Knowledge, Goals and the Value of Triangulation in Steemit

in allegoryofthecave •  5 months ago

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I am just over a Calendar month into Steemit and want to share my thoughts with all of you Minnows, Dolphins and Whales on my lessons learnt and update you on how I feel I have adjusted and rebalanced my goals accordingly.
Before you go on you may want to read my first Intro to get a usual ‘yadda yadda’ background. It is a quick read and just a magical click away: Intro the Shenobie......

Part One: Why did I join Steemit?

Here is an excellent quote from the movie ‘Enemy’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal (2013):

“Control, it's all about control. Every dictatorship has one obsession and that's it. In ancient Rome they gave the people bread and circuses. They kept population busy with entertainment but other dictatorships used other strategies to control ideas, the knowledge... how do they do that? Lower education, they limit culture, censor information, they censor any means of individual expression and is important to remember this, that this is a pattern, that repeats itself through out history.”
-Adam
Source

When I was young, well a lot younger, I used to be of the mind that the pursuit of Knowledge for Knowledge’s sake was the ultimate goal. I was naïve.

I soon realised that the accumulation of knowledge on its own means nothing. However, acquisition, discovery and dissemination of knowledge can empower, civilise and innovate. It can allow you to go out and achieve your dreams, build great things and understand yourself and others better. Most importantly it would allow you to contribute to creating a better world by solving contemporary problems that will affect generations to come.

I joined Steemit because it is a source of Knowledge. Of all types: practical, theoretical, funny, anarchistic, it seems to have everything!

As suggested by the quote from the movie ‘Enemy’ about control, I also really liked the idea that the level of control an outside agency has over the ideas that are published on Steemit is next to nothing as it built on distributed ledger technology or a Blockchain. I can both learn from a vast pool of thoughts and experiences and in turn give back without fear of corporate or nation-state censorship.

I am also an early cryptocurrency adopter and have written on the subject elsewhere and thought it would be an ideal place to share my thoughts. Also, it is pretty cool to publish on an actual Blockchain as opposed to just online newspapers when you are a true believer!

The opportunity to earn some pocket change and garner a vast following is not a big priority at all. However, they are nice side effects and compliments to any work that I may produce. My key drivers are to write work that is of a high standard, get quality feedback, read quality work and learn from others. I hope this process will nourish my ever hungry mind and allow me to grow as a person (the Jedi kind obviously!).

So how have I got along so far?

I have made some good friends. Read some outstanding content. Found a lot of memes. But what had me surprised the most was the amount of repetitive, derivative material which in reality should not have been getting as much attention as some other pieces of work which stood out and felt satisfying to read.
Initially, this had me confused, but then both my academic background and years of professional experience helped and Part Two of this post begins!

Before we move onto part two, don’t you think that quote is an excellent one? It makes you realise that even with all the comforts and freedoms that we are afforded in the West, we are really prisoners in a cave watching shadows projected onto a wall. Seeking out knowledge and truth sets us free.


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Part Two: Understanding and Working with Steemit

There is a piece of insight from an excellent British gangster movie called ‘Layer Cake’ (2004) starring Daniel Craig (along with a brilliant star cast) which I would like to share:

“You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake son.”
-Eddie Temple
Source

I realise that it not the most elegant piece of insight you will come across. But we have to agree that it contains truth. And truth is under no obligation to satisfy anyone’s aesthetic preferences.

When I joined Steemit, and I published my work I was unaware of the hierarchical system. It did not take me long to realise there was one when my first post was barely noticed at all. So I set out to do some research on what this was all about.

For all you newbies out there I would always recommend using a method known as ‘triangulation’. It is a technique that means using more than one way to collect data to understand the subject of interest (in this case Steemit). Here is a link that can elaborate for those interested: Wikipedia Triangulation

How does this look practically?

Well, the way I went about this was to read the first-hand material provided about Steemit (the ‘About Us’ section). Then I examined various ‘How To’ posts created by fellow Steemian’s. After this, I asked for direct feedback (with a link) after commenting other people’s posts- which turns out is a Big NO NO! But this led to interesting discussions and signposts to places such as Discord and Steemit Chat where I could meet other fellow newbies and promote my work. Finally, I needed to understand how people were transacting with the system and there were many ways I examined this both on Steemit and related sites that laid this out transparently for each of my research subjects.

