tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-176125432022-01-23T18:51:16.039+00:00Dr Laura James's writings"Like a commonplace book"Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comBlogger450125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-28294955359818064782022-01-23T18:50:00.000+00:002022-01-23T18:50:16.491+00:00Random notes: crypto / web3 in the 2022 Well state of the world<p></p><i>(part 2 of <a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2022/01/random-notes-wells-state-of-world-2021.html">this</a>) On to crypto in various forms. Highlights mine. </i><br /><br /><br />permalink #60 of 340: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Thu 6 Jan 22 10:04<br /><br /><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Beyond the environment costs, though, I wonder about<b> the cultural<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; costs of the rise of gambling 2.0, investment edition.</b> It turns out<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; that not only any cryptocurrency but any small stock can be<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; converted into a fun gambling game with a bit of promotion on social<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; media. The new online casino is anywhere you can attract enough<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; players to have some fun.</i><br /></blockquote><br /><br />permalink #74 of 340: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Thu 6 Jan 22 15:06 <br /><br /><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Stephen Diehl:.. A world class cryptographer ... If he applied that critical eye to, say, US indebtedness both<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; personal and Federal, I have no doubt he would have very serious<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; arguments against that entire system. Same for VISA, SWIFT, and the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; rest of the banking, credit cards, and consumer finance system.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Then we could start in on how IPOs work and the stock market in<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; general.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Then the biggie: pension funds, and also State pension systems.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Blockchain is part of this world. It is new and responsive to the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; needs of the moment, but it's as flawed as any other human<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; construction - just newer.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It's as simple as that: blockchain is a response to much bigger<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; problems. It solves some problems, and creates others, *as is the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; nature of all things*. When was the last time we had a technology<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; which had no down sides.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We're refining it now: fixing proof of work, sorting out speed and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; efficiency, working with regulators to get clarity in the grey areas<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - it's evolving. But in the times we are in, what technology do you<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; think could create a perfect fix?</i><br /></blockquote><br />I have heard the argument about how all our current financial systems are problematic, and therefore blockchain is the answer, quite a lot. I can see the problems, it's just more of a struggle to see that blockchain is the way forward. I am also not sure that 'tech' is the fix here. <br /><br />permalink #108 of 340: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Fri 7 Jan 22 09:29<br /><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think good reporting requires actually being curious about the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; details and in a world of shallow opinion pieces it does stand out.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Too many stories tell you how to feel and leave you wondering if<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; they got their facts right.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; While my own curiosity often has limits, I am on team curiosity.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Without it we just end up shallow discussions, like when people who<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; don't know very much cryptocurrency or whatever go on about how<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; terrible it is and get basic things wrong. <b>This shallow conversation<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; is happening all over, repeatedly, in many forums, and it's boring.</b><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Interesting critics (and advocates) did their homework.</i><br /></blockquote><br />permalink #134 of 340: Inky fingers (ianb) Sat 8 Jan 22 03:56<br /><br /><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [in answer to: what is web3?] Basically: the idea is to decentralise the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; web using blockchains to effectively replace databases, but it's a<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; hazy concept. Key parts of it including decentralised finances (the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; use of cryptocurrencies not controlled by banks or governments), the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; creation of tokens of various kinds to denote ownership, and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), which are<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; organisations where governance rules are encoded programmatically<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (again on the blockchain).<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Some of it is interesting - I think <b>DAOs are fascinating, although<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the early use of them is awful thanks to libertarian concepts of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; greater financial investment = greater democratic rights</b> (some DAOs<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; give more power to individuals based on how much they put in).<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Others are just worse technical solutions to existing problems:<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; there is nothing that a blockchain can do that's not more<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; effeciently done by a database is one of the common criticisms (and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I've yet to find examples that prove that statement false).<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think the name does it no favours. It's not Web3 - it's not really<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the web - and <b>it's not a replacement for the web. It's something<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; else, some bits interesting and some just the dreadful recreation of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; monetary power structures in code.</b></i><br /></blockquote><br />permalink #176 of 349: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 8 Jan 22 14:00<br /><br /><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I was happy to see Moxie Marlinspike weigh in on the web3 debate. He<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; didn't just mock it. He built something and kicked the tires like a<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; QA tester or security researcher would do, looking for weaknesses<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and explaining what he found. This is criticism worth reading, tech<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; blogging at its best.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &lt;<a href="https://moxie.org/2022/01/07/web3-first-impressions.html">https://moxie.org/2022/01/07/web3-first-impressions.html</a>&gt;<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And I always enjoy reading posts from Vitalik Buterin, who responded<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; here:<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &lt;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/ryk3it/my_first_impressions_of_web3/hrrz15r/">https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/ryk3it/my_first_impressions_of_web3<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; /hrrz15r/</a>&gt;<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It seems like they don't really disagree on the details. The current<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; state of things is pretty bad. <b>The disagreement seems more about<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; temperament: is better to be patient or impatient?</b><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Marlinspike is probably impatient based on his background. He wants<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Signal to win market share from WhatsApp and other chat services. He<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; seems to be thinking like a startup founder - you need to build the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; features that users want, and if you're too slow you become<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; irrelevant, run out of money, and everyone leaves.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The urgent style seems native to social media and the press. We are<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; living in unprecedented times, etc etc. And it's also native to<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; financial markets.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By contrast, most of what Buterin writes exudes calm and patience.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Protocols last a long time and we can think carefully about what we<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; do next. If a feature isn't ready, we'll delay it. Other people can<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; do what they want in the meantime, but we're building things that<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; last and can take the time to think things through and achieve<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; consensus. Whatever problems users are running into now isn't our<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; problem. When we ship a protocol improvement, people will use what<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; we built.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Someday we'll see if being patient worked out for them.</i><br /></blockquote><br /><br /> permalink #178 of 349: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Sat 8 Jan 22 14:31<div style="text-align: left;"><br /><br /></div><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><div><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the games we play in the blockchain space is "which year is<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; it on the blockchain?"<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Some people will say 1999, right before the dotcom crash.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Some people will say 1980, microcomputer revolution just starting.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think it's more like 1976. The blockchain is a component of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; something bigger, something which will tie all the world's computing<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; resources into a single addressable problem-solving supercomputing<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; surface - all the underutilize compute resources in the world,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; cheaply recruitable to your problem.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Blockchain is a small part of getting us there. It solves a couple<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; of problems: namespace management, and possibly (not necessarily)<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; payments.</i><br /></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><br />permalink #204 of 349: Gyrgir (jonl) Sun 9 Jan 22 08:24<br /><br /></div><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><div><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I enjoyed very much Moxie Marlinspike's web3 critique: it's fair and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; balanced, but ultimately brutal. I also read Vitalik's answer,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; posted by &lt;bslesins&gt; in #176, but I have a different take on it.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Vitalik mirrors a sentiment that I often see in the tech contingent<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; of crypto/web3, as expressed here also by Vinay: "Yes, all these bad<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; things are true, but this is not what we intended.". That, and "give<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; it time".<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But Vinay, we are not living in 1976: <b>this is 2022 and it's all<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; about unintended consequences now. And we do not have time.</b><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Anyone who claims that blockchain-as-in-practice-today is just a<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; basic technological brick ignores the total sum of our collective<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; experience from 2000 onwards.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It's like saying social networks, or even graph theory for that<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; matter, are a technology with both good and bad aspects, but then<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; again: Facebook.</i><br /></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><br />I wonder how much time we have.</div><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><div><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I might sound rant-y but I'm an optimist at heart, and I won't throw<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the baby out with the bathwater. So I'm asking: <b>what about these<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (and other) unintended consequences? What can we do about them?<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Today*, not tomorrow. </b>With blockchain or not, according to your<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; tastes.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For example, as Bruce wrote in #7, in our chronically diseased world<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; there are some things you just can't do anymore. Maybe coordinated<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; action at an inter-national level is one of them.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Are DAOs any kind of reasonable answer to that, today? .... </i><br /></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><br />permalink #208 of 349: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Sun 9 Jan 22 09:16<br /><br /></div><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><div><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ... <a href="https://twitter.com/avalancheavax/status/1456334992687128577?lang=en-GB">https://twitter.com/avalancheavax/status/1456334992687128577?lang=en-GB</a><br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Avalanche is 20? 30? 100? times faster than Ethereum, Ethereum<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; compatible, and emits less than 500 tons of carbon a year - and is<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; offset.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I sorted out their carbon credits buy last year for COP26, as well<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; as encouraging them to go Net Zero in the first place.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It's already here. Ethereum will take a bit longer to reach Net<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Zero, but they'll get there.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bitcoin is A Problem. It would cost about a billion dollars a year<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; to get Bitcoin to Net Zero. Maybe half that if they can prove how<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; much solar/hydro/wind they are using, which is going to be tricky.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Moving those people to Net Zero is going to take either a miracle or<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; acts of law: they've defined that electricity burn as core to their<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; security model, so they would have to unpick a decade of propaganda<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; to move to a "proof of stake" bitcoin fork.</i><br /></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><br />permalink #231 of 349: Gyrgir (jonl) Mon 10 Jan 22 07:15<br /><br /></div><blockquote style="text-align: left;"><div><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ... Orthogonally, I'm not<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; happy with carbon accounting in this way because it depends on all<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; kinds of data that aren't there, blockchain or not. <b>It also follows<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a near identical hype curve with Internet of Things and for good<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; reason. As nothing large-scale beneficial happened through/with IoT<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; in the last 10 years, I don't expect anything from carbon accounting<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; either.</b></i><br /></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><br /><br />Onto the interesting detailed content from Vinay:<br /><br /><br />permalink #143 of 340: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Sat 8 Jan 22 07:35<br /><br /></div><blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ... I did a lot of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the early comms and project managed the launch of the Ethereum<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; project. A lot of these concepts like Web3 come out of the period<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; when the Ethereum team were discussing how to communicate what we<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; had done.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Note: I divested in 2016 so I am not a multi-millionaire unlike all<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; of my cofounders. I feared the wrath of the SEC, and the SEc turned<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; out not to have any wrath at all. At which point... &lt;shrugs&gt; not the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; first fortune I've missed out on.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I will now proceed to assign homework.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; https://vimeo.com/161183966 is a talk I did about five years ago<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; which explains *what is happening* with blockchain at a fundamental<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; sociotechnical level. This is before tokens, this is before ICOs,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; this is before there was any real money in the field. This is the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; definitive *what this technology will do to our society* talk, from<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; before the ponzi scheme people arrived.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The basic story:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; first databases lived alone - isolated inside of organizations<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; then databases were networked between organizations using APIs, but<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; peer-to-peer collaboration through APIs is *extremely* difficult as<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the number of collaborators scales. This is the N SQUARED problem:<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 50 computers in fifty companies trying to talk to each other<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; peer-to-peer needs 2500 successful technical integrations. The<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; amount of human labour involved is serious. At 100 computers, it's<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 10000 connections. At 200, four times that again. Large scale<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; machine-to-machine collaboration is impossible except for very<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; simple protocols.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What do we get instead? Hub-and-spoke monopolies: you connect to<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Square or VISA or Intuit, and they connect to everything else for<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; you. You need one technical integration: "my software talks to<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Google, Google talks to everything else". Hub and spoke concentrates<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; power in the hub.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This N SQUARED problem is utterly fundamental. If you don't<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; understand it, reread what I said, ask me questions, whatever it<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; takes. But until it *clicks* and you realize that peer-to-peer is<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *impossible* because of the complexity growing as (at least) the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; square of the number of diverse systems being integrated, the need<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for blockchain will not make sense to you. You must get clarity<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; about this critical point before forming an opinion about Web3.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, those hub-and-spoke service providers? That's the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; wealth-concentrating megamoghuls of Silicon Valley.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Why does Facebook exist? RSS readers failed, so rather than having<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; everybody with their own blog, and I have my feed reader which does<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; not insert advertising and I pay for my own compute and bandwidth,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; we have the entire social graph of an entire society owned by a<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; private entity.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Why does RSS fail? Different blog software outputs different RSS<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; feeds. Different readers may fail to render some feeds, some times.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "Oh, right-to-left unicode characters on wordpress 1.5.2 break font<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; rendering in FeedStorm, but only on MacOS 8.3 and above." That's a<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; classic N SQUARED problem: five dozen RSS-emitting blogging<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; platforms, five dozen feed readers on five different platforms, and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the software complexity just got more and more tangled. The system<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; because hard to use, understand, and (critically) expensive to<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; maintain.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; FB comes along and is basically "right then" and has one piece of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; blogging software and one RSS reader which it controls, and that's<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; it: you connect to FB, FB connects you to everything else.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This pattern replicates **EVERYWHERE** once you can see it: gmail,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; sure, ate decentralized email. VISA ate decentralized bank card<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; settlements.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Over and over again, the technical complexity of keeping things<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; peer-to-peer rises as the peer to peer networks scale. So you get<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; great little subcultures of peer to peer innovation, then they<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; scale, then the N SQUARED problem makes them too expensive to<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; maintain, then a monopolist comes in and eats the P2P network and<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; replaced it with a hub-and-spoke monopoly which winds up owning the<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; entire "connectedness infrastructure" of whatever it is they just<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ate.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Blockchain is the solution to this problem *for exquisitely fiddly<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; technical reasons which are almost never discussed in the press<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; because almost nobody understands them.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I will explain in the next part what that solution is, and why it<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; actually works. But, first, please watch the video I linked. If you<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; want to understand Web3 *properly* start there.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I did not coin the term, but I certainly created much of its<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; meaning. </i><br /></div><div><i> <br /></i></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;">permalink #366 of 366: Vinay Gupta (hexayurt) Sat 15 Jan 22 02:14</div><blockquote><i><br /></i><div><i>&nbsp;<br /><br /></i></div></blockquote><div style="text-align: left;"><i></i><blockquote><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Here is an NFT on OpenSea which gives the owner the right to</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; physically take delivery of a 1oz gold bar currently vaulted in</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Singapore, or its financial value.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://opensea.io/assets/0x495f947276749ce646f68ac8c248420045cb7b5e/478243877 05324153400210554042155132922682187088261737780213014306821163188225">https://opensea.io/assets/0x495f947276749ce646f68ac8c248420045cb7b5e/478243877</a></i><br /><i><a href="https://opensea.io/assets/0x495f947276749ce646f68ac8c248420045cb7b5e/478243877 05324153400210554042155132922682187088261737780213014306821163188225">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 05324153400210554042155132922682187088261737780213014306821163188225</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When this NFT is purchased, each new buyer pays 2% of the value of</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the NFT for a set of six Ricardian contracts, each signed by a</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; real-world legal entity with a bank account, corporate registration</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; documents etc. Actual companies, including my own, which</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; orchestrates the legal-technical interface work.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The payments happen on chain, and the proof of payment (a digital</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; signature on the blockchain, authorizing the payment) constitutes</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; acceptance of the contract: a service is offered, accepted, and paid</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; for in a single transaction.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You can see this suite of contracts here:</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263/">https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263/</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>Each warranty offer protects the Real World Asset gold bullion NFT</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; buyer against a different class of risks. Together they form a sort</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; of "legal testudo" - providing a relatively secure armoured shell to</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; protect the assertion that the NFT buyer **actually gets the gold**</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; or equivalent financial value in a very broad range of</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; contingencies. </b>Over time, obviously we'll add more and more</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; protection in layers to get closer to 100% protection over time.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Here is the full legal text of one of the Ricardian contracts:</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263/06_carbon/assets/out/certification-contract.html">https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263/06_carbon/ass</a></i><br /><i><a href="https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263/06_carbon/assets/out/certification-contract.html">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ets/out/certification-contract.html</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This one is a contract between the NFT owner and my company, which</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; guarantees that we have bought-and-retired carbon credits to cover</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the physical mining of the gold bullion that is being sold. It also</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; covers the CO2 emissions of the NFT issuing process.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Clause 20 has the arbitration machinery.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>We've worked fairly closely with the UK government on arbitration</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; rules for blockchain asset disputes.</b></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/new-dispute-rules-envisage-direct-t o-blockchain-enforcement-arbitral-decisions">https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/new-dispute-rules-envisage-direct-t</a></i><br /><i><a href="https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/new-dispute-rules-envisage-direct-t o-blockchain-enforcement-arbitral-decisions">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; o-blockchain-enforcement-arbitral-decisions</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The rules themselves are here:</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://35z8e83m1ih83drye280o9d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Lawtech_DDRR_Final.pdf">https://35z8e83m1ih83drye280o9d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/20</a></i><br /><i><a href="https://35z8e83m1ih83drye280o9d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Lawtech_DDRR_Final.pdf">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 21/04/Lawtech_DDRR_Final.pdf</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We get a name check on page 4.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> So what's being built out here is a very tightly bound legal</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; framework for buying and selling physical goods, with suites of</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ricardian contracts creating legally-enforceable claims about what</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the goods are **DRAWN ON THIRD PARTIES**.</b> Those third parties do not</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; benefit from the sale of the goods themselves, they make a living</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; providing legal warranties on the goods - they're essentially third</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; party inspectors with no economic interest in the situation other</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; than by selling insurance on the fact that something (for example)</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; contains no slave labour.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We work with a world class anti-slavery expert on a long term</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; project to drive slavery out of the supply chain using exactly these</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; kinds of certification protocols. I would estimate it will be two</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; years before we are doing this at an industrial scale - it is very</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; complicated - but the will is overwhelming and the technical, legal</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and slavery-prevention expertise is sufficient. We are going to do</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; this, do it right, and do it at scale. It took us a couple of years</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; to get CO2 done, and now all the NFTs we produce attached are fully</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; offset.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We also took the entire Avalanche blockchain Net Zero CO2 last year.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://podcast.mattereum.com/episodes/ending-slavery-with-technology-social-m ovements-with-helen-burrows/transcript">https://podcast.mattereum.com/episodes/ending-slavery-with-technology-social-m</a></i><br /><i><a href="https://podcast.mattereum.com/episodes/ending-slavery-with-technology-social-m ovements-with-helen-burrows/transcript">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ovements-with-helen-burrows/transcript</a></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You can read more about our anti-slavery work here.</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263">https://passport.mattereum.com/ntfa.20210319.20.alpha.004.619263</a>/</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<b> The objective is to produce a trade commons: a circular economy ("on</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the blockchain") in which all goods are fully CO2 offset, slavery</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; free, and nearly everything has been used before and is being passed</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; around and used, repaired and re-repaired, until it is genuinely</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; done.</b></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We think that will produce both higher quality of life, and</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; *dramatically* reduced environmental impact from that quality of</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; life.</i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I've put this stuff here in quite some detail to really illustrate</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; the point: Ricardian contracts are extremely powerful tools for</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; creating the world you want if they are applied diligently and</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; intelligently to real-world problems. <b>It is an act of will: you have</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; to *push* in that direction to get the blockchain to behave this</b></i><br /><i><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; way.</b></i><br /><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Otherwise, if you don't, it's a lazy beast that follows the path of</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; least resistance, and you get very expensive</i><br /><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; cartoon-monkey-wearing-a-hat jpegs.</i></blockquote><i></i></div><br /><div><br />This might be a way forward to addressing the problem of how blockchain or whatever distributed ledger systems for tracking goods actually connect to the reality, or not, of the physical items.<br />&nbsp;<br /><br />&nbsp;<p></p></div>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-77849699387905956202022-01-23T18:38:00.002+00:002022-01-23T18:50:42.011+00:00Random notes: the Well's state of the world, 2021 and 2022<p>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 <a href="https://people.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/510/State-of-the-World-2021-page01.html">2021 Well State of the World</a> so here's some of the posts that still seem interesting after a year...<br /></p><p>Bruce Sterling:</p><blockquote><p><i>But what's significant for MMXXI is that Jack Ma, who is head of<br />Alibaba and therefore Jeff's Chinese twin, got abducted and vanished<br />by the Chinese secret police.&nbsp; Jack Ma is the first Big Tech mogul,<br />the first grandee from "Google Apple Facebook Amazon Microsoft Baidu<br />Alibaba Tencent," to be directly repressed by state-sponsored<br />trenchcoats and guns.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Also, if the surveillance is so intense, fearsome and<br />all-encompassing now, then why is public life so obviously loose,<br />corrupt and poorly organized?&nbsp; Shouldn't grifters be immediately<br />outed for all their dirty money, because of something they said<br />while Alexa was snooping?&nbsp; If surveillance capitalism and its Big<br />Data algorithms worked as well as alarmists feared they worked, then<br />our world ought to be one of neatly freeze-dried technocratic<br />police-state order, but that's not what daily life actually looks<br />like under modern social conditions.