Decentralized Everything

Decentralization, the biggest trend in a century and the best hope for humanity. Decentralized systems are purported to be far more efficient than the hierarchical bureaucracies we have now. They are flat by definition, eliminating the possibility of corruption on many levels. Someone named David A. Johnson suggests the following law: “Whatever can be decentralized will be decentralized.” The following is a thought experiment on just how far I think this could go. 

 

You live in an apartment in downtown Oakland and you want to buy flowers for your mother for mothers day. You get on your phone, which was made out of component parts by people that live in your neighborhood. Your phone’s open source software allows it to use its bluetooth to connect to all of the other phones in the world in a big mesh network. You open a decentralized app and type in “I need a nice bouquet of flowers sent to 123 Momshouse Lane today. Can pay .05 Bitcoin.” Your phone has an idea of where all of the people in Oakland that grow flowers are. An encrypted version of this message hops from phone to phone using wifi and bluetooth until it reaches the flower growers and decrypts. This takes .001 seconds. Three of the flower growers respond right away. They bid on the flower job until one of them offers the best bouquet for the least money.  The winner sends a message back to you and another message automatically goes through the mesh to the nearest delivery drone. The drone gets to the flower grower at about the same time he or she is done making the bouquet. The drone delivers the flowers to your mother, and sends a confirmation message to your phone, which automatically releases the .05 Bitcoin to the flower growers wallet. 

There is no phone company, just people who love making things like phones. There is no carrier or ISP, your phone has all it needs built into it to access the internet. There is no search engine company, everyone manages the software used to search the web. There are no flower companies, just people who like to grow flowers and are willing to send them to others for a fee. There is no drone company. Drones are bid on in the same way that the flowers are. When drones need servicing or replacing the drone knows and sends out a request. People bid on the opportunity to fix it, just like the flower growers bid on that job. There are just drones and people who like fixing them. There is no bank, just a few thousand digital currencies, and their block chains, the software that makes this all possible. There are no jobs, just things that need to get done and people who know how to do them. 

 

You look out your window and think about what you might want to order for dinner. Cacey up the block makes great roasted chicken from her own chickens. You might get that. Your phone buzzes with one request for your home made honey and a bid on a mural. You send back your prices for both across the grid. Business is good. There is no business. 

 

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One Response to Decentralized Everything

  1. Perry says:

    I wanted a smart son and I got one. And there wasn’t a single technodigital action involved.

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