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    Selling stars? I guess they’ve rebranded:

    1. Fort allocation - digital feudalism

    Lords are only one class of fort. A fort is always an atom. It is classified by the size of that atom:

    >= 2^64, < 2^128 :   wolf (wild fort)
    >= 2^32, < 2^64  :   pawn (civil fort)
    >= 2^16, < 2^32  :   lord (civil fort)
    >= 2^8,  < 2^16  :   earl (civil fort)
    >= 1,    < 256   :   duke (civil fort)
    == 0 : pope (trivial fort)
    
    1. 9

      I cant help but feel that these guys are having a hard time with their elevator pitch. Ive watched the video and im still not sure what it really is.

      1. 3

        I’m in the same boat as you. Read a few page on the website and it all seems to be a lot of word to say little.

      2. 7

        As a not-completely-cynical participant in a democratic society and a half-assed amateur philosopher, I’m about as turned off by Yarvin as I could be.

        We are at a cultural moment where people are realizing that the impact of technologies are not ideologically neutral and that some (many?) technologies explicitly serve ideologies. I’m not familiar with Urbit: what it is now, what it purports to be a solution to, how it is supposed to evolve, or what relationship the technology has with Yarvin’s ideology.

        Getting into what Urbit is really about is not necessarily an easy project, as Yarvin is something of an obscurantist. I don’t disagree with much of the hollering about what a bad person he is, but I want to dig deeper and I’d hope some other folks would join me.

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          Oh, so the laziest possible theory about what the Urbit effort is: a half-baked attempt to extract money from greater fools who like cryptocurrencies (especially ones with VMs ala ethereum) and also have affinity with libertarian economics / NRx politics / dark enlightenment philosophy.

          This is a lazy theory, in part because it rhymes with the current discourse about how conservative politicians in the U.S. have been lending their names and email lists to scams and quasi-scams.

          Because I am a mean and spiteful person, I dub this the “Thiel-Bait” theory. (Peter Thiel is almost certainly too canny and insightful to get seriously hooked by an intellectual affinity con, but smaller fish of a similar intellectual bent probably have plenty of cash…)

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              Yeah. Clearly at least some of the Urbit materials address how hard it is for individuals to set up and run their own services but Urbit is at best a severely misguided attempt to address that. Trying to make it easier for digital homesteaders through education efforts or modular service design (sandstorm.io / Kenton Varda / cap'n proto seem cool) is a meaningful contribution to that problem; being like “ugh, Unix is Just Too Hard” is clearly a cop out.

        2. 6

          Well those sold out fast. I’d love to know if on balance they were purchased to hold or purchased to use.

          1. 5

            The email does request this isn’t posted publicly initially.

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              Quick reminder that this is a company founded and run by actual pro-slavery, anti-democracy, overt racists who make all of tech look bad: http://thebaffler.com/blog/mouthbreathing-machiavellis

              1. 8

                There is nuance to be had here.

                I’m not sure that Justine Tunney is related to the Urbit project, anyways.

                I actually appreciate the political connotations of this excerpt of the documentation

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                  If Chuckles Yarvin keeps falling back on “nuance” because people keep thinking he’s a racist, maybe he should spend a little time figuring out how to reframe his talking points so as to avoid this continuing confusion.

                  A strong point usually doesn’t require nuance to keep it from being a weak one.

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                    If every position we can have must be the a “strong” or “obvious” one, we are not having a debate, but we’re polarizing our audience by spreading more hate, something that only benefits people who know how to market audience (e.g. television). I think this is bad. I think we need less hate in this world, and that includes hating who we perceive as the haters, because, haters are going to hate.

                    Now I don’t think this guy wants to live in a sundown town, or hang nooses from a tree, and I think conflating one word to describe this, and the position this guy actually has (as you say: nuance) really just spreads hate and cheapens us as human beings.

                    I know you want me to get to the point quickly (the opposite of nuance; to be blunt), but I appreciate that race is something people are sensitive to, so I am nervous even now in a conversation about it – I don’t want someone to lash out with violence or hate towards me, because they think I’m supporting who they perceive as a hater, when I’m really just trying to say we need less hate.

                    How do we solve the problem of hate? How do we create a world with less racism and violence and hate in it?

                    One way is by putting everyone who is racist and violent in a room by themselves (an act, itself violent, so do we ourselves belong in the room?), and I do believe this is what you’re trying to do.

