The 42ND Factoid AS (LTD)

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#1
Legal Entity: The 42ND Factoid AS (LTD), incorporated in Norway.

Guide Representative: Me (Tor Paulsen)

____________________

Hi everyone,

I will keep this application short, as most of you all know what I bring (and not bring) to the table as a Factom guide, due to the fact that I am currently serving as one and have been for almost a year.

My focus as a guide is mainly on administrative issues like working on creating a functional framework for our governance, coordination and process development, as well as creating and maintaining a transparent and functional repository of community documents.


If re-elected, my priorities will be:
- The expansion of standing parties.
- The introduction of on-chain governance for document ratification and ANO elections.
- The creation of a recurring grant-process document to provide predictability for all involved parties.
- To maintain and further cultivate our open, inclusive community.
- To create, refine and implement robust procedures to ensure the smooth running of the network and our governance (incident reporting/management, code update/network restart process, cancellation of coinable outputs, committee/working groups framework etc).
- To continue to provide input and support to committees/working group/ANOs and others who reach out to me in private.


Best,
Tor
 
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#2
Having worked with Tor over the past year I can say that we really can't do better.

Tor is dedicated, organized, consistent, and takes all of the activities and responsibilities that come along with being a guide very seriously. He was bedrock for our guide work over the past year, and he will continue to be moving forward.

I don't think much more needs to be said, I fully support Tor as a guide.
 
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#3
Thank you for volunteering for this challenging and valuable role.

At this stage I have one question for all of the prospective guides:

If you were able to change only one thing during your tenure what would that be, why would you choose it and what would you specifically bring that would make a difference to the outcome?

(I recognise that certain guides have already made some of these things explicit in their statement and do not expect them to have to repeat that, in which case a partial answer or simple reference to their statement will suffice.)
 
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#4
First, thank you for stepping up as a Candidate. Putting yourself out there like this is not easy and I appreciate your willingness and desire to work for the Protocol.

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not? And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?

3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?

Thank you.
 
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#5
Having worked with Tor over the past year I can say that we really can't do better.

Tor is dedicated, organized, consistent, and takes all of the activities and responsibilities that come along with being a guide very seriously. He was bedrock for our guide work over the past year, and he will continue to be moving forward.

I don't think much more needs to be said, I fully support Tor as a guide.
Thank you for the kind words Julian. You have been (and are) a joy to work with as a fellow guide :)

Thank you for volunteering for this challenging and valuable role.

At this stage I have one question for all of the prospective guides:

If you were able to change only one thing during your tenure what would that be, why would you choose it and what would you specifically bring that would make a difference to the outcome?

(I recognise that certain guides have already made some of these things explicit in their statement and do not expect them to have to repeat that, in which case a partial answer or simple reference to their statement will suffice.)
I mentioned a list of things I will focus on in my initial post, but I actually want to mention another one as a response to this question: I want to further work towards a fixed framework for the recurring processes/events in the community. The standing parties (and especially the guides) are currently spending a lot of time and overhead on preparing “single use processes” for ANO-elections and grant application rounds - and I would like us to move towards a system akin to the guide-election-process where these are recurring at a set cadence and regulated by ratified process documents where the main-dates is defined and the process timelines provided as offsets from that one.

This would mean that you remove the large overhead, predictability is provided, and the standing parties get to more intimately know the processes as they are recurring at a set cadence. They can still be amended prior to each new “event”, but if this is not done successfully the process will still be invoked unchanged instead of a grant round for example not being initiated on time. It will also be easier for the standing parties to review the changes when done as an amendment, as changes will be marked down from the previous version instead of a new process provided (an prudent example was this current grant round document where the removing of the indemnification from the template was not marked down and thus reviewers didnt identify it as a potential issue). Another positive side is that we would not need to announce every single event during an ongoing process. With standardised timelines the main ones could be announced and the standing parties would know from experience what would be next and what action is required. In the current grant round I think we have had almost 20 announcements from the guides, and I do not believe that is sustainable long term.

First, thank you for stepping up as a Candidate. Putting yourself out there like this is not easy and I appreciate your willingness and desire to work for the Protocol.

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not? And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?

3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?

Thank you.
1) No, but I have recently decided to create an account.

