Tardigrade Thursday: Conversations on Decentralization

Hi Everyone,
It’s Thursday :slight_smile:

We took a break to celebrate Town Hall, and are now working on an exciting new focus: Im looking to do a focused mini-series on a single theme, decentralization . It’s a great idea and a great focus, courtesy of our new CMO Paul Ford, who encouraged me to take his suggestion and run with it. Our team has been brainstorming with marketing and engineering folks to flesh it out.

What: While working through this concept, I immediately noticed a few things. First, the term itself has a couple of issues. Decentralization is really an overloaded term. And of course it is a term used heavily in discussions around Bitcoin, making the signal/noise ration far from favorable.It’s used to discuss markets, politics, technology, administrations, and fiscal systems. While it’s a logical and valid term in all those cases, the conflation this produces can produce challenges in finding targeted information and conversations. Furthermore, the concepts are related, so they can never really be fully unyoked from each other.

That said, sometimes you just want to talk about certain aspects of a concept. So, disambiguation is one item Im aware of.

The second item that immediately pops to mind is that sometimes when I talk to folks about our platform I see that they become distracted and stop listening. Not from rudeness, but in the way of someone who is distracted. Whats the distraction? Satellites. I have found that if I dont address this early in the conversation it hinders comprehension. So when I talked with JT (Engineering) we chatted about the idea of doing an early episode that focuses on just that. A conversation around idealism, pramatism, and reaching a place that is leveraging decentralization yet still feasible. Of course he has lots of reasons to think about this exact issue a lot. As the ultimate dreamer, who also has to make the dream exist, its a passionate topic. And we’re very excited at the prospect of developing this conversation and taking it to the podcast to have a wide dialog about it.

Who: So, whos that person we’re imagining in the audience? Whos the person Im interviewing on the microphone? In this team’s travels, tradeshows and forum adventures, we’ve found a few archetypes. We’ve found that some of the people we really connect strongly to tend to be idealists who love the pure dream of decentralization; some are pragmatic engineers who are interested in learning more about what can be done with it; some are tech people with an entrepreneurial streak who are looking for the next big idea. And then there is me, handing out t-shirts at the booth :wink: The conversations we have with all of you are enlivening. Im interested in how different kinds of folks can all help make exciting ideas.

In my talks with marketing and engineering (we do get together and hangout in the same calls) we became really interested in the idea of putting together a mini-series that would basically boil down to smart people talking about interesting things (decentralization). I exclaimed “I would listen to that!” and my colleagues refrained from pointing out that indeed I will listen about 100 times unavoidably, because I am also the editor of each episode.

So. How do we create the interesting episodes of decentralization with smart people that an audience will love? I hoping for a little help from the community.

1.) I will paste some episode ideas beneath this post. I hope you can give some kind feedback on what ones sound interesting
2.) Let me know who you would like to hear speaking. Or if you know somebody who is a thought leader that would be an amazing guest, please introduce me to them. I’d love to have a well-rounded representation, not just people I already am friends with.

How: Ive already begun inviting guests to come in and appear on upcoming episodes. (tbqh, I always think the most interesting panels are when one person disagrees with the other, so I try to think of a good mix of personalities to keep content civil but lively.) Its a lot of calendar shuffling but with a big payoff. We record conversations on a particular topic, and edit to suit.

I like to work form a list of prompts, but the conversations dont typically come from a script. They are real and authentic. Plus, I can always tell when someone is reading a script and it usually feels flat, so I avoid them.

My only goal is to create an episode that I think listeners will enjoy. So I take the recorded conversation, remove dead air and long pauses, and try to cut out excessive ums and ahs if I can easily catch them. This is a mixed bag, because tech people say “um” (or “so”) a LOT. Then on an appropriate Thursday, it goes up. So far, the guests have been single guests, but I may be doing some multi-guest episodes. Sometimes we run over as a question takes an unexpected turn. Sometimes they are short and to the point. Every guest has a different style

Why: So many reasons! But for now I’d just say that we are looking to be of service to our kindred spirits out there. The ones who can grasp the possibilities. We want you in our galaxy, and we want to give you episodes that will inform and inspire.