                    Another way is to choose what is a less exciting and less marketable approach, but one I think is a lot more enlightened: We can try to understand their position as much as possible, and if someone says “no that’s not my opinion, it’s a lot more nuanced than that”, we could try to help them state their position more simply, instead of putting our foot in their mouths and insisting we are speaking for them.

                    What do you think?

                    1. 3

                      Now I don’t think this guy wants to live in a sundown town, or hang nooses from a tree, and I think conflating one word to describe this, and the position this guy actually has (as you say: nuance) really just spreads hate and cheapens us as human beings.

                      On the flip side, conflating straw man racism with actual racism is exactly the sort of argument that prompts people to think that “nuance” is a defensive dog whistle.

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                        I don’t understand what you mean.

                        1. 1

                          I’m saying:

                          • “wants to live in a sundown town, or hang nooses from a tree” is a straw man description of racism
                          • If the only offered alternative to that straw man is “nuance”, then
                            • it is easy and reasonable for someone to think that “nuance” is code for “racist but not the straw man kind”
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                            Having lived near a sundown town and seen nooses hung from trees, I can’t begin to assure you this is a very real form of racism that exists. It is a form of racism that can bring people immediate harm and feel the threat of immediate harm.

                            However. That it is not, to my understanding, the form of racism that this man is being accused of.

                            This man is being accused of repeating an observation that some races performed better in some circumstances, and yet he tries hard to be clear that being better at some things does not make them “superior”.

                            I think that is not the same thing as bringing someone immediate harm, or even the threat of immediate harm.

                            So I think we really are talking about being accused of being “racist but not the kind involving immediate harm, the threat of immediate harm, or the call to cause harm.” however this isn’t what I want to talk about.

                            I actually think hurting people is wrong; I think calling someone a racist is worse that actually being a racist.

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                              I think calling someone a racist is worse that actually being a racist.

                              … what? Is calling someone a liar worse than actually lying? Is calling someone a thief worse than actually stealing? Is calling someone a murderer worse than actually murdering?

                              This man is being accused of repeating an observation that some races performed better in some circumstances

                              It’s not that one quote. It’s all the quotes, over years of writing. Seriously, this guy’s been talking about racial differences and “human biological diversity” for a really long time. Sure, he says things like “being a slave is really hard, so being good at being a slave is really impressive!”, but when his list of necessary attributes for being a neo-monarch just happen to match the list of attributes that he thinks white people are “better at”, well, guess what, that’s racism in a lab coat.

                              1. 5

                                Negative labels of all sorts can do more harm than the action that originally prompted the label.

                                I am, in a sense, a liar because I have in the course of my life, told a lie. I don’t think any great harm, or even any harm, was caused by telling my girlfriend’s mother that I liked her mashed potatoes when I did not. However, calling me a liar would cause a certain amount of reputational damage, most likely exceeding the magnitude of damage caused by the lie.

                                Regarding the specifics of this case, no comment, but in general people think the worst when they hear a label. If the reality is less than the worst, one should exercise caution.

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                                  Negative labels of all sorts can do more harm than the action that originally prompted the label.

                                  Alright, so there’s a continuum. Murder is worse than calling someone a murderer, but in some cases, lying is better than calling someone a liar.

                                  Where is racism on that scale? Is calling a racist a racist better or worse than calling a thief a thief? Is calling a racist a racist better or worse than calling a dangerous driver a dangerous driver? or a rapist a rapist?

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                                    Murder is worse than calling someone a murderer.

                                    Hidden assumption: we all agree on what “murder” means. Is abortion murder? Some say yes, some say no. I happen to think calling a doctor a murderer is worse than performing abortions.

                                    Similarly wrt racism, the assumption is that there is only one kind of racist and everyone is in agreement regarding the meaning of a statement like “He’s a racist.” If I tell you my neighbor is racist, how much do you really know about how he treats others?

                                    1. 2

                                      If I tell you my neighbor is racist, how much do you really know about how he treats others?

                                      Ah, but we’re not talking about how Yarvin treats people. He’s a writer, an essayist, and he uses/used his essays to promote an ideology, and that ideology has found many receptive listeners. It’s about pointing out how racism informs that ideology.

                                2. 3

                                  Yes.

                                  I think if I call you a liar, when you’re not a liar, it would be worse than you actually being a liar.

                                  Seriously, this guy’s been talking about racial differences and “human biological diversity” for a really long time.

                                  Talking about differences between black people and white people isn’t the same thing as believing ones race is unilaterally superior to all other races. Even if they’re both racism to you, that doesn’t mean they’re the same, it just means you don’t have a discerning enough vocabulary.

                                  Or because maybe a programming example is better: When you call someone a Option(A|B), and they’re not a Just A, then that’s worse than someone who is a Just B. Substitute foo for racist, and A and B for some of the different things that you group together as racism, but that someone you’re talking to might not.

                                  However as I said, this isn’t what I want to talk about. I want to talk about hate, and I want you to try to create less hate in the world. Because if he is producing Maybe Hate and you’re producing Just Hate, I think that’s worse.

                                  You’re assuming people hate, and should hate everyone and anyone who wants to talk about differences between black people and white people.

                                  That seems totally wrong to me. It seems like all you’re going to get is more hate in the world, and that makes the world a worse place.

                                  1. 1

                                    I think if I call you a liar, when you’re not a liar, it would be worse than you actually being a liar.

                                    So you’re saying that lying (falsely calling someone a liar) is as bad or worse than lying. That’s a specious statement.

                                    Talking about differences between black people and white people isn’t the same thing as believing ones race is unilaterally superior to all other races.

                                    No, of course not. Again, that’s a straw man position.

                                    Even if they’re both racism to you, that doesn’t mean they’re the same, it just means you don’t have a discerning enough vocabulary.

                                    Apparently, neither do you. Talking about racial differences is indicative of racial prejudice. Racial prejudice in favor of those already more powerful is racism. Lynching is racial violence.

                                    I’m talking about racism. You keep saying “that’s not racial violence, and therefore it’s not racism”.

                                    You’re assuming people hate, and should hate everyone and anyone who wants to talk about differences between black people and white people.

                                    No, that’s not what I’m assuming. I’m assuming that Yarvin means what he has said in the past. And what he’s said in the past is racist. And thus, I believe Yarvin is racist.

                                    I don’t hate Yarvin. I find him a disingenuous manipulator, but I don’t hate him. But I do want people to realize that he is a proponent of a racist ideology.

                                    It seems like all you’re going to get is more hate in the world, and that makes the world a worse place.

                                    Progress is, among other things, examining society, recognizing its faults, and remedying them. Racism is a societal fault. Recognizing it, which means calling it out when seen, is a necessary step toward remedying it. That doesn’t increase the amount of hate in the world, it decreases it.

                                    1. 3

                                      Talking about racial differences is indicative of racial prejudice. Racial prejudice in favor of those already more powerful is racism. Lynching is racial violence. I’m talking about racism. You keep saying “that’s not racial violence, and therefore it’s not racism”.

                                      You can define anything however you want, but that’s not communicating. That’s weasel-words.

                                      “Racial prejudice in favor of those already more powerful” is most certainly not racism. That’s not even close. But even if it were:

                                      calling [racism] out when seen, is a necessary step toward remedying it.

                                      I fundamentally disagree with the idea that you can fight hate with hate.

                                      Not only is it wrong, I think doing what you’re doing is worse than what I now understand you to be saying he is doing.

                                      I think this whole exercise is intellectually dishonest: You must know by now that you’ve got a very specific definition of racism that others don’t share – that I don’t share, and that I’ve made absolutely clear from the beginning what definition I was using; You can’t now pull the rug out from under my feet and say I’m trying to say you’re saying something that you’re not. It’s even sillier when you’re going around saying that this guy is saying something that he is saying he’s not!

                                      What he’s said in the past is racist [according to my very specific definition that surprises people]. And thus, I believe Yarvin is racist [according to my very specific definition that surprises people].

                                      How am I supposed to argue with this? What is the point of calling him racist according to your very specific definition that we obviously don’t share – that M&W doesn’t share – that whilst maybe you can find someone that does, by refusing to acknowledge that racism doesn’t obviously mean to me and others, what you have been purporting it to mean, you are doing nothing but spreading hate.

                                      I do want people to realize that he is a proponent of a racist [according to my specific definition] ideology.

                                      You aren’t a white knight calling out the societal evils, you’re just more petrol on the fire. Please reconsider!

