here it is, more directly: https://twitter.com/gravislizard/status/879758601186758656
about halfway through the thread he basically describes "what if we pay one or two people with powerful servers to run a really big instance" but the other thing he says a bunch of times is that mastodon's interface is bad, which is pretty much true. It is nowhere near as quick and easy to use as twitter.
1. that's basically what mastodon.social is (or if they find that not far left enough, witches.town) - it's well integrated enough to paper over federation weirdness as well
2. the UI is... an acquired taste. The platonic ideal™ is we just use whatever clients we like, but that's a bit passing the buck to the user.
I know Chelsea Manning is on here somewhere, I think she's probably actually active, but gosh if I have no idea how to find her and follow her.
Calvin keeps saying "upstream" and if that refers to the flagship node(s) as far as I can tell, they aren't really upstream, they just happen to be big and being peered with that node doesn't exactly do anything for us for content on smaller nodes. (And, xychelsea is not on that specific node anyway.)
To follow Jeph Jacques, who also isn't active any longer, I had to type email@example.com to get it to show in search. So, If I used an external search tool to look up a person and then typed it in, it works, but I can't reliably just type in a name and find someone, at least not yet.