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Joined: 06/09/2014
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This game is important,
But not enough people are playing it. So here is my idea.

Is it possible that we could start a kickstarter or similar campaign to fund whoever comes up with the design. There are so many businesses and individuals suffering from the quarantine that I'd bet thousands and thousands of people would be willing to give money to whoever came up with the design to destroy this thing.

Advertise that to get funded, and advertise the amount.

If you get over $100,000 dollars that are up for grabs to anyone, suddenly people will start coming in droves. Even more so if you reach $1,000,000, or $100,000,000. Who knows, this could be bigger than the lottery.

There are so many people at home bored right now.

Please.

Joined: 05/19/2017
Groups: None
Ethical issues.

The moment you throw crowdfunding into this there's a lot of things that need to be cleared.

Science in general relies on grant money to get the stuff done, and offering a cash prize cuts into money that could be used to actually synthesize more solutions in the lab. Should the scientists hold back money they could have used to test the "winning" solution just because they need to give prize money? I think that's a dealbreaker, personally.

Second, crowdfunding it could mislead some people into thinking that they're entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields, skewing the benefit yield towards richer people. Should that be the aim of science?

Advertisements costs money too, and evidently a lot of it considering how much media companies can make. Should we be bleeding cash to advertising when we could be putting that towards more results or faster rollout of a solution?

I think the fact that not a lot of people are playing stems from more than just lack of incentives. While progress is slow to fix certain issues (like the game itself being very obtuse as a game), it's being made. It's so easy to have those pie in the sky dreams and while I would love Foldit to have a massive impact too, it always comes back to a simple saying:

It's easier said than done.

Joined: 06/09/2014
Groups: None
I think the goal needs to be to solve the problem.

Why should someone care whether the person who solves the problem is rich or poor? If Bill Gates solves the problem, who cares? The important thing is people will be saved.

As far as advertising, I don't think you'd have to pay for that. Since this is a worldwide problem that everyone is focused on right now, giving prize money to the one who can actually solve it shouldn't be a problem.

I believe the more ethical question is why would you hinder using every resource available to you to solve this worldwide problem if available to do it?

It's not just a game, it's people's lives we are talking about. Besides, if you simply post the rules and what a person is and is not entitled to if they win, why should they expect anymore?

People would be willing. This issues seem quite trivial compared to the problem.

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science
I agree with you Zionram.

The problem with the coronavirus outweighs the issues with Foldit as of now.

Even though Foldit is a work in progress, progress will lead to perfection.

Joined: 05/19/2017
Groups: None
Further points, and some counterpoints

I'm not sure if you remember (or for those of you who are new, have heard of this), but the Aflatoxin Challenge brings to mind one of the potential pitfalls. Among the collaborators are Mars Incorporated and ThermoFischer Scientific. Some seasoned veterans refused to play on principle due to the fact that larger corporate entities stood to gain from this and were concerned about the rights to the protein design.

Eventually this was settled by declaring the future enzyme design public domain, but for some this still wasn't enough to dispel concerns about profiteering. Good intentions can still have ulterior motives, and that could backfire and dissuade otherwise key players. Crowdfunding will solve part of that problem, I'll give you that, but depending on who's donating and how much, this could easily be used to look charitable as an individual, corporation, or otherwise. And my big question about crowdfunding campaigns: what would the rewards for donating even be? Only the satisfaction that your donation helped coronavirus research? If there were donation incentives to fund the prize pool those need to be sourced from somewhere, and even if they cost no money, they still cost time.

It also occurred to me while thinking about this: what if the final design isn't one single player's design, but a group's evolver solution? Should the prize money be split amongst every member in the group? Or amongst only the active members? Maybe it doesn't end up being a complete player solution at all, but instead a player solution with one crucial edit by a scientist. Does the scientist get a bonus then? And who will be in charge of the logistics of it all?

You'll have to excuse me for being cynical about this, but that single spark we need to ignite a greater fire needs a perfect storm to support it, and I'm just not seeing it coming together. I would imagine the Foldit team has a lot of work on their plate already, and as much as we'd like to have everyone pull out all the stops, first things come first. Josh has already mentioned on stream that Foldit comes after being a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant. The scientists and developers in general have to budget their time between data analysis, running and maintaining this site and producing puzzles and content, and the unpredictable business of ordinary life on top of that. Running and managing a Kickstarter campaign that, let's be honest, might not even be guaranteed successful is an extra source of stress and time/energy drain on an already hectic schedule that's best left doing what they're already doing well.

They COULD outsource this and get help with more people from Kickstarter or elsewhere, but that's still one more thing they need to manage and keep in contact with, and they need to make sure the people they're working with aren't going to misrepresent them or make mistakes (there was already one incident with someone inappropriately promoting Foldit that could've backfired hard).

It's not to say I don't see the positives or the avenues to make this happen, I do!

Successful (key word successful) Kickstarter campaigns have made some incredible things happen, and I know that Foldit's already done great things even with its previously limited resources and playerbase. Plus if the right people hear about it and spread the word, this could snowball really easily! I'm already actively trying to promote Foldit by streaming, making videos, and networking with fellow streamers I'm close with to tell them and their audiences about the game in the hopes that it gets more coverage. Even though nothing truly huge has happened on that front yet, getting front page on Reddit has expanded the playerbase to at least quadruple of what it was before (and I'm hoping this doesn't decay quickly after coronavirus has passed).

Anyways, assuming the complexity of the game doesn't scare off new players eager to help, we could see great strides in research progress (and we probably already are, all things considered! no need to be too desperate!). I just see realistic obstacles in the way that probably won't be resolved anytime soon unless you yourself happen to be someone very important with the right skillset or connections to dispel everything I've laid out here.

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science
I've countered all your additional points and counter points.

Every time you buy something from a store, like food or books, or software like Foldit, someone is profiting from it. Without profiting, the economy would not function well. Profiteering has to happen and is essential.
Even though Foldit is free, the scientists and pharmacies make money off of the medicine that patients/doctors buy. Profiteering is inevitable and it happens every day. So this is a separate problem that we do not need to bring up. So don't sell us your red herring.

Also, technically, the Foldit players who find the cure for the coronavirus are profiteering from this too if they are the ones who find a cure by being famous and on and on so point countered.

So if key players are dissuaded so what? I don't care about them. That does not mean we will not find a cure.
Practice makes perfect. Players who are learning in progress will lead to perfection and will replace those so called key-players who want to profiteer from this problem to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus. See the bold statement.

The rights of protein design will be acknowledged of course. They have to be acknowledged in order for this game to be fair. If it really does come up to the point that they aren't acknowledged then it is bad. But the probability of it really happening is unlikely, as I have seen Foldit credit players for their proteins with their permission.
Also, the players are credited are profiteering from this, see the bold statement. Profiteering will always happen in some form or way.

" what would the rewards for donating even be?" That is your big question? Huh. I guess so, but I don't think it's that big.
Do you know what donating means? There will be absolutely no rewards for donating unless you want profiteering hahah. Yes, the satisfaction will be just about it.
Not just a little satisfaction, a large amount of satisfaction because they know that they are contributing to a legitimate cause that is driven to solve this urgent problem to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus. See the bold statement.

Also the money will just be split up of course. The people who run Foldit will be in charges of the logistics of it all if they ae free to do so. See the bold statement, I am tired of repeating this, YOU NEED PROFITEERING!

If the Foldit team is really busy (or so you say), then there are lots of people who are not busy as they are at home due to the coronavirus. Some of these people who are not busy are also driven to stop the coronavirus, and maybe they could be in charge of the logistics of it all. Maybe you, S0ckrates, since you are willing to do so yourself. Anyone who is willing to do so can do so.

If you are thinking that we should prevent someone from misrepresenting us, then do it. Maybe you can have some group administrators or managers do the logistics.

My opinion is that the prize money should be split. Among every member who contributed to making the protein. Of its amongst the active members, because without the inactive members there would still be the protein made. Logic. If a scientist makes an edit and wants part of the reward then give part of the reward to him/her. Profiteering, Profiteering, Profiteering. I am saying this because of course its gonna happen!

It's not to say I don't see the negatives to make this happen, I do!

Unsuccessful (key word unsuccessful) Kickstarter campaigns have made some horrible things happen, and I know that Foldit's already done bad things even with its previously limited resources and playerbase. Plus if the wrong people hear about it and spread the word, this could snowball really easily!

If you think you are cynical and just don't see the perfect storm for this, and see realistic obstacles in the way, and need someone very important with the right skillset or connections to dispel everything you have laid out here, then here I am. I have laid the blueprint for the perfect storm for this and laid out all the possible paths you can get past all those living obstacles, and have dispelled everything you have laid out there.

Donuts554 out. (Why do I sound like I'm in a TV show?) P.S. Tbh I really do understand your concerns and that I copied what you said because it is really true.

From, donuts554. (Now that's more like it.) P.P.S. Remember profiteering will happen anyways.

