Decentralized Web: Overview


to replace proprietary, Big Tech platforms (Facebook, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, Google search, etc) with tools for the creation of decentralized, open source, privacy-enhancing platforms

The fact that these legacy platforms still exist and wield the considerable influence that they do is how we know we haven't succeeded yet.


  • surveillance capitalism
  • disinformation
  • fake user accounts
  • ratings farms
  • censorship and deplatforming
  • poisoned public discourse
  • the model of monetization through advertising trains us to abandon our agency over our own attention and is soul-crushing
  • we don't control our data
  • Biggest Hurdle: Walled Gardens

    No two platforms (whether open-source or proprietary) speak the same language or follow the same standards. They organize and format data in different ways. And in a decentralized world, there is no central authority (nor should there be!) to enforce universal standards.

    Solution: the Principle of Loki

    For any piece of data, there must always be a simple, straightforward, formalized and well defined method to connect that data to a record of its format.

    Seems too simple, right? It's not!

    Implementation by way of two companion apps:

  • the Concept Graph: organization of data into "concepts" using the Principle of Loki
  • the Grapevine: a web of trust, designed to pair with the Concept Graph
  • designed for ordinary users, not just developers; intuitive and user-friendly
  • When used together, the Concept Graph is a way to ask questions and the Grapevine is a way to answer them.
  • Loose Consensus

  • shared standards established by using the Concept Graph and the Grapevine together to answer questions regarding how to format data
  • applies to questions that may be detailed and tedious, with a large solution space of perfectly valid answers, but which have no clear Schelling point in the absence of pre-established consensus; most people don't care about the answers (not politically charged or otherwise controversial) -- they simply want some sort of community-wide consensus to exist, so they can communicate!
  • the solution to the problem of Walled Gardens!
  • Phase 1: Validation

  • demonstration of the ability of the Concept Graph and the Grapevine to generate Loose Consensus
  • target users: people who maintain specifications of W3C Standards, especially ones that are relevant to Web of Trust (Verifiable Credentials, JSON-Linked Data, DIDs, etc)
  • Phase 2: Hybrid Platforms

  • a bridge to make it easy for the average internet user to transition from the old world to the new, from proprietary platforms to the decentralized web
  • addendum: Neuroscience

    The brain, like the decentralized web, is a decentralized system, in the sense that no single neuron, cortical column, region, or network has authority over the others (as evidenced, for example, by split-brian or other types of disconnection syndromes). I conjecture the problem of Walled Gardens may apply to the brain just as it does to the decentralized web, and that the Principle of Loki / Loki Pathways may already exist as an organizing principle for information in the cortex.

    If true, it indicates that the Principle of Loki is a powerful one, with far-reaching consequences. This would also explain how and why the operations of the Concept Graph and the Grapevine are so remarkably intuitive and user-friendly.

    * Loki = "LOcalization of Keys" where "key" is an acknowledgement of the fact that knowledge of the format for any given file or piece of information is like a "key" to the file