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Re: [decentralization] choices ? [was Re: killer infrastructure]

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  • Aaron Swartz
    ... But you end up in a circle: If we all run Yahoos, then you need a Yahoo to pick the best of our Yahoos. I think the idea is that XML will allow us to
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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      Dave Winer <dave@...> wrote:

      > You're damn right we're all going to run our own Yahoos.
      >
      > It's the next-level-up router. Gets to the core of the issue. If you want to
      > route-around outages, let's formalize the process for doing that, at a user
      > level.

      But you end up in a circle: If we all run Yahoos, then you need a Yahoo to
      pick the best of our Yahoos. I think the idea is that XML will allow us to
      create those formal standards, so that we can each take part in something
      bigger.

      I think that's one of the cool things about weblogs -- they act as sort of a
      personal Yahoo! highlighting sites you think are interesting. Now if someone
      were to create a site that aggregated all that information...perhaps a job
      for weblogs.com?

      --
      Aaron Swartz |"This information is top security.
      <http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>| When you have read it, destroy yourself."
      <http://www.theinfo.org/> | - Marshall McLuhan
    • Dave Winer
      I don t agree that you need a center. We can all have different centers, or more than one. First we re going to do it with songs, on OurFavoriteSongs.Com, then
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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        I don't agree that you need a center.

        We can all have different centers, or more than one.

        First we're going to do it with songs, on OurFavoriteSongs.Com, then
        everything else. I've written about this on Scripting News, it was in the
        last week or so. Back in a minute.

        I couldn't find it. Oh well. I remember what I said. Yahoo and DMOZ suck
        because they give exclusive control of categories to invisible people. A
        perfect route-around opportunity. Let chaos reign. Let engines sort it out.

        Dave
      • Seth Russell
        ... There is another way to say that: P2p and decentralized networks make the user the center of their own network. This of course is what we all want.
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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          Dave Winer wrote:

          > I don't agree that you need a center.
          > We can all have different centers, or more than one.

          There is another way to say that: P2p and decentralized networks make
          the user the center of their own network. This of course is what we
          all want. Centralized systems like Yahoo, Excite, Google etc have the
          tendency to fragment our own cybernetic spaces. So the new p2p killer
          infrastructure will provide the general purpose local applicaton(s)
          with which we can make our own view of the culture coherent.

          See the rough sketchy presentation at
          http://robustai.net/mynetwork/index.html

          ... All coherence is subjective!

          Seth Russell
          http://robustai.net/ai/word_of_emouth.htm
          Click on the button ... see if you can catch me live!
          http://robustai.net/JournalOfMyLife/users/SethRussell.html
          Http://RobustAi.net/Ai/Conjecture.htm
        • Aaron Swartz
          ... OurFavoriteSongs.com is distributed, not decentralized. It is a center. The distinction is subtle, but it s there. Personally, I see a lot more promise for
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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            Dave Winer <dave@...> wrote:

            > I don't agree that you need a center.
            > We can all have different centers, or more than one.
            > First we're going to do it with songs, on OurFavoriteSongs.Com, then
            > everything else.

            OurFavoriteSongs.com is distributed, not decentralized. It is a center. The
            distinction is subtle, but it's there. Personally, I see a lot more promise
            for distributed apps, than decentralized ones, because they're easier to
            create and run. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, my point is
            that there are few truly decentralized apps out there.

            > I've written about this on Scripting News, it was in the
            > last week or so. Back in a minute. I couldn't find it. Oh well.

            I believe it was:

            "The backend is crucial to this product. For the last few days we've been
            focusing on the user interface. Now it's necessary to swing back. I revised
            the Backend page on the Radio UserLand site. As we developed the beta 1
            release, things changed and the document became inaccurate. I added an idea
            that's not been talked about yet, the role of outline tools in building a
            distributed Internet directory, the next step after DMOZ and Yahoo.

            "There's another way of looking at what we're doing. There's a media type
            that, until now, no one had bothered to define or create tools for. Outlines
            are very useful, and tools for creating and browsing them are mature. Look
            under a rock, find a gold nugget. I've felt strongly since I first saw the
            Web that there's a hierarchy in there. It didn't take long for Yahoo to
            become the main portal. But it's limited by the capacity of their editors,
            same with DMOZ. Now, six years later, the Web has matured and there are
            millions of people who have mastered the medium. Why not turn over the
            directory to them?"

            http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2000/07/30

            > I remember what I said. Yahoo and DMOZ suck
            > because they give exclusive control of categories to invisible people. A
            > perfect route-around opportunity. Let chaos reign. Let engines sort it out.

