Concise Research Topics


Man Burrrata you’re everywhere! Saw you on a USV post too. This one.

Thanks for thinking about the application I worked on.

Yeah anonymity would have to be part of it. I also thought votes could come in the form of micropayments. Like you vote with a little payment, if some threshold was crossed the payments would go to the person who proposed to be compensated for their good idea. If the idea doesn’t “pass” then the payments would go back to voters. So it’d be a win-win for voters.

The threshold for when a vote passes, what that means, its permanence, what information is available to which users and when, are issues that need to be worked out.

Then there’s tons of technical stuff as far as rigging a blockchain into the whole thing. Definitely never done that before.

Weighted voting is definitely relevant. Another solution would be to have some light barrier for entry for some groups. Or both those things could be employed.

I’m going to try and digest the links you sent. But it’ll take awhile.

So much work to do.

This is plenty to chew on.

Thank you so much for putting in the effort in responding to me. It is so encouraging. Hopefully we will keep interacting on this forum! Or I will see you in random corners of the Internet!


I like this! People are encouraged to propose things they know people actually want, and people are only encouraged to vote for things they actually want that they’re willing to pay a little for. Also disincentivizes spamming the system with random votes. Sounds like a win/win :slight_smile:

Trying to think if there’s easy ways to game that system… but if the vote proposals, voters, and individual votes were private then that stops most of the potential manipulation. The one thing that’s coming to mind atm is that someone could publicly announce that if X passes they’ll give everyone Y amount of free stuff/tokens. Of course this wouldn’t tell them who voted for what and who did or didn’t vote at all, so they’d have to pay out everyone and not just those who supported their proposal, but it still might be annoying.


That’s true about a person publicly advertising something passing. I can’t really think of a solution off the top of my head.


If you’re still interested in exploring the voting systems, these resources might be a good way to understand and cap downside risk associated with vote buying, signaling, and general manipulation of the small game (voting protocol) in the larger game of life (economic incentives, marketing, etc…):


One question from me would be : what qualifies an individual to be a “decentralized” oracle?


Thanks burrrata. I read the coindesk one.

Becoming an expert is like in football when you leave the ground to catch a pass. You can get crushed with your feet off the ground. That’s what it feels like to me. It’s scary.


@rouslan In what context? Can you please be more specific?

@owenfernau Join the club! Hard things are hard, but you’ve gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. Sometimes you’re the egg, but you might also metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly :bug::sunglasses: => :boom::dizzy_face: => :face_with_head_bandage::cry: => :thinking::bulb: => :rainbow::butterfly:. A quick search for “The Dip” or “Trough of Sorrow” might help. From my experience the concept applies not only to individual endeavors but larger market cycles as well. As Ray Dalio of Bridgewater ~says: “pain + reflection = learning”.


Okay @burrrata. You’re my guardian angel now.

Yeah, got to make sacrifices in other areas of life to free up the time.

The most fun is the thinking about saving the world part. But 99%, for me, is grasping the technical tools, and gadgets, framing, better smaller questions, from the big, idealistic ones.

Hopefully I can push the app, and some of the research required, forward this summer.



Cool! :slight_smile: (not the guardian angel part, but the learning part lol)

Regarding time, have you explored the Tim Ferris show or the 4 Hour Workweek? If not I recommend giving them a good search. They have tons of resources on optimizing time management by either automating repetitive tasks or just saying no to stuff that’s irrelevant.

If you’re into Rust I’m rolling a bunch of tutorials that will hopefully help make the technical tools easier to understand. My goal is to make them as simple as possible so that they’re easy to understand and can be explored in the browser. I just started on them last week so they’re a WIP, but if you’re so inspired I’d love feedback! There’s also a TON of resources available in the Rust community to get started with that language in general and people are usually super friendly (which is honestly the main reason I love Rust so much).