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Joined: 08/05/2010
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what if no one wins?

'But not enough people are playing it. So here is my idea.'

The idea appears to be to use Kickstarter and offer a prize:

Some reasons why people are not playing:
-Foldit is difficult to learn and play
-Foldit requires a decent computer to play,
-it is not easy to understand or get help if English is not your first language.
-Foldit can take a large time commitment so people drop out.

Lots of people try foldit and give up for a variety of reasons.
Winning any of the Corona puzzles is not necessarily providing a 'cure' for the virus although it may help.
Letting more people know about the game is a good idea.
Asking people to pay to play a free game for a monetary prize appears to be what you are suggesting - why would they?

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science
I disagree with Sockrates though.

Sockrates, I see that you say “Science in general relies on grant money to get the stuff done, and offering a cash prize cuts into money that could be used to actually synthesize more solutions in the lab”.

I can not see how you would get from “ Science in general relies on grant money to get the stuff done,” to “ offering a cash prize cuts into money that could be used to actually synthesize more solutions in the lab”.
Zionram says “Advertise that to get funded, and then advertise the amount”. This statement means that there will be two advertisements about the coronavirus, the first one being able to be funded by outsiders, and the second one just like the first one, but instead of the outsiders funding the advertisement, this second advertisement would present a reward, that would be the amount that was funded by the first advertisement.
Because there is the same net amount of money coming in and coming out of the whole process overall, this can be put as a separate matter, and not affect Foldit’s grant money.

Since the money would come from the people who fund, not from the universities, what Sockrates says about a cash prize cutting into money does not apply to what Zionram says. Therefore, I do not think Sockrates’ “firstly” statement actually applies to Zionram’s situation.

Also, Sockrates says “crowdfunding could mislead some people into thinking that they’re entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields, skewing the benefit yield towards richer people.”
I can not see how you would get from ”crowdfunding could mislead some people into thinking that they’re entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields,” to “skewing the benefit yield towards richer people.”
The first part of your statement implies that some people could be mislead into thinking that they are entitled to first priority at ”whatever benefits the research yields”. Since the situation that some people could be mislead into thinking something generally means that there is mislead thinking in some people, this means that there is mislead thinking in some people.
The second part of your statement says that the benefit yield would be skewed towards richer people. Since things that are skewed towards a party generally mean that the things benefit that party, this means that the benefit yield would benefit richer people.
I can not understand how the situation that there is mislead thinking in some people means that the benefit yield would benefit richer people. Mislead thinking has nothing to do with the benefit yield or rich people.

Even though people can be mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people, what is thought and what is in reality are not truly the same, so the people can be mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people will not have the benefit yield and be rich people.

This is because of the reason that if there was the situation that people are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people, since the situation that some people could be mislead into thinking something generally means that there is mislead thinking in some people, this is mislead thinking in the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people.
Given the situation that there is mislead thinking in the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people, since the given situation that there is mislead thinking in a given party generally means that that given party had thinking that is mislead, the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people had thinking that is mislead.
Since the given situation that a given party had thinking that is mislead generally means that that given party had thinking that is not in reality, the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people had thinking that is not in reality.
This means that the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people actually have false thinking, and that means that the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people are thinking something that will not be fulfilled in reality.

Given the situation that there are people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people think that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people, since what is thought and what is in reality are not truly the same, the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people will not have the benefit yield and be rich people in reality.

Since the people who are mislead into thinking that they will have the benefit yield and be rich people will not have the benefit yield and be rich people in reality, this means that the benefit yield will not be skewed towards richer people, even though crowdfunding could mislead some people into thinking that they’re entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields.

Because of the two reasons that 1. Therefore, I do not think Sockrates’ “firstly” statement actually applies to Zionram’s situation and 2. the benefit yield will not be skewed towards richer people, even though crowdfunding could mislead some people into thinking that they’re entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields, I disagree with both pf Sockrates’ ”firstly” and “secondly” statements.

Additionally, due to the two reasons outlined above, we are therefore not bleeding money because the net amount of money that is removed or added is 0, even though advertisements cost money. A GoFundMe funding account post can be used which can be free. Also, the funding from other people can be divided in half so that half of the funds from advertisements can go into funding for advertisements, and the other half of the funds from the first advertisement can be the amount advertised in the second advertisement. This would be a solution that can resolve the problem that advertisements cost money themselves.