I soon realised the symbolism of the sea (Minnows, Dolphins and Whales) and my place in it (Tiny Minnow). The transaction systems that people used and how I could effectively to exploit them for my benefit (hey it is a Blockchain, and there are no secrets). But most importantly I realised that like I had done in the physical world if I were to get my work noticed I would have to as the above quote so elegantly put it get up into the “the rarefied atmosphere” by increasing my personal rating.

Steemit basically has too much ‘noise’ that is generated by the sheer number of posts put up every second, and if you want your work to be noticed, you need to increase your rating pretty quickly.

Let me give you an example:

When the movie Matrix came out in cinemas in 1999, most people don’t realise that some excellent movies were overshadowed by its release and did not reach a wider audience. For example ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ (directed by Josef Rusnak), Gattaca (directed by Andrew Niccol) and the must-see ‘Dark City’ (directed by Alex Proyas) which incidentally many say is a retelling of Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

The sheer noise generated by the marketing of the Matrix which could be considered a high ranking Dolphin or a Whale overshadowed some movies which had some brilliant plots, philosophical themes and good actors because in comparison they were minnows.

How did this change my goals and did I rebalance and adjust?

First of all my research laid bare the mechanisms of a system I could understand and work with.

It has not changed my focus on producing high-quality work going forward, but it has allowed me to see how I need to get it noticed and the process I need to follow to get there.

I have seen many struggling minnows who produce some exemplary work, and I have decided that I will include them in my journey by supporting them in any way they need me. For example, I am happy to promote their work on Discord and other channels. Also, I will Resteem anything that I see that I think others will benefit reading and learning from.

A goal that I have added is climbing the hierarchy using transaction systems when appropriate. I believe this will benefit everyone in the system: the value of STEEM, those that interact with my posts and of course it keeps me motivated until I get to a level where I am noticed enough to compete no longer with the noise.

I hope this has been interesting……… Welcome to the Layer Cake.

@shenobie

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Welcome to steemit, hope you have a great day,

Excellent work, @shenobie. And I love the quotes from the movies you selected. The Layer Cake is a must watch for the school of life, in my opinion, and Gattaca remains to this day in my top 3 favorite movies of all time.
There is indeed a TON of noise out there on the interwebs and Steemit is certainly no exception. Networking and connections are crucial in any business venture. I really learned how true this is when I finally went solo and opened my own English school in Japan after working for other companies in the area for about 7 years. It was a big wake up call in regard to the importance of maitaining relationships, speaking well of others and sacrificing short term gains for long term gains. Underneath it all is the notion of community. No one rises without the support of others and no one will support you if you lack the fundamental decency to make a positive and sincere impression on others.
The online community, with its added elements of global reach, semi-anonymity and sheer, epic size creates a very different type of playing field than the type of old school offline business I started about 4 years ago now. But the principles are the same, no? Principles are such a beautiful thing. So timeless, applicable and, in a way, transcendent of the given situation in which they are applied.
I'm happy to have crossed paths with you @shenobie. You strike me as one with a good heart and a sincere desire to do things the right way. Good luck with building your audience and sharing your work. I, for one, am already a loyal follower.
By the way, could you expand a little more on the notion of triangulation? Assuming you have the time to do so. :-)

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Good morning @technoguy!

I just woke up to grab some water and realised I had not replied to your second question on Triangulation.

Triangulation originates from the field the field of navigation where a location is determined by using the angles from two known points. In research, it is a methodology which uses multiple methods to researching a question. The objective is to increase confidence in the findings through the confirmation of a proposition using two or more independent measures. The combination of findings from two or more rigorous approaches provides a more comprehensive picture of the results than either approach could do alone. I have found it useful in going down a learning curve in understanding a subject of research very quickly, and it is helpful for removing biases that can arise from using a single methodology.

For example (this is the way I have used it here)- just using discord and talking to people. In my professional experience, people sound sweet but can lead you down the proverbial garden path very quickly. What they say needs to be validated by what they are doing- this can be done by looking at their transaction histories and who they interact with (and keeping records of this). You can eventually map these out to filter noise make connections and get a clearer picture. This could be considered primary research.

