The Urbit Thread - Why you shuold use Urbit, and so should your mom

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
I'm not smart enough to understand any of this but it looks interesting, haven't seen anything like the programming language either.
Code:
|=  [email protected]                                               ::  1
=/  [email protected]  1                                          ::  2
|-                                                      ::  3
^-  (list @)                                            ::  4
?:  =(end count)                                        ::  5
  ~                                                     ::  6
:-  count                                               ::  7
$(count (add 1 count))
Sometimes I think Hoon is one of the only mistakes in Urbit. I hate syntax. On the other hand, unlike other languages, Hoon's syntax in unambiguous and regular, so it's trivial to parse (as if).
I can sort of read it. The terms have been translated to human speak because if I'm calling it core, gate, arm, subject, etc, I get a feeling someone on the forum will find me and put a bomb under my car
1. |= function, receives one parameter, end, of type atom (@) which is a number
2. =/ local parameter count of type atom initialized to 1
3. function body starts
4. I think this is a return type hint. List of numbers
5. Branch. if end == count, nil, else
6 :- construct a cell (like cons in lisp) out of count and
7 $ recur with count bound to count++
If I read this correctly, this builds up a list of numbers from 1 to end.

Translated to Scheme:
Code:
(define (foo end)
  (define (bar count)
    (if (= count end)
      '()
      (cons count (bar (+ 1 count)))))
  (bar 1))
 
[email protected](guile-user)> (foo 5)
$3 = (1 2 3 4)
 
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Deluxe

kiwifarms.net
Urbit was not developed by a single person at all. There are loads of contributors, and Moldbug hasn't been involved since last year. He probably feels that his presence is more of a distraction than a benefit after laying down all the groundwork.

It's definitely not ready for the plebs. I feel like the more experience you have with computing, the less Urbits implementation makes sense. They seem to be making slow progress on usability but managing your own planet is something that admins with way more experience than myself have trouble doing.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
Urbit was not developed by a single person at all. There are loads of contributors, and Moldbug hasn't been involved since last year. He probably feels that his presence is more of a distraction than a benefit after laying down all the groundwork.

It's definitely not ready for the plebs. I feel like the more experience you have with computing, the less Urbits implementation makes sense. They seem to be making slow progress on usability but managing your own planet is something that admins with way more experience than myself have trouble doing.
It was originally developed by a single person. When Tlon was incorporated and everyone was working full time on Urbit it was mostly rewritten. I feel kinda sad for Yarvin having to step down for the sake of Urbit's success.
Not ready for plebs - have you seen the desktop client, Taisho? Yes, it's an electron app, but it bundles everything into one, including downloading and running the binaries.
Experience with computing vs. Urbit making sense - please elaborate, curious to hear your perspective on this.
Managing planet: You have three options, running it on your own machine, running it on a dedicated machine which can even be a RPi, and a VPS. I think only the VPS option is a bother today. The rest, most can do by following a simple guide. Managing multiple planets is nightmare I don't want to consider, but why would you need to?
 

Alex Poulos

Not the Celtic Rebel
kiwifarms.net
Sounds interesting, let's see how it'll turn out. Is there a chance when running a node that the cops are going to kick in your door at some point?

Intriguingly, the Bitcoin Sign Guy is somehow involved in Urbit, too. Hear him laying out the thing here:

 

robobobo

kiwifarms.net
The whole Urbit thing is looking very pyramidal to me, upon learning that one is expected to pay cold hard cash for the privilege of being part of it. As far as I can tell, being a "star" costs close to $11,000, in exchange for being able to charge 2^16 people money for being "planets" in your care. If this takes off in a big way, that's an absolute shitton of money, especially given that the system is apparently set up to allow stars to charge recurring hosting fees to their planets. And the owner/company who created the thing do of course hold the majority of galaxies and stars, which is beyond ludicrous money if it takes off. Consider that each galaxy has 2^8 stars available to sell, so if you sold them all, you're looking at current-day pricing of 2.8 million bucks. And if OP's mention of ~$100 for a planet is accurate, a star can theoretically net 6.5 million if it somehow sold all 65535 planets available to it. Of course, if it hits big, you'll see the star owners scrambling over each other to sell planets, of which there are a theoretical 4.2 billion available, so people undercutting one another will doubtless drop the eventual price well below $100.

