Whistleblower Blows Lid on the Decentralized Internet: An Interview with Mr. X by@metamark

Whistleblower Blows Lid on the Decentralized Internet: An Interview with Mr. X

An interview with famous whistleblower Mr X. He speaks on the future of the decentralised web / the advantages and disadvantages of decentralization and a Metaverse built on blockchain technology
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Metaverse Mark HackerNoon profile picture

Metaverse Mark

I write about the Metaverse For brands & platforms, because Hollywood won't pay for my scripts.

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The tranquillity that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do."

-Marcus Aurelius.


This interview is part of the #Decentralized-Internet writing contest! For those who are reading about it for the first time, HackerNoon has built a partnership with Everscale (Formely Free Ton) - a decentralized, community-powered blockchain movement for free internet! This is the last month to participate in the contest. You can see all #Decentralized-Internet stories here.


So without further ado, let’s start the interview.

Thank you for joining us! Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a former computer intelligence agent consultant. I’m writing this from an underground compound, somewhere in the wastelands of a former ally, a fallen giant.


There are many who seek to railroad the best iterations of any technology. For a financial reward, philosophical urgency, self-aggrandizement, megalomania wrapped up in lies, and good intentions.


For power.


By writing this I risk exposure and the pain which comes with that. But it is worth it. There is no cost I wouldn’t pay for the decentralized internet.


You can call me Mr. X.


Beware the frog people

Beware the frog people


So, Mr. X, let's discuss centralized internet first. What is your opinion on the centralized internet? What are its pros/cons?

The centralised (I spell it with an ‘s’) internet got me here in the first place, it led to my incarceration, the removing of my freedoms.


My data was stolen, uploaded to centralised servers, and distributed around the globe. My identity was taken from me without my consent and then profited on.


I’m biased, we are but our experience. However, even if I hadn’t been hunted down for revealing the truth, the centralised internet is a royal pain in the arse, a hodgepodge collection of walled gardens and infinite log-ins, a world of incessant passwords and (mostly) ugly looking UX designed by accountants and lawyers.


You want me to speak of advantages? The positives of having my life held hostage by nefarious billionaires with nothing but their unhinged, fireside ambition driving their future? I am sure there are upsides to an opaque and insecure Metaverse, an internet of value in the hands of the few, the creativity of the crowd nominalised to drudgery and simplicity, the brainwashing of the masses. There is undoubtedly treasure to be found in the chests of personal information being harvested by advertising combine harvesters of doom. Gold in the rubble of a single point of failure. I just don’t know what those upsides are.



"Beware how you trifle with your marvellous inheritance, this great land of ordered liberty, for if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin."

Thank you, sir. What does decentralization mean to you?

Freedom. Which sounds trivial, as if I am using the technology of the future as a means to collective liberty. The global population are, for better or worse, heading towards a 22nd century lived almost exclusively in the Metaverse, a digital landscape where art, entertainment, culture, and social connections are created, sustained, and ended in binary. If that future is decentralised then it can be free, or at least contain more sustainable liberty.


The choice is inherent.


When it is decentralised, it is in your own hands.


“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” - Jean de la Fontaine


How decentralization changes the internet?

Before we go cascading into the future like some kind of time travelling Higgs Boson in a terrible physics accident, let’s take a moment to remember the internet began as a decentralised entity. We are merely going back to how it began, it’s like a high school reunion for nostalgic internet protocols. Or something. The pioneers of the internet envisioned a democratic digital utopia, interconnected, no centralised puppet master pulling the strings.


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Decentralisation takes us back to the beginning. We aren’t changing anything, merely reinstalling the software (blockchain, instead of… Arpanet?) A decentralised internet reintroduces privacy and security, it removes the gatekeepers with their rubbery frog skin. Five mega-corps running the whole world? Amazon hosting a third of all traffic?


Do me a favour, plug me into a Sega.


A decentralised internet is a shared internet. It is anti-fragile - attacks will raise the security, not weaken it. Data becomes our data. Information becomes our information. Life becomes our own again. Because in a centralised internet, you really do give it up.


I’m not saying it will be easy. Good things often aren’t.



“The future influences the present just as much as the past.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

What is the best thing about decentralized internet?