Even though Foldit has certain issues and that “the game itself being very obtuse as a game”, even the developer of Foldit says that folding solutions to coronavirus will help find a cure for the virus. Also, Foldit has found cures and solved problems that matched or outperformed algorithmically computed solutions.
For example, in 2011, Foldit players helped decipher the crystal structure of a retroviral protease from Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, which was a scientific problem that had been unsolved for 15 years. If this scientific problem was solved by Foldit players almost a decade ago, then this scientific problem about the coronavirus can be solved too.

Due to the four reasons that 1. I do not think Sockrates’ “firstly” statement actually applies to Zionram’s situation, 2. the benefit yield will not be skewed towards richer people, even though crowdfunding could mislead some people into thinking that they’re entitled to first dibs at whatever benefits the research yields, 3.the funding from other people can be divided in half so that half of the funds from advertisements can go into funding for advertisements, and the other half of the funds from the first advertisement can be the amount advertised in the second advertisement, and 4. in 2011, Foldit players helped decipher the crystal structure of a retroviral protease from Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, which was a scientific problem that had been unsolved for 15 years, it always comes forward from a simple saying.

Just because something is easier said than done does not mean it is impossible for it to be done.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Joined: 05/26/2008
Groups: Hold My Beer
my 2 cents on this, is that i

my 2 cents on this, is that i think you need to remove it from the "game" category. A lot of people do not take it seriously, or dismiss it when you mention it as a game. I think that a small remarketing as competative citizen science would go a long way towards attracting the right kind of people.

Joined: 02/19/2020
Groups: Hold My Beer
Citizen Science Funding to Top Ten Groups

we deserve recognition on a new level.

something we create.

I own all the rights to my designs and creations, online or offline. copyrights 2020

What are they worth ? Does anyone know the value of a protein design these days in the real world?

that should settle things for everyone invested in the area. working together. Worldwide Citizen Scientists have costs associated with playing the "game" and these could at least be met with interet for those with designs that do well, in the market place others dont have access to share, like we are.

Joined: 06/09/2014
Groups: None
Is there a better idea?

Look, bottom line is that I want the same thing you do, a cure. I think this has huge potential, but not enough people know about it. I was just trying to create excitement, I believe excitement would drive more people to try it, and I don't see that as a bad thing, whether we are addresssing this virus or any other virus in the future.

I know money is a good motivator and I know there are lots of people who are willing to give, that's why I came up with the idea. Perhaps there would be a better way, like a company sponsored grant that would split money between the lab that cured it and some of the helpers. I don't know.

All I know is, I want life to get back to normal and I think you may have the tools to literally save the world!

That is all.

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science
I think that your idea is alright.

I have resolved all of the problems about player protein rights and profiteering. I like your idea and agree that people are driven by money. Of course excitement is not a bad thing. And we do have the tools to save the world.
But if I were you I would make my plan a lot more detailed so that no one would say any alarming questions that might make you reconsider your statement.

Joined: 03/03/2020
Groups: Go Science
One thing to consider if this

One thing to consider if this or another idea succeeds in making fold.it even more poular is: who will be answering all the questions new players have in chat? Will answering all those questions take away from the veteran players' time to work on solutions? I know there are already a lot of good resources available for answering questions including FAQs and videos, but global chat persistently sees the same types of questions asked: how do I solve this tutorial problem, etc.

Joined: 04/01/2020
Groups: None
You're all hearing it in this

You're all hearing it in this post from the lowly, non-scientist-type, ADD-riddled moron - myself...this 'game' is not meant for folk as simple as me. Period.

I think I got to the test/practice(?) fold thing of hydrogen bonds and a score of 6500 was all I could ever get out of the 9000 needed to move on to the next beginner/practice/whatever it was.

This 'game' needs to be relabeled somehow so that this site will *stop* or at least severely slow down the amount of people popping in, trying it, and, like me, finding it making absolutely no sense and just plain difficult for non-sciences types of folks and just leaving with unfinished 'games', or saves or anything at all other than a try or two and logging out forever after.

Money being thrown at people isn't going to do any good. Believe me, I'm barely able to keep the crappy trailer roof over my head and food enough to eat on a monthly basis with my disability check. Sure, I'd break down and cry like a skinned-knee little school girl if I won a hundred grand somewhere somehow, but since I'm also the too-honest-for-my-own-good type, I'd rather let you people know that the money will make no difference if people like me in those masses you think a 'reward' like this will attract and actually make a difference in how difficult it is to play for most of them who no matter how hard they try if they can't get through even the first level of practice stuff *will* just quit *anyway* and it'll *still* be a slough of leftover, unfinished junk piling up on the servers.

