"Capitalism made your-"

No. LABOUR made it. LABOUR made my phone, my laptop, the internet, this website, my clothing, my house, all social media, and everything else. LABOUR makes things, Capitalism doesn’t because economic systems don’t ‘make’ anything, they just determine who gets paid for making things.




Is there a way to automatically install and configure a list of Firefox plugins? e.g. when setting up a new box.

I don’t particularly want to use Firefox Sync.

UPDATE: Oh yeah – there’s a whole bunch of Ansible playbooks if you search for them.

When I was younger, mid-teens to mid-twenties, I had really debilitating social anxiety disorder (www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-anxiety/).

To the point that I often did not want to leave my room. I found it difficult to be in a room with other people, eat in public, stand in line at the supermarket. It really affected my mental health and development of relationships.

I still have remnants of it now, in that I’m fairly quiet in social situations and not the most gregarious. But it has mostly gone away, to the point that I can go to events, even do occasional public speaking, and not really worry about it.

So I guess I wanted to say, if you currently have it, or know someone who does – you can definitely overcome it.


This is a book of gorgeous photographs of repair workshops in the South West of England.

Visible mending: Everyday repairs in the South West:
‘The project was inspired by an attraction to the aesthetics of these workplaces, but also by an interest in what the practices of fixing, mending, repair and renewal could reveal about the way people value things, and each other.’


#CultureOfRepair #VisibleMending

We had a great social last night – a talk about repair and conservation in museums (bridgetharvey.co.uk/writing), and a board games hacking workshop (www.beesness.games/).

We learned about the components of mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics in games. Me and Panda hacked the mechanics of Surakarta (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surakarta_(game)) to turn it into a game of cooperation and swapping, rather than a game of battle and capture. We only had chance to play it once with the new rules, but it worked surprisingly well and induced more high-fiving than the original (which induced none.)

Went to my first Dorkbot this evening!

Really liked Annie Tådne’s sonification of physical objects (tadne.se/) and Deerful’s indie synthpop livecoding (deerful.com/)

‘Dorkbot is a group of affiliated organizations worldwide that sponsor grassroots meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone else working under the very broad umbrella of electronic art. The dorkbot motto is "people doing strange things with electricity".

I got some feedback on my elisp exercism.io exercise, took a little while but it was really useful! Good advice to use `let` to scope the variable locally, and I learned the `or` macro as an alternative to an if conditional.
The downside of ‘scratch your own itch’ is that it leaves a lot of itches unscratched.

Either you need:

a) a way of enabling more people to scratch their own itch
b) a way of encouraging people to recognise and scratch other people’s itches

Or both.

Reading about Chile in 1970, the book makes a few references to the comparative lack of computing technology in Chile at the time (50 computers) compared to other nations.

What’s a modern-day analagous technology that access to is regarded as giving a country some kind of advantage over others? (Not including overtly militaristic stuff like missiles etc.)

exercism.io seems like a nice approach to learning to code in new languages where you solve problems and get advice from a mentor on your solution.

Trouble is that for elisp the mentors seem to be AWOL…

Bookmarked Decentralising geographies of political action: Civic Tech and place-based municipalism (The Journal of Peer Production)

This article introduces the concept of ‘place-based civic tech’ — citizen engagement technology codesigned by local government, civil society and global volunteers. It investigates to what extent creating such a digital space for autonomous self-organization allows for the emergence of a parallel, self-determining and more place-based geography of politics and political action.

‘For this reason, commons are not merely social spaces in which work and life might unfold in richer, more autonomous and sustainable ways beyond the scope of capital; the commons are also sites in which critique and resistance have the potential to develop’.


(Gotta chuckle though that the paper looks to be written in Microsoft Word…)

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.

Also the Liberty Machine sounds pretty fun:

‘a sociotechnical system that functioned as a disseminated network, not a hierarchy’

‘treated information, not authority, as the basis for action’

‘prevented top-down tynranny by creating a distributed network of shared information’.

First introduction to the Viable System Model: ‘a general model that he believed balanced centralized and decentralized forms of control in organizations’.

I know nothing of the details, but the general overview sounds pretty good so far: ‘It offered a balance between centralized and decentralized control that prevented both the tyranny of authoritarianism and the chaos of total freedom.’

A mixture of horizontal autonomy with channels for vertical communication and stabilisation.