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. I like hypertexting.

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 Tech

2.1 The Internet & the web

2.2 Free software

2.3 Cybernetics

At first blush there feels like some overlap between the Viable System Model and Elinor Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development framework.

In that they both approach structures from a multi-level conceptual map, with units acting autonomously at each level but communicating between them. The polycentrism thing.

Would be interesting to compare and contrast them.

2.4 Liberatory technology

2.6 Other

  • Limbo virtual experience asylum
  • Digital capitalism
  • Mental capitalism
  • Intellectual property
    • Intellectual provenance, not intellectual property
  • Attention economy
    • When information is abundant, attention is the scarce resource.

2.6.1 Tech/digital policies

Pragmatic but striving to improve.

‘We must employ a divest/invest strategy to the technology we use if we are to combat surveillance capitalism and build radical infrastructure that reflects our vision of the world.’

‘When a technology does not meet one of these criteria we will organize to help raise a project to that standard. When we need to use corporate technology, we use it strategically and subversively – always on the lookout for alternatives.’

2.6.2 Sustainable technology Designing for sustainability (book)

2.6.3 Technocrat

Those who believed that technology and the empowerment of technical experts were more important than political change

2.6.4 System/360

Early successful mainframe. Chile had a few of them.

2.6.5 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

2.6.6 My Devices

3 Environment

3.2 Organisational climate policies

3.3 Green New Deal

  • works best as a policy if it's easy to grasp and very bold (e.g. the 2030 goal)

Coalfield communities built our wealth and influence at great cost. We are owed new clean energy jobs and the infrastructure to create them.

– Lisa Nandy, Yes, we need climate action; but it needs to be rooted in people’s daily reality

  • Green new deal fits well with decentralised worker ownership
  • see Lucas Plan

3.4 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…

3.5 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?

4 Politics

4.2 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

4.3 Industrial capitalism and labour movement historically intertwined

  • previously some labour power was related to ability to cut off e.g. coal supply
  • currently becoming detached from each other
  • potential for labour movement not to have relationship to fossil capital, could be quite anticapitalist

4.4 Rojava

I support the Kurds in Rojava who are building an egalitarian society in dire circumstances. It is based on communialism and social ecology.

4.5 Syndicalism

4.6 Commons

4.6.2 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

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

Author: Neil Mather

Created: 2019-10-20 Sun 10:37