The political term for the concept that in some system, information flows entirely or at least in a very significant part through a one central point.

In other words, centralization is the fact or tendency to have a one decision center that everyone will have to refer to and obey, a place where all activity is concentrated, a software portion that all programs jump into.

It also means that the center will be responsible for everything to go well.

Centralization should not be mistaken for publicity.

Centralization is the simplest design: have a single lord who will rule the land, and transfer all worries, all responsibilities, onto him. Even if perfectly honest all well behaved, the central referee is limited in the amount of information he can handle, and the speed at which he can handle it. Soon, he won't be able to treat all the requests that everyone has to address to him. So he'll demand always more and more power to be able to complete his duty; and people will have to wait for his decisions, and obey to his orders. And when he doesn't have time at all, people will have to do things themselves, without any help from him, and sometimes despite his administration, or even against his police.

He can be a dictator, or a central administration; as far as computing is concerned, He can be a hardware or software "vendor", a "server" computer or application, or an operating system "kernel".

The problem is not his possible lack of kindness and good will, even if with heady power and false-hearted sycophants, He may lose all occasions to show it. It is not with his possible lack of personal strength and proficiency, even though the virtues required to be a good Central Organ are often opposed to those required to become or promote one. The problem is that even if He remains upright, a system based on centralism heads straight to disaster.

This page is linked from: Administration   Centralized   Client   Communism   Kernel   Monopoly   Networked   Publicity   Revolution