I am a Prospector

There is a pattern which has run through my whole life. I try everything.

I am a ENTP according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with the “P” standing for Prospector.

Some website call this type of person “The Debater”, some call it “The Diplomat”, some call it “The Visionary”. The specific labels are not as important as the characterization of the patterns of behaviour. Those are spot on in describing me.

I was a lot more introverted earlier in my life, so was an INTP. I have also had long spells of severe depression, and more recently hypomanic phases. I finally got what I believe is a correct diagnosis on 30th Oct 2019 – Cyclothymia. Or, as my good friend, Texture, calls it “Baby bipolar” 😂

From Judging (“J”) or Perceiving (“P”) article on myersbriggs.org:

The following statements generally apply to me:

    • I like to stay open to respond to whatever happens.
    • I appear to be loose and casual. I like to keep plans to a minimum.
    • I like to approach work as play or mix work and play.
    • I work in bursts of energy.
    • I am stimulated by an approaching deadline.
    • Sometimes I stay open to new information so long I miss making decisions when they are needed.

When I say everything, I mean everything:

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  • I was a gold bug, a sovereign citizen, a prepper and a huge Alex Jones fan in 2009. I stocked up on decades worth of dry food, baseball bats (no guns for me), old US silver coins for barter, the lot. I learned to grow my own vegetables. I was learning to sail (so I could get a boat as my “escape route” from collapsing Vancouver when SHTF. I was looking at buying property in Chile. I was totally bought on New World Order, Bilderberg, Council for Foreign Relations, Bohemian Grove, etc. I used Liberty Reserve. I was looking at buying additional citizenships, some through very shady means. I was a 9/11 Truther. I even went down the Birther rabbit hole for a while and started doubting vaccines 🙂
  • I was a Libertarian and Ron Paul fan. I followed the 2012 US Presidential Election intensely. Was gutted at how he was treated. I still think that his position on Military spending is spot on. Abolishing pretty much all government functions and social welfare nets? Maybe not so wise, I see now.
  • For years I was obsessed with trying to understand how on earth Germany descended into Nazi hell. I have shelves and shelves of books on Nazi Germany and WWII. I have a copy of Mein Kampf. I also have shelves of books on the USSR and Communism, and multiple books on Stalin and Lenin and Mao.
  • I was fascinated with the Occupy movement when that came around.

In a more mundate form, I has seen this behaviour in myself in a work context too.

I was at Electronic Arts for 15+ years, and in that time I found myself on nearly every different side of every fence there was within that organization. Working on game teams, in central technology teams, on workwide initiatives. As an individual developer, as a technical lead, in an architectural oversite role. Visit “every bucket”.

Same in my Ethereum journey. I started as a community member. Then I was a volunteer. Then I was “on the inside”, working for the Ethereum Foundation. Then I was at ConsenSys, working for the largest for-profit entity within the space. There I was deeply involved in the creation, launch and operation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and involved with Hyperledger. So very different dynamic within a consortium of frenemies. Then I was at Sweetbridge and Quantfury, and setting up Varro Technologies with Alison – trying to work through startup land – and building your own company. Then I flipped over to Ethereum Classic, which was seen by some as “the mortal enemy”. Not me!

What does all of this mean?

I have probably “been you” at some point, because I try everything out. I may or may not “like those clothes” for a long time, but I will at least try and am thoroughly curious and seek to understand EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. I like to think that I have a lot of empathy and compassion because of my breadth of human interactions. I hate unresolved conflict.

It is exceedingly unlikely that I am “your enemy”, and if you see me say things which “trigger” you, or which sound like my thinking is hostile to you and your beliefs, the likelihood is that that is untrue. I have skin as thick an elephant, so please just tell me whatever your issue with my statements is, and we will have a conversation like adults.

Criticism is welcome. I am a big boy. Let me have it! In public or privately as you wish. We might both learn something in the process.

I have been called an Infinite Fucking Looper, a Corporate Communist, a Socialist, a Misogynist, a Racist, an Egotist, a Tyrant, an Authoritarian, an Ethereum Maximalist, an ETC Maximalist, a Hyperledger Maximalist.

