The idea that sustainability is no longer enough. We also should now be looking for regeneration.
“For many years, environmental campaigners have focused on the idea of sustainability – that we should be creating systems which use resources at a sustainable rate. For some campaigners, thinking has now shifted towards the idea of regeneration.
Many of our environments and societies are already damaged, so sustaining these in a damaged state makes no sense! What we need is systems that can regenerate damaged environments – by putting back more than they take out.”
Face masks meant to battle air pollution in urban cities have been around for decades, but never before have they appeared as glitzy, tricked out accessories for urban dwellers. Whatever you think about the environment, they’re a telling capitalistic solution to a problem that’s the fault of capitalism in the first place. (Source)
“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors & people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school & think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along & told them they had to earn a living.”
“will new technologies of production lead to greater free time for all, or will we remain locked into a cycle in which productivity gains only benefit the few, while the rest of us work longer than ever?”
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, like the central bank or currency board, controls the supply of money, often targeting an inflation rate or interest rate to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency.
Fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection (mainly taxes) and expenditure (spending) to influence the economy.
Fiscal policy can be distinguished from monetary policy, in that fiscal policy deals with taxation and government spending and is often administered by an executive under laws of a legislature, whereas monetary policy deals with the money supply, lending rates and interest rates and is often administered by a central bank.
Stronger workforce representation can paradoxically lead to more automation of labour.
“… A recurrent capitalist dynamic: as workers become more powerful and better paid, the pressure on capitalists to automate increases.”
“When there is a huge pool of migrant farm labor, a $100,000 fruit picker looks like a wasteful indulgence. But when workers are scarce and can command better wages the incentive to replace them with machinery is intensified”
“The trend towards automation runs through the entire history of capitalism “
“Why replace a worker with a robot, if the worker is cheaper?”
“Post-work doesn’t mean the absence of meaningful projects. It means eliminating our dependence on the labour market for survival” https://twitter.com/n_srnck/status/813785503455649792
“What a depressing world we live in that people think meaning must come from working in a cubicle or on an assembly line or stocking shelves” https://twitter.com/n_srnck/status/813786120702009345
Networked learning is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way so as to support one another’s learning. The central term in this definition is connections. It takes a relational stance in which learning takes place both in relation to others and in relation to learning resources (Source)
“The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a period in human history characterized by the shift from traditional industry that the Industrial Revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on information computerization. The onset of the Information Age is associated with the Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution marked the onset of the Industrial Age.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Age
“A third paper, published (paradoxically) in the Journal of Consumer Research, studied 2,500 people for six years. It found a two-way relationship between materialism and loneliness: materialism fosters social isolation; isolation fosters materialism. People who are cut off from others attach themselves to possessions. This attachment in turn crowds out social relationships.”
The corporate web, an indieweb term, refers to content silos such as Twitter, Facebook, etc, where the content produced by individuals who use a site is owned by the corporation, and usually used for some financial purposes.
the most common definition was defined by the Brundtland Commission in 1987, who documented the sustainable development definition as:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This implies that we need to look after our planet, our resources and our people to ensure that we can live in a sustainable manner and that we can hand down our planet to our children and our grandchildren to live in true sustainability.
Monoculture refers to the antipattern of one piece of software dominating (or trying to dominate) its field, often by being limited to communicating with other instances of the same codebase. A monoculture (same software running on servers run by different people) is one step above a silo (same software running on servers run by the same people or organization). (Source)
”Direct democracy (also known as pure democracy) is a form of democracy in which people decide (e.g. vote on, form consensus on) policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of modern Western-style democracies, which are representative democracies.” Wikipedia
The “sharing economy” is the all-purpose term used to describe transactions in which someone in possession of a car, or home, or self-storage space, or commercial real estate, or almost anything else imaginable “shares” it with a stranger. It is unregulated, tech-enabled, supply-and-demand entrepreneurial capitalism. Peer-to-peer business is a more accurate term. See also platform capitalism.
“The “sharing economy” is the all-purpose term used to describe transactions in which someone in possession of a car, or home, or self-storage space, or commercial real estate, or almost anything else imaginable “shares” it with a stranger. But is “sharing” the right word? Sharing is something people generally do out of the goodness of their hearts, and in pretty much all sharing economy scenarios, some money is changing hands. You don’t come across too many listings at airbnb, the godfather of the sharing economy model, posted with a nightly rate of “share and share alike.””
> “The other popular term for this world, “peer-to-peer” business, seems more accurate, though also more cold-hearted. The latest example of the “sharing economy” phrase seeming like a stretch comes in the form of an app that allows a user to auction off a public parking space for $5, or maybe $20, occupied by his car. If your initial reaction is that this is simply unregulated, tech-enabled, supply-and-demand entrepreneurial capitalism as opposed to “sharing,” you’re not alone.”
