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I'm not convinced by a de-centralised 'solution' to anything.
Generally, I think people crave safety too much to give up the centralised safety net. Most people can't even remember the passwords they already have...
It's always seemed that a decentralised world would be far less convenient than the current version of modern life where practically every small problem has a quick and easy solution.
Some amazing technological progress will undoubtedly be born from this phase of the digital evolution, I just don't think a fully de-centralised world will ever exist.
I can't shake the idea that it'll be more of a tool to shake up existing industries rather than replace them... 👇
Some of the assumptions just seem entirely wrong and unnatural.
This from A16Z (on web 3.0) is a prime example...
Hierarchies exist in nature across soooo many species. We're just going to flip these hierarchies upside down and expect everything to work itself out?
"We're different. Unique social animals at the top of the evolutionary chain."
True. We ARE different. But that doesn't mean we're entirely divorced from nature.
How many weird evolutionary quirks have ensured our survival to this point?
We're not even that different from ants...👇
Facts About Humans 👇
- Human societies have a complex hierarchical social structure.
- Jobs are determined by, and can change, by age.
- The ruler doesn't delegate the tasks to the workers, they choose their roles based on personal preference.
- Human society works as a collective "super mind". People can compare areas and solve complex problems by using information gained by/from each member of society
- Some social-parasitic humans raid and steal from neighbouring colonies.
On the whole, pretty accurate, right?
Also nothing to do with humans at all. It's from a Wikipedia article on ant colonies.
Sorry, not sorry.
But the ant comparison IS important. Well, to me at least,
See, ants use pheromones to signal things to other ants... Mainly food sources.
And they even put up border walls. Probably because ants are nature's version of Donald Trump or something...
Most importantly, once a trail is established, the ants will follow the path to food.
Until the reward at the end of the trail starts to deteriorate. Which is when a higher proportion of ants will walk a different path to seek out new food sources. The returning messengers will mark out the new paths to food, and the cycle repeats.
Is this what's driving the DeFi story? A mismatch in the human reward structure indicating that a new path is required? The VC's as the messenger ants telling us this is the way to food?
Or is it just more marketing? The 'financialisation of everything' as the critics claim...?
And is the financialisation of everything really all that bad?
The lower cost of raising finance is leading to a decentralisation of conglomerates...
Now that cost of raising finance is much lower. So too is the cost of paying out past profits to shareholders. So the cost of specialisation has come down - and so we see more specialisation.
General Electric is to split itself up into three companies in a continuation of a process that has been going on for decades more generally - that death of the conglomerate.
If de-centralisation promises smaller teams of specialists around the globe working to solve problems together using the right combination of skills while also eliminating the bureaucratic issues and wastage inherent to large organisations then count me in.
But that's not the narrative. It's more about digital assets, artificial scarcity and pay to play... (Not all of it. Just the stuff that gets the attention)
This excellent thread lays out the other side of the coin 👇
I do not want this. On a very basic level I do not want what you are selling. I do not want it to exist. I think the internet has too much ownership as it is. I don't want it carved up into a billion cubes, each engraved with a serial number and locked to someone's account.
Because ownership is a fake idea. We invented it because when there's only one of a thing, someone has it, and it's theirs. But then we invented computers and digital abundance and now so much stuff is just there.
You can go make your own copy, now you have it too...
This is true freedom, the dream of the web. Everything is bountiful. Everything is for everyone. You want to carve it up and add locks and permissions and sales and transfers because in your wildest dreams you cannot even imagine a world not designed like a trading card game
I barely even tolerate steam. I don't want DRM, I don't want subscription software, I don't want microtransactions or DLC. I don't want to be tracked and quantified and turned into a public list of things that I own, an advertiser's wet dream. I don't know why you want this and you cannot even explain it to me.
All you can do is trot out a list of half a dozen artists who extracted some decent cash from the early days of the hype bubble and you watch every big corp and rich asshole jump on this and continue jacking off to how indie it is
It fucking sucks. You are out to destroy everything I hold dear about the web, purely out of personal greed, while waving the stolen flags of people who tried hard to bring out its best qualities.
I'm just some cartoon fox on the internet but I will not take this lying down
And to be clear the ape pictures are only the foot in the door. These people want the blockchain to devour everything. They want you to log into twitter with a wallet and pay to mint tweets. They want you to ONLY be able to use avatars, or post images you own the NFTs for.
They want you to be able to sell your video of your cat to Viral Stuff Inc so they can post it, but you no longer can.
They want your birth certificate on ethereum. Every time they talk about the "potential of the technology" they mean some new form of insane restriction. This isn't even especially wild speculation. I'm sure plenty of them have dreamed up much worse.
There's already a US county putting marriage licenses on ethereum because there's no profit in freedom.
Profit comes from having restrictions, then charging for them to be relaxed...
Ethereum marriage licenses...? Would definitely bring the divorce rate down.
There's a world nobody wants, surely?
De-centralising to remove the gatekeepers makes sense.
Smaller, flatter hierarchies make sense.
Repackaging society just to create new gatekeepers and barriers really doesn't...
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