Also if you’re into JS and/or want to dive right into the standard Ethereum libraries the Cryptoeconmoics.Study code is great, as is the Consensys developer tools list here and here. The “official” or production ready Ethereum tools change, fast, so if you’re rolling something for production always double check to make sure your libraries/tools/best practices are up to date. If you’re just building stuff for education/entertainment purposes then you get to roll your own which I think is infinitely more fun lol (and also helps make ideas more concrete)

Oh! and regarding saving the world, I just stumbled across this post by Paul Graham that you might appreciate. Btw, his website’s content is as awesome as it is old school, so I highly recommend exploring beyond just this post too if you like it. Many of the posts are framed in the early 2000s, but the ideas are timeless. Bonus points because you can compare his ideas and predictions made back then to what actually happened and learn from people’s mistakes. The “don’t be evil” part in this post is a great example.


Hey Burrrata,

Thanks as always.

Okay, yeah I did read 4 Hour Workweek, but could probably review it, and Tim’s show for the first time. Another hangup might be trying to do it all myself. It’s discouraging and leads to wheel spinning, at least for me.

I don’t know much at all about Rust and am reluctant to spend the time learning a new language, but maybe if it’s a more permanent way to work it’s worth it. By permanent I mean, feeling like an app you make could have similar code 10, 20 years from now, instead of working with JS, it felt like everything I was writing was based on the framework and would mean sh*t once the framework changed.

Maybe that’s just the way the web works though. It’s only going to get easier to make applications. I’m ranting now, but for some reason the impermanence of web development is dispiriting. I like the blockchain because it gives a sense of history to the web. The web right now feels like a place where you can litter and it doesn’t matter. No definitive consequences. I think web3 will change that feeling we have. Like maybe if you do have to retool your app at least it’s hanging on permanent distributed information, instead of something that could disappear.

What do you mean “roll your own”? Just use whatever tools you want and then deploy and hope it works for awhile? Or just get it to work locally to learn something?

Regarding Graham, I thought I’d read all the good ones! But that one looks awesome. His writing is so content rich. Thank you!


What do you mean?

SAME. Those were my thoughts exactly, but that’s actually why I’m learning Rust too. All my favorite projects seem to be using Rust or moving towards it and all the developers I’ve talked to have great things to say about it. Bonus points because:

  • Rust forces you to understand a lot of the computer science concepts that also apply to systems like Ethereum (whereas with Python and JavaScript just abstract that stuff away and you would never know).
  • Rust is a compiled language, so as far as I know, if you write something that works and compile it, it’s set as a working piece of code that any computer can use. If you want to upgrade it you’ll have to recompile it, but as far as it working in the future everything it needs to function should be self contained in the compiled build.
  • There’s also a great Rust community and vibe, and frankly that matters more and more to me because it’s where I’m investing most of my time. You’re right that everything’s constantly changing and people are, well… people (fancy monkeys), but I just see that as even more reason to do something you like with people you like.

So I’ve been reading about a lot of stuff for a long time, esp regarding blockchains and Ethereum. It wasn’t until I started building things, and lately rolling a “blockchain” demo, that it really started making sense on a deeper level. Theory is great, but building stuff from scratch just makes it real in a way that nothing else can. There’s (almost) always going to be better production libraries out there for anything you want to do, and if you’re building something for production it’s probably best to use those, but if you’re learning nothing beats rolling it yourself from first principles. The more you mess up the more you’ll learn. There’s minimal downside and infinite upside :slight_smile:


Hey @burrrata ,

I can’t figure out how to do the quotes that you do.

“What do you mean?”

That was cryptic. Pretty much I have a dream of finding a perfect cofounder, and pushing the app above, into existence and tweaking it until it is a viable business and incentivizes prosocial behavior (however that gets defined) at the same time. Doing it by myself (with the help of an expensive online mentoring service - courtesy of the 2017 boom) didn’t get the product shipped.

Also there is real existential psychological sh*t around pushing a product (for me, an ex, and maybe current, poet). This forum isn’t the place. But I definitely get into the feeling of the idea being my “baby,” and not being objective about whether it’s actual going to work or not. Also thinking of “working” as a black or white outcome is probably wrong, and definitely paralyzing.

Another thing holding me back is waiting for someone to give permission, or money, so then I take on less risk of skills development, time, or money.