> “Folk politics names a constellation of ideas and intuitions within the contemporary left that informs the common-sense ways of organising, acting and thinking politics.” [Inventing the future]
“Against the abstraction and inhumanity of capitalism, folk politics aims to bring politics down to the ‘human scale’ by emphasising temporal, spatial and conceptual immediacy. At its heart, folk politics is the guiding intuition that immediacy is always better and often more authentic, with the corollary being a deep suspicion of abstraction and mediation.”
“In terms of temporal immediacy, contemporary folk politics typically remains reactive (responding to actions initiated by corporations and governments, rather than initiating actions);13 ignores long-term strategic goals in favour of tactics (mobilising around single-issue politics or emphasising process);14 prefers practices that are often inherently fleeting (such as occupations and temporary autonomous zones);15 chooses the familiarities of the past over the unknowns of the future (for instance, the repeated dreams of a return to ‘good’ Keynesian capitalism);16 and expresses itself as a predilection for the voluntarist and spontaneous over the institutional (as in the romanticisation of rioting and insurrection).17” [Inventing the future]
“In terms of spatial immediacy, folk politics privileges the local as the site of authenticity (as in the 100-miles diet or local currencies);18 habitually chooses the small over the large (as in the veneration of small-scale communities or local businesses);19 favours projects that are un-scalable beyond a small community (for instance, general assemblies and direct democracy);20 and often rejects the project of hegemony, valuing withdrawal or exit rather than building a broad counter-hegemony.21 Likewise, folk politics prefers that actions be taken by participants themselves – in its emphasis on direct action, for example – and sees decision-making as something to be carried out by each individual rather than by any representative. The problems of scale and extension are either ignored or smoothed over in folk-political thinking.” [Inventing the future]
“Finally, in terms of conceptual immediacy, there is a preference for the everyday over the structural, valorising personal experience over systematic thinking; for feeling over thinking, emphasising individual suffering, or the sensations of enthusiasm and anger experienced during political actions; for the particular over the universal, seeing the latter as intrinsically totalitarian; and for the ethical over the political – as in ethical consumerism, or moralising critiques of greedy bankers.22 Organisations and communities are to be transparent, rejecting in advance any conceptual mediation, or even modest amounts of complexity. The classic images of universal emancipation and global change have been transformed into a prioritisation of the suffering of the particular and the authenticity of the local. As a result, any process of constructing a universal politics is rejected from the outset.” [Inventing the future]
There’s four different types of alienation: from the world; from the activity of production; from species-being; and estrangement of man-to-man.
Under the economic system of private ownership, society divides itself into two classes: the property owners and the property-less workers. In this arrangement, the workers not only suffer impoverishment but also experience an estrangement or alienation from the world. This estrangement occurs because the worker relates to the product of his work as an object alien and even hostile to himself. The worker puts his life into the object and his labor is invested in the object, yet because the worker does not own the fruits of his labor, which in capitalism are appropriated from him, he becomes more estranged the more he produces. Everything he makes contributes to a world outside of him to which he does not belong. He shrinks in comparison to this world of objects that he helps create but does not possess. This first type of alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the product of his work.
The second type of alienation is the estrangement of the worker from the activity of production. The work that the worker performs does not belong to the worker but is a means of survival that the worker is forced to perform for someone else. As such, his working activity does not spring spontaneously from within as a natural act of creativity but rather exists outside of him and signifies a loss of his self.
The third form of alienation is the worker’s alienation from “species-being,” or human identity. For human beings, work amounts to a life purpose. The process of acting on and transforming inorganic matter to create things constitutes the core identity of the human being. A person is what he or she does in transforming nature into objects through practical activity. But in the modern system of private ownership and the division of labor, the worker is estranged from this essential source of identity and life purpose for the human species.
The fourth and final form of alienation is the “estrangement of man to man.” Since the worker’s product is owned by someone else, the worker regards this person, the capitalist, as alien and hostile. The worker feels alienated from and antagonistic toward the entire system of private property through which the capitalist appropriates both the objects of production for his own enrichment at the expense of the worker and the worker’s sense of identity and wholeness as a human being. (Source)
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.
When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. Today, children always hear stories from their parents and grandparents about how snow was always piled up to their waists as they trudged off to school. Children today in most areas of the country haven’t experienced those kinds of dreadful snow-packed winters, except for the Northeastern U.S. in January 2005. The change in recent winter snows indicate that the climate has changed since their parents were young. (Source)
Neoliberalism is an ideology that favours competition and deregulation of the market over everything else.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.
Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve. (Source)
Global sea ice levels appeared worryingly lower than usual in 2016. It was a freak weather event facilitated by climate change. While it is a weather event, it is still worrying as it could only happen as a result of climate change.
