Building Decentralization

Building Blocks of Decentralization

I talked earlier this week on some of the current problems in decentralization at the rc3 event. It’s easy to be pessimistic about the current silo’d technological landscape, but decentralized platforms are continuing to make progress and there’s reason to be hopeful. At the same time, there’s a green field of many more decentralized protocols to discover and define beyond the current notions of DHTs and Consensus protocols.

The RC3 event was a great commemoration of the traditional chaos congress. The extent of culture and community that was brought into the 2d virtual world managed to capture some of the essence of the in-person event. Like the real events, it was a great opportunity for mixing whimsy and technical learning. In that spirit, I rehashed some measurement work to generate the following statistics about the event:

  • The most common character accessory was wearing a mask, which were donned by 30% of participants.
  • The badge shown on the most user profiles was ‘On Webcam‘, a badge I awarded to a scraped list of usernames on the 2nd day of the event. It was about 3x more popular than the second most popular badge, received for visiting the CERT, which only functioned near the end of the event.
  • A total of 385 badges were awarded and publicly displayed on user profile pages.
  • A total of 334 distinct pronouns were used by users. Only 5 of them were attempts at cross-site scripting attacks.
  • The user population was approximately that of the recent in-person events. Of those, my measurement estimated about 1/3rd participated in the 2d virtual world portion of the event.
  • There were only 2 users who used the same description of themselves on their profiles: ‘Moin!’

These statistics come from a fairly simple script that measured user pages near the end of the event. User IDs were largely sequential and could be enumerated without issue. This was needed as a step in awarding badges, which could only be done with the non-enumerable “usernames”, rather than these User IDs. One of the things that makes the CCC events unique is their transience, which allows for a safer form of expression than our more usual permanently logged and recorded online experience. In that spirit I have subsequently deleted my collected list of usernames and saved only these summary statistics.