Living in Our Times: Greed and the “Superstar Delusion” by denmarkguy

View this thread on steempeak.com
· @denmarkguy ·
$12.83
Living in Our Times: Greed and the “Superstar Delusion”
Some years ago, I was part of a very large online community who played arcade games. This was a little different, because the weekly tournaments we had were actually *for money.* 

As a user, you'd pay a modest entry fee to be part of a tournament — let's say Tetris — and the money you paid in went into a prize money pool and when the tournament time ended, 80% of the money collected was distributed to the players, with the site owner/operator keeping 20% as their profit. 

Of course, you could immediately argue that the odds were *"stacked in favor of the house,"* but stay with me here!


![068-Stone-CommentsValues.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmV3K557FF3NWZWXqtvmnGToUbxTo4JYQQepUAEqxggnkX/068-Stone-CommentsValues.jpg)


## *Getting a Payout!*

The cool thing about it was the *distribution* of the prize money payout. 

The winners definitely had a really nice payday, and the top ten finishers in any given tournament could easily take home a several *hundred* dollars. What was really cool for *me,* was that in many of the bigger tournaments there would be payouts for as much as the top 40% of the finishers! It wasn't necessarily very *much,* but you might get back a couple of bucks or three against your 75-cent entrance fee. 

In any case, it was enough to keep me interested and coming back, week after week.


![072-Leaves-CreateProblems.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmUPZWBMrEtGp6YZrNjabMLDx8DnknocJNPBu6e911cigc/072-Leaves-CreateProblems.jpg)


## *Getting "Elitist"*

But then things changed. The site owners decided that in order for them to attract many new players, and thus make *more* money, they needed to be able to advertise that they offered *bigger* prizes. Or so they believed.

So the prize money payout schedules were redesigned with the *bulk* of the money now going only to the top three finishers and perhaps the top 10 or 12 getting *any* money at all. 

What that effectively meant, was that you either had to be *brilliant* or you would get nothing at all. Simply *"doing well"* amounted to absolutely nothing, where previously doing *"pretty well"* at least got you a small reward. 

At that point I stopped participating.


![061-Water-ReadingSigns.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmNp1r5bBvw6uhBZtB2ZsKJKLesksbHEEKaCcyEX2LzcAD/061-Water-ReadingSigns.jpg)


## *Why am I Telling this Story?* 

When I step back and take a greater overview,  that gaming site represents merely a microcosmic view of what seems to be happening in the broader world. It encapsulates the changing way in which we view what constitutes *"success."* 

It seems we have left behind the days where simply *doing really well* at something was applauded and considered a success in its won right, and now we must instead be *truly outstanding* or our efforts are regarded as irrelevant, and don't count.

I have come to think of this as "*The Superstar Delusion.*" We see it across all aspects of society. If you aren't the huge box office star or the CEO of a high rising tech company or a basketball player who signed a $30,000,000 contract you're nothing. You should just pack your bags and go home.


![080-Heather-Unhelpable.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmUDpccgYeX94t6AUvzg9P4vuwh5DA32Y4H3VD8be1dajD/080-Heather-Unhelpable.jpg)


## *What Does that Mean to YOU?*

Now you might be asking yourself *"So what?"* 

Whereas the superstardom of success may look *inspiring* to some people — who wouldn't want to get paid $10 million for being in a film? — the fact that the efforts of *99.999% of the people are considered failure or irrelevant* takes a psychological toll on our willingness to *try* things. 

Ask yourself whether you'd still be here if the rewards on Steem were paid as $2,000 each to only the ten most popular posts every day, and everyone else collected *absolutely nothing* for their efforts... I think I know the answer.

Many people, and particularly those were able to objectively evaluate themselves, look at the world and what it takes to *"succeed"* (by these standards) and ask themselves why they should even *bother?* Which, in turn, creates that sense of *underachievement and indifference* which many people now lament exists in our world. 


![095-Cloud-Jealousy.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmNyZgjAE78hrgZegUY6qiQYiDcBkuE3sakUWNVf7V6Zaf/095-Cloud-Jealousy.jpg)


As for the aforementioned gaming web site, it continued along for several years, fueled by people who labored away in vain, with no chance of ever winning the $10,000 prizes, driven only by the *hope* that they might make it big, even though they had zero *realistic* chance. Meanwhile, a small group of elites laughed all the way to the bank...

