Upcoming Retro rounds and their design

I would echo @lefterisjp sentiments here.

In particular, the loss of a ‘Excluding educators, events and user facing apps/tools’ round is very sad to see. In my view, Optimism’s brand was its commitment to the broad concept of public goods funding in the wider Ethereum ecosystem, including many long-serving projects offering real value. I picked out a random few that I think would no longer qualify:
Zero Knowledge Podcast
…and probably I could pick 100 more that I personally think rock.

Dropping this wide concept narrows the culture quite a bit, an insular turn of sorts.

I understand that a major target of this new round was to eliminate various grifts associated with what is seem as the more qualitative world of education and culture. But the answer surely is to explore better ways to assess culture. Since Optimism was really the only RetroPGF game in town we now close off the exploration of how to do that (longevity seems one obvious means to disrupt fly-by-night culture/education grifts). And so what we see is the grift is cured, but we had to kill the patient to make it possible! I have seen this in many DAOs, good folk are collateral damage to the ultra-focus on the bad folk.

A few other observations:

The timing of this - during the rise of degen financial nihilism - is particularly disheartening, effectively eliminating a pillar of the Regen vision that Optimism pioneered, RetroPGF. Now, to my eye, the Round is virtually indistinguishable from any other L2s, except with slightly unique retroactive part.

That this decision seems to have been mostly dictated by the Foundation - unclear to me if this is what happened - should be a red flag for the Token and Citizen’s Houses about how the big decisions are really made. This is one of THE biggest decisions that could have been made, right at the very core of Optimism’s identity and by extension image to the rest of the ecosystem.

Metric, qualification, bureaucracy…you have to be careful about these. As a University lecturer I have seen how pernicious these can be with - and note the topics - education and community completely distorted in the name of gamification.