I feel like the majority of people care that much about decentralization. But I also think they don't care that much about centralization.

Often whatever comes first and works is what gets ingrained.

Contrast: if some big corp came along and tried to centralize email, people would (hopefully?) tell them to eff off. But, trying to decentralize microblogging is a big effort because Twitter was there first.

Let's get there first with things then, I guess.

Oops, that should say: "...*don't* care that much about decentralization"...


So, uh, in re: centralized email:


It's not completely centralized, but there has been a big trend towards what could fairly be called oligopoly, I think. The average experience of email is, essentially, Gmail.

Perhaps most galling has been seeing universities, where so many of us got our first email accounts & who use to run their own infrastructure, outsourcing their email to the few big providers.

@deejoe @neil this is what I'm most worried about for the fediverse. federation is useless if it's a federated oligopoly. and when I point this out to people, the usual (but extremely frustrating) response is 'well just don't let it get that centralized then, man.'

while I agree, how does anyone actually plan on doing that? cause we're up against the two most powerful centralizing structural forces in human history - the accumulation of capital, and the network effect.


@gc @deejoe It is worrying. Because it's a slippery slope where Google will start adding gmail only 'email' features (like that self-destructing email thing.)

We need counteranti-disintermediation. I guess there's various routes? education (make people aware of the perils of one company running everything); politics (legislation against monopoly of core services); tech (favour p2p rather than server-based?); direct action (don't know how you would do that against google.)

Big job though.

@neil @deejoe thank you for reminding me about counterdisintermediation

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