Hierarchy in Decentralized Networks

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Discussion

David de Ugarte:

“Hierarchies necessarily appear in every decentralised structure. The higher we are in the information pyramid, the less we will depend on others to receive information and the more possibilities of transmitting it we will have. The version of an event given by a world press agency will reach every last corner of the planet, whereas that given by the local press – even if it's located in the same place where the event is happening – will hardly cross its closest borders, even if the version given by the local press is completely different, and superior to, that given by the global agency. The statements made by the general secretary of a political party will reach all party members through internal networks, but those made by a village politician will only reach as far as the village boundaries. The capacity to transmit is the capacity to bring people together, to summon up the collective will, to act. The capacity to transmit is a precondition for political action.


And in every decentralised structure, such a capacity really is exclusive to very few nodes.


In distributed networks, by definition, nobody depends exclusively on anyone else in order to send his message to a third party. There are no unique filters. In both kinds of network “everything is connected to everything,” but in distributed networks the difference lies in the fact that any transmitter doesn't have to always go necessarily through the same nodes in order to reach others. A local newspaper doesn't have to sell its version of an event to an agency journalist who has just come to the area, and a local politician in a village doesn't need to convince all his regional and provincial colleagues in order to reach his fellow party members in other parts of the country.” (http://deugarte.com/gomi/the-power-of-networks.pdf)