This can't happen to Cardano, right?

It depends on the governance models implemented by Cardano (we’re still some time from on-chain governance). EOS is DPOS which consolidates power in a circumscribed group of pools while Cardano’s architecture allows for a much larger total pool value (“k” in Cardano parlance) with lower barrier to entry for individual operators which will discourage this type of power consolidation, and encourage breadth of decentralization. Still there are many factors… exchange staking being one of them. Stakers choosing convenience over active engagement tends towards centralization as they forfeit their own sovereign control to larger entities because it’s simiply easier. We can already see this with individuals holding their tokens on exchanges vs owning their own keys. This human behavior is unlikely to change anytime soon as there is some use to offloading some amount of responsibility to trusted 3rd parities. If this conflict with the decentralized ethos can’t be solved for through the protocols themselves, then they will act as an Achilles heel. I tend to think they will all be solved for iin time in as much as decentralized system are simply more powerful and aligned with intrinsic human desires/behaviors. But this is a digression …

In my view, the EOS model was doomed from the start in the sense that it was always quasi-decentralized and we’re now seeing some of these short-comings rear their head… if EOS is agile enough to build above these formative issues, they will be fine… but it seems challenging as it might require complete re-writes of the base protocol, and I’m not sure how flexible their governance model is in this regard. Everything suggested here by the author and Dan seem like patchwork to me.

Will Cardano do better? They seem to have the right set of starting principles and less likely to be stuck in this particular quagmire, but they’ll need to release a functional product that proves out their assumptions over time.