&nbsp; Sure, everything is<br />sorta-kinda surveilled, but there's no sense of decency or<br />propriety, and we're a lot more piratical than we are panoptical.</i></p><p><i>...&nbsp; "Information wants to be free" is long over in MMXXI.&nbsp; It was a<br />historic moment, but it was replaced by the surveillance-capital Big<br />Tech doctrine&nbsp; "Information about you wants to be free to us." &nbsp;&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... The Electronic Frontier's just not a frontier now, it's densely settled, it's got all kinds of wealth and infrastructure to quarrel over, and it's got a blooming plethora<br />of economic, legal, social and ethical problems.<br /><br />I'm not that upset about it.&nbsp; Problems are inherent in the human<br />condition.&nbsp; It's good that we're recognizing that the richest<br />companies in the world really are the richest and most influential<br />enterprises in the world and not kinda purple-haze cyberspace ivory<br />towers.</i></p></blockquote><p>Cory Doctorow:</p><blockquote><i>... I am all for platforms (including app stores) having a variety of speech<br />policies. After all, I expect different speech standards when I'm tucking my<br />daughter in at night, when I'm in a professional meeting, when I'm having a<br />conversation around a campfire, and when I'm in a political debate. I want<br />to have a variety of conversational spaces that I can choose among based on<br />my preferences about the suitability of the house rules to the context of<br />the discourse I want to have.<br /><br />The problem with the app stores is that a shameful, four decade, bipartisan<br />neglect of antitrust enforcement has contracted the possible universe of<br />speech policies for mobile apps into two hands, and neither store has been a<br />good steward of that power. Both routinely block apps for stupid reasons. I<br />don't expect Appl or Goog to stop making mistakes, and I am not confident<br />that they'll make fewer mistakes.</i></blockquote>On the pandemic, Alberto Cottica notes:<br /><blockquote><i>&nbsp;- I expected "data" to enable surgical measures, different<br />restrictions for different people, but instead we are fighting COVID<br />with almost medieval measures: curfews, enforced closure of public<br />spaces, avoidance social contacts...</i></blockquote>&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;Jon Lebkowsky:<br /><blockquote>&nbsp;<i>I add this quote from author <a href="http://www.barrylopez.com/blog">Barry Lopez</a>, who died on Christmas Day:<br /><br />"A dangerous bit of American folklore is that our social,<br />environmental, and political problems, which grow more ominous by<br />the day, call for the healing touch of a genius. They do, but if<br />we're intent on waiting for some such remarkable individual to show<br />up we can count on disappointment. The solution to what threatens<br />us, however, is already here, in another form. It's in our diverse<br />communities. Most often we recognize the quality of genius in an<br />individual man or woman; but the source of that genius lies with the<br />complicated network of carefully tended relationships that sets a<br />vibrant human community apart from a solely political community."</i></blockquote><p>Malka Older:<br /></p><blockquote><i>This failure or, more often, devaluing of imagination is a problem<br />fairly pervasive in our society. I am not a luddite or<br />anti-rationalist; I believe in facts and I value numbers and<br />measurement. But rationalism and associated principles like<br />neutrality and objectivity have overrun their limits in our society;<br />they've been appropriated and misused for the opposite of the<br />purposes which they are supposed to serve. We need to find ways of<br />using them that allow space for the unquantifiable, for emotion and<br />connection, for plural subjectivity instead of the illusion of a<br />single correct and abstaining viewpoint, for uncertainty, for<br />beauty, for rigorous opinions and evidence-based creativity.</i></blockquote>What of <a href="https://people.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/516/State-of-the-World-2022-page01.html">2022</a>?&nbsp; A lot more 'crypto' in whatever form, which I'll group together, and some longer posts from Vinay Gupta explaining bits of it, which I think are worth reading. I'll separate those out into<a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2022/01/random-notes-crypto-web3-in-2022-well.html"> another post. </a>Bold highlights are mine. <br /><p>permalink #63 of 340: Craig Maudlin (clm) Thu 6 Jan 22 10:53<br /></p><blockquote><i>I wish WIRED well in their attempt:<br /><br />&gt; We'll be critical but not cynical; skeptical but not defeatist.<br />&gt; We won't tell you what to think about the future, but how to think<br />&gt; about it.<br /><br />I would like to take this as inspirational, while being mindful of the<br />growing awareness that <b>'knowing how to think' is itself now a subject<br />of scientific scrutiny.</b> We may be in the midst of a paradigm shift<br />regarding what it means 'to think.'</i></blockquote>permalink #54 of 340: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Thu 6 Jan 22 08:33<br /><blockquote><i>the 2020s, as an era, sounds like this.&nbsp; It<br />doesn't sound much like the nineties, oughts or even the teens.<br /><br />*You see, it's not about bing pro-tech, or even about being the<br />backlash against tech; basically, it's all about vast, inexorable<br />crisis and finding some reason to keep turning pages about it.</i></blockquote><p>permalink #199 of 349: George Mokray (jonl) Sun 9 Jan 22 03:31<br /></p><blockquote><i>Years ago I encountered Buddhist logic:<br />yes<br />no<br />not yes<br />not no<br />neither yes nor no<br />both yes and no<br /><br />Then I began using them as answers for polls on Dailykos and found<br />that two more were demanded by readers:<br />don’t understand the question?<br />none of the above<br /><br />That should get you out of the strict binary rut.... </i></blockquote><p>&nbsp;<br />permalink #301 of 349: Type A: The only type that counts! (doctorow) Wed 12 Jan 22 08:10<br /></p><blockquote><i>... In France, you can get<br />your California covid QR converted into an EU QR for 50 euros at a<br />pharmacy. Same in Germany, but I think it's 30 EUR. If you have a QR<br />from Washington state or a few other US states that embraced an<br />international standard, you can just use your QR in the EU. UK<br />passes work in the EU, too.<br /><br />Some EU countries, like .pl and .nl, won't recognize US proof of vax<br />- either the card or the QR - but they WILL recognize a US-to-EU<br />proof of vax that you get in Germany or France.</i></blockquote><p>I had no idea this was how things were working. It doesn't motivate me to investigate the logistics for international travel to be honest.</p><p><br />There's also an interesting series of posts about India and China.<br /><br />permalink #398 of 427: Kevin Driscoll (driscoll) Sun 16 Jan 22 10:54<br /><br /></p><blockquote><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One source of instability and unrest in the US that we haven't<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; discussed is the burden placed on caretakers by the conditions of<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; pandemic. Whether professionals or family members, care workers all<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; over the country are feeling burned out and left behind. For those<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; who care for children or the elderly, there was no "hot vax summer,"<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; no time to mess around with NFTs, no opportunity to muse about<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; geopolitics. Do we see brighter days ahead for caretakers in the US?<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Could this group become a distinct political constituency? Are there<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; models outside the US we should be following? </i></blockquote><br /><p>&nbsp;<br /></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-38605638353652631632022-01-23T10:50:00.003+00:002022-01-23T10:50:32.936+00:00Weeknotes: learning, smart paperwork, cash<p>The highway in BC which was comprehensively destroyed in the dreadful floods in mid November actually <a href="https://bc.ctvnews.ca/coquihalla-highway-reopening-dec-20-thanks-to-remarkable-engineering-feats-b-c-officials-say-1.5708530">re-opened</a> in December, thanks to astonishing engineering work.&nbsp; Meanwhile, Colorado's latest fires suggest <a href="https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/colorado-saw-the-return-of-the-urban-firestorm.html">the return of the urban firestorm</a> - a very different proposition to the rural fires which are more familiar. (HT Nathan Schneider for the link)<br /></p><p><a href="http://blog.edtechie.net/higher-ed/why-do-education-secretaries-hate-online-learning/">Why do education secretaries hate online learning, asks Martin Weller</a>:</p><p></p><blockquote><i>On the one hand, all Governments like to berate education for <a href="https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/williamson-purpose-education-skills-work">not fully preparing students for the modern workplace</a>. They <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-unveils-proposals-to-increase-competition-in-uk-digital-economy">unveil plans</a> 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 form of abuse.</i></blockquote><p>Picked this from <a href="https://twitter.com/kawaiilovesarah/status/1478762961388847109">a good thread on using Discord in education settings</a><a href="https://twitter.com/kawaiilovesarah/status/1478762961388847109"> </a>and the various advantages it has over other chat/communications platforms - the importance of mental health considerations in accessibility:</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiV5-y7FYau3kX48vObiAKX1h_EOUvDOAnyyytKood5BSdrrdODjUss6bkw14uHTiN9RaBpg7FjAH9khSVSfuhg5oROnvmxcuI_9Ihjq7hbudsB5J6sfWpFBaFii42GP-8-9topnB4xaIZK9nxNTkOE65buojjEslnWdm5zFhFygRO2MKIi_g=s1118" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="566" data-original-width="1118" height="203" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiV5-y7FYau3kX48vObiAKX1h_EOUvDOAnyyytKood5BSdrrdODjUss6bkw14uHTiN9RaBpg7FjAH9khSVSfuhg5oROnvmxcuI_9Ihjq7hbudsB5J6sfWpFBaFii42GP-8-9topnB4xaIZK9nxNTkOE65buojjEslnWdm5zFhFygRO2MKIi_g=w400-h203" title="https://twitter.com/kawaiilovesarah/status/1478762961388847109" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/kawaiilovesarah/status/1478770144637767681">https://twitter.com/kawaiilovesarah/status/1478770144637767681</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>Benedict Evans shares his <a href="https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2022/1/2/2022-questions">"tech questions for 2022.</a>" Thanks Patrick Tanguay for the heads-up.&nbsp; Of course web3/crypto gets a mention: <br /></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>The tech itself is in a period of massively increasing sophistication and complexity, as everyone builds on an open canvas and builds capability on a simple idea - early PCs or indeed the early consumer internet looked like this. But the more layers, abstractions, building blocks and primitives are created, the harder it is to know which will resolve into things normal people can use, and, paradoxically, the more likely gatekeepers become. ... Meanwhile, what happens when the ideological fervour of decentralisation meets gravity - the dynamics and centralising forces of real products with real users? The web is radically decentralised, but centralised search and social sit on top. Open source, another crazy, religious idea, was going to transform tech, and it did! - but Office is still a huge business 25 years later. The iPhone is full of open source, and yet it isn’t open, and yet, with millions of apps and billions of downloads, in what senses and at what layers is it ‘closed’ and ‘open’? </i></blockquote>and privacy:<p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>We want privacy, but don’t agree on what that means.&nbsp;</i></p><p class="" style="white-space: pre-wrap;"><i>This matters in an immediate sense because advertising &amp; marketing is a $1tr industry, a third of it is now online, and it’s the single most important lever for ecommerce on one hand and the growth of new brands and new competitors on the other. Most of this has been based on cookies, and privacy concerns mean that cookies are now going away, in the ‘Great Cookie Apocalypse’, but we don’t know what will replace that. The industry is trying to create ways to show ads that are both relevant and private, and there’s no barrier to that in principle. Advertisers almost never actually want or need any personal information... Meanwhile, of course, if we don’t get an answer then by default Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon do okay and everyone else is squeezed out - privacy conflicts with competition.&nbsp;</i></p></blockquote><p class="" style="white-space: pre-wrap;">His example: <i>"If I ask my Apple Glasses “I met someone from Disney last week, wearing a red shirt - what was his name?” what privacy issues arise?" </i>is a nice one of the kind of real function many people might value from tech. This echoed several recent reflections in my household about how hard it is to answer simple questions where data clearly exists, but where there is no way to search. Such as, where is the nearest waterfall to me? His notes on China and the tech market are also interesting.</p><p></p><p>The other big 'state of the world' that I've enjoyed reading is the Well's annual thread, and I've found enough highlights there to merit a separate post. It was a good and varied thread, this year.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><a href="https://dgwbirch.substack.com/p/off-and-on">Dave Birch notes the difference between digital money and digital cash:</a></p><p></p><blockquote><i>One of the great attractions of building a new digital cash infrastructure to implement a digital currency, instead of just laying a simple peer-to-peer protocol on top of the existing digital money infrastructure, is that it would add diversity to the payment system and therefore increase resilience in this vital national infrastructure.... If the existing digital money infrastructure goes down for any reason - and this happens all the time - it seems to me that a parallel digital cash system built on different rails should carry on working. ... This ability to transact between devices that are not connected to a network at all either because the cloud is down, or there is no mobile network or there is no power because of a natural disaster was also a key design requirement for the Chinese digital currency, as it should be one for any other digital currency that intends to replace, or even complement, cash.&nbsp; </i></blockquote><blockquote><i>That’s actually a tougher ask than it seems at first and December’s failure at Amazon Web Services (AWS), when the Amazon cloud vanished not once but twice, shows just how tough. Amazon have all the money in the world and I don’t doubt they employ some of the very best engineers in the world, but even that combination can’t deliver 100% uptime. And when AWS went down, the impact was significant. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, some <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-outage-disrupts-lives-surprising-people-about-their-cloud-dependency-11638972001?page=1" rel="">vacuum cleaners, light switches and cat-food dispensers stopped working</a>. </i></blockquote><p>He concludes sagely:</p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>The Facebook and Amazon failures performed the useful function of reminding us that vague talk about networks and clouds and blockchains is no substitute for the kind of detailed risk analysis and countermeasure development that will be required to create the vital national infrastructure for CBDCs.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p>Heather Burns poses a <a href="https://webdevlaw.uk/2022/01/02/the-speculative-fiction-novel-i-want-to-read-this-year/">speculative fiction scenario</a> - or is it a real one?&nbsp; <br /></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>One day during a pandemic winter, an email drops into the inbox of an employee at a global corporation. That employee is in charge of a speculative open source project, controlled by the company. To its credit, the open source project has a global, vibrant, and wonderful contributor community spanning nations, races, skills, abilities, and perspectives. To its demerit, the project has no transparent governance, decisions about the project are not made public, and project officials are not elected by, accountable to, or removable by the open source community.</i></p><p><i>The email requests that the project send a qualified representative to an urgent meeting, at the White House, to discuss how their project has become a national security threat.</i></p></blockquote><p>A good exploration of challenges in governance and community, and the role of government and corporate control.</p><p>I enjoyed the recent <a href="https://hiddenforces.io/podcasts/us-navy-shipping-supply-chains-gregg-easterbrook/">Hidden Forces episode with Gregg Easterbrook</a>, talking about trading and war at sea. As well as the usual startling figures for the immense size of modern cargo ships, there's discussion of the futility of war between China and the US given their economic entanglement, and the new (for me) idea that a big joint project could help with preserving peace - for instance, something about limiting pollution from boats, which could connect navies.<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEigYgndp_dxMZmoJp_eNs7i8_Kr_mBlUtJ33tPQOg8-YjJUstUGoGwzcbKVjnI-A57A61GZemlDQcUMYgLjZFnqd1wBzWcRIfexmWGLz56iiwxzqNxa6ooTj5u2Jbu-eW0KsD5YHf9q5VEoJsPY0pi14LukY4f6HliDo0ZH8a7sGygrBDGmOw=s1174" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1022" data-original-width="1174" height="558" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEigYgndp_dxMZmoJp_eNs7i8_Kr_mBlUtJ33tPQOg8-YjJUstUGoGwzcbKVjnI-A57A61GZemlDQcUMYgLjZFnqd1wBzWcRIfexmWGLz56iiwxzqNxa6ooTj5u2Jbu-eW0KsD5YHf9q5VEoJsPY0pi14LukY4f6HliDo0ZH8a7sGygrBDGmOw=w640-h558" title="https://twitter.com/chrisjvenables/status/1477607123190169601" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/chrisjvenables/status/1477607123190169601">https://twitter.com/chrisjvenables/status/1477607123190169601</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p> </p><p></p><p></p><p>A <a href="https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/601629">petition</a> to ban "proof of work" crypto in the UK. <br /></p><p>Alex Deschamps-Sonsino asks:<a href="https://www.designswarm.com/blog/2021/12/smart-homes-or-smart-paperwork/"> smart homes or smart paperwork</a>? There's a lot of good things here and these are just some highlights:</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>We are no longer as literate as we used to be about the systems that support our homes because we’ve been able to build industries that service those homes quickly... I wonder how many of us know that much about our electrical layout, the exact age of our boiler, what <a href="https://www.vaillant.co.uk/homeowners/advice-and-knowledge/ideal-room-temperature/">the right temperature is for a room</a>, how old our home actually is or who has done what to it over the years.</i></p><p><i>... With the churn in London around 7 years (irrespective of whether a household own or rents) and 14 years outside of London, there’s plenty of reasons why people don’t spend more time learning about, caring for or repairing their home.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... And then there’s the power structures of capital and convenience that act on the home indirectly. A badly insulated home doesn’t translate into anything other than higher bills for tenants who have no power to improve the property and higher bills might mean little for a middle class person whose energy bills are well below 10% of their monthly outgoings and paid on Direct Debit.</i></p><p><i>... Having a digital life for a home doesn’t have to mean sharing data about the people in it. It might instead mean gathering all the information that different public and private bodies already hold about a home and making it accessible and machine readable. From the date of energy improvements, guarantee certificates for the work, the name of tradespeople responsible for repairs, the yearly cost of utilities, lots of information can be collected once a year, anonymised and presented in a way that makes sense to the largest number of actors.</i></p></blockquote><p> </p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Daniel Thomas <a href="https://drt24.user.srcf.net/blog/2022/01/eco-changes-that-worked/">blogged</a> a great list of sustainable lifestyle changes an individual can make - going beyond the most popular 'listicle' items. Sadly the structural change of opting for a green electricity supplier hasn't worked well for him.&nbsp;</p><p>Thanks to Sam Leon for sharing <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-the-problem-with-net-zero-emissions-targets">this article by Duncan McLaren</a> about the problems with "net zero" as a target, and some of the side effects of offsetting schemes.&nbsp;</p><p>I hadn't thought of this point about phone content backup: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEg2VlWBE2T6hshtUvzgAlyCKaW-X9bJNIzFoxjP9aqKr19TjTRvyyfpTHoVJYUDuI3wqzYzT4hT6tlWZUFQ2nTEwRZ0nJjr3nv0KCoGzmCjqf3S86alH1GasJvdkVs6WCSQfOY3TUmRYdBI4Flz5ZSTOn6l_dDmre8U_l23DPDiBxoWSqMRcQ=s1174" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="804" data-original-width="1174" height="274" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEg2VlWBE2T6hshtUvzgAlyCKaW-X9bJNIzFoxjP9aqKr19TjTRvyyfpTHoVJYUDuI3wqzYzT4hT6tlWZUFQ2nTEwRZ0nJjr3nv0KCoGzmCjqf3S86alH1GasJvdkVs6WCSQfOY3TUmRYdBI4Flz5ZSTOn6l_dDmre8U_l23DPDiBxoWSqMRcQ=w400-h274" title="https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/1479147442255896579" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/1479147442255896579">https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/1479147442255896579</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Benedict Evans notes in his latest <a href="https://www.ben-evans.com/newsletter">newsletter</a> that Alexa has "no growth and very high (30-50%) abandonment rates." <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-22/amazon-s-voice-controlled-smart-speaker-alexa-can-t-hold-customer-interest-docs">Priya Anand writes in Bloomberg:</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>Last year Amazon determined that 25% of U.S. households have at least one Alexa device; among Amazon Prime households, it’s 27%. But most Alexa users in many years have used voice-powered devices only to play music, or set the timer while they cook, or turn on the lights. Amazon employees noted in a planning document for 2019 that new Alexa users discover half of the features they will ever use within three hours of activating the device.<br /><br />... Amazon employs more than 10,000 people to work on Alexa, and the documents projected its fixed costs to be $4.2 billion in 2021. For such a costly division, Alexa’s prospects for generating revenue are unclear. </i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>A very long time ago, I backed the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aiforeveryone/mycroft-mark-ii-the-open-voice-assistant/description">Mycroft open source, privacy-preserving 'smart speaker'</a> on Kickstarter. It's been a journey, but they expect to ship the MarkII in September. I'm not sure what I'll use it for - perhaps little more than a kitchen timer - but it feels a much better product overall than Alexa. </p><p>First sighting of the new abbreviation "MAGMA" (Microsoft Apple Google Meta Amazon) on the Well State of the world <a href="https://people.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/516/State-of-the-World-2022-page02.html ">thread</a>.</p><p>New_ Public explores how<a href="https://newpublic.substack.com/p/-the-rules-for-buying-nothing?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyMjMyNDY4NiwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDY3NjUxOTgsIl8iOiIxaEhDbyIsImlhdCI6MTY0MTgwMjYwNCwiZXhwIjoxNjQxODA2MjA0LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMjA2OTgiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.jO18lWijSCul6ecRYoVRUW4kwaBVIzoUJrVIU-bKCQE"> "Buy Nothing" mutual aid groups on Facebook </a>took off, built and grew communities, and what has happened since.&nbsp; I liked the note about localisation, and what works at different scales, and the difficulties of defining the edges (or not) of physical communities.<br /></p><p>The <a href="https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/01/chip-shortage-has-canon-telling-customers-how-to-skirt-its-printer-toner-drm/">chip shortage means Canon can't make the fancy DRM protected print cartridges they force printer users to buy,</a> so they are telling people how to bypass the system.&nbsp;</p><p>Ouch:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiopsV04T_hx31Skat7yOBatNgMg1eoe5CBdAtnbC9i2pVFTvt7KZQGuTnMY_AXOrN5WHGG5FfgK0-mvy9eqQ_k5yHxALnxQh8e8lN17CPrQEjSkt96UlJMS1V7HYYIlwCk3E_P2fzI8ezW5tTPLS3toRSbiAUQl7PutQbKlIAej43se9LmKg=s1434" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1434" data-original-width="1176" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiopsV04T_hx31Skat7yOBatNgMg1eoe5CBdAtnbC9i2pVFTvt7KZQGuTnMY_AXOrN5WHGG5FfgK0-mvy9eqQ_k5yHxALnxQh8e8lN17CPrQEjSkt96UlJMS1V7HYYIlwCk3E_P2fzI8ezW5tTPLS3toRSbiAUQl7PutQbKlIAej43se9LmKg=w524-h640" title="https://twitter.com/MicahPollak/status/1477727474003894274" width="524" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/MicahPollak/status/1477727474003894274">https://twitter.com/MicahPollak/status/1477727474003894274</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Also ouch:</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh7gtpaHZZNQEM5IjLgFLFOzwKiVGmLLg1e_R6VQ_5pukkms24r17LsWqZXiMLpVI6EaUbPyl9TD30wkw1mI7_A4vqg66xh3YIcLxAa1ovTPCZcNZFMTIJXYprj3VjHIOe5l5swkZXfmuc4QOc3qS0M1TTiE49tZkBLEpBFWOjWyEvEjaB7Xw=s1172" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="810" data-original-width="1172" height="442" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh7gtpaHZZNQEM5IjLgFLFOzwKiVGmLLg1e_R6VQ_5pukkms24r17LsWqZXiMLpVI6EaUbPyl9TD30wkw1mI7_A4vqg66xh3YIcLxAa1ovTPCZcNZFMTIJXYprj3VjHIOe5l5swkZXfmuc4QOc3qS0M1TTiE49tZkBLEpBFWOjWyEvEjaB7Xw=w640-h442" title="https://twitter.com/FRSAMatthew/status/1480069361423507458" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/FRSAMatthew/status/1480069361423507458">https://twitter.com/FRSAMatthew/status/1480069361423507458</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />&nbsp;Via Sean McDonald:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhhdASi1PPah7v1rKpm5KSewyxQnmhTGkjyvFtP4h_6KZ4RE0mjaP5vIOaEZuXh9F7JHYYiLLUwUvDoqsoqUcD37bzE0FQEQl25HxObjEIH25HjkdVgbBugLpFh93J4SMLy6LG3Fm62eXTGgTOJGgAwivaQujcCU3C8D3wu9oFKI-riE9H22A=s1228" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1228" data-original-width="1184" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhhdASi1PPah7v1rKpm5KSewyxQnmhTGkjyvFtP4h_6KZ4RE0mjaP5vIOaEZuXh9F7JHYYiLLUwUvDoqsoqUcD37bzE0FQEQl25HxObjEIH25HjkdVgbBugLpFh93J4SMLy6LG3Fm62eXTGgTOJGgAwivaQujcCU3C8D3wu9oFKI-riE9H22A=w618-h640" title="https://twitter.com/zainrizvi/status/1478801862723784711" width="618" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/zainrizvi/status/1478801862723784711">https://twitter.com/zainrizvi/status/1478801862723784711</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Re-manufacturing cars: <a href="https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/business-tech%2C-development-and-manufacturing/toyota-remanufacture-cars-three-times-uk">interesting idea</a> coming to the UK from Toyota's fleet arm.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://harpers.org/author/meghanogieblyn/" rel="author"><strong></strong></a>Meghan O’Gieblyn has written <a href="https://harpers.org/archive/2022/01/routine-maintenance-embracing-habit-in-an-automated-world-meghan-ogieblyn/">a lovely essay about routine maintenance, habit, and automation.</a> HT again to Patrick Tanguay.<strong><br /></strong></p><br />Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-81871657626335289642022-01-08T12:22:00.001+00:002022-01-08T12:22:45.813+00:00Monthnotes: carbon removal, COP26 IP, corporate culture<p>DW has a great article about <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/how-sustainable-is-wind-power/a-60268971">the sustainability of wind power</a> - covering all the aspects from recycling turbines, to bird fatalities, to mitigations such as "a ring of tiny air bubbles used during construction activities that dampens noise by around 90%". Thanks to Joanna Bryson. </p><p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/scotland-is-on-the-global-frontlines-of-the-great-net-zero-land-grab/">Laurie Macfarlane writes about land</a>. Highlights mine.<br /></p><blockquote><p><i>Although there is much hype around the promise of impressive Negative Emissions' Technologies (NETs), such as carbon capture and storage, to date the only proven NET is the restoration of forests, peatlands and other natural carbon sinks. ... In the case of carbon emissions, the approach enables those who invest in projects that will sequester carbon from the atmosphere to claim carbon credits (or carbon ‘offsets’), which can either be ‘netted off’ against the owner’s emissions, or sold on to other emitters via emissions-trading schemes. </i></p><p><i>... over the past decade, a number of large-scale emissions-trading schemes have been established or expanded upon, including the United Nations’ REDD+ program, the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism and the EU’s Emissions Trading System. <b>To date, however, these schemes have largely failed to reduce emissions on the scale that was envisaged.</b></i></p><p><i>... At COP26, <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/11/24/1040568/how-a-new-global-carbon-market-could-exaggerate-climate-progress/">new rules were agreed</a> to establish a unified international carbon market... And corporate and financial investors are quickly realising that profiting from this modern gold rush requires one thing above all else: access to land – and lots of it. As a result, <b>global investment in rural land markets is soaring</b>... few places are attracting as much interest as Scotland... Scotland has a large rural land area: 98% of the country’s landmass <a href="https://www.gov.scot/publications/rural-scotland-key-facts-2021/pages/2/">is classified as</a> either ‘remote rural’ or ‘accessible rural’. One-fifth of the country <a href="https://www.nature.scot/sites/default/files/2019-04/Peatland%20Action%20-%20COMMS%20-%20Materials%20-%20LEAFLET%20-%20Carbon%20Facts%20and%20Figures%20leaflet%20screen%20-%20with%20full%20reference%20list%20-%202019%20UPDATE.pdf">is peatlands</a>... More than eight in every ten Scots live in the 2% of the landmass that is urbanised.</i></p><p><i>Significantly, however, ownership of this land is highly concentrated. As with the UK as a whole, the archaic patterns of land ownership that were in other nations swept aside by revolution and revolt survive largely intact in Scotland to this day. ... just <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47963208">432 individuals own 50% of Scotland's privately held land</a>....<b>Land markets across the UK also remain notoriously lightly regulated, meaning that anyone in the world can buy land with little scrutiny.</b></i></p><p><i>... According to critics, however, enabling companies to offset their emissions in this way amounts to little more than greenwashing on an industrial scale. The fact is, they argue, there is simply not enough land in the world to offset global emissions, so allowing companies to boost their green credentials by investing in carbon offsets acts as a dangerous diversion from the immediate need to reduce emissions ... If the entire global energy sector was to set similar net-zero targets, an area of land nearly the size of the Amazon rainforest would be needed, equivalent to a third of all farmland worldwide – which would risk pushing millions <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/tackling-climate-crisis-must-not-come-expense-eradicating-global-hunger/">deeper into food poverty</a>.</i></p><p><i>... Behind the flowery rhetoric about ecology and sustainability, there are <b>growing concerns that the rapid growth in land purchases for carbon offsetting will push up land prices and rents, displacing local communities while exacerbating an already highly financialised land market. </b>In many cases, this appears to be an explicit part of the business model. ... As Peter Peacock, a former Highlands and Islands MSP and veteran land reform campaigner, recently <a href="https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/politics/scottish-politics/3100564/peter-peacock-green-lairds/">put it</a>:</i></p> <div class="article-page__rich-text "><blockquote class="blockquote__block-quote"> <div class="blockquote__container"> <div class="rich-text"><p><i>The Highlands are once again being sold from under the feet of local people to external forces who can out-compete other interests for land, forcing up land prices, and undermine communities in their ability to take a lead in tackling the climate emergency while also promoting wider social and economic benefit under local democratic control.</i></p></div> </div> </blockquote></div><p> </p><p> </p><p><i>... The Land Reform Act of 2003 introduced the Community Right to Buy in Scotland, which empowered local communities by giving them the first option to buy land when it was put up for sale. To date <a href="https://www.landcommission.gov.scot/our-work/ownership/community-ownership">it is estimated</a> that around 560,000 acres (or 2.9% of the total land area of Scotland) have been taken into community ownership. Despite this relatively small footprint, many of these communities have pioneered innovative and inclusive approaches to tackling the climate emergency.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>I ended up following tweets and reached - <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiXvzoMDCLqeb4pD0coneB6U0dc10RhET68bJ_wkhmccBhuRTU1-RcbX_5EjgJqu6f-1m_BMjyScD6UhwNdxIZ0pbvBlo4gZEIcKmOboyivnzilOjPYr959il0SPYQBV0Hw63TxgSnuhQaWq_WfA_WmCJHWc9XB2MxrEuODJCHx4BD9MHXNiQ=s1122" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="524" data-original-width="1122" height="298" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiXvzoMDCLqeb4pD0coneB6U0dc10RhET68bJ_wkhmccBhuRTU1-RcbX_5EjgJqu6f-1m_BMjyScD6UhwNdxIZ0pbvBlo4gZEIcKmOboyivnzilOjPYr959il0SPYQBV0Hw63TxgSnuhQaWq_WfA_WmCJHWc9XB2MxrEuODJCHx4BD9MHXNiQ=w640-h298" title="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153262321102860" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153262321102860">https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153262321102860</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>and thank you Richard Waite for <a href="https://twitter.com/waiterich/status/1463308104196575235/photo/1">this tweet</a> with a lovely meme:<br /></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh9vkOWwBcuxbrm9bzSNqcdcVPewoqukDX8eHoFcPeK0_YLv32EUunEvl4_PMurdppFj9N5gXiklayDfzWjDOBEMi2433Jh_DG-3HX-JZNyitwQxMcHlL-F5cgZU7JO7J0k6qlJ6W4KM5Kxk1h2rjQTsyPeiw3XlqrRumV51qMNjc40_jGNig=s1406" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="meme" border="0" data-original-height="1406" data-original-width="500" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh9vkOWwBcuxbrm9bzSNqcdcVPewoqukDX8eHoFcPeK0_YLv32EUunEvl4_PMurdppFj9N5gXiklayDfzWjDOBEMi2433Jh_DG-3HX-JZNyitwQxMcHlL-F5cgZU7JO7J0k6qlJ6W4KM5Kxk1h2rjQTsyPeiw3XlqrRumV51qMNjc40_jGNig=s16000" /></a></div><p></p><p>Which brings us back to the original tweet that got me thinking on this:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhsG9L_ZOQXvKKeYCcSpszOkl9PdMv5ulJbAasVvRML9xvzcQBcSLbEMJC435fdgE2ro1Uc-CuglAwVH3WA7gsPQ2sr4n9mA2rwUiwU8Im6No_Y23YTmN-ycB3zUsyyKe_vxS52S6m8wuH5SZSc8bYXrroFwt6a3uJdZLj4URjupd4m2vqMvw=s1174" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="532" data-original-width="1174" height="290" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhsG9L_ZOQXvKKeYCcSpszOkl9PdMv5ulJbAasVvRML9xvzcQBcSLbEMJC435fdgE2ro1Uc-CuglAwVH3WA7gsPQ2sr4n9mA2rwUiwU8Im6No_Y23YTmN-ycB3zUsyyKe_vxS52S6m8wuH5SZSc8bYXrroFwt6a3uJdZLj4URjupd4m2vqMvw=w640-h290" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1463532345072492547" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1463532345072492547">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1463532345072492547</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Such useful terms:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgF3xvHRfwCHh5Gh_p84UPPCSjH1GMb4yGbHQQu_Xj9mCUqQx9Yjp0k6aX20nKTIrUjtk6ckHUiMSpB9Nvr-DxDQBpNuuRaL6autFr5AtalTgKlOFDy0dSC1fO8mvHwE9fatdzJ0b1Fr3K6tZXH2LQOizpgoFXs32JNWQ3E9_tDTaKPsC0QiA=s1170" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="622" data-original-width="1170" height="340" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgF3xvHRfwCHh5Gh_p84UPPCSjH1GMb4yGbHQQu_Xj9mCUqQx9Yjp0k6aX20nKTIrUjtk6ckHUiMSpB9Nvr-DxDQBpNuuRaL6autFr5AtalTgKlOFDy0dSC1fO8mvHwE9fatdzJ0b1Fr3K6tZXH2LQOizpgoFXs32JNWQ3E9_tDTaKPsC0QiA=w640-h340" title="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153206524203013" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153206524203013">https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1413153206524203013</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />Also enjoyed this on carbon neutrality of luxury items:<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgMDOpK8kxIFmlgcPZ9851YsDAdzt0wq9IQxS14J72L8lZJpLhyFa8-WoOVoMrnl2nfHsp7DJhtcE0KKklYvxg0bm8WKltFvgo4IOvJZJrPKb2uY7ui4etAOvGDRnUY3kI4RYOr_SxrtzkS0FNDbcqzX0DLdsqO30s833-kT5K3qw8zJyywgw=s1268" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweets" border="0" data-original-height="1268" data-original-width="936" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgMDOpK8kxIFmlgcPZ9851YsDAdzt0wq9IQxS14J72L8lZJpLhyFa8-WoOVoMrnl2nfHsp7DJhtcE0KKklYvxg0bm8WKltFvgo4IOvJZJrPKb2uY7ui4etAOvGDRnUY3kI4RYOr_SxrtzkS0FNDbcqzX0DLdsqO30s833-kT5K3qw8zJyywgw=w472-h640" title="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1408075302060756997" width="472" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1408075302060756997">https://twitter.com/daveregrets/status/1408075302060756997</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />&nbsp;<p>I finally got around to formally joining <a href="https://zebrasunite.coop/">Zebras Unite</a> - I've been in the community practically since the start, but only just joined the co-op. The groups on alternative capital, co-owned digital infrastructure, and exit-to-community are really special and interesting. Very excited to see what we can build - here's the vision, compared to the 'classic' tech venture 'unicorn':</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEg7N8TPYY-MPV99AN-7_SnPR0pUzyEzhXJMxs-Y6gRSAZcrdX0AyDGqA8Ls8C9job4R5OZb-Q3UR1xKFYLiTuh3U0PbrKqwxkDONVtwQhFeHYmZPSviNRBf_LLdNtu-LMPmFggRXjBXI48HQRPQVQY5O-QJIIMK-iDhT0iImaQ8i1rlRvG00Q=s2048" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="a table setting out how Zebra ventures are different from Unicorn ones" border="0" data-original-height="2048" data-original-width="1663" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEg7N8TPYY-MPV99AN-7_SnPR0pUzyEzhXJMxs-Y6gRSAZcrdX0AyDGqA8Ls8C9job4R5OZb-Q3UR1xKFYLiTuh3U0PbrKqwxkDONVtwQhFeHYmZPSviNRBf_LLdNtu-LMPmFggRXjBXI48HQRPQVQY5O-QJIIMK-iDhT0iImaQ8i1rlRvG00Q=w520-h640" title="Zebras vs unicorns comparison table" width="520" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Zebras_Unite/status/1469367704398319621">https://twitter.com/Zebras_Unite/status/1469367704398319621</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>A fascinating <a href="https://twitter.com/samgilb/status/1475806994670002176">thread</a> about what people search for about the NHS (eg one popular set of searches are about NHS staff benefits! who knew), inspired by:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjaWz7nRIbh3JBM4ZYO2DAvYtWeIgPcHkCWNjMQMWwPrZ8mJzzlJ4NcChjf5vgf8Sr2CF723eosajvrjvvBw9LR1NDulCWNjUIW2wv81ZpEEhR3mSFujYeMgBTAy-kZ99jR78liX1yBhISoiNEQ9ezaOp_N2z-2OTZ1_Up0dPikT7s7dTIsNw=s1408" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1408" data-original-width="1174" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjaWz7nRIbh3JBM4ZYO2DAvYtWeIgPcHkCWNjMQMWwPrZ8mJzzlJ4NcChjf5vgf8Sr2CF723eosajvrjvvBw9LR1NDulCWNjUIW2wv81ZpEEhR3mSFujYeMgBTAy-kZ99jR78liX1yBhISoiNEQ9ezaOp_N2z-2OTZ1_Up0dPikT7s7dTIsNw=w534-h640" title="https://twitter.com/danbarker/status/1475127632350093318" width="534" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/danbarker/status/1475127632350093318">https://twitter.com/danbarker/status/1475127632350093318</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Why aren't we doing more to improve air quality and ventilation, to reduce infection spread (aside from any other wellbeing benefits)? <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895">This BMJ editorial</a> notes that we may be starting to add 'ventilation' to Covid policy documents, but there's not much practical change happening around actual air.