Generally a fan.
This confusion stems from the use of the overly-general application of the word “centralized.” While the ability to host is not consolidated on the Web, the functions of Web applications (identity, networking, configuration, data storage) are often consolidated within the hosts. As a result, it might not always be accurate to say that the Web is centralized, but rather that the application functions are.
Fascinating sprawling discussion on counter anti-disintermediation, decentralized social media, decentralized infrastructure, politics of coops, mesh networking.
Great article on decentralising the internet and the successes and failures of federation. Suggests some new approaches and some policy support (but not a StateBook) are needed for decentralisation that actually empowers. Platform coops play a role. We need counterantidisintermediation to prevent platform lock-in. I think the ‘centralised services win (partly) through better UX’ argument needs examining though.
Decentralisation advocates roleplay as antagonists for change, but they have yet to truly threaten incumbent power. Instead, the de-prioritisation of privacy by design – regardless of its justification – enables its behaviour and offers it new scope for surveillance and control.
We need to lay aside our delusions that decentralisation grants us immunity – any ground ceded to the commons will be met with amplified resistance from those who already own these spaces.
The re-decentralization of the web may be a technological design issue, but it will only be achieved if we understand it as a political objective.