There is nothing you can say which I have not heard before. I think all of these labels are totally miss the mark, but I take no offense. Just words.

The only Maximalism which I would confess to would be Humanity Maximalism. I believe that most humans are essentially good, and that collaboration is the path to our Star Trek future.

Even that I would temper, though. I love cats and dogs and other animals too, and I hope that I get to meet aliens one day as well.

ETC Cooperative joins Hyperledger

I am delighted to announce that ETC Cooperative are officially Associate Members of Hyperledger as of 21st November 2019.

In September, I pledged that ETC Cooperative would contribute ETC support to the newly approved Hyperledger Besu codebase. That support has already been upstreamed, and ETC mainnet syncs successfully.

This is a very happy day, and a very satisfying step in a long personal journey.

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Quote from Hyperledger:

“We are very happy to have the ETC Cooperative now a formal part of the Hyperledger community” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger. “Even back in 2016, it was clear to me and to Bob that the more we could do to bring together developers from all our different ‘tribes’ working together on common code the further we could go as a whole blockchain community, even if we differ on long-term goals, governance models, or genesis blocks. Since then, the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem (both ETH, ETC, and the growing enterprise uses charted by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance) has made the value of technical collaboration even clearer. Bob was an early believer in this, and to see this idea bear fruit in ETC Coop’s interest in ETC support in Besu and their interest in other Hyperledger projects is a high point of 2019 for me.”

Quote from ETC Cooperative:

“My own Hyperledger journey started in May 2016 when I hosted an Open Source Blockchain Meetup outside of OSCON in Austin, Texas. I was working for the Ethereum Foundation at the time.” said Bob Summerwill, Executive Director, ETC Cooperative. “Chris Ferris and Brian Behlendorf both attended that event and Chris spoke. It was obvious to me even then that moving Ethereum codebases under the mature governance and IP policies of the Linux Foundation was the best way to advance the project. With HL Burrow and HF Besu that is exactly what has happened, though it has taken a lot longer than I anticipated. It is an absolute pleasure for me to bring ETC Cooperative to the Hyperledger table, to help accelerate this trend. We are seeing ever increasing cooperation between ETH ecosystem, ETC ecosystem, EF, EEA and the many other flavors of the “Ethereum family”. Hyperledger is the best possible place to coordinate that collaboration, in my opinion. We have already made our first contribution to Hyperledger – with ETC support upstreamed to Besu last week.”

Addressing East/West disconnect in ETC

How do we address the East/West disconnects within Ethereum Classic?

It is actually really simple when you understand that the root issue is technical hindrances to communication across the Great Firewall of China. I would argue that these technical hindrances are much more significant than language barriers. There are many countries which share language, but differ a lot in culture.

“England and America are two countries separated
by a common language” – George Bernard Shaw

EastWest

The vast majority of communication within English-speaking Western and global communities is happening on the ETC Discord server and on Crypto-Twitter, but both of these applications are blocked by the Great Firewall, so are inaccessible to the majority of people on the Chinese mainland. This is a fairly recent thing, with VPNs being a lot more accessible (though legally “gray”) until this year. Even beyond that “brick wall”, these communication tools are very little known in China.

WeChat, on the other hand, is completely ubiquitous in China, and not just for chat, but also for payments and other functionality. It works just fine in the rest of the world too, so is the natural choice for a global communication platform for Ethereum Classic in which we value the Chinese community’s needs to a degree appropriate to their importance to ETC.

There are a lot of people in China. There are a lot of great companies. Much of this is unknown in the West because of the language barrier and these communication barriers. So let’s fix this, and get active two-way communication paths going. We want the Chinese communities to benefit from the latest information from the English developers and also to build greater understanding of Chinese development efforts in the West.

So please join us on the brand new ETC Global Comms channel:

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On 3rd October 2019 we reverted EthereumClassic.org from the WordPress site which was active from April 2018, having been one of Anthony Lusardi‘s earlier projects as the previous Director of the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (February 2018 to March 2019).

