The Software Anarchitecture Trap (Is Decentralized Organization an Oxymoron?)

in technology •  8 months ago

I ran into this issue early on after reading the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper, because almost immediately one gets the idea that if we could just get everyone on the same page, we can finally end banking and political corruption. It was hard to contain my excitement. But then I realized that the very act of organizing everyone to be on the same page has a tendency to create the very thing you are trying to avoid: centralization.

Everybody doing the same thing is exactly what gives authority power. This action creates the aggregation of wealth into one place instead of the distribution of wealth. The act of distributing wealth also creates the phenomenon of decreasing prices in the items that you want to have retain a good store of value because you reduce scarcity where there is distribution.

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Remember the sea shells used as a form of money in the mountains? It’s the fact that sea shells are centralized into the mountains that gives them their value. They lose their value on the beach, so to distribute wealth doesn’t always work. Fewer sea shells in the mountains will raise their value there and more of them at the ocean front is like throwing them away. This just means that the few that remain in their central location become more valuable because they are more scarce.

The question seems to be one of how can one leverage the principle of cooperation without putting anyone in control? At the same time, how do we create a system of equity that remains fair without losing value? This seems to be the crux of why socialized systems have trouble maintaining value. If the marketcap of cryptocurrencies reaches $1 T and it is distributed evenly against all cryptocurrencies, then all the cryptos become worth less, but hopefully not completely worthless.

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In an earlier paper, I wrote about the fact that economics is about what's allowed to be in the world. There doesn't appear to be any other answer to "how to get people on the same page" against corrupt authority if you're a voluntarist. The act of forcing someone into the same stance as you for political control is an act of imposition of will on another. The only way is to provide an exit that others are willing to take.

Someday, when replicators can create anything similar to 3D printers, even at the biochemical level, money will be useless. When this happens everything will be worthless because nothing will be scarce. Nothing will hold value. Is there a metaphysical lesson here? What happens in life if everything is just handed to you? Does it break your spirit?


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