Neil's Commonplace


1 Hello

This is my digital commonplace book. I started it (in this format) in October 2019.

It is a companion to my blog. The lines between the two are blurry, but generally the blog is for streams of thoughts and discussion, and this is the distillation and crystalisation of those.

For me, they are both ways of using hypertexting for the purposes of thinking.

Blogs as thinking out loud and conversations (also with oneself). Wiki as its accumulated residue.

---Ton Zylstra (The Blog and Wiki Combo)

(I use commonplace book, personal wiki, and knowledge base fairly interchangebly.)

Feel free to click around, but don't expect too much coherence or permanence… the very purpose is for snippets to percolate and morph and evolve over time. That said, I make it public in the interest of info-sharing, with the offchance that it may come in handy to refer someone to part of it one day or another.

Some more info on the whats and the whys.

2 Technology

2.1 Software

2.3 Liberatory technology

2.4 Sustainable technology

2.5 Cybernetics

2.6 Hardware

  • My Devices
  • System/360
    • Early successful mainframe. Chile had a few of them.

2.8 Smart cities

  • Seoul city machine
    • Saw it at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
    • Shows the tension between smart city looking after us vs controlling us

3 Environment

  • Behaviour change or system change
  • Reflections prompted by #ClimateStrike – Amy Guy
  • Green New Deal
  • The New Alchemists
    • scientific experiments in sustainable living
    • kind of like the fact it wasn't a full on commune… that doesn't jibe fully with my personality.
    • "it almost looks like a parody" - funny how happy, healthy living has become that…
  • Towns and cities
    • living in a city vs living in a town, what are the environmental pros and cons?
    • Garden stroll illusive realm video
      • nice video at Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art
      • made you think about gardens in the city. Are they just simulacra? Do they really serve a purpose?
  • Climate change

4 Politics

4.2 European Union

  • regulation vs directive
    • 'regulation': means that it will be a legal act and enforceable in its entirety across all member states (e.g. GDPR)

, - 'directive': allows each member state to introduce its own mechanisms for the law provided they match the spirit of the original directive

4.3 Labour policies

  • Green New Deal with 2030 net zero target
    • this sets the paces of it - it means you have to start doing radical things now
    • you have to start talking about economic transition
    • it changes the frame of all other policies as well
    • some of the big unions are on board
    • syndicalist approach part of it - industrial revolution from below, what does it look like for towns and cities?
  • 4 day working week
  • public ownership of pharmaceutical research

4.5 Rojava

4.6 Syndicalism

4.7 Commons

4.7.2 Commons-based peer production

radically decentralized, collaborative, and nonproprietary; based on sharing resources and outputs among widely distributed, loosely connected individuals who cooperate with each other without relying on either market signals or managerial commands

4.8 History

4.12 Solidarity economy

4.14 Prefiguration

  • Means and ends
  • Prefiguration alone makes you a pocket in isolation, just or doing charity work. It needs some structure and greater organising to go with.
  • But just structure and planning without prefiguration means you lose sight of where you're going.

4.16 Solidarity

5 Repair and maintenance

6 Culture

7 To FILE:

7.1 oggcamp

7.1.1 day 1

    • nice use of peer production
    • pulled it together with a few simple technologies
    • people like the leaderboard…
  • mqtt
    • what's it for?
      • messaging queue
      • streams of data from sensor devices?
    • mosquitto
    • used with IoT things?
    • sceptical about overuse of IoT
    • but liked the use of it around energy poverty
    • and saving energy from fridges - detecting when seal was wasting energy (however the answer was replacement??)
    • saving energy from detecting positions of animals in enclosures
  • I gave a talk on community repair
    • it was international repair day
    • talked about what community repair is
    • talked about open data we publish
    • global movement
    • talked about right to repair
  • ubuntu snaps
    • interesting, how does it compare/relate to nix/guix?
    • sounds similar in some ways
    • universal packaging system, allow for multiple versions side by side
    • easy rollback
  • astralship
    • really liked this
    • a small alternative living space, mix of permaculture and technology
    • comes from pirate politics to some degree
    • liked the ship metaphors.. you don't go on workshops, you go on voyages
    • idea is to enable deep flow states to try and solve some of current global problems
    • the geodesic domes are also interesting
  • video downloads
  • panel discussion
    • taking up linux more in schools: main problem is awareness of its existences
    • computing curriculum is apparently currently rubbish
      • boring
      • would be better if it was project based
    • microsoft - good or bad?
      • for me, focused too much on whether its good or bad for open source
      • didn't look at ethics of microsoft overall
        • ICE, AI for fossil fuel yields
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