Sci-fi examples of Four Futures [...]

Four Futures by Peter Frase outlines some possible futures after capitalism, with a view to automation and the effects it could have. The futures are communism, rentism, socialism, and exterminism. This review on Goodreads has some examples of sci-fi renditions of these different types of future.

Communism: Star Trek, Corey Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom
Rentism: Charles Stross’ Accelerando, “Anti-Star Trek”, Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan
Socialism: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Pacific Edge, Mars Trilogy, 2312. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Exterminism: Blomkamp’s Elysium
(Source)

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Nick Srnicek on platform coops [...]

Nick Srnicek spoke at Newspeak House with Michael Roberts on the topic of technology, capitalism, and class. 

We were encouraged to think about whether ‘full unemployment’ is desirable; how we could change the over zealous importance given to work ethic; and what technologies we should promote to bring about a post-work world.  

As I’ve been reading about platform co-ops lately, I was interested to get Nick Srnicek’s view on if and how they could help being a post work world.  

Paraphrasing, I would say Nick’s answer was. I like them, I support them, but I don’t think they will achieve much in the struggle against capitalism.  The main reason for this being the massive companies already dominating the platform space with huge financial backing.

Interesting to hear  those views, and I look forward to reading Nick’s new book Platform Capitalism.

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Climate change vs capitalism [...]

Solving climate change requires the end of capitalism.Michael Roberts at talk at Newspeak House.

Same idea as expressed by Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything.

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Is technology neutral [...]

“technology doesn’t dictate outcomes. Rather, it sets the parameters of possibility. Utopia is an option, but the robots alone won’t get us there. “
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/24/four-futures-life-after-capitalism-peter-frase-review-robots

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Responsible Data definition [...]

Respecting the individual while respecting transparency and openness.


“The duty to ensure people’s right to consent, privacy, security and ownership around the information processes of collection, analysis, storage, presentation and reuse of data, while respecting the values of transparency and openness.” [(Source)](https://responsibledata.io/responsible-data-and-project-design/)


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Ansible Portability [...]

Ansible is nicely portable. If you have a playbook, you can use it build a container, a dev VM with vagrant, a cloud instance on e.g. digitalocean, or even on bare metal machine.

Ansible Playbooks are portable. If you build a container with a pure Dockerfile, it means that the only way you can reproduce that application is in a Docker container. If you build a container with an Ansible Playbook, you can then reproduce your environment in Docker, in Vagrant, on a cloud instance of your choice, or on bare metal. Plus, you can build your containers up using Ansible Roles, so that even complex container descriptions are easily read, and different container roles can be reused across many environments. (Source)

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Mirai Botnet [...]

Botnet which makes use of insecure connected IoT devices.

Mirai (Japanese for “the future”) is malware that turns computer systems running Linux into remotely controlled “bots”, that can be used as part of a botnet in large-scale network attacks. It primarily targets online consumer devices such as remote cameras and home routers.[1] (Source)

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Why Ansible? [...]

Ansible automates server provisioning. You give it provisioning ‘playbooks’ and it executes it all over SSH to your remote host. This article gives an overview of how to provision a server with a WordPress app installed on a digitalocean droplet.

Ansible is an automation tool for provisioning, application deployment, and configuration management. Gone are the days of SSH’ing into your server to run a command or hacking together bash scripts to semi-automate laborious tasks. Whether you’re managing a single server or an entire fleet, Ansible can not only simplify the process, but save you time. So what makes Ansible so great?

Ansible is completely agent-less, meaning you don’t have to install any software on your managed hosts. All commands are run through Ansible via SSH and if Ansible needs updating you only need to update your single control machine.

Commands you execute via Ansible are idempotent, allowing you to safely run them multiple times without anything being changed, unless required. Need to ensure Nginx is installed on all hosts? Just run the command and Ansible will ensure only those that are missing the software will install it. All other hosts will remain untouched. (Source)

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bower vs npm+webpack/browserify [...]

Seems to be a movement away from Bower and towards just npm and webpack or browserify.

In almost all cases, it’s more appropriate to use Browserify and npm over Bower. It is simply a better packaging solution for front-end apps than Bower is. At Spotify, we use npm to package entire web modules (html, css, js) and it works very well. (Source)

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GitLab vs GitHub [...]

Seems like GitLab is gaining more traction as a possible alternative to GitHub. Everything else aside, the fact that GitHub is closed source is a very interesting point to consider.

Partly as an experiment, partly because we’ve been using it at work for a while and I’ve been using it for private projects (you get unlimited private projects for free!) and I’ve been impressed. It has some great features such as integrated CI (and some that GitHub are now playing catch-up too, like emoji reactions to issue to cut down on +1-ism), and it’s nicely customisable. Plus I’ve always found it odd that the open source world keeps its DVCS repos on a single closed source platform… (Source)

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Shared value in platform coops [...]

“Platform cooperatives share value with the people who make them valuable.  Platform cooperatives combine a cooperative business structure with an online platform to deliver a real-world service. What if Uber was owned and governed by its drivers? What if Airbnb was owned and governed by its hosts?”
http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-platform-coops-can-beat-death-stars-like-uber-to-create-a-real-sharing-economy

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Platform capitalism [...]

Platform capitalism tries to present itself in a positive light.

“They wrap themselves in the cloak of technological progress, free market inevitability, and even common good.”
(Source)


Platform cooperativism

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IndieWeb [...]

The IndieWeb is a set of ideas for getting away from the corporate web.  It’s about having control over your own data.

