I'm not really in favor of single namespaces at this point. It's been wonderful having DNS as a reliable universal naming system, but if we're talking about trying to move to a more distributed model, I'm more interested in loosening the strings & exploring the space beyond a single namespace. Not just decentralized, as the article talks about, but also distributed. Embrace strong cryptographic identity, cryptographic names first, & leave human naming for additional layers, probably around web-of-trust models.
To me, trying to recreate DNS but with arbitrary distributed blockchain systems to allocate power instead of arbitrary icann registries doesn't seem that advantageous. I do like the idea of censorship resistance, of really owning a name, but the cost & viability of claiming & winning names via out Proof-of-Work'ing folks or buying currency seems daunting to me. The hurdles here scare me. And having one single namespace that can never expand & grow, where the good keeps getting carved out, by early players: that scarcity is unappealing. Single namespaces are consistent & that's powerful, but the digital is capable of so much less scarcity, albeit we humans only have limited experience trying to harness & direct such unlimited digital abandons.
There's plenty of good, interesting, valuable work on single namespaces that we can do, & this is probably a good, interesting, & valuable contribution (albeit one that leaves me with a lot of questions about participation & how the system functions). Restricting ourselves to the scarcity of a single namespace seems both sensible & practical, like a straightforward route towards adoptability, towards a more likely to be impactful protocol. But I do hope some of the wilder, less restrained options for how we do naming get a chance, are a part of our broader experiments in naming.
Do you have some particular options in mind? Practically any example I am can come up with ends up devolving to a single namespace.
The least restrictive one I can recall is the Usenet namespace where the equivalent of a subdomain didn't — at least in principle — require permission from the domain "owner" to establish (eg. alt.comics.superman.dies.dies.dies). In practice this required coordination and consensus among various administrators for a new group to be established, and under various scenarios existing "owners" could object.
A more practical take, I'd love a domain name system that only promised that, at some time, i was the owner of a certain DNS domain. If I stopped being the owner, I could still continue hosting my site, my identity would be cryptographically well known & certifiable, people would know who to come to (or maybe not, not a hard requirement for this scenario; like HIP they should know me when we talk & i do want to say it's me), even though the link, the "ownership" (renter-ship) of the domain i'd held had expired. This again is another huge host of interesting messy hard problems, and if someone does get my keys, i'm hosed, but i really like how it favors a very strong distributed identity over this pressing incessant badgering need DNS has to enforce consistency & singularness.