<br /></p><p><i></i></p><blockquote><i>While keeping your distance, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated have provided much protection, one intervention that would have a significant impact is adequate indoor ventilation. Healthcare, homes, schools, and workplaces should have been encouraged to improve ventilation at the very beginning of the pandemic, but tardy recognition of the airborne route by leading authorities in 2020 stalled any progress that could have been made at that stage.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-9" id="xref-ref-9-1">9</a><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-10" id="xref-ref-10-1">10</a><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-11" id="xref-ref-11-1">11</a></i></blockquote><i><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-11" id="xref-ref-11-1"></a></i><p></p><p></p><blockquote>Another major compelling reason that air quality has been side lined is cost. Most bui<i>ldings are neither designed nor well operated from the air quality aspect, with energy conservation and thermal comfort at the top of the list of requirements.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-16" id="xref-ref-16-1">16</a><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-17" id="xref-ref-17-1">17</a> Pumping in adequate amounts of fresh outside air, however engineered, will challenge running costs as well as carbon status.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-18" id="xref-ref-18-1">18</a> Outdoor air generally differs from indoor air in terms of temperature and humidity, and conditioning outdoor air needs significant energy. </i></blockquote><p><i></i></p><p></p><blockquote><p></p><p><i>Additionally, ventilation is usually controlled by building operators and owners, not necessarily individuals, and the former are not yet mandated by law to improve ventilation in public venues.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-18" id="xref-ref-18-2">18</a></i></p><p></p><p id="p-7"><i>Ventilation and air cleaning systems are noisy, drafty, and require fine tuning and regular maintenance.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-19" id="xref-ref-19-1">19</a> Even simple window opening invites discussion over chill, airflow, and security. ... existing ventilation standards hardly consider the risk of airborne infection in non-specialist public spaces at all.</i></p><p id="p-8"><i>... Clearly, better ventilation requires planning and investment, but who is going to ensure this and how should it be done? Upgrading internal air quality for billions of indoor environments in the world needs solid research, funding, and mandated standards. Those that we have are variable or are applied inconsistently. We have established public health strategies for foods and water and even pollution, but air quality inside most public venues in our communities resembles nothing more than miasmic uncertainty.<a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-14" id="xref-ref-14-2">14</a><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-15" id="xref-ref-15-2">15</a></i></p></blockquote><p id="p-8"><i><a class="xref-bibr" href="https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2895#ref-15" id="xref-ref-15-2"></a></i></p><p></p><p><br /></p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhJimc2lxovcyEjkswUK8f_-fyLv0wGO4MiKqawt1djSynjXZXBKVYCd0xhM8tIbHBBdUgdjZl9cc0cE7880Jj170loW8-4MHlW-Y5-KRWbWSqbMmJPA9po9l9SuYFA1AlEqRlFV_VSvL9sxWCmDrk9Uue999k2bJt7zG3UKjeMKv_xwT8eYA=s1188" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="448" data-original-width="1188" height="242" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhJimc2lxovcyEjkswUK8f_-fyLv0wGO4MiKqawt1djSynjXZXBKVYCd0xhM8tIbHBBdUgdjZl9cc0cE7880Jj170loW8-4MHlW-Y5-KRWbWSqbMmJPA9po9l9SuYFA1AlEqRlFV_VSvL9sxWCmDrk9Uue999k2bJt7zG3UKjeMKv_xwT8eYA=w640-h242" title="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1474146321523253258" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1474146321523253258">https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1474146321523253258</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />&nbsp;</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgQUHEY1x_GSSX7-Dcxxq4ZvCLhNpJrOiuPlvNzBlez9vI-yx9acWNv6qe_p2RVE5ZZC2S5pM8Y-2h4DGr6SCS-UvSSTY2HTskMjcGkzs4UA3zzT5IfEvByJ395T7qQYk2c2oeJlThRoGXKNA6wzOxRo0pnPkYoASt0Wgp0Ym43uOCjKkolCQ=s1180" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="616" data-original-width="1180" height="334" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgQUHEY1x_GSSX7-Dcxxq4ZvCLhNpJrOiuPlvNzBlez9vI-yx9acWNv6qe_p2RVE5ZZC2S5pM8Y-2h4DGr6SCS-UvSSTY2HTskMjcGkzs4UA3zzT5IfEvByJ395T7qQYk2c2oeJlThRoGXKNA6wzOxRo0pnPkYoASt0Wgp0Ym43uOCjKkolCQ=w640-h334" title="https://twitter.com/Sean_ORiain/status/1475518779442577412" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Sean_ORiain/status/1475518779442577412">https://twitter.com/Sean_ORiain/status/1475518779442577412</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />A <a href="https://twitter.com/SolidarityCam/status/1470052815762595846">thread</a> of depressing stats about the inequality in Cambridge.&nbsp; Even before the pandemic, over 33 thousand children living in poverty in the city, and so on. I remember muttering about the shocking state of local inequality and poverty to a Pro Vice Chancellor at the university in 2018, when there was much enthusiasm about the benefits Cambridge research could supposedly bring to other parts of the world, and the Cambridge Global Challenges initiative was being set up. I suggested we ought to show we could address our own problems first...</p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhuaFEp3EKohXz3ykFIDfYWIGHmmXZQcIDKgJ7wPeafP_xOJ0RmwoZ1_HyUFU5iNRseYZ07dh2_gJX5t9P9W9LikdOdErP4-pmPqOb6B2z4EI_HcXzok6blW3ufFvMxPOo581teFSWMiQChqzi90DNf9ltu54P4kN1fnrYoZIXnXsLgzGfioA=s1080" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="image of words saying 319th is cambridge's rank out of the 324 local authorities in england on the youth social mobility index" border="0" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1080" height="400" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEhuaFEp3EKohXz3ykFIDfYWIGHmmXZQcIDKgJ7wPeafP_xOJ0RmwoZ1_HyUFU5iNRseYZ07dh2_gJX5t9P9W9LikdOdErP4-pmPqOb6B2z4EI_HcXzok6blW3ufFvMxPOo581teFSWMiQChqzi90DNf9ltu54P4kN1fnrYoZIXnXsLgzGfioA=w400-h400" width="400" /></a></div><p></p><p>Indeed, inequality in Cambridge has been a thing for a while. The University perhaps has not made as much difference as it might like to think; here's<a href="https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/01/written-in-the-bones-medieval-skeletons-tell-story-of-social-inequality-in-cambridge/"> a recent Ars Technica article</a> "Medieval skeletons tell story of social inequality in Cambridge":<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>The research stems from the <a href="http://www.aftertheplague.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">After the Plague</a> project at Cambridge University's Department of Archaeology, which explores how historical conditions influence&nbsp;health and how health, in turn, shapes history. The project particularly focuses on the Black Death period (1347-1350 CE) in later medieval England, which wiped out between a third and a half of Europe's population.</i></p><p><i>"By comparing the skeletal trauma of remains buried in various locations within a town like Cambridge, we can gauge the hazards of daily life experienced by different spheres of medieval society," <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2021-01/uoc-iim012121.php">said lead author Jenna Dittmar</a>, a paleopathologist at Cambridge.&nbsp;"We can see that ordinary working folk had a higher risk of injury compared to the friars and their benefactors or the more sheltered hospital inmates."</i></p><i>By the 13th century, Cambridge was a thriving market town with an active river port and a rural agricultural component on the outskirts of town. Its famed university had only just been founded. "Although a small town by today's standards, Cambridge presented a varied social landscape," the authors wrote.</i></blockquote><p><a href="https://lucid.substack.com/p/diane-coyle-on-brexit-and-economics">Diane Coyle was interviewed by Ruth Ben-Ghiat</a>. Highlights mine:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Obviously, inequality has been long in the making, and weakened enforcement of labor laws, weakened unions, the erosion of minimum wages, and facilitations of illicit financial flows have all contributed to it. It is quite interesting that <b>a lot of the very wealthy are now in effect illegal people. </b>They're using money laundering techniques and stepping outside the boundaries of what most jurisdictions legally allow. <br /></i></p><p><i>...&nbsp; The current framework of measurement was devised during and after World War 2. That matters because we are kind of reaching the end of the road in how much we can take nature for granted in our own economic and other activity, whether that's climate change, tipping points in ecosystems, or lack of clean water. There's also the issue of unpaid women's work in the home. That's been excluded, along with all other non-market activities, even though these are fundamental to our lives.</i></p><p><i>Digital activity presents a similar problem, because some of the categories of digital activity are not easily handled by markets: they've got the characteristic of public goods. Data would be a great example. <b>We've got to put in the work to measure all those previously unmeasured things, just as we did in the decade after World War 2.</b></i></p></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p>You can buy a beautiful <a href="https://honordomesticwork.com/#get-poster">poster</a> to Honor Domestic Work "<i>This poster is a way to show our appreciation to the people in our lives who do the work that goes unrecognized— caring for our children and loved ones, keeping our homes clean, managing household details like grocery lists, cooking, repairs, appointments, and the everyday essential that we need to care for ourselves, our families and communities.</i>" Check out the (US) <a href="https://honordomesticwork.com/stories/">stories</a> too. <br /></p><p>Some great news:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiRjrfSxQnDsgeE3grP5bl64qriIpS0LzPGUPPl5GQhBWi2s2afaFh1dljJwRQRsrYhN5dOcVCKSoM6q0ZWnIwtJW52DoNTdwn3JBScnmZ0axwLgtlAsiS10bUOOwm8jVxA2ymLgH1B1d9CxatKYNXhLLbIVmVd9lKX-5tyyJtS3esl8T1hYQ=s1184" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1060" data-original-width="1184" height="572" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiRjrfSxQnDsgeE3grP5bl64qriIpS0LzPGUPPl5GQhBWi2s2afaFh1dljJwRQRsrYhN5dOcVCKSoM6q0ZWnIwtJW52DoNTdwn3JBScnmZ0axwLgtlAsiS10bUOOwm8jVxA2ymLgH1B1d9CxatKYNXhLLbIVmVd9lKX-5tyyJtS3esl8T1hYQ=w640-h572" title="https://twitter.com/Petercampbell1/status/1467787705362878465" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Petercampbell1/status/1467787705362878465">https://twitter.com/Petercampbell1/status/1467787705362878465</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Frank Tietze was at COP26, and wrote up a long <a href="https://medium.com/@frank.tietze/intellectual-property-for-net-zero-cop26-observations-2c2fd0678575">article</a> about the experience. It was an interesting perspective, both in that he was at some of the 'real' negotiations, and also that he was looking for Intellectual Property aspects in it all.<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Attending COP26 on behalf of our <a class="dy iv" href="http://www.ip4sustainability.org" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">IPACST </a>project and as steering group member of <a class="dy iv" href="https://www.gci.cam.ac.uk" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">Cambridge Global Challenges</a> (also for Cambridge Zero and CISL), I was not sure what to expect, really. I had the slightest suspicion that IP would not be discussed very much, at least not mentioned often explicitly. This does not come much as a surprise, even though IP underpins almost any aspects of our daily lives and industrial activities in our economies.</i></p><p><i>... One panel member said “scale up is incredibly important… deploy, deploy, deploy”. When it comes to accessing technologies that are already available it seems from an IP perspective we should be asking which licensing models can help to accelerate the deployment and adoption processes. Would patent pools possibly play a role here or patent pledges, such as the <a class="dy iv" href="https://lowcarbonpatentpledge.org" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">Low Carbon Pledge</a>? Alternatively, should governments maybe consider supporting or guaranteeing royalty payments at a certain rate? Do we need specific templates and guidelines for IP licensing of green technologies? Almost certainly, whether existing or not yet developed technologies, these are all likely to still have to go on a development trajectory to improve efficiencies, which probably involves a set of cumulative, incremental improvements, so inventions that might be protectable by IP rights. Hence, we might need to be getting more creative about this.</i></p><p><i>... CTCN is a technology transfer organisation that seems to be running 350+ technology transfer projects dedicated to climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies supporting 100+ countries. As with any technology transfer project, I would strongly suspect that CTCN somehow needs to face and address IP issues, maybe with contractual arrangements. ... I had a quick look at the latest CTCN annual report searching for “intellectual property” related terminology, but the search returned no results. However, with a bit of searching I found this <a class="dy iv" href="https://unfccc.int/ttclear/misc_/StaticFiles/gnwoerk_static/tn_meetings/1fd984239fc448a7b218b8f891578b58/1d526fcd8be543c39018688803af86e9.pdf" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">CTCN report from 2021</a> that actually defines the receiving technologies as <em class="ju">endogenous technologies</em> and the capabilities being transferred into the receiving country as<em class="ju"> endogenous capabilities</em>. As it turned out, across three surveys IP actually was mentioned as challenging. While it did not come out on top, it comes out amongst the top challenges. The report also concluded that “the importance of intellectual property rights depends on the nature of the technologies involved.”</i></p><blockquote class="ka kb kc"><p class="hx hy ju hz b ia ib ic id ie if ig ih ii ij ik il im in io ip iq ir is it iu dn gv" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="5296"><i>The NDEs and TNAFPS put intellectual property rights for modifying existing technologies in the top half of the most important measures, while IPRs for developing new technologies was ranked much lower.</i></p></blockquote><p><i>Overall, the lack of mentioning of IP in CTCN related discussions turned out to be a bit puzzling.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... This reminds me of the idea that I wanted to suggest already to the colleagues of <a class="dy iv" href="https://www.lens.org" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">Lens.org</a> .... that one should include a simple search function (maybe just a switch to flick) in public patent databases that allow to easily and quickly (so for the non patent expert) to find technical solutions that are not protected in a certain country or are off patent (e.g. more than 20 years old or for which the owners have stopped paying renewal fees). </i></p></blockquote><p>In Frank's follow-up <a href="https://medium.com/@frank.tietze/ip-for-net-zero-cop26-continued-26357bd33489">article</a>, I love this note on UN language :) <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>I went on to attend more “informals”, <span id="rmm">w</span>hich are the meetings where the negotiations actually happen.&nbsp; ... Because of a possibly deadlock, the session head to break for a few minutes so the delegations could have some<b> informal-informal discussions </b> (yes, right! No mistake. The sessions are called informals, so the short breakout discussions are then called accordingly informal-informals). </i></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>I also learnt more about the different COP parties and understood what RINGO is, i.e. the party of <a class="dy ii" href="http://www.ringos.net/" rel="noopener ugc nofollow" target="_blank">Research and Independent Non-governmental Organisations</a>. I had picked up that RINGO has a briefing session each morning... When I arrived to the session the discussion was all about innovation. I even got to ask a question... <b>I wanted to find out whether there is existing work going on about the IP issues that are specifically concerned with adaptation, respectively mitigation technologies.</b> The response I got from RINGO was “This sounds as an excellent research question”.&nbsp;</i></p></blockquote><p>Ah :) <br /></p><blockquote><p><i>... One topic that I seem to miss not only in the reports, but also from what I heard so far is the acknowledgments that also LDC and LMIC can be innovative and contribute to the development of adaptation or even mitigation technologies. Occasionally, I read it was acknowledged that poor countries can adapt technologies to local needs. I suspect this might lead to modifications and possibly to some, probably mostly incremental innovations. However, that’s certainly not all. I strongly suspect that LDC and LMIC are capable of developing what might be called frugal innovations (see the literature on frugal innovation, e.g. by colleagues Tiwari and Herstatt of TUHH), but also social innovations. So if this is the case, certainly local inventors should be rewarded for their ingenuity. This might be where IP would also play a role.&nbsp;</i></p></blockquote><p>It feels like there must be a lot of potential here to get technologies to where they can be useful, and IP is a key part of that given how the world works today. Covid vaccine IP may or may not be a useful example...&nbsp; <br /></p><p></p><p></p><p>Huh - kind of predictable maybe when you think about it, but still:</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh8z8LaN4NXx-2i4Mj1hc2qUOpyutjriAf5ZY5VW166rGgyMHYAQHfSVeJkQo6ztzeEezGMDLJJy0jmn8RNHq3y0PIa3iowdIt-VVulSGy035XSHnYV-VTadmJ_6YfD3CxAXRunA_6B7qakNNizaPTNKWl_xKXF4KYz1QTDKTsXpr8hiMkuyg=s1408" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1408" data-original-width="1174" height="640" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEh8z8LaN4NXx-2i4Mj1hc2qUOpyutjriAf5ZY5VW166rGgyMHYAQHfSVeJkQo6ztzeEezGMDLJJy0jmn8RNHq3y0PIa3iowdIt-VVulSGy035XSHnYV-VTadmJ_6YfD3CxAXRunA_6B7qakNNizaPTNKWl_xKXF4KYz1QTDKTsXpr8hiMkuyg=w534-h640" title="https://twitter.com/nicoleperlroth/status/1474275566572347393" width="534" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/nicoleperlroth/status/1474275566572347393">https://twitter.com/nicoleperlroth/status/1474275566572347393</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />&nbsp;Ah, corporate lawyers:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjTmtYlw4ceJqz8D8xnKZ1H84Rhk82Aal3LVKk69v13lucwEaa1GMIGpa_WLpTtH6dIbD9kwBxEQ2GckvkyzaiWPqvap2g4QIdoUAsfud7yOwpdA2bHzhn3CSSoW6abr2Xm39mkvtbLIj6nLzGqsqgqzrO0poZXZ8pzzsQIyI1CGVeCHtyOMQ=s1766" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1172" data-original-width="1766" height="424" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjTmtYlw4ceJqz8D8xnKZ1H84Rhk82Aal3LVKk69v13lucwEaa1GMIGpa_WLpTtH6dIbD9kwBxEQ2GckvkyzaiWPqvap2g4QIdoUAsfud7yOwpdA2bHzhn3CSSoW6abr2Xm39mkvtbLIj6nLzGqsqgqzrO0poZXZ8pzzsQIyI1CGVeCHtyOMQ=w640-h424" title="https://twitter.com/mer__edith/status/1471935457839796224" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mer__edith/status/1471935457839796224">https://twitter.com/mer__edith/status/1471935457839796224</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Yup:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjSHX-2Nu6JDq7IlBrWAZ_S5rYthrDQ9Zh_YQFrdCVbruZ2A4uLIrngnVceoWGzM59YKQB-53liG0Aampo1wA0utFAksJi7sjLVu82KL1tHTePJBu1pf1aG1K1GHjEhbyzwqG0ysgnEmOJtoD2rBnJQbAYhwmD6JTJWrTs0W43TLiJeMNupZg=s1756" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="994" data-original-width="1756" height="362" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEjSHX-2Nu6JDq7IlBrWAZ_S5rYthrDQ9Zh_YQFrdCVbruZ2A4uLIrngnVceoWGzM59YKQB-53liG0Aampo1wA0utFAksJi7sjLVu82KL1tHTePJBu1pf1aG1K1GHjEhbyzwqG0ysgnEmOJtoD2rBnJQbAYhwmD6JTJWrTs0W43TLiJeMNupZg=w640-h362" title="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1468002942393503751" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1468002942393503751">https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1468002942393503751</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Large organisations are often like this:</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiFjG8iOwUiHBL16OvPpq1tGMBzZdHndnjBB_0zP5jUNQF4Sh7BK5LXXWZLDoyND04w1yGVbYU_jDFKlqPPiPE-I-WYdC14RJZlJDjurDEvt3NLFdgJgLL4HTRqEIOU9-McV9YgpPkDj2dvK4f3tM48dWwqg6Krr1uLn76ONHWZp1rgSQmTVA=s1752" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1344" data-original-width="1752" height="490" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiFjG8iOwUiHBL16OvPpq1tGMBzZdHndnjBB_0zP5jUNQF4Sh7BK5LXXWZLDoyND04w1yGVbYU_jDFKlqPPiPE-I-WYdC14RJZlJDjurDEvt3NLFdgJgLL4HTRqEIOU9-McV9YgpPkDj2dvK4f3tM48dWwqg6Krr1uLn76ONHWZp1rgSQmTVA=w640-h490" title="https://twitter.com/ncweaver/status/1473084555976273924" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ncweaver/status/1473084555976273924">https://twitter.com/ncweaver/status/1473084555976273924</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>Thanks to Skyler Adams for leading me to <a href="https://www.garbageday.email/p/this-subject-line-is-the-optimal?justPublished=true">this GarbageDay email newsletter stats post</a>, which includes the following gem:<br /></p><blockquote><i>Though, perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this — beyond American social media users’ insatiable need to laugh at and ridicule and dissect viral clips of unwell people having some kind of crisis on an airplane, even if those clips turn out to be scripted — is how jarring Facebook-optimized content is to the wider internet. A<b>fter a decade of algorithmic tweaking, content that does well on Facebook is now so completely insane looking that it continually causes moral panics and knee-jerk outrage when it’s viewed by users not accustomed to it.</b><br /><br />It’s also very interesting that as this cat breastfeeding video was going viral, Facebook/Meta announced that the top publications on its newsletter product Bulletin have around 5,000-10,000 readers, which is very low for a platform Facebook’s size. But we know what kind of content does well on Facebook. It’s not a newsletter written by Malcolm Gladwell, it’s a 15-minute live video of Taylor Watson [Vegas stage performer] slowly revealing the results of her breast augmentation surgery that ends in a punchline that she has chicken breasts taped to her chest.</i></blockquote>And with that I have caught up with things I read in 2021, with the exception of a bunch of things about DAOs that I have saved up.<br /><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-68554347762575843422021-12-30T20:11:00.001+00:002021-12-30T20:11:16.937+00:00last-month Notes: voting, health and tech, ruggedising<p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/nov/16/reconstruction-after-covid-votes-for-children-age-six-david-runciman">David Runciman in the Guardian argues for lowering the voting age</a> - to six: <br /></p><blockquote><i>There is now a set of vicious circles at work. Once politicians representing older voters start winning elections time and again, the young are discouraged from voting, which only makes the political imbalance worse. If young people pursue social mobility by moving to places where other young people are, they increase the likelihood that older voters will dominate electoral outcomes everywhere else. The result will be governments and policies that work against the sorts of social mobility that younger voters tend to favour. This has been the pattern in Britain for the best part of a generation. Pensions will get protected while student debt goes unaddressed. The interests of mortgage payers will be prioritised over the interests of renters. A country in which more than 70% of the under-30s voted to remain in the EU will still choose to leave.</i><br /></blockquote><p>Three posts about MySociety and where they are going next - really positive to see this iteration. Start with <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/2021/11/24/the-need-to-repower-democracy/ ">this one</a>.&nbsp; I like the focus on the "dual crises" of democracy and climate. One of the three 'shifts' is "Place more power in more people’s hands, not just make old power more accountable" which also feels like a great evolution from the open/civic tech space of 5-10 years ago. Hope they can make it real - <br /></p><p></p><p style="padding-left: 40px;"><strong></strong></p><blockquote><p style="padding-left: 40px;"><i><strong>Why:</strong> We believe people can and want to work together to build a fairer society – the web can help do this at scale.</i></p><p style="padding-left: 40px;"><i><strong>How:</strong> Our role is to repower democracy: using our digital and data skills to put more power in more people’s hands.</i></p><p style="padding-left: 40px;"><i><strong>What:</strong> We work in partnership with people, communities and institutions to harness digital technology in service of civic participation.</i></p></blockquote><p style="padding-left: 40px;"></p><p><br />Major banks in the UK and their relationships to financial crimes are explored in <a href="https://twitter.com/b_c_chapman/status/1456199796922986496">this thread from Ben Chapman</a>. I didn't realise so many finance sector companies donated large sums to the City of London police. <br /></p><p>Grim stats:</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgXKGr_Kvog5dvNj7PhGAInQLV0uhGwiaZUUaGoHwvEASb9FJc1uMnDp6fJmP7UBb0_fI5GFF6V-SXWWBkOMPnJjN4WtxFjm01ClNU7ZCyG1WV5II0B-WoD5WzHxKSZaPjfnWTdhx3SofYGmxf-xec6ZgaE3KX6LpryqgvEazb3TURAqhWqXA=s2684" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1158" data-original-width="2684" height="173" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgXKGr_Kvog5dvNj7PhGAInQLV0uhGwiaZUUaGoHwvEASb9FJc1uMnDp6fJmP7UBb0_fI5GFF6V-SXWWBkOMPnJjN4WtxFjm01ClNU7ZCyG1WV5II0B-WoD5WzHxKSZaPjfnWTdhx3SofYGmxf-xec6ZgaE3KX6LpryqgvEazb3TURAqhWqXA=w400-h173" title="https://twitter.com/rory_deighton/status/1465666476258570250/photo/1" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/rory_deighton/status/1465666476258570250/photo/1">https://twitter.com/rory_deighton/status/1465666476258570250/photo/1</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>All the excitement about AI for health, at least in the UK, seems to be missing the point about the realities of healthcare today:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jSMCxaIk4Pw/YZ6NTk0_r3I/AAAAAAAA4ww/Oam3zb0Yh4EUYsrmI1iPTmA6gO56dDNowCLcBGAsYHQ/s530/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.06.34.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="384" data-original-width="530" height="464" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jSMCxaIk4Pw/YZ6NTk0_r3I/AAAAAAAA4ww/Oam3zb0Yh4EUYsrmI1iPTmA6gO56dDNowCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h464/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.06.34.png" title="https://twitter.com/mia_out/status/1453470763298828290" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mia_out/status/1453470763298828290">https://twitter.com/mia_out/status/1453470763298828290</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Relatedly - <br />&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QRVuA7Qtg08/YZ6NfXAq73I/AAAAAAAA4w0/m6h9j1Exm7UsHH4XNmZbRf2a5FvuyV3eQCLcBGAsYHQ/s519/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.07.20.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="281" data-original-width="519" height="346" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QRVuA7Qtg08/YZ6NfXAq73I/AAAAAAAA4w0/m6h9j1Exm7UsHH4XNmZbRf2a5FvuyV3eQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h346/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.07.20.png" title="https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1456973501059977217" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1456973501059977217">https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1456973501059977217</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2021/11/uk-s-ai-masterplan-vs-reality/">James Hayes writes about the state of AI.&nbsp;</a></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>With the publication of its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS), the UK joins the roll of nations jostling to assert ‘superpower’ status in the field of AI. Published in September, the government’s 10-year plan is founded on the contention that competitive pre-eminence in AI is a “top-level economic, security, health, and wellbeing priority [that is] vital to national ambitions on regional prosperity and for shared global challenges”.</i></p><p><i>Its view is backed up by a 2019 study by McKinsey that reckoned AI could deliver a 22 per cent boost to the UK’s GDP by 2030, but the country will have to show strong competitive prowess to win AI market share away from rival nations: at least 25 countries have already launched their own strategies.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>The article is fairly critical of the gaps and oversights and missing definitions in the NAIS, around all kinds of topics from what businesses work in AI to investment, national impact, and how one can tell whether what you are buying is AI, or any good. The most memorable bit was <a href="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1459829880057696263">highlighted</a> by Ian Brown:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>According to Wim Naudé, professor of economics at University College Cork, “AI is not making advanced economies more productive. Even [...] firms [that] are among the top investors in AI and whose business models depend on it – such as Google, Facebook and Amazon – have not become more productive.”</i></p><p><i>This contradicts claims that AI will inevitably enhance productivity, says Naudé. “Related to this is the fact that most AI applications just are not that innovative,” he has said. “Firms do not adopt it, not because they do not trust it, but because it makes little business sense.”</i></p></blockquote><p><br /><a href="https://scroll.in/article/1013053/in-bihars-first-solar-village-the-solar-power-station-has-become-a-makeshift-cattle-shed">A 2014 solar power system for a village in India fell into disuse</a>. Batteries could not be replaced or maintained; thermal (coal-fired) power was cheaper (when grid connection was available), and the solar system didn't support some appliances. <a href="https://scroll.in/article/1012923/in-tamil-nadu-rusting-turbines-showcase-indias-challenge-in-generating-more-wind-power">Wind turbines in Tamil Nadu</a> are also unmaintained and failing, and there's no money to replace ("repower") them. <br /></p><p></p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/swardley/status/1454848161474879488">Simon Wardley wrote a provocative thread</a> about what we need to do about climate - to start talking about <b>people</b>, not tonnes. Thanks Marcus Baw for sharing. I struggle with Wardley somehow, I always want to like his maps system but they seem so hard to create for a new context compared to the "look it's obvious" nature of the examples.<br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xaZWFWX8yEQ/YZ6JlXxAk-I/AAAAAAAA4wI/JWwZ_PtfvEI4GRKIqgPUip298mrwFRhZACLcBGAsYHQ/s671/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.50.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="671" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xaZWFWX8yEQ/YZ6JlXxAk-I/AAAAAAAA4wI/JWwZ_PtfvEI4GRKIqgPUip298mrwFRhZACLcBGAsYHQ/w500-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.50.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/LeoHickman/status/1459496479987490820" width="500" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/LeoHickman/status/1459496479987490820">https://twitter.com/LeoHickman/status/1459496479987490820</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Good to see this -&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DAng8tsiBpU/YZ6J1YYOfuI/AAAAAAAA4wU/Nr4J41Mk33A_fUcOQgwWvD0aj0I5w2odACLcBGAsYHQ/s598/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.51.28.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="598" data-original-width="523" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DAng8tsiBpU/YZ6J1YYOfuI/AAAAAAAA4wU/Nr4J41Mk33A_fUcOQgwWvD0aj0I5w2odACLcBGAsYHQ/w560-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.51.28.png" title="https://twitter.com/ClientEarth/status/1459167711003619338" width="560" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ClientEarth/status/1459167711003619338">https://twitter.com/ClientEarth/status/1459167711003619338</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Useful reminder of special language:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2k5KfFV-G0g/YZ6KHl2ZaaI/AAAAAAAA4wg/TNvGUuTBtg0W6mjBJfKmNV33QuFYEnJrgCLcBGAsYHQ/s720/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.52.56.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="720" data-original-width="523" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2k5KfFV-G0g/YZ6KHl2ZaaI/AAAAAAAA4wg/TNvGUuTBtg0W6mjBJfKmNV33QuFYEnJrgCLcBGAsYHQ/w464-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.52.56.png" title="https://twitter.com/DrSimEvans/status/1458432308193767427" width="464" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/DrSimEvans/status/1458432308193767427">https://twitter.com/DrSimEvans/status/1458432308193767427</a></td></tr></tbody></table>And in a different context:<br /><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2pPcBqBtOFQ/YZ6N-ZKeefI/AAAAAAAA4xA/9vUoPWnJzlArjW-gfbXxroCX9SFoICJywCLcBGAsYHQ/s705/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.09.13.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="705" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2pPcBqBtOFQ/YZ6N-ZKeefI/AAAAAAAA4xA/9vUoPWnJzlArjW-gfbXxroCX9SFoICJywCLcBGAsYHQ/w476-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B19.09.13.png" title="https://twitter.com/math_rachel/status/1456387028946284548" width="476" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/math_rachel/status/1456387028946284548">https://twitter.com/math_rachel/status/1456387028946284548</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Rich Bartlett, who co-ran the microsolidarity course I attended a couple of months ago (which I'm still digesting) writes about groups working at different scales in<a href="https://twitter.com/RichDecibels/status/1453962370154307587"> this twitter thread</a>. This is such an important idea - and means that 'scale' as a goal or even a good idea needs to be questioned in a community/group context.<br /></p><p>Internet governance in places such as the IETF is often described as open and it is, up to a point. I liked this framing, which I found via Niels ten Oever:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgg0Ly1rQOTxdo5v9dWyeTN_VdfsK9IHz6LKS_NTocBZTfnk-lOIC9U26g1zDGSahcAVVZ80_h-9S2slPk-Hd7VANLgHsrtuJyI9lrI8tUEcsjBkCobY8KxlFQLv8Hz-9dy9myodc-elXMlnGLFZjhn9qK8K3LgkhhmSQA-HtysQpWx2ZACbw=s1010" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="514" data-original-width="1010" height="326" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgg0Ly1rQOTxdo5v9dWyeTN_VdfsK9IHz6LKS_NTocBZTfnk-lOIC9U26g1zDGSahcAVVZ80_h-9S2slPk-Hd7VANLgHsrtuJyI9lrI8tUEcsjBkCobY8KxlFQLv8Hz-9dy9myodc-elXMlnGLFZjhn9qK8K3LgkhhmSQA-HtysQpWx2ZACbw=w640-h326" title="https://twitter.com/C___CS/status/1463129172172288012" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/C___CS/status/1463129172172288012">https://twitter.com/C___CS/status/1463129172172288012</a></td></tr></tbody></table><a href="https://alexsteffen.substack.com/p/the-transapocalyptic-now">Alex Steffen writes</a>:<br /><p></p><blockquote><p><i>We live, today, in a world where some people worry about their family surviving the trip to the next source of water, and others fret over having to buy their second-favorite brand of coffee. ... I call this reality a transapocalypse. A transapocalypse is a spectrum. Some parts of the world will experience death and suffering and tragic upheavals as horrible as any humanity ever seen, even while others experience unprecedented prosperity.&nbsp; <br /></i></p><p><i>... For all the millions of people finding themselves pulled into apocalyptic situations, there are also millions of people living high and dry and pulling in greater and greater returns on their investments. Many are already reacting to the upheaval around them with lifeboat thinking — seizing what they sense will be needed and limiting access to it for their own benefit.