            Exactly, we'll need engines to sort it out. These engine will likely be
            centralized, because most people would rather keep track of one site that
            they trust, rather than the thousands that exist on the web. However, that
            doesn't mean that that one site can be based on the submissions of many
            other people. That's how DMOZ works -- anyone can become an editor. I think
            Radio UserLand has the power to take it even farther. However, understand
            that you're not decentralizing, just distributing. It's a subtle difference,
            but it's there.

            If I can make a suggestion, how about URLs for the next addition to Radio
            UserLand? Outlines would make a great bookmark organizer. Quick, register
            OurFavoriteSites.com!

            --
            Aaron Swartz |"This information is top security.
            <http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>| When you have read it, destroy yourself."
            <http://www.theinfo.org/> | - Marshall McLuhan
          • pointer oblio
            ... is it really what we all want ? i hasten to point out that there are many examples of very useful centralization in the real world , and why would it be
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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              > > I don't agree that you need a center.
              > > We can all have different centers, or more than one.
              >
              > There is another way to say that: P2p and
              > decentralized networks make
              > the user the center of their own network. This of
              > course is what we

              is it really what we all want ? i hasten to point out
              that there are many examples of very useful
              centralization in the real world , and why would it be
              any different online ?

              the point isn't to banish centralization , it's to
              strengthen decentralization , which has been missing in
              the internet model .


              > all want. Centralized systems like Yahoo, Excite,
              > Google etc have the
              > tendency to fragment our own cybernetic spaces. So the
              > new p2p killer
              > infrastructure will provide the general purpose local
              > applicaton(s)
              > with which we can make our own view of the culture
              > coherent.

              ... with the caveat that it is successful only for those
              willing to make their own view of culture , which i dare
              say is not many people at present .

              brian .


              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Kick off your party with Yahoo! Invites.
              http://invites.yahoo.com/
            • Lucas Gonze
              I believe that the future is in centralized/decentralized hybrids. Decentralization makes centralization more valuable and vice versa. For example, it is
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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                I believe that the future is in centralized/decentralized
                hybrids. Decentralization makes centralization more valuable and vice
                versa. For example, it is very useful to have Napster hubs to help
                users find one another, but without all those decentralized users Napster
                central wouldn't be useful.

                OurFavoriteSongs.Com acts as an access point for a decentralized
                network. If it became a liability instead of an asset (say, by helping
                Lars prosecute users) then users would be able to route around it.

                What matters is that the choice to centralize or decentralize is now in
                the standard toolkit.

                > Exactly, we'll need engines to sort it out. These engine will likely be
                > centralized, because most people would rather keep track of one site that
                > they trust, rather than the thousands that exist on the web. However, that

                It is not necessary for an engine to be centralized to be convenient and
                trustable. Note that we have few lookup engines and many product
                vendors. I don't see any reason why a really clean Gnutella UI wouldn't
                be as attractive, usable and trustable as Yahoo. There would still be a
                single access point for each user (their copy of the software).

                - Lucas

                On Mon, 7 Aug 2000, Aaron Swartz wrote:

                > Dave Winer <dave@...> wrote:
                >
                > > I don't agree that you need a center.
                > > We can all have different centers, or more than one.
                > > First we're going to do it with songs, on OurFavoriteSongs.Com, then
                > > everything else.
                >
                > OurFavoriteSongs.com is distributed, not decentralized. It is a center. The
                > distinction is subtle, but it's there. Personally, I see a lot more promise
                > for distributed apps, than decentralized ones, because they're easier to
                > create and run. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, my point is
                > that there are few truly decentralized apps out there.
                >
                > > I've written about this on Scripting News, it was in the
                > > last week or so. Back in a minute. I couldn't find it. Oh well.
                >
                > I believe it was:
                >
                > "The backend is crucial to this product. For the last few days we've been
                > focusing on the user interface. Now it's necessary to swing back. I revised
                > the Backend page on the Radio UserLand site. As we developed the beta 1
                > release, things changed and the document became inaccurate. I added an idea
                > that's not been talked about yet, the role of outline tools in building a
                > distributed Internet directory, the next step after DMOZ and Yahoo.
                >
                > "There's another way of looking at what we're doing. There's a media type
                > that, until now, no one had bothered to define or create tools for. Outlines
                > are very useful, and tools for creating and browsing them are mature. Look
                > under a rock, find a gold nugget. I've felt strongly since I first saw the
                > Web that there's a hierarchy in there. It didn't take long for Yahoo to
                > become the main portal. But it's limited by the capacity of their editors,
                > same with DMOZ. Now, six years later, the Web has matured and there are
                > millions of people who have mastered the medium. Why not turn over the
                > directory to them?"
                >
                > http://scriptingnews.userland.com/backissues/2000/07/30
                >
                > > I remember what I said. Yahoo and DMOZ suck
                > > because they give exclusive control of categories to invisible people. A
                > > perfect route-around opportunity. Let chaos reign. Let engines sort it out.
                >
                > doesn't mean that that one site can be based on the submissions of many
                > other people. That's how DMOZ works -- anyone can become an editor. I think
                > Radio UserLand has the power to take it even farther. However, understand
                > that you're not decentralizing, just distributing. It's a subtle difference,
                > but it's there.
                >
                > If I can make a suggestion, how about URLs for the next addition to Radio
                > UserLand? Outlines would make a great bookmark organizer. Quick, register
                > OurFavoriteSites.com!
                >
                > --
                > Aaron Swartz |"This information is top security.
                > <http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>| When you have read it, destroy yourself."
                > <http://www.theinfo.org/> | - Marshall McLuhan
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Seth Russell
                Seth Russell wrote: P2p and decentralized networks make the user the center of their own network. This of course is what we all want. ... Oh I totally agree -
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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                  Seth Russell wrote:

