tl;dr this is some kind of semi-coherent train of thought(which I can provide links to subtopics in the comments). hypothetically, we should be able to confront the dilution of network effects by focusing on a supercritical subset of features. how do we realize the various applications of the "fat protocol" thesis for other aspects like community building, governance diversification, IRL impact, etc?
just laying out some thoughts, however disjointed they may be. I'm kind of arriving on a realization that there's so much potential in the already-deployed, but over an unnecessarily diffuse landscape. a good demonstration of this to me has been the plethora of different talks from ETHDenver. more specifically, just look at all of the discussion and deployment around EIP-4337. tbh, there may be more of an opportunity to debate the finer details like the bundlers and the authentication methods than there is to eliminate the massive ecosystem cost of phishing links and lost seedphrases.
there's also very fundamental communities in Ethereum, like gitcoin and scaffoldeth, where the public good can be consumed at scale but the core maintenance and composition of those is not proportionate (though arguably substantial). I'm not really discussing a problem, it's more of an subnominal opportunity. likewise, I'm not saying people aren't aware, it's more of a dilemma where the attention spans aren't overlapping on whatever public space we cover, and we're spending excessive capital "treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease".
there's also the unspoken capture of zero-sum capital by inefficent mechanisms. for example, if every project airdrop'd tokens/allowlists/access to recipients on the basis that they wholesale "like/retweet/tag/comment", the outcome of that spent social capital is a network that echoes to itself. same for a lot of DAOs (plutocratic ones especially), if there's a sociopolitical whip to attend the same meetings, ratify the same proposals, agree on the same adversarial rules, burn the same gas, gaslight in the same manner, then we're spending extra on bargaining costs with less compatible communities, and getting more capitalized to become a monoculture. and we're losing the small fish along the way.
there's parts of ethereum that do really well in these environments. MEV is actually working out really well when you look at it as a compositional problem. DeFi protocols innovate the classes of operation, liquidity, and hypothecation. node operators innovate on the other side, and in between there are a bunch of grayhats arbing the difference and forcing adaptation. crypto social media is really entertaining, there are maximalists and NFTers and other tings. there are new social protocols that run on their own rollup, or a sidechain, or even another network altogether. entire EVM sidechains & rollups are manifesting with modularity, DeFi consensus, you name it. airdrops & farmers continue to provide us a case study of sybil resistance in practice.
but I still get this feeling that its too diffuse, and we've reached this stage where the aggregate sociocultural downside is growing faster than we're optimizing & accelerating critical, introspective development. personally, I'm totally fine with how the protocol is developing & scaling, and the applications on top are fun, if nothing else. the succinct cryptography is fascinating and the privacy innovations are inspring. however, there's too much opportunity & stakes on the table to ignore.
this is what I'm proposing: there needs to be a stack of the "fat protocol" vibe and "social architecture" without any contrived, pyramid-scheme, ponzinomic, or walled-garden nonsense. git is crazy scalable software because it is so undefined. ethereum already has crazy scalable n-tiered architecture (like Default, Pipeline, and Diamonds). hypercertificates are already crazy scalable forms of fungible, verifiable credentials. I think there's a supercritical, supermodular application that inherits the social tech from teams like Lens, Orbis, Farcaster, the compositional tech from Scaffold, Gnosis, Gelato, Uniswap, Wagmi, & OS tools like Alpaca, Langchain, Forge, Arweave, ethOS, and others. there should be an OS-agnostic, token-agnostic open forum & groupchat platform with embedded abilities like signing multisig transactions, deploying AMOs on other chains, deploying software, funding public goods, etc.
in other words, I'm just saying (and experimenting) that the focus should be centralized on the core thesis: ethereum can be an internet-tier technology tree at a time when the world needs such a technology tree. it's kind of a farce whenever there's a random DAO committing death-by-meetings/death-by-slushfund, whenever there's a seedphrase watering-hole scam on Twitter/Discord, or just the broader "monkey jpeg"/ "$$$ hack"/"VC dump to community" image the public consumes. so let's just focus on the supercritical root application of that tech tree.
submitted by /u/mjrossman