I had a long though of the whole re-decentralize the internet1 idea, and I came to the conclusion many are approaching from the top, whereas the problem, in reality, is underneath. It also applies to email, for which’s future I’m even more worried.
Facebook, Google, etc. are trying to swallow the internet. Have they succeeded? Partially, maybe, truly never will.
In reality who’s actively devouring everything is Amazon with AWS. Remember the last AWS outage and how many sites were knocked off the internet?2 It knocked off half of the internet, including cloud based smart things at home. There’s your real problem. Companies go for AWS, because it’s simple and cheap - both are lies, it’s neither simple, nor cheap, but it’s impossible to convince the brainwashed. Apart from a few exceptions and the paranoid, nobody dares to buy and own their hardware these days, nobody hosts their own services, they just go for “the cloud”.
Take a look at email, because it’s the future of the web: it’s more or less in the hands of 4 big provider. I don’t know if the process can be reversed, but I believe we need to start from the bottom up, by running our own services, on our own, owned (or at lest rented) hardware, and not from the top, by decentralising services.
Here’s a reminder why keeping services out of centralisation so important:
[…] People seem to hate email for the same reasons they once loved it. Email’s underlying triumph, the quality that made it revolutionary, was that you could instantly deliver a written message to someone even if they weren’t there to receive it. […] Email is neutral, meaning that anyone can email anyone else with an email address. If you have a person’s email address, your message will be delivered no matter who you are - whether the recipient is your oldest friend, your granddaughter, your boss’s boss, or Beyoncé. The year the web was born, this flattening effect was astonishing. Anyone in an organization could communicate directly and immediately with anyone else, “regardless of rank” […]
And we should all set up mesh networks within our cities to avoid the tyranny of ISPs, but that is indeed and unfortunately, very hard.