                  P2p and decentralized networks make the user the center of their own
                  network. This of course is what we all want.

                  pointer oblio wrote:

                  > is it really what we all want ? i hasten to point
                  > out that there are many examples of very useful
                  > centralization in the real world , and why would
                  > it be any different online ?
                  >
                  > the point isn't to banish centralization , it's to
                  > strengthen decentralization , which has been
                  > missing in the internet model .

                  Oh I totally agree - like Lucas I believe "the future is in
                  centralized/decentralized hybrids." I was merely pointing out that
                  since birth each of us has been creating a network of associations
                  with ourselves as the center of the network. Tools that extend that
                  to cyberspace will be collaborating in what we all want to do anyway.

                  > ... with the caveat that it is successful only for those
                  > willing to make their own view of culture , which i dare
                  > say is not many people at present .

                  We each have our own viewpoint of culture, whether we like it or not.
                  That viewpoint is the one we see when we look out our own eyeballs.
                  In real life this works just fine and puts our awareness at the center
                  of a network.

                  ... All coherence is subjective!

                  Seth Russell
                  http://robustai.net/mynetwork/index.html
                  http://robustai.net/ai/word_of_emouth.htm
                  Click on the button ... see if you can catch me live!
                  Http://RobustAi.net/Ai/Conjecture.htm
                • Simon St.Laurent
                  ... As fond as I am of decentralization, I m mostly interested in having the option of decentralizing processing/storage/interpretation etc. Even on my
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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                    At 03:58 PM 8/7/00 -0400, Lucas Gonze wrote:
                    >I believe that the future is in centralized/decentralized
                    >hybrids. Decentralization makes centralization more valuable and vice
                    >versa. For example, it is very useful to have Napster hubs to help
                    >users find one another, but without all those decentralized users Napster
                    >central wouldn't be useful.

                    As fond as I am of decentralization, I'm mostly interested in having the
                    option of decentralizing processing/storage/interpretation etc.

                    Even on my crankiest most anarchist days there are a few things I'll admit
                    centralization can help with - from certain kinds of processing to building
                    huge lists. It doesn't mean that decentralized systems are useless, by any
                    means - it just means that different types of computing may fit one mode
                    better than another.

                    Simon St.Laurent
                    XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
                    http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
                  • Aaron Swartz
                    ... True, I hadn t thought of that. However, to be truly decentralized, you still run into the bootstrapping problem. That is, you need to pick certain servers
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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                      Lucas Gonze <lucas@...> wrote:

                      > It is not necessary for an engine to be centralized to be convenient and
                      > trustable. Note that we have few lookup engines and many product
                      > vendors. I don't see any reason why a really clean Gnutella UI wouldn't
                      > be as attractive, usable and trustable as Yahoo. There would still be a
                      > single access point for each user (their copy of the software).

                      True, I hadn't thought of that. However, to be truly decentralized, you
                      still run into the bootstrapping problem. That is, you need to pick certain
                      servers to connect up to, who can hopefully connect you to other servers,
                      and so on. However, you still need some way of finding those first few
                      servers. With Gnutella a number of sites have become sort of the standard
                      meeting places -- the same is likely to happen with any decentralized app.

                      Of course, if we're dealing with websites here, you'd probably bootstrap off
                      your friends (who likely have similar tastes in websites) who introduced you
                      to the software. You can then use them to begin to stretch out and explore
                      the network.

                      However, it's still something that can't be done in the web browser, at
                      least not yet. I guess I need to drop this web-centric point of view.

                      --
                      Aaron Swartz |"This information is top security.
                      <http://swartzfam.com/aaron/>| When you have read it, destroy yourself."
                      <http://www.theinfo.org/> | - Marshall McLuhan
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