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    Urbit still seems entirely ridiculous to me. It sets off every scam/cult alarm in my body, and I’m not the sort of person who dismisses these things out of hand (in fact, I’m generally a very early adopter on weird tech stuff like this).

    The only other alternative I can think of is that Urbit is some sort of performance art. I made a similar comment on HN a year or two back and one of the urbit guys politely invited me over for a chat, but unfortunately travel schedules got in the way. On account of that effort to reach out I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s challenging. Just look at the YouTube videos on their website. No explanation of anything, just weird culty videos with weird culty music and a lot of buzzwords.

    If someone could concisely and correctly explain why urbit is useful, I would really appreciate it. Right now it seems to me like an ill-conceived and mostly pointless vaporware attempt to (poorly) reinvent the wheel (but with some NRx artistic flare) without any clear justification for doing so.

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      It’s a VM running programs in their new, custom language. Networking allows distributed computation, but the entire system is a hierarchy designed to give the creators total power. There’s more the last time Urbit came up.

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        That other thread had some good stuff in it–I recall it well, especially the more entertaining revelations about Yarvin’s feudalism in constructing Urbit.

        I posted this link mainly because the infamously clunky nomenclature of Urbit now has Ethereum rubbed all over it for good measure.

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          designed to give the creators total power

          It’s actually designed to be eventually distributed, just like Ethereum or Bitcoin or IPFS. As the network grows, the creators have less power: https://urbit.org/docs/about/objections/#-urbit-isn-t-even-really-decentralized-it-has-a-government

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              yeah I know, I’m just fact checking you, we don’t want fake news here on lobste.rs ;)

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                You’re deliberately spreading misinformation because you think the people behind Urbit are untrustworthy. That’s a little bit ironic, isn’t it?

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                I mean this is basically the ruse that many “communists” pulled. I’ll only be a dictator for a bit but then once things are really moving then we’ll have a government ruled by the public. Once you have power it’s easy to use that power to maintain power, so ceding power at the beginning is a really dumb strategy.

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              The only other alternative I can think of is that Urbit is some sort of performance art.

              If it is, one totally should consider the artist.

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                It seems to be a “dump” of the NRx ideology into a codebase. I think it’s fair to think that is some sort of performance art.

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                  It’s not a vaporware in that it has working code. Lots of it: deterministic VM, bootstrapped compiler, cryptographic infrastructure, overlay network, and (hopefully cryptographically secure) mechanism to do live update of everything above VM. Whether it’s (or will be) useful is an open question, but in my opinion the current codebase is self-evidently exciting.

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                  A neofeudalist creates a structure where he exists as a feudal lord over a hierarchy of computers. I’m pretty sure we can do better than this.

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                    My understanding of ethereum contracts is that for more complex algorithms they will perform as much computation off-chain as possible, performing only the minimum verification steps on the chain.

                    Does Urbit help with abstracting this away at all?

                    What advantage does the Urbit platform give over writing Ethereum contracts directly?