Despite the liberatory potential of technology, of which I see free software playing a big role, there’s a very real concern of ending up with a kind of technocratic ‘vanguard party’.

You can debate the merits of vanguardism in general, but couple it with the current disproportionate skew of tech roles to white and male – which is even more pronounced in free software at present – and throw in the ‘scratch your own itch’ trope.

That’s a huge systemic problem as vanguard becomes regime.

Some things I am learning: if you’re white and male and into free software (I am), recognise that you have a very blinkered and narrow view of the world.

* Spend half the time you use learning Yet Another Technology to educate yourself about race, gender and class struggles (historical and present).

* Pipe down and listen to others when it comes to discussions about what is needed in software.

* Don’t ‘scratch your own itch’ – serve a community. If you’re white, male and technically proficient you’ve got enough privilege in the bank to pay it back building for others rather than yourself.

Listened Cruel state: the impact of austerity on disabled people from the Guardian

Frances Ryan discusses the impact that austerity has had on disabled people and Helen Davidson discusses the Hong Kong protests.

This podcast made me very angry.  The effects Tory austerity has had on disabled people in the UK.  After a lot of hard-won gains for disability rights in the 80s and 90s, the Cameron government rolled most of those gains back in the bogus pursuit of austerity.
IndieWeb is more and more starting to feel like a genuine social network for me.  It’s happening slowly, but I’m building up a list of people that I follow in my reader, and I get the odd interaction back here and there.  And it’s not all just inside chat about IndieWeb plumbing.  Good stuff!

(Not saying it wasn’t already a social network for other people – this is just my own experience.  If I’d been blogging to my own site for 20 years, or joined micro.blog, I’m sure I’d be there already!)

#IndieWeb

 

Read We Can’t Do It Ourselves by Kris De Decker (LOW←TECH MAGAZINE)

How to live a more sustainable life? By placing responsibility squarely on the individual, attention is deflected away from the many institutions involved in structuring possible courses of action.

This is a very nice analysis of the shortcomings of behaviour change at the level of the individual.  Better to focus on systemic failings than guilt-tripping people for making a wrong choice, when it very often isn’t really a choice at all.

When the focus is on practices, the so-called “value-action gap” can no longer be interpreted as evidence of individual ethical shortcomings or individual inertia. Rather, the gap between people’s attitudes and their “behaviour” is due to systemic issues: individuals live in a society that makes many pro-environmental arrangements rather unlikely.

Fixing stuff in the park today with Hackney Fixers.

Maybe 50 or more people came over the course of 3 hours and we try to fix their broken devices with them.  Always a lovely community event.

Read Solidarity economy: Case studies from Rojava and Jackson, Mississippi by Anca Voinea (Co-operative News)

Sacajawea Hall from Cooperation Jackson and Huriye Semdin from Rojava shared their experience during a workshop at Ways Forward.

I’ve found Rojava and Jackson very inspiring movements over the past year or so.  Grassroots and built in areas of intense struggle, they both focus strongly on equality, economic justice and environmental issues.

There’s nothing really in-depth in this particular article, but I like the fact that representatives from both movements dialled in to a workshop in Manchester, England.  Being able to so easily communicate remote can help us build international solidarity.

A mini yak-shave to be able to sensibly eval scheme in spacemacs.  For `C-x C-e` to eval the last sexp sensibly, you need to be after the last paren.  By default in evil mode, navigation to the end of the line ends you up *on* the last paren, not after it.

Setting:

(setq evil-move-cursor-back nil)

will navigate you to after the last paren.

See: github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs/issues/646

 

Two different sides of the same organisation…

On the one hand:

“How AI is helping make the world greener” <– article sponsored by Microsoft

How AI is helping make the world greener

Microsoft is supporting organisations using innovative technologies to solve the world’s biggest challenges, empowering them to create a more sustainable planet through AI

On the other:

“How Google, Microsoft, and Big Tech Are Automating the Climate Crisis”

gizmodo.com/how-google-microsoft-and-big-tech-are-automating-the-1832790799

Microsoft Azure has sold machine vision software to Shell, and is powering its all-out “machine learning push.” It has helped BP build an AI tool to help determine how much oil in a given reserve is recoverable. And Microsoft’s data services are helping XTO, a subsidiary of Exxon, “to gain new insights into well operations and future drilling possibilities.”

Hmmmm.

Reposted

Would be interesting to know how these big services are powered.

Watched the Lecture 1a video for SICP. (Not sure how exactly these correspond to the book – is it by chapter?)

It’s Hal Abelson giving the lectures. I find him really engaging. And, I did not know this until I looked him up just now, but is a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation. Rad!

Anyway, here’s a few notes I made while watching the video.

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