Summer 2023

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We’re off building the internet
of tomorrow, on Urbit,
and we’re not doing it alone.

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A note from the other side:

Once upon a time, the internet inspired an exciting picture of things to come. Young and uncharted, it stirred our imaginations. The things we'd discover. The people we’d meet. The things we'd do.

Today, instead, we're burdened by notifications and reminders. We're wary of where our data's going and who's holding onto it. Instead of elevating our lives, the possibilities have exhausted us.

The pillars of the internet—social networks, e-commerce, search engines—might feel like permanent fixtures. Maybe they are. But that can’t be it.

Rather than a dead end, we see a fork in the road, at which we encounter another path forward. This path is bumpy at first (and still being paved) but soon the relief settles in. Calm is restored. A new world unfolds beyond the thick of yesterday's internet.

You receive a message. There's a purity to it that you can't quite place. You can almost pluck it right off your screen. It's as alive as a whisper spoken from one friend to another, as they part ways at a train station. It's as authentic as a love letter. As personal as an apology. As material as a family recipe passed down through generations.

Because there's no one—besides yourself and the sender—storing the message on your behalf. There's no one acting as a middle man between the transaction. It belongs only to the two of you. It always will.

A meetup invitation lives solely amongst a group, binding them closer. A journal entry stays entirely with you. A developer named Andrey's latest bookkeeping app ships directly to someone named Savannah, whose bookkeeping stays safely with her.

The difference appears small on paper. But it's everything. The internet got between our most important moments. Our most private and precious interactions. Now, it recedes beneath us, enabling a truly person-to-person network, where we build with our own tools, on our own platforms, for people we call our community.

This is the internet we've dreamed of—both before we knew what was possible and after we knew what was at stake.

It's possible on Urbit. And we have Landscape to prove it.

Originally published in Tlon Local, our growing community on the Urbit network.

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