Notes: projects, tech, soil, water

It's always satisfying when projects you have been involved with demonstrate great results: Cofarm is in our third growing season, and starting to think about how best to grow - we're getting quite a lot of interest from people interested in creating Cofarms locally. The tricky bit as usual is having the time (or money) to properly plan how to scale up, and to support potential new sites, and writing up the playbook.  Now Play This 2022 was a lovely hybrid festival of experimental game design exploring play and democracy, and much of it is now on YouTube .  If you missed earlier editions, such as 2021's climate-themed festival, you can catch up on those too.   Working at Field Ready I learned how not all 'maker' (or humanitarian) interventions are helpful - something is not always better than nothing. I was reminded of this by Tarek Loubani's ar

Older notes: translucence and webs and governance

Clearing out old tabs...  Another amazingly thoughtful and insightful article from Rachel Coldicutt: Conley’s framing seems revelatory because care work is often characterised as a bundle of physical acts and emotional feelings, but in reality it involves predicting eventualities, mitigating the mitigatable, and softening the blows of the unavoidable. Care work is the anticipation of grief is a beautiful articulation of care as a thoughtful and a thinking practice; a constant loop of recognising and managing risk. Taking care involves noticing and remembering, writing lists and prioritising; doing the right things in the right order to get to the best outcomes in the circumstance. When I remind my son to put a jumper in his school bag on a sunny day, it’s because I’ve looked at the weather forecast and know it will be colder later. Likewise, when we reply to a government consultation, it’s because we’ve looked at the proposals and know the outcomes will be unjust or unworkable. Both t

Open transitions

I've spent most of the last two years as CTO at the OPEN .  This continued my trend of working with organisations related to 'open,' but confusingly was nothing to do with open at all. OPEN is the Online Progressive Engagement Network, and I think of it as a co-op, although formally it is not. It's a capacity-building and power-building network, funded (in part) by its member organisations, and mostly works behind the scenes. (It was quite a relief not needing to do social/media/event circuit hustle for once!) OPEN's members are each progressive campaign organisations, building mass people-power to create change across multiple issues including human rights, climate change, and so on. They use the internet for scale, and each organisation operates across a whole nation - the "one member per country" rule means OPEN members aren't competing for local funding or membership. (That the organisations are OPEN members, and that they themselves call their sup

Notes: a lot of bits and pieces, plus thinnovation

The 2022 edition of the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor came out from the New Climate Institute. It sheds light on the differences between well-publicised pledges of 'net zero' from 25 very large companies (which comprise maybe 5% of global emissions).  Thanks to Chris Adams for sharing! We found that the headline pledges of 25 of the world’s largest companies in reality only commit to reduce emissions by 40% on average, not 100% as suggested by the terms “net-zero” and “carbon neutral”. ... The signal sent by the reference to “zero” is a helpful concept, but the “net” can be problematic. Global emissions need to be reduced to net-zero, so companies need to think about how they can completely eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions. Here the concept of “zero” is helpful because it changes the mindset from “marginal reductions and optimisations here and there” to a “full transformation”. The “net” is not helpful if companies start creative accounting just to de

Random notes: crypto / web3 in the 2022 Well state of the world

(part 2 of this ) On to crypto in various forms. Highlights mine. permalink #60 of 340: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Thu 6 Jan 22 10:04     Beyond the environment costs, though, I wonder about the cultural     costs of the rise of gambling 2.0, investment edition. It turns out     that not only any cryptocurrency but any small stock can be     converted into a fun gambling game with a bit of promotion on social     media. The new online casino is anywhere you can attract enough     players to have some fun. permalink #74 of 340: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Thu 6 Jan 22 15:06     Stephen Diehl:.. A world class cryptographer ... If he applied that critical eye to, say, US indebtedness both     personal and Federal, I have no doubt he would have very serious     arguments against that entire system. Same for VISA, SWIFT, and the     rest of the banking, credit cards, and consumer finance system.     Then we could start in on how IPOs work and the stock market in     general.     Then the big

Random notes: the Well's state of the world, 2021 and 2022

The thing about the Well's state of the world review in January each year is there's often a lot of good bits, and so sorting out a modest number of key things I want to remember is tricky. At the time I didn't finish writing up my thoughts on the 2021 Well State of the World so here's some of the posts that still seem interesting after a year... Bruce Sterling: But what's significant for MMXXI is that Jack Ma, who is head of Alibaba and therefore Jeff's Chinese twin, got abducted and vanished by the Chinese secret police.  Jack Ma is the first Big Tech mogul, the first grandee from "Google Apple Facebook Amazon Microsoft Baidu Alibaba Tencent," to be directly repressed by state-sponsored trenchcoats and guns.   ... Also, if the surveillance is so intense, fearsome and all-encompassing now, then why is public life so obviously loose, corrupt and poorly organized?  Shouldn't grifters be immediately outed for all their dirty money, because of som

Weeknotes: learning, smart paperwork, cash

The highway in BC which was comprehensively destroyed in the dreadful floods in mid November actually re-opened in December, thanks to astonishing engineering work.  Meanwhile, Colorado's latest fires suggest the return of the urban firestorm - a very different proposition to the rural fires which are more familiar. (HT Nathan Schneider for the link) Why do education secretaries hate online learning, asks Martin Weller : On the one hand, all Governments like to berate education for not fully preparing students for the modern workplace . They unveil plans about how they will be a modern, 21st century, digital economy. And yet, successive education secretaries have berated online learning, which one would think was an essential component in realising both of the previous aims. And not just offer up some valid criticisms around issues of retention or engagement, say, but they use terminology that portrays online learning as, at best, a lazy, cheap option and at worst, some f