It would probably take 3 solid months of work to ship the app (probably much more with Rust) to the point that someone would consider investing money in it. Fine, if I believe in the idea that much, then do it, but it’s a risk and that’s probably the point.

Anyway, this is all pretty personal and off topic. I can’t tell if anyone thinks like this. Real artists ship no? If it seems worth the sacrifice, do it, if not, don’t.

Regarding Rust, awesome. The less retooling, the better. Maybe that really is the route. Especially if it’ll be around for a long time.

Okay, done thinking while typing. This message is kind of silly, but that’s more what I meant.


If you highlight a piece of text, an option to “quote” comes up. If you click that then it’ll include the quoted text in a reply. From my experience most of the GitHub markdown works in Discourse as well, but always check the side by side view to make sure.

So… I’m not an expert, but paying for stuff generally leads to sub-optimal results relative to just doing stuff and telling people about it. From what I can tell, in order to launch HappenIf you really just need an Ethereum contract, a UI, and a little sharing on some socials (Product Hunt, r/ethereum, etc…). Then you can can feedback on the mvp (which will inevitably suck and be full of flaws), and iteratively improve it to make it better if you still feel so inspired.

Cryptoeconomics.Study might also move to make things like this easier in the future if you’re down for waiting and uncertainty:

Yeah, so again… I’m not an expert and there’s a lot of roads to Rome, but I think that kind of the point of decentralized communities is that the applications and networks use cryptoeconomic mechanisms to create and keep value for the users in that community. Seeking external funding, while maybe useful for some applications, also holds you accountable to external parties. This flips the script from creating communities to creating applications that create something you can sell to investors which they can sell to buyers for an acquisition. If you’re interested in the VC world Fred Wilson has a great blog that dispenses nuggets of wisdom regularly, as do the other partners at USV. DYR and be mindful of incentives. Taking VC money puts you on a MUCH different path than bootstrapping a cryptoeconomic p2p network.


Hi @burrrata!

Thanks, you laid this out so actionably. To be honest given my skill level it would take awhile to work out the contact and the UI. Even if it was sucky. That’s fine though. Up to me.

Sweet. Somehow that difference hadn’t quite seeped into my brain in such a simple way. The VC model appeals less from a builder perspective, but may be enjoyable from the other side.

l’ll be on the lookout for this. As a student, I can afford to wait a bit.

Given your taste you’ve probably seen this Sam Altman post, but I wanted to hit you back for all the quality links you shot me. I think the signal to noise ratio is pretty stellar!


We’re building a decentralized onchain voting protocol to experiment with cryptoeconomic games and mechanisms in a market based economy! If you want to check it out and weight in hop on over to /r/donuttrader :slight_smile:

and yeah, Sam’s a boss :slight_smile:


Sweet. Saw rumblings of this on Twitter.


Yeah I don’t have Twitter atm, but if you’re ever on Reddit hmu :slight_smile:


@burrrata very cool, didn’t know you were working on this! I’m curious - how has r/ethtrader changed since the ability to redeem donuts for tokens? Is there more activity? Did it lead to higher quality posts or more spam?


The mods rallied together, created a poll to ban donuts, and used their weight (in donuts) to ban the trading of donuts. Essentially, it’s a centralized thing that the mods of a subreddit can work with the Reddit developers on. As such, it tends to favor allocating more voting weight (represented by donuts) to the mods. Who would think? lol

Anyways, it seemed a bit silly to be that an Ethereum cryptocurrency trading subreddit was banning trading Ethereum cryptocurrencies on the sub, so I’m creating a decentralized version. From the polls there’s clearly demand for decentralized community based voting/governance, but those in power don’t like being disinter-mediated. If you look at the poll results, by votes it’s in favor of donut trading, but by donuts it’s not (because the mods hold the donuts):

Ever since then I’ve focused on making a permissionless decentralized protocol that bridges web2/web3 ecosystems and the majority of people have focused on how to ask the Reddit devs for permission to alter the current donut protocol. Not sure where the discussion on /r/ethtrader is at now though ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Edit: as of this morning the game is back on!

Check /r/daonuts for details :slight_smile: