Sunday, February 24, 2019

Actually Paying the Cost

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I wrote last month in my Different Choices series about the platform Aether, remarking on how slow the platform ran when contributing.

Except that's not the whole story.

What I didn't say is that the delay is intentional.

See, Aether uses this mechanic called PoW or Price of Work. PoW scales based on what you want to do; like a post, pay a small PoW; comment, pay a little more; create a thread, more still. This trend continues upward for creating a community and creating an account.

The delay is part of the design, and it exists for a reason.

When there is a cost for doing something, anything, you're more likely to make deliberate, intentional choices. On Facebook or Twitter, it takes less time to share an idea than it takes to come up with it, and the cost of that is a lot of meaningless, worthless, uncalculated posts.

With Aether, you have to stop and think: "Is what I'm about to share worth the time/effort to post it?"

It's certainly one way to guard against spam. Imagine if scammers had to spend as much effort crafting their posts as I do on a blog post? Doing things legitimately is far easier than trying to cheat the system; scammers and spammers only win when they can target the masses. Ad nauseum, as they say.

I can't speak for anyone else, but if it takes me more than a couple seconds to share what's on my mind, I'm going to take that extra time to be thorough in my arguments, study the countermoves, and double-check my facts.

A puppy dog doing something silly or a politician doing something stupid isn't worth that much time. I intend to spend mine more wisely.