“What’s happening in the Arctic would be impossible without a century of global warming causing a long-term decline in sea ice levels — but it is actually a short-term weather event” (Source)
“What’s happening now is alarming, but it’s not the short-term craziness we should be worrying about. The reason to be alarmed is that this kind of event can happen only because the planet is so much warmer than in pre-industrial times.” (Source)
“New satellite data show the total area of global sea ice dipping wayyy below the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s record for this time of year.” (Source)
Think about innovation in terms of the common good. 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)
“Every MacBook and iPad, every Kindle and Droid contains the labor of hundreds of invisible workers, uncounted lives foreshortened by poisoned water and air, and a landscape permanently scarred by our voracious scavenging. No matter how sleek and earth-friendly these devices may appear, they rise from the dirt and are mined with sweat and with blood.” http://www.vqronline.org/editors-desk/price-paperless-revolution
“But the New York Times recently calculated that the environmental impact of a single e-reader—factoring in the use of minerals, water, and fossil fuels along the manufacturing process—is roughly the same as fifty books. At first that sounds encouraging; after all, even the smallest personal library contains fifty volumes. But the real problems come in lifespan. At present, the average e-reader is used less than two years before it is replaced. That means that the nearly ten million e-readers expected to be in use by next year would have to supplant the sales of 250 million new books—not used or rare editions, 250 million new books—each year just to come out footprint-neutral. Considering the fact that the Association of American Publishers estimates that the combined sales of all books in America (adult books, children’s books, textbooks, and religious works) amounted to fewer than 25 million copies last year, we have already increased the environmental impact of reading by tenfold. Moreover, it takes almost exactly fifty times as much fossil fuel production to power an iPad for the hours it takes to read a book as it would take to read the same book on paper by electric light.” http://www.vqronline.org/editors-desk/price-paperless-revolution
New profit opportunities squeezed from our social life.
The sharing economy’s rise is a reflection of capitalism’s need to find new profit opportunities in aspects of social life once shielded from the market, in leisure time once withdrawn from waged labor, in spaces and affective resources once withheld from becoming a kind of capital. What sharing companies and apps chiefly do is invite us to turn more of our lives into capital and more of our time into casual labor, thereby extending capitalism’s reach and further entrenching the market as the most appropriate, efficient, and beneficial way to mediate interaction between individuals. For the sharing economy, market relations are the only social relations. (Source)
“we can think of a science-fictional world by analogy to a prediction from an existing model, such as a fitted statistical model: any particular point prediction reflects both the invariant properties of the model’s parameters and the uncertainty and random variation that makes individual cases idiosyncratic.” http://www.peterfrase.com/2010/12/social-science-fiction/
The primary purpose of the EOMA68 specification is to bring end-users the right to upgrade their own mass-produced Computing Appliances. To make end-users lives easier, purchasing decision-making should be made not on technical interface capabilities, neither should they be expected to have significant technological expertise.
EOMA68 products are completely unlike throw-away single-purpose SBCs (Single-Board Computers) and throw-away hermetically-sealed monolithic devices: re-use, re-purposing and upgrading is encouraged, resulting in a greatly-extended lifetime for both Cards and Housings than would normally be expected. It is perfectly reasonable to expect any Card to change hands five or more times during its useful operational lifetime. (Source)
The ability to do revisioning and versioning data – store changes made and share them with others – especially in a distributed way would be a huge benefit to the (open) data community. I’ve discussed why at some length before (see also this earlier post) but to summarize:
It allows effective distributed collaboration – you can take my dataset, make changes, and share those back with me (and different people can do this at once!)
It allows one to track provenance better (i.e. what changes came from where)
It allows for sharing updates and synchronizing datasets in a simple, effective, way – e.g. an automated way to get the last months GDP or employment data without pulling the whole file again [<small>(Source)</small>](http://blog.okfn.org/2013/07/02/git-and-github-for-data/)
> Noms is a decentralized database based on ideas from Git.
Noms is different from other databases. It is:
Content-addressed. If you have some data you want to put into Noms, you don’t have to worry about whether it already exists. Duplicate data is automatically ignored. There is no update, only insert.
Append-only. When you commit data to Noms, you aren’t overwriting anything. Instead you’re adding to a historical record. By default, data is never removed from Noms. You can see the entire history of the database, diff any two commits, or rewind to any previous point in time.
Typed. Every value, dataset, and version of a database has a type, which is generated automatically as you add data. You can write code against the type of a Noms database, confident that you’ve handled all the cases you need to.
Decentralized. If I give you a copy of my database, you and I can modify our copies disconnected from each other, and come back together and merge our changes efficiently and correctly days, weeks, or years later.
Open-source, decentralized data sharing tool that aims to bring to data a style of collaboration similar to what Git brings to source code.
Dat can be used to version data locally, or to share and sync data over the internet. Dat includes an optional peer-to-peer distribution system, meaning that the more widely that a dataset is shared, the faster it is for users to retrieve or sync a copy, and the more redundant that the dataset’s availability becomes.