the Foundation. If the Foundation is sending another payment every month to cover the costs, then he will not be fully independent.
I like the feeling I have, when I meet with Zcash Foundation people on https://chat.zcashcommunity.com that we are on neutral ground, where neither my organization nor theirs has the ability to lock conversations, exclude people, etc.
P.S. I said I disagree about Daira’s decision to do that, but I’m not thereby instructing her to reverse her decision. These sorts of decisions about community gardening and moderation are not my job in the company, and I’m not interfering with the people (including Daira) whose job it is.