                                      He hasn’t written anything on the subject in almost a decade, and what he has written, to my knowledge, is very well accepted amongst the scientific community. He’s not encouraging anyone to violent acts, and his current political activism is very far away from this space. Do you go around writing about how Abraham Lincoln was a racist [according to your specific definition]? Surely it’s an interesting idea, but given how it doesn’t match most people’s idea about what a racist is, if you want to have that conversation wouldn’t you agree it deserves a lot more measured language than you’re giving?

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                                        You must know by now that you’ve got a very specific definition of racism that others don’t share

                                        Please do some research into what constitutes racism above and beyond consulting two dictionary definitions. Here’s a place to start. I assure you that I am not the sole person who defines racism this way, and strongly suggest that if you wish to discuss the matter in a modern context, you need to do your reading.

                                        He hasn’t written anything on the subject in almost a decade

                                        Except for all of the times that he writes defenses of his past writings and current thought. There was plenty of that going on during the LamdaConf incident earlier this year.

                                        what he has written, to my knowledge, is very well accepted amongst the scientific community

                                        He’s not a scientist, so I strongly doubt anything he has written is accepted by the scientific community.

                                        He’s not encouraging anyone to violent acts

                                        He’s encouraging people to hate. And he’s encouraging people to mask their hate in scientific garble. Are you interested in fewer violent acts, or in reducing hate?

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                                          Please do some research into what constitutes racism above and beyond consulting two dictionary definitions.

                                          No!

                                          The word “racist” is extremely loaded in our society, and you don’t get to defend haphazard use of some narrow and nuanced definition that your audience won’t have, and continue to take a moral position.

                                          It would be like shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theatre when you see a flicker that you think is a lighter.

                                          Here’s a place to start. I assure you that I am not the sole person who defines racism this way.

                                          That link says: racism generally refers to the systemic oppression of a racial group due to the idea that some groups are inherently inferior to others which I think is generally compatible with the dictionary definition, and generally compatible with the idea most people have about racism.

                                          However I don’t think we’re talking about any systemic oppression.

                                          Except for all of the times that he writes defenses of his past writings and current thought. There was plenty of that going on during the LamdaConf incident earlier this year.

                                          You mean everyone like you asking him “Are you still racist” and him saying “I’m not racist, but I’ve certainly written something that some people think sounds racist?”

                                          What do you expect? You are stringing someone up and then blaming them for not getting out of your noose?

                                          He’s encouraging people to hate. And he’s encouraging people to mask their hate in scientific garble.

                                          You are encouraging people to hate, and you’ve done it several times in the last twenty four hours. I’m trying to deal with that because I think hate is wrong.

                                          I’ve seen no evidence of Curtis Yarvin encouraging people to hate. but I’ll admit: I haven’t researched his life, only read the link that was posted previously and now deleted, and read a few reddit comments. I don’t think any reasonable person could collect those things across time and say this is part of, or in support of the “systemic oppression of a racial group”, and if you really want to talk about it, you should be more measured in your words.

                                          Are you interested in fewer violent acts, or in reducing hate?

                                          Can you point to a single violent act done because of Curtis Yarvin’s “systemic oppression of a racial group”?

                                          Are you really so violent yourself that you are more interested in hurting people who you believe do hurting, but that others do not, than there overall simply being less hurting?

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                                            No!

                                            Would you argue the merits of Ruby on Rails based solely on the Wikipedia page for it? Or would you want to actually use it, or at least read the documentation, maybe some tickets, maybe some source code?

                                            And when you did that research, would it be the code as of ten years ago? Or would you want recent code and recent usage to feel like you could participate in a discussion about its features and problems?

                                            Social topics operate the same way: people do research, people debate, people refine definitions. Saying “No, I will not read anything about racism!” while 1- insisting that your opinion on racism is just as informed and valuable as everyone elses, and 2- insisting that people educate themselves in order to talk about technical topics, is woolyheaded thinking at its best, and disingenuous at its worst.

                                            I haven’t researched his life, only read the link that was posted previously and now deleted, and read a few reddit comments.

                                            And yet here, you admit lack of knowledge of an individual person, as though knowledge of him is somehow more important than knowledge of the large social topic we’re discussing.

                                            Here’s a summary of his beliefs, by someone who went through all or most of his past writing. He also discussed Yarvin’s tactics. A relevant quote from that latter article:

                                            Yarvin clearly isn’t obfuscating his views for the benefit of the far left or right, who have already come to their conclusions. No, he’s obfuscating it for everyone else. The people who will defend his right to say it on principle or without investigating & understanding it

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                                              I was wrong to try and convince you that encouraging a mob to lynch someone is wrong, because it is clear to me that you believe some people deserve to be lynched.

