Centralization vs. Decentralization

in #life7 months ago (edited)

IMG source - Wikipedia

Steem has always existed at the pleasure of the majority stakeholder. Insofar as it exists now, that majority stakeholder presently exercises it's sole option to govern the blockchain.

The fact is that the internet itself is exactly as centralized as Steem is presently. Any freedom of speech we exercise is at the pleasure of the owners of the ISPs, Domain Name registration, and hosting.

Absent mesh networks, which will allow us to route each others packets instead of depending on ISPs, we will never have actual freedom of speech online. Even if we fork Steem, we only will be able to access the servers that host that fork at the pleasure of the ISPs that allow us access to the internet.

If you think the law effectively assures anything, I submit you have not well considered the fact of war. It is power alone that exerts rights, and without the technical power, which mesh networks deploy, over access to each other online, we communicate at the pleasure of ISPs.

Indeed, if ISPs decide to shut down the physical network through which we communicate, every possible software mechanism will fail to enable our communications. To date, no physical network has simply turned off power to cut mesh networked communications, but that does not mean it cannot be done.

Coders, devs, network engineers, please contrive secure and decentralized communications software that does allow us to speak to one another on the extant physical hardware as long as it's powered up.

Censorship is an existential threat to our survival, and we have too long been lulled into a false sense of security by the failure of centralized stakeholders to exercise their full power to control our communications. Steem now reveals that vulnerability exists, and that our freedom to communicate is dependent on the sufferance of centralized stakeholders.

Our lives depend on our understanding of facts regarding pandemic, war, and totalitarian oppression that may threaten our lives, families, communities, and property.

This is a war for our very lives and freedom. Make us a weapon of freedom.



There have been a couple efforts to make a cryptocurrency blockchain that would serve as a substitute or alternative for DNS. They flopped, but the idea itself has merit.

Given the present circumstance, I believe time has come for such a mechanism to succeed. Steem has proven unequal to the task of providing censorship resistance, due to it's inequity of staking. Other mechanisms for distributing stake, or equity, or decentralizing power, will now be able to attract the market for such a mechanism since Steem is no longer a potentially successful way to do it.

Namecoin and BipCoin were the projects I followed. I don't recall the specifics of the former, but the latter was based on Monero instead of Bitcoin for greater privacy.

Maybe Skynet (despite it's unportentious name) will work. There's a lot of projects in the crypto space today. Sooner or later one that will actually work will eventuate, even if by accident.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Monkeys, typewriters, and Shakespeare, and all that.

A solution could be to make it more difficult for the authorities to detect them (resource-wise). The software should be open source and allow users to send and receive peer-to-peer encrypted messages and files. To lower the uniqueness of the network fingerprint, they could mix with the use of tor and conventional networks in addition to the P2P technology to secure more and make it almost impossible to be blocked unless they cut the internet completely which is almost impossible in modern society.

A mesh network is indeed a better solution against censorship, with the right pieces of equipment, you can create a mesh network and not use the internet at all, something similar to when protestors in Hong-kong used Bridgefy (Bluetooth/Wifi waves)to communicate. Radio waves are also a good solution but require other people to have the right equipment too. Opting for these solutions will definitely require infrastructure (very small one) that the state can easily detect and trace and destroy, something similar to the technology used in ARM (Anti-radiation missile). Or they can just use jammers to stop you from sending or receiving signals to or from a specific area.

We can really conclude at the end that:

Any freedom of speech we exercise is at the pleasure of the owners of the ISPs.

At least now!

Regarding steemit and steem in general, it is well known that humans usually don't want to change their thinking/ways unless they are at the brink of extinction. Maybe something good will come out of this once they learn that true decentralization is built on immutability and that the law of thermodynamics also applies to people (theoretically speaking). If you are just sitting there chilling not doing what's right, the day will come when you will have to pay for it, the hard way.

excellent point on meshnets

in fact, I am interested in moving this up in my own priorties. let me know if you are interested in a steemit community promoting the creation and linking of meshnets

I'm interested. I live in a village however, and meshing is gonna be unlikely here.

you'd have to organize a pathway to the nearest population hub

i think I recall hearing of a proposal for solar powered routers chainlinked

Back in the '90s the Cult of the Dead Cow (a favorite hacking collective at the time) proposed using those mini-satellite dishes that were throwaways when folks changed TV providers, and microwave transmitters/receivers. They did a lot of tests to see how far they could transmit, and IIRC were good as long as they had line of sight.

Mountains between me and Portland will prevent my unilateral creation of an independent wireless backbone to the internet, I think.

Well, I think it was you that called it. It'll be interesting to see what they do with Steem now and if we start to see real censorship. I'm sure they'll wait on that until they grow the value and get the masses drawn in. As you said, the rest of the internet works this way already, so we're just back where we started. It was a fun experiment. As I said last year when the price started to approach ATL, I'm going down with the ship. If Steem moons, I won't feel so bad about cashing it out now.

Are you saying that if the Chinese take over Steamit, they will censor and delete Steamit posting in the future?