Episode from the podcastThe Third Web

Understanding Urbit #6 - Built to Last

Released Monday, 13th April 2020
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The recurrent theme of calm computing is explored more deeply in this discussion with Logan Allen whose focus is infrastructure and product at Tlon.

Logan sees the attention economy, with all it’s popups and news feed clickbait as a result of the way startups are organised and funded. In between rebukes of VC capital and the growth business model, Logan describes a software landscape where the user is king, extending the views of Christian and Anthony.

The only way Logan believes this can be achieved is to create a computing platform with different product design incentives.

Part of this picture is a unified tech stack that applications share rather than the bespoke, but very similar, internal tooling built individually by major tech companies like uber, facebook, airbnb and others.

For Logan, Urbit addresses this by standardizing a large part of the system stack. As an abstract I/O interface it separates the software and hardware layers in a way that allows applications to be developed for an environment that is consistent across hardware.

This makes Urbit a much more efficient way of developing software from a corporate perspective by reducing dev-ops and the size of the layer that security concerns can happen in.

One of Logan’s most powerful revelations is that today, system software, linux for example, is deeply complex and growing ever more so and the number of people who understand the way it works is shrinking proportionally to the task of maintaining that software. Designing a new platform that evolves toward stability may be the only way to ensure a secure computing landscape in the future.



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31m 14s
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