Innovation is overrated. "Maintenance and repair, the building of infrastructures, the mundane labour that goes into sustaining functioning and efficient infrastructures, simply has more impact on people’s daily lives than the vast majority of technological innovations."

Welcome to the freedoms of capitalism, where you have to fight for the right to maintain the lifespan of your own belongings.

Also on:

I think what I like about notifications of app updates from F-Droid is that, behind that little notification is a whole cycle of ideas, discussion, coding, building, testing, packaging, releasing. It’s a little reminder that a whole bunch of open source just took place somewhere.

Also on:

I’d like to make an Anki flashcards deck for helping learn/memorise some of the topics around open cooperatives. You can build Anki decks from a CSV file. So if we had an EtherCalc sheet on it, we could co-create it. Good idea? Who’s in? And who can provide an EtherCalc grain on sandstorm?

Freedom means freedom over time as well. Any open source offering that uses a file format that can’t be viewed and edited from a 10 year old device in one way or another, or that will be unreadable 10 years from now, is badly designed in my opinion.

I’d like to have a set of BDD-style specifications of what are important functions of modern apps – like specs and user stories of Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Instagram, what have you – that document what these things do and why people want that. Then we fulfil these features piece by piece in a way that is open and free.

Rather than trying to have an all-in-one open-source evernote (or whatever) replacement, have a series of interchangeable tools that can be mixed and matched to individuals’ needs. There’s certain common things (editing, sync, versioning, access points, etc) that could be reused over and over without each indieware app having to reinvent the wheel.

Case in point: I’ve cobbled together a Rube Goldbergian setup that replaces Evernote/todo-list style systems for me. org-mode provides the todo management and notetaking, syncthing provides the availability on multi-devices, orgzly provides the phone apps, txt provides the file format, git provides version control, a server with postfix provides forwarding emails to capture them as notes.

Been thinking more and more lately about ‘indieware’ – replacement apps for popular apps that are in some way non-free – silos, monocultures, etc. And how, similar to what Stallman did with Unix in the 80s, we should create replacements for all of these. Rewrite the bread and butter apps of the web. But also adopting the Unix philosophy – not just rewriting monoliths, but piecing together small interchangeable utilities. We have most of the plumbing already, we just need to glue it together.

Feeling very inspired by the vision laid out in this article. Open cooperatives, global commons, global counter-economy.

“Cooperativism in the digital era, or how to form a global counter-economy”

Also on:

The main reasons for the pro-Uber argument seem to be the loss of ’employment’ for some of its drivers, and the convenience, affordability, and (debatable) safety for passengers. So people are really arguing for jobs and good public transport. Is Uber the best avenue for that? I don’t think so. They run at a huge loss in order to dominate the market, and once that happens prices will go up, and eventually jobs will go.

Also on:

“With the welfare state, most of these commons were state-ified, i.e. managed by the state, and no longer by the commoners themselves. […] Today, with the crisis of the welfare state, we see the re-development of new grassroots solidarity systems, which we could call ‘commonfare’, and the neoliberalisation and bureaucratisation of the welfare systems may well call for a re-commonification of welfare systems, based on public-commons partnerships.”

Also on: