2020-08-04

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1 Reposted a tweet by Martin Kleppman

I am concerned that a lot of computer systems research is solving problems that only huge tech companies have (eg. fast datacenter networking, big data analytics systems), rather than working on technologies that empower individual users and the underprivileged.

https://twitter.com/martinkl/status/1288836873482379266

Martin does research into CRDTs, which actively try to shift power from cloud services and back towards end users.

2 Local-first software

I've been re-reading Ink & Switch's article on local-first software. (Possibly related to me currently being in the middle of the Lake District with patchy connectivity…). It really is a great read, I highly recommend it if you're interested in distributed systems, and if you're interested in the issue of ownership of data and digital self-determination.

3 Cloud apps are a bit like supply chains

Cloud apps are a bit like supply chains. In the sense that we have little agency over the things we use or create. We are removed from the production of the things that we use. A supply chain being disrupted is like a cloud app going down. We have no local means to support ourselves.

4 Appropriate digital

Like appropriate technology, but for specifically for digital services (mainly software). Dan Hind talks about something like it in his interview on Tech Won't Save Us.

5 Reading The Twittering Machine

First chapter focused mainly on some of the problems with the social industry. Spun slightly different than most accounts, focusing on the profligacy with which we are all writing these days. Touched on trolling, fake news, etc. Some psychoanalysis, some theory, e.g. mentions of society of the spectacle.

While I don't feel like it's telling anything novel so far - we already know the social industry is rife with problems - Seymour's account is an interesting take, and very urbane to boot.

6 Backlinks

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