Nostr Addiction


For the last couple days I've been trying Nostr, a fairly new protocol for decentralized social media. It exhibits some improvements over the fediverse, such as user identities being represented by public keys rather than tied to a single server, or the underlying protocol being easier to develop on than ActivityPub. However, a catastropic flaw is the integrated tipping system, zaps, wherein one person can tip another Bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

One of the worst problems of social media is the gameification of social interactions. With Reddit for example, people aren't incentivized to say what they really think, but what they (at least subconsciously) think will gain them the most upvotes. The end result being a hive-mind where all posts and interactions degenerate towards the lowest common denominator. Nostr's zaps are like that, but with money in addition to the endorphin rush. They're Reddit gold on steroids. Their effect is already widespread with users begging for money, openly admitting they love the endorphin rush, that they're addicted to zaps, and mindlessly parroting pro-Bitcoin slogans while avoiding any form of critical discussion. So while Nostr itself it a technically interesting platform, the social incentives and resulting user-base are terrible.