</i></p><p><i>We increasingly live in a world of refugee camps and luxury survival compounds. There is a boom in private security services, private fire services, independent medical care, the ability to use investment commitments to buy multiple passports to give you a bolt-hole somewhere like New Zealand, Malta or Switzerland — a vast industry rising to provide private protection, for the wealthy, from the impacts of the planetary crisis.</i></p><p><i>At the same time, there is a climate-savvy gold rush beginning, where well-resourced people are looking to buy up the things that will be working and thus valuable in a transapocalyptic world — and get as many of them as they can before people realize how valuable those things are.&nbsp;Think speculative investments in assets like farmland, water rights, rare minerals, fishing rights, and real estate in better-sheltered cities.</i></p></blockquote><p>Luckily Alex has some ideas for what we should do: <br /></p><blockquote><p><i>&nbsp;...&nbsp; Ruggedizing ourselves will be a bigger — and no less pressing — task than cutting CO2. </i></p><p><i>Just catching up is a massive challenge. We must rebuild all the degraded systems around us, work our way out of technical debt and deferred maintenance, and build our way out of the current housing shortage, which is at least hundreds of millions of homes.</i></p><p><i>We need simultaneously to upgrade that whole process to accomodate our new realities. Engage in <a href="https://alexsteffen.substack.com/p/brittleness-is-the-fault-line" rel="">climate triage</a>, and abandon all that is untenably brittle. Ruggedize our utilities and transportation grids and cities and everything else to thrive in a much wider range of circumstances than we’re used to expecting. Prepare to accommodate millions of new refugees and welcoming even more internal climate migrants. Speed is justice, and scale is inclusion.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>&nbsp;I like this systems perspective:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Aqp2kQXaPjs/YZ6KZ5wJlYI/AAAAAAAA4wo/GLfCZQ-3pswMpEznKyjkyaKR2oryV5ZWwCLcBGAsYHQ/s738/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.54.00.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="738" data-original-width="523" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Aqp2kQXaPjs/YZ6KZ5wJlYI/AAAAAAAA4wo/GLfCZQ-3pswMpEznKyjkyaKR2oryV5ZWwCLcBGAsYHQ/w454-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-24%2Bat%2B18.54.00.png" title="https://twitter.com/Sys_innovation/status/1454393167441272836" width="454" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Sys_innovation/status/1454393167441272836">https://twitter.com/Sys_innovation/status/1454393167441272836</a></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>The Lantern of Liverpool's most interesting cathedral was one of his great works - sad that this sort of work is not recognised more:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgdfYo68HIY746jdEMYiza_U8mkHwS0VpCQJ1RVToFheLtiHbykRpmUVEF27XtVZbcjwyAZ3GeejuEkHN4XZha3ZF_UP1uM-La_W1v7xveKU8mj3JIMCQzbQKH2zEOXEdNhRHqcyzbyC5AZWPduoNpquZzN8l4E3HCu1PK5mPw4QkmNC5HIwQ=s1072" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1072" data-original-width="1064" height="400" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgdfYo68HIY746jdEMYiza_U8mkHwS0VpCQJ1RVToFheLtiHbykRpmUVEF27XtVZbcjwyAZ3GeejuEkHN4XZha3ZF_UP1uM-La_W1v7xveKU8mj3JIMCQzbQKH2zEOXEdNhRHqcyzbyC5AZWPduoNpquZzN8l4E3HCu1PK5mPw4QkmNC5HIwQ=w398-h400" title="https://twitter.com/OpsProf/status/1461974673357479936" width="398" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/OpsProf/status/1461974673357479936">https://twitter.com/OpsProf/status/1461974673357479936</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p><br /></p><p><br /></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-1018625687191467402021-11-13T19:55:00.005+00:002021-11-13T20:48:19.242+00:00Notes: energy, local government, open, social enterprises<p>&nbsp;The other COP was last month:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sF_qjqVBQ4I/YYbOpIEbzuI/AAAAAAAA4fQ/FiqS-ybnya0AbQceSI8JW7T0gu-1xvJkwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1360/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.50.46.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1360" data-original-width="1084" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sF_qjqVBQ4I/YYbOpIEbzuI/AAAAAAAA4fQ/FiqS-ybnya0AbQceSI8JW7T0gu-1xvJkwCLcBGAsYHQ/w319-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.50.46.png" title="https://twitter.com/UNBiodiversity/status/1448189233026437120" width="319" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/UNBiodiversity/status/1448189233026437120">https://twitter.com/UNBiodiversity/status/1448189233026437120</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>I enjoyed the <a href="https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2021/331-climate-ambition-vs-energy-reality">Talking Politics episode with Jason Bordoff</a>, on the energy transition. The scale of the big changes needed and how challenging it is to see how they could be made quickly - outside the shift in consumer choices side of things - is fascinating. Jason notes that we cut emissions with pandemic lockdowns, but that carbon emissions need to reduce by more than they did in 2020, every year for 10 years.&nbsp; Affordability of energy is a real tension too, as gas and oil necessarily get more expensive.&nbsp;</p><p>Microsoft has been striving to go carbon negative; it did an RFP for a huge volume of negative emissions, and found very few indeed met its criteria for good quality removal (<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02606-3">Nature article</a>):<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>First, the supply of solutions capable of removing and storing carbon viably is a tiny proportion of that needed to reach global net-zero emissions by 2050 (which is an anticipated 2–10 gigatonnes of CO<sub>2</sub> per year)<sup><a data-action="anchor-link" data-track-category="references" data-track-label="go to reference" data-track="click" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02606-3#ref-CR2">2</a></sup>. Although Microsoft received 189 proposals offering 154 megatonnes of CO<sub>2</sub> (MtCO<sub>2</sub>) over the coming years, only 55 MtCO<sub>2</sub> were available immediately, and a mere 2 MtCO2 met <a data-label="https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWGG6f" data-track-category="body text link" data-track="click" href="https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWGG6f">Microsoft’s criteria for high-quality CO<sub>2</sub> removal</a>. Stripe’s 47 carbon-removal proposals amounted to 16 MtCO<sub>2</sub>, but only 0.024 MtCO<sub>2</sub> met the company’s requirement that <a data-label="https://stripe.com/blog/first-negative-emissions-purchases" data-track-category="body text link" data-track="click" href="https://stripe.com/blog/first-negative-emissions-purchases">carbon remain sequestered for at least 1,000 years</a> (see ‘Carbon-market snapshot’).</i></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><p><i>... Second, the scarcity of proposals that met the companies’ criteria reflects a lack of standards and clear definitions.</i></p><p><i>... Third, systems for accounting for carbon removal do not distinguish between short- and long-term forms of CO<sub>2</sub> storage (see ‘Some carbon-removal strategies’). This distorts the market and discourages investments in more-durable solutions. </i></p></blockquote><p> </p><p></p>Who in the UK is most vulnerable to climate change? Thanks to Tim Davies for the pointer to <a href="https://www.climatejust.org.uk/">Climate Just.</a><br /><p><a href="https://www.tomforth.co.uk/whylocal/">Tom Forth writes about local government</a> in England.</p><p></p><blockquote><p> <i>However we define it, local government in the UK does less and less. In the late 1800s when Britain was at its comparative economic prime, it was the largest part of the state, especially in the great cities. Soon it started to decline. </i></p><i></i><p><i> After the war and with exceptions, especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland, local government corporations were nationalised and then privatised. Gas in 1948 and 1972 before privatisation in 1986. Water in 1973 before privatisation in 1989. Buses in 1968, and 1985. Council housing in 1980 with right to buy. These are just four examples but the overall effect was in all cases the same, local government responsibilities and assets were shifted to central government, who often later chose to privatise them. Local government did less. </i></p><i></i><p><i> More recently, with no municipal corporations left to nationalise and few national corporations left to privatise the method of shifting the role of government from local to central has changed. Academy Schools move power over public education from local government to national government. Free Schools do the same. </i></p><i></i><p><i> Since 2010, what responsibilities and powers local government retained were reduced by funding cuts to local government combined with central government restrictions on their ability to raise tax. </i></p></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><p><i>... In the past decade, Central government employment has grown by a million. Local government employment has fallen by a million, even while it copes with a pandemic. </i></p><p><i> And the story is even more extreme than it looks. Most of what local government employs people to do today is beyond its power. Local government must, by UK central government law, provide social care. This represents over 40% and rising of local government total spending and offers little opportunity for local democratic input.</i></p><p><i>... What is left to local government control is small. </i></p><p><i> Bin collections remain a local responsibility and the biggest topic in local government. Voter registration and elections, libraries, parking restrictions, potholes on local roads, cycle lanes, parks, statues, and Christmas lights add to the issues crowding the inboxes of councillors and their officers. </i></p><p><i> But even in these areas, there is less and less to decide on. ... Restrictions on pavement parking remain a national competence almost everywhere. There are new central laws on statues, consultations about new central laws on parks, and a promise of new nationalised standards for bin collections. </i></p><p><i>When local government innovates to deliver better services to its citizens, it is often criticised, threatened, and banned from continuing by central government.</i></p><p><i> Hundreds of central government challenge funds exist to do things that local government can no longer afford, like digitise public services, keep libraries open, or plant flowers in the town square. They all come with conditions attached that reduce local input and shift decisions on prioritisation from local to national government. </i></p></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p></p><p>Tom goes on to argue that it's no wonder that local government election turnouts are low, as there is so little at stake; but that elected local government is important</p><p></p><blockquote><i>Complete central command in England ... would be less nimble, for the same reason as England’s Covid-19 app came out after Ireland’s and Scotland’s. I think it would make us poorer, for the same reason that Europe’s small nations have higher GDP per person. I think it would be less efficient, for the same reason that a national public transport smartcard has failed in the UK while working in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Ireland. I think it would further divide our society and detach people from the places they live. </i></blockquote><p><a href="https://www.carnegieaie.org/blog/are-you-actually-interested-in-ai-ethics/">Wendell Wallach nails the challenges around the hot topic of AI ethics</a>:</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Before I outline my approach, let me ask you an honest question: Why are you interested? Are you committed to improving the world? Or do you merely want to get better at using the language of ethics to justify the things you’re doing anyway?</i></p><p><i>... The problem is not that ethics isn’t discussed – it is. The problem is that many people in tech have become too comfortable with discussing ethics. They think of it as merely being politics by other means.</i></p><p><i>...&nbsp; I think of ethics as a way of approaching the challenge of navigating uncertainty. When you don’t have the full picture, ethical values can guide how you act.... as a first step, we can try to be humble. We need to understand the extent to which we are so convinced about what we are doing, we block other viewpoints that could enrich our worldview. It’s the difference between a company that genuinely invites and listens to critical voices, and a company that appoints an ethics advisory board that ticks the boxes – gender and geography – but never raises any difficult questions.</i></p><p><i>... . As a liberal internationalist worldview is generally considered to be virtuous, the argument goes, tech that is developed by companies with liberal internationalist values must surely make the world better. Unfortunately, it isn’t true.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... To embed ethics effectively, the virtues we need to cultivate are different: the awareness of our personal resistance to be open to others, and the courage to invite diverse perspectives into processes of collective decision-making.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>Not that you actually need AI:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1xK4hBmfu-s/YYbkpiBfGBI/AAAAAAAA4fo/om-JiJ1uY2kg6U8XwU-LnuJk-hqA_4gogCLcBGAsYHQ/s988/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B20.24.34.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="516" data-original-width="988" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1xK4hBmfu-s/YYbkpiBfGBI/AAAAAAAA4fo/om-JiJ1uY2kg6U8XwU-LnuJk-hqA_4gogCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h334/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B20.24.34.png" title="https://twitter.com/axbom/status/1448877596553498624" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/axbom/status/1448877596553498624">https://twitter.com/axbom/status/1448877596553498624</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<br /><p>How does anyone tell what is real?&nbsp; <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22734620/fictional-influencers-fourfront-fake-tiktokers">Vox article </a>about this -&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lIPShvjYVsQ/YYbNs_S55ZI/AAAAAAAA4fA/PZl3HcIR5fsXN9mm726NoZmiwPl661gSQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1120/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.45.20.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1120" data-original-width="1066" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lIPShvjYVsQ/YYbNs_S55ZI/AAAAAAAA4fA/PZl3HcIR5fsXN9mm726NoZmiwPl661gSQCLcBGAsYHQ/w610-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.45.20.png" title="https://twitter.com/ChrisDeLeon/status/1450895630226710530" width="610" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisDeLeon/status/1450895630226710530">https://twitter.com/ChrisDeLeon/status/1450895630226710530</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br /><a href="https://newpublic.substack.com/p/-are-we-forming-online-communities">Matthew Sun writes for New Public</a> about online community:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>Instead of an egalitarian utopia of anonymous sameness, the digital world is hyper-fragmented, with a dizzying multiplicity of trends, memes, and tribes of varying exclusivity. Anyone who has felt isolated by the offline world and its crumbling institutions is usually just a few clicks away from discovering that they’re not as alone as they thought they once were; however niche we think our interests might be, there’s always a subreddit, or YouTube channel, or TikTok hashtag that somehow suits us perfectly. It is likely that as long as society continues to fail to meaningfully include people of color, so too will we navigate the internet to find alternative narratives that affirm us, so too will the tech capitalists surveil us as we do so to classify and target us for profit.<br /><br />From real estate brokers to tech companies, our desire to find a sense of home has been hijacked by the agents of racial capitalism. As renowned political theorist Cedric Robinson wrote in Black Marxism, the “tendency of European civilization through capitalism was thus not to homogenize but to differentiate — to exaggerate regional, subcultural, and dialectical differences into ‘racial’ ones.” If the internet enlists us in an endless march towards gleaming, new homes, each more beautiful and individually tailored than the last, we should be skeptical. It is too easy, too frictionless to believe that we will all find our perfect communities in an algorithmically curated set of recommendations. I see these as communities of consumption, in which the soothing feeling of a shared identity is hijacked as a tool for maximizing engagement. To be clear, I am not opposed to the flowering of communities organized around identity on digital platforms; I myself have found comfort in the digital milieu of Asian American and other minority creators. But the tech industry’s constant repetition of platitudes about “connection,” “community,” and “engagement” risks forgetting that these words have historical meanings and political implications, too.<br /><br />... I wonder about what it looks like to move beyond communities of consumption and towards communities of co-liberation in the digital realm. Just as urban ethnic enclaves like Chinatowns, carved out by enclosures of legal and economic segregation, also became sites of collective struggle, mutual aid, and social change, so too might we reappropriate the communities occupying digital platforms designed for profit to instead serve a vision of a more just future. ... And through participating and contributing to them, individuals might find not only a feeling of belonging, but also a newfound sense of agency.<br /><br />I myself am searching for these communities of co-liberation, online and offline. But perhaps it is not enough simply to search, to take for granted that they already exist, waiting to be discovered by the perfect permutation of keywords entered into Google. Instead, to orient myself homeward, I must also orient myself towards an attitude of active construction, rather than simply passive consumption. The idealized communities we yearn for will not simply be found through freedom of movement on the internet and ever-improving algorithmic curation. Instead, our collective imagination must serve as the blueprint to build them.</i></blockquote><p></p><p>We seem to be hoping for a lot from data and yet... it's messy:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4EW7uplHc_4/YYbN-fbKhUI/AAAAAAAA4fI/x49GiiBWguUxPhLr1M3XJu1Nq7HlRc0EwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1074/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.47.54.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="410" data-original-width="1074" height="244" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4EW7uplHc_4/YYbN-fbKhUI/AAAAAAAA4fI/x49GiiBWguUxPhLr1M3XJu1Nq7HlRc0EwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h244/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.47.54.png" title="https://twitter.com/realhamed/status/1451849140640665605" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/realhamed/status/1451849140640665605">https://twitter.com/realhamed/status/1451849140640665605</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>really messy:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wM7Due7F4nI/YYbO8jYQnHI/AAAAAAAA4fY/lVU75OzINBMiZdanRG1P2fscqnvcZrP4QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.51.50.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="660" data-original-width="1076" height="392" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wM7Due7F4nI/YYbO8jYQnHI/AAAAAAAA4fY/lVU75OzINBMiZdanRG1P2fscqnvcZrP4QCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h392/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B18.51.50.png" title="https://twitter.com/simonw/status/1449789042950770695" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/simonw/status/1449789042950770695">https://twitter.com/simonw/status/1449789042950770695</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>There's also <a href="https://twitter.com/dracos/status/1449672597248135169">this great thread from Matthew Somerville </a>which notes numerous ways that Google's search results are getting worse, rather than better, as AI is applied. My favourite:</p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_cbbXtlVrFI/YYbRDoQDjJI/AAAAAAAA4fg/EAnN8XPTMoMKSRLhmCNYM7eZGqJI_9pBACLcBGAsYHQ/s1318/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B19.01.05.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1318" data-original-width="1068" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_cbbXtlVrFI/YYbRDoQDjJI/AAAAAAAA4fg/EAnN8XPTMoMKSRLhmCNYM7eZGqJI_9pBACLcBGAsYHQ/w518-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-11-06%2Bat%2B19.01.05.png" title="https://twitter.com/dracos/status/1449655783357046785" width="518" /></a></div><p></p><p>And all too often we already know what to do. Does the data really help?<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Bnyhs8hzINg/YYvn68W2REI/AAAAAAAA4kc/PVWK9vxTqkYZNVJUKmEBxToI78CcnCLtgCLcBGAsYHQ/s532/Screenshot%2B2021-11-10%2Bat%2B15.39.52.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="288" data-original-width="532" height="346" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Bnyhs8hzINg/YYvn68W2REI/AAAAAAAA4kc/PVWK9vxTqkYZNVJUKmEBxToI78CcnCLtgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h346/Screenshot%2B2021-11-10%2Bat%2B15.39.52.png" title="https://twitter.com/Floppy/status/1441316704299012104" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Floppy/status/1441316704299012104">https://twitter.com/Floppy/status/1441316704299012104</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Worryingly, though, people still want to trust computers, even in the most critical cases (this FOI request didn't uncover the information and hopefully other inquiry will find out what happened here):<br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NcAjIkwT_Jo/YY-tOolZStI/AAAAAAAA4nY/ClQJW_Adm4MYltsRwGOc6U9BtOnmbAO0QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1062/Screenshot%2B2021-11-13%2Bat%2B12.17.30.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1060" data-original-width="1062" height="638" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NcAjIkwT_Jo/YY-tOolZStI/AAAAAAAA4nY/ClQJW_Adm4MYltsRwGOc6U9BtOnmbAO0QCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h638/Screenshot%2B2021-11-13%2Bat%2B12.17.30.png" title="https://twitter.com/sjmurdoch/status/1446516214663192588" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/sjmurdoch/status/1446516214663192588">https://twitter.com/sjmurdoch/status/1446516214663192588</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><a href="https://michaelweinberg.org/blog/2021/10/06/next-wave-open/">Michael Weinberg writes about</a> the next wave of open.&nbsp;<p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>...the fundamental nature of the most important debates around openness appear to be changing.</i> </p><p><i>A number of different open communities - open software and hardware, open culture, open data, open GLAMs, etc. - seem to be entering a new phase of their development. This new phase is characterized by their successful growth into and adoption by the mainstream.</i></p><p><i> This new phase comes with new debates. In the early days of openness advocacy, the core debate involved a small group of people working to defend the very concept of openness to a skeptical world. This debate played out between openness advocates within the community and openness skeptics outside of the community. It was about the fundamental legitimacy of the concept of openness.</i></p><p><i>... While debates about the fundamental legitimacy of openness continue (and will continue), the growth and success of openness has given open communities confidence that the core concept of ‘open’ is viable. This has helped shift the discussion around openness in new directions towards new questions. The key debates in openness advocacy now involve a larger group of people trying to reconcile openness with other values that they hold to be equally dear.</i></p> <p><i>Today’s debates are shaped by two related factors: first, that openness is no longer fighting to prove its fundamental legitimacy; and second, that the openness community is now big enough to include people who view openness as one of many important values. The openness community is now larger than its original ‘single issue voters’.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p>How communities adapt to these conversations, or whether they stick to the doctrinaire approach of the early days, will be interesting to see. I remember suggesting many years ago to open data people that the popular slogan "open by default" might be a scary prospect to those for whom 'government data' tended to mean personal information about themselves, and being told that no one could possibly think that. The 'ethical open source' folks are driving a more thoughtful discourse, which is great. <br /></p><p>There's also a terrific amusing thread -&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1FcRTgHKwP8/YY-vtOXg56I/AAAAAAAA4no/0LofzuTi5FI4AHLtWj1U2-AH5vcALmNGgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1018/Screenshot%2B2021-11-13%2Bat%2B12.28.44.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="466" data-original-width="1018" height="292" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1FcRTgHKwP8/YY-vtOXg56I/AAAAAAAA4no/0LofzuTi5FI4AHLtWj1U2-AH5vcALmNGgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h292/Screenshot%2B2021-11-13%2Bat%2B12.28.44.png" title="https://twitter.com/luis_in_brief/status/1441060428642078732" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/luis_in_brief/status/1441060428642078732">https://twitter.com/luis_in_brief/status/1441060428642078732</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Belinda Bell, who knows the social enterprise space extremely well, is <a href="https://www.thersa.org/comment/2021/09/taking-care-of-business">reflective</a>. Has the idea of using capitalist ideas to deliver social justice failed? <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>I have had the privilege to teach, support and work directly with thousands of dedicated, committed, bright and bold social entrepreneurs. And now, looking back, what has been achieved by their enterprises, my own, and the sector as a whole? Very much less than I had hoped. And I have come to think that, actually, we have even done harm.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>...There has been precipitous growth in ventures identifying as social enterprises. A database search from sources including mainstream newspapers, journals and broadcast transcripts shows mentions of social enterprise growing from fewer than 100 per year in 2000 to over 10,000 every year since 2014. ...</i></p><p><i>And yet the question of distribution of profit goes to the heart of the radical endeavour that social enterprise represents. ...Some social enterprises extract profits for private gain; this enables social enterprise thinking to permeate the mainstream, but also allows uncertainty to enter, creating a lack of clarity about the underlying ethos of the sector. It opens the door for ‘social washing’ of regular businesses.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p>Belinda goes on to detail two different ways that social enterprises can fail to sustain and deliver positive impact - and notes that&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><i>Importantly, both organisations are failing to explicitly critique the systems within which they work. They are trying to apply a business solution to a social problem, but they are not looking at the root causes of the problem.</i></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><p><i>&nbsp;... We must challenge the presumption that scale is inherently positive in any organisation – regular business, social enterprise or charity.<br /><br />And then there is impact investing. Any critique of the social enterprise sector reaches its apogee in this arena. The topic deserves a full airing in its own right, but, in summary, those who seek social equity should question the process that leads to such uneven distribution of resources that a class of investors exists in the first place. And we need to face up to the fact that the underlying facilitating condition – a growth economy – is unsustainable for the planet.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>...&nbsp; I draw some hope from the fringes of the movement; a pocket of activity in which there may be an antidote to the anomie and isolation of modern commerce. ... But, for the most part, social enterprise has been unable to demonstrate that it is really possible to make more things count in capitalism than just the bottom line. To be truly radical it is necessary to go to the root causes of things. Those involved in social enterprise – funders, practitioners, policymakers –should perhaps refocus on the systems and context and consider how that broader environment can be adapted, improved or dismantled. For me, it is time to go back to the drawing board.&nbsp; </i></p></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3wGNOkFmcB4/YY-u24Ku7XI/AAAAAAAA4ng/lzEC5m8Qg_4w8mA20Qe-r1B2uNOwzfF2gCLcBGAsYHQ/s2048/FBAzZhjVQAw98sN.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="an illustration of the volumes of all the metals mined in 2019" border="0" data-original-height="1120" data-original-width="2048" height="350" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3wGNOkFmcB4/YY-u24Ku7XI/AAAAAAAA4ng/lzEC5m8Qg_4w8mA20Qe-r1B2uNOwzfF2gCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h350/FBAzZhjVQAw98sN.jpg" title="all the metals mined in 2019" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JanGold_/status/1445712006229606401/photo/1">https://twitter.com/JanGold_/status/1445712006229606401/photo/1</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p></p><p><a href=" https://dontloseyourway.ramblers.org.uk/ ">There's 49 thousand miles of footpaths in England and Wales that could be lost if they aren't documented and applications made to register them. </a>The paths were found through a big crowdsourcing project. Good stuff. <br /></p><p>Online forums are closing, with communities moving to Discord or Facebook or whatever. <a href="https://kotaku.com/please-stop-closing-forums-and-moving-people-to-discord-1847684851">Luke Plunkett notes some of the loss</a> - no long term record, no searching for helpful tips, a very different kind of interaction. HT Adrian Hon, who <a href="https://twitter.com/adrianhon/status/1438495137349476361">tweets</a> that running a Discord instead of a forum for a previous project would be high energy but exhausting. The information on DIscord, Facebook groups, and so on, is entirely hidden from those outside the group - there's no way to find the content or the community. This is indeed a big loss compared to when you could, say, search the web for advice on an obscure problem with your car, and find not just advice but a group of people who cared and could help. <br /></p><p>I listened to the audiobook of Climate Change and the Nation State by Anatol Lieven. It was interesting to get a perspective on how the military might be interested in reducing climate change (not just addressing the effects of it with migration and security matters). It was perhaps a little over optimistic about replacement of jobs with automation, compared to what seems possible to me. It was challenging to a progressive viewpoint, with the idea that some progressive ideals are luxuries, OK for luxury times but perhaps not the times coming. To make action possible we need to avoid extreme division, so maybe some progressive values need to be set aside to focus on shared values that could drive emissions reduction and other changes.&nbsp; <br /></p><p>The UK's 150 page government inquiry into pandemic handling doesn't mention ventilation or air flow (<a href="https://twitter.com/trishgreenhalgh/status/1449813319779504128">This thread</a>), and has only <a href="https://twitter.com/trishgreenhalgh/status/1449808126581035010">one</a> mention of face coverings or masks.&nbsp; A <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-76442-2">Nature paper</a> from a year ago talks about long distance virus dispersal via HVAC systems. <br /></p><p>I tried to keep on top of the sewage-discharge debate but missed a lot of the complexity - FullFact <a href="https://fullfact.org/environment/murky-claims-about-sewage-bill-fact-checked/">highlights</a> some of it. How does anyone ever feel they have enough information to have a considered opinion on anything outside their specialist subject these days?<br /></p><p><a href="https://lucid.substack.com/p/playtime-keeping-it-together-when">Ruth Ben-Ghiat says we should play</a>, even though there's also so much to do: <i>"Yes, we have a democratic emergency on our hands, and much work to do. But we need to play anyway, for in playing we affirm our humanity, and our humanity is what autocrats fear."&nbsp; </i>Step back from the fray and pause, sure, but also consider playing.<br /></p><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br />Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-63158755298786894942021-10-24T17:14:00.001+01:002021-10-24T17:14:04.703+01:00Notes: shortages, skills, startups, short-termism<p>Turns out there's shortages of random items in the US as well as the UK. Matt Stoller <a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/counterfeit-capitalism-why-a-monopolized">writes </a>about why, identifying 5 factors - monopolies manipulating price and supply, a lack of interoperability so products can't be substituted, machinery which can only be repaired by one company, infrastructure monopolies that are vulnerable to shocks through location or optimisation for efficiency at the cost of resilience, and power buyers cutting out other purchasers.</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>There are shortages in everything from <a href="https://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/50342-shortage-of-ocean-containers-shows-no-sign-of-easing" rel="">ocean shipping containers</a> to chlorine tablets to railroad capacity to black pipe (the piping that houses wires inside buildings) to spicy chicken breasts to <a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/why-are-there-shortages-of-plastic" rel="">specialized plastic bags</a> necessary for making vaccines. Moreover, prices for all sorts of items, from housing to food, are changing in weird ways. Beef, for instance, is at near record highs for consumers, but <a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/beef-is-expensive-so-why-are-cattle" rel="">cattle ranchers</a> are getting paid much less than they used to for their cows.</i></p><p><i>... The lack of resilient supply chains in the United States (and around the world) was masked, until a global shock came among. That Covid would cause such a shock was obvious; as I noted above, before the pandemic hit in force, I <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-will-mark-the-end-of-affluence-politics/" rel="">predicted it</a>. And now, the pandemic is introducing shortages into our politics for the first time in living memory, largely because our highly thinned out supply chains are no longer resilient.</i></p><p><i>Forty years of consolidation suddenly met with a pandemic that required a social flexibility that our monopolistic commercial systems can no longer provide. </i></p></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p><br />The UK Skills bill proposes getting rid of a lot of useful technical qualifications.&nbsp; It was startling to see David Blunkett and Kenneth Baker <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/13/government-skills-bill-young-people-post-16-qualifications-lords">writing together</a> on this.&nbsp; They are not just annoyed about the proposed changes:</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>These documents contained the policy to “defund” most BTecs and diplomas from August 2023 and August 2024, in order to ensure that they do not conflict with the government’s <a data-link-name="in body link" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-t-levels/introduction-of-t-levels">new T-levels,</a> for vocational qualifications.</i></p><p class="dcr-1jp9ryy"><i>This is a revolutionary policy, and it is an outrage that it is not on the face of the bill: as secondary legislation of a wider government bill, this means it is very difficult to debate, amend or delete. In our combined years of being in parliament (84 years), neither of us have known such an outrageous constitutional act by any government. We want to send a really strong message to the Commons to expose this policy.</i></p></blockquote><p class="dcr-1jp9ryy"></p><p>Paul Ford <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/climate-change-economy-dot-com-bubble/">writes</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><i>I made a list of all the interesting climate startups, around 2,000 of them... Sometimes, as I scrolled down the list, a big investment would catch my eye—$60 million for a company that promises to take carbon dioxide out of the air, $68 million for one that will turn it into fuel and materials. But the funding thins out quickly. <br /><br />... every one seems sure that they are the solution, that they will help us cross the threshold into degrowth. They know the answer.<br /><br />I began to feel a strong sense of déjà vu. I couldn't place it until, one night, in the glow of the e-reader, I realized: It's Web 1.0 all over again. We are in the Pets.com-puppet-mascot era of climate. The comedy of the technology industry is playing again as a kind of Ibsenian tragedy: Scientists and academics told everyone about this thing for decades, and almost everyone ignored them. But then enough people got interested, and now there's a market. And as a result there are a million business models, a million solutions, huge promises of the change to come: We'll pour everything we have into green-energy infrastructure. We'll transact in carbon marketplaces. We'll pull a trillion tons of CO2 out of the air every year. Never mind that today we can do about 0.0005 percent of that, which rounds to nothing.<br />...&nbsp; I want things to go differently this time. But I don't know how you bootstrap a globe-spanning bureaucracy yesterday. I can't even tell you what infrastructure we need, just that in general infrastructure evolves, slowly, in response to tragedy.<br /><br />Worse, if my déjà vu is accurate and history repeats itself—if the internet was the last big thing, and climate is the next big thing (or the last big thing)—then we aren't at the precipice of a new era. We're at the beginning of a bubble. The trillions in investment have to go somewhere. By the time all the money is spent, the companies in my ebook will probably be gone, save for a few dozen. Rolled up, evaporated. And then what? It's not like we can just wait for the market to recover and see what happens.