Weeknotes: design, maps, power, ways of knowing and imagining

Via Adrian McEwen, a thread from Jay Rosen about how we need more than exposure of bad things in the press. Adrian has also collected highlights of Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher. I've not read the book - perhaps I should. Highlights mine:
[...] we need to ask: how has it become acceptable that so many people, and especially so many young people, are ill? The 'mental health plague' in capitalist societies would suggest that, instead of being the only social system that works, capitalism is inherently dysfunctional, and that the cost of it appearing to work is very high.

... As a consumer in late capitalism, you increasingly exist in two, distinct realities: the one in which the services are provided without hitch, and another reality entirely, the crazed Kafkaesque labyrinth of call centers, a world without memory, where cause and effect connect together in mysterious, unfathomable ways, where it is a miracle that anything ever happens, and you lose hope of ever passing b…

Weeknotes: citizen sector, metaphors, using data, small groups, OPEN2020

Via Francis Irving - small groups:

I'd like something like this, and now I'm wondering what the frame would be.
What about subject matter? Historical Small Groups are a mixture of the specific (model railways, building personal computers, writing fantasy fiction) and the eclectic (art, culture, philosophy, general self-improvement). In a sense, I do not think it matters, and the potential landscape is broad.

From a purely personal perspective, however, I do not (yet) have any one thing that takes priority over my other interests. Therefore, my selfish bias is to create something under some kind of umbrella niche that is not too specific.
Yes, that. Are the vaguely connected topics of interest I include in this blog something you might be interested in a Small Group about? Let me know.
Alastair Parvin's notes on a recent Audrey Tang interview are excellent. One of the stubborn category errors we have repeatedly made in recent decades — especially in the US and Western Europe —…

Weeknotes: universal basic infrastructure, feminist perspectives on electricity management, etc

I've been a fan of Participatory City for a while and was delighted to see this article by Tessy Britton on Universal Basic Infrastructure to go with their latest work. It starts with a useful reminder, especially for technical folks, that platforms can be about people, not just online:
We have for the last 4 years been working on how we can design the means to grow a new system, within a single geography, in Barking and Dagenham. A platform of support has been created across the borough to begin the process of building this new system with the people who live there. This support platform includes a team of people, coupled with processes and infrastructures working together cohesively and strategically to build ecosystems of activity with people’s ideas, energies, skills and dreams are at the epicentre.

Chris Naylor, Chief Executive of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (currently on secondment to Birmingham City Council), describes this as the “core architecture for a functioni…