I don't have an answer to fix this problem of not enough people coming to try the game and actually sticking with it, but I *do* believe being a little more honest or correct with the kind of 'game' it is will slow down a lot of those who try for 10 minutes and give up. Put it in the title or whatever, that this 'game', though it *is* a game, is meant more for (leans more toward) those who are studying in the sciences.

Ask too that if they're honest with themselves, that if they're not really very *serious* with their studies in the sciences (and preferably bilogy?), to not play the game and to preferably *tell* others they may know who may be more interested in it than they are.

I don't know, that's just my thoughts on it and I wish I could help more, and I really wish I could concentrate better so that I could stick with it longer to try and actually be of help, but it is what it is and I'm just not one of the good ones who will be able to play.

Also, for what it's worth, S0ckrates is right on the money with his thoughts on it too.

Joined: 05/19/2017
Groups: None
You've got other options!

Foldit's "game" aspect is being worked on hard right now thanks to Josh's efforts, so after 2 years of playing this protein-sandbox-puzzle engine I'm happy to report that at least. It'll take time though. I still maintain that you don't need to know the science to start, but this is a great way to assist learning the science since "the science is the metagame", as I always say.
There's always watching others play to learn, if that's up your alley.

Else fails, you can still lend your computer power to Rosetta@Home or Folding@Home. Those don't require human input once you set those up!

Joined: 06/20/2019
Groups: Go Science
Interest and motivation.

If you have the strong interest and the motivation to beat this game, then you can do it. If you do not, then you can't.

So what if it is not for people like you? I have a strong interest and motivation to beat this game, and so I keep on contributing to it, so is it for people like me? I am not a science type of folk either! I like to cook and draw and exercise in my free-time, not be busy sitting and reading science textbooks!

What Zionram was saying is that this corona-virus advertisement was supposed to hook people who have a strong interest and motivation in the game, and who would be comfortable with playing it. Since I fulfill all of those criteria, I am happy to be playing it.

I agree with that the game needs to be relabeled a bit. I also agree that the game may be a little obtuse. But for people who have a strong interest and motivation, they do not need that. They have a growth mindset , and will do anything to fix their errors, and not give up. Winners never quit, and quitters never win. .

So it isn't for people in the masses, then maybe its for people who are more motivated than you are. That does not necessarily mean to have a higher wealth, but the higher the wealth relative to your current situation in my opinion the more motivated and interested you will be.

OK, I do agree that the tutorials need some working on. But for the people who have a growth mindset, and try to strive, they will get it. Folding a corona-virus binder protein is not meant to be that e-z, even if its 2020. What did you expect?

Yes, it will slow down those who can't understand. They don't have a growth mindset so they quit quickly. I must admit it does lean more toward those who are studying in the sciences, and was that what you expected? The Fold players are citizen scientists! Of course the game leads toward the sciences.

If they aren't interested, then they won't play. It is simple. There is a path that you can take in Foldit to pass all of the tutorials, and that is a growth mindset.

In reality, you do not need to be in the sciences to do this. You need a growth mindset. If it is too confusing, you must have the mindset to go into the FAQs and Foldit Fandom Wiki to learn more. People who are truly driven to what they want to do will do it, if there is a conceivable path to do so. And there is a conceivable path, because I have trudged every single step on that path and here I am, already finished with all of the tutorials.

I was not intending to boast, and I was intending to say that as long as you have a true growth mindset and are truly driven to what you want to do, if there is a probable way, then you WILL do it. Not might, not can, not maybe, not in-between, but you will .

As long as you have the true will do to so, and you are willing to do it, then you will do it.

If your problem is concentrating better, than learn more and more from the simple points. Sounds tiring, but if you are truly willing, then you can do it.

And it's money. Money will make a difference, even for those poor people/immigrants who are truly willing to work in the sciences, through helping their familes get food, a house, water, going to school, etc. Or if you need to pay off debt as a willing scientist? Who knows?

You can be one of the good ones if you are motivated, as that the reward is that this will make a cure and save hundreds of lives and prevent dark futures from happening plus the satisfaction plus the money rewards plus everyone honoring you as the one who made the cure because he was so willing to do it.

If that was the reward, would you be willing to do it? It depends. You can take the red pill, or the blue pill.

If you are willing enough, you will replace everyone else as the one who made the cure.
(Btw you don't have to credit me if you actually do so :D)

Also I disagree with S0ckrates, and rebutted all of his points and counterpoints.

Hope you stay well anyways!
donuts554.

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