Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

We find with a lot of blockchain writing that it blends some good technical complexity with some fairly simplistic advocacy. This is a case in point. Node is a Javascript library than can be used to build websites (the system I'm studying, Electron, is based on Node). It's open source software, and like most such, depends on people contributing modules. In one case, a hacker obtained permission to upload a Node module and embedded some code that would steal the contents of a bitcoin wallet. So how is blockchain supposed to fix this? By paying the developers.

The thing is, I have seen no evidence that adding payments would make dishonest developers honest. Would it be nice if open source developers got paid? Sure. But you're just going to get OSS code consortia, where an anonymous company takes the credit and reward (that is what happened on Udemy, where the course I paid for was created by Eduonix, which just pumps them out with no quality-check or follow-up). And how do you sort out between the developers who deserve payment and those who don't? And you still have no way to stop someone who is going to write malicious code.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 21, 2023 11:56 p.m.

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