I had an account some years ago, but deactivated as I did not feel I had use for it at the time - and I got fed up with all the emails and what I felt was spam. As an Air Traffic Controller I expected to stay with the same employer my whole career (there is only one in Norway), and professional contacts in that very narrow field are not really created and maintained via LinkedIn.

Today the story is a different one, as I realise it is a potent tool for initiating advantageous contacts in this space, but more importantly it provides legitimacy for the Protocol for people doing due diligence checks on key personnel in the ecosystem.

2)
I think it is definitely centralization of power, but at this stage I believe it is required. The main reason for this is that, in my mind, we currently do not have the necessary standing parties for the system to safely operate without Guides as gatekeepers for something as important as changing key governance aspects of the protocol.

I believe that the Governance document ratified by the community (v.1.0) should only be amended after a thorough process with necessary oversight/gatekeeping, and currently the guides are providing this function as required by Doc 001 itself. The worst that can change at this stage is that a suggested amendment is not approved, and the ecosystem continue being regulated by the previous ratified version. On the other hand, the consequences associated with making a “bad” change to the document could be severe and have unintended negative consequences. An unlikely example: What happens if the standing parties decide to change the monthly inflation from 73k Factoids to 1 million? Or... To zero?

So far I believe the ratification of new documents and amendments of Doc 001 to version 1.4 (I believe the current one up for ratification has enough votes by now) have happened in an orderly and adequate fashion, and I do not see that change any time soon. The other standing parties (ANOs at this stage) also has a pathway for removing and replacing a “rogue” guide trying to subvert the process by blocking a necessary/required change endorsed by the community.

When the framework is more mature and we have additional standing parties in place (and the system is deemed functional) I believe a good first step would be to have a collective vote (by weight) by all standing parties, so instead of functioning as gatekeepers guides would have a say in a common vote by all standing parties (i.e not voting separately).

Regarding voting no on a suggested change and thereby gatekeep the process: I provided one example above (change inflation). Others would include amendments detrimental to the protocol’s health. Examples: Remove standing parties, provide unilateral powers to one standing party, introducing processes/governance documents I believe would go against the protocol’s interest (subjective decision based on my own beliefs).

3)
No. I do not believe that Guides should be permanent standing parties. I see it as an interim solution until we have the necessary framework in place for the other identified standing parties to come online and with a proven track record. I do however believe that the need for facilitation and coordination will almost always be there, so the guide role being defined as facilitators in the future would be in line with my vision.

Regarding a timeline.... I remember that many people in the ecosystem said they believed the guide role would become redundant rather quickly after M3 (3-12 months?). I was clear back then that I believed it would take a much longer time than that - and I am still of that view. A logical next step would be to change the voting structure for new documents/amendments to have guides vote together with the other standing parties, and then further down the road remove them as a standing party.... Personally I think we are years away from that happening, and reducing the guide scope to pure facilitation might be 2-5 years away.
 
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#6
Firstly, thank you for putting yourself up for election for this important and challenging position! These are general questions that I am asking to all applicants. If you feel the questions are redundant to your previous replies. Feel free to cite that and move forward.

Having recently ratified changes to Doc 001 I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to explain how you will intend to carry out the following as a guide.

1. Under Guide eligibility standards.
(a) demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
(b) be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.

2. Under Guide responsibilities
(a) make themselves available to the community
(b) Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
(c) Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the the protocol.

Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?

As a guide up for reelection could you also please touch on how you have accomplished any of the elements listed above and how you intend too moving forward.

Thanks Again
 
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#7
For legal reasons, we elect entities, not individuals. As such, the entity is the Guide and not a single individual. Therefore, in theory at least, any individual under the entity's umbrella can act in a Guide manner. This creates a scenario where an entity could get elected and then bring in an unknown individual as a part of said entity to execute the Guide responsibilities.

So the question is: If elected, will any other individuals besides yourself be acting in a Guide capacity for your entity?

Thank You
 
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#8
Firstly, thank you for putting yourself up for election for this important and challenging position! These are general questions that I am asking to all applicants. If you feel the questions are redundant to your previous replies. Feel free to cite that and move forward.