You can then compare this to secondary research that you have gathered- such as Steemit, Reddit opinion posts. How to posts created by other Steemian's and outside agencies about Steemit.

There are also many +ves and deltas out there about Steemit which need to be validated before you commit to this platform and build relationships (which are sacrosanct). And everything has a cost I am sure you will agree as you know from having run a business for over 7 years- and this has been drilled into me since started as a junior management consultant (which was almost 20 years ago). This methodology allows you to remove your own and other people's biases as much as possible, check whether your findings make sense and that you not only build relationships- but understand the rules of the game in relationship building in any eco-system.

I realise this post may not have sat well with everyone for many reasons (you can see it gets greyed out). It is unusual that I have not used bots to increase my number of votes- but I did do something to test a theory out, and something bizarre happened which I will need to discuss with the developers. (I always take before and after screenshots and maintain rigorous notes of everything).

You are right from your comment in this and another post below. Relationships are the most critical thing in any setting. I don't give away a lot about my background- but here is something- I come from a family of individuals who went into the medical profession (everyone!). If I fell over at a family gathering, I am comfortable in the knowledge that someone would have the expertise to help me out! Empathy is built into me as a result of being around people who care professionally, and this is why I care a great deal about helping others.

Both my parents are Medical Doctors, and my Father, in particular, chose Psychiatry as his field to practice in. People always see Psychiatrists as prescribing medications and getting it over with (in the UK at least). But my Father is old school and took a holistic approach to treating the patient as an individual and examined what they needed including the psychology and fitness parts (mind, body and spirit if you will) which is unusual in the UK.

I benefitted a great deal from his discussions since I was a kid and learning about human behaviour from the books I read backed up with his sage advice got me to where I am today.

Relationship building is essential, yes, but you need to understand your environment first, draw out the bad actors early on by using your ‘toolkit’, examine the playing field and then see how best to start this process.

Regards and catch up soon,
@shenobie

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wow @technoguy
you're extremly responsive.

Just checked your profile just to realize that we seem to share a number of interests :)

In particular that we both share a similar passion towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology :)

Obviously followed! :)

Welcome to Steemit, shenobie! Wish you a very exciting experience here on this platform :) Life is beautiful

By the way, there are several groups you as a newcomer can join. They will stay with you for your journey, helping and mentoring along the way.

@greetersguild invite link https://discord.gg/AkzNSKx
@newbieresteemday invite link https://discord.gg/2ZcAxsU

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Hey @cheneats,

Thank you for the very warm welcome. I really appreciate your message and also the info. I will join the Discord groups now.

Regards,
Shenobie

Thx for another informative post. Easy to read. I appreciate that you decided to share your view with all of us.

Please continue up with creating interesting content - it may be hard at the beginning to build reach and solid followers base.
Steemits needs solid content builders so just dont ever give up! :)

Already followed and upvoted :) Cheers,
Piotr

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Hey @crypto.piotr,

Thank you for the feedback and your words of encouragement. It means a great deal to me.

I look forward to reading more of your work in the near future also.

Cheers,
Shenobie

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hi @shenobie

absolutely. I hope we can stay in touch :)

Would you mind sending me short email to [email protected]? I would love to be able to keep in touch and support each other on Steemit.
I wish there would be more advanced notification system developed by steemit.

No pressure of course :)
piotr

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Hi @crypto.piotr,

It would be good to chat offline! I have made a note of your email and will write to you at some point today! Will explain the other part- my comment that you did not understand also!

Cheers,
shenobie

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will be glad to hear from you :)

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I am sure you will get to read about it ;-)

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Hmmm something interesting is happening is happening when I do something particular. I think someone has a bot on me to transfer value. Very clever. Need to get this investigated ;-)

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I dont really understand this comment

Excellent work, @shenobie. And I love the quotes from the movies you selected. The Layer Cake is a must watch for the school of life, in my opinion, and Gattaca remains to this day in my top 3 favorite movies of all time.
There is indeed a TON of noise out there on the interwebs and Steemit is certainly no exception. The sheer volume of traffic online and the near impossibilty of sorting through it all really highlight the fact that networking and connections are crucial both in life, art and any kind of business venture (although those three elements do seem to have a way of intersecting that can make them difficult to distinguish from each other) :-)

