BenRayfield     Wed, Apr 4, 2012  Permanent link
I just found this:
Decentralization or decentralisation (see spelling differences) is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy, sociology and economics. Decentralization is also possible in the dispersal of population and employment. Law, science and technological advancements lead to highly decentralized human endeavours.

"While frequently left undefined (Pollitt, 2005), decentralization has also been assigned many different meanings (Reichard & Borgonovi, 2007), varying across countries (Steffensen & Trollegaard, 2000; Pollitt, 2005), languages (Ouedraogo, 2003), general contexts (Conyers, 1984), fields of research, and specific scholars and studies." (Dubois and Fattore 2009)

A central theme in decentralization is the difference between:

a hierarchy, based on authority: two players in an unequal-power relationship; and
an interface: a lateral relationship between two players of roughly equal power.

The more decentralized a system is, the more it relies on lateral relationships, and the less it can rely on command or force. In most branches of engineering and economics, decentralization is narrowly defined as the study of markets and interfaces between parts of a system. This is most highly developed as general systems theory and neoclassical political economy.

Also related:
The following terms will become interchangeable:

My response to her article:

I’ve come to the same conclusion about decentralization and the merging of those 5 words. Its strongest in how some Internet forums have their own government. Example: Wikipedia used to be completely a decentralized kind of democracy, where anyone could edit and there were no moderators, but a few years ago they started having scaling problems in organizing people, there were edit wars on some of the more important pages, and they formed a representative democracy with elections and various government-like processes. Also, the tags people can add to any page are like starting a government process to evaluate if the page obeys the rules of Wikipedia. Many other websites where many people communicate have various kinds of voting, usually for content but sometimes for people. My prediction is forums will merge with cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin became a 200 million dollar economy, just numbers on our screens that we gradually decided to use as money and its value increased compared to Dollars) to count these votes they’re already using and add the ability of various kinds of money and secure decentralized calculations. To your list of “Startup, Country, Project, Government, and Community”, I think you should add “Internet Forum” and “Cryptocurrency”.

Here’s a few more groups to add to “Occupy, Burning Man, and SXSW”: Anonymous, Zeitgeist, Open Source, Libertarians, (and Occupy but you already had that one). Details: