Yarvin’s finance plan

This is a very late response to Neurotoxin’s excellent review of Yarvin on finance.

But I don’t care that it is late. The Dark Enlightenment does not need an accurate understanding of the existing finance system until it is time to eat their lunch, which will not be for a few years, and I am writing for the ages, not for this week, this year, this decade, or even this century.

The key takeaway from Neurotoxin’s post is:

most of the assets they hold – thinking mainly of hedge funds here – are already included in the “market-priced financial assets” that Moldbug mentioned in his previous paragraph. That he doesn’t grasp this should by itself make his fanbois question his guru status.

Yes, Yarvin does not understand how the finance sector works. Albeit accurately understanding how it works is impossible, because a game of three card monte is under way, but to eat their lunch, going to need a rather better understanding of it than Yarvin possesses.

The finance system is a quasi state, nominally private system, with a whole lot of people, mostly located in skyscrapers in the blue state megalopoli, who are on the revolving door between regulators and regulated, getting obscenely rich looting, smashing, and burning those parts of America that are still producing actual wealth.

The Yarvin program for fixing the financial system is pretty much the Cultural Marxist program for fixing capitalism, applied to finance in particular, rather than to the actually productive sector. It has the same flaws, but a better excuse, in that it proposes to smash up something that is confiscating wealth, rather than to smash up something that is actually producing wealth.

Short of the Yarvin plan is confiscate everything, print up sackloads of money, then genuinely reprivatize, only now with the right people owning stuff. Which means you have not genuinely reprivatized, and you still have your revolving door between regulators and regulated, plus you have set a precedent for printing sackloads of money and abolishing debts, which means that no one is going to trust the money and debt issued by your brand new finance system. (Which is going to be staffed by people on the same revolving door as your old corrupt finance system, who have a vested interest in issuing worthless money and worthless debt.)

The basic problem with the existing finance system is that it cannot work except with a virtuous ruling elite. We lack a virtuous ruling elite, and there is no way to produce a virtuous ruling elite unless you have a virtuous King, who backs and is backed by a virtuous state religion, plus a couple of generations of elite raised in this system. We need to fix the financial system rather sooner that that.

So, we need a system based on blockchains, triple entry accounting and what our enemies are calling Web 3.0, which is to say, we need a system where identity of servers is rooted in secrets controlled by the person behind the identity, rather than on secrets controlled by certificate authorities, because the metadata about transactions needs to go over the same system as the transactions themselves, and the reputational information regarding transactions needs to be secured by that system, rather than our enemies.

Then we will be able to eat our enemies’ lunch.

The most advanced, best, and complete implementation of web 3.0 is Yarvin’s Urbit. Which is not to say it is very complete or very good, but it is what is there.

The trouble with Urbit is that even when he was Moldbug, he was careful not to piss off our enemies too plainly, and now that he is Namefag Yarvin, will not go within a hundred miles of pissing off our enemies.

So Urbit is not designed to eat our enemies’ lunch. It is closely integrated with the most enemy controlled blockchain of them all, Ether, and a large part of the considerable difficulty, inconvenience, and expense of getting onto Urbit is its integration with Ether.

Namefag Yarvin is content to lick crumbs and trampled fragments of chicken from the floor, while a banquet is being consumed on a table above his head. Something rather like Urbit could be a very great threat to our enemies, but so far they have successfully made sure that it is not. He should have pursued integration with the lightning network, which would not have given him so many breadcrumbs and trampled bits of chicken as integrating with Ether, but would have given him a path to grabbing the whole banquet.

117 Responses to “Yarvin’s finance plan”

  1. UrbitCurious says:

    I have heard several times that ethereum is compromised but I don’t really understand where is that coming from. I personally find Web3.0 (I made something with it) very powerful concept with only reservation about it’s reliance on Web browsers and thus Google.

    • jim says:

      That is the shill web 3.0. Urbit is a good start on what Web3.0 is supposed to be.

      • Mister Grumpus says:

        So what if Urbit is built on Etherium, and Etherium is full of enemies? What can those enemies actually do? Can they reach in and block certain tokens/coins/names or whatever?

        • jim says:

          It’s the Microsoft strategy. Embrace and extend. If you are in urbit, you are in an enemy ecosystem, paying substantial amounts of money to your enemies, and playing no end of overly complicated games where your enemies make the rules.

          I don’t know how they will use it against you, but I see them in DeFi using it against people like me. There is always an angle, and if there is no angle, they will complicate things until there is. Even if they cannot directly fuck you over in the main path, because they embraced, they will fuck you over in another path, because extend.

          This is war, as yet fought by other means. Conduct yourself accordingly, and expect war to become increasingly warlike.

        • Ash Vaughn says:

          This is false. Urbit is not built on Ethereum, it temporarily relies on it for tracking ownership of address space. Once you have the keys for your Urbit ship, you do not have to interact with Ethereum. Furthermore, work is underway to provide a ledger for address space management independent of Ethereum, after which there will be no relationship with it.

          • jim says:

            Well, you may have no further interaction with it, assuming that they do not cook up some new angle to pull you in, (and Ether is always finding new and clever ways to draw its eco system into ever closer embrace). But you had to interact with it, it was expensive, inconvenient, and involved giving your enemies lots of information about potential thought criminals, and anyone you want to talk to over Urbit, and anyone that wants to talk with you over Urbit, is going to have to interact with it. And every time you look up a name, you are interacting with Ether.

            Urbit needed to have its own name space ledger from the beginning, or at least a namespace ledger rooted on a less obnoxious blockchain.

            A genuinely decentralized name space ledger has to run on blockdag or blockchain, and has to have its own consensus mechanism.

            Since all political power requires collective action, a consensus mechanism is a tool that can be used as lever to get power and money away from our enemies, and in particular a consensus mechanism that provides globally unique human readable names, and connects them with a search engine and reputation mechanism, is very much a lever of power. It can threaten Facebook, Google, and Twitter, the same way Bitcoin threatens the Federal Reserve.

            And if one name in that ledger can send messages that contain money to another name in that ledger, it threatens Ebay and Amazon.

            Twitter, Facebook, and Google are where the power is. Ebay and Amazon are where the money is.

            Putting the ledger on Ether was giving our enemies power and money, and promising not to seek power or money. When Urbit has its own ledger, I will take a look at it, but I fear that it will be designed to avoid threatening our enemies. Going with Ether was paying Danegeld, and I am not seeing the will to stop paying Danegeld, certainly not in Namefag Yarvin.

          • jim says:

            Every time you reference an Urbit name, you are using an Ether hook.

            And that hook is attached to a line, the line to a rod, and the rod held by fisherman who ceaselessly plots ways to draw the Ether ecosystem closer to himself. He is fishing for money and power.

            When you say “no further interaction” you mean that right now you are not feeling your line being tugged.

            • Mister Grumpus says:

              The western power structure isn’t “Shaniquas all the way down”, and never will be. But it’s more Shaniquas and Ahmeds and Karens every day, and those people won’t ever manage to nuke the Urbitverse, even if it does have Ether hooks all over it.

              Stop me when you think I’m just wrong.

              But Cathedral still has plenty of evil geniuses who are busy stoking their holy war machine, and those guys do want to nuke the Urbitverse, because they know what it is and they know what it means.

              As far as just greed goes, I can’t imagine many of the Wall Street City of London Savant Geniuses aren’t already divested out of fiat currencies anyway.

              So I don’t understand who the good guys are really up against here, and therefore, I don’t understand how air-tight the crypto society has to actually be, before all the people who could bring it down have already defected to it.

              A laser blaster will certainly win a knife fight, but a .45 pistol is enough, and enough for all the non-idiots to say “I’m with him”.

              Your standards of engineering are extremely high, and that’s good, but looking back at how successful Bitcoin has been (despite being nearly a “demo” of a concept), and how stupidly The Steal and Covid have been conducted (albeit with impunity), how sure are you that you’re not aiming much too high to accomplish what you want to accomplish?

              How air-tight does this really need to be?

              I’m not qualified to debate about this, and won’t, but I can ask the above. Why? Because things are moving so fast that I worry our best brains are working on laser blasters, when really, .45 pistols, five to ten years sooner, are what’s really required to escape the danger for one more generation.

              • jim says:

                > Your standards of engineering are extremely high, and that’s good, but looking back at how successful Bitcoin has been (despite being nearly a “demo” of a concept), and how stupidly The Steal and Covid have been conducted (albeit with impunity), how sure are you that you’re not aiming much too high to accomplish what you want to accomplish?

                You are right that I let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough, but if you want to get stuff up in a hurry, Zooko names, and if you are dead set on globally unique human readable names, Namecoin is run by our guys, while Ether is run by our enemies.

                There is a difference between running with a demo project, like Bitcoin, and handing money and power to your enemies.

                It is reasonable to worry about getting an Urbit name system up as quickly as possible, and worrying about eating our enemies lunch later. But going with Ether? Why not the Namecoin blockchain?

                How about sticking with Zooko names, and worrying about globally unique names later? Facebook does not worry about globally unique human readable names. Why was it essential for Urbit? I am sure that integrating with Ether cost them far more time and work than Zooko names would have, and integrating with Namecoin would have cost roughly the same amount of work, but far less money. Certainly doing it right would take time, and taking your time is apt to kill your project, but there are ways to do the good enough that don’t involve sharing your bed with your enemies.

                Plus a good Zooko name system integrated with a social net, search system, and reputation system would itself be powerful weapon. Globally unique names are important if we are going to eat the CA’s lunch, but they are not that important.

                It was essential for Namefag Yarvin because he is Namefag Yarvin. It was not driven by the need to get stuff up and out there in a hurry. He wanted to put a weapon that our enemies might fear in their hands.

                On the wall opposite the desk on which I type this, are some legal deadly weapons. Behind me, hidden from the casual visitor, are some more. I have had need of them to defend my private property rights, which got the cops a little bit agitated, but they were OK, as I knew they would be. When Yarvin finds a weapon at hand, his instinct is to hand it to proper authority lest it gets used while my instinct is to make it ready for swift use, and should swift use prove necessary, chances are that the state system for discouraging such use is unlikely to be very effective.

                If he had to have globally unique human readable names, and did not want the inevitable delay involved in setting up the perfect blockchain (which I am finding to be a mighty big project) he should have looked around for friends, not enemies.

                • f6187 says:

                  Jim wrote:

                  … globally unique human readable names … setting up the perfect blockchain …

                  This reminds me of the man on the Cryptography list with initials PHB, who is working on the “Mesh” with globally unique human readable names, but who also despises blockchain especially with regard to “Proof of Work.” He has a long history in cryptography, and is a serious acolyte of the Cathedral. To wit (from 30-Jun-2020):

                  Mark and Patsy pointing guns at protesters in St Louis look like they are on the losing side of history to me.

                  PHB posts this morning on how China might attack BTC. He leads with:

                  I despise the notion of Proof of Work. It is morally and technically bankrupt.

                  He then consciously plays the role of Xi for his scenario.

                  So forget the coinsplainer threat model in which the only motive for attacking the chain is to make more money. I am playing Xi here and I want to destroy the chain because to me it represents evil, because I want the greedy capitalist leeches who feed off it to suffer and squirm.

                  What I am going to do is to wait for Western regulators to demolish the stable coins which are clearly securities, are unregulated and thus criminal. Without the price support from Tether, the price of BTC etc. will go into free fall, far below the cost of mining. The difficulty will fall as well.

                  At this point I am going to confiscate and repurpose as much mining capacity as I can find. But I am not going to use it to make money mining, I am going to use it to sabotage the chain.

                  First priority is going to ensure I can maintain control by denying blocks to every other miner. I don’t need 51% of the potential mining capacity, I only need to have more than the other active mining capacity.

                  So I use my capacity to mine 4, 5 blocks ahead of the rest of the chain, then I dump my blocks out, taking away the reward. I don’t do this immediately, I wait so that I avoid increasing the work factor.

                  This is not the most profitable way to mine but I am not interested in your filthy post-capitalist pseudo-money. My goal is making that money worthless.

                  I don’t have to stick to a single strategy either. The miners decide to force me out by mining even though they are losing money. So now I mine blocks as fast as I can and we send the work factor many times above recovery.

                  The more miners I can train to learn that they will not make money mining, the more rivals shut down and the easier it is for me to maintain control.

                  And now I just shut down my rigs entirely and wait for the miners-for-profit to burn electricity trying to get the system restarted. And after playing the game that way a few times, I change tactics again.

                  The point is that this is a cooperative game and I am not playing to win, I am playing to make you lose. My only goal here is to make it so that it costs you more to play the game than you win. I am not going to process any transactions from any wallet that has received rewards from mining. I am going to double and triple spend. I am going to use the coins I mine to manipulate the price of BTC to hurt rivals even more.

                  The fallacy underneath the PoW silliness is the notion that a random assemblage of Libertarian ubermenschen must win because the desire for profit trumps all rival ideologies (which by the way cannot possibly exist).

                • jim says:

                  This guy is a smart enemy, and he is right about the vulnerabilities of proof of work.

                  Fortunately, few of our enemies are smart, and they are getting less smart.

                  He is entirely deluded about Tether. Tether is a shadow bank, an unregulated bank, not a crypto currency. Regulators have been trying to shut it down for years, unsuccessfully. It is primary function is to make international transactions in dollars possible, by bypassing the corruption, incompetence, dishonesty, and disorder of the legal and official banking system. What it is doing is quite obviously illegal. It is a symptom of what is driving the rise of crypto currencies, not what is driving the rise in crypto currencies. Bitcoin now stands in the same relation to shadow banking as gold did when Dubai was rising. The British empire tried to shutdown Dubai and “gold smuggling”. What makes Tether possible is that you cannot shutdown Bitcoin smuggling.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  >He has a long history in cryptography, and is a serious acolyte of the Cathedral.

                  Every line written there oozes transsexuality. Really, even just imagining how such sorts think feels like profanity.

                  >The point is that this is a cooperative game and I am not playing to win, I am playing to make you lose.

                  This is the closest thing a creature of this kind will get in something resembling self-awareness. As it is here, as it is in all facets of life.

              • The Cominator says:

                Thats scary if hes right Jim because he is clearly right about the communist troublemaker Xi…

  2. Neurotoxin says:

    Jim, thanks for the link.

    I am pretty comfortable in my knowledge of conventional banking. OTOH, what I know about cryptocurrency would fill a thimble. And it wouldn’t be a very large thimble.

    • someDude says:

      But you DO own some Crypto, right?

      Please, please say Yes

      • Neurotoxin says:

        Nope. I know jack about crypto, and I hate making decisions from a position of ignorance. (And yes, I know that I’ll have to remedy the ignorance at some not-too-distant point.)

        • someDude says:

          I think it’s about time given that hyperinflation is a Go. One of the many benefits of being red-pilled, but not the least important, is personal Finance. The benefits in terms of diet, mental/physical well being, having women around are all well known benefits of being red-pilled. This is another of the benefits. Why not take advantage of it?

          • jim says:

            Urgent haste is not needed yet, but there are storm clouds on the horizon. Big decisions need time to mature, and we have time, though less of it.

            • S says:

              Isn’t the problem ‘which crypto’ which boils down to ‘which one is dominant’ just before shit hits the fan? I mean talk about the theoretical optimal is all well and good, but I don’t think it will be produced in time.

              • jim says:

                if the optimal crypto currency is produced in time, it will become the dominant crypto currency once the storm starts, and those who see the storm will get in early from the formerly dominant crypto currency.

  3. The Cominator says:

    I’m not normally a guy in favor of watching bluepilled Rogan… but the Malone show is worth watching IMHO so far.


  4. Zach says:

    Julius has been giving him a good beating lately.


    Julius is also on substack, prowls reddit, has a twitter and has a cool book club for those in the know. His latest video is hilarious:

    • Kunning Drueger says:

      “Why Moldbug Doesn’t Deserve the Popularity I Wish I Had: Part 17”

      • someDude says:

        Hahahahaha! Maybe a bit (and only a bit) unfair, but definitely very funny!

      • Zach says:

        I agree. But then the Neurotoxin article was pretty lame as well. And I like Julius, even though I don’t know him personally. He acts just like my little brother.

    • jim says:

      Julius complains Moldbug’s epistemic method is crap, he just pronounces stuff from on high.

      Which is pretty much my epistemic method. God told me, my life told me, and/or everyone knew that when I was young, but people have strangely forgotten it. And usually all three at once. God has a strange habit of telling me what I already should know from experience. But there is a difference between me and Moldbug, because I encourage and participate in fact based debate in the comments. The shills are banned because they obstinately dodge the facts, not because they are shills. They are welcome to debate me on the facts. I always try to engage them in fact based debate, and never succeed, while Moldbug and Namefag Yarvin, just announces from on high, and then never responds.

      Albeit a whole lot of Moldbug’s pronouncements from on high were true, neglected, and massively important and valuable. He was the founder of the Dark Enlightenment. But the Dark Enlightenment should have better epistemic method, and generally does. I would love to debate him on sex, nazism, and fascism, where he is either dead wrong or hides from a dangerously radioactive topic. Even though his proposed solutions to finance are silly, his analysis of finance is good.

      • alf says:

        while Moldbug and Namefag Yarvin, just announces from on high, and then never responds.

        Yes this is really biting him. No man is smart enough to never make mistakes, and it seems to me that after a blogger has churned out his best ideas, over time the smaller mistakes become more obvious. You mitigate this by good debate. Yarvin is still monologuing. But it’s just not 2008 anymore.

        • Zach says:

          There are various issues with publishing comments, and I get that. But why not do what Scott does? Publish a response to the best comments.

          He’s got a few good people responding to his posts sometimes. And I understand there can be a lull in comment quality, but it pains me to see these guys go ignored when they decide to pop their heads out of the hole.

      • Zach says:

        I actually remind people to read the comment section here, because I think you’re at your best when engaging others in conversation and debate. And I probably shouldn’t be annoyed by Boldmug just ignoring people giving him money in the comments, but I am annoyed by it. Clearly he thinks he’s pretty goddamn great.

        So I welcome people like Julius with open arms.

        I heard in a podcast Boldmug describe why he can’t say what he thinks now quite like he used to. Or something like that. The reason he gave is he has kids.

  5. pyrrhus says:

    If there were such a thing as intrinsic value, a financial crisis like the Great Depression, with no war or pestilence affecting the population, wouldn’t have caused a decline of 90%+ in most real assets…J.Paul Getty bought up cheap oil companies because he had excess wealth and could wait for those assets to reprice, and he waited a long time…

  6. Oog en Hand says:

    “The US Nigeria Law Group (USNLG) has called for the release of 16 Christian children allegedly abducted and Islamised by the Kano State Government two years ago.

    According to the Washington-based group, the children were forcibly taken away from two Christian mission orphanages in Kaduna and Kano during a Christmas Day raid in 2019.

    This was contained in a statement issued by Emmanuel Ogebe, a principal partner of the group.

    The group alleged that Kano State under Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has constituted itself into the most religiously intolerant, aggressive and malicious state in Nigeria.

    UNSLG stated: “Over a dozen children unjustly taken away from two Christian mission orphanages in Kaduna and Kano spent yet another Christmas in a Muslim orphanage in Kano.

    “In a Christmas Day raid, 19 children were first seized from the Kano branch of Du Merci orphanage and taken to Nasarawa Orphanage Kano on 25th December, 2019.

    Some of the children have remained in Kano State’s custody for two years now and marked their third Christmas in captivity this weekend.

    “The police and NAPTIP (National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons) travelled to the Kaduna Du Merci Orphanage where another eight children were taken to join the 19 in Nasarawa Orphanage, Kano on 31st December, 2019. If they’re not released this week, these children unjustly taken by the government will also mark two years of captivity on New Year’s Eve.

    “The Kano State Ministry of Women Affairs abandoned 2 sick kids in a private hospital and in 2020 released other 8 (15-22 years) children to Christian Association of Nigeria because the children were rebelling for not being allowed to attend church and school.

    The eldest orphan who was caring for and protecting the younger ones was sent out of the Nasarawa Orphanage in December 2020.

    “However, 11 children are in Nasarawa Orphanage (10-15 years) and 5 children in Gaya Orphanage (4-8 years). Altogether more than half the seized children remain in their custody.

    “The 16 children are being illegally detained by Kano State despite the dismissal of bogus child-trafficking charges against the missionary who established Du Mercy Orphanages – Prof Solomon Tarfa – more than six months ago.

    “Worst of all, the children have been neglected, abused and Islamized…..

  7. notglowing says:

    >Short of the Yarvin plan is confiscate everything, print up sackloads of money, then genuinely reprivatize, only now with the right people owning stuff. Which means you have not genuinely reprivatized, and you still have your revolving door between regulators and regulated, plus you have set a precedent for printing sackloads of money

    Why not print sackloads of money, loot the banks, and then make Bitcoin the new currency?
    There’s no need for confidence in your solvency if you relinquish control of the money. And printing a shitload of money before ending the currency is a good way to force people into cryptocurrency to begin with.
    Make usury illegal, and use that as justification for dismantling the banking system.

    Then use blockchain technology to replace key bureaucracy, enabling you to fire a large amount of government bureaucrats and dismantle their institutions, sidestepping a powerful enemy.

    Replace government documents with digital identity, then the only role of the government in ID is to verify and certify the connection between a digital identity and a physical person.

    Smartphone companies will be forced to include the equivalent of hardware wallets on all their devices making both DID and crypto transactions simple and secure for most. Most smartphones already have something that is almost like that, but there isn’t enough demand to have an actual hardware wallet in them. If there is a digital transition, it would happen immediately.

    Replace property deeds with non-fungible tokens on the blockchain, and automate their transfer, dismantle the DTCC and replace the current settlement system for securities with fungible tokens on the blockchain.
    All company shares public or private will be tokens, and a company could be formed through an entirely digital process not requiring a lawyer for simple cases.

    A smart contract cannot replace all the rules of a company charter, but most of those are standard, and one should just be able to register a company with a transaction and selecting a standard contract without going through lawyers until there are disputes later on.
    Company funds and properties can be associated with it on-chain, and payroll can be automated this way.
    It’s not fundamentally different from before, but now it doesn’t require as many lawyers and accountants.

    • Carrington Man says:

      And one good solar flare vaporizes the lot and your whole civilization along with it. GOOD PLAN

      • notglowing says:

        Destruction of all electronics would stop our system as it is, no more and no less than it would with cryptocurrency.
        And money isn’t the most essential thing that would stop working.

        In any case, solar flares won’t destroy all electronics, because you can protect them against it. Important servers will be protected.

    • jim says:

      The banks have already been looted, and by the time we take over, those sackloads of money will have already been printed.

    • jdgalt1 says:

      Make Bitcoin legal tender and you surrender control of your money to whoever has the fastest mining machinery and thus can hijack the entire blockchain from under you. And certain large countries have a probably-insurmountable lead in that race already. I expect the same to be true of any cryptocurrency.

      • jim says:

        We need a crypto currency based on proof of stake, rather than proof of work, for this reason.

        Working on it. Have no actual code yet. Have some actual code for a few of the necessary parts, but it does not yet do anything very interesting.

        Have a design, perhaps too many designs.

        It is the Hedera design, except that Hedera is proof of ownership of IP4, rather than stake, and the state owns most of the IP4 addresses, and uses an RT communication protocol to establish the Hedera time periods, rather than tcp. Lost packets just are abandoned, rather than being retransmitted, because the data is time sensitive by definition. Information does need to be retransmitted if packets are lost, but the information has to be different the second time around.

        The Hedera time protocol will break if there are too many tcp retransmits, allowing Byzantine defection.

        • Joe says:

          If you wait until an event has been assigned a received round then you cannot fall victim to Byzantine defection. Any conflicting event not received by that round must have a higher round and will therefore occur later in the consensus order. This is independent of timestamps, which are only used to order events within rounds.

          • jim says:

            The problem lies in the construction of rounds. A bad guy, or an organized group of bad guys, can manipulate the consensus on rounds if they make sure other people’s tcp connections keep stalling over lost packets. “if you wait” – yes, and if other people do not have to wait?

            • Joe says:

              The bad guys can manipulate which peers get famous events by jamming that peer, or hold back rounds entirely if they can jam more than a third of the voting network, but they cannot make two different peers have inconsistent hashgraphs. They can manipulate the rounds but they cannot manipulate the consensus decision on the rounds.

              The hashgraph paper claims that Byzantine Fault Tolerance holds up even in the case that you have given.

              It is assumed that for any honest members Alice and Bob, Alice will eventually try to sync with Bob, and if Alice repeatedly tries to send Bob a message, she will eventually succeed. No other assumptions are made about network reliability or network speed or timeout periods. Specifically, the attacker is allowed to completely control the network, deleting and delaying messages arbitrarily, subject to the constraint that a message between honest members that is sent repeatedly must eventually have a copy of it get through.

              Which part of their proof is wrong, to allow Byzantine defection?

              • jim says:

                When you add rounds to the picture, the assumption is not that Alice and Bob will get through eventually, but that they will get through reasonably quickly. This assumption has more complications and implications than it might seem.

                If everyone always gets through, this presupposes that everyone is always up, and you don’t have peers coming and going, that everyone knows at all times who is up. All that messy stuff gets hidden under the rug in obscure parts of the rounds mechanism, which does not seem to me to be very susceptible to any mathematical proofs.

                To have rounds complete in a reasonable time in the face of fault and lag, you have to have timing constraints, which some people are going to fail some of the time. “Everyone always gets through eventually” presupposes no timing constraints.

                The consensus that is resistant to byzantine fault depends on the consensus about timing rounds. The timing rounds are affected by the timeliness in which hashes are shared, in that if some parties can get timing information well ahead of other parties, they can control consensus on timing.

                The consensus mechanism is bulletproof assuming everyone eventually gets through, your hash graph is going to be true and unfalsifiable. It is very clever, though it has scaling issues. The graph is a lot of data if you have a lot of peers, and not everyone is going to get through assuming you have a lot of peers, in which case some of them will always be coming up and coming down. The timing rounds mechanism is kind of cobbled on top and underneath, and is not really subject to the same proof. Among the things it has to accommodate is that you have to figure out which peers are part of a round.

                Byzantine fault resistance works, assuming that the rounds mechanism has somehow reliably defined exactly who is on line for an entire round, that everyone agrees who is online for an entire round, that everyone online for an entire round is reliably online, and that the timing mechanism has correctly divided events into rounds. All the messy and not terribly elegant stuff is under the rug in the rounds mechanism.

                Not everyone will always get through. The dog pees on their router and they are down for a day. And you have to handle that somewhere in your algorithm, plus unreasonable lag, and some peers thrashing. You have to construct the conditions in which fault tolerant Byzantine consensus works. When I look for Byzantine fault made possible by lag, I am not looking the algorithm for establishing consensus, I am looking at the algorithm that sets up the conditions for consensus, which is itself an under specified and under described consensus algorithm, since everyone has to agree who is in a round.

                It does not appear to me that the proof covers that mess. The proof applies to one part of the algorithm, the most important and ingenious part. But if you have rounds, the assumption that everyone always gets through eventually is more dangerous, complicated, and difficult to apply than it seems.

                • Kunning Drueger says:

                  Two Generals problem?

                • Joe says:

                  I think that whatever determines the rounds where peers are coming and going, cats are peeing on routers, mafiosi are rubber hosing people for their keys, feds are arresting owners for money laundering, globohomo drone strikes, etc, will need a great deal of experimentation and hardening.

      • notglowing says:

        They would only be able to revert or deny transactions, not create more bitcoins or actively steal your money. And since they won’t necessarily know who owns which accounts, that’s not as useful as it seems.
        Plus lightning channels can sidestep this somewhat, since only channel opening and closing needs to be broadcast on-chain. Transactions can continue on L2.
        With privacy features, which are currently not yet available, the difficulty of effectively disrupting bitcoin while being a malicious majority miner will be significantly higher.

        Even so, I don’t believe this scenario is likely. It’s a lot of effort for some temporary gains. Switching to another cryptocurrency is much easier than switching from fiat to BTC, and taking control through mining like that would destroy the credibility of bitcoin to anyone. It’s necessarily a destructive action, and likely destructive for the country doing it, which evidently has invested massive amounts in BTC in the form of miners.

        I don’t see how any lead today is insurmountable. Miners have to be replaced every once in a while, due to becoming obsolete and also breaking, meaning any current lead is not going to last forever. Large countries will have a lead, but I seriously doubt they will make such a huge investment just to destroy bitcoin, and it would likely be the last resort, after trying with legislation and political pressure towards the smaller country, which any powerful country could succeed in anyways.
        Reaching majority hashrate will be more difficult as time goes on, since more countries and more people are participating. You need to have significantly higher hashrate than everyone else combined.

        And if they destroy bitcoin, there will be proof of stake alternatives ready to replace it, making the whole investment moot.
        I am not worried about issues with either PoS or PoW destroying cryptocurrency, because if anyone really went through the effort of sabotaging one, it would result in support shifting to the other. There would be massive economic damage in the short run, but nothing fundamental. Any action like that will mean ending BTC’s legitimacy.

        It wouldn’t be that hard to eventually fork BTC into PoS if such a scenario occurred, allowing every person to access their previously inaccessible funds.

  8. Fireball says:

    I don’t think anything of this will work as intended. You cant gain independent or autonomy from a central authority without first having enough power to challenge it.

    • Arqiduka says:


      To be blunt, A sovereign corporation can only become so due to possession of nukes, not due to the trustworthiness of its books. An old piece but relevant.


      • jim says:

        Large scale corporations receive a grant of cohesion, of corporateness, from the state.

        Which grant is not worth much, because state itself is increasingly incohesive, which is reflected in the corporation itself losing cohesion, with human resources, accounting, and legal, having dangerously great outside power within the corporation, destroying its cohesion, its corporateness.

        We need a word for a corporation whose cohesion does not derive from the state. What would you suggest?

        And in any case, some big corporations have rockets, more rockets than the state. In due course, some sovereign corporations will have more nukes and drones than the state.

        • Arqiduka says:

          So, a corporate equivalent to the mob, not created by the state but at most tolerated byvthe state, suffered to exist in the shadows. A usefull concept but not a sovereign entiry.

          Distributed Corporation? Emerging? Paralel? Greyarea? Shadow Corporation would be a bit cheesy.

          • jim says:

            Cohesion is hard, and we need terminology that acknowledges how hard it is. Maybe Sovereignty is the wrong term, but all the terms you propose denigrate and trivialize how hard it is.

            Urbit’s point is to establish a social net independent of the state. As state grants of corporateness are worth less and less, we are going to need a word for economic units that have some form of cohesion independent of the state.

          • jim says:

            The immediate source of a corporations cohesion is its books. It is a book keeping fiction imagined into real existence. And, to the extent that the property rights recorded in those books are abstract property rights enforced by the state, it exists by will of the state. The point and purpose of blockchains is to root abstract property rights in unshared secrets, rather than in the state. That is a big thing, and needs a impressive sounding word.

            • Arqiduka says:

              Getting out of my confidence zone here, so feel free to smack me back in.

              AFAIK blockchain is used instead of a trivially easy ledger, where you do not have a trusted party to keep the ledger. That is not the issue you would have with bookkeeping, as if you do not even have a trusted parry to keep the books, you do not have a gang, let alone a corporation. That is a sine qua non, but bookkeeping makes this easy and requires less trust (I know I promised I’ll comment on frw wrinkles with you 3 entry and I will later). No one was guaranteeint the integrity of the books of the Venetians, and they did just fine.

              True, property right to stuff as depicted by books are secured by the state, but bookkeeping on a ledger will not change this, unless the assets themselves are also in blockchain form. So, bookkeeping on a blockchain may have some marginal utility over good old (but it must be old school) bookkeeping, but not enough to make a new type of corporation.

              • jim says:

                > as if you do not even have a trusted parry to keep the books, you do not have a gang, let alone a corporation.

                In that case, corporations do not have corporations, since no one trusts corporate accountants any more. Which, as I say in sox accounting, has destroyed startups and ipos, which used to be my bread and butter.

                The great power of blockchains, and the as yet largely unrealized power of triple entry bookkeeping, is that you are not relying on a trusted party to keep the books.

                As I say in triple entry accounting

                A small number of partners who own a business, who know and trust each other, and understand double entry book keeping can enforce it on each other, but the publicly traded joint stock corporation exists through state enforcement of double entry book keeping.

                And increasingly what the state is enforcing is not double entry bookkeeping. Instead of tracking the creation and movement of value, the books track the creation and movement of Talmudic ritual purity.

                The block chain can enable a very large number of business owners who do not know and trust each other and who do not understand double entry bookkeeping to enforce double entry bookkeeping on each other.

                • Arqiduka says:

                  OK, scratch my point above.

                  I thought about it some more, and I now think I see the value of moving books to the blockchain. The mistake I was implicitly making earlier was that I was thinking of each corp having its own isolated blockchain set of books, in which case “trust” simply becomes an issue of who can hire the more accountants to get 50% of the history, so no improvement over now.

                  But of course you mean a single ledger for the whole world, where millions of entries can be checked against double-entry (pun intended), and can in principle be merged into the common asset registry of everyone, corp or individual (though individuals would just register the assets, not make any further bookkeeping entries).

                  Yes, massive potential value there, so I happily stand corrected.

                  That being said, lack of trust is not an issue pertinent to SOX alone, but to all modern IFRS / whatever-you-yanks-call-your-lousy-standards bookkeeping where the bedrock principle of booking by cost has been made optional, which has introduced a massive, massive issue with books (*cough* Enron). I’ll expand on this later, but this is a key issue with modern practice: kids, only ever make entries against cost to acquire, never allow for mark to market or re-evaluations.

                • jim says:

                  > I was thinking of each corp having its own isolated blockchain set of books, in which case “trust” simply becomes an issue of who can hire the more accountants to get 50% of the history, so no improvement over now.

                  > But of course you mean a single ledger for the whole world, where millions of entries can be checked against double-entry

                  I don’t mean either of those two things.

                  What I do mean is proof of stake, which is neither of those things.

                  Proof of stake means that asset tracking is ultimately in the power of those that have a financial interest in those assets. Which neither of your proposals supports, but all existing implementations arguably do support, or make some plausible attempt to support.

                  Ensuring that power gets complicated, but if that power is not ensured, it is not proof of stake. When one tries to nail down how proof of stake works, it gets complicated, and I am profoundly unhappy with existing implementations, which result in too much centralization of power and too little stakeholder control.

                  The shareholder will delegate the representation of his stake to an entity that performs a function somewhat analogous to a member of the board (which is not all that different from existing implementations except in detail and the number of such entities) who himself likely has a large interest in the performance of the asset, who will delegate the job of performing consensus on each block to his computers.

                  The qualification is not a degree in accountancy, or even book keeping. Physical things will be tracked by a book keeper who answers to the ceo, abstract assets will be on the blockchain: payments will be on the main blockchain, the company’s shares on the main company blockchain which will be a sidechain of the mainchain, debts and promises of delivery on the triple entry bookkeeping blockchain which will be a sidechain of the company blockchain, and every computer that is part of the consensus will make sure that abstract assets are processed in accordance with the formal rules for that class of abstract asset.

                • Arqiduka says:

                  I tap out at this point, this is way above my scant understanding of the subject.

                • Arqiduka says:

                  All right, so the expanding a bit on the issue of accounting at cost, which is a key principle that is being weakened nowadays, to the loss of trust in books.

                  The principle of carrying stuff at cost which used to be inviolable is that the value you carry an asset in your books must be what you paid to acquire it, and is not to be changed until the asset is disposed of by sale or just retired due to no value remaining (yeah, depreciation is a thing but wait).

                  Recent standards have allowed an ever expanding class of assets to be revalued or marked to market, that is, to be carried at a value that matches an estimation of what the market value is instead of what you paid to acquire. This has bothered me to no end for years, but I could never explain why until recently. Here’s why.

                  When you carry an asset at cost, your cash balance falls at purchase by the same amount your asset comes into your books (simple case, you can get it own credit too but same principle applies). You can, at a glance, understand where your money (actual cash) went, and track back the history of the entire firm just by looking at what you carry your assets at. Even Depreciation is supposed to be charged by a known schedule and carried as negative assets, not lowering the value of the asset in the book, but of course lowering the value of the entire asset base. You always should be able to see what the original cost of your 30 years old building was.

                  Now, when you increase or decrease the value of an asset to match the market value, you loose track of that history, and no longer have the certainty that all value you create is being funneled as cash (as it would when you sell an asset for more than you bought it). Now you have value being created into fancy “other” entries, which make profits very, very hard to check.

                  Now, mark to market is meant to better track the real value of your company, and it probably does this. But the purpose of accounting was always tracking value second, and tracking trustworthy value first. The new approach trades off trust and ease of control for a somewhat better estimate of value. Which is funny since – at least for listed entities – you could just mark you book equity to market cap and put the surplus into Good Will, but somehow no one ever proposes this despite this being the ultimate mark to market.

                  So, I agree that modern approaches are weakening accounting trust, but the specific issue I see is mark to market, and this is not due to – and instead long precedes – SOX.

              • jim says:

                > No one was guaranteeint the integrity of the books of the Venetians, and they did just fine.

                What guaranteed the integrity of the books of the Venetians was their high level of good conduct towards each other, plus the fact that they could generally get away with killing each other for misconduct.

                Unfortunately, this requires ability to understand the books, and also that you can find the other guy to run him through with a sword.

                • Arqiduka says:

                  It isn’t the state that is enforcing double-entry, its KPMG. The rise of the corporation is enabled by the rise of the auditor, who is reputable party that checks the books and vouches for their truth. The state didn’t get involved in this game until recently, as part of the general corporatist trend of the last half century. Accounting standards are to this day set by private guild-like bodies, so that is not a problem that need solving.

                  Of course, the less you need to rely on an auditor, the better, but even triple entry bookkeeping as you envison it will not make auditors obsolete, at least it not immediately obvious to me how ot would.

                • jim says:

                  > The rise of the corporation is enabled by the rise of the auditor, who is reputable party that checks the books and vouches for their truth.

                  The rise of the corporation was the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company ruling most of the world.

                  Clive of India was a heavily armed and dangerous bookkeeper. Not seeing any auditors figure in that story.

                  And, you will recall Clive’s famous speech on looting the treasuries of Rajahs. It seems that his bookkeeping was bit on the slack side at times.

                  The bible uses “the day of reckoning” as a metaphor for being held to account – so it seems that auditors long, long, long predate the for profit corporation.

                  The auditor is so called because the original auditors had the books read to them, so again, indicates an origin long predating corporations. The auditor was a trusted agent of the owner who was there to judge the veracity of the book keeper, largely by smelling him out to see if he smelled funny or sounded funny. Auditors predate double entry bookkeeping, and thus corporations, by a very long time.

                  What created the corporation is that double entry book keeping made it sensible to treat the enterprise as a real thing distinct from the owner. Auditors have nothing to do with it. We have always had auditors. That is not what made the difference. Book keeping made the difference.

                • Arqiduka says:

                  Agree, I mentioned the auditor only in reference to you point that double entry allowed for corps, but the state must enforce the rules for corporations of large ownership base to exist. Double-entry allowed for the corporation and auditing allowed for owners to be a myriad of uninformed men, instead of a few well-infromed partners who held one another to account.

                • jim says:

                  > Double-entry allowed for the corporation and auditing allowed for owners to be a myriad of uninformed men, instead of a few well-infromed partners who held one another to account.

                  We have always had auditors. What was new, and what made the publicly traded corporation with many owners possible, was state enforcement of that auditing on behalf of many dispersed owners, most of whom could not read company books.

                  Can the blockchain enforce auditing? Well, obviously it can for assets that exist primarily on computers, such as debts, payments, promises to pay, and promises to deliver. For physical assets, well, you are going to have to believe some human being. What is Musk worth? He is worth what people think his power to deliver mass to orbit is worth, but we do have verification of his power to deliver stuff to orbit in a form that computers can read and understand, in that people keep asking him to deliver stuff to orbit, he keeps billing them for stuff delivered to orbit, and they keep paying him.

                  Most of Musk’s value, however, is the expectation that Starship will deliver more mass to orbit cheaper. Will it? Musk himself is not a fountain of veracity. He believes it will, but he has been wrong before, and notorious errs on the side of optimism, which optimism sometimes comes suspiciously close to lying. But on the capability to deliver more stuff to orbit and deliver it cheaper, he has been right before, and people are betting he will be right again.

            • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

              In fact, sovereign corporations have existed in the past, and echos of the idea still exist in popular consciousness today. Which is to say, guilds, of course.

              • Arqiduka says:

                The East Indies Trading Corporations (Dutch, British, maybe others) are the better example, as they were for profit by shares, whereas guilds were interest groups which could not account for the “profits” they were making their members by restricting entry and ensuring workmanship standards.

            • Karl says:

              So property rights recorded in books are enforced by the state and exist by will of the state.

              What can a blockchain change in this respect? It is simply a book that cannot be falsified. Nice to have, but if the state does not enforce my property right, I need someone else to do it for me or have to do it myself. In many places of the world that is not an unusual situation.

              Enforcement of right and punishments for taking property rights need violence. The amount of violence anyone outside of the governemt can get away with largely depends on the state, but there is always a limit to the amount of violence the police will ignore.

              Violence to defend property is one thing, but revange killing for taking property rights away, is another. If the state doesn’t enforce property rights, police and courts won’t be impressed by a plea that the dead guy needed killing in order to protect a private property right.

              For this reason, I think that private violence cannot enforce a property right recorded in a blockchain. What else is there? All right thinking people refuse to do business with anyone who is known to infringe property rights?

              • jim says:

                > So property rights recorded in books are enforced by the state and exist by will of the state.

                > What can a blockchain change in this respect?

                1. The state has been rewriting the books with alarming frequency and unpredictability.

                2. In the blockchain, property rights rest on unshared secrets, not on the books.

                The blockchain cannot secure property rights in physical things. But more and more value is not in physical things, but in network relationships represented by names, identities, and expectations, what accountants classify as “goodwill”, lacking any better name for it. What is the value of SpaceX? It is not land, nor machinery, nor anything like that. It can easily be destroyed, but cannot easily be stolen or confiscated.

                And in due course, not soon, but soon enough, I expect that people’s expectations of rightful physical violence related to rightful ownership of physical things will be based on what the blockchain says about ownership. Already it is the secrets embedded in a phone that demonstrate ownership.

                • Karl says:

                  The state can rewrite books of any domestic company and thereby either seize shares of the company itself or seize assets of the company.

                  Now blockchain might create something like a company that is a foreign company anywhere. So the government cannot seize shares of the company.

                  That’s pretty good, but not much different from a partnership. If several persons form a partnership, the government likewise cannot seize any shares, because there are none.

                  The value of any company is assets plus goodwill. Goodwill is sometimes much more than physical assets in and in contrast to phsical assets cannot be seized, but it also belongs intrinsically to the (whole) company. The physical assets can in theroy be dived up amongst the shareholders, but this is not possible with goodwill. It cannot be broken up into tiny parts. When the company is gone, the goodwill is also gone.

                  Everbody knows that the goodwill of a company belongs to the company as a whole. If I’m not missing someting, blockchain doesn’t affect the situation with goodwill.

                  So what are the benefits of a blockchain company with respect to a partnership? The only thing I see is that a blockchain company can more easily comprise a larger number of partners.

                  A partnership is easy if the number of partners is so small that they can meet and sit down on a table, but organizations like the mafia arguably managed to grow beyond that limit. So I see the advantage of the blockchain company more in degree than in kind.

                  Property is based on the capacity to defend it violenty. Your example of a phone dodges the issue. If the police seizes your phone, your ownership is gone. The secrets embedded in your phone merely demonstrate prior use and prior ownership.

                • jim says:

                  > That’s pretty good, but not much different from a partnership. If several persons form a partnership, the government likewise cannot seize any shares, because there are none.

                  A partnership is strong against state intervention because, as I said, several owners who know and trust each other and understand double entry book keeping can enforce it upon each other. Their cohesion, and the identity of the enterprise, does not derive from the state. In this sense, for profit corporations existed long before King Charles the second created joint stock publicly traded for profit corporations. Partnerships are ancient, and when they started to implement double entry book keeping, where the books of the enterprise treated it as a distinct entity, they imagined into existence the enterprise as an entity in itself – the narrowly held corporation before the legal fiction of the broadly held, publicly traded corporation, was conjured into existence.

                  Cryptographic methods can enable this to scale to many people who do not know each other and do not understand double entry bookkeeping, the broadly held corporation whose shares are correspondingly liquid.

                  Before double entry book keeping, partnerships were hampered, for lack of separation between the property and profits of the enterprise, and the property and profits of its owners. After double entry book keeping, hampered by inability to scale. After the for profit publicly traded joint stock corporation, the corporation as a legal fiction, rather than a book keeping fiction, hampered by the fact that if you derive cohesion from the state, you need a cohesive state to give you cohesion. Which latter requirement is starting to bite hard.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:


                  The thing to remember is that coordination is hard, not easy. Many are the ways for it to *not* happen, for it to disrupt, diffuse, and dissipate. The biggest value-add blockchain technologies may provide is durable schelling points people can coordinate around.

    • jim says:

      I somehow manage to have a lot of autonomy while avoiding challenging the state. And in fact all corporations have some degree of autonomy, without which, as the collapse of communism revealed, the economy fails to produce value.

      Is not the whole point and purpose of Urbit to give the social net autonomy from the state?

      If Urbit works, Sovereign corporations can be sovereign.

      • Fireball says:

        Wouldn’t a sovereign corporation simply be classify as a state?

        • jim says:

          Would I be classified as a state? Pretty sure I rule my household without regard for state laws and state policy on how husbands govern their households. I also use private violence to sustain my private property rights without regard for state policy on the use of private violence to sustain private property rights.

          In the feudal social order, each lord had his sphere of sovereignty, and his vassals also their spheres of sovereignty. You, and Moldbug, are using terminology that presupposes the ring of Fnargl.

          There is no ring of Fnargl. Cohesion is hard, and is always incomplete. We are never out of anarchy, and never in anarchy. The state is a ship sailing a storm tossed sea of anarchy.

          In the feudal social order everyone had the right to administer justice in his domain, and extract taxes and tariffs on goods passing through his domain. To prevent this from buggering the economy, the King would establish the King’s highway, on which only he had the right to extract tariffs, and if he knew what was good for him, did not extract tariffs except where his highway met up with some other King’s highway. We are heading back into that social order, though it will be some time before we get there.

          • Fireball says:

            You seem to think i am on yarvin side. I am not anglo not even north european you dont need to teach me how hard cooperation and cohesion is.

            You maybe be able to do all that but isn’t something the vast majority can do. We don’t live in societies with spheres of sovereignty and what little of that exist is won by the wiliness to fight and of not actually treating the central power.

            What you propose isn’t bad it can be the start of something but it is a direct treat and they are coming to finally crush any possibility that cripto can be ever a treat.

            • jim says:

              > it is a direct threat and they are coming to finally crush any possibility that cripto can be ever a threat.

              They will find that harder than they think.

              The internet was originally designed to resist thermonuclear war, and though it is currently far more fragile and centralized, this fragility can be remedied in the event.

  9. spandrell says:

    Just passing by.

  10. Humble Acolyte says:

    I am optimistic Urbit will work out. It is possible in principle to move Urbit off ETH. Urbit people are fairly based on average, and a few Hoon-writing Jim’s blog readers could influence the project’s direction. Urbit should be plan A imo, vastly easier than writing a replacement from scratch.

    If people here are not on Urbit already, I recommend trying it. The psychological effect of uncucking yourself from the client-server model is profound. I’ve felt better in my daily life since onboarding.

    • Fred says:

      Where do you recommend buying an Urbit planet from? I occasionally try to get into Urbit, but the fees on planet purchases turn me off. I also tried compiling it from source, but it didn’t build on OpenBSD (an archaic nuisance of an OS, but it’s what I know and I cbf’d changing).

      • Humble Acolyte says:

        Very cool, but yeah wouldn’t expect Urbit to work. You don’t really want to run it on your personal computer anyway. I used this guide:

        You can launch a comet now if you don’t want to pay L1 frees, 90% as good as a planet, or else you can wait for the L2 solution, probably a few months.

    • jim says:

      > If people here are not on Urbit already, I recommend trying it. The psychological effect of uncucking yourself from the client-server model is profound. I’ve felt better in my daily life since onboarding.

      Yes, but …

      A social net that is independent of dangerously centralized power is a very good thing, but it should be a step towards sovereign corporations, because that is where the money and the power is, and as long as Urbit is married to Ether, it is not a step towards sovereign corporations.

      > Urbit people are fairly based on average

      And the people in control of Ether are not.

      By putting the money in Ether, Urbit puts the power in people who are far from based.

      Money, accounting, and reputation is how people manage the very large scale cooperation characteristic of western civilization. Urbit does something to remove reputation away from dangerously powerful centralized authorities, but this is going to be in vain unless it moves money and accounting away from dangerously centralized authorities.

      • You aren’t following the project closely enough to comment from a place of authority.

        1. The L2 implementation already works. Several planets and at least one star are on it already. Testing and UX stuff are what’s left. So the expense question is done with in Q1.

        2. Urbit can host its own PKI by creating an on-Urbit L1. Is that happening? If you were following the project closely, you could answer that question.

        • jim says:

          I don’t follow Ether closely because in the hands of our enemies, and if Urbit relies on Ether, it too is in the hands of our enemies.

          • This reads like “no, I’m not following it very closely and I can’t answer the question”, so I’ll respond to that.

            The nutshell history of Urbit on Ethereum is that identity was needed to make Urbit ‘real’ and Ethereum was the best bet at the time the ID system was implemented. There was a lot of discussion and the co-founders, Yarvin included, expressed their reservations at the time.

            As much as I love BTC, ‘Urbit ID on Lightning’ was a nonstarter.

            This state of affairs could have lasted for some time but DeFi Summer commenced and made Eth practically unusable, so Tlon came up with their own rollup solution which will be released in Q1 2022.

            As to the self-hosted PKI, that will require an L1 on Urbit. The question was whether any funded entity was actively developing that. IYKYK.

            Actively missing the mark over here by making the 2019 ‘good enough’ the enemy of the future perfect.

            • jim says:

              > This reads like “no, I’m not following it very closely and I can’t answer the question”

              Exactly so. Enemy action is always a confusing and misleading distraction. If I don’t need to decipher it, I don’t. The enemy has more than enough flim flam going, no point in figuring out every move. But Yarvin should have figured out enemy moves before going into Ether.

              > made Eth practically unusable, so Tlon came up with their own rollup solution which will be released in Q1 2022.

              Betting on your enemies never turns out well.

              I knew how DeFi on ether was going to turn out, and when going into DeFi, avoided getting tangled in Ether. Which is not easy because they have set up a whole shill Ether/DeFi ecosystem.

              The net effect of the events you refer to involved fans of Urbit paying a whole lot of money, and granting a whole lot of potential power, to their enemies. I am not into that.

              The question is, will the rollup solution potentially threaten our enemies, or will it be consistent with Namefag Yarvin’s strategy of laying low and keeping quiet, as going with Ether was?

              A social net is a powerful potential weapon. Deploy accordingly. Expect enemy action. Don’t open the door to your enemies. Also expect Shaniqua to be in charge of enemy action. Namefag Yarvin is fond of saying “See, I am not a threat. I am opening the door to you.” He is right. If he opens the door, not a threat.

              • Dude, you’re fixated on Eth.

                I keep trying to lead you to water here but you won’t drink. Now you’re dying of thirst in front of everybody.

                Fixate on the ‘self-hosted PKI’ part.

                • jim says:

                  If ether is the root of your namesystem, not self hosted. (though a lot more secure than CAs)

                  Root your own name system. Yes, I get that a blockchain is a huge improvement on CAs – but the ether blockchain is hostile. Embrace by the enemy never ends well, and it has not ended well. Urbit is suffering much grief from Ether, and it is going to suffer much more grief. Told you way back then it would hurt, now it is hurting you, and I am telling you that one way or another way it is going to hurt worse.

                  As to how it is going to hurt worse, I have absolutely no idea, but I am sure that they are going to think of something.

                • Humble Acolyte says:

                  I don’t think Habsul Rignyr is saying Urbit’s current PKI is self-hosted, he is saying that a genuinely self-hosted Urbit PKI may be quietly in the works.

  11. Arqiduka says:

    Now a nitpick, pointing which our I cannot resist.

    The whole point about Hedge Funds and Private Equity that allegedly shows how little Moldy grasps the sector, does not apply to PE at all. PE specializes in building up young starts-ups (after VC makes its play) into an eventual listing, so almost the entire portfolio of a PE firm would not be included in the stuff Moldy wishes to nationalize. A nitpick of a nitpick, but when you point this our in someone else as an Achilles Heel, you better not miss (I am versed in making this mistake myself).

    • Neurotoxin says:


      “The whole point about Hedge Funds and Private Equity that allegedly shows how little Moldy grasps the sector, does not apply to PE at all… almost the entire portfolio of a PE firm would not be included in the stuff Moldy wishes to nationalize.”

      Yes, correct. That’s why I said, “…thinking mainly of hedge funds here…”

  12. Arqiduka says:

    What a banging way to star the new year, (though I disagree with Neurotoxin on much, I also disagree with Moldy on his program, though not because it is unfeasible).

    Look, you don’t need a *finance* program, you need a *money* program, which is direly called for.

    Other than that, in whichever mysterious ways FIRE is pilfering the productive classes, these shall cease (looking at you Com).

    You may need some minor policies on “too big to fail”, maybe a land tax, and other minor points here or there, but money is where is at, finance is a reflection.

  13. Tityrus says:

    From the article:

    He thinks, for some reason, that the total value of all assets in the economy should never exceed the amount of base money in circulation. He thinks that current asset values can exceed current base money only because everyone expects the US government to print more money in the future. He doesn’t get the private sector’s rational anticipations that most of the time, most of these assets won’t all be liquidated at once. And they’re never ALL liquidated at once. That has never happened and never will. Not to mention irrational exuberance that can send asset values into orbit for no particular reason.

    Hm. I wonder how you could falsify the view that the total value of all assets only or mainly reflects the money printing expectation.

    • Arqiduka says:

      You saying we check this stuff at any point between 1815 and 1914? Not sure what you’d find, but I imagine multiples of valuation back then as well, which is due to velocity being a thing, not expectations of future printing.

    • jim says:

      Economic models are always fundamentally unfalsifiable, but nonetheless we can tell true models from false ones. The falsificationist approach to epistemology is no more applicable to economics than it is to theology. Or than it is to epistemology itself.

      A useful and accurate economic model explains events that are knowable and observable, the particular deals that people strike, the particular value that they choose to produce rather than some other value or no value, in terms of things unknown and unobservable, such as the supply curve, marginal preferences, and rational expectations.

    • f6187 says:

      From the article: “… that the total value of all assets in the economy …”

      That is a non-concept. Total value to whom? Different people value a single thing differently. A individual person values a single thing differently at different times.

      A canteen full of water is worth more than a 400 ounce bar of gold to someone in the desert. When that water sells for 400 ounces of gold, we don’t register that as the “last trade” and compute the “market cap” of all water on Earth at that rate, and conclude that we’d better hurry up and mine that much gold to “equal” the value of all the water.

      • The Cominator says:

        Yes this is one of the stupidest parts of Yarvin’s plan… the idea that there is an objective value. Capitalist don’t believe in stable objective values of things… commies and fednats do.

        • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

          Well, there is objective value, in the matter of values relating to objectives; that any given value is an implicit teleology, given states of affairs that which participation in the value turns matter towards or aways from.

          Moneys are used, primarily, as approximations of the potency necessary to bring about a state of affairs. A state of affairs like ‘having an oak log cabin’ in Afghanistan would be more involved to bring about than the same state of affairs in Maine, and differing prices would reflect this.

          By presenting a money price to a man in exchange for something, you are signaling ‘i am powerful enough to have this’, in terms of your person, in terms of your household, in terms of a broader system you may be participating in; such potency you may be facilitating for the later being remunerated in kind. It is saying that, instead of sending fighting men to take thing (and men to drive it, and men to fabricate it, and men to source it…), we simply skip the whole messy dance and you just give it to me (whom the proprietor can then say the same thing to other parties for whatever he needs).

          In this light, more farcical examples like ‘trading a bottle of water for a bar of gold to a perishing man in the desert’ start missing the point; in such an extreme case, the traveling man may well either simply take the gold from the perishing man by force, or the perishing man simply take the water by force, or the traveling man simply shares his water regardless.

          Any given money, being a creation inside Being, naturally cannot also encompass all Being with complete felicity; which is not to say they may not be felicitous; which is also not to say they may not be more or less felicitous.

          • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

            That is to say, instead of any aprticular being needing to be a whole nation unto itself to bring about things, they may each all participate in a same nation; this is the economy that moneys facilitate.

      • Neurotoxin says:

        From the article: “… that the total value of all assets in the economy …”
        That is a non-concept. Total value to whom?

        This part of Moldbug’s plan is referencing market prices. So “total value” here means “market value.”

        Also, I don’t know if you did this on purpose, but it was interesting that you kinda referenced the classic “Diamonds-Water paradox.”

    • Nunya says:

      I have a 100 trillion dollar bill that I keep in my wallet for emergencies. It’s issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. So, my emergency use of that note may be limited to the voluntary exchange of that inked piece of paper for the one-time service of my kid cleaning his room, or perhaps a choice morsel of his remaining Christmas chocolate.

      I might also execute the same exchange for different piece of inked paper, printed by a different “reserve bank” – this other piece of paper bearing the number five, along with the ugly face of a communist tyrant.

      In either case, I’d be exchanging something in my wallet for the service of cleaning a messy room or candy. This exchange would be voluntary by both parties.

      I could also use coercion to get the service or the candy. I could demand either in exchange for a metal disk bearing a stamped image of the same ugly tyrant.

      Coercion exists in the latter case only in proportion to difference in the perceived value between the metal disk and the inked paper in relation to the independent intrinsic value of the service or the candy.

      I could also secure what I wanted, voluntarily, by promising to deliver something in the future that my kid wants – say a different piece of candy or a service of my own, performed for his benefit. We might memorialize that promise with a hand-written note.

      This note would have value in itself, as a medium of exchange, according to the confidence he and his sister have in my willingness to honor it. If they both have full faith and confidence in my promise to honor the hand-written note, he might give that note to his sister in exchange for her cleaning his room.

      The hand-written note is now money.

      All that said is nothing new. Money is debt and always has been. My hand-written note is money if my kids accept it. It has value in proportion to their confidence that it will be honored. They may keep it for the future or immediately trade for some good or service they want now.

      However, those goods or services have intrinsic value that are totally independent from the denomination on the money itself. To say that money determines the value of assets is inversion. Category error or Jew lie, matters not – falsehood.

    • Neurotoxin says:

      “I wonder how you could falsify the view that the total value of all assets only or mainly reflects the money printing expectation.”

      The average person is hilariously ignorant of this stuff. My impression is that they don’t have any opinions at all, in any firm sense, about it.

      On the other hand, professional prognosticators, advice givers, finance columnists, etc., spend most of their time talking about variables other than the monetary base. (Though as inflation gets worse, that might very well change.)

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