Simplicity, access, security, and privacy are all incredible. However, with the world still basking in the Indian summer of NFTs, if I had to choose the best thing in 2021, I would go with the value being placed in the hands of the creators and the individuals. An open system, devoid of centralised entities scooping money from the time and emotional investment of its users, allows for a fairer distribution of wealth.


More creativity, more freedom, the removal of abject poverty, a decrease in illness, and crime? All with NFTS? It seems incredible, the stuff of fairy tale and unhinged rambling. But fairer distribution of wealth leads to all of those things. It accelerates growth, promotes development, it creates a fly-wheel of positivity and progression, the real evolution of society and the species.


Weird smile. Like the Mona Lisa.

Weird smile. Like the Mona Lisa.



When your assets are yours and yours alone - to do with as you choose, where you choose, and when you choose - a new era of society is not only imaginable but possible.


“Ordinary cruelty is simple stupidity. It comes from the entire want of imagination. It is the result in our days of stereotyped systems, of hard-and-fast rules, of centralisation, of officialism, and of irresponsible authority.” - Oscar Wilde

Are you currently directly or indirectly working on the decentralized internet use case? We would love to know more about it.

From my bunker, I write about the Metaverse, play-to-earn gaming, and the push for a decentralised internet. Because the local shop doesn’t support contactless Algorand payment (yet, Jessica is a very forward-thinking owner) I write lore for NFT collections and stories for games. I’m paid in old-fashioned coins and promises.


“Centralization is an abomination! Decentralize everything! Leave nothing to the central planners.”

- A.E. Samaan

What are the biggest challenges in the way of the decentralized web?

The last year has only amplified the ravaging incompetence of those in power. However, as incompetent as they are, they are not without resources, ambition, and a powerful need to keep the status quo.


There is no reason why the Du Ponts or Forbes, the Facebooks, and Amazons of this world would jettison what they have made.


Centralisation is entrenched in the families, companies, institutions, and philosophy of those who brought us here, they are immune to its lack of creative spark, dynamism, security, freedom and strength. They wallow in it.


Comfort is the enemy of progress.


People in power do not too readily give away that power.


And that comfort and power is the stumbling block to a decentralised web. In that comfort there is room for one fight, and in that power, the finance to fund it.


So the biggest challenge is from those who don’t want a decentralised future.


Oh, and building it isn’t so easy. Blockchain technology is difficult. And only 17 people in the world really know how it works. And they have their hands full.


Old fashioned money

Old fashioned money

Do you have any apprehension or fear related to the decentralization of the internet?

Yes. I am a parent. Removing a centralised power removes the traditional ways to protect our children.


Bullying, hate speech, tax avoidance, pornography, fraud, terrorism, and incompetence could have the potential to take root. And idiots. Idiots always try to ruin the party.


But only if they are not considered now. The key is to incorporate mechanisms into the systems (I’m not suggesting I know those mechanisms. I don’t)


But there is nothing you can do about idiots.


The graphics will get better.

The graphics will get better.


How do you see the future of the decentralized internet?

The future of the internet is not clearly defined. There is no singularity, no one place, time or platform which is going to define the transition. I liken the Metaverse (the Metaverse, the future internet, web 3.0, these terms are interchangeable) to the Renaissance, the 300-year period of cultural enlightenment which spread across Europe, changing the artistic, political and economic landscape, a kind of re-birth for civilisation, a new way to interpret creativity and curiosity, re-examine our collective behaviours and culture.


Of course, The Renaissance wasn’t just a period of enlightenment, it was littered with religious war, suppression, chaos, and bloodshed so ruthless we can barely imagine. There was a fight, a struggle, the status quo was not so easily upsurged.


There won’ be (as much) bloodshed, but there will be a power struggle.


But eventually, where you were born and which part of your parent’s last will and testament had your name on it will no longer dictate the chairs of power. The centralised behemoths of the internet will adapt to a decentralised existence. Or they will cease to be.


David in the Metaverse

David in the Metaverse


Thank you for your time! Any closing thoughts/advice for the readers?

Take a step back, breathe, reflect. Spend time with your friends, spend time with your family. Seek out adventure within and without, find your flow state. Be curious. Ask questions like a child, read fiction, read books, find voices that counter your belief system. I don’t know, advice is often sought, rarely followed, and mostly bird feed.


DYOR.


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