Working for the ‘experience’ (From 8 years ago mind… did Apple Store employees unionize in the end?)

“Money shouldn’t be an issue when you’re employed at Apple.” Instead, managers said, the chance to work at Apple “should be looked at as an experience.” “You can’t live off of experience,” said the worker interviewed

inthesetimes.com/working/entry/11557/apple_store_workers_share_why_they_want_to_work_different

About half of the land in England is owned by about 0.06% of the population.

‘This period was, in effect, the birth of private property as we know it in England – and the consequences have been dramatic. Today, Fairlie explains, “nearly half the country is owned by 40,000 land millionaires, or 0.06% of the population”.’

www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/feb/10/battle-for-freemans-wood-lancaster-common-land-locals-property-development

I went in the garden and looked at the stars. Often would as a kid, but not done so for far too long. Cassiopeia, Big Dipper, Little Bear. Celestial bodies. Fucking hell – what a shot of the sublime. I need more of that in my head. Helps keep the ridiculous at bay.
Yesterday I made a loaf of bread.

Today I harvested some runner beans.

Full disclosure – I used a bread maker and the bean plants were grown by my Mum.

But still. Enjoying a bit of pastoral-ish life away from the city for a while.

Just so you know, there’s an Alliance of Radical Booksellers in the UK: www.radicalbooksellers.co.uk

In order to qualify as an ARB member, the bookseller must:

– be informed by socialist, anarchist, environmental, feminist or anti-racist concerns
– stock or sell books which inspire, support or report on political and/or personal change in the global, national or local sphere

Quick note, seems that in Linux Mint when you create a new admin user via the GUI interface, you can only use sudo once you’ve restarted the machine. (Just logging out and in again didn’t seem to do anything).
Really loving using mu4e so far. Actually finding it enjoyable to keep on top of my email.

Couple of tweaks needed – when I view my sent emails in the web or mobile clients, the line breaks seem like a bit of a mess, so I imagine others are receiving them like that too. I also need to keep an eye on syncing – to begin with things didn’t seem synced properly between various clients.

Peterloo Massacre in Manchester was 200 years ago. 16th August 1819.

It took place at a peaceful protest of tens of thousands of people who wanted parliamentary reform, at a time when only 2% of people had the vote. The protest was charged by the local cavalry and tens of people were killed and hundreds injured.

A reform act was passed in 1832, after more protests, riots and conflict. Campaigns for reform and representation carried on with the Chartists in the 19th century and women’s suffrage in the 20th.

Gotta fight for what you want.

Occassionally some of the touchpad gestures stop working on my Thinkpad T450s, in Linux Mint. (I think it’s after closing the lid and reopening.)

The following gets it going again:

> sudo modprobe -r psmouse

> sudo modprobe psmouse

Basically turning the driver off and on again.

Picked up a 2nd hand copy of The People’s Platform by Astra Taylor in Atticus Books in Lancaster.  Nice little shop, nice to chat to the owner Tom.  It has a link to Probe Records in Liverpool which is cool, my uncle was a big fan of Probe.  The book is good so far, too.
Woo, busy days recently moving out of London, mostly involving getting rid of belongings via a combo of freegle, charity shops and Gumtree.  Felt pretty good to be honest, not a massive fan of individual possessions tbh.  I’ll miss London but excited to be back North.
Long weekend in Lancashire, visiting family, exploring Lancaster (where I’ll be moving to in September!), and attending bits and pieces of the Full of Noises festival in Barrow-in-Furness.
Biased data sets in law enforcement.

“The problem is that crime statistics do not reflect the crimes actually occurring; rather, they provide a picture of the state’s response to crime.”

“The data on which we train technology ‘uncritically ingests yesterday’s mistakes’, as James Bridle puts it, encoding the barbarianism of the past into the future.”

(Future Histories)

In the frame of digital urban planning, I think this quote from Jane Jacobs (discovered via Future Histories) is very IndieWeb.

“What a wonderful challenge there is! Rarely has the citizen had such a chance to reshape the city, and to make it the kind of city that she likes and that others will too. If this means leaving room for the incongruous, or the vulgar or the strange, that is part of the challenge, not the problem. Designing a dream city is easy; rebuilding a living one takes imagination.”

Says O’Shea:

“We need to protect space in our minds for the vulgar and the strange, for the unpredictable experiences of living free from the influence of commercialism. Like the flâneur or flâneuse, we should aim to cultivate curiosity through this liberated lens.”

Lizzie O’Shea is using urban planning as an analogy for thinking about how we could design our digital spaces. Riffing off Freud’s thoughts about the mind as a city, and Jane Jacob’s work on cities and planning.

I’m liking this, I was thinking about it recently, with an online presence being like a person’s home on the web. Taking it up a layer you think about digital urban planning, how these homes (and other things) fit together to make a city. I like it as a frame.  (Probably because I’ve been living in a big city the last 10 years.)

Good bit in Future Histories about the Marine Police Office, the oldest police force in England.  Set up in cahoots with the merchants, to enforce wage labour paid by time and stamp out the labourers taking stock from the employers.

“The origins and functions of the police are intimately tied to the management of inequalities of race and class.” — Alex Vitale

I had not heard of this…

“The industry is also adopting various forms of biometric profiling, including using keystroke patterns.  How we type is marked by minute differences, which can create a biometric profile of individuals…” (from Future Histories)

I guess I’m lucky that for me it can be filed under ‘disturbing curiosity’ rather than ‘legitimate concern’.  But.  Honestly.  What a mess we’re in that this is actually a thing.

Really enjoying Lizzie O’Shea’s “Future Histories” so far. It’s really nicely written, and weaves together current social, political and economic technological quandaries with a reading of relevant ideas from history. I really like the historical perspective – it gives a nice handle with which to grapple with these problems.

Like a lot of books I’ve read lately though, so far it’s heavy on the diagnosis, and light on the actual treatment.  But I’m only at the beginning so I hope it will flesh out with some concrete action as I go along.

“We need social movements that collaborate—in workplaces, schools, community spaces and the streets—to demand that the development of technology be brought under more democratic forms of power rather than corporations or the state.”

True enough.  Although I am unaware of what form it would take. Who is in these social movements? To whom are the demands made? What are they exactly?

“As the planet slides further toward a potential future of catastrophic climate change, and as society glorifies billionaires while billions languish in poverty, digital technology could be a tool for arresting capitalism’s death drive and radically transforming the prospects of humanity. But this requires that we politically organize to demand something different.”

Totally agree with the sentiment. But who is we? What organizational form should we take? What is the demand we should be making?