WordPress

So was that spending a waste of money? Not at all. That website served the community for 18 months and was a significant upgrade both in its aesthetics, but also in its content. We are not going to lose any of that content. We can migrate it back across. This is just a change of underlying technology, motivated by the workflow benefit we gain by enabling anybody to update the website themselves by submitting pull requests against a public Github project, rather than having to ask administrators (first Anthony and then myself) if they can please add an extra entry, or make change XYZ. That is not a scalable approach, and it resulted in the “rot” of some of that information.

Where this infrastructure touches on East/West disconnect is that we have also had an information gap between the communities because ethereumclassic.org has only ever been an English language website to this point.

There are two primary communities and their websites covering China, to this point:

The earlier community was ethereumclassic.cn, maintained by ETCC – Ethereum Classic Consortium (China), with Roy Zou the best known face. Here is Roy presenting at the first ETC Summit, in 2017 in Hong Kong.

roy
The second community was started in 2018, driven by DFG and ETC Labs, but has a broader scope. That is ethereumclassicasia.org, covering China, Japan and Korea, and also having outreach to other Asian countries. Christian Xu is the driving force behind these communities.

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Having multiple community groups for a single country is not intrinsically problematic. Ethereum Classic is permissionless. There is no “official” anything or any right to exclusivity.

Not even the ETC Cooperative itself is an “official voice” and can only use its influence and respect to suggest that things move in any particular direction.

If we add Internationalization support to the Github-based ethereumclassic.org, such that Chinese language documentation on the platform is available without needing a specific website then we will be a lot more aligned in the information we have access to. For countries which only have small communities and perhaps only have users rather than developers / companies building the platform, just providing translations without the overhead of maintaining their own website, and all the overhead of keeping that information up to date will be very appealing.

Indeed, within minutes of me suggesting this approach, we had a volunteer to do German and Russian translations.

So I think that Adding Internationalization Support to the EthereumClassic.org will be the second “move”, as well as the creation of the WeChat channel, will move us in a very, very good direction. If you agree, please help! Come to Github and comment on that issue, offering your help in whatever form you can. I don’t think it will take long!

ProgPOW author Kristy-Leigh Minehan uninvited from ETC Summit

This weekend I uninvited ProgPOW author Kristy-Leigh Minehan from ETC Summit, where she had been due to give a talk on ASIC resistance and also to participate in a mining panel.

I withdrew her invitation after finding out about connections between herself, Core Scientific and Craig Wright, Calvin Ayre and Coingeek. Core Scientific’s CEO is an advisor to Squire Mining, along with Craig Wright and Jimmy Nguyen. Calvin Ayre has a controlling stake (45%) in that company. Kristy has also spoken at Coingeek events on at least two occasions, implicitly promoting and validating them.

Craig Wright is a fraud, serial liar and perjurer, and Calvin Ayre is not much better. I cannot have the ETC Cooperative and the ETC Summit associated with such disreputable individuals and companies, so I chose to withdraw my invitation. It was not an easy decision, and was one which personally pained me. I have been known as a bridge builder and “judging” in this way is exceedingly rare. This was important enough for me to do so.

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Kristy speaking at Coingeek events:

Kristy took to the ETC Discord yesterday, September 16th, where she spoke for several hours and provided further information on ProgPOW which, to my knowledge, has not been discussed publicly to this point, but which I believe to be hugely important for the Ethereum Classic and Ethereum communities to know while considering ProgPOW.

Here are screenshots of the entire conversation.

Some key dialog points for me, beyond not denying the BSV connections (just downplaying their importance).

Bob: … Would you speak at the OneCoin conference if they invited you? …
Kristy: Yes? If they told me to just speak on topics I knew, or educate them on blockchain, why not?
Bob: Would you speak at a conference held by the Mafia, if they wanted to talk about blockchain?
Kristy: Sure, if the mafia is holding a conference that’s public, and somehow they are not arrested and it’s all above board – why not. I’d accept a PR from Hitler if it was good.

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And further, she believes that attending conferences in no way validates them, and is “just about teaching”. So Coingeek Toronto 2019 was about teaching, as per Kristy, and not about promotion of the BSV empire.