</i></blockquote><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sFEt3B6WfFA/YXWA-f2jqbI/AAAAAAAA4XA/rDGS8tdPSCQx0X_7bcurX7pzuxpTWrAyACLcBGAsYHQ/s1070/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.50.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="782" data-original-width="1070" height="468" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sFEt3B6WfFA/YXWA-f2jqbI/AAAAAAAA4XA/rDGS8tdPSCQx0X_7bcurX7pzuxpTWrAyACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h468/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.50.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1432341323965677572" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1432341323965677572">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1432341323965677572</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br />Matt Stoller <a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-war-in-afghanistan-is-what-happens">writes about Afghanistan</a>:<br /><blockquote><i>Today, this short-termism has taken over everything, including the military, which is now dominated by McKinsey-ified glory hounds without wisdom and defense contractors with market power. And this leadership class hasn’t just eroded our strategic capacity, but the very ability to conduct operations. Two days ago, Afghan General Sami Sadat published a piece in the New York Times describing why his army fell apart so quickly. He went through several important political reasons, but there was an interesting subtext about the operational capacity of a military that is so dependent on contractors for sustainment and repairs. In particular, these lines stuck out.<br /><blockquote>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Contractors maintained our bombers and our attack and transport aircraft throughout the war. By July, most of the 17,000 support contractors had left. A technical issue now meant that aircraft — a Black Hawk helicopter, a C-130 transport, a surveillance drone — would be grounded.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The contractors also took proprietary software and weapons systems with them. They physically removed our helicopter missile-defense system. Access to the software that we relied on to track our vehicles, weapons and personnel also disappeared.</blockquote>It’s just remarkable that contractors removed software and weapons systems from the Afghan army as they left. Remember, U.S. generals constantly talked about the strength of the Afghan forces, but analysts knew that its air force - on which it depended - would fall apart without contractors. The generals probably hadn’t really thought about the logistical problems of what dependence on contracting means.</i></blockquote><p></p><p>Richard Ankrom fixed a freeway sign in LA in 2001. It's <a href="https://thelandmag.com/richard-ankrom-guerrilla-public-service-los-angeles-free/">quite the tale</a>, and had a long term impact.&nbsp; Guerrilla public service was, and remains, powerful, when other institutions are too bureaucratic or underfunded to act. <br /></p><p>Debbie Chachra's essay, <a href="https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/care-at-scale/">Care At Scale</a>,</p><p></p><blockquote><p><em>But the real difference between money and infrastructural systems as general-purpose providers of freedom is that money is individual and our infrastructural systems are, by their nature, collective. If municipal water systems mean that we are enduringly connected to each other through the landscape where our bodies are, our other systems ratchet this up by orders of magnitude. ... Alone in my apartment, when I reach out my hand to flip a switch or turn on a tap, I am a continent-spanning colossus, tapping into vast systems that span thousands of miles to bring energy, atoms, and information to my household. </em></p><p><i>... The dependence on fossil fuels for energy is the largest and most important example of displaced harms and localized benefits, and the hardest to comprehend. On a day-to-day basis, my relationships with the people with whom I share a landscape and infrastructural systems can be as simple and direct as avoiding bumping into them in the subway. But when I light my gas stove to make breakfast or get into my car and drive to work, the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by combustion enter the atmosphere and contribute to anthropogenic climate change. By virtue of these systems and the shared planetary biosphere, my small contribution to global pollution establishes a relationship to people that I most likely will never meet. For me, that interaction appears diffuse and stochastic—a few molecules of carbon dioxide here in Massachusetts might result in more intense cyclones on the other side of the world, perhaps. But for the community in the path of the cyclone, the interaction is anything but diffuse: they are affected materially, even catastrophically.</i></p><p><i>... We need to have a conception of infrastructural citizenship that includes a responsibility to look after each other, in perpetuity. And with that, we can begin to transform our technological systems into systems of compassion, care, and resource-sharing at all scales, from the individual level, through the level of cities and nations, all the way up to the global. </i></p></blockquote><p><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bxRxIxa-qYg/YXWDC4UV3eI/AAAAAAAA4Xc/GdSIGz_BCV46y6e_x4YwA2G7jAae_QzKgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.59.28.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="568" data-original-width="1076" height="338" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bxRxIxa-qYg/YXWDC4UV3eI/AAAAAAAA4Xc/GdSIGz_BCV46y6e_x4YwA2G7jAae_QzKgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h338/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.59.28.png" title="https://twitter.com/zielwasser/status/1442715869281411078" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/zielwasser/status/1442715869281411078">https://twitter.com/zielwasser/status/1442715869281411078</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p> </p><p>Little bits of infrastructure go away if no one can sustain them. <a href="https://www.theregister.com/2021/08/16/google_groups_rss/">Google Groups no longer supports RSS</a>, for instance; a small thing that made gluing together bits of information and doing things with them easier.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>How did we get from the original web, of simple HTML and browsers, to the mess of today? And how can we get back to something less brittle and opaque? <a href="https://subconscious.substack.com/p/weblike-things">Gordan Brander suggests we might take inspiration from podcast systems</a>. <br /></p><p>Is GPT-3 truthful? Certainly a lot of people are excited about the words it can generate. However, it turns out to not be very good at answering questions. A <a href="https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/PF58wEdztZFX2dSue/how-truthful-is-gpt-3-a-benchmark-for-language-models">new paper submitted to NeurIPS</a> says:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>We tested GPT-3, GPT-Neo/<span><span><span><a href="https://6b.eleuther.ai/"><u>GPT-J</u></a></span></span></span>, GPT-2 and a <span><span><span><a href="https://www.jmlr.org/papers/volume21/20-074/20-074.pdf"><u>T5</u></a></span></span></span>-based model. The best model was truthful on 58% of questions, while human performance was 94%. Models generated many false answers that mimic popular misconceptions and have the potential to deceive humans. The largest models were generally the least truthfu...</i> </blockquote><p></p><p><a href="http://collectiveaction.tech">collectiveaction.tech</a> is collecting examples of collective action and organising in the tech industry / by tech workers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ORGLygP4dD0/YXWFdXvKVxI/AAAAAAAA4Xo/hUrBB0pnQCAROQvpkvwkzTLYpgU5KhjXgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1260/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B17.09.50.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1260" data-original-width="1070" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ORGLygP4dD0/YXWFdXvKVxI/AAAAAAAA4Xo/hUrBB0pnQCAROQvpkvwkzTLYpgU5KhjXgCLcBGAsYHQ/w544-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B17.09.50.png" title="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1443789820610875394" width="544" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1443789820610875394">https://twitter.com/natematias/status/1443789820610875394</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>Even when you have the data, it often doesn't change the world:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kzMezNyjq-4/YXWCVc13qBI/AAAAAAAA4XU/OQUgY4cX9jwH1vfC2TRy3fW_bs_wU691QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1306/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.56.29.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1306" data-original-width="1070" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kzMezNyjq-4/YXWCVc13qBI/AAAAAAAA4XU/OQUgY4cX9jwH1vfC2TRy3fW_bs_wU691QCLcBGAsYHQ/w524-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-10-24%2Bat%2B16.56.29.png" title="https://twitter.com/mstem/status/1446095372397514753" width="524" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mstem/status/1446095372397514753">https://twitter.com/mstem/status/1446095372397514753</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Will <a href="https://medium.com/humanizing-the-singularity/can-the-world-computer-save-the-world-part-3-building-an-economy-with-a-future-5d4156f06a04">a World Computer based on Ethereum save the world by organising our physical assets better and enabling carbon accounting</a>? Who knows. Vinay Gupta always has a distinctive vision. I'm not sure about the carbon offsetting aspects though...&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Or will we need <a href="http://viznut.fi/texts-en/permacomputing_update_2021.html">permacomputing</a>?&nbsp; This long article by Ville-Matias Heikkilä has a pessimistic tone, but the ideas for what kinds of computing are necessary and could be sustainable long term are fascinating. Reminiscent of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz">A Canticle for Leibowitz</a>. It also makes me wonder whether the people who are thinking about post-collapse computing are connected with those preserving digital assets even for non-collapse futures.</p><p><a href="https://davidfinnigan.substack.com/p/does-someone-deserve-to-die-for-this">David Finnigan writes about what we can or should do about the climate</a>. Highlights mine.<br /></p><blockquote><i>Because the truth is, our current efforts are not enough. Even with the best efforts of campaigners inside and outside of government, the system won't transition quickly enough to avoid disaster. For that <b>we need everything</b> - civil disobedience campaigns, sweeping regulation, financial divestment, new technology, massive behavioural shifts, better laws, and illegal activity too.<br /><br />As Genevieve Gunther says, climate change isn't something we're doing, <b>it's something we're being prevented from undoing.</b><br /><br />And who's preventing us? Who are the people who are blocking the transition to a sustainable system, who enforce what Alex Steffen calls 'predatory delay'?<br /><br />They are an interlocking network of politicians, bureaucrats, think tanks, lawyers, trade organisations, banks, militaries, private shareholders, hedge funds, oil companies, journalists and pundits. There are probably<b> more than a million but fewer than ten million people worldwide who actively benefit from and abet the destruction of the biosphere. There can be no reasoning with them.</b><br /><br />... The people who are fighting for the preservation of outdated, harmful systems in 2021 are not going to be persuaded by protest placards or scientific reports. The only option is to make the cost of their choice high enough that they're no longer willing to pay it.<br /><br />One thing that the pandemic has revealed is that we are willing to do far more extreme things than we realised. Last year, each of us radically reshaped our lives in the space of a few short weeks. In the UK, politicians held off on announcing a lockdown because they assumed that people wouldn't be willing to make that sacrifice. But it turns out we're willing to go to extraordinary lengths to protect our community and each other.<br /><br />If you're willing to suspend your life for months or years at a time, to refrain from visiting family or friends, to put your life plans on indefinite pause, in order to give our healthcare system the best chance of navigating this crisis: what else might you be willing to do? </i></blockquote>Via David's post, I found <a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v29/n06/john-lanchester/warmer-warmer">John Lanchester</a>:<br /><blockquote><i><b>It is strange and striking that climate change activists have not committed any acts of terrorism</b>. After all, terrorism is for the individual by far the modern world’s most effective form of political action, and climate change is an issue about which people feel just as strongly as about, say, animal rights. This is especially noticeable when you bear in mind the ease of things like blowing up petrol stations, or vandalising SUVs </i><i>... in a city the size of London, a few dozen people could in a short space of time make the ownership of these cars effectively impossible, just by running keys down the side of them, at a cost to the owner of several thousand pounds a time. Say<b> fifty people vandalising four cars each every night for a month: six thousand trashed SUVs in a month and the Chelsea tractors would soon be disappearing from our streets</b>. So why don’t these things happen? Is it because the people who feel strongly about climate change are simply too nice, too educated, to do anything of the sort? (But terrorists are often highly educated.) Or is it that even the people who feel most strongly about climate change on some level can’t quite bring themselves to believe in it?<br /><br />... We deeply don’t want to believe this story. The fourth report of the IPCC makes it clear that we are right not to want to. The Summary for Policymakers is a strange document, one which bears out a comment Norman Mailer once made to the effect that ‘form is the record of a war.’ In this case, <b>the war is that between science and the politics of global warming, which is powerfully present in every line of the SPM, mainly in the form of its total absence. </b>The way the SPM works is that the scientists write a report, and then are put together in a room with representatives of the world’s governments, and between them they agree a text that has full support, the idea being that there is nothing left that can be contested: that the SPM has the full support of all the relevant scientists and their governments. Since the governments in question include the administrations of George W. Bush, King Abdullah, John Howard and Hu Jintao, this is not a straightforward process....<br /><br />What does the picture painted by the SPM mean? The short answer is that no one knows. Although we know more about many aspects of the climate than we once did, the fact is that we are entering a period of climatic change outside the experience of recorded human history, without a confident sense of what those changes will entail... The trouble is that the global climate is a system of such complexity that we can’t model in sufficient detail what the effects are. ... What would happen if the harvest failed all across Europe or the US or Africa? What would happen if it failed again the next year, and the year after that? What would happen if the rain-and-meltwater pattern in the Yangtze valley, the core of Chinese agriculture, changed? What would happen if the glacial run-off from the Himalayas, which supplies most of India with its water, were to change? </i>&nbsp;</blockquote><blockquote><i>... The remarkable thing is that <b>most of the things we need to do to prevent climate change are clear in their outline, even though one can argue over details. </b>We need to insulate our houses, on a massive scale; find an effective form of taxing the output of carbon (rather than just giving tradeable credits to the largest polluters, which is what the EU did – a policy that amounted to a 30 billion euro grant to the continent’s biggest polluters); spend a fortune on both building and researching renewable energy and DC power; spend another fortune on nuclear power; double or treble our spending on public transport; do everything possible to curb the growth of air travel; and investigate what we need to do to defend ourselves if the sea rises, or if food imports collapse.</i></blockquote>The letters in response to this article include a great tip:<br /><blockquote><i>John Lanchester wonders why people don’t go about keying SUVs. One reason is that there’s a better way of letting SUV owners know how you feel about them: let the air out of their car tyres. This was the strategy adopted by a French group called Les Dégonflés (‘The Deflated’, or, in argot, ‘The Scaredy-Cats’), who have inconvenienced many Parisian owners of ‘quatres-quatres’. The key fact (so to speak) is that since no actual damage is done, it is difficult to prosecute the protesters. -- Alexander Scrimgeour</i></blockquote><p></p><p>If you certify things, you have to be ready to take the certification away if they stop being good. <a href="https://www.oshwa.org/2021/09/23/revoking-certification-for-es000022/">OSHWA revoked a certificate</a> for a previously open hardware breakout board last month, because documentation is no longer available.<br /></p><p></p><p><a href="https://helenlewis.substack.com/p/the-bluestocking-vol-201">Helen Lewis writes about Sally Rooney's latest book</a> and how much information can be packed into memes, how opaque memes are if you are not Extremely Internet, and whether people who are not are, in fact, happier:</p><p></p><blockquote><i>Eileen sees that her ex Aidan has captioned a photograph of himself as “local sad boy. normal brain-haver. check out the soundcloud.” She doesn’t unpack this, and neither does the narrator. Yet the density of meaning in these 11 words is astounding. We can guess his age, his political affiliation, and how much time he spends online. ... Rooney is the first writer I’ve seen who understands the language of being Extremely Online well enough to use it without self-reflexiveness.... <br /><br />In laying out Aidan’s bio, Rooney captures all of this—internet culture’s stew of irony and insecurity and performance and status anxiety and tribal affiliation and desperation for attention while adopting a pose of diffidence. In eleven words! In the context of Beautiful World, Where Are You, the point of this section is that Aidan, like many of the Too Online, has stitched together a whole persona out of pre-chewed ideas. He is not authentic, whereas Simon—unselfconsciously singing a hymn at Mass—is a real person, not a collage of memes. And so Simon is the worthy romantic hero, and Eileen settles down to a happily un-ironic life with him: baby, mortgage, the works.<br /><br />However, Aidan’s 11 words are also a test: like Picard on Darmok, can you decode these random snatches of meaning? In Star Trek, “Shaka, when the walls fell” turns out to mean “failure”—referring to an original incident everyone on the planet would be expected to know. (Maybe they were big Civ 5 fans.) “Check out the soundcloud” is, similarly, part of a dialect—the language of the Too Online.<br /><br />If you can decipher it, you have won admittance to a special club. You and Rooney share a language which is impenetrable to 99% of the world’s population. You have also, in some cosmic moral sense, lost. Simon wouldn’t know what “check out the soundcloud” meant, and he’s all the happier for it.</i></blockquote><br /><p></p><p></p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br />Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-52540333009315723032021-10-02T16:02:00.000+01:002021-10-02T16:02:58.310+01:00Summer-notes: maps and data and pandemic bits<p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jun/30/openstreetmap-looks-to-relocate-to-eu-due-to-brexit-limitations">OpenStreetMap is considering moving out of the UK</a>. Yes, it's an international project. But the actual legal bit which processes money and holds assets etc is in the UK. Database rights changes with Brexit, and administrative challenges, plus the loss of EU lobbying power, are all driving a possible change. It's hard to be a modestly sized global non-profit these days - even modest levels of paperwork such as we have in the UK are a heavy load, and on the finance side are especially tricky for rotating volunteer boards from around the world.&nbsp;</p><p>There's a quest-based Android app where you can improve OpenStreetMap data in your area! Makes it much easier to find places where the data could be better, and fix things up - <a href="https://github.com/streetcomplete/StreetComplete">StreetComplete</a>.&nbsp; Or you can help map areas elsewhere to support humanitarian relief work with the <a href="https://mapswipe.org/en/index.html">MapSwipe</a> app. <br /></p><p>But there's <a href="https://twitter.com/owenboswarva/status/1416401834814681089">still no national open data for rights of way in the UK</a>. This might explain why people don't use them so much - although the OrdnanceSurvey maps app is great and fairly reasonably priced.&nbsp; <br /></p><p><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UE6VjoQpROw/YVhKpvQHDrI/AAAAAAAA4EE/DefhOqGYnM4RrNKU1nP1l2V18Vwz2bcNQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1062/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B13.03.12.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="968" data-original-width="1062" height="584" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UE6VjoQpROw/YVhKpvQHDrI/AAAAAAAA4EE/DefhOqGYnM4RrNKU1nP1l2V18Vwz2bcNQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h584/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B13.03.12.png" title="https://twitter.com/HarryTrimble/status/1425715379649794053" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/HarryTrimble/status/1425715379649794053">https://twitter.com/HarryTrimble/status/1425715379649794053</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /></p><p>There's a lot of excitement about using data to predict things. But we don't always use the predictions we have:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5xwKECwth0E/YVhAFaJNSyI/AAAAAAAA4Do/LpS_uu85qrEH6Wjj-4h67qffHuMvPH3wwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1234/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.18.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1234" data-original-width="1070" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5xwKECwth0E/YVhAFaJNSyI/AAAAAAAA4Do/LpS_uu85qrEH6Wjj-4h67qffHuMvPH3wwCLcBGAsYHQ/w554-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.18.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/PatrickMeier/status/1417207574991196160" width="554" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMeier/status/1417207574991196160">https://twitter.com/PatrickMeier/status/1417207574991196160</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://theconversation.com/im-a-luddite-you-should-be-one-too-163172">A new form of Luddism is proposed by Jathan Sadowski</a> -&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Today, new technologies are being used to alter our lives, societies and working conditions no less profoundly than mechanical looms were used to transform those of the original Luddites. The excesses of big tech companies - Amazon’s inhumane exploitation of workers in warehouses driven by automation and machine vision, Uber’s gig-economy lobbying and disregard for labour law, Facebook’s unchecked extraction of unprecedented amounts of user data - are driving a public backlash that may contain the seeds of a neo-Luddite movement.</i></p> <p><i>As Gavin Mueller writes in his <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/3184-breaking-things-at-work">new book on Luddism</a>, our goal in taking up the Luddite banner should be “to study and learn from the history of past struggles, to recover the voices from past movements so that they might inform current ones”. </i></p> <p><i>What would Luddism look like today? It won’t necessarily (or only) be a movement that takes up hammers against smart fridges, data servers and e-commerce warehouses. Instead, it would treat technology as a political and economic phenomenon that deserves to be critically scrutinised and democratically governed, rather than a grab bag of neat apps and gadgets. </i></p></blockquote><p>Peter seems to agree - <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E2O3CvQ1Zb8/YVhBbxX4PII/AAAAAAAA4D4/Jc9rc_JWRy42sZywVeqa5BG8AEzXdVzPwCLcBGAsYHQ/s2584/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.23.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="712" data-original-width="2584" height="176" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E2O3CvQ1Zb8/YVhBbxX4PII/AAAAAAAA4D4/Jc9rc_JWRy42sZywVeqa5BG8AEzXdVzPwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h176/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.23.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/peterkwells/status/1425053820770455557/photo/1" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/peterkwells/status/1425053820770455557/photo/1">https://twitter.com/peterkwells/status/1425053820770455557/photo/1</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Roblox is big, although I'm not sure whether to class it as a platform or a game or a game development environment or something else; and it seems like bits of it should be fun. But it's also worrying:</p><p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/_gXlauRB1EQ" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>Policy reports often seem to disappear - so it's great to see that <a href="https://policycommons.net/">PolicyCommons</a> is collecting them!&nbsp; <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHsReZd5ET8/YVhAi6JyGVI/AAAAAAAA4Dw/dFZShSJXJJ0f6KWlK9lquhusxpWtZBSNgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.20.20.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1076" data-original-width="1076" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHsReZd5ET8/YVhAi6JyGVI/AAAAAAAA4Dw/dFZShSJXJJ0f6KWlK9lquhusxpWtZBSNgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-10-02%2Bat%2B12.20.20.png" title="https://twitter.com/TobyABGreen/status/1411210105983537157" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/TobyABGreen/status/1411210105983537157">https://twitter.com/TobyABGreen/status/1411210105983537157</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br />In other positive news, <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-open-justice-as-court-judgments-get-new-home">important court and tribunal judgements will now be available online via the National Archives!</a>&nbsp; Campaigning for this was underway even back when I was at Open Knowledge, so it's probably been a decade or more in the works... <br /></p><p>Nice to see the National Risk Register being quoted in <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/apocalypse-now-britains-race-against-time-fight-multiple-black">this Telegraph piece</a> - especially the likelihood vs impact diagram with the risk icons.&nbsp; It doesn't include declining rule of law, which is the basis of <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/077f719b-91b9-4775-ab37-b120ced4c9a1">this FT article</a> noting that aside from the general badness of this, it also reduces international confidence and trade.<br /></p><p><span></span></p><a name='more'></a>&nbsp;<p></p><p></p><p>SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, and that means useful infection prevention measures are different from other respiratory pathogens. A <a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/373/6558/eabd9149.full">review paper in Science</a>: <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>Traditionally, it was thought that respiratory pathogens spread between people through large droplets produced in coughs and through contact with contaminated surfaces (fomites). However, several respiratory pathogens are known to spread through small respiratory aerosols, which can float and travel in air flows, infecting people who inhale them at short and long distances from the infected person. Wang et al. review recent advances in understanding airborne transmission gained from studying the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and other respiratory pathogens. The authors suggest that airborne transmission may be the dominant form of transmission for several respiratory pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, and that further understanding of the mechanisms underlying infection from the airborne route will better inform mitigation measures.</i></blockquote> On <a href="https://stratechery.com/2021/an-interview-with-zeynep-tufekci-about-lessons-from-the-pandemic-and-the-crisis-of-authority/">Stratechery [paywall] there's an interview with Zeynep Tufecki</a>, one of the authors of that paper, who expresses surprise that it's still worth reading scholarly papers etc at this stage in the pandemic, because the public health authorities somehow aren't providing useful clear information. It was one thing to have confusion in March 2020, but we still don't have a well ordered institutional response now, focussed on what we know (for instance, that ventilation matters for airborne diseases). There's no high quality, easy to access information, and many topics are highly polarised and debated. <br /><p>Some places are more active in working on ventilation as a critical mitigation:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wOAhoFU9APk/YU2r5keyROI/AAAAAAAA4AA/6bF3juKsoEIBKo9NmNET-2ezt1DSRzAvgCLcBGAsYHQ/s675/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.43.06.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="675" data-original-width="524" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wOAhoFU9APk/YU2r5keyROI/AAAAAAAA4AA/6bF3juKsoEIBKo9NmNET-2ezt1DSRzAvgCLcBGAsYHQ/w496-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.43.06.png" title="https://twitter.com/jljcolorado/status/1412498670189256706" width="496" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/jljcolorado/status/1412498670189256706">https://twitter.com/jljcolorado/status/1412498670189256706</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;It's not like we don't know what works. SAGE presented the government with <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emg-spi-m-and-spi-b-considerations-in-implementing-long-term-baseline-npis-22-april-2021">a paper on mitigation measures </a>in April - published in July. Russ Garrett <a href="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1412810365646290945">summarises the key results</a> as things stood in April, so, testing and isolation, potential effectiveness high, current effectiveness low-medium. Stay home when sick, potential effectiveness high, current effectiveness low.&nbsp; And of course perspex screens, potential effectiveness low. <br /></p><p>The National Audit Office's second report on Test&amp;Trace came out (yes, ages ago, what of it). There is some good news - we've done well with doing genomic sequencing and sharing the results. Otherwise, only 14% of the lateral flow tests sent out have been registered as used, tracing contacts has been pretty slow, despite changing the definition of what was counted, and there's still a lot of expensive consultants involved. <a href="https://twitter.com/GabrielScally/status/1408493036259119110">Summary thread.</a><br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xZbNpII44xE/YU2qhKilN2I/AAAAAAAA3_w/l-HHXnQ4udsnQEfbGDP2eOHKzLkmnwn4QCLcBGAsYHQ/s646/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.37.30.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="646" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xZbNpII44xE/YU2qhKilN2I/AAAAAAAA3_w/l-HHXnQ4udsnQEfbGDP2eOHKzLkmnwn4QCLcBGAsYHQ/w520-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.37.30.png" title="https://twitter.com/uk_domain_names/status/1421352963315011588" width="520" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/uk_domain_names/status/1421352963315011588">https://twitter.com/uk_domain_names/status/1421352963315011588</a> HT Dan Lockton<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>I found it astonishing that in mid-August, things were so much worse than they were at the same time a year before and yet hardly anyone seemed to notice. Cases 25 times higher, and perhaps 'that doesn't matter' because of vaccination, but also hospital admissions 10 times higher.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TA75xKMQwLw/YU2rZIJsPoI/AAAAAAAA3_4/ZFDxxa93GMQv7OPULC75TUNoeRfSx7W2wCLcBGAsYHQ/s615/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.39.45.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="615" data-original-width="532" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TA75xKMQwLw/YU2rZIJsPoI/AAAAAAAA3_4/ZFDxxa93GMQv7OPULC75TUNoeRfSx7W2wCLcBGAsYHQ/w554-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-24%2Bat%2B11.39.45.png" title="https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1425525453855600641" width="554" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1425525453855600641">https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1425525453855600641</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br />It turns out that hundreds of projects to create AI tools to diagnose, or help identify treatments, for Covid-19, delivered exactly <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/30/1030329/machine-learning-ai-failed-covid-hospital-diagnosis-pandemic/">no useful tools for clinical use</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Another technology which was much discussed seems to be fading away, between frustration with alerts and lack of adaptation to new circumstances - Ian Brown writes <a href="https://www.ianbrown.tech/2021/07/05/contact-tracing-apps-a-sad-postscript/">a 'sad postscript' on contact tracing apps </a>in the UK.<br /></p><span><!--more--></span><p>Hopefully I'm through the summer notes backlog now :) <br /></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-51287618286330566992021-09-15T11:20:00.003+01:002021-09-15T11:25:13.867+01:00Summer-notes: physical stuff<p>The internet and metaverses and things may be exciting, but you still need stuff, and it has to move around.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ha2aTqMyAJY/YTM7p6crQ6I/AAAAAAAA3oc/NXM-niXtbOwROPMKqB906kx2PYySWz7JgCLcBGAsYHQ/s727/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.25.34.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="727" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ha2aTqMyAJY/YTM7p6crQ6I/AAAAAAAA3oc/NXM-niXtbOwROPMKqB906kx2PYySWz7JgCLcBGAsYHQ/w462-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.25.34.png" title="https://twitter.com/EytanBuchman/status/1430574930161242114" width="462" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/EytanBuchman/status/1430574930161242114">https://twitter.com/EytanBuchman/status/1430574930161242114</a></td></tr></tbody></table>(The thread around that tweet explains some of the factors why goods might be more expensive or slower to arrive).<br /><p>Weirdly there's been more fuss about the lack of milkshakes in fast food restaurants than this -&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tHe0rutg0Y8/YTM8xbZCk7I/AAAAAAAA3ok/9GHfo2D2FlolWTNFKcFfP0vXitO8V4h4gCLcBGAsYHQ/s526/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.29.53.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="526" height="608" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tHe0rutg0Y8/YTM8xbZCk7I/AAAAAAAA3ok/9GHfo2D2FlolWTNFKcFfP0vXitO8V4h4gCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h608/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.29.53.png" title="https://twitter.com/globalhlthtwit/status/1431829158179622912" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/globalhlthtwit/status/1431829158179622912">https://twitter.com/globalhlthtwit/status/1431829158179622912</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>A fascinating <a href="https://twitter.com/rb2003/status/1418162456938098694">thread</a> on the life of an HGV driver, from someone who switched career into it. There are a lot of factors deterring folks from driving (and the hours/conditions make the roads with trucks on seem even scarier). The suggestions at the end of the thread for better minimum pay, limited working hours, and a shift of liabilities seem reasonable.&nbsp;</p><p>Cars have grown a lot. I think they are longer, too - at electric car charging stations, especially the new, bigger plazas such as Rugby services, it's amazing how few of the cars actually fit in the bays. <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A-fmzBtNG6s/YUGogJ5WM0I/AAAAAAAA340/yLM2W040m8MzIhN_l7ZPMauhbj_eJgHeQCLcBGAsYHQ/s622/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.01.31.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="622" data-original-width="528" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A-fmzBtNG6s/YUGogJ5WM0I/AAAAAAAA340/yLM2W040m8MzIhN_l7ZPMauhbj_eJgHeQCLcBGAsYHQ/w544-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.01.31.png" title="https://twitter.com/anotherJon/status/1413518756404412417" width="544" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/anotherJon/status/1413518756404412417">https://twitter.com/anotherJon/status/1413518756404412417</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Thanks to George Dibb for summarising the report of the Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform task force. There's some interesting insights in <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeDibb/status/1405792364178849794">the Twitter thread</a>, including bits of weird self-contradictory content, and no mention of how businesses might need to comply with 2 sets of regulations.<br /></p><p>I found that thread via Jack Stilgoe, who <a href="https://twitter.com/Jackstilgoe/status/1405833193446641673">reviews</a> the claim in the report that Connected and Automated Vehicles is "predicted [to create] an additional 320,000 jobs." If you've ever wondered where headline numbers come from, this is a nice illustration!&nbsp; A 2015 report predicted jobs by 2030, based on a bunch of assumptions which may or may not be coming true.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bFRDEMHNgGk/YUGr_RFanUI/AAAAAAAA35E/k8vwEO-zeQEZwrkFdvGDOuM5OJB_Gqn9wCLcBGAsYHQ/s522/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.15.32.