Quotes from “On Emergent Centralization”

A problem I’ve been considering recently is the tendency for decentralized systems to develop emergent centralization in response to non-adversarial conditions e.g. to improve scalability.


Federated systems/platforms suffer this issue so much I’d go as far to declare it systemic to federation general.

Email is a perfect example of an ostensibly decentralized, distributed system that, in defending itself from abuse and spam, became a highly centralized system revolving around a few major oligarchical organizations. The majority of email sent to today is likely to find itself being processed by the servers of one of these organizations.

From “On Emergent Centralization”

Baldur's Notes @baldur