I saw a chameleon up close today, never have before. They’re wild! Eyes that move independently of each other and all over the place. And it moved around like it was stop-motion animated, and had these funny little pincer hands with little fingers. It kept on sticking its tongue out almost as a way of wayfinding. Quite a character.

I felt sorry for it being cooped up like that though.

Peterloo mural outside the People’s History Museum.

The first victim of the Peterloo massacre was a two year old. One point of the mural is to say, if the same protest was to happen again today, who would the people be and what would they be fighting for?

There was a protest against the Tories by the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People.

I enjoyed the singing of:

You can stick your work assessment up your arse,
you can stick your work assessment up your arrrse,
you can stick your work assessment,
stick your work assessment,
stick your work assessment up your arse.

(to the tune of “she’ll be coming round the mountain”)

Started with a really simple version of Ton’s infostrat and liking it already.

I set up a couple of channels, one for people I tend to interact with a lot, one for people I loosely follow. Both a combo of IndieWeb, Mastodon, Twitter and RSS feeds, mostly of actual real people. The other stuff I haven’t moved yet and is mostly institutional feeds.

When I get a social media urge, I’ll check the first two groups. If empty, I’ll maybe check the rest, or read an article, or just do something else.

The best part is avoiding anything that has an endless stream of fairly random (but tantalisingly, possibly interesting) stuff. As Ton points out, anything *really* worthwhile will invariably end up in a feed in one of the first two groups sooner or later. I’m feeling more intentional, less flighty of attention.

Smart contracts for more equitable returns on investment in public infrastructure.

‘redesigning our regulatory systems so they don’t favour speculative financing and land trading’

‘give communities a way of investing and owning the things that make neighbourhoods work, without the fear of being priced out by their desire to improve their community.’

I need to give it a thorough read, but sounds interesting and I immediately like anything that has a plan rather than just a diagnosis…


Apparently Facebook and Instagram are currently doing ‘trials’ of removing like counts from posts. That’d be good if they did actually roll it out. I can’t see them doing it though, I thought all of that psyops stuff was good for business.
Nice article about indymedia. I was vaguely aware of indymedia when I was a teenager, but didn’t know much about it.

Talks about how techno-libertarianism and individualism won out over federated communities.

This line makes me sad: ‘Today, social movements depend on Facebook, Google, and Twitter.’ But strikes me that we’re in a pretty good position right now to start federated, tactical media platforms again, no?


Liked a post by Ton Zijlstra

On my way to Amsterdam for day two of IndieWebCamp, that I’m co-hosting with Frank. Today’s focus will be on doing, based on the conversations and ideas we had yesterday. I’ve published a few pics on Flickr.
IndieWebCamp Lunch
The IndieWebCamp Amsterdam bunch at lunch
I have three ideas I migh…

Yesterday was the Festival of Maintenance in Liverpool. I went along and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lots of interesting talks and nice people. The theme was basically the maintenance of things, sometimes purely engineering-focused (e.g. bridges and potholes and data), and sometimes with a pretty lefty alternative economics, post-growth, social care focused thread running through it too.

It was at The Fashion Hub, a really awesome space in the old fashion district of Liverpool, with the excellent DoES makerspace just upstairs.

It was chock full of interesting things. I have loads of notes that I hope to digest and probably microblog about over the coming days, but a quick note of a few themes that formed for me:


Students need to learn more about maintenance and repair, not just how to make new things. Tom of Holland mentioned how textile repair used to be in most textbooks, but no more. Civil engineer Mujib Rahman mentioned how students come into university wanting to know how to build things, and with less interest on how to maintain things.

maintenance as care

I’ve thought before how social care can be kind of be seen as a form of maintenance in a fairly abstract sense. But I liked the point made by Juliet Davis about how maintaining something for someone can be seen as an act of care for the person, too.

patterns of maintenance

Common themes seemed to arise throughout the day – e.g. the importance of monitoring in maintenance. Chris Adams mentioned during the panel discussion that a pattern language of maintenance could be a useful resource – I agree. The ODI have just released their pattern catalogue of collaborative data maintenance, but there could be scope for a general pattern catalogue of maintenance techniques and considerations.

Reading the chapter ‘Technological Utopianism Is Dangerous’ in Future Histories.

Technological utopianism ‘sees technological progress as the means to bring about a perfect society.’

On Utopianism: ‘a map of the word that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at’

but: ‘Utopianism can abridge our capacity to imagine what true emancipation might look like’

Unless you use a part provided by Apple, and a repairer certified by them, you’ll get a warning about your replacement screen.

"More broadly, this restriction is the kind of gradual progression toward repair fear and uncertainty we were afraid we’d see after Apple’s independent repair program announcement. It allows Apple to further restrict the repair market to those who buy their parts and sign up for their certification."


I get a message at emacs startup telling me that:

> Package html2text is obsolete!

It’s because I have an old version of mu and mu4e (emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/42343/package-html2text-is-obsolete). I’m on 0.9.18, which is the version that is in the Ubuntu 18.04 repos (launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/maildir-utils), and hence what Mint 19.2 has. There doesn’t seem to be a PPA with a newer version.

It’s possibly an argument against using Mint for my personal desktop. I don’t need the stability that a server or office machine might need. I like Mint, I think it does a number of things well, but I may switch to Debian again for rolling releases (for example, in Debian Bullseye, mu4e is on 1.2.0 (packages.debian.org/testing/lisp/mu4es.debian.org/testing/lisp/mu4e)).

I’ve been reading through the first chapter of The Little Schemer, and following along in Emacs (specifically: spacemacs).

I jotted down a few notes on getting set up to do this.

First off you’ll need to install a Scheme implementation. There’s a few of them out there. This Reddit thread has some useful discussion on the pros and cons of each of them.

As I’m on Linux and using Emacs, I went with Guile.

To install on Linux Mint, you just need:

sudo apt install guile-2.2

At this point, you could simply fire up Guile and work within the REPL there, if you wanted.

I want to write my Scheme in Emacs, and then send it to the REPL from there. The preferred Emacs package for that seems to be geiser. In spacemacs, geiser comes included with the scheme layer, so all you need to do is add that layer into your config and you’ve got geiser (and some other handy scheme bits and pieces).

Once you’re in a scheme file, run M-x run-geiser, choose guile from the dropdown, and that’ll start up the Guile REPL and allow you to send parts of your file to it for evaluation. C-x C-e for example will send the sexp before the cursor.

And now can’t wait for the Festival of Maintenance in Liverpool this Saturday….

Really great schedule of talks lined up – spanning maintenance of tech, infrastructure, clothing, data, our relationships with each other, everything.

Schedule – Liverpool 2019

Honestly, blind growth and productivity is dead. Forget the cult of disruption and ‘innovation’. Repair and maintenance is where the cool kids are at these days.


Back from an awesome #FixFest in Berlin last weekend.

3 days of repair activists sharing knowledge, experience and advice.
As well as the launch of the European campaign!

The overarching theme this year was Repair For Climate. Keeping devices lasting longer can have a huge effect on emissions, so we need to keep pressuring manufacturers and policy makers to let us do it.

fixfest.org repair.eu