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She also revealed that there were maybe as many as 40 people behind the “IfDefElse” facade, many of who would not be willing to reveal their identities, or to sign Contributor Licensing Agreements (CLAs), as I suggested was necessary to protect Ethereum from potential future lawsuits for unrevealed patent claims, trademarks or copyright claims.

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Given these connections (from public press releases), Kristy’s seemingly complete lack of discernment about who she associates with, together with the unquantifiable IP risk of accepting code from a group of 40 individuals, only a handful of whom are publicly known, and none of whom (or their employers) have signed CLAs, I have to view ProgPOW as a serious risk to any project which adopts it, and would urge the Ethereum community to strongly reconsider whether it is wise to proceed unless significantly stronger guarantees can be given around the IP.

If the Ethereum community desires ASIC resistance, it would much safer to update Ethash in the open, with known individuals doing the work, and the Ethereum Foundation or other groups funding that, in my opinion.

Also, listen to Martin. ProgPOW is very divisive. I think there is a serious risk of an ETH split if this EIP proceeds. That in itself should be enough to stop it.

Bob Summerwill,
Executive Director, ETC Cooperative and long-time Ethereum community member

Ethereum Classic Atlantis Hard Fork

This morning, Ethereum Classic successfully implemented the Atlantis hard fork at block height # 8,772,000. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the significance of Atlantis. First, ETC is engaged in robust technical development and innovation. The fork is a major upgrade for the network and brings the Byzantium and Spurious Dragon upgrades from Ethereum to Ethereum Classic. It makes the blockchain more stable and secure. This is the first of several upgrades currently being built on ETC with developers and the community.

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Second, Atlantis reflects genuine consensus. It is the result of collaboration with all stakeholders who had an opportunity to debate and analyze the impact of the hard fork, and who undertook the hard work of coming to agreement in a diverse and decentralized network.

Overall, the ETC network is stronger and more secure on both a technical and community level. We look forward to building on this strength in the weeks and months ahead.

Bob Summerwill, Ethereum Classic Cooperative
Terry Culver, Ethereum Classic Labs
Afri Schoedon, Developer and Hard Fork Coordinator

Bob Summerwill for Recruiters (2019)

What am I looking for:

  • Technical leadership, project management or community / developer relations role for a well-funded blockchain company.
  • Market-rate pay commensurate with my experience.
  • Happy and indeed keen to be public-facing.
  • Vancouver-based or remote-working.  This is not negotiable.

What I bring to the table:

  • 22 years of professional software development, the majority of which was on high-profile multi-million or billion-dollar projects customer-facing projects under strict time pressures.  20 AAA videogames shipped, across around 10 platforms.   Mainly technical leadership roles, on product teams, on central technology teams, studio level, EA Sports wide roles, worldwide roles.
  • 4 years of blockchain experience (Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance), including work on an Ethereum client (cpp-ethereum).
  • Experience working within a bank (TD Securities)
  • Enthusiasm and positivity which is very rare for somebody so senior, but married with suitable cynicism and risk awareness.
  • Real enjoyment of mentoring and leadership of more junior engineers
  • Unparalleled goodwill and broad connections across the blockchain ecosystem, both public and enterprise.
  • Community and ecosystem focus, which means that I can be very useful in building positive PR for the company and defusing trolls and haters.
Compensation:

  • Somewhere in the $150K-$200K USD ballpark
  • I expect to have some other advisories or sidelines, which will not be time-consuming.
  • I volunteer into the Ethereum community, EEA, Hyperledger, CryptoChicks, Canadian blockchain ecosystem.

More information on Bob:

 

Women of Hyperledger – How can I help you?

So today is the last day of Hyperledger TSC voting.  The polls close at 5pm Pacific today, with the results announced tomorrow.

There was a little Twitter activity around my observation on the diversity issues which we have in the TSC, and a new mail thread has been kicked off:

How can we improve diversity in the Hyperledger technical community?

I am a Community Ambassador for CryptoChicks and I care deeply about this topic and will do everything which I can to help promote a healthy and welcoming environment for women in the Hyperledger technical community.

Women of Hyperledger – How can I help you?   Please join that thread.