I finished Perdido Street Station. It was fantastically written and a genuine page turner. Also relentlessly, unremittingly grim.

Now I’m reading Pride and Prejudice so I don’t fall into a depression.

‘Dark municipalism’ (unevenearth.org)
Summary: "From the New Orleans school desegregation crisis (1960), when white schoolchildren went on strike to protest the federal government’s order to desegregate New Orleans elementary schools. by the Symbiosis Research Collective  The Five Star Movement in Italy has been campaigning on a platform of d..."

Current music plan: once I’ve exported my list of favourite tracks, close down Deezer account. Was costing me £9.99 a month. (When I first signed up someone told me it paid better to artists than Spotify, but I don’t know how true that is anymore and even if so, it’s probably still negligible amount.)

Host the tracks I own on personal streaming server (currently funkwhale on digitalocean, ~£4 month.) Buy tracks direct from bandcamp where possible, max £4 a month. £2 a month to resonate.

Woop woop! Listening to a track, offline, through Ultrasonic, that was originally served up by my newly installed funkwhale instance.

So… probably would have been a lot quicker just to copy it to my mobile. But hey now I know a lot more about docker-compose and nginx than I did before!


Oooh funkwhale has user libraries and funkwhale is compatible with Subsonic API and Ultrasonic is a Subsonic client app on f-droid that supports offline listening.

This just got very interesting…


Funkwhale has some handy docs on its implementation of ActivityPub.


Gives a few basic hints as to how you might go about actually implementing ActivityPub in an app with a DB.

OK so got a basic gist of ActivityPub I think… Objects are things like notes. Activities are things like creating or liking these objects. Actors post messages to or get messages from inboxes and outboxes to send these activities around. There’s a client-to-server part for actors to send messages to their server. And a server-to-server part to federate and deliver messages between actors on different servers.

Plenty more to it than that but enough to get by with!

Yeahhh I find code kata really fun and relaxing. No stress, no mega problem to solve. Like doing a jigsaw or something. Just did a little PHP Fibonnaci one with spacemacs, git and behat. Nice easy way to improve with your tools.

Beyond my means (Laura Kalbag)
Summary: "When I wrote about owning and controlling my own content, I talked about trying to keep my “content” in its canonical location on my site, and then syndicating it to social networks and other sites. Doing this involves cross-posting, something that can be done manually (literally copying and pas..."

Do we really need a StateBook? https://newsocialist.org.uk/do-we-really-need-a-statebook/

The conclusion, with which I would agree, is: no. It would be centralised services just of another kind.

Good though to see a major political party recognising that the centralisation of the social graph with the big digital giants is not a good thing.

But a better solution is the support of open standards and protocols, and control and portability of data.

ActivityPub hot take. https://beesbuzz.biz/blog/2535-ActivityPub-hot-take

I don’t have a deep understanding of much of it, but the general gist seems to be that RSS/Atom can do plenty of what ActivityPub can do, with its own benefits and easier implementation.

I couldn’t argue either way, but interesting to read. I’m happy there’s a plurality of approaches to this decentralisation movement, that’s a healthy sign.

A critique of federation (in the technical sense).


Are privacy concerns inherent to federation? Dunno. The idea of decoupling data ownership from applications is good though. It reminds me of Solid and its data pods idea.


And of course indieweb which I commented a while back Solid reminded me of but surprisingly the Solid peeps made no reference to.

Paradigm shifts for the decentralized Web

Great article from @jasonpjason on decentralising the internet and the successes and failures of federation. Suggests some new approaches and some policy support (but not a StateBook) are needed for decentralisation that actually empowers. Platform coops play a role. We need counterantidisintermediation to prevent platform lock-in. I think the ‘centralised services win (partly) through better UX’ argument needs examining though. https://newsocialist.org.uk/decentralising-the-internet/

Good article. Feel like it straw man’s Srnicek and Williams in a couple of places but offers good critiques in others. I find the terms of the debate, accelerationism and degrowth, overly polarising. Also feel it’s wrong to see technology and ‘growth’ as synonymous. But overall the article is positive and looks at how to take good ideas from both. And there are definitely common aims to be built upon. I http://unevenearth.org/2017/01/accelerationism-and-degrowth/

From Rojava to the Mapuche Struggle: The Kurdish Revolutionary Seed Spreads in Latin America (Toward Freedom)
Summary: "Kurdish fighters, 2017. Photo by KurdishStruggle/Flickr For several years, the Kurds have been at the forefront of a revolution in Western Kurdistan (Rojava). Their alternative system to capitalism has resonated all over the globe. Their society is organized according to Democratic Confederalism, an..."