Is Aragon falling into a Centralized Culture Framework?

:astonished:. Honestly you sound like you have some axe to grind. I can only speak about what I know and the coop fiasco had nothing to do with Aragon, its culture, or any flock members. There were issues with onboarding (very frustrating to me too) and a rushed AGP but fundamentally what happened was two people had a very public falling out and created a extremely bad atmosphere. This lead to ~90% of the participants disengaging all together and effectively bricking the governance process

I personally put a whole lot of work and effort into making it work even after it had already been effectively dead. I distinctly remember you doing a lot of talking/complaining without doing anything practical even though you was given plenty of opportunities.

Regardless, one of the best thing about DAOs and open communities is they are completely opt in. If you don’t like it you can always opt out!


You cannot say this:

And when promted for examples/evidence, say this:

As a recent receiver of a CoC violation report (which, for the record, I still disagree with), I think this is against it. @light please advise

“Hey John, can you please advice us on using the rule I didint liked being used on me against this guy who is telling us some truth so we can label him a conspiracy theorist? Thank you.”


Wow, whatever might you take with your coffee in the morning is not doing you any good. Still waiting for examples :upside_down_face:

And btw, that’s John

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hi Jorge, reasons were provided by Rafa, but then he edited the post stating he preferred not to “derail the topic”. based on that pre-edited post Luis, Aaron and myself replied back.

From what I could read, he just had bad personal experience with a Nest request, Coop participation and some other thing I just don’t remember.

Anyhow… Don’t think that was relevant enough to have you worrying about this, and I would respect Rafa’s right about reserving his comments, despite the clear and unnecessary tension that was created in the thread.

Peace 4 all! :v::v:

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I just read the edited post (great Discourse feature btw) and I don’t think it was edited not to derail the topic but because there were blatant lies that are too easy to dismiss.

I invite everyone to read that and come to your own conclusions.

In any case, I think this thread should be closed by a moderator since the level of this conversation is not what I expect from this forum (myself included)

“Blatant lies” “close it” :joy::joy::joy:

I’m sure the problems will magically go away without me involved. You can always rename the next DAO :slight_smile:

Anyway, might be useful to go back to the subject of the topic as I’m not here to derail anymore :slight_smile:

“Not my circus, not my monkeys“

I don think this should be the case… We shall not forget that organizations are formed by people, winch means that these inherits its own intrinsic emotional, and bias vulnerabilities, and this include everyone, from the founders till the last user.

Disagreeing and-or disliking other peoples comments and-or actions will always happen in all kind of environments, organizations or communities. Maybe this conversation is not representative of the whole Aragon ecosystem and its not relevant enough to make a case and start fixing things that are not working (I’m sure there are tons of other huge priorities), although it is still happening, it is present and real, even if we are talking about a single individual complaining about stuff.

Let’s keep this post as a reminder that inter-relational situation can go wrong due to individual expectations about thyself, that we all can make mistakes, but most important that we all can fix them when the time comes.

Having said some, I’d really love this blaming loop to be closed, and if the thread continues, let it only be with new, relevant, and constructive information.


The problem with this is that the Aragon Association should not be paying people to be half-in. It’s too easy to end up funnelling funds into an altogether unrelated project, because said person / team was allowed to “be decentralized” in their efforts. A lot of the problems with the Ethereum ecosystem and it’s tendency to not Get Shit Done (or continue improving past PoC) I attribute to this mis-management of effort.

I think this is a great ideal, but the number of people who can pull this off successfully are a ridiculously low percentage point of the world. The end result of this lack of focus for most people is usually “I worked on X, Y, Z, but actually I did pretty much nothing in all of them; I just collected badges”.


As a Kleros team member, I can confirm @sepu85 analysis.

We first contacted the Aragon team more than 2 years ago (In February 2017, so before Aragon token sale) to propose them to work on decentralized courts together.

We had a few talks at events in the meantime, always being open to work with Aragon.

4 months ago (even before submitting the AGP on Github), I reached to @jorge (I generally don’t give names to keep the discussion on ideas and not on persons, but here Jorge asked for specific examples and evidence, so I assume he is fine with it) and asked if he could review the proposed AGP. We had some talks but then he just ghosted me. He did not come to scheduled meetings, stopped answering, I only managed to get an answer because we were both at an event in Berlin. The answer was “we’ll just do our own court” (which is basically a re-implementation of Kleros). And that’s it. Note that the AGP was not the only way we could have worked together and I asked about other potential ways to collaborate but never got a counter proposal. So it was not that not that no deal were found, it was a plain refusal to work together.

So in this case it ended even worse. Not only they did not want to work with us. They planed to make a Kleros copy (with minor modifications, none of which seems to be highly controversial) to put an ANT derivative.

I understand that Aragon needs to give its ANT some value. And that’s why we proposed a model with an ANT bonded curve.

I did not even propose to become a flock team, I just proposed to combine forces on a particular project which is of interest to both Kleros and Aragon (and the Aragon interest is demonstrated by the plan to make a court similar to Kleros) in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Calling Kleros to focus 100% on DAOs is a big no. Kleros is a DAO (well currently not a pure one, but once the governor is up, it will be a pure DAO), so Kleros is definitely a DAO project. In the thread, Luis was publicly asking for Kleros to only work on DAOs usecases. This makes little sense to me, as there is some economy of scale in supporting similar usecases (making an escrow for users or for a DAO is not fundamentally different, same list curation: curating a list of tokens and a list of proposals conform to the constitution of a DAO is quite similar).

I then ask Aragon founders to clarify their position by publicly stating that their court was just aimed at DAOs, thus they were not placing themselves as a competitor to Kleros, they refused…
I still think they do not intend to build a general arbitration system, but suggesting it can bring some sort of hype, so they let people think that.

To the best of my knowledge, Kleros is the only project (beside Aragon itself) using Aragon as a DAO governance (there is MelonPort, but they use an Aragon multisig, not a DAO). In most project teams, no one would dare to suggest to fork/copy the only user of your main product, who proposed to work with you, to put your own token instead… Or if one did, that would probably be seen as a joke. But that is exactly what Aragon founders ended up doing.

If I had known how Aragon founders would behave, I would never had contacted them or built on Aragon in the first place.

I don’t think Aragon is falling into a centralized culture framework, I think it never left it despite what all the communication is claiming and how things should work in theory. I’ve seen people at Aragon referring to founders as “my boss”. I’ve seen people disagreeing with founders, but not saying much because “they are funding X”.
Even if in theory Aragon is a decentralized project, in practice the founders play a large role in determining who and what get funded. Thus people will tend to do everything to please them in a way reminiscent of royal courts. This is also evidenced by the fact that people in Aragon which were keen to work with us in private stayed really shy about what they said in public. My best guess is that people are being careful about not saying anything which would displease the founders if they know they can read them.
Strong founder influence is not necessarily a problem, it is sometimes better to have leaders to make everyone work on a coherent system.
However, it becomes one when the centralized founder behaviour extend to other projects and if it leads to maximalism (“what other projects do is shit, we can do it better”) mostly incarnated by Jorge and imperialism (“what other projects do is nice, but they should submit and be 100% controlled by us or they are are enemies”) mostly incarnated by Luis, this causes issues. The main one being to prevent interoperability from a cultural (discourage projects to seek integration due to absence of cooperative behavior and to the risk of being copied/forked by Aragon to put another token) and technical standpoint (hard to verify the codebase and integrate).

I see all those issues not only about the way Kleros was treated. It is also evidenced by what happened with DAC/Giveth. Or even the recent announcement of Aragon making its own chain (criticizing Ethereum and acting against interoperability). Or the lack of Aragon users (even compared to project with muss less funding like Moloch and DAOstack).

I don’t think the Aragon founders to be bad guys, I actually think they are really purpose driven and motivated by what they want to accomplish. But they got fame and money too fast while doing too little and it went up to their head.

I realize that this post may upset some people. I’m also aware that people tends to attribute structural problems to people as it is easier to blame people than systems (I thought a lot about it to make sure that it was not what I was doing). But sometimes, a few people have a heavy influence on systems and decide outcomes way better than the system made in place. So I really thought thoroughly before coming to this conclusion and I don’t have meaningful alternative hypothesis.

That does not necessarily mean that Aragon should get rid of its founders. But at least that there needs to be a wake up call (that this thread seems to be), other people sharing leadership in decision making and founder themselves readjusting their behavior and strategy (Luis seems to have started this process and seems ready to rethink about flock teams).


I do understand your rationale, but first, funneling funds can happen also with fully dedicated teams, at least this is something I read from the Birds of a Feather post.

Second, there are other teams that even if their values align with the Aragon Manifesto and BTW are also building Governance tools (just following different product paradigms) like Liquid Pledging in the case of Giveth or the Kleros court. The way I read what I’ve seen is that this teams (even if they have evidenced their capacity in getting shit done) are being prevented to participate in flock not because they are not 100% committed to the Aragon Manifesto (mission, vision, goals, etc.), but because they are not committed to the Aragon brand.

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Yeah, I think it is a good analysis. Personally I don’t care that much about branding (Kleros started as “Decentralized Arbitration Court” and “Crowdjury”, fused in “Kleroterion” and rebranded “Kleros”). I couldn’t care less about what brand is used. It does not mean branding is not important, it can be a good part of a marketing strategy, but I have no emotional attachment to brands and I think goal focused people shouldn’t have it either (are we here to create a more fair and open society, avoid the technodystopie that some governments and large corps are pushing, or are we here to brag about “look this super important stuff I made”?).


This is more trolling then conspiracy i think. but there is also a fine line between trolling and criticism. The best is just learning and improving and be open and say thank you because its all about interconnection. the more you interconnect the more you will learn and the more robust you will become i think.


Trolling? Nothing of what I’ve said is untrue and the amount of posts about this subject should be an alarm. But it isn’t, and it’s always labelled as some conspiracy or trolling. This is misinformation 101.

I will let this here and see if it become more obvious.

@light Should I use that email to complain or is there any other mechanism that isn’t “supervised” by the glory fiduciary team?

Don’t tell anyone, but that email address doesn’t exist. For complains about my tweets you can use the line directly.

I can’t believe you are that naive, and I know you are trolling at this point, but I am going to explain it you anyway. Being in the board is not being part of a ‘glory team’ but a pretty big fucking deal specially when there are potentially hundreds of millIons on the line (there have been and there will probably be again). That’s why the word fiduciary is normally followed by responsibility, and responsibility as in legal responsibility. So yeah, I prefer dealing with some pissed off people than going to jail. Wouldn’t you?

I dream about the day in which there’s no need for me to be on that board, even more so for the day in which there’s no need for a board. It’s an unpaid role with just potential for trouble. Also there’s 0 reward involved, the AA board is usually just mentioned to shit on it when someone is unhappy about stuff.


There’s of course a cultural transformation ahead that we all are looking to tackle. The things with transformations is that you know where you start, but you are unsure about how it ends, despite how precise could be your vision about it.

TBH, I don’t have any issue with A1 centralized organization, I mean, just having a CEO and a CTO is a sign of it. But that’s ok, I would do it like that myself as well… Centralization give you a level of efficiency and pragmacity that decentralization can not (at least at this point of our history).

I wouldn’t expect neither that the absence of a command and control paradigm would allow an efficiency way of spending funds… I mean, although we speak about decentralization, abundance paradigms, freedom for everyone, we are all still subconsciously programmed to behave differently. We have done a brief experiment this the AragonCoop and it turned out that the Tragedy of the commons dominated there (see The Hunger Games post ). I don’t want to see what would happen if we decentralize completelty with the current immature tools the whole Aragon finance.

A couple of amazing guys did a fucking great job in communicating their vision about a decentralized world while demonstrating hilarious capabilities to do so. I’m sure both @jorge and @luis are conscious about they are not perfect and can make mistakes (and I hope they are also conscious they could be currently making mistakes without realizing it), but someone needs to hold the dam while we build the tools and culture to make decentralization happen. How we will make that happen? Well, that’s another thread I’d say, this actually --> Community reunion: your vision for Aragon

Yeah, I don’t think that to be a problem. I think that the problem is that those actors push a maximalist and imperialist strategy.

