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Re-imagining Decentralized and Distributed

Rather tricky these distinctions, as they are not mutually exclusive depending on context and level of abstraction. For example, a heterarchical system can contain hierarchies and each level in a hierarchical system can be composed of potentially heterarchical groups. For the sake of the sense of the distinctions made here, DNS can be seen as a decentralised, hierarchical system and Facebook's OpenGraph as a centralised, heterarchical system.

  • Components can be pigeon-holed as co-located vs distributed (physically or logically).
  • Components can be designed to be under the control of a single entity vs multiple entities (logical or abstract able to coordinate nodes in the system).
  • Components can be considered heterarchical (unranked or having the potential to be ranked a number of different ways) vs hierarchical (ranked).

Hierarchical structures tend to resemble pyramids, with the highest levels of power and authority at the very top and are known causes of loss of resilience and unequal socialisation. What problems can distributed web solutions solve? And which not? In which contexts and for what does a search engine for a distributed solution make sense?

Fields of tension in a boundary-crossing world in which “pings” can be borne …

en/problems/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/05 10:37 by Digital Dot