Fantastic article on the strength of decentralised networks over centralised - contains a clear understanding of the core differences and the pro's and cons.
The internet is the ultimate software-based network, consisting of a relatively simple core layer connecting billions of fully programmable computers at the edge.
"Software is simply the encoding of human thought, and as such has an almost unbounded design space."
Judging by the speed of its development since its creation, the internet is still early in its evolution: the core internet services will likely be almost entirely re-architected in the coming decades.
This will be further enabled by crypto-economic networks, a generalisation of the ideas first introduced in Bitcoin and further developed in Ethereum.
Cryptonetworks combine the best features of the first two internet eras: community-governed, decentralised networks with capabilities that will eventually exceed those of the most advanced centralised services.
Decentralization is a commonly misunderstood concept. For example, it is sometimes said that the reason cryptonetwork advocates favor decentralization is to resist government censorship, or because of libertarian political views. These are not the main reasons decentralization is important. Let’s look at the problems with centralized platforms. Centralized platforms follow a predictable life cycle. When they start out, they do everything they can to recruit users and 3rd-party complements like developers, businesses, and media organizations. They do this to make their services more valuable, as platforms (by definition) are systems with multi-sided network effects. As platforms move up the adoption S-curve, their power over users and 3rd parties steadily grows.