The author of this article, Ming Guo, is the co-founder of the blockchain project Soteria. Soteria was initiated by three technical experts with extensive experience in distributed networks, trusted programs and cloud operating systems.
The original article titled "Tales of Two Worlds · What does a decentralized world look like?" (The legend of two worlds: What does decentralization look like?). This article is compiled exclusively by Encrypted Valley and will be published in five phases. This is the first one.
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- Babbitt Column | Three Elements That Limit Decentralized Economic Formation and Blockchain Technology
- Insights | Pan Chao: Theory and Practice of DeFi
- The exchange has a large blockchain governance power – the center of power in a decentralized world
- Viewpoint | Is decentralization technology really better than traditional technology?
On the surface, decentralized thinking seems simple. BTC opened the corner of this seemingly zero-dimensional iceberg. In fact, the concept of decentralization is not only rich in content, but also more complicated than we thought before. This is another heterogeneous structure that is beyond our immediate world.
However, these extra dimensions have been ignored by us wearing "colored glasses." This "glasses" that obscure the truth is the centralization idea that we have become accustomed to.
In the Wachowski brothers' "The Matrix" series, Captain Morpheus told the protagonist Neo: "No one can describe what the Matrix is, you must see it with your own eyes to define it." In the end, Neo has a chance to coincide. I saw it.
Neo "sees" a new world of simulations, a dream world that is beyond the existing "four-dimensional space" and completely challenged both cognition. Here, the technology-enhanced network connects our ideas and creates additional dimensions and structures.
However, in real life, because we can't have similar coincidences, we can't see the origin of the decentralized world. I can only tell you what it should look like.
Before taking you to the beauty of the decentralized world, you need to pay special attention to my language. Human beings are constantly developing and their minds are constantly improving. Language is the only weapon capable of penetrating historical smog. However, language also has two sides. Sometimes, it will counteract the humans who use it and become a fragmentary bomb that causes schizophrenia.
This phenomenon has been repeatedly discussed by philosophers and sociologists over the past few centuries. In the series of articles, I will gradually piece together the panoramic view of the centralized world with the clumsy means of “blind people touching”.
Story about two worlds
As the Matrix shows, we can enter the fantasy world through a fictional neural simulation. In the movie, this simulation behavior is called "construction." Our story also needs a similar "construction." Simply put, this construct (or medium) is the computer and the global Internet that comes with it.
The computer network is the origin of our story and the cornerstone of the creation of this world. Computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way people live, in an incalculable way.
However, this "construction" is not a one-off. Computer and communication technologies have flourished over the past four decades, and the Internet has been derived. This history is magnificent, I want to count the numbers one by one, but we don't have the time of "one thousand and one nights".
On the other hand, whether a story is wonderful or not depends to a large extent on the perspective of the narrator. So don't worry, I will tell this story like the narrator of Alibaba and the Forty Thieves.
The story is the crystal ball of the soul, you can see the hidden multiple worlds. Can the story take you to the vast universe, close to the limits of human intelligence? Just as astrophysicists interpret distant stars through spectroscopy, our story is the image of the light emitted by the spectrometer. These images may not give you a complete picture of the "decentralization" and "centralization" dualism, but through different angles of observation, we can gradually approach the truth.
The first story: how the Internet is lost
- Society and network
The greatest ideas in history have a ground-breaking nature. This phenomenon is most evident in the computer and Internet world. It is the infinite imagination of mankind that makes it all.
Our ancestors have a imaginary tradition. In literary classics around the world, they used whimsy to construct a different kind of exotic.
For example, the magical aircraft created by Daedalus and Icarus in Greek mythology, the concept of the dancing robot shown in the 2016 sci-fi movie "SAM: Sentient Automaton Model" has long existed. In addition, Jules Verne's series of science fiction novels almost predicted all the signs of scientific development in the next two centuries. To this end, the French president specially attended the naming of the "Virna" super large container ship of CMA CGM. ceremony.