Having recently ratified changes to Doc 001 I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to explain how you will intend to carry out the following as a guide.

1. Under Guide eligibility standards.
(a) demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
(b) be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.

2. Under Guide responsibilities
(a) make themselves available to the community
(b) Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
(c) Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the the protocol.

Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?

As a guide up for reelection could you also please touch on how you have accomplished any of the elements listed above and how you intend too moving forward.

Thanks Again
Thank you for the questions Dan.

1a, 1b)
I belive pointing to my previous work with suggesting, organising and facilitating the community testnet, and then subsequently what I brought to the table as a guide so far is a sufficient response to these questions.

I believe my actions in those roles over the past 1.5 years speaks for themselves - both positively and negatively and should form a decent basis for the standing parties to make an assessment about my independence of thought and moral character.

2a)
I have participated in most guide-meetings (I’m travelling so checking the exact number in the minutes would be a hassle) the past year, as well as participated in public discussions and generally been available to answer questions and interact with the community most days over the past years. I think that people who have contacted me via PM could attest to me providing an answer/feedback within a reasonable amount of time (hours).

If re-elected I would continue in the same manner as before, trying to be as available as possible/reasonable to the community.

2b)
This is really a three-part question, so I will divide up my answers appropriately:
- Orderly operation of the network is in my mind mostly a technical aspect/question. It tasks the guides with ensuring that the network is functional and stable, and that updates are disseminated and applied in an proper fashion. When this text in Doc 001 was written there were no committees yet, so I believe it was put in there to ensure that someone was tasked with this certain responsibility. During the past 6 months or so this has however been largely executed by the Core Committee. As co-chair of that committee I have however handled substantial parts of this coordinatination. I believe a high-level responsibility of oversight should still lie with the Guides, i.e. that if the orderly operation of the network is disrupted and not competently handled by the committee they need to step up and take the necessary steps to get thinks back on track. This includes identifying any issues related to the current framework/setup, and rectifying these to ensure stable operations of the network. An example of a solution I brought to the table was expanding on the update-spreadsheet (thanks to the person why made the first version and to @Ben Jeater for help with the formulas), and adapt it for tracking the status of Factomd-updates to the Authority Set.
- Facilitate relationships between standing parties and the community. The most important aspect of this in my mind is definitely the expansion of standing parties to include staking and EC-users. ANOs and Guides should be held responsible to FCT-holders and users of the protocol, and while constructive social interaction is important in this respect, the more important part is to create a solution where these other parties have real, tangible standing with the protocol. The efforts we have done the past year with ensuring that our processes are as transparent as possible, with meetings being open for anyone to attend, the minutes Factomized and publicised, the creation of the ANO contribution forum (open for everyone to ask questions) and much more are very important in this respect. I cannot claim responsibility for most of these, but I would certainly work towards further ensuring that the broader community are able to observe and inquire about standing party processes.
- Adequate amount of applicants to ensure a large enough pool of servers to ensure that 65 are always available to the Authority Set. When the governance document was ratified and this text included I believe most of us expected that we would grow to 65 ANOs at a higher rate than we are currently seeing. Due to factors like the price dropping significantly, and stability issues with the protocol this is taking more time than anticipated - but in my mind that is quite healthy, and the path of organic growth we are currently experiencing are in line with my own perception how we should proceed. The current state of the network requires a lot of coordination and manual inputs (as evident by the efforts to get the network up again after the previous stall), and I prefer us to slowly add new ANOs at a rate which ensures that they get up to speed and gain experience through network participation. If the price dropped significantly again we might experience a situation where multiple ANOs would potentially leave the network, and at that stage we would need take more hands-on action to ensure we remain adequately decentralized. But again: at this stage I believe our current approach of doing ANO-rounds with a limited amount of open spots is the most sensible one.

2c)
I am very cognisant about the fact that our governance is socially enforced and not mapped 1:1 onto our current network state and topography. The real “hard power” sits with the Authority Set and the associated identities, and it is of paramount importance that our social governance is seen as legitimate by all the current and future standing parties. This is the reason why I am so very occupied with creating open, accessible and transparent processes that are endorsed and ratified by the standing parties - and why I am also going to pursue this as one of my main objectives during the next year if re-elected.

