I’m sure everyone who’s been here for more than a few months has noticed that we’re moving away from the sea metaphors to the bee metaphors. When people talked about Steem, it was fun to say that we were all swimming, that the small holders were minnows, the bigger ones dolphins and so on.
This conceptual metaphor also extends to the greater crypto world, where whales have a lot of money and sharks grow by rapidly eating away in a market.
But now we’re in Hive, and we are obviously in a bit of a pickle that we’ve solved by, instead of referring to people as Steemians, fish or minnows, people have become bees, and our schools of fish are now hives. This fits extremely well with what was previously developed for Steem, the Hivemind, and our communities, which are easily identifiable by having account names such as
@hive-012345 (they are even called that on Steem).
Cryptocurencies, and social networks set up on top of them, are super complex. But when these metaphors (bees, hives, etc.) exist, people have a much easier time getting their heads around the topic. We could even say that metaphors are the way into a “layman’s understanding”, into mainstream acceptance.
On this topic, @therealwolf poses a very important question. What will we do with Hive Power ranks? We’re unanimously pushing away from the sea metaphors and into the bee metaphors. What can we do about this?
1. Sea metaphors are crypto-wide
Whales are universal. In any cryptocurency forum you go to, you’ll find mention of whales. However, we don’t see dolphins or minnows or orcas. The conceptual metaphor (
blockchain=sea) is not as all-encompassing as it is on Steem, but it does exist and it definitely helps observers to understand the sheer magnitude one account holder can have compared to another.
2. Bee metaphors are more role oriented
In most comments under @therealwolf’s post, people created a mixture of source domains for the metaphor: bees and ant colonies. Why? I guess they’re more familiar with ants than bees.
- @markkujantunen, for example, proposes that the ranks could be worker, soldier, drone, queen and beekeeper.
- @manniman proposes the ranks scout bee , honey bee, royal bee and queen bee.
Compare this to the roles in Steem: plankton, minnow, dolphin, orca and whale. @arcange says the following:
it is role oriented (queen, guards, workers, ...) where the marine ecosystem is weight oriented (amount of tokens)
Wrong, that's only correct for an ant colony. In a bee hive you will find only workers (which, apart from their other tasks, also defend the hive), drones and a queen.
However, there are also eggs, larvae and pupae ... :)
Let’s understand this better
As @arcange notes, Steem ranks were weight-oriented, while commonly, insect metaphors for ranks are role-oriented. This is important because on Steem, people’s “role” was to do whatever they wanted. Many people’s objective was to become bigger by purchasing tokens, powering them up and getting to the rank of dolphin or orca.
However, if we were to assign role-oriented ranks, things would change. Remember what I said before, that metaphors are the way people understand the complexities of our ecosystem. If we were to assign metaphors that assign a mental image of roles, people would easily associate these roles with the tasks and duties they represent. Instead of thinking of the ecosystem as a place to earn and get bigger, people would see that they are designated as worker bee, for example, or soldier bee. What would we be telling them?
Instead of having shrimps who want to get to minnow, and minnows who want to get to dolphin, we would be depicting the environment as worker bees who want to build and serve the will of the queen bees, of soldier ants that would go out and fight each other, etc. The mental image is completely different. Is it accurate? We could make an analysis of the ecosystem finding role-related similarities to each rank. The main thing to understand is that a role and a rank are essentially different denominators.
What can we do?
People should keep up with the proposals, but I think that these topics had to be clarified.
Now that we’re done with the serious talk, let’s have some fun. @arcange proposes that Steem ranks are related to weight and size (they could also be interpreted as levels on the food chain). What if we could find some roles that match the three conditions?
- Related to weight/size/power-level
- Not role-oriented
- Compatible with the crypto sphere
First, to couple all understandings (hive, steem and crypto world), we could create whale bees, larvae, baby bees, and we could even go with space bees, since the outer space is already mentally associated with the sea.