The Key Difference Between Centralization and Decentralization

One of the more compelling insights to come from the Joe Rogan interview with Elon Musk is this idea that humanity is actively creating “giant cybernetic collectives.”

Through our participation in social media platforms and on the internet in general, we are assimilating knowledge and building connections at a rate that vastly exceeds everything that has ever happened in human history.

But there’s an ominous underbelly to all this novel construction.

We grow these giant cybernetic collectives by feeding them information, and this is creating massive, centralized cyborgs—vast networks of people, technology, and content. Examples of these centralized cyborgs include:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Because we feed and access these cyborgs directly, they have grown to become destinations rather than simply serving as highways of information. As such, these cyborgs now enjoy incredible leverage and power over their participatory nodes—you and me!

In other words, they have become centralized platforms we must visit in order to produce and consume whatever information is relevant to a particular platform.

They own the means of production and distribution. They effectively own all the content. They decide what happens—who’s in, who’s out, what you can see, what you can do, you name it. They are in charge.

If you play this timeline out 10, 20, even 50 years into the future, the situation just looks more and more bleak for endpoint nodes (again, that’s us!).

The centralized borgs grow bigger and more powerful—thanks to our input, no less—while our freedom and influence decline relative to them.

It doesn’t take genius-level insight to see this road is leading us to a dubious destination. And it makes one wonder: Is there something we can do to change this course?

I’ll be honest—it looks as though we are on this inexorable path of building these giant cybernetic collectives.

But before they swallow us whole, we can at least entertain the idea of decentralization and what it looks like if we are responsible for our own means of production.

Watch this video and discover the key difference between centralization and decentralization.