Q: Who is Mencius Moldbug?
A: An utterly brilliant neo-reactionary big-picture, San Francisco area software engineering iconoclast (although he'd almost certainly frown on actual clasting of icons…as best I can tell he limits his destruction to ideas).
Q: What is Urbit?
Is Urbit a VM, an OS, a language, or a social network?
Many of these things! Well, Urbit itself usually refers to a system of all of these things. At the highest level, there’s the social network, which is a single broadcast network using the Ames protocol. This social network is where “ships”, “piers” and “flags” are relevant (among other nautical terms). The network (probably called the Urbiverse) is accessibe by virtual computers mounted in piers running Arvo, something which is very similar to an operating system (one that doesn’t run on bare metal, but is hosted). Arvo is written in C and a language called “Hoon”. Hoon is the native programming language of Urth, is spoken, and is static, typed, and functional. Hoon itself is built on the semantics of Nock, a maxwellian formally specified VM.
In short, Urbit is a static functional namespace, with a social network, an operating system, a programming language, and a formal virtual machine.
Is that completely clear? Does it answer all of your questions?
Then you'll want to stick around for my attempt at an exegesis over the coming weeks.
Last 5 posts by Clark
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KillsThwarts Fascists - December 6th, 2013
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