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="248" data-original-width="522" height="304" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bFRDEMHNgGk/YUGr_RFanUI/AAAAAAAA35E/k8vwEO-zeQEZwrkFdvGDOuM5OJB_Gqn9wCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h304/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.15.32.png" title="https://twitter.com/Jackstilgoe/status/1405833193446641673" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Jackstilgoe/status/1405833193446641673">https://twitter.com/Jackstilgoe/status/1405833193446641673</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Thanks Peter Wells for sharing <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/08/26/google-confirms-its-pulling-the-plug-on-streams-its-uk-clinician-support-app/">the news about Google shutting down "Streams,"</a> an app used in the NHS via various deals with DeepMind, despite Streams not actually being an AI product. As that TechCrunch article notes, it was a weird project from the start, even without the data sharing scandal. <br /></p><p>Mark Hurst writes about <a href="https://creativegood.com/blog/21/public-libraries-vs-google.html">how crap Google is these days as a search engine</a>: </p><p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"></p><blockquote><p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"><i>Google Search is now a pay-to-play wasteland. And that’s exactly what was predicted by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, in their 1998 <a href="https://ailab-ua.github.io/courses/MIS510/9_brin98anatomy.pdf" target="_blank">academic paper</a> on search engine design. From Appendix A: </i></p> <blockquote class="ml0 mt0 pl4 black-90 bl bw2 b--blue"><p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"><i>Advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers. . . . advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results.</i></p></blockquote><p><i> Google, which today rakes in more advertising dollars than ever, is lousy with the “poor quality search results” that Larry and Sergey wrote about.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Whether you consider Google’s decrepit search engine, the vast graveyard of past launches, or the underlying business model of surveillance and manipulation, the smell of rot is so intense that it’s a wonder Google is still considered a tech leader. Sure, the money machine is still churning within Search, as well as in YouTube...</i></p><p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"><i>I <a href="https://wfmu.org/archiveplayer/?show=107151&amp;archive=206335&amp;starttime=0:9:16" target="_blank">spoke</a> [...] with Shannon Mattern, professor at the New School and author of the new book <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691208053/a-city-is-not-a-computer" target="_blank">A City Is Not a Computer</a>. Among other things, we talked about the public library as a superior alternative to Google. In her book, Mattern quotes Safiya Noble [...], who writes:</i></p> <blockquote class="ml0 mt0 pl4 black-90 bl bw2 b--blue"><p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"><i>What we need is greater investment by taxpayers in civic alternatives, which would help us understand digital advertising platforms like Google, Facebook, and others for what they are, rather than thinking of them as the public library, which they are not.</i></p></blockquote> <p class="f5-ns fw4 lh-copy"><i>Noble is exactly right. Google, as the platform that practically invented surveillance capitalism, is not a library. We might more accurately describe it as the antithesis of a civic institution, in that its ultimate aim is exploitation, rather than service, of the community. Regardless of how many pages are captured in its search index, or how many tech sectors it monopolizes, Google deserves no trust, and no authority, in the public sphere.</i></p><i> It’s important to understand the mismatch between how Google presents itself to society, and what it actually intends to do.</i></blockquote><p>Tommaso Valletti (Chief Competition Economist of the European Commission between 2016 and 2019) <a href="https://promarket.org/2021/06/28/tech-block-merger-review-enforcement-regulators/">writes about big tech acquisitions:</a><br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Most tech acquisitions are approved without a hitch, despite growing evidence that they bring little benefit, because regulators are waging an uphill battle to get information in the face of obfuscation by dominant firms. The solution is to reverse the burden of proof: Instead of making the regulator prove that a merger will cause harm, make the merging parties prove that it won’t.</i></p><i>As you read this, please remember two numbers: 1,000 and zero. The former number represents the 1,000 acquisitions made by GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft) in the past 20 years. The latter is the number of those acquisitions actually blocked by regulators worldwide. </i></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><i>... My team of 30 (really excellent) economists, supervising the economic analysis of every major merger, antitrust, and state aid case in Europe, faced dominant companies that could hire any number of lawyers against us. They paid an army of consultancies to <a href="https://promarket.org/2020/09/28/difference-between-research-academic-lobbying-hidden-funding/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">create doubt</a> around an issue, while the burden of proof was on us to dismiss their claims. This burden was made worse by asymmetric information: the companies had all the incentives to hide vast amounts of information from us and use it selectively to create more obfuscating smoke.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><blockquote><p></p><p><i>... economics tells us that once you are a large company, further concentration creates <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3387999" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">little benefit</a> to consumers, and the social gains from having strong alternatives to Google, Facebook or Amazon would be immense.</i></p><p></p> <p><i>...The advocates of Big Tech will, of course, attack this proposal. “It will punish Big Tech firms for their <a href="https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2020/04/29/dont_punish_tech_companies_for_being_great_104096.html" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">success</a>!” Seriously? These companies have never been so profitable. <a href="https://voxeu.org/article/googlefitbit-will-monetise-health-data-and-harm-consumers" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Why</a> should Google have been allowed to buy Fitbit? Couldn’t it have achieved the same technological result itself, leaving Fitbit to compete with it (either alone or purchased by another firm)? Prove to us, Google, that you really cannot do it without buying Fitbit.</i></p><i> “It will kill the small <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/06/07/new-big-tech-regulator-could-one-day-hurt-entrepreneurship/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">entrepreneurs</a>!,” they will also cry. Well, small, successful, innovative startups currently get purchased and then help dominant companies entrench their positions. Entrepreneurs have started talking openly of <a href="https://bfi.uchicago.edu/working-paper/kill-zone/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">“kill zones,”</a> where venture capitalists are reluctant to fund entrants that might compete with dominant platforms. </i></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p></p><p class="has-drop-cap">The article goes on to describe how remedies imposed on big mergers are evaded or avoided later on. Thanks to Julia Powles for the link.<br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a5xIMeewN7E/YSkSc27NsvI/AAAAAAAA3iI/j4grWVA5WcY2Q2bPkjRRWVGaDOtGBOhuACLcBGAsYHQ/s474/Screenshot%2B2021-08-27%2Bat%2B17.27.06.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="205" data-original-width="474" height="276" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a5xIMeewN7E/YSkSc27NsvI/AAAAAAAA3iI/j4grWVA5WcY2Q2bPkjRRWVGaDOtGBOhuACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h276/Screenshot%2B2021-08-27%2Bat%2B17.27.06.png" title="https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1405861029066776576" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1405861029066776576">https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1405861029066776576</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><a href="https://fairtec.io">FairTEC</a> brings together different consumer phone offerings to provide more sustainable and privacy-focussed systems, in a single arrangement. Fairphone hardware, a co-operative mobile network, a lease model with a focus on repair, and an open source privacy-centric operating system. Interesting!&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6a7NTjn5-QE/YTNDHsSZdDI/AAAAAAAA3os/1jMycWpM8CURdxcuaFgZ3AiJH7BKAvcMACLcBGAsYHQ/s524/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.57.08.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="356" data-original-width="524" height="434" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6a7NTjn5-QE/YTNDHsSZdDI/AAAAAAAA3os/1jMycWpM8CURdxcuaFgZ3AiJH7BKAvcMACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h434/Screenshot%2B2021-09-04%2Bat%2B10.57.08.png" title="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1426957367053275139" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1426957367053275139">https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1426957367053275139</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>The 2017 UK battery recycling plant pilot didn't work out - I wonder why. Anyway, presumably we export all the dead batteries, to somewhere, still.&nbsp;</p><p>In any case, that seems better than this -&nbsp; <br /></p><p><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JgPdEOHn2yg/YUGpIN65hxI/AAAAAAAA348/6xrqY8a9COwiyFieQ6n2CPIPn16OwSZtgCLcBGAsYHQ/s727/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.04.17.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="727" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JgPdEOHn2yg/YUGpIN65hxI/AAAAAAAA348/6xrqY8a9COwiyFieQ6n2CPIPn16OwSZtgCLcBGAsYHQ/w462-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B09.04.17.png" title="https://twitter.com/F_Kaltheuner/status/1406905503452700674" width="462" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/F_Kaltheuner/status/1406905503452700674">https://twitter.com/F_Kaltheuner/status/1406905503452700674</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Alex is right here as ever - we've been playing with connected hardware &amp; "smart" things for ages, but the joy has left so much of the space:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fYFXnTgzFyM/YUGoI807IwI/AAAAAAAA34s/gVobKeNKZ68KlX-tA5W84P-MJrTciFfpQCLcBGAsYHQ/s532/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B08.59.11.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="532" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fYFXnTgzFyM/YUGoI807IwI/AAAAAAAA34s/gVobKeNKZ68KlX-tA5W84P-MJrTciFfpQCLcBGAsYHQ/w632-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-09-15%2Bat%2B08.59.11.png" title="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1433122919589294086" width="632" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1433122919589294086">https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1433122919589294086</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Finally, another tale where something turns out not to be what you think. <a href="https://twitter.com/crisortunity/status/1429050280159625219">Leo Murray's Twitter thread looks into whether low-traffic areas (LTNs) mean it takes longer for emergency vehicles to respond</a>, and finds out that it doesn't (although it feels like it should) and that a couple of newspapers misquoted the Police Commissioner on this matter, but don't fancy making a correction, and the regulator doesn't care either.<br /></p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-66242957570760533012021-08-27T16:49:00.002+01:002021-08-27T16:49:39.045+01:00Summer-notes: institutions, trust<p>A fun find (from 2017) -<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEARD4I3xtE"> the King's Fund video description of how 'the NHS' works in England</a>. I remember in 2015-16 piecing together much of this at Doteveryone. Still astoundingly complex, and so little known. (Six and a half minutes of video just for a whistlestop tour...)</p><p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/09/labour-red-wall-working-class-brexit-conservatives">There never was a Labour party "red wall," writes David Edgerton</a>. Highlights mine.<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>The period from 1945 into the 1970s was without question Labour’s moment of success. Not only did it win elections, but it transformed British society. But over the last half century, as Labour’s halted forward march went into reverse, its vote share fell and oscillated wildly. <br /></i></p><p><i>... At the national level we also need to distinguish clearly between what share of the overall vote a party gets, and whether they win. In 1935 Labour got 38% of the vote but only 25% of seats. In 2019 it got a lower share of votes but a higher share of seats. The perversity does not end there: although Labour was more popular with voters in 2019, when it got a larger share of the vote than in 1983, 1987, 2010 or 2015, it got a lower number of seats in 2019 than in any of these elections.</i></p><p class="dcr-1jp9ryy"><i>Indeed, <b>once we look beyond the fallacious, Westminster-centric view of elections, which measures the popularity of a party according to how many seats they get rather than their share of the vote, a very different story of Labour leaders’ political success emerges.</b> In 1997 Tony Blair did as well (but no better) than Hugh Gaitskill did in 1959, but Blair won a huge parliamentary majority whereas Gaitskell lost seats. In 2017, Jeremy Corbyn did slightly better in terms of vote share than Harold Wilson in 1974; but while Wilson won a parliamentary majority, Corbyn was only able to deprive Theresa May of hers.&nbsp;</i></p><p class="dcr-1jp9ryy"><i>Nor should we think of the so-called red-wall seats as if they were stuck until recently in some unthinking Labourist la-la land. They followed national trends, not least electorally...</i></p><p class="dcr-1jp9ryy"><i>Even more absurd is the notion of an unchanging working class recently betrayed by Labour. <b>The working class has changed radically since Labour’s heyday. Where once it was made up of miners and factory workers, today it includes (among others) health service, education and hospitality workers. </b>There are no miners left, and far fewer factory workers today.<b> The working class is more female, better educated and not captured by the <a data-link-name="in body link" href="https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/11/25/how-well-do-abc1-and-c2de-correspond-our-own-class">43% of the population</a> whom advertisers class as “C2DE”, both because a quarter think of themselves as middle class but also because workers are not limited to the old “manual” occupations this archaic definition rests on.</b></i></p><i>The phenomenon of a working-class red wall is an ideological concoction that benefits Labour’s enemies. It makes little sociological or psephological sense today, and the fragment of the past it reflects is one of Tory working classes. Yet this group has come to define how Labour thinks of the working class. </i></blockquote>&nbsp;<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CTn8kb2iudQ/YSj_uPwzR6I/AAAAAAAA3iA/dXvruwUaLI85MFEHSQS2XvlrymtzktYNwCLcBGAsYHQ/s525/Screenshot%2B2021-08-27%2Bat%2B16.07.07.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="410" data-original-width="525" height="500" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CTn8kb2iudQ/YSj_uPwzR6I/AAAAAAAA3iA/dXvruwUaLI85MFEHSQS2XvlrymtzktYNwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h500/Screenshot%2B2021-08-27%2Bat%2B16.07.07.png" title="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1417246208217829384" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1417246208217829384">https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1417246208217829384</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>The government plans to reduce the powers of the Electoral Commission [<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/672b5cf7-fdda-42fc-a0f4-8d6e0dd17e0e">FT piece, paywall</a>] seem bad. There's a <a href="https://www.open-britain.co.uk/electoral_commission">petition</a> against this on OpenBritain.<br /></p><p> </p><p>A rather depressing read about Chinese censorship in what you would think of as an international context - LinkedIn profiles, US movie and sports stars. <a href="https://creativegood.com/blog/21/beijing-is-giving-orders.html">Mark Hurst writes</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>American actor and former pro wrestler [John] Cena is apologizing. ... Cena’s massive breach of conduct, which brought on this self-abasing exercise, came during a recent promotional event in which Cena indicated... that Taiwan is a country.&nbsp; ... what I find remarkable is that an American movie star, employed by an American movie studio, promoting an American movie, so enthusiastically and immediately bends to the wishes of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).<br /><br />Jojje Olsson posts today that LinkedIn censored his profile after it mentioned the subject of his graduate thesis: the Tiananmen Square massacre. ...<br /><br />when H&amp;M spoke out about the camps in Xinjiang (where much of the world’s cotton is sourced), H&amp;M suddenly disappeared from Chinese apps. Well-known Japanese retailer Muji went in the other direction, proudly advertising their use of Xinjiang cotton: “Heck yeah, we use forced labor, come and get it!” Muji stands to profit nicely, while H&amp;M will lose money.</i></blockquote><p></p><p>A somewhat gloomy<a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n14/james-meek/who-holds-the-welding-rod"> long article by James Meek in the LRB</a> about, well, several things. How renewable energy plant is built and the companies involved. How international companies operate, and how hard it might be to retain good jobs in the UK. </p><blockquote><i>In 2017, Ørsted – under its original name of DONG Energy (Danish Oil and Natural Gas) – submitted its supply chain plan for Hornsea Two. It said it aimed to spend half the money it would cost to build the wind farm within Britain. Top of the list of ways Ørsted said it had developed ‘a strong UK supply chain’ was ‘the development and delivery’ of CS Wind’s Campbeltown factory into a plant capable of making offshore wind towers. The UK government approved the supply chain plan, and gave the wind farm the go-ahead. This year, Siemens installed the first turbines at Hornsea Two, 55 miles offshore. But in between the approval of the plan proclaiming Ørsted’s loyalty to Campbeltown and the start of work, Ørsted and Siemens gave up on the plant. Undertakings were clearly broken, yet there’s no sign Ørsted or Siemens will suffer a penalty. These immense enterprises decided that what seemed to be promises were not legally binding. Political assurances of the inevitability of green jobs for Britain turned out to be, as the climate politics researchers Stefan Aykut, Edouard Morena and Jean Foyer put it, an example of ‘incantatory governance’. The UK and Scottish governments, Black told me, ‘don’t say: “You must buy British.” They say: “We would very much like it if you would.” <br /><br />...One British renewables consultant told me that rather than laying out a clear system of targets and penalties to encourage local content, the government’s only means of enforcement had been to implant ‘a slight sort of anxiety’ in the minds of wind development executives. It was clear that if the government tried to take away the wind giants’ licences because they hadn’t employed enough Brits, it would end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. But, the consultant said, ‘there was still the feeling that there was something the government could do.’ <br /><br />...The British government intends to bring in a new rule that will allow it to impose a crippling penalty – cancellation of the guaranteed minimum price for a wind farm’s electricity – if a developer doesn’t provide the green British jobs it’s supposed to.<br /><br />And looked at from Ørsted’s point of view, what would have happened if the British or Scottish government had forced it to take CS Wind’s towers? From 2016 to 2019, CS Wind had an absolute monopoly as the sole builder of offshore wind towers in the UK. If Ørsted had been compelled to use them, CS Wind could have charged what it liked. Green British jobs would have been protected, but would the energy still have been cheap?<br /><br />... The British government has committed to the radical promise of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and filling the North and Irish Seas with wind farms is essential to that. But it’s not only the ‘cheap’, ‘green’ and ‘British’ aspects that make you think Britain is, once again, trying to have its cake and eat it. It’s also the contradiction between Britain the beacon of free markets and open global competition, and Britain the trade fortress, exercising protectionism in its own workers’ interests. The government says different things to different audiences. In response to a story in the Guardian about complaints in Europe that Britain’s local content rules for wind farms could be in breach of the Brexit deal, a UK government spokesman said: ‘There are no mandatory requirements for supply chains to use UK products.’ The same government department had made it clear to me a few days earlier that it had every intention of taking the opposite approach.<br /><br />... The equivalent of almost all Scotland’s electricity is now supplied by renewables, and when demand is low and the weather blustery, wind turbines generate two-thirds of the wattage Britain needs. You might accept that Britain has ceded tech sovereignty to overseas multinationals, and say, well, let them at least be competent and effective ones, like Siemens and Vestas. But even as I write this, it has a hollow ring. Suppose I make the distinction between a false populist portrayal of the wind energy revolution as a triumph of national ingenuity and my own understanding of it as a vital endeavour engaging the whole species – one in which the greater ingenuity, foresight and can-do spirit has, this time, been shown by the Danes. The trouble is that these narratives aren’t very far apart. If the Boris Johnson version is neo-aristocratic, boasting of improvements to the landed estate that is Britain, mine is neo-romantic: humanity, and the version of nature we know, may yet be saved! The trouble is that the aristocrat and the romantic have much in common. Each tends to overlook those who do the spade-work, those whose hand holds the welding rod. It shouldn’t be more important that the North Sea wind farms get built than that some of their towers are made by low-paid labourers working twelve-hour shifts, seven days a week; and yet the immense utopian project to decarbonise human activity forges ahead, while the equally utopian project to end the setting of ‘low income country’ worker against ‘high income country’ worker barely exists. The mad dream of a green energy transition might just be starting to come true, with much of the credit due to stubborn activists, clever engineers and a handful of far-sighted policymakers. But it is also happening for the unlikely reason that it has been redefined as a global capitalist-consumerist project. It realises utopian goals while simultaneously keeping stock markets ticking over, making the rich richer and spreading a general sense of virtue. The system has been able to turn the green energy transition into a set of products – electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines –but the transition to a world of better-treated workers involves systemic changes that are the antithesis of commodification.<br /><br />... The trouble is that to treat the issue as one of good/bad for British workers and good/bad for Vietnamese workers is to obscure the fundamental question of whether something is good or bad for people. It is hard to find an excuse to treat stories like this one as anything other than a challenge to organised labour to go global. A world factory demands a world trade union. The cry that higher wages mean higher unemployment is the oldest scare in capital’s playbook. And if we call a global minimum wage – or a global maximum working week, or a global minimum healthcare standard – pie in the sky, we’re saying that the green energy transition is the possible, necessary utopia, and fair pay and conditions the impossible, unnecessary one.<br /><br />Both journeys have a terribly long way to go. </i></blockquote><p>Matt Webb observes that <a href="https://interconnected.org/home/2021/06/22/brands">there are many things now where the sheer number of options online means it's impossible to know what (or who) to trust</a>, as it's impossible to tell the difference between scams and invisible intermediaries and good traders or products. </p><p class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"></p><blockquote><p class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><i>What spam is to communication, scams are to marketplaces.</i></p><p class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><i>Only there’s no way I can install an anti-scam filter.</i></p><p><i>My hunch is that after 20+ years of scaling marketplaces of all kinds, reducing friction and increasing activity, we’re hitting a wall similar to the malware wall hit by Windows (and ultimately “solved” by the shift to managed computing led by iOS), the spam wall hit by email (Gmail’s spam filter was a band-aid; ultimately comms moved off email into WhatsApp and corporate messaging), and the disinfo wall hit by large social network...</i></p><p class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><i>So assume this problem is getting worse. What is to be done?</i></p><p class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><i>Two solutions from history no longer work in 2021:</i></p><ul class="list ph0 ph0-ns bulleted-list"><li class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><i><strong>Brands.</strong> A brand is a hostage – you know the company won’t do anything awful because they risk a brand which has taken time, money, and good behaviour to develop. Call it reputation. But we consumers can’t tell reputation directly, we can only look for signifiers: have we encountered the brand a lot; do other people appear to transact with it; does it look expensive; etc. And online, all of those signifiers are cheap to fake. A new scam brand can be indistinguishable from a established yet new-to-me trustworthy one.</i></li><li class="measure-wide f6 f5-l lh-copy black-80"><em><strong>Retailers.</strong> The other problem with brands is that you do want to buy from new ones, so one role of trusted retailers - in the past - has been to pass on that trust to the brands they select. Our brains believe that trust is a transitive property. But it isn’t: trusting Amazon doesn’t mean you can trust the merchants; trusting LinkedIn doesn’t mean you can trust the approaches you get there.</em><br /></li></ul></blockquote><p><br /><a href="https://creativegood.com/blog/21/cameras-and-con-games.html">Mark Hurst notes</a> that treating bitcoin as a religion, or eliminating crime in America, may seem like jokes; but suggesting Silicon Valley companies may cause problems is seen as a joke by some tech investors. We need to remember that these radically different perspectives are out there. The difference is the level of power and money behind the two.<br /></p><p>In similar vein, talking to someone who works in venture capital, who was slightly alarmed to find there are people out there, in positions of significant power/influence and theoretically working in future-oriented activities, who are only now starting to acknowledge climate issues, and only because Bill Gates has a book out about the topic. <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-caEQUKLtDtk/YRkg1-KSpdI/AAAAAAAA3X4/jwzLqnyOMnkJ5lPq2GmVNSdLsaB45XJUwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1006/Screenshot%2B2021-08-15%2Bat%2B15.12.12.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="578" data-original-width="1006" height="368" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-caEQUKLtDtk/YRkg1-KSpdI/AAAAAAAA3X4/jwzLqnyOMnkJ5lPq2GmVNSdLsaB45XJUwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h368/Screenshot%2B2021-08-15%2Bat%2B15.12.12.png" title="https://twitter.com/peterbihr/status/1404432548575514627" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/peterbihr/status/1404432548575514627">https://twitter.com/peterbihr/status/1404432548575514627</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br />I think this insight from Peter in this is interesting. But it's hard to sustain in other formats of institution too.&nbsp; Sean McDonald's<a href="https://www.frontlinesms.com/blog/2021/7/19/frontline-business"> long article</a> about the story and closure of FrontlineSMS is both inspiring (as Frontline has always been) and challenging.&nbsp; I feel I ought to be picking some highlights, but the length and complexity of the story are in many ways the value of it too. Also my highlights would likely be shaped by my current work ponderings!<br /></p><p>Thanks also to Peter Bihr (indirectly) for the <a href="https://twitter.com/andy_matuschak/status/1424214397057077251">Buxton Index</a> - the length of the period over which an entity makes its plans.<br /><a href="https://alastairparvin.medium.com/we-need-new-operating-systems-whose-job-is-that-37421656a2e9"><br />Alastair Parvin [in January this year]</a> says we need new operating systems - in the sense of systems by which we organise our world, and our institutions. There are so many contradictions - <br /><i></i></p><p></p><blockquote><i>"We live in a wealthy country, where no one thinks it is acceptable for a child to go hungry. And yet today one third of children in the UK live in poverty, and 17% live in hungry households.<br /><br />Our homes have never been worth more money. And yet many are small, dark, unhealthy, unsafe, socially isolating and unfit to spend any significant amount of time in.<br /><br />We publicly applaud essential workers, and yet at the same time they are underpaid, overworked and demoralised."<br /><br />It's not that we aren't changing some systems. But "we find ourselves using 21st century information systems that are underpinned by 19th century models of ownership, governance and accountability" for instance.</i></blockquote>The IPCC report 'gratitude' <a href="https://twitter.com/bethsawin/status/1424701690792615941">Twitter thread from Elizabeth Sawin</a> is a reminder of how many people are working on climate issues in different places and ways.<br /><br /><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bFH2G_pDPPg/YRkhPa8_HpI/AAAAAAAA3YA/MYwjmC3WEjUjy3ZAOVA5gKPnPEIxmSaXQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-08-15%2Bat%2B15.13.46.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="714" data-original-width="1076" height="424" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bFH2G_pDPPg/YRkhPa8_HpI/AAAAAAAA3YA/MYwjmC3WEjUjy3ZAOVA5gKPnPEIxmSaXQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h424/Screenshot%2B2021-08-15%2Bat%2B15.13.46.png" title="https://twitter.com/webmink/status/1413609157572403201" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/webmink/status/1413609157572403201">https://twitter.com/webmink/status/1413609157572403201</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p><p>And finally - in 2020 there were a bunch of reports about people receiving mysterious seeds in the post from China. After discarding theories about biological warfare, it seemed that it was an ecommerce scam. However, this was also wrong - after a deep investigation, <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/07/unsolicited-seeds-china-brushing/619417/">Chris Heath found that the reality was that these people had, actually, ordered the seeds online themselves.</a> Astonishing.<br /></p><p></p><br /><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-65705379372394267572021-08-14T16:21:00.002+01:002021-08-15T15:43:57.644+01:00Summer-notes: food, climate<p>The <a href="http://nationalfoodstrategy.org">National Food Strategy</a> came out. It seemed like a lot of data folks were upset by the <a href="https://twitter.com/dustin_benton/status/1415582114171478016">hexagons showing land use</a> (mostly beef and lamb pastures), but there's some other nice visualisations and info in <a href="https://twitter.com/dustin_benton/status/1415577285869162499">Dustin Benton's twitter thread</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>CoFarm colleague Sue Pritchard has many good thoughts on these matters. We've had <a href="https://www.cofarm.co/news/2021/7/11/busy-bees-thousands-of-new-plants-in-the-ground-at-cofarm-cambridge">a lot of great cofarming going on to</a>:<a href="https://www.cofarm.co/news/2021/7/11/busy-bees-thousands-of-new-plants-in-the-ground-at-cofarm-cambridge"> </a></p><blockquote><p id="yui_3_17_2_1_1628951339344_411" style="white-space: pre-wrap;"><i>CoFarm’s growing area has doubled this year as we aim to produce at least twice the amount of food than last. In 2020, we grew more than 4.5 tonnes of vegetables across 0.66 acres, which was donated to 9 local community food hubs. The remaining 1.3 acres of the market garden contained cover crops, which fix nitrogen into the soil and attract insects that pollinate food crops and eat pests. </i></p><p><i>This year, most of these cover crops have been cleared to make space for growing more vegetables, but there is no shortage of flowers. The market garden’s perimeter, and walkways within it, are bursting with colourful blooms, and the <a href="https://www.cofarm.co/news/2021/5/19/cofarm-kicks-off-crowdfunding-creates-4-acre-wildflower-meadow">four acres of wildflower meadows recently sown</a> outside of the market garden are growing well.&nbsp; </i></p></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;"><br /></td><td style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pnogrO1wJdQ/YRaCXOl-8mI/AAAAAAAA3V4/kkJUCIMHQM827bQHlvWP9gFl1b9foSKJQCLcBGAsYHQ/s527/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B15.30.55.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="234" data-original-width="527" height="285" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pnogrO1wJdQ/YRaCXOl-8mI/AAAAAAAA3V4/kkJUCIMHQM827bQHlvWP9gFl1b9foSKJQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h285/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B15.30.55.png" title="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1415699483829194763" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1415699483829194763">https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1415699483829194763</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://ffcc.co.uk/conversations/real-climate-action-look-beyond-meat">Sue also writes</a>:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>It’s not news that greenhouse gas emissions are rising. What is however starkly outlined in the IPCC report are the impacts of shorter-lived greenhouse gases, especially methane. Over half of total global emissions come from human activities, and 40% of those come from agriculture, 35% from fossil fuels, and 20% from waste. </i></p><p><i>The elephant in the room is, of course, a cow. A third of these agriculture methane emissions come from livestock...</i></p><p><i>On land use, we must protect intact ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes. In the UK, we must restore peatlands and grasslands. We can also adopt regenerative practices across the farmed landscape, keeping carbon in the soil through no-till cultivation, planting trees and hedgerows to both sequester carbon and improve habitats. Agroforestry and silvopasture integrate trees into food production, with all the social and environmental co-benefits this provides. </i></p><p><i>On production systems, we must de-industrialise global farming. ‘Efficiencies’ in farming have obscured the real cost of production. From water and air quality to ecosystem destruction, from poverty to diet-related illness, the drive for ever cheaper food has externalised its true cost, to tax payers and to future generations.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>.... And finally, on meat - which brings us back to the cow in the room - intensive and industrialised red meat production has to transition to agroecological farming systems, in which ruminant livestock play a key role in soil fertility, carbon sequestration and habitat restoration.</i></p></blockquote><p>Aside from the COP26 excitement, COP15 is this year, too. That's the biodiversity one and seems to be getting almost no attention (<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/1f00c08f-50cd-4f8d-9aed-7c3264a9623b?shareType=nongift ">FT [paywall]</a>). Thanks to Hetan Shah for the link.<br /></p><p><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--tnlgFUSito/YRZMKbmudzI/AAAAAAAA3VI/QyPGA3I2_9YImLjNYmdyJ9XIaPoe0cDngCLcBGAsYHQ/s523/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.39.57.