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[USER=2]@David Chapman[/USER] Thank you for the questions.
I did not have an updated LinkedIn account prior to reading your question, and I admit that I have not found it necessary in my career to this point. However, I believe that representatives of our ecosystem should have one, as it is becoming a standard of professionalism across the tech industry. I also realize that having an established identity in a democratic ecosystem, where I have a hand in building out and pushing forward sensitive governance processes, is of the utmost importance from an accountability standpoint. Your post spurred me to action, and I have created a new [URL='http://linkedin.com/in/nicolas-robinette-47407b180']LinkedIn[/URL]. Thank you!
As with most of these questions, I believe the answer is more nuanced than just “yes” or “no”. While it does not give the ultimate power to gatekeep, it gives the Guide that power until Standing Parties can replace the Guide in question, which is still a problem.
It is also important to realize that no matter how important these nuances are, sometimes nuances are lost and we have to take that into account. To an outside entity, whether it be a potential client, investor, developer, ANO-candidate, or regulator, those nuances are likely to be missed, and all that’s left is “decisions in factom can be made or blocked by 2 people”. This perceived centralization makes for a nice headline to bounce around on Reddit or in the mind of a regulator, and in the long term, that’s unacceptable.
I would vote “no” to keep the process from the community only if the process in question was a substantive, direct violation of anything within a Standing Party ratified document. Before this even came to a vote, a good faith effort should be made to communicate these problems to whatever entity is putting the process forward in order for them to rectify such issues.
Guides fulfill so many critical functions at this stage of the Protocol’s development. In a sense, it’s hard to imagine the Protocol without the guidance of a group of dedicated people whose job it is to facilitate the governance. Currently, Guides fill in roles that some day will be shifted to onchain governance, and take a large role in setting up the ecosystem's governance, itself. However, there will come a time when the Protocol is sufficiently decentralized to other Standing Parties via Support mechanisms as described in Doc 001, and governance processes will be automated via onchain mechanisms. At this juncture, Guides as they stand today will no longer be necessary. We will always need people focusing on governance and facilitating governance processes, but they may not be named "Guide". Instead, they will likely have very different functions, will almost certainly have greatly reduced power in governance processes, and at this point, will reflect a substantial step toward decentralization.
I believe that would be Brian. I have great respect for Brian’s thinking, including on governance processes, but there is a fundamental divide between how we approach governance that revolves around a difference in time horizon. Brian has stated that he believes that the development of the Factom Protocol is a multi-decade undertaking. I believe this will be a decade long project only if we treat every day that we are not more developed like we are losing clients, developers, and capital to projects with 100x the budget. We need to hone our efforts to ensure that progress is efficient, and push the boundaries of what we believe is achievable on every front of this ecosystem.