We’ve had enough of digital monopolies and surveillance capitalism. We want an alternative world that works for everyone, just like the original intention of the web and net.

We seek a world of open platforms and protocols with real choices of applications and services for people. We care about privacy, transparency and autonomy. Our tools and organisations should fundamentally be accountable and resilient.


MikedePlume [LibreList] Re: [redecentralize] Thoughts on decentralization: "I want to believe." 2014-08-20 12:04:36 (5 years 1 mon 22 days 08:08:00 ago)
On Wed, 2014-08-20 at 00:56 -0400, David Geib wrote:
> ...

> I don't really agree that it never works. For all the failings of free
> market capitalism, it's clearly better than a centrally planned
> economy. The thing about functioning decentralized and federated
> systems is that they often work so well they become invisible. Nobody
> notices the *absence* of a middle man. 

This is a great conversation and I'm enjoying the way the ideas are
flowing.  This paragraph has pushed one of my buttons, so I'm weighing

I agree with the failure of the planned economy experiment, but I
think the comparison with the free market needs expansion.  It's
important to emphasise that we don't actually _have_ a free market,
not as Hayeck and his followers envisaged.  The potential for market
imbalances (of power, knowledge, choice and such) is too great, so we
end up with laws, against fraud, weights and measures abuse, and stuff
that is not marketable quality, and regulations, to reduce power and
knowledge imbalances.  Of course we also have deliberate imbalances,
such as immigration restrictions, to control the market in workers,
trade tariffs, to re-inforce local industry, and trade agreements, to
enhance power imbalances.

Most of these problems come out the sheer size of states and
corporations, and most of the normal human interactions that might
protect against abuse assume relatively small groups.  A sports club,
church community, even a village, are all self managing.  Regulation
still happens, but the detection and response are (or can be)
relatively lightweight.  This doesn't work even with cities, where
everyone is a stranger, and police are required.

To bring the point home, we can consider a market as a collection of
protocols.  This conversation, or the re-decentralise thing, probably
started by assuming these protocols all work perfectly, as per Hayeck.
Clearly not a worker.  We need rules and regulations, we need
detection and response, and the response has to have some real impact.
These are, I suspect, human things.  Humans are interacting, and humans
need to address problems.  As a direct outcome of the human model, we
might look at community size.  This depends on the facilities being
offered.  Distributed search, YaCy, for example, could have a very
large number of users.  Social networks, on the other hand, might need
very focused small communities.  I can imagine a sort of federated
facility, using something like Diaspora, where smallish groups can
share a server, but servers can talk to each other in some limited way
to allow for groups that overlap. Problems can then be resolved
through side channels and appropriate server management tools. (and a
'server' could be a collection of distributed nodes, of course)

OK, that'll do from me.  Thanks for listening.

Mike S.