Bah. Old Bell Labs Unix guy pines for the days when there was only one computer, wants one global namespace for all data? It’s like he slept through the whole personal computer era. His head is very much in The Cloud. A concept this unabashedly totalitarian could only have been incubated inside Google. I mean, it reads just like every single proprietary “universal” consumer cloud storage business plan, only writ larger, with protocols that no incumbent big player has any incentive to adopt.
Anyone’s “ownership” of information they don’t have physical control of is questionable at best. After that we’re at the mercy of encryption and (maybe) laws. No mention of either here.
Oh, and the technical challenges! Security is shrugged off. No mention of network partitions or other offline modes. No mention of versioning or mutability. No mention of prior art like Tahoe-LAFS or DAT or so many others. I’m reminded of the old quip about the “only two hard problems in computer science”: cache invalidation and naming things. This takes on both, simultaneously, at a grandiose scale. I feel confident in predicting its total failure. Networking will not be reduced to a file system. If it could be, it would have happened long ago.
I’ve admired various things that Rob Pike has done, but if this represents his vision, I must say I find it both somewhat morally objectionable and deeply confused about the nature of locality as it pertains to information and communication.
you should read a bit more about it on https://upspin.io, there are design docs there regarding your criticism. the article here is more of a pamphlet about what is wrong and how it should be. upspin is an experiment after all.