Holochain Forum

Philosophy of Decentralisation

I’m new here. I’m an armchair philosopher-scientist, working with the Tribees tech-startup in Australia, which plans to migrate onto the holochain platform a year or two after launch.

I’m wondering to what degree the Holochain community is staying abreast of the latest philosophical thinking around decentralisation and the threats to it? If the holochain platform seriously wants to succeed as the paradigm of decentralised human value exchange, it should be aligned, or aware of, the deepest thinking around the nature of human tribal dynamics, the commons and the creation and exchange of value. The theorist Michel Bauwens and the philosopher Alexander Bard have been most illuminating to me in this regard. For example, this video: THINKING THE COMMONS: Tribe in the Internet Age (w/ Michel Bauwens & Alexander Bard) - YouTube

I’m just opening up a general discussion, if you need some time off from coding!

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Michel Bauwens is very interested in Holochain and actively promotes it on Twitter. As for Alexander Bard i don’t know his work that much but I’m not sure his thinking is that close to what Holochain preaches ?


I think you’ll find that the Holochain community as a whole is very interested in these topics, and actively discuss, debate, and build toward these goals. It’s my favorite aspect of the community.

ok, great to know. Thanks for the feedback. I’m still getting up to speed.

I don’t know if it’s relevant to the topic, but, over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that decentralization is a redundant/useless technology trend. It solves the same problems that having a trusted party/firm solves. What’s worse, it solves them at a much slower pace and doesn’t innovate as fast as private firms can. Moreover, it’s a positive externality to develop decentralized technologies; the money is in providing the infrastructure as a service. Most use-cases have nothing to benefit from decentralized technologies. In a perfect world, there would have never arisen a need for Bitcoin, but then again, we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? Only in a world like today’s could decentralized technologies benefit from.

“In a perfect world, private firms would solve all our problems.”

“In the current world, private firms are tasked with solving all our problems, and the world is shit.”

Do you not see how these two statements are incongruous? Also, you are incorrectly conflating “trusted party” and “private firm” with “centralized monopoly”. A fundamental tenet of Holochain is how it handles membranes, allowing for groups of people to create spaces for themselves where there is an inside and an outside. You are too caught up in trying to fit the world into your forced perspective that you are missing most of the points.

And these points are also exactly why people who argue for the privatization of everything—under the guise of a “perfect market”—always end up with single giant authoritarian monopolies: it is the only end state for a system with that shape. That system will always produce that result; it’s like passing a number x into a a function f(x) = x*2 and saying that “no, this time, if we really have the perfect environment for the function to execute, we’ll end up with the value x*3, and if it doesn’t it’s the fault of some externality”.

Externalities aren’t real: they are very real parts of systems that don’t match the idealized theory, and so they are ignored and brushed aside.


Dude, I was just summarizing what I had read a long time ago on Quora about Blockchain (which equally applies to Holochain),

I never said that. Don’t pretend the government doesn’t exist; it’s the governments that must be credited for any of the flaws/inefficiencies of the existing partially-free market. By a perfect world, I meant a laissez-faire world in which would exist neither Bitcoin, nor borders, nor poverty, nor monopolies. Go figure!