                                              For what it’s worth, I’ve tried to read that “summary of his beliefs” and I’ve tried to cross reference bits with the citations. I simply can’t come to the same conclusion that you and “Ian” have, so even if I could agree with you that some people “deserve” to be lynched, I couldn’t agree that this person does. I simply don’t know enough.

                                              However you continue spreading more hate and violence than you are accusing Yarvin of, and so I will instead hope one day you try to be better.

                                              Good luck.

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                                                even if I could agree with you that some people “deserve” to be lynched, I couldn’t agree that this person does.

                                                I never encouraged anyone to lynch anyone, nor did I say or imply that someone deserved lynching, though I’m very curious to know how you came to the conclusion that I did.

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                        Well it’s the same quote that people keep bringing up – there’s nothing to reframe because that quote is already out there and people keep asking him about it. He posted it in 2009, seven years ago.

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                          Which quote, exactly? Because he’s written quite a bit, and there are quite a few quotes you could be talking about.

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                            Read this whole exchange (four successive posts, linked above as the word “nuance”): https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/4bxf6f/im_curtis_yarvin_developer_of_urbit_ama/d1dm7m4?context=4

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                              Okay…. but you know he’s talked about race aside from that one quote that he attributes to his wife, correct?

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                                Fair point. I’ll have to look those other comments up, I’m not super familiar with his work.

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                                  Alternatively, note that most of his writing on the topic ceased several years ago and would be long forgotten if not for people constantly asking “Are you still a racist? Are you still a racist?”. In any case, I don’t think there’s much benefit to be gained from familiarizing yourself.

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                                    Eh, I’ve spent too much time in my left-leaning echo chamber recently and I’d like to engage with some foreign ideas. https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkEnlightenment has some incredibly different thought patterns than what I’m used to.

                                    Philosophy is my alternate hobby to programming, so I get a kick out of wrestling with strange ideologies.

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                      Quick reminder that this is a company founded and run by actual pro-slavery, anti-democracy, overt racists who make all of tech look bad: http://thebaffler.com/blog/mouthbreathing-machiavellis

                      I am going to sound ornery, but I am in agreement with your general sentiment.

                      On the other hand, that’s, like, 75 percent of what the VCs fund. Remember when Tom Perkins compared progressive taxation to Kristallnacht? Most venture-funded founders are people with bad business ethics and terrifying political leanings (which they tend to be smart enough not to share). It’s not that Yarvin makes “all of tech” look bad; it’s that our entire leadership makes tech look bad because they are bad.

                      I don’t take Ubers because I don’t like Travis Kalanick’s dog-whistle nods to rape culture, and I’d never work with a Y Combinator startup, because while YC didn’t singularly ruin tech, it certainly created a negative current that’s impossible to fight. That said, I recognize that mine is a minority position.

                      Curtis Yarvin isn’t worse than the others in the technical elite. (In fact, in light of recent revelations about VCs using SF homeless to settle scores, as even I have experienced… at least we can say that he’s non-violent.) He just got caught, because “Mencius Moldbug” became more popular than he expected and was outed. This doesn’t mean that he’s not a bad person or that we shouldn’t boycott his work. I just recommend taking that sentiment farther, to its logical conclusion… which is a place where I am happy to be, but many are not.

                      For me, the question comes down not to the moral character of a source, but to trust. Quora proved, infamously, that it can’t be trusted. I don’t give a shit about Adam D'Angelo’s or Marc Bodnick’s political leanings; I do care about the (lack of) ethical character in its leadership. Likewise, whether an artifact can be trusted has more to do with the nature of the artifact than the source. For example, we don’t throw out the work of Gottlob Frege despite his turn toward pre-Nazi right-wing German politics toward the end of his life (1920s) because it’s math, and we can audit math and separate it from whatever happened in Frege’s mind late in his life. However, when one is investing money, emotional energy, time and possibly one’s reputation into a platform, the character of those who invented and control the platform becomes important.

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                          It also tells me that yarvin doesn’t think debt slavery is bad. To me, it is bad. I like to see a world free of monetary debts and involuntary labor. A world where people are not dominated by the need to make living with whatever job they can take.