The IndieWeb is a people-focused alternative to the “corporate web”.

heart icon

Your content is yours

When you post something on the web, it should belong to you, not a corporation. Too many companies have gone out of business and lost all of their users’ data. By joining the IndieWeb, your content stays yours and in your control.

 

connected network icon

You are better connected

Your articles and status messages can go to all services, not just one, allowing you to engage with everyone. Even replies and likes on other services can come back to your site so they’re all in one place.

 

steering wheel icon

You are in control

You can post anything you want, in any format you want, with no one monitoring you. In addition, you share simple readable links such as example.com/ideas. These links are permanent and will always work.

https://indieweb.org/

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Information populism [...]

Interesting thoughts related to the current populist backlash against “experts”.  A general appreciation of the scientific method will remove the need for “encyclopaedic minds and advanced sociologists”?

“Available to everyone will be a general scientific education, especially the learning of the scientific method, the habit of correct thinking, the ability to generalize from facts and make more or less correct deductions. But of encyclopedic minds and advanced sociologists there will be very few. It would be sad for mankind if at any time theoretical speculation became the only source of guidance for society, if science alone were in charge of all social administration. Life would wither, and human society would turn into a voiceless and servile herd. The domination of life by science can have no other result than the brutalization of mankind” https://manifesto.lorea.io/

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Lorea [...]

A social networking autonomous techology to build a distributed, encrypted and federated network.  

Manifesto reads like an artist’s statement…
Available to everyone will be a general scientific education, especially the learning of the scientific method, the habit of correct thinking, the ability to generalize from facts and make more or less correct deductions. But of encyclopedic minds and advanced sociologists there will be very few. It would be sad for mankind if at any time theoretical speculation became the only source of guidance for society, if science alone were in charge of all social administration.  Life would wither, and human society would turn into a voiceless and servile herd. The domination of life by science can have no other result than the brutalization of mankind.

https://lorea.io/

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crabgrass [...]

Crabgrass is a web application designed for activist groups to be better able to collaborate online. 
https://0xacab.org/riseuplabs/crabgrass

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What is a federated network? [...]

There’s various different definitions for decentralised networks with not a great deal of agreement.  A  workable middle ground, is that a federated network is a distributed network with each node of this distributed network being a centralized network. Such a federated network is a type of decentralized network, with another type of such a network being the distributed network.

“The most sensible approach might be that of Narayanan et al, who use “decentralized” as an umbrella label that includes both federated and distributed networks. Semantically this is a solid categorization, as both types of network are indeed not centralized. As both federated and distributed networks have “not being centralized” as one of their main distinguishing features, it makes sense to include them in one category based on that characteristic.

Looking at just the “federated” label, what most authors seem to agree on is that a federated network is the same “distributed network of centralized networks” that Baran called decentralized. So in that sense, “federated” has replaced “decentralized” in its original meaning, while “decentralized” has been adopted in various different ways, mostly as an umbrella term. This is a reasonable redefinition, considering the fact that a distributed network could technicallyalso be considered to be decentralized, and the close resemblance of the federated structure to the structure of a political federation, where autonomous sub-entities (such as American states) form one single larger entity (the United States).

The most workable middle ground, then, seems to be that a federated network is a distributed network with each node of this distributed network being a centralized network. Such a federated network is a type of decentralized network, with another type of such a network being the distributed network.” (Source)

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Fairphone [...]

The Fairphone 2 is designed to extend lifespan, increase repairability and reduce e-waste
https://www.fairphone.com/en/2016/02/25/tackling-e-waste-with-fairphone-2/?lang=buffer0a65a&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=null

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Alibi of Photocopies [...]

Via @RoxanneShirazi, a quote from Eco: “There are many things I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it” (Eco 1977). He calls this the “alibi of photocopies”


On social media, people are often More Willing to Share Than Read what they share.

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Federated vs centralised [...]

What are the pros and cons of each?

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Federation using git [...]

Could git be used as an underlying mechanism for federation of social media posts?

Pros: lots of hosting options.   Easy to fork ideas.  ‘Gated’ contributions via pull requests.  Version control for free.

Cons: Oriented towards technical users.  Flat files may not be best data structure.

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Ethical issues in computing [...]

As software pervades the world more and more, it’s important to think about the ethical implications of what we do.

“I wish I could tell you that when I first saw those requirements they bothered me. I wish I could tell you that it felt wrong to code something that was basically designed to trick young girls. But the truth is, I didn’t think much of it at the time. I had a job to do, and I did it.”

“As developers, we are often one of the last lines of defense against potentially dangerous and unethical practices.”
https://medium.freecodecamp.com/the-code-im-still-ashamed-of-e4c021dff55e#.tbsviykfp

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Responsible Data Policy [...]

A responsible data policy outlines what an organisation does to try and ensure it is looking after the data it holds on other people/organizations.


The Engine Room are early proponents of the idea of responsible data.

“we also get worried about how haphazardly data and technology is used by social change organisations. So we spend considerable energy building responsible data practices into our work, and supporting partners to do the same”
(Source)


Responsible Data definition

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Technological Innovation [...]

If a new technology is not socially beneficial, then don’t call it innovative.

I think there’s also a certain fatigue when it comes to the language of innovation. Is it really all that innovative to build a technology that generates short-term wealth for a small group who will then take that money and fly off to Mars? Or, should we think about innovation in terms of the common good? It’s really not that complicated. Next time you come across a so-called “disruptive technology,” simply put it to the test. Ask how it contributes to the bottom line of the common people. If it doesn’t hold up, we shouldn’t call those technologies innovative. (Source)

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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