We also have some videos coming up that are walkthroughs of partner integrations and web demos of the platform. I’ve been working with other Storjlings and am very pleased with the progress.

OK this post got long…I will put a list of potential topics below that Im considering. Its just a brainstorm list, and subject to change. But Im always interested in seeing what the community thanks

Thanks, youre the best!


Ok here are some topics the team bounced around with marketing and engineering. There are more if none of these appeal. I wont do all these topics; we want to focus on the ones that are most exciting.

My ask:

  • OPINIONS: what topics would you like to hear a podcast on?
  • INTRODUCTIONS: is there any thought leader you can suggest or intrduce me to who would be a great guest?

Thanks :smiley:

In no particular order

Decentralized Pragmatism, a chat with JT Olio
Disambiguating Decentralization, an overview
Auditing Decentralization
Privacy and Decentralization
Policy Considerations for Decentralized Platforms
Decentralization and Underserved Communities
Introducing Decentralization to new Communities
UI & Branding for Decentralized Environments
Proof of Talent, preparing to work in decentralized industries
Data Analysis for Blockchain Decentralization
Natural Disasters and Decentralization
Debunking Assumptions About Decentralization
Monocultures, Oligopoly and Decentralization
Decentralized Object Data
Problem Spaces in Decentralization / Decentralization is a Strategy to Solve a Problem
Is Hypercentral Control Bad?
De-CENTS-ralization: Its where the money’s at (Storj loves a good dad joke. Also it actually is where the money’s at)
BitTorrent and Storj: a compare and contrast
Workflow: a Day in the life of a distributed systems engineer
Decentralization, What they Never Taught Me in College (with our beloved engineer Paul Cannon, former CS major)


as for me this topics about All and same time nothing exactly.
It wold be great if topic can be connectad directly with Tardigrade decentralisation.

One of most questions i have seen here that toch community harts.
Is “Posible ways of Sattelite Decentralization”
or in simple way “How to decentralize Sattelite”

today it looks like it is the bigest botleneck of the system in case of Sattelite go down.


I agree. Storj (from the viewpoint of a customer) is quite centralized - not much different from Amazon or some other large company. The only benefit of the current system, to me, seems to be that the storage and traffic is cheaper because the data is stored on home nodes. The satellite (however it is implemented right now) is a single-point-of-failure and Storj as a company is another. There is no real difference (other than cost) between storing the data on the nodes and metadata on the satellite (the current system) and storing everything on the satellite (essentially how Amazon works).

IMO, at the very least, customers should be able to take their metadata and keys to some other satellite and be able to access their data. Preferably that other satellite could be one not operated by Storj/Tardigrade but maybe it is too much to ask for.

Basically, right now, the Storj system is “cheaper Amazon”, but not really decentralized:

  1. If the satellite goes down, data is inaccessible. If the satellite actually lost data, well…
  2. If Storj as a company goes out of business, see #1.
  3. Government could force Storj to remove (or prevent removal) data stored by the customer.

i appreciate the responses so far! and I agree that to really have a good conversation about the product, it is a good idea to address the issue of satellites first.
this is a common piece of feedback, and that why I think it makes for an interesting episode idea. my friend and colleague @jtolio thinks about this stuff a LOT, and we’ve had some really interesting talks internally about the role Satellites play. Ill make some notes from the comments upthread to weave into the discussions

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I can add my five-cent: How about decentralizing payments? Store cryptocurrency is also one currency for payments and can be easily manipulated. For example, gas prices, the Storj payment system is also a single point of failure.

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Im not a crypto expert compared to my coworkers, but Im not sure the payment system is a SPoF, because as the whitepaper says, we could theoretically make the payments in any currency without disrupting the network :goat:


But i do love the topic of decentralizing payments. I know for sure that I’ve got coworkers who could speak iin a fascinating way about it since they know it deeply

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Another topic for discussion is network architecture, and how storage node, uplink, satellites communicate with each other and how to easily break these communications… For example governance blocking…
And how we can improve this situation in near future…

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Absolutely! But we should have The plan “B” if the world is going down… and satellites go down to the earth :slight_smile:

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