                          I agree with that myself, but I think @michaelochurch’s point is that this in itself unfortunately doesn’t make him unique in tech, because his views are widely shared. The Valley is almost exclusively staffed by (and owned by) folks who are perfectly okay with de facto involuntary labor, as long as it has some kind of vague gloss of a “voluntary” wage relationship. Just try to use the phrase “wage slavery” within 50 meters of a VC…

                          What makes yarvin different in a sense is that he also has weird anachronistic views regarding explicitly neo-aristocratic societies and such, rather than sticking to the more acceptable, “modern” forms of those views, where involuntary labor, multi-class societies, etc. hide behind the plausible denial of market arrangements.

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                        Having read that long article, I have to say that I am not impressed by your assertion.

                        The idea that a programmer having an unorthodox political view makes an entire industry look bad is clearly not a valid one.

                        The nature of the free market also means that if you were to refuse interaction with people who might have political views that are different than yours, then you are going to not be able to buy anything. After all we all know about how warlord-run African mines supply all those precious names-you-dont-remember metals needed for all your electronics.

                        If you disagree with what he says then say why? Trying to attack his other front is a cowardly tactic and makes me believe that you can not mount a logical attack on his political position.

                        After all, if his position is so awful, it would be rather easy to attack, wouldn’t it?

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                          The nature of the free market also means that if you were to refuse interaction with people who might have political views that are different than yours, then you are going to not be able to buy anything. After all we all know about how warlord-run African mines supply all those precious names-you-dont-remember metals needed for all your electronics.

                          Huh? To paraphrase this paragraph: Things you find bad are happening that you benefit from so don’t try to stop other things you find bad from happening. How does that make sense? Changing the world in some way is not an atomic transaction.

                          1. 1

                            Somebody having a different political view from you is not ‘bad’. There are different views on how society should be organised and everybody thinks that their way is the best. The in vogue opinion that democracy is the best thing ever invented is simply fashion. If you disagree with somebody’s political view a market boycott is not the way to resolve it. It should be done via a discourse. Otherwise, political decision is not done via logical reasoning, but by whom has the most economic power.

                            Also I don’t see why atomic transaction has anything to do with this. You are probably using it to mean all-or-nothing but atomic is better used to mean ‘the smallest possible change’ i.e. a change of half the atomic transaction is not possible. Nobody is claiming that you either have to make the world the best possible it can be, or you have to do nothing at all.

                            1. 1

                              Somebody having a different political view from you is not ‘bad’. There are different views on how society should be organised and everybody thinks that their way is the best. The in vogue opinion that democracy is the best thing ever invented is simply fashion. If you disagree with somebody’s political view a market boycott is not the way to resolve it. It should be done via a discourse. Otherwise, political decision is not done via logical reasoning, but by whom has the most economic power.

                              • Specific to this discussion, I would say it’s being a bit generous to frame slavery as a “political view”. It’s a human rights issue for many.
                              • Boycotting something is absolutely a way to resolve disagreements with political views. It happens all the time. Money talks, not making money talks more. Consider all of the calls to not buy GMO foods. Divesting in oil companies has become a tool for those who believe fossil fuels are responsible for climate change. British goods were boycotted leading up to the American Revolution.
                              • “Otherwise, political decision is not done via logical reasoning, but by whom has the most economic power.” Yes, and? That is exactly how it has been done since day one. Not everything has a logical solution. “Is slavery wrong” isn’t a mathematical puzzle, it’s a question of what values you have. Enough people with enough physical power have decided that slavery is wrong, but there isn’t any base principles for why this is inherently right.

                              atomic is better used to mean ‘the smallest possible change’

                              No it isn’t. Atomic means that something cannot be broken down into smaller units. That is the actual definition. It has nothing to do with size.

                        2. 2

                          Even if you’re correct in your accusations–a tiresome debate we’ve all had before–the fact remains that there has been a whole lot of wealth generated by pro-slavery anti-democracy over racists throughout the ages.

                          Don’t let’s pretend that principles exclude profit.

                          EDIT: For what it’s worth, I think the article shouldn’t be hear because it’s just advertising, but we live in an imperfect world.

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                            the fact remains that there has been a whole lot of wealth generated by pro-slavery anti-democracy over [sic] racists throughout the ages.

                            Many things we agree are abhorrent today once allowed some people to gain, at the gross expense of others. I don’t understand why you would point this out, or what argument you are possibly trying to advance. Anything that allows people to increase their wealth is Good? That’s ludicrous.

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                              What’s ludicrous is people hand-wringing over the political views of a person doing interesting technical work and loudly interjecting into every blasted thread about these things.

                              Technical work that helps everyone, regardless of creed, color, sex, or gender–provide they’ve got cash, at least.

                              Maybe we could critique the fact that Urbit:

                              • has a cheerleader who writes obtusely (racist screeds or not).
                              • is built by a private company without a really obvious monetization strategy.
                              • has somehow decided to clunkily rename a bunch of CS terms just for dickwaving and to feel smart.
                              • just sold off 1.6% of their addresses to raise like 200K USD (for a market cap of only like 2M USD), without much warning (hurting devs).
                              • has a completely crackheaded optimization model for their interpreters (no decrement operator?!).
                              • no super-compelling use case over IPFS or even Ethereum
                              • is basically an exercise in writing a kernel as pure function (i.e., CS wankery dressed up in fancy terms)

                              No, but instead, we’re all going to shower a user with upvotes because, gosh darnit, somebody has to be doing the good work and downvoting those evil rascists! Somebody’s got to hop on that bandwagon, because otherwise the truly worst problems in the world won’t be addressed!

                              And when another user has the gall to point out that, even if the accusations are correct (and they kinda are, depending on which of his writings you read and fuck you I’m not going to waste another evening digging up links), the project is still interesting because it could still produce wealth….well hell folks, you downvote that user as a troll.

                              Because that’s easier than thinking critically, dealing with an imperfect world, or even more basically, ignoring the temptation to derail a conversation with an internet witch hunt.

                              Usually we do better as a community, but jesus fuck sometimes we just lose our damned minds and give in to the petty bullshit that’s ruining our industry.

                              1. 10

                                I don’t think your response actually deals with the critique from @kb. To put it another way:

                                Your response: “Bringing up this point is tiresome and people who are pro-slavery and anti-democracy have created a lot of wealth so STFU”.

                                Response I would have expected: “The Urbit author’s view’s have been widely discussed already and more nuanced than your comment suggests, please see those other threads if you’d like to discuss this further”.

                                So it’s really unclear what you are trying to say by pointing out the fact of historic wealth creation.

                                1. 5

                                  @joeatwork’s comment was read by me as equivalent to “Hey! Just a friendly reminder that this guy is an evil racist [and thus you shouldn’t support this/take this seriously/whatever just because he’s what I’ll call racist and anti-democracy]”.

                                  My response (the one you paraphrase above, correctly) I feel is reasonable in pointing out that yeah, racists have still created wealth and done useful things and so we shouldn’t dismiss a potentially useful idea just because of its inventor’s politics. I do prefer your suggested response, but I’m not coolheaded enough to reach for it. :)

                                  @kb’s response was read by me as equivalent to “I don’t understand why you bring this up–we can’t just say that money is Good. That’s ludicrous.” I frankly then went off on a rant and failed to address their core point, so yeah, that’s my bad.

                                  1. 4

                                    Thank you for the thoughtful and calm response!

                                2. 9

                                  Ok. Next time just say “We shouldn’t discount ideas, even if they come from racist people” instead of implying slave holding is OK because people made money doing it. The latter implies the actions are validated by whatever good ideas the idea holder had, the former does not.

                                  1. 4

                                    the project is still interesting because it could still produce wealth

                                    That’s not my definition of interesting and it is not, to my understanding, the one that Lobsters is built around.

                                    1. 4

                                      It is not society that ruins our industry, it is our industry that ruins society. We have a grave responsibility as people who control technology to be fully, blazingly awake to the implications of our work, and we so rarely are.

                                      The attitudes of the people who control technology are absolutely critical to healthy society and if they are constantly challenged it can only be because that process of challenge-response of social questions to technologists has not been solidified and stabilised into some system or methodology where the social challenges are presented clearly, and the response of technologists about the implications of their work to those challenges are understood and consciously chosen.

                                      1. 6

                                        I think you are giving too much credit to our industry and technologists.

                                        And this may just be a somewhat cynical worldview, but I don’t think there is any point in getting a challenge-response going. They didn’t exactly help build things–and now they’re going after the sort of folks that built the tech this far.

                              2. 7

                                The successor to the million dollar homepage? I have a hard time taking Urbit seriously, but Yarvin is apparently making bank off this, so good for him I guess

                                1. 1

                                  Why would you use this over safenetwork.org ?