Meanwhile, the fact that one must jump through etherium hoops and pony up money to get in on this at all is making me extremely doubtful that it'd actually see any widespread adoption. Random Internet morons are not shelling out a Benjamin to have access to a VM with in-development web apps, doubly so if they have to go to a shady-looking etherium vendor portal to do so.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
The whole Urbit thing is looking very pyramidal to me, upon learning that one is expected to pay cold hard cash for the privilege of being part of it. As far as I can tell, being a "star" costs close to $11,000, in exchange for being able to charge 2^16 people money for being "planets" in your care. If this takes off in a big way, that's an absolute shitton of money, especially given that the system is apparently set up to allow stars to charge recurring hosting fees to their planets. And the owner/company who created the thing do of course hold the majority of galaxies and stars, which is beyond ludicrous money if it takes off. Consider that each galaxy has 2^8 stars available to sell, so if you sold them all, you're looking at current-day pricing of 2.8 million bucks. And if OP's mention of ~$100 for a planet is accurate, a star can theoretically net 6.5 million if it somehow sold all 65535 planets available to it. Of course, if it hits big, you'll see the star owners scrambling over each other to sell planets, of which there are a theoretical 4.2 billion available, so people undercutting one another will doubtless drop the eventual price well below $100.

Meanwhile, the fact that one must jump through etherium hoops and pony up money to get in on this at all is making me extremely doubtful that it'd actually see any widespread adoption. Random Internet morons are not shelling out a Benjamin to have access to a VM with in-development web apps, doubly so if they have to go to a shady-looking etherium vendor portal to do so.
Some of what you say is true, but this is mostly inaccurate.
First, a regular user has no reason to own a star. Stars serve a specific role in the network such as assisting peer discovery and distributing software.
Second, I think the model of free shit has proven itself to not work. If you're not serious enough to pay ~100$ to leave internet stupidity behind, you'll be dumb enough to pay 500$ later.
Third, stars do not host planets, so they cannot charge them for hosting. What they can charge for is reputation and software distribution, for example, one star distributes a specific software you want and you need to pay to receive it.
Fourth, spawning planets costs resources, too, currently since it's all done on the ETH main net, it's possible spawning and selling planets is a money losing proposition for stars at the moment.
Buying some ETH on metamask isn't hard, it automatically connects to the websites where you can buy planets and to the Urbit bridge. There's also work to reduce the total cost of gas, which is pretty terrible atm, and 0.025 ETH isn't a terrible price.
And you know what, I don't want random internet morons on Urbit. They can stay on twitter and keep making Jack money.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
You could do all this and pay to chat with the 200 other $uckers or you could just buy a baofeng and piss off the local military base by shitposting with your mouth.
Simple choice really.
Why not join cryptographically signed digital feudalism and ask Spandrell WYB?
It's a platform which wants to replace everything, is off the clearnet, you host on your own, own all your data, and has interesting people on it.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
why don't I just host shit from my home computer and give out the IP (and public key) on business cards instead of using yet another social botnet
Several reasons
- Some ISPs really hate it when you run home servers. It's a bit shitty, but a fact of life. Moreover, your IP could be dynamic
- Discoverability doesn't scale well
- Not a sysadmin. Maybe you are, but I'm not. I don't want to manage N services. And they all come along with a lot of crap you need to run and manage. Urbit is one thing and managing it is extremely hands off. Getting a lot of functionality out of running a single binary is a big plus in my opinion.
- all the other reasons Urbit is good: Urbit net isn't internet, it's small and easy to understand, easy to maintain, etc.
- The only objection I have is calling it botnet. There's not data mining or hijacking. I'm not even sure it's possible.
- fun people
- homesteading a new frontier. It may succeed, may flop. Required investment to get in is not high, long term benefits can be large.
 

Overly Serious

kiwifarms.net
I like the idea of attaching a small financial cost to an online identity. Enough to be not a barrier for a person but cumulatively a barrier for mass sign-ups and bots. Solves a myriad of real, practical problems with online discourse today.

If that can be done without giving up anonymity, it's a double win.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
I like the idea of attaching a small financial cost to an online identity. Enough to be not a barrier for a person but cumulatively a barrier for mass sign-ups and bots. Solves a myriad of real, practical problems with online discourse today.

If that can be done without giving up anonymity, it's a double win.
Urbit is pseudominous. While your Urbit ID is unique, no one knows who holds it.
 

Overly Serious

kiwifarms.net
Urbit is pseudominous. While your Urbit ID is unique, no one knows who holds it.

Is that still true if it's a "planet" and not a "comet"? I'm looking at the FAQ on how to buy a planet, https://urbit.org/getting-started/planet/#purchase and you seem to be able to get them from a range of providers. Is it possible to buy from them and still be anonymous?

That's if you happen to know. Other than the horrorshow that is hoon, this all looks pretty nice. It's certainly a good idea.
 

Shoggoth

kiwifarms.net
Is that still true if it's a "planet" and not a "comet"? I'm looking at the FAQ on how to buy a planet, https://urbit.org/getting-started/planet/#purchase and you seem to be able to get them from a range of providers. Is it possible to buy from them and still be anonymous?

That's if you happen to know. Other than the horrorshow that is hoon, this all looks pretty nice. It's certainly a good idea.
Yes, because they only accept Ethereum and don't really care who you are. They are as anonymous as your wallet.
You can just as well run services on Urbit and make them invite only. No one can discover them that way. There might be entire communities and economies on urbit I know nothing about because it's private and isn't exposed in any way.
 
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