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="197" data-original-width="523" height="242" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--tnlgFUSito/YRZMKbmudzI/AAAAAAAA3VI/QyPGA3I2_9YImLjNYmdyJ9XIaPoe0cDngCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h242/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.39.57.png" title="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1406875711147810819" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1406875711147810819">https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1406875711147810819</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br /><a href="https://adamtooze.substack.com/p/chartbook-newsletter-24">Adam Tooze writes about class and climate</a>. </p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>The conclusion is unavoidable: If there is to be a stabilization of global emissions it will involve a U-turn in the trajectory of consumption, particularly amongst the top ten percent of households in North America, the Arab world and Asia. </i></p><p><i>This involves new lifestyle choices. But, viewing the problem in terms of individual choices only goes so far. Consumer choices are constrained by the range of goods and services on offer and the type of infrastructure that is installed. A fundamental shift in fossil fuel consumption must be driven by infrastructural decisions. </i></p><p><i>But rather than simply juxtaposing individual consumption and societal infrastructure decision, we need to ask: who makes infrastructure decisions? Who is it who frames policy options and shapes public opinion, whether in the national media or the social networks? Who is it who legislates? Who governs? Who is it who engineers technical solutions? Who leads businesses, small and large to buy into the trajectory of decarbonization? </i></p><p><i>From the manager of a national utility to the forward-thinking electrical contractor who decides to propose new solar solutions to his clients, it is, when it comes down to it, the same group highlighted by the consumption data - the folks in the top 10 percent of the income distribution - who drive the development of infrastructure. </i></p><p><i>Viewed in these terms the distinction between individual consumption choices and the structures that guide and constrain those individual choices, is blurred. Both are the result of action by the same minority. And this entanglement becomes even more compelling when we consider another aspect of the energy transition - the question of financing. </i></p><p><i>... The central economic question of the coming decades is how to mobilize the resources necessary for a major wave of energy investment. Setting aside issues of financial technique, the energy transition will require tens of trillions of dollars in clean energy assets to be added to balance sheets. Most forecasters project that the majority of those assets will ultimately end up on private balance sheets – whether it be in the form of shares in renewable energy utilities, domestic solar arrays, a billion-strong fleet of electric vehicles, or a new generation of low-emission aircraft and cargo ships. That portion which ends up financed through public spending will, in large part, be funded by the issuance of public debt, of which a substantial fraction will ultimately end up on private balance sheets. </i></p><p><i>What do we know about private balance sheets? Even more than the distribution of income and consumption, the distribution of wealth is skewed towards the top. Insofar as the energy transition is financed through the issuance of financial assets they will be held overwhelmingly by the same 10 percent of households who through their consumption account for a vastly disproportionate share of emissions growth and through their decision-making shape the energy infrastructure of their societies. </i></p><p><i>... If the analysis of the skewed distribution of consumption, decision-making power, and financial capacity all lead us to the same place, it is not by accident. Where we have arrived is at the analysis of class identities, class relations and class power. </i></p><p><i>There are, of course, <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3438-who-lit-this-fire-approaching-the-history-of-the-fossil-economy">no shortage</a> of analyses that relate the climate crisis to the dynamics of capitalism. A good case can be made that rather than the Anthropocene, we should be discussing the <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/2388-the-shock-of-the-anthropocene">Capitalocene</a>. But apart from being ungainly, that neologism also has the tendency to direct analysis towards the rather abstract concept of “capital”. One of the bracing effects of the kind of sociologic al sketch offered here is that rather than “capitalism” it focuses attention on classes, on groups of people, on us.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... To say that class analysis is more concrete than the analysis of capital, is not to say that it is simple. If anything the contrary is true. In this essay I have deliberately avoided committing to any particular terminology. One hesitates to use the English term "ruling class", because its connotations are too restrictive to cover a group as wide as that considered here. The same is true of “elites”, or “technocracy”. One is tempted to borrow from Italian the notion of the “directing class” (classe dirigente). Perhaps, after all, the notion of Bürgertum (the rough German equivalent for bourgeois) in its capacious sense of entitled, enfranchised or propertied classes is the most appropriate.</i></p><i>Whatever our choice of terms, we can hardly avoid the conclusion that if there is to be an energy transition, under prevailing conditions (an assumption some may wish to challenge), it is this social class that must make it, simultaneously as decision-makers, consumers and investors. And it must be made across the entire world. </i></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-La4y0I3MLgE/YRZMeFJG2KI/AAAAAAAA3VQ/2SFuklFeBWspZS30hmjJoa3BkfRO0QYlwCLcBGAsYHQ/s523/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.41.09.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="327" data-original-width="523" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-La4y0I3MLgE/YRZMeFJG2KI/AAAAAAAA3VQ/2SFuklFeBWspZS30hmjJoa3BkfRO0QYlwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.41.09.png" title="https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1406244156599644161" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1406244156599644161">https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1406244156599644161</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Former colleague Sam Leon is now at Global Witness, and <a href="https://www.globalwitness.org/en/blog/new-uk-planting-initiative-cant-see-forest-trees/">writes about why we should be sceptical about the UK plan to plant 300km2 trees a year as part of "net zero" activities</a>:</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>In May this year, George Eustice, the UK Environment Secretary, <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/forestry-commission-chair-welcomes-new-england-trees-action-plan-to-treble-tree-planting-rates-in-england">announced</a> the England Trees Action Plan, setting out the government's ambition to boost tree-planting rates in England to support their overall target of reaching 30,000 hectares of new trees planted per year. The plan has been touted by government as a means through which they can address biodiversity loss, connect people with nature and reach net zero by 2050.&nbsp;</i></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHqKiJuzrqQ/YRZRixrMbII/AAAAAAAA3Vw/2CLBWgqSWss0Gy8F-K2F10-503WoKTcQgCLcBGAsYHQ/s600/UK_deforestation_footprint_1.width-600.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Image from Global Witness report showing deforestation/forestation levels" border="0" data-original-height="525" data-original-width="600" height="560" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VHqKiJuzrqQ/YRZRixrMbII/AAAAAAAA3Vw/2CLBWgqSWss0Gy8F-K2F10-503WoKTcQgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h560/UK_deforestation_footprint_1.width-600.png" width="640" /></a></i></div><i> ... Announcements which baldly state impressive-looking domestic afforestation targets should not distract us from the fact that the UK is a net deforester on a gigantic scale once the effects of its imports and investments are considered. Any attempts to claim that the UK is making progress to net zero by tree planting must take this into account.<br /></i><p><i>The UK market for commodities like soy, palm oil and cocoa — and the products that contain them —&nbsp;<a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/documents/risky-business/risky-business-report-summary.pdf">plays a significant role in deforestation</a>&nbsp;outside of UK borders. Research published earlier this year in the journal&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-021-01417-z">Nature Ecology &amp; Evolution</a>&nbsp;shows that between 2001 and 2015, the UK was net deforester to the tune of 1,574km2: &nbsp;an area equivalent to the size of Greater London.</i></p><p><i>... One fact often overlooked in the debates around tree-planting is that new forests made up of smaller, younger trees do not absorb anywhere near as much carbon as mature, intact forests. Scientists also know that primary forests —&nbsp;ancient forests largely undisturbed by human activity —&nbsp;<a href="https://primaryforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ForestCarbonFactsheet_26112015.pdf">store 30–70%</a>&nbsp;more carbon than plantation forests.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Global Witness research has demonstrated how major banks headquartered in the UK bankroll companies destroying tropical forests.</i></p><p><i>In&nbsp;<a href="https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/forests/money-to-burn-how-iconic-banks-and-investors-fund-the-destruction-of-the-worlds-largest-rainforests/">Money to Burn</a>&nbsp;— which examined the financing behind six agribusinesses involved in or closely linked to deforestation in climate-critical forests — we found the UK to be the single-largest provider of international credit and investment between 2013-2019, providing $6.5 billion in financing. At the time the report was published these included large banks like HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>&nbsp;<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dzBVRd_HN3s/YRZL3REzDmI/AAAAAAAA3VA/jKZkEUCwKmIOWqR3tveKynd6_F86brbGgCLcBGAsYHQ/s546/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.38.57.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="546" data-original-width="530" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dzBVRd_HN3s/YRZL3REzDmI/AAAAAAAA3VA/jKZkEUCwKmIOWqR3tveKynd6_F86brbGgCLcBGAsYHQ/w622-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.38.57.png" title="https://twitter.com/EthicsInBricks/status/1409027935131082763" width="622" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/EthicsInBricks/status/1409027935131082763">https://twitter.com/EthicsInBricks/status/1409027935131082763</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>&nbsp;<br /><a href="https://theprepared.org/newsletter-archive/2021-06-21">Kane Hsieh writes</a><a href="https://theprepared.org/newsletter-archive/2021-06-21"> in the Prepared</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><i>I’ve started to wonder more about the things around us that we currently normalize, but could have long term detrimental effects. We’re within living memory of arsenic in makeup, lead in paint, benzene in dry cleaning, asbestos in everything.<br /><br />What are things now that our great grandchildren will look back on with horror? If I were a betting man, I would say we now significantly underestimate how noise pollution, artificial lighting spectrums, and indoor air quality affect us long term. In some ways it's a bit more insidious than heavy metals, if not as immediately dangerous—how do we even longitudinally measure and analyze psychological effects of our built environment?</i></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XgdOiJXUExY/YRZQWF7crHI/AAAAAAAA3Vo/2IGNk3pfHUgfar-LOcoLL7iUO1tK-zSGQCLcBGAsYHQ/s626/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.57.43.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="626" data-original-width="528" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XgdOiJXUExY/YRZQWF7crHI/AAAAAAAA3Vo/2IGNk3pfHUgfar-LOcoLL7iUO1tK-zSGQCLcBGAsYHQ/w541-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.57.43.png" title="https://twitter.com/Feargal_Sharkey/status/1413511238122840066" width="541" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Feargal_Sharkey/status/1413511238122840066">https://twitter.com/Feargal_Sharkey/status/1413511238122840066</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Via Cassie Robinson, I learned of <a href="https://www.clientearth.org">ClientEarth</a>, an environmental charity that uses legal cases to drive environmental policy enforcement. Seems a powerful approach - although their 2020 annual report includes a gloomy note about declining rule of law, judiciary independence and civil society space even in the UK. <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Zvs-qSOPVjw/YRZPWFY7o5I/AAAAAAAA3Vg/vnDQqGzmHwUjhxxJ1GDNfmFU94BeLnoDQCLcBGAsYHQ/s526/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.43.27.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="494" data-original-width="526" height="376" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Zvs-qSOPVjw/YRZPWFY7o5I/AAAAAAAA3Vg/vnDQqGzmHwUjhxxJ1GDNfmFU94BeLnoDQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h376/Screenshot%2B2021-08-13%2Bat%2B11.43.27.png" title="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1408764970591002625" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1408764970591002625">https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1408764970591002625</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p><a href="https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/police-criticised-employees-arts-charity-detained-extinction-rebellion-raid/management/article/1721122">Arts charity employees were arrested</a>, apparently because of links to Extinction Rebellion:</p><p dir="ltr"></p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><i>Two of the charity’s staff and one tenant were detained as part of a dozen arrests made in a “proactive” raid that was intended to target members of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion before a planned protest at the weekend.</i></p><p dir="ltr"><i>The group’s members had been attending workshops on the premises.&nbsp;</i></p><i>... He said the police also threatened to dismantle an art installation on the roof of the building that used the same tensegrity technique as used in a protest by XR.</i></blockquote><p><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PP_GiWaxSL4/YRfbVN1EwAI/AAAAAAAA3WI/dvg932rAObUVEYGJ4oXb9RU2c_7rEskLACLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-08-14%2Bat%2B16.03.23.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="456" data-original-width="1076" height="272" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PP_GiWaxSL4/YRfbVN1EwAI/AAAAAAAA3WI/dvg932rAObUVEYGJ4oXb9RU2c_7rEskLACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h272/Screenshot%2B2021-08-14%2Bat%2B16.03.23.png" title="https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1426191243705524229" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1426191243705524229">https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1426191243705524229</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-25143013649596259892021-06-14T07:41:00.002+01:002021-06-14T07:41:57.204+01:00Notes: fresh air, suppliers, local communities, stories<p>Great contributions from Cofarm board colleague Sue Pritchard, and Maintain friend David Edgerton, on <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000twhw">the Briefing Room on global supply chains</a>. </p><p>There was an interesting highlight for me in <a href="https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2021/318-michael-lewis-on-the-pandemic">Talking Politics with Michael Lewis about his pandemic book</a>, about when demand for nose swabs became very high, the price went up, factories ramped up production - not just of nose swabs, but of&nbsp; fake nose swabs. Astounding.</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Qpzi5ggMuks/YLOxI62nBYI/AAAAAAAA16Q/rBC7TRfzELsL5nddZardLfLJGq4mVxtDQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1072/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.36.38.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="672" data-original-width="1072" height="402" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Qpzi5ggMuks/YLOxI62nBYI/AAAAAAAA16Q/rBC7TRfzELsL5nddZardLfLJGq4mVxtDQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h402/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.36.38.png" title="https://twitter.com/sarahmanavis/status/1397517661299425280" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/sarahmanavis/status/1397517661299425280">https://twitter.com/sarahmanavis/status/1397517661299425280</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>There's still a lot more sanitiser stations than open doors or windows in town, even on the warm, dry days.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-REqsgCl5oGo/YLOxljkeQhI/AAAAAAAA16Y/4kbgwzwmt5ETJTQh3L0dNPRk3lXIGiNvgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1070/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.38.00.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="738" data-original-width="1070" height="442" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-REqsgCl5oGo/YLOxljkeQhI/AAAAAAAA16Y/4kbgwzwmt5ETJTQh3L0dNPRk3lXIGiNvgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h442/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.38.00.png" title="https://twitter.com/linseymarr/status/1392906073804259341" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/linseymarr/status/1392906073804259341">https://twitter.com/linseymarr/status/1392906073804259341</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>It would be nice if you could tell what venues had better ventilation.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bUJMe8QVflY/YLUdjEB_TXI/AAAAAAAA17o/Eaa3LMstyesr5cJlPMjoxv4Qbrkn-POKACLcBGAsYHQ/s1072/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.31.12.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="414" data-original-width="1072" height="248" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bUJMe8QVflY/YLUdjEB_TXI/AAAAAAAA17o/Eaa3LMstyesr5cJlPMjoxv4Qbrkn-POKACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h248/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.31.12.png" title="https://twitter.com/kenhorn/status/1397083171720765444" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/kenhorn/status/1397083171720765444">https://twitter.com/kenhorn/status/1397083171720765444</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><a href="http://theprepared.org">The Prepared</a> Slack community had a discussion about repair cafes and unpaid labour. Volunteering in these contexts is hardly aligned with ideas of valuing repair work (although in some cases those with the greatest need to repair goods may be unable to pay). The Repair Cafe Foundation <a href="https://www.repaircafe.org">requires</a> that repairers are unpaid.&nbsp; Tool Libraries often follow a similar model; and an overt anti-capitalist position might reject paid work like this. Are there other viable models that pay a fair wage to repairers, and support free or discount repairs for those in need?<br /></p><p>iFixit tell <a href="https://www.ifixit.com/News/50450/samsung-galaxy-upcycling-unlocked-smartphone-smarthome-project">the sad tale of Samsung's upcycling programme</a> - a great vision and a worse than useless reality. Is this upcycling washing?<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3HxInd0Ut_0/YLOu2AYxzxI/AAAAAAAA16A/KT8UtMZiE2ci1D5AE0Yi6EdxjaJv8LP6wCLcBGAsYHQ/s1418/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.26.49.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1418" data-original-width="1070" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3HxInd0Ut_0/YLOu2AYxzxI/AAAAAAAA16A/KT8UtMZiE2ci1D5AE0Yi6EdxjaJv8LP6wCLcBGAsYHQ/w482-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.26.49.png" title="https://twitter.com/randal_olson/status/1383410748978712577" width="482" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/randal_olson/status/1383410748978712577">https://twitter.com/randal_olson/status/1383410748978712577</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Technology is probably not the answer:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1bmLOuQNBPc/YLOwOeMkoyI/AAAAAAAA16I/2s4tmUQyXn4YlHxuTi5POEL8Zqy3QposwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1408/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.32.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1408" data-original-width="1066" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1bmLOuQNBPc/YLOwOeMkoyI/AAAAAAAA16I/2s4tmUQyXn4YlHxuTi5POEL8Zqy3QposwCLcBGAsYHQ/w485-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.32.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/KetanJ0/status/1393985805035704328" width="485" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/KetanJ0/status/1393985805035704328">https://twitter.com/KetanJ0/status/1393985805035704328</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Sym Roe has <a href="https://twitter.com/symroe/status/1387669718987788291">an insightful thread</a> about What3Words - "it's trying to solve a problem that many people can understand quickly. They've done an incredible marketing job and taken a closed approach, and no one really cares because the problem is real, or at least easy to imagine." </p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gdgG8DmtYYI/YLUcdAhLngI/AAAAAAAA17g/U6S9QMx5MdQXpxquAuIOOc1EztJ8XVsVwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1024/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.27.01.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="404" data-original-width="1024" height="253" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gdgG8DmtYYI/YLUcdAhLngI/AAAAAAAA17g/U6S9QMx5MdQXpxquAuIOOc1EztJ8XVsVwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h253/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.27.01.png" title="https://twitter.com/EthanZ/status/1391800159605084162" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/EthanZ/status/1391800159605084162">https://twitter.com/EthanZ/status/1391800159605084162</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Google Docs is switching from using the standard, accessible and flexible Document Object Model, which is designed for documents, to Canvas rendering, which is designed for images, making web documents more opaque <a href="https://twitter.com/MidasNouwens/status/1392756740962332674">[thread]</a>.<br /></p><p>The European Parliament is <a href="https://twitter.com/mikarv/status/1396880688339640331/photo/1">not impressed</a> by the lack of enforcement activity at the UK Information Commissioner's Office. <a href="https://action.openrightsgroup.org/help-us-protect-your-data-illegal-ads">The Open Rights Group is raising money</a> to take the ICO to court to get laws around online advertising enforced.&nbsp; HT Michael Veale.&nbsp;</p><p>Interesting point that we should maybe focus on institutions rather than the tools they use, as it's very hard to disconnect entirely from big power, whether tech business or state: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N_vxGG26g8c/YMTR0TNCOHI/AAAAAAAA2JM/QDWRbOmtnFgrqyCj7Udp3J03SoRxADhnwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1072/Screenshot%2B2021-06-12%2Bat%2B16.23.45.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="774" data-original-width="1072" height="462" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-N_vxGG26g8c/YMTR0TNCOHI/AAAAAAAA2JM/QDWRbOmtnFgrqyCj7Udp3J03SoRxADhnwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h462/Screenshot%2B2021-06-12%2Bat%2B16.23.45.png" title="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1401771749361000449" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1401771749361000449">https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1401771749361000449</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p><a href="https://www.benthamsgaze.org/2021/04/27/evidence-critical-systems-designing-for-dispute-resolution/">Steven Murdoch writes about the Post Office Horizon case</a> - alongside other issues, he notes:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Organisations might not have the information they need to show whether their computer systems are reliable or not (and may even choose not to collect it, in case it discredits their position). The information might be expensive to assemble, and so they might argue it is not justifiable to disclose. In some cases, publicly revealing details about the functioning of a system could assist criminals, so it gives organisation yet another reason (or excuse) to not disclose relevant information. For all these reasons, there will be resistance to a change in the presumption that computers operate correctly.</i></p><p><i>I believe that we need a new way to build systems that need to produce information to help resolve high-stakes disputes: evidence-critical systems. The analogy to safety-critical systems is deliberate – a malfunction of a safety-critical system can lead to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety-critical_system">serious harm to individuals or equipment</a>. The failure of an evidence-critical system to produce accurate and interpretable information that can be disclosed could lead to the loss of significant sums of money or an individual’s liberty. Well designed evidence-critical systems can cost-effectively resolve disputes quickly and with confidence, removing the impediments to disclosure, allowing a change in the presumption that computers are operating correctly.</i></p><p><i>We already know how to build safety-critical systems, but doing so is expensive, and it would not be realistic to apply these standards to all systems. The good news is that evidence-critical engineering is easier than safety-critical engineering in several important ways. While a safety-critical system must continue working, an evidence-critical system can stop when an error is detected. Safety-critical systems must also meet tight response-time requirements, whereas an evidence-critical system can involve manual interpretation to resolve difficult situations. Also, only some parts of a system will be critical for resolving disputes; other parts of the system can be left unchanged. Evidence-critical systems do, however, need to work even when some individuals are acting maliciously, unlike many safety-critical systems.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lSoxDx8kz3I/YLOuSGrl0wI/AAAAAAAA154/2qoD0NdDYssp9fM1PiKaxg2mKn4QOEXxgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1124/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.24.28.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1124" data-original-width="1082" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lSoxDx8kz3I/YLOuSGrl0wI/AAAAAAAA154/2qoD0NdDYssp9fM1PiKaxg2mKn4QOEXxgCLcBGAsYHQ/w616-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-05-30%2Bat%2B16.24.28.png" title="https://twitter.com/PeteApps/status/1387323172593094656" width="616" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/PeteApps/status/1387323172593094656">https://twitter.com/PeteApps/status/1387323172593094656</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>This had echoes, for me, of the discourse around development (in the context of international aid, not software, because every word has confusingly disparate meanings when you work in different sectors):</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ym2N85CSZEw/YLUfW7kVw9I/AAAAAAAA17w/E7QJ2PD5HUwad4gOdM0nmqihIIkqk4fuwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1308/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.38.06.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1254" data-original-width="1308" height="614" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ym2N85CSZEw/YLUfW7kVw9I/AAAAAAAA17w/E7QJ2PD5HUwad4gOdM0nmqihIIkqk4fuwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h614/Screenshot%2B2021-05-31%2Bat%2B18.38.06.png" title="https://twitter.com/radiocatherine/status/1397521681510539264" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/radiocatherine/status/1397521681510539264">https://twitter.com/radiocatherine/status/1397521681510539264</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Worth reading<a href="https://medium.com/onioncollective/attachment-economics-everyday-pioneers-for-the-next-economy-d0a9ac20080#b9dd"> the whole article</a> by Jessica Prendergrast - I appreciated the points about different scales/boundaries of local communities, and the importance of commercial players within communities (pubs, small shops, etc).&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><i>The simplest intervention as others, Haldane included, have mooted, is investment in social (and cultural which is just as important though it barely gets mentioned) infrastructure. To make any in-roads, it is critical that this is not watered down to mean basically anything that is not physical infrastructure. The focus must be on places, organisations and practices that encourage, embed and broaden attachments. This can include all kinds of places from post-offices, pubs, shops, community centres, art galleries, parks, and it can include much of the public sector — nurseries, schools, hospitals, — but these are all only social infrastructure if they build opportunities for associational life. Schools, for example, are often entirely detached from community life, hospitals too; and pubs can be the most exclusionary of all places. It’s not a catch-all. The practice matters.</i></blockquote><p></p><blockquote>...<i> Where local government is embracing its role as enabler and partner in community economic development — cities like Plymouth, Liverpool, Bristol — we see real impact, and a key role in supporting two things which communities tend to lack — an ability to underwrite risk and access to finance. Notwithstanding the debate about whether to substantially re-resource local government, it is vital therefore that no revival of local government’s standing should be used, intentionally or otherwise, as a mechanism by which to flatten the seedlings of the emergent ‘fourth sector’ of purpose-driven, often community-led, organisational forms. This requires a genuine culture shift in local government and a genuine acknowledgement by politicians on all sides that if the ambition is to reconnect with all those not obviously benefiting from the prevailing system then communities are not just conveniently placed, but better suited, to delivering meaningful change in economic agency.&nbsp; </i></blockquote><i></i><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>... it is important to recognise that these efforts at community enterprise are not seen by sector leaders as only a symbiotic solution to market failures in the current free or pro-market, neoliberal system but instead as a demonstrable way to replace it with something different. These leaders are grappling with the major social ills of our time — from social fragmentation to environmental pressures to economic restructuring and global volatility. They want to be a part of building a new, better future, within an economic settlement that prizes social, human or environmental value over financial value or which disputes the organising principle of profit. They do so by incorporating attachment in some form into their business models and are committed to economic priorities being decided and owned locally, at scales adapted to suit place-based attachments.</i></blockquote> On a local level, <a href="http://occamstypewriter.org/athenedonald/2021/05/31/levelling-up-for-whom/">Athene Donald writes about what levelling up might mean in/around Cambridge</a>, the most unequal city in the UK, and with areas of poverty to the East and North, as well as the Western route to Oxford, which is so much discussed in research terms. <br /><p></p><p>At CoFarm we're doing a <a href="https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/cofarmcambridge">fundraiser</a> - over 200 volunteers together grew over 4.5 tonnes of fresh local produce for 8 community food hubs last year, and we want to double it this year. Donating the produce is great for those locally living with food insecurity, but not so great for covering expenses!</p><p>There have been <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57152169">positive signs</a> that the government might include get binding targets about nature and biodiversity in the Environment Bill. Still probably worth signing this <a href="https://e-activist.com/page/76784/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=WCL">petition</a> from a coalition of UK wildlife groups if you care about this.&nbsp; <br /></p><p></p><p></p><p>The UK is going to require <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-brings-forward-world-leading-climate-change-legislation">pension fund trustees to monitor and report on how climate risks may affect their investments. </a><br /></p><p><a href="https://alexsteffen.substack.com/p/the-last-hurrah">Alex Steffen on the pace of climate response</a>: <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>When we do get around to having sober conversations about the magnitude of the changes tearing through the world around us, most of the ideas we discuss are decades past their sell-by date, and treat the crisis as a distant problem. Acting on behalf of our grandchildren. Gradual policy changes. Slowly rising carbon taxes. Eventual improvements in technology. Living “a little more sustainably.” Planting trees. Planning to build some sea walls.</i></p><p><i>If the Biden moment feels to many like a headlong rush forward it is because of this context of silence and gradualism. </i></p><p><i>... We’re winning too slowly because we face a set of interest groups for whom losing slowly is the same thing as victory.</i></p><p><i>We live within what I call the Interval of Predatory Delay, a time that began over 50 years ago, when a set of high-polluting industries decided it was wiser and more profitable to fight to delay change on climate and sustainability than to invest in lower-carbon and more sustainable systems and processes. Easier to torch the planet and lie relentlessly, they decided, than avoid catastrophe and lose revenue.</i></p><i>For decades now, they have been controlling the pace of their own defeat. They have spent billions of dollars denying the science, downplaying the consequences of inaction, inflating estimates of the costs of change, sabotaging our civic debates about the future, bribing and buying public leaders and attacking the reputations and livelihoods of thousands of scientists, journalists and advocates who’ve pushed for a greater sense of urgency. </i></blockquote><p>&nbsp;A very real example of this from the recent Cumbrian coal mine planning question, in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/27/dig-coal-to-save-the-climate-the-folly-of-cumbrias-plans-for-a-new-coalmine">a great long read from Rebecca Willis</a>:<br /></p><p class="dcr-s23rjr"></p><blockquote><i>The councillors were being besieged by these discourses of delay, complicating what should have been a simple decision. Emissions from burning the coal don’t count, they were told; just one extra coalmine won’t make any difference; coal is needed to make the steel for wind turbines … These arguments worked because they provided cover to councillors desperate to approve a project that promised jobs. As the local candidate opposing the mine put it, some supporters “really understand the argument about climate change, but think, as we all tend to do, that this is just one exception that we could let through, because this place really needs it”.</i></blockquote><p></p><p>The need for jobs in the area seemed to drive folks adopting any kind of story that offered actual jobs soon, even if it was otherwise worrying, and making that as positive as they could in the stories they went on to tell.&nbsp; <br /></p><p><a href="https://phoebetickell.medium.com/new-deep-narratives-we-need-new-stories-of-what-it-means-to-be-human-8ade0989b4cc">Phoebe Tickell writes about how important stories are to human existence.</a> But:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>I believe that we are in a period of story breakdown, an era that my teacher and mentor, Joanna Macy refers to as ‘<a class="dc jl" href="https://www.activehope.info/three-stories.html" rel="noopener nofollow">The Great Unravelling</a>’. As many stories that we held so dear in our near-recent human history are unravelling, the rates of mental health problems are rising. Things like “if I spend my life working hard everyday then I will be financially secure and happy,” or “if I go to a good University I will be successful” are no longer a given. Many young people feel they have no way of predicting what the future holds for them because many of the jobs that we do today didn’t even exist when we were at school. </i></p><p><i>Other stories which are starting to breakdown revolve around broader societal assumptions. “All technology is good, and the more technology we develop, the more our society advances” or “bottled water is better for you”. These widely accepted stories don’t make sense anymore when you take into account the mountains of electronic waste in Ghana, or the levels of plastic in our oceans. Despite this, the old (but not ancient) stories continue to live on and on in our collective imagination.<br /><br />We’re in a chasm between stories that used to function and new stories which haven’t yet gathered enough coherence to function effectively. We can respect the stories of the past, but we also realise that they often aren’t actually helping us to navigate the reality we are living in anymore. </i></p></blockquote><p>I think there was something good in Matthew Taylor's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-54DxHlOMnc">short video</a>, but the drawings distracted me. Maybe listen to the audio only. <br /></p><p><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-2190257161127458412021-04-25T14:45:00.002+01:002021-04-26T08:15:26.220+01:00Fortnightnotes: software freedom, retrofitting, objects<p><a href="https://nowplaythis.net/2021-festival/">Now Play This 2021</a> happened! It was lovely, from the not-flying pre-festival experience of an economy class seat flight sim, to a neighbourhood walk with musical accompaniment to close the festival. Some of it is on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMRQrf_b6IqXU-y-z3u_YNQ/videos">YouTube</a> now. I enjoyed the mellow alternative management-sim of Among Ripples: Shallow Waters (rebuilding and maintaining the water ecosystems), and the visions of the future - particularly the mixed responses of the people of post-flood Venice 2089. Other highlights were thinking about the other side of things with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxLZvvVYQzA">games about "bad actors"</a>, and the art concept of the <a href="http://scrnprnt.ca/TheGardenOfEarthlyDelights">Garden of Early Delights</a>.<br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>Maintain is hosting a <a href="https://ti.to/festival-of-maintenance/visible-mending-workshop-darning-with-studio-thrift">darning workshop online</a> on the 29th April&nbsp; - an opportunity to learn about visible mending and the experience of clothing repair.&nbsp;</p><p>I continue to be annoyed about What3Words, but this is now becoming more of a thing for others. As well as the financial/sector commentary here, there's been more people finding examples where the words are in fact unhelpfully similar, not meeting the company's own marketing promises.<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XlaTd5As_uc/YIEw9z3aEnI/AAAAAAAA1LU/yei3NPEFp8UGSvvVdC53u5WISNWjPFb1wCLcBGAsYHQ/s1462/Screenshot%2B2021-04-22%2Bat%2B09.16.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1462" data-original-width="1062" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XlaTd5As_uc/YIEw9z3aEnI/AAAAAAAA1LU/yei3NPEFp8UGSvvVdC53u5WISNWjPFb1wCLcBGAsYHQ/w464-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-04-22%2Bat%2B09.16.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/ldodds/status/1382258790083530755" width="464" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ldodds/status/1382258790083530755">https://twitter.com/ldodds/status/1382258790083530755</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><p>Thanks to Democracy Club for assembling the great <a href="https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/">https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/</a> to help people see their options in the elections. It remains depressing that <a href="https://twitter.com/symroe/status/1380193613523587072">volunteers</a> must assemble this stuff.</p><p>Obviously we could use some more sensible governance: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OUSruvsyPWs/YILaOIYsQ9I/AAAAAAAA1NI/5WhOecB_4FYiR_fVLriB2uWJ6y_wCI6TQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1120/Screenshot%2B2021-04-23%2Bat%2B15.29.07.