Regarding your question about the “wider community”, could you please clarify your question? I am uncertain if you refer to the current system of governance that applies mainly to the current standing parties, or if you are also including the identified future standing parties (stakers, EC-users) in this definition?

For the last question I could provide a rather detailed answer, but prefer to give a relatively short one. If you or others want I’m happy to expand on this. The past year I have worked on creating a lot of our current governance framework and bootstrapped initial processes into place so we have the resemblances of a transparent, predictable and functional framework. Going forward I would like to expand on this as described in my initial post in this thread.

Edit: That spreadsheet I mentioned above was apparently made by @maxlambda. Thanks a bunch! :)
 
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#9
For legal reasons, we elect entities, not individuals. As such, the entity is the Guide and not a single individual. Therefore, in theory at least, any individual under the entity's umbrella can act in a Guide manner. This creates a scenario where an entity could get elected and then bring in an unknown individual as a part of said entity to execute the Guide responsibilities.

So the question is: If elected, will any other individuals besides yourself be acting in a Guide capacity for your entity?

Thank You
Good question Matt.

Nobody else than me will represent The 42ND Factoid as a guide. If I for some reason would not be able to fulfill the role as a guide representative I would inform the standing parties accordingly and then step down as a guide.
 
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#10
Thanks for your time @Tor on that thoughtful response and all you have done for the protocol. You’ve been a wonderful guide and community member. I appreciate you and we are lucky to have ya around!

Regarding your question about the “wider community”, could you please clarify your question? I am uncertain if you refer to the current system of governance that applies mainly to the current standing parties, or if you are also including the identified future standing parties (stakers, EC-users) in this definition?
Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?
I can try and rephrase this:
Do you believe that the responsibility of “Maintaining orderly operation of the protocol" extends beyond simply the technical and governance aspects of the protocol. And is also applicable socially within the broader Factom community (current and future standing parties, general community members, people that are brand new to Factom, fudsters, etc..). If you do believe this to be the case…How do you intend to achieve this?

Thanks again!
 
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#11
Thanks for the clarification @DanG.

I consulted Doc 001 for some context and noticed that the full quote actually said “protocol network”, limiting this specific paragraph to the operations of the network itself which I covered in my initial response. I do however understand that you are asking about this in a broader context, and I will treat it like that in my answer below.

As I see it, governance is not simply the process of devising and enacting new legislation. Rather, I see governance as a broad process that encompasses many aspects of community dialogue generally. For example, I believe that it is important to ensure the voices of all stakeholders are heard and considered, even if those stakeholders do not have any formal standing in the protocol. When we listen to and speak with everyone, we can build a solid foundation for future growth that ensures continued engagement from the wider community.

To achieve this I believe the guides first of all should make themselves available to the broader community, participating in public discourse and answering questions truthfully and honestly and thereby contribute to an inclusive environment. We also need to design our governance processes and overall framework in a way which makes it accessible to everyone who is interested, and so far I believe we are on a good track to achieve this goal. I am quite cognisant about this, and will work towards ensuring that is taken into consideration when furthering refining our current processes and when developing new ones.
 
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#12
As a former Guide, I can speak from experience that being a Guide is time consuming and can be stressful. It can take critical time away from one's duties to their ANO yet the health of your ANO is paramount to the network. Is your ANO in good health where you can work less on it and does your business partner(s) or employer support your running for Guide?
 
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#13
As a former Guide, I can speak from experience that being a Guide is time consuming and can be stressful. It can take critical time away from one's duties to their ANO yet the health of your ANO is paramount to the network. Is your ANO in good health where you can work less on it and does your business partner(s) or employer support your running for Guide?
I would absolutely suggest that TFA is in good health. I have acted as a guide longer than TFA has been an ANO, and both before and since it's onboarding, I believe it has provided great value to the protocol and community, and not being inhibited by me acting as a guide.

After becoming a guide I have reduced my "day job" work commitments by approximately 20%, and that time combined with spending most of my "free time" on Factom constitutes my time spent on being a guide.

My business partners in TFA do support me in running for re-election as a Factom guide.
 