I really learned how true this is when I finally went solo and opened my own English school in Japan after working for other companies in the area for about 7 years. It was a big wake up call in regard to the importance of maitaining relationships, speaking well of others and sacrificing short term gains for long term gains. Underneath it all is the notion of community. No one rises without the support of others and no one will support you if you lack the fundamental decency to make a positive and sincere impression on others.
The online community, with its added elements of global reach, semi-anonymity and sheer, epic size creates a very different type of playing field than the type of old world of offline networking and promotion. But the principles are the same, no? Principles are such a beautiful thing. So timeless, applicable and, in a way, transcendent of the given situation in which they are applied. Futher, would add that there is actually more opportunity online than off but it seems to take a kind of hyper leveraging of your skills. I've read so many stories of people finding the right angle via the right principles and intent and than almost having the thing 10, 100 or even 1000x itself. Of course they did put in the time and work (those lonely long hours of the artist) but it paid off in the end because they did it right.

I'm happy to have crossed paths with you @shenobie. You strike me as one with a good heart and a sincere desire to do things the right way. Good luck with building your audience and sharing your work. I, for one, am already a loyal follower.

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Hey @technoguy,

Those are my favourite movies too. I must admit having watched Gattaca countless times. You get something out of it every time you watch it.

I agree with you entirely about the point that you make about the nature of relationships, building and maintaining them both in an online and offline world. There have been numerous studies demonstrating similarities like how geographically distributed teams need the same level of nurturing, contact, maintenance and can sense a person's levels of genuine intent and sincerity even in online interactions!

@technoguy, right back at you-you strike me as one of those few rare genuine people I can trust, engage, work with and learn from.

I have to go right now as it is my Mothers 65th Birthday and we are taking her for a meal! I promise to catch up soon.

Regards,
Shenobie
ps: I have resteemed your work as it needs to be seen.

I love this article of yours fam....keep the quality posts coming

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@caesar816

Thank you for the feedback. I greatly appreciate it.

Cheers,
Shenobie

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This post has received a 5.06 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @shenobie.

Wow, great stuff. Thanks for sharing your experience - I just joined this week and this post really resonated with me. I haven't seen "Thirteenth Floor" or "Enemy" yet... I'm adding those to my que, so thanks for those recommendations too. Reading your post, I think you and me are of very like minds, my friend. All the best to you, and I had not resteemed anything until now, but I think people need to hear about you. Way t' be!

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Hey @bbblackwell,

I greatly appreciate your feedback and having read your work, especially the one you just posted: "Opening the Gate to Wisdom: The Ancient Trivium", I agree we are very much like minded!

Enemy is very cerebral... but worth it! Also, add Gattaca if you have not watched it- it has many layers which I think people miss.

I have resteemed your work as I think people need to read more quality material like this. A favourite quote of mine is:

"Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value."
~ Louis L'Amour

Knowledge is something we tend to hoard as we believe it confers power on us. I believe in the power of sharing knowledge liberating us from 'bounded rationality' and increasing wisdom.

It is good to have crossed paths with you in this vast forum!

Peace,
shenobie

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Great quote! Absolutely, knowledge must be shared. And although truth is unified and eternal, there are infinite methods and mediums for expressing it. Each individual who seeks to spread knowledge adds something of themselves into the mix, making old insights fresh and new again. In this way, I guess we could say it’s all about ineraction: relating with truth, and each other. It’s really a beautiful thing.

When we covet knowledge, we do so because we feel insecure and seek control. It’s a failure of faith and true intelligence, since we all ultimately rise or fall together. To purposefully withhold knowledge is to put others in bondage to that degree, and where one is enslaved - be it by metal chains or mental ignorance - none are truly free.

And oh yeah, I saw Gattaca for the first time only a month ago - great flick! There was way more to it than I was expecting.

I love it!

@shenobie you were flagged by a worthless gang of trolls, so, I gave you an upvote to counteract it! Enjoy!!

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@flagfixer,

I just picked this message up, and I want to thank you for restoring my faith that there are good, considerate people out there on this platform.

I think I may have to start writing again!

Stay Golden,
Shenobie