Which basically says, that having a hierarchy of trust (as we have for HTTPS certificates) is less reliable than having a distributed mesh of peers putting trust in each other; based on the principle that it's easy to fool one person once, but hard to fool all people all the time.
Now, I'm not all that interested in the intricacies of encryption, but everything related to mesh networks get's my attention. The cool technology aside; it's the subversive, anti-authoritarian aspects of it as well as the almost biological resistance and adaptability such systems possess that attracts me. And I'm not the only one, read Charles Stross or Cory Doctorow's writing for example.
Some things we could do if our world was based on mesh networks:
- The protesters in northern africa could spread their messages even if the government shuts down the mobile network masts
- If several people on the same train were looking at the same youtube video, the data could be shared between them resulting in faster downloading
- People's mobile phones would still be usable after catastrophes such as the recent earthquake in Japan
- Server's won't overload, but instead spread the data through the mesh distributing the load
Doc Searls has a great blog post called A sense of bewronging where he highlights the oddity of insisting to build so much of our technology around the server/client model; when it has so many obvious shortcomings.
If governments fail to stop it - after the age of computing in the cloud there will be an age of computing in the swarm. Where you don't build a web app and set up a server, you just release it into the swarm. And you will never have any scalability problems, because the more users you have, the more resources you will have. Of course, in order to gain something, you have to pay something - and that something is power. You will not have complete authority over your creation, because the swarm would not accept that. It would just not trust any one entity with so much control.