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#14
Hi Tor,
Thanks for your hard work to date as Guide. Your dedication to implementing processes and proper documentation has been integral in the early stages of our Governance build-out. We're lucky to be able to take advantage of your skill-set. I think what may have also gotten lost to history was that you stepped-up and were running the testnet prior to the Round 1 ANO elections. That was obviously a tremendous amount of work, you probably still have nightmares. Hard to believe it was only a year ago. Anyways, thank you!

Moving on, due to the open source nature of our project, and the non-availability of anonymous tools, the vast majority of community members are very hesitant to say anything critical due to potential social backlash. Sadly, I think there are only a handful of people willing to put their neck out on the line if it means they may catch heat. Having worked with you pretty closely over the last nine or so months, I can say that you genuinely are a very kind and nice person. People sincerely enjoy being around you. I wonder though if this makes you very hesitant to voice critical opinions, as evidenced by shying away from commenting on contentious community issues.

Questions:
1. How much responsibility do Guides have in regards to being a critical voice?
1B. If Guides do have an obligation to be a critical voice: As arguably the most well-liked/popular individual in this community, how do you personally balance your personal relationships/friendly nature with Guide responsibilities?
 
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#17
Hi Tor,
Thanks for your hard work to date as Guide. Your dedication to implementing processes and proper documentation has been integral in the early stages of our Governance build-out. We're lucky to be able to take advantage of your skill-set. I think what may have also gotten lost to history was that you stepped-up and were running the testnet prior to the Round 1 ANO elections. That was obviously a tremendous amount of work, you probably still have nightmares. Hard to believe it was only a year ago. Anyways, thank you!

Moving on, due to the open source nature of our project, and the non-availability of anonymous tools, the vast majority of community members are very hesitant to say anything critical due to potential social backlash. Sadly, I think there are only a handful of people willing to put their neck out on the line if it means they may catch heat. Having worked with you pretty closely over the last nine or so months, I can say that you genuinely are a very kind and nice person. People sincerely enjoy being around you. I wonder though if this makes you very hesitant to voice critical opinions, as evidenced by shying away from commenting on contentious community issues.

Questions:
1. How much responsibility do Guides have in regards to being a critical voice?
1B. If Guides do have an obligation to be a critical voice: As arguably the most well-liked/popular individual in this community, how do you personally balance your personal relationships/friendly nature with Guide responsibilities?
Thanks for your comment, Matt. The early testnet was a formative experience for the community and I am privileged to have been able to play my part.

I want to directly address the basic premise of your question: that I shy away from contentious issues. It is true that I am not usually the first to speak out publicly when a standing party is in some way out of line. Others have taken a leading role in that, and to them I am grateful. However, I want to be clear that this does not mean that I shy away from contentious issues. We as a community frequently have disagreements on issues relating to governance where people can often become quite passionate about the topic at hand. I never hesitate to insert myself directly into the centre of those disagreements. I am willing to state my opinion unequivocally and forcefully, whilst also maintaining respect and decency towards my fellow participants. I believe this may be what Paul alluded to above where he suggested I am "forceful in [my] leadership in the most quiet of fashions".

Moreover, as I am sure others can attest, where I don't make my opinions on certain topics known publicly, I am not at all unwilling to address hard topics when speaking privately with the party in question. This is unseen work and it would be inappropriate for me to list examples here, so I ask that you please take my word on that.

Having said that, I will also address your questions head-on.

1.
Yes, I do believe it is the responsibility of Guides to voice concerns directly and publicly where they believe a standing party has failed to meet their obligation to the protocol. Julian has recently exercised this responsibility with great skill and tact in the ANO contributions forum; I think it was an example to us all. I recognise now that my lack of public criticisms has been something of a shortcoming during my first term as Guide, and I am pleased you have brought this to my attention. I will endeavour to do better during my second term if the standing parties are willing to re-elect me.

1B.
Generally speaking, I have found that people in the community appreciate honesty. That is ultimately why we are all here: to make the world honest. I believe I can balance my genial nature against the responsibility of Guides to be openly critical at times by approaching any given situation with honesty, respect and from a firm evidence base. I believe it is entirely possible to be frank with people in a professional environment whilst also maintaining a strong professional and personal relationship. Julian led by example, and I am keen to emulate that example.