If Web 2.0 is already bringing everything crashing down, Web 3.0 is going to finish the job.
Urbit perspective on the Chinese century:
The closest thing to a general-purpose personal server today is probably the Chinese service WeChat. If you don’t know much about WeChat, you should really watch this NYT video.
Catch-up would be sensible. (Abandoning the bizarre Western prejudice that the Internet is primarily for political expression would be a start.)
Pointed criticism follows. If Urbit delivers, we could actually see some geographically-distributed competition, which is otherwise looking increasingly unlikely. 2017 should tell, apparently.
The technical competence required to evaluate this (MegaNet) initiative far exceeds my capabilities (that’s what you lot are for).
(a) If doable, it’s huge.
(b) It seems to follow the grain of The Process (and cross-link not only to Bitcoin, but also to Urbit).
According to Kim Dotcom, the key to a safer, more secure and decentralized Internet will lie within blockchain technology, or a version of Bitcoin’s original concept. He has spent two years working on the program, and basically turning the Internet into a encrypted, decentralized smartphone app. In general terms, here’s how it works: […] “If you have 100 million smartphones that have the MegaNet app installed, we’ll have more online storage capacity, bandwidth and calculating power than the top 10 largest websites in the world combined,” Dotcom claims. “Over the years with these new devices and capacity, especially mobile bandwidth capacity, there will be no limitations. We are going to use very long keys, systems that will not be reverse engineered or cracked by any supercomputer. […] … Dotcom says it will use a faster version of blockchain technology to exchange data globally. There will be no IP addresses within MegaNet, like the current Internet IpV4 protocol uses for enhanced user security. Yet, it will use the current Internet protocol initially as a “dumb pipe” to get the ball rolling. He and his staff are working on a new type of encryption that will work regardless of how MegaNet is accessed. Bandwidth would come from Wi-Fi use and when the phone is idle, so no charges would come through an IP.
Urbit on entropy dissipation:
Bringing people together is an easy problem for any social network. The hard problem is keeping them apart. In other words, the hard problem is filtering. Society is filtering.
A society without filters is a whirling, beige mess of atoms in a blender. Beigeworld is an inhuman antisociety. A digital republic is a garden; not only does a garden smell good, but every flower smells good. An unfiltered network is a sewer. All sewers have exactly the same smell.
There’s a lot going on here:
Do you ever feel like you’re using the Internet as a modem? […] The Internet is actually an awesome modem. The online services blow AOL away. But are we really that far from 1995? […] Can we re-decentralize the Internet? A lot of great hackers have tried. Maybe we can’t? Maybe it’s just impossible? […] The Internet isn’t from 1995. It’s from 1975. In 1995, we learned that a network beats a mainframe. Now, we’ve learned that a 2015 mainframe beats a 1975 network. […] Does it beat a 2015 network? What is a 2015 network, anyway? […] If the Internet beats a modem, and a modem on top of the Internet beats the Internet — what if we made an Internet on top of the Internet? […] These questions seemed interesting. So we built Urbit.
The Urbit whitepaper (with links to (arcane) demos).
The Hacker News discussion starts off sophomoric, but gets better.
Best promo slogan I’ve seen yet (from this, last year): “If Bitcoin is money, Urbit is land.” It’s the algorithmic propertarian matrix for virtual real-estate.