Maximalism in this case is just an ego issue and nothing good can come from it. Aragon is far from being in a dominating position, actually DAOstack and Moloch see more traction. So you cannot have a maximalism similar to Bitcoin, as BTC maximalism is an attempt to have BTC as a standard and reject other attempts to do something better which could dethrone BTC. You cannot have a similar strategy with Aragon simply because it is not on the throne (at least not yet :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Imperialism is an all or nothing kind of bet. Either it works, and almost everyone has to take you into consideration and submit to various degree (US style). Or you create yourself enemies out of people who would have been partners.
I think the chance of this working with Aragon are almost null. The only actor which could eventually push an imperialist strategy is MakerDAO and it seems that they went the other direction (composability, with compound, Uniswap and cie).
By asking projects to submit to Aragon (instead of having mutually beneficial relationships), Aragon will likely exclude of its ecosystem projects composed of independently-minded and really motivated members. Yeah, it has the money to pay contributors well, but you cannot just buy “entrepreneurship” skills with money. Nor can you buy the talents who value the ethical aspect of their job.
It will also create itself a bad reputation which would prevent other projects to seek collaboration (if you know that it is an admitted strategy to fork projects to put an ANT derivative instead of their token, even for projects offering to collaborate, you probably won’t reach out to them).

Let’s get real for a second here, as I wrote in the other thread, you were totally OK when we told you about our intention to do a 0-work-fork (that is, take your code and deploy it with a different token) back in January. You only got pissed when you felt personally attacked when we had to start re-implementing it from scratch.

You didn’t care when I was going to take your stuff for free and capture value from it. You had an issue when we had to to re-write it from the beginning because the state of your codebase was not possible to be fixed and polished to Aragon quality levels.

IMO, I don’t think you care that we took some ideas from you, just that you are feeling personally attacked because I implicitly said that we could do a better version of Kleros and then you pushed me until the point to say in public that your code is shit

There’s always ego involved of course, but my top goal is making Aragon incredibly successful, nothing else. You look into the mirror yourself and think whether you care more about Kleros or your ego, as a 0-work fork would have been waaaaaay more of ‘steal’ from Kleros and you didn’t seem to care at all.

I was never OK when Jorge told his intention to do 0-work-fork. However I tried to negotiate to find a mutually beneficial collaboration. However, he thought that the best was to ghost me (and refuse collaboration, without even being clear about it). The fact that he disrespectfully stopped the discussions is what encouraged me to speak out. Whether he planed to do a straightforward fork or copy does not really matter.

Saying that Kleros code is not “polished to Aragon quality levels” seems to be an excuse on his part to justify refusing to work with Kleros. He hasn’t been able to point out to any vulnerability and the Kleros codebase is way more concise (less code and complexity -> less chance to get something wrong) than the one he is developing.
Actually, if Aragon were to launch his own court and place itself as a Kleros competitor, that would be better from my perspective that it uses a complex reimplementation compared to a straightforward fork as it leads to smart contract security risks and would place a competing Aragon court as weaker competitor.

That makes little sense. I think Jorge is attributing me some emotional thinking process while I’m more interested in project success and economics.
Of course there can be better versions of Kleros, we are working toward new features and Kleros can be improved. I’m not a Kleros maximalist (I actually sometimes discouraged people building on Kleros as they could get simpler/better security models in their particular usecase and have respect for people proposing meaningful alternative solutions like the Augur oracle).
“Love the problem, not the solution!”

Actually, people making copies of what you built (Kleros cryptoeconomics), using data structures you invented (the sortition sum-tree) is even flattering.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
However, from a purely rational perspective, Jorge plans to create a Kleros copy which would be competing on “hype”. And this would distract resources from building toward “hype competing” (since the proposed Aragon court is a re-implementation of Kleros, it can only compete on hype and smart contract security).

I let readers make their mind on this comment. Abusers often blame their victim saying they “pushed them” to do something bad. In this case, I don’t see myself as a victim, I just think it made Jorge look bad…

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