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

***How about YOU? Do you think we have become more EXTREME in our definitions of "success?" Do we put too much emphasis on "superstardom" while ignoring all those who simply are "very good" at something? As always, comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!***

***(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — NOT A CROSSPOST!!!)
Created at 20201116 18:10 PST
x056***
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vote details (158)
@stef1 ·
$1.06
That was an interesting experience that you have had with that online game, I agree when there are many who could win at the end many will be happy to take part and have an interest to come back.

Once it is limited to only couple but the big prizes the rest will lose interest and go.

The same situation is happening on Steem now many posting and receiving nothing if they are not taking part in the activities of the Steemit team, therefore they are just left for their own surveillance. 

People vote and commented on those posts that are done for Diary games or challenges Steemit team, because the comments are upvoted with 1-5% of their account that has 10 Million Steem Power. So you can imagine it is worth to comment them. The rest of Steem blockchain users are just their for themselves.

I think on the top of everything due to such accounts like @upvu and @gotogether, who are upvoting those who delegate them many have given their SP away. It is very beneficial for the users, that means they can post anything even just a single word, they will receive their daily upvote and dividends. It is very tempting but in my opinion if we all give our SP away who will entertain the smaller accounts? Because then Steem may really disappear.
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vote details (3)
@steemcurator01 · (edited)
It is a never ending challenge - what and who we vote for with the main @steemcurator accounts.

We are constantly expanding the range of posts we visit, particularly exploring new communities we haven't visited before.

But there are of course limits - even with our large voting power.

Our curation activity at the moment is a sort of 'Economic Stimulus Package' while people build larger accounts for curation.

We are hoping incentives such as @steemcurator02 preferentially voting on Power Up posts will help with that.

It will take time to achieve this certainly, but we are seeing promising signs with a number communities now growing their own curation accounts.

Hopefully over the next 6 months or so we will see some significant voting power being developed among communities.

---

Additionally to encourage engagement, we do allocate an increasing portion of our voting power to rewarding good, meaningful comments.

Hopefully people will catch on to that and realize they can earn just as well from commenting as from making posts.
👍  
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vote details (1)
@denmarkguy ·
Thanks **@steemcurator01** for taking the time to stop by and comment!

I do like the idea that the *"economic stimulus"* can be spread around; and I certainly realize that it is a *lot* of work *(I'm admin in a couple of Facebook groups with 11,000 and 20,000+ members, respectively)* to look out for everything that happens. 

The *chance* to get a meaningful upvote for authentic and original content is what keeps many people plugging along... if some of my earlier posts had not been *"seen"* it's unlikely that I would have continued here. We can look at the monetary value of the rewards, sure... but from the (new) content creator's perspective there's also the *psychology* of of a sense that *"my content is appreciated and valued"* which makes most creative types want to continue.

I applaud your voting on comments... it definitely *does* make a difference; in my early days there were *many* weeks when my rewards for leaving comments were far above what my original top level posts earned. I still upvote comments, although even with 5500SP I have to vote at 50% to get past the *"dust"* payout threshold... so it's limited what I can accomplish.

But hey, I keep trying!
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@denmarkguy ·
Hi **@stef1,** you touch on an argument I have been making since early 2017: You don't build communities with *code and bots,* you build them with *people.*

When you end up with too many automated services or *"trails"* determining everything, you effectively stop having a *social content site,* you just an *investment.* What's the point in trying to be an authentic content creator, artist, creative or blogger if the *outcome* of everyone's efforts is already determined by automation? And why would anyone new want to become *part* of that if the *true* purpose effectively is *"I can park 1000 € here and it grows by itself, with no input from me."* 

That's *fine* if it's the stated up-front point of the venue... and on that basis I choose to take my efforts somewhere else. 

Some small part of me is still looking for the early promise held by the Steem community.
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@owasco ·
Sounds like a microcosm of the larger world - you have to have a lot of money to make any money, a condition that has now been made even worse by the covid con. Can we just stop playing that game too? 
👍  
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vote details (1)
@denmarkguy ·
I don't know if that game is *ever* going to stop, unless we can somehow get rid of the apparent *"greed gene"* so many seem to have.
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