The above examples, although from mythology or fictional literature, belong to the category of human science and technology engineering. They are all intelligent engineers who use the existing materials on the earth to design and invent, rather than resort to the mysterious power, and in the Marvel movie. The Quake has an essential difference.
The humans of the past did not think of a physical space parallel to the real world. It was not until the concept of cyberspace was proposed in the 1980s that human cognition was changed. Later, it became synonymous with the Internet.
The history of the development of religious philosophy in the East and the West has spawned Buddhism that focused on pure Platonism and pure land. But in essence, these ideas are all introspective in loneliness, not the extension of consciousness.
However, the door to cyberspace is open to all, and it is similar to the real world, and it is why it has a multi-dimensional centralized world.
The community is the key. Human society is based on this, as is cyberspace.
Looking back at the early history of cyberspace, we will find that it is not driven by technological evolution or consumerism. What really makes it thrive is the community.
Human civilization has been ruined by the community, and it has died because of poor governance. All human activities are built around rulemaking and wealth distribution. In cyberspace, we see a re-enactment of this phenomenon.
Based on common interests, people form and call on others to join the community. Because at the end of the day, "human" is a creature whose social attributes are greater than the attributes of animals. The unique cultural and economic prosperity that emerges in cyberspace is similar to that of human society. We even have legends about these early online communities, such as The WELL (Global Electronic Link).
In addition to being driven by the community, early cyberspace has two important features.
First, cyberspace has nothing to do with infrastructure. Whether it's an online chat room, BBS, email or online gaming, it doesn't depend on infrastructure.
It may be pointed out that the game community is not unrelated to the infrastructure, because game developers can unilaterally close the game, thereby expelling and dissolving the game community. However, many game communities still exist as developers or operators leave, and people still exchange ideas and exchange feelings enthusiastically.
Second, these communities driven by common interests did not initially have explicit commercial interests. They are open, open, and have few access restrictions. We can see the characteristics of decentralization.
However, unfortunately, history has reversed again. Because of the technological advantages and network effects, the Internet swallowed up all other networks after winning. The Dragon Slayer has finally become a dragon.
We have previously said that relying on infrastructure is important to the freedom of cyberspace. At first, no one realized that the victory of the Internet was a serious blow to those free online communities and their decentralization.
In the 1990s, people were not aware of the importance of decentralization. They only express their opinions through slogans such as advocating freedom. The problem is that these words have been alienated. The verbal declaration of advocating freedom does not work in reality.
True freedom requires shelter, and decentralization can take on this responsibility.
From the development track of the 1990s, most of the freedom of thought was brought about by the Internet. People are full of expectations and feel that this is the end of the centralized history, and the Internet will become a bridge for the freedom of all humanity.
But they were all deceived because another tool was born.
This tool is the World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners-Lee. The Internet has also established a military for mankind and a prison for dissidents. This is big data. The prosperity of the turn of the century has disappeared. Online assets owned by Facebook and Google account for more than 70% of all Internet traffic, making it a “data tsar” in the real sense.
In the past few years, we have been informed of a large number of data leakage scandals. Populism has begun to rise again. Both Brexit and Trump's election to the US president are manifestations of this trend of thought. These two seemingly isolated events are directly related to the platform influence of social media such as Facebook.
In less than 20 years, the utopian network we originally envisioned became a nightmare. In the era of big data, we lost the Internet and entered the beautiful new world depicted by the V-Vendetta.
In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Necromancer Soren secretly forged a ring to enslave Middle-earth and deceive others' thoughts.
Network development is similar. The Internet itself is not a bad thing. In real life, the main culprit in making the network corrupt and deceiving us is the centralized industrial technology system. In the long river of history, it has always ruled us.
But we still have hope.
We should recapture the original spirit of cyberspace and re-construct new networks with decentralized technology, a true sense of our own network.
It is very difficult to create beautiful things in times of hardship. This dark moment is in the moment. (To be continued)
Author of Ming Guo
Translation of Potter Li
Source: Encrypted Valley
The content is for reference only, not as an investment recommendation.
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