Thanks for continuing the discussion. Though it may seems we basically covered everything, I think it’s good that we’re drilling down to where there’s remaining misunderstanding or differing opinions.
Absolutely, and that’s been clear to me. But it’s what happens before the fully-carried that I care about, basically crowdmatching is only about what happens before we reach that point.
Let’s go with my invasive-plants example (English ivy is killing trees and ruining natural areas here in Oregon, to be specific). In many respects, controlling the invasive plants is a fine, real example of public good. Everyone can benefit non-rivalrously from the benefits of controlling/eliminating the ivy, and there’s no way to exclude anyone from those benefits. In that sense, overall environmental protection is a public good, and we’d consider funding such things with Snowdrift.coop (although, like most things at Snowdrift.coop, one can argue that we really should just have a tax).
How could I use preshold or similar? I’d have to pick some arbitrary small goal like “clear out the ivy from the neighborhood park”. That’s functional enough if I can find a clear delineation for the threshold. But even at just the neighborhood park level, I’d rather we get the park half-cleared than make no progress.
In reality, a small number of volunteers work to keep the park half-cleared as is. I’m one of those volunteers. Do I want to pull less ivy if someone else comes along to help? No, I want the park fully cleared and am motivated to do more if others will come along and make fully-cleared become possible.
Perhaps preshold treats our half-cleared work as a given and then puts a threshold on getting fully-cleared? Truly, this could work. But if I participated in promoting a clean-up day (which could be a monthly recurring thing) with the idea that we’d get a threshold of commitment for the day to go forward and then we failed to reach that threshold, not only would I have wasted the promotional effort, I and everyone else will feel further discouraged. We might even burn out and stop keeping the park half-clear!
And let’s say we succeeded with a preshold system in getting the park clear. Yay! I’m not saying threshold is necessarily bad. But I’d much rather, if possible, to get everyone to feel extra encouraged and move on to clearing all the ivy in the woods behind the park than have people reduce their efforts and think we’re done.
Overall, thresholds have this sort of complex problematic effect when we’re talking about massive issues that still have benefits if they are partially addressed. Either the threshold is arbitrarily low and so doesn’t even take aim at the larger scope or it aims high but risks failure.
Given my ivy example, the impact of reaching 90% control would be absolutely wonderful, and reaching 100% is probably truly impossible. I am not going to work at discouraging people who organize threshold campaigns to clear ivy, and I may even participate. Anything positive is good. But I really want people to learn about the problem, commit to being part of the solution, and invite others to join us — and crowdmatching is just a more explicit version of stating an undeniable fact: I will feel more encouraged and work harder the more others come help.
Snowdrift.coop itself is a perfect example. In reality, us volunteers get frustrated, burn out, etc. especially when progress slows. Each time a new contributor shows up to help us get launched, the rest of the volunteers almost always feel encouraged and start contributing more not less. And if we actually get launched, we all know the workload is going to increase not decrease, and yet that’s the state we’re all hoping for.
And the points that @smichel17 was making about FLO-values is more that people experiencing the benefits and progress will feel more motivated to keep going, in the same way that I reference above. Not that everyone just cares about the values, but that through actual progress, they experience FLO and it’s a positive feedback-loop.
Clarification: again we agree completely, I have written nearly the same words myself in other contexts.
The original formula for crowdmatching did not have everyone the same. I designed it to specifically have crowdmatching effect and the communist (lowercase ‘c’) from-each-by-ability effect. Unfortunately, it just proved to hard in practice to communicate etc.
The everyone-pays-the-same is the launch-something-for-now idea, not the goal or value in itself. It does have some equalizing benefits (a project relying on a few larger donors can greatly bias the project), but as soon as we have a working launched system, we’ll be looking into (with feedback from the community etc) how to provide more options that let people contribute relative to their means. And our low starting point already is related because we care about maximizing participation, including those of lower means.