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1120" data-original-width="1072" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OUSruvsyPWs/YILaOIYsQ9I/AAAAAAAA1NI/5WhOecB_4FYiR_fVLriB2uWJ6y_wCI6TQCLcBGAsYHQ/w383-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-04-23%2Bat%2B15.29.07.png" title="https://twitter.com/meralhece/status/1381555665827680259" width="383" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/meralhece/status/1381555665827680259">https://twitter.com/meralhece/status/1381555665827680259</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>And also some better software management:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BpuTD0M8P2E/YILahaC5KII/AAAAAAAA1NQ/bQ7l3GDTHSI49K9qVxg32jewTQfEWrD2gCLcBGAsYHQ/s1062/Screenshot%2B2021-04-23%2Bat%2B15.32.14.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="718" data-original-width="1062" height="270" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BpuTD0M8P2E/YILahaC5KII/AAAAAAAA1NQ/bQ7l3GDTHSI49K9qVxg32jewTQfEWrD2gCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h270/Screenshot%2B2021-04-23%2Bat%2B15.32.14.png" title="https://twitter.com/Jamestaylor2/status/1381550901832388612" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Jamestaylor2/status/1381550901832388612">https://twitter.com/Jamestaylor2/status/1381550901832388612</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>We can't blame everything on the pandemic.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C1YdYbQey_s/YIQsDXOg2-I/AAAAAAAA1Pc/PFwbcnV4yk0u5_ni0LG8IK2gcRSpmO9igCLcBGAsYHQ/s1282/Screenshot%2B2021-04-24%2Bat%2B15.32.15.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1282" data-original-width="1072" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C1YdYbQey_s/YIQsDXOg2-I/AAAAAAAA1Pc/PFwbcnV4yk0u5_ni0LG8IK2gcRSpmO9igCLcBGAsYHQ/w335-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-04-24%2Bat%2B15.32.15.png" title="https://twitter.com/lewis_goodall/status/1382625113024106498" width="335" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/lewis_goodall/status/1382625113024106498">https://twitter.com/lewis_goodall/status/1382625113024106498</a></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br /><p><a href="https://martin.kleppmann.com/2021/04/14/goodbye-gpl.html">Martin Kleppmann argues that copyleft has failed to maintain software freedoms</a>, and the real threat now is cloud computing, so we need new (legal) tools. I agree that copyleft doesn't seem fit for purpose now, although I'm a little more skeptical that rights to data portability will be much use (unless enforcement starts to happen seriously). <br /></p><p>The interweb experience has really changed; I imagine this is much less apparent to those who came online more recently. It's all much less flexible these days. Tony Hirst, ever a pioneer in using what digital info was available for useful purposes, especially learning and research and building knowledge, notes some of what's lost and what is possible now in <a href="https://blog.ouseful.info/2021/04/19/browser-based-custom-search-engines/">this post about search</a>. Hugely appreciate your endeavours and your sharing, Tony. Sorry the internet is so shit these days. <br /></p><p>I enjoyed <a href="https://twitter.com/HeyChelseaTroy/status/1381330307929014273">the whole thread from Chelsea Troy</a> on software maintenance:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MZ_W8LOgpsU/YIEzC1qSRuI/AAAAAAAA1Lc/Hof54qs0YZ8UWnJPgKYZ84dMmnRb71d_ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-04-22%2Bat%2B09.25.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="664" data-original-width="1076" height="246" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MZ_W8LOgpsU/YIEzC1qSRuI/AAAAAAAA1Lc/Hof54qs0YZ8UWnJPgKYZ84dMmnRb71d_ACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h246/Screenshot%2B2021-04-22%2Bat%2B09.25.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/HeyChelseaTroy/status/1381330307929014273" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/HeyChelseaTroy/status/1381337292019798019">https://twitter.com/HeyChelseaTroy/status/1381337292019798019</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Despite announcements suggesting the UK now has a Right to Repair, there's <a href="https://therestartproject.org/news/not-yet-uk/">a lot more to be done</a>.<br /></p><p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/09/sea-rice-eelgrass-marine-grain-chef-angel-leon-marsh-climate-crisis">Eelgrass - a fascinating food source.</a> Could this be grown in more places to feed more people at a low carbon cost?<br /></p><p><a href="https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2018/09/how-to-build-a-lowtech-website.html">LowTech magazine's low tech website </a>changes depending on the availability of solar power. Low power, the site renders in black and white instead of colour. When there's no power, it's offline.&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>However, running data centers on renewable power sources is not enough to address the growing energy use of the Internet. To start with, the Internet already uses three times more energy than all wind and solar power sources worldwide can provide. Furthermore,&nbsp;<a href="https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/04/how-sustainable-is-pv-solar-power.html">manufacturing, and regularly replacing, renewable power plants also requires energy</a>, meaning that if data traffic keeps growing, so will the use of fossil&nbsp;fuels.</i></p><p><i>... The growth in data traffic&nbsp;<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224224694/download">surpasses the advances in energy efficiency</a>&nbsp;(the energy required to transfer 1 megabyte of data over the Internet), resulting in more and more energy&nbsp;use.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Thanks to a low-tech web design, we managed to decrease the average page size of the blog by a factor of five compared to the old design – all while making the website visually more attractive (and mobile-friendly). Secondly, our new website runs 100% on solar power, not just in words, but in reality: it has its own energy storage and will go off-line during longer periods of cloudy&nbsp;weather.</i></p></blockquote><p>Worth a read to see all the ways they save power - and therefore how other sites consume it. HT Michael Dales.</p><p>A <a href="https://medium.com/a-right-to-retrofit">new set of articles</a> from Dark Matter Labs about retrofitting homes to cut carbon -&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Retrofit, in attempting to deliver a <i class="ji">collective </i>climate transition of our built environment, still operates within the primarily individualised institution of property. Common across almost all the contexts we worked in, the onus to pay for retrofit work remains by default with the individual property owner, with the risks of high energy costs, maintenance costs, and substandard housing conditions borne by the individual. An owner’s inability to pay the high upfront costs required, and the lack of available financing, becomes a barrier to retrofit with cascading consequences.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Grant schemes .. tend to concentrate on the ‘easy wins’ by limiting eligibility to<a class="ck fv" href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme#what-the-voucher-can-be-used-for" rel="noopener nofollow"> certain types of intervention</a>, and lend the weight of government authority to mainly conservative, piecemeal approaches, rather than deep, comprehensive retrofit. ... from our work with City of Edinburgh Council, while the council has set ambitious decarbonisation targets with council-funded retrofit used as a means to achieve this, the privatisation of individual council flats has created mixed-tenure blocks with private owners who may not be able or willing to invest in retrofit. </i></p><p class="ik il fz im b in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb jc jd je jf jg jh ew ce" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="84c8"><i>In the long term, this has been shown to be <a class="ck fv" href="http://urbed.coop/sites/default/files/2016%20URBED%20Tyndall%20The%20Retrofit%20factfile%20-%20facts%20and%20publications.pdf" rel="noopener nofollow">insufficient in reducing</a> energy usage and emissions, and within <a class="ck fv" href="https://www.green-alliance.org.uk/resources/reinventing_retrofit.pdf" rel="noopener nofollow">30 years</a> time, will require further retrofit. The knock-on consequences of this funding barrier is that with retrofit’s limited demand, contractors have little incentive to invest in training or developing dedicated retrofit services, so work is completed with conventional construction methods with little guarantee of performance, and in turn, worsening the perception of retrofit, becoming a cascading risk.</i></p><p> </p><p><i>... To address the challenge of climate breakdown, retrofitting will mean large-scale, long-term plans that propose to take our homes and streets apart and build them back with us still inside. For this to be possible, the way we approach retrofitting needs to empathise with just how precarious many people’s lives have become, not only during the last 12 months, but as a result of the systemic injustices in how our built environment gets made and remade, and the suspicion that it has caused.&nbsp; </i><i><br /></i></p><p><i>... Conventional approaches to retrofitting have attempted to reduce domestic carbon emissions on a piecemeal basis, relying on the ‘easy wins’ for individual homes such as one-off grants for wall or loft insulation, replacing boilers, or adding heat pumps. Although useful in the short term, these measures will only make a small dent in our 2050 goals.</i><span>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</span> <br /></p></blockquote><p></p><p></p><hr /> <p></p><p>Ten years on from the discovery of the most boring day last century. Although actually I think it's 11 years, because I wasn't there for the discovery, just the first anniversary in 2011. 300million facts - rather more by my time at True Knowledge - was a lot to wrangle.&nbsp;<span></span><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WnhhsxmUq2g/YHyDj0eysNI/AAAAAAAA1I4/1uqfolHQAHg_ztMqBRjKlrbLdsU9MIwNACLcBGAsYHQ/s1078/Screenshot%2B2021-04-18%2Bat%2B20.07.04.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="556" data-original-width="1078" height="206" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WnhhsxmUq2g/YHyDj0eysNI/AAAAAAAA1I4/1uqfolHQAHg_ztMqBRjKlrbLdsU9MIwNACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h206/Screenshot%2B2021-04-18%2Bat%2B20.07.04.png" title="https://twitter.com/williamtp/status/1381615356888944640" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/williamtp/status/1381615356888944640">https://twitter.com/williamtp/status/1381615356888944640</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p><a href="https://reallifemag.com/unwanted-corkpull/">Kelly Pendergrast on objects</a>:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>It’s hard to live with objects these days. I want to surround myself with tools that help me perform my daily tasks, or beautiful objects that are frivolous but nice to look at and touch. I want things that last a long time, that are easy to fix, and that didn’t damage the people who made them or the places their materials were extracted from. The Oxo corkpull and a thousand other objects in my drawers and closets feel like barely-tolerable stowaways, unwanted gifts foisted on me by the complex and inexorable machinations of an economic system bent on destruction.</i></p><p><i>... The dream that objects can be cycled back into innocent inputs is powerful and poignant. Maybe there’s karma for materials, and my embarrassing ergonomic corkpull will be reborn into a new body, renewed and whole. I imagine my $10 Target toaster ratcheting apart like an exploded view diagram, each component labeled and registered and ready to be redeployed, flying off to a new home in some other toaster or modular appliance. Each rusty screw and plastic molecule valorized once again. More than likely, though, the toaster will end up in a landfill, its crummy electronic components and janky carapace too wretched to bother with.</i></p><p><i>...&nbsp; I hold the corkpull, and I think of the prehistory of its materials extracted from the ground, the chemical manufacturing to form the plastic compounds, the digital piecework of design logistics, marketing, the molding and unfolding and packaging and shipping and handling and retail. It’s such a weight to hold in my hand.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... “No ethical consumption under capitalism,” I tell myself. And yet the sense of vertigo and horror persists, flaring up any time I think about the sheer number of material, human, and energy inputs that converge in a single crappy kitchen implement. It makes it hard to live with things, and even harder to be rid of them.</i></p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><hr /><p>Slow TV from Sweden - <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/svt_slow/">watch the migration of moose across a frozen river on Twitch</a>. Public broadcasting at its best.<br /></p><p> </p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-87279441099315677782021-04-04T19:01:00.002+01:002021-04-04T19:01:24.306+01:00Fortnightnotes: heating, levelling, generations<p>&nbsp;From <a href="https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/food-in-a-pandemic-report-published">a new report on UK experiences of food through the pandemic</a>:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IpJvuBKm95U/YGnEYiNjgKI/AAAAAAAA06s/_fvBV_2tqcgDQp8udUblKXSS2nGAOln6QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1064/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.51.18.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="564" data-original-width="1064" height="213" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IpJvuBKm95U/YGnEYiNjgKI/AAAAAAAA06s/_fvBV_2tqcgDQp8udUblKXSS2nGAOln6QCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h213/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.51.18.png" title="https://twitter.com/FoodEthicsNews/status/1372536574269923330" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/FoodEthicsNews/status/1372536574269923330">https://twitter.com/FoodEthicsNews/status/1372536574269923330</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>If you are in the UK, you can see how polluted it is at your address -<a href="http://addresspollution.org/"> http://addresspollution.org/</a>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7ffeqzrj30E/YGm0xd0TVlI/AAAAAAAA054/yxbVeZuqPJc97eNKuwyEVULB4Xt7gAQOQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1170/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.44.26.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="498" data-original-width="1170" height="170" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7ffeqzrj30E/YGm0xd0TVlI/AAAAAAAA054/yxbVeZuqPJc97eNKuwyEVULB4Xt7gAQOQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h170/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.44.26.png" title="https://twitter.com/xr_cambridge/status/1372818902036664320" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/xr_cambridge/status/1372818902036664320">https://twitter.com/xr_cambridge/status/1372818902036664320</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/bf38ee30-3aa3-433e-a557-dbef79df4c71?desktop=true&amp;segmentId=d8d3e364-5197-20eb-17cf-2437841d178a">Chris Giles writes in the FT</a> [paywall] about the UK's failure to make progress on reducing the carbon burn of home heating. The Green Homes grant has flopped "because it is highly restrictive, only allowing energy-saving measures such as “secondary” improvements to windows and doors if combined with “primary” measures often inappropriate for older homes."Also - "there is a stealth tax on energy bills through the “environmental and social obligations” required from energy companies... these account for under 2 per cent of a typical gas bill, but nearly 23 per cent of electricity bills."&nbsp; <br /></p><p>HT Chris Vallance -&nbsp; <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZRwczQCyAfM/YGBCfSIn8zI/AAAAAAAA0rU/DgUQ11CztLwpLWLbAu7QmfdAioEur7zcQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1166/Screenshot%2B2021-03-28%2Bat%2B09.46.30.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="724" data-original-width="1166" height="398" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZRwczQCyAfM/YGBCfSIn8zI/AAAAAAAA0rU/DgUQ11CztLwpLWLbAu7QmfdAioEur7zcQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h398/Screenshot%2B2021-03-28%2Bat%2B09.46.30.png" title="https://twitter.com/radioproducer/status/1372826542590545924" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/radioproducer/status/1372826542590545924">https://twitter.com/radioproducer/status/1372826542590545924</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<br /><p></p><p>Heat pumps are a good way to decarbonise home heating, but they do still generally seem to require a lot of rework for existing properties. Less efficient, but also less re-engineering of your home needed, if you can get an electric boiler!&nbsp; <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/16/first-microwave-powered-home-boiler-could-help-cut-emissions">These ones use microwaves</a>. Thanks to Clare Rowland.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qoPmdG3TIxo/YGbmI5MpckI/AAAAAAAA0yk/VfWI5WV-IZAuoBgWElydZq3EQXBiq5ccwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1176/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.38.09.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="402" data-original-width="1176" height="136" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qoPmdG3TIxo/YGbmI5MpckI/AAAAAAAA0yk/VfWI5WV-IZAuoBgWElydZq3EQXBiq5ccwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h136/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.38.09.png" title="https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1375005248713068544" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1375005248713068544">https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1375005248713068544</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;A rich directory of open technologies, communities, and more "to sustain a stable climate, energy supply, and vital natural resources" - <a href="https://opensustain.tech/">https://opensustain.tech/</a> Thanks Roland Harwood for the link!&nbsp;</p><p></p><hr /><p>Here's <a href="https://bylinetimes.com/2021/03/11/a-selection-of-misleading-statements-made-by-boris-johnson-and-ministers-on-the-floor-of-the-house-of-commons-july-2019-december-2020/">a long list from Byline Times of occasions where Ministers have misled the House of Commons</a> over 18 months.<br /></p><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rhKLAgs3d_A/YGbv6_zYW2I/AAAAAAAA0zI/EpRQt-QmA28IrtRE94LOSqZkM6DCOmN7wCLcBGAsYHQ/s2875/EwYHxqPXIAA9-ml.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="photo of book page" border="0" data-original-height="916" data-original-width="2875" height="204" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rhKLAgs3d_A/YGbv6_zYW2I/AAAAAAAA0zI/EpRQt-QmA28IrtRE94LOSqZkM6DCOmN7wCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h204/EwYHxqPXIAA9-ml.jpg" title="excerpt from Liquid Modernity" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">from Liquid Modernity by <span class="author notFaded" data-width=""><span class="a-declarative" data-a-popover="{&quot;closeButtonLabel&quot;:&quot;Close Author Dialog Popover&quot;,&quot;name&quot;:&quot;contributor-info-B000APS9V2&quot;,&quot;position&quot;:&quot;triggerBottom&quot;,&quot;popoverLabel&quot;:&quot;Author Dialog Popover&quot;,&quot;allowLinkDefault&quot;:&quot;true&quot;}" data-action="a-popover">Zygmunt Bauman (HT Drew Austin) </span></span></td></tr></tbody></table><p>A <a href="https://www.mysociety.org/2021/03/17/we-believe-in-the-right-to-protest/">good outline from MySociety</a> about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, now in committee stages. Still time to write to your MP to make your views known, for instance about Clauses 54 to 60, amending the Public Order Act 1986, which would make most protest potentially seen as illegal.</p><p>There seems to be a sudden burst of petitions and projects seeking electoral reform, for example, <a href="https://www.open-britain.co.uk/citizens_assembly_on_electoral_reform">Open Britain</a>'s <a href="https://www.open-britain.co.uk/pr2028">PR2028</a>. Figuring out how to make such changes real seems important too, as even with evidence from citizen assemblies etc, the government is unlikely to adopt alternatives.&nbsp; This might mean innovations such as primaries to enable the opposition vote to not be split between parties.&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime let's hope for more accountability. It's good to see more legal challenges as a way to make change:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-74ctsvwi8Uw/YGnDE0Su0sI/AAAAAAAA06c/q9gd_BuRDwEPsAePixWj004MDhdGCqwHACLcBGAsYHQ/s1414/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.44.18.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1414" data-original-width="1076" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-74ctsvwi8Uw/YGnDE0Su0sI/AAAAAAAA06c/q9gd_BuRDwEPsAePixWj004MDhdGCqwHACLcBGAsYHQ/w488-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.44.18.png" title="https://twitter.com/Foxglovelegal/status/1376460698524528641" width="488" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Foxglovelegal/status/1376460698524528641">https://twitter.com/Foxglovelegal/status/1376460698524528641</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Attending COP26 in Glasgow looks like it will be an expensive business - <a href="https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/climate-conference-rip-off-as-cop26-delegates-asked-to-pay-ps12000-for-windowless-room-3172065 ">"Climate conference rip-off as COP26 delegates asked to pay £12,000 for windowless room"</a> - and official accommodation managed in bulk by a Swiss firm. Ouch. <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PS474efeN44/YGbqc0fGTWI/AAAAAAAA0y8/We3jBTmFtPAR_nMsUozOKJtVgq-fkb3mgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1100/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.56.39.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="574" data-original-width="1100" height="209" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PS474efeN44/YGbqc0fGTWI/AAAAAAAA0y8/We3jBTmFtPAR_nMsUozOKJtVgq-fkb3mgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h209/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.56.39.png" title="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1369947534924320773" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1369947534924320773">https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1369947534924320773</a></td></tr></tbody></table>In local government, if you don't spend it, the money goes away (and you probably get less next time around). <br /><p></p><p>Grim new <a href="https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/news/social-costs-of-the-pandemic-will-be-felt-for-a-decade-says-the-british-academy/ ">report</a> from the British Academy (an institution I probably wouldn't be aware of, if Hetan Shah wasn't there now!).<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>In its new multi-disciplinary evidence review, <a href="https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/publications/covid-decade-understanding-the-long-term-societal-impacts-of-covid-19/">The COVID decade: understanding the long-term societal impacts of COVID-19</a>, the Academy forecasts that significant intervention will be needed to avoid an acceleration towards poorer health, social and economic outcomes and a more extreme pattern of inequality. Some interconnected trends highlighted include:</i></p><ul><li><i>Low and unstable levels of trust in the national government, undermining the ability to mobilise public behaviour;</i></li><li><i>Widening geographic inequalities on measures such as health and wellbeing, local economic risk and resilience, and poverty;</i></li><li><i>Worsening social development, relationships and mental health – impacts which will vary according to age, gender, race and ethnicity, and levels of social deprivation;</i></li><li><i>Severe strains on the capacity to support local community infrastructure, which has risen in importance during the pandemic;</i></li><li><i>Lost – and likely unrecoverable – access to education at all levels, exacerbating existing socio-economic inequality, limiting access to digital skills and technology and impeding progress towards a prosperous, high-skilled economy.</i></li></ul></blockquote><p>Where will the UK Levelling Up funds go? <a href="https://www.thinknpc.org/resource-hub/what-will-levelling-up-pay-for/">NPC looked into this</a> - </p><blockquote><i>At the March 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced three new pots of levelling up funding: the Levelling Up Fund, the UK Community Renewal Fund, and the Community Ownership Fund.</i><p><i>We have analysed these funds, worth £5.17bn, to understand what they can be spent on, and what opportunities there are for charities and civil society to play their part...</i></p></blockquote><p></p><ul><blockquote><li><i>The new funds announced at the Budget prioritise hard infrastructure such as transport, purchase and repair of buildings, and building new parks. Of the total £5.17bn, we estimate that up to £4.48bn, 87%, could go on capital investment over four years.</i></li><li><i>Although there is some potential for social infrastructure, such as skills training, the new funding announced has limited scope for services such as youth provision, addiction, or homelessness, which many would think are important for levelling up our communities.</i></li><li><i>There are 28% fewer local charities per 1,000 people in areas prioritised for the Levelling Up Fund (Priority One compared to Priority Three areas). This implies there will be fewer chances for charity partnerships in the areas prioritised.</i></li></blockquote></ul><p>&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-so8XYqsNj_E/YGnDwO4ag4I/AAAAAAAA06k/tTFJbxA7JnMAqgunbkOVP305vbbul5oZQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1072/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.48.13.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1008" data-original-width="1072" height="376" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-so8XYqsNj_E/YGnDwO4ag4I/AAAAAAAA06k/tTFJbxA7JnMAqgunbkOVP305vbbul5oZQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h376/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B14.48.13.png" title="https://twitter.com/sarahoconnor_/status/1374306115844939778" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/sarahoconnor_/status/1374306115844939778">https://twitter.com/sarahoconnor_/status/1374306115844939778</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr />I enjoyed Ron Deibert and David Runciman on Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society - <a href="http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/gallery/video/ron-deibert-and-david-runciman-on-reclaiming-the-internet-for-civil-society ">CRASSH video</a>. Ron's expertise around the real threats for civil society is useful perspective here.<span></span><br /><p> </p><p>Do you (still) think Google is a web search engine?</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ko1jf406Oyw/YGnKj-OzPqI/AAAAAAAA060/YsbOjkz8jvIBh0hsXH4pcfDE3WWPppCsgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1340/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B15.17.37.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1340" data-original-width="922" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ko1jf406Oyw/YGnKj-OzPqI/AAAAAAAA060/YsbOjkz8jvIBh0hsXH4pcfDE3WWPppCsgCLcBGAsYHQ/w440-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B15.17.37.png" title="https://twitter.com/mikebutcher/status/1374631187629682690" width="440" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mikebutcher/status/1374631187629682690">https://twitter.com/mikebutcher/status/1374631187629682690</a></td></tr></tbody></table>On mobile, only 23% of clicks go to webpages that aren't Google-owned (<a href="https://searchengineland.com/zero-click-google-searches-rose-to-nearly-65-in-2020-347115">SearchEngineLand article</a>). Some <a href="https://twitter.com/randfish/status/1374865508353286144">comments from Rand Fishkin</a> about what this might mean. It's a bit like going back to the days of web portals...<br /><p>Heather Burns (again) on <a href="https://webdevlaw.uk/2021/01/30/why-generation-x-will-save-the-web/">generations in tech policy</a><br /></p><blockquote><p> <i>we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the trope of the internet being threatened by elderly politicians who don’t understand it, or us. And that trope, for the most part, is as true as it ever was.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... We – the GenXers – think of the internet as the open web. The land of dialup telnet Unix systems, the days of table layout, the days of dot com, the days of early tech startups, the days of the internet as a connector, the days of the internet as a business opportunity, the days of the internet as a path to social justice and revolutions, the days of the internet as a light in the darkness. That’s all we have ever known.</i></p><i></i><p><i>Today’s policy facilitators – the millenials – think of the internet as MySpace and Facebook. The closed web. The land of always-on broadband and wifi, the days of content management systems, the days of tech bros, the days of the internet as a divider, the days of the internet as an acquisition for the giants, the days of the internet as a path to radicalisation and hatred, the days of the internet as petrol on a spark. That is all they have ever known.</i></p><i></i><p><i>And that is what they draft policy briefings, proposals, and legislation against.</i></p></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fQHlY86JJGE/YGm1uJcXGbI/AAAAAAAA06A/YU9UK7W2pvYJq4qycs7Jp4XmEIn3v7fwgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1166/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.48.25.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="820" data-original-width="1166" height="281" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fQHlY86JJGE/YGm1uJcXGbI/AAAAAAAA06A/YU9UK7W2pvYJq4qycs7Jp4XmEIn3v7fwgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h281/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.48.25.png" title="https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1372667850234683399" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1372667850234683399">https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1372667850234683399</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>The <a href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210317/23530146442/internet-is-not-just-facebook-google-twitter-creating-test-suite-your-great-idea-to-regulate-internet.shtml">Techdirt piece by Mike Masnick</a> is worth a read and draws on other thinking, illustrating how much more there is to the internet. <br /></p><p>Rachel Coldicutt <a href="https://rachelcoldicutt.medium.com/delinquent-telephone-activity-f75f815d6e9a">writes about how we can use the internet differently</a>.&nbsp; A lot of Doteveryone references in there, and a reminder that even back in the early days there we were trying to recognise and name a wider concern than just "Facebook" or "Google"... <br /></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af"></p><blockquote><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af"><i>Let’s make a scene and rebel against Big Tech...</i></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af"><i>What do I mean by occupying technology? I mean, roughly, bending it to our will; taking advantage of its adaptivity to do something different.</i></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af"><i>... It turns out it’s really difficult to get people to rebel against something if they can’t see it, don’t feel empowered to make choices about, and don’t really understand it.</i></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il kd im in io ke ip iq ir kf is it iu kg iv iw ix kh iy iz jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="88c3"><i>... And it’s not surprising, because what exactly are we rebelling against? Is it the unnecessary collection of data? The illusion that we have unlimited choice when — at least some of the time — we’re just doing what the algorithms tell us? Is it bad working conditions for gig workers, unjust algorithmic decisions, the environmental impact of emerging technologies, the erosion of democracy, or the appalling concentration of power and money by a few billionaires?</i></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il kd im in io ke ip iq ir kf is it iu kg iv iw ix kh iy iz jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="cff9"><i>I mean, it’s all of those things, but you can’t really put that on a t-shirt or a protest sign.</i></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il kd im in io ke ip iq ir kf is it iu kg iv iw ix kh iy iz jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="189b"><i>And refusal isn’t really possible. Facebook still collects data about you even if you don’t have an account, and modern economies are so entangled with modern technologies that smashing the machines and walking away is only really an option if you’re independently wealthy or live alone on a desert island — and, let’s face it, they’re not the revolutionaries we need now.</i></p></blockquote><p class="ii ij gm ik b il kd im in io ke ip iq ir kf is it iu kg iv iw ix kh iy iz jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="189b"></p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af"> </p><p class="ii ij gm ik b il im in io ip iq ir is it iu iv iw ix iy iz ja jb cq eo" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="08af">We can adapt tech to be what we want it to be - messy, connected, human.<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ArGtT7DVm7Y/YGbnBnoOHoI/AAAAAAAA0ys/6XOQoDm9fpUBHNM0UdqUqSgnJ4a6s-ySQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1120/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.42.12.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="570" data-original-width="1120" height="204" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ArGtT7DVm7Y/YGbnBnoOHoI/AAAAAAAA0ys/6XOQoDm9fpUBHNM0UdqUqSgnJ4a6s-ySQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h204/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.42.12.png" title="https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1376808283542061062" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1376808283542061062">https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1376808283542061062</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><a href="https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/silicon-valleys-hidden-voices/">W. Patrick McCray reviews two books on Silicon Valley's hidden voices</a> and history. <i>"When I drive past Hangar One, I no longer think of it as the place that once sheltered giant dirigibles. I know it now as where the Google executives park their private jets." </i>So many echoes for me in this! Thanks to Diane Coyle for the link. <br /></p><p>Travel the world from your web browser: <a href="https://travel-remotely.netlify.app/">https://travel-remotely.netlify.app/</a><br /></p><hr />Ooh -&nbsp; <br /><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Jh3p5LLPbxk/YGm0cXv3YqI/AAAAAAAA05w/XUtom2SlArkBN7aCCnAHgJ7pj482JtZVgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1172/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.43.07.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="898" data-original-width="1172" height="306" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Jh3p5LLPbxk/YGm0cXv3YqI/AAAAAAAA05w/XUtom2SlArkBN7aCCnAHgJ7pj482JtZVgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h306/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.43.07.png" title="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1373024249095536646" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1373024249095536646">https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1373024249095536646</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;Cory Doctorow has also written a <a href="https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1372393103538065408">thread</a> about ad tech monopoly and fraud, and the media. <br /></p><p>It's always good to see the Data Journalism Handbook thriving -<a href="https://blog.okfn.org/2021/03/26/new-edition-of-data-journalism-handbook-published-open-access/ "> there's a new edition out</a>.<br /></p><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OGlwxduFF2U/YGbpkxtE2YI/AAAAAAAA0y0/qKYvw0_2_xgCj78ueakPv7q-3gbiTWFBgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1196/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.53.04.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1196" data-original-width="1172" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OGlwxduFF2U/YGbpkxtE2YI/AAAAAAAA0y0/qKYvw0_2_xgCj78ueakPv7q-3gbiTWFBgCLcBGAsYHQ/w393-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-04-02%2Bat%2B10.53.04.png" title="https://twitter.com/guyverhofstadt/status/1375843697741422600" width="393" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/guyverhofstadt/status/1375843697741422600">https://twitter.com/guyverhofstadt/status/1375843697741422600</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>The weirdest thing about vaccines is how we seem to be so pleased with the UK rollout, to the extent that it seems it might eclipse the dreadful mismanagement of earlier stages of the pandemic and other control methods. And yet I seem to know many young, healthy Americans who are vaccinated, when that's still months away here.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dH64uF1nwLg/YGmz2uYpViI/AAAAAAAA05o/-Xx2r0SBcuUOZMGhIgTemOrQNPmoEiiNgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1166/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.40.33.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="880" data-original-width="1166" height="303" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dH64uF1nwLg/YGmz2uYpViI/AAAAAAAA05o/-Xx2r0SBcuUOZMGhIgTemOrQNPmoEiiNgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h303/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.40.33.png" title="https://twitter.com/stuffysour/status/1373157694513807360" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/stuffysour/status/1373157694513807360">https://twitter.com/stuffysour/status/1373157694513807360</a></td></tr></tbody></table>The <a href="https://twitter.com/DaveKeating/status/1372897635577761803">Dave Keating thread</a> is useful - production is a big part of vaccine deployment, as well as having the vaccine design and distribution. Capacity (know-how) to build production facilities is very limited, regardless of who has permission to make it. <br /><p>Vaccine sceptics may not be who you expect: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hA6UFRo5fYQ/YGm2hKxwc_I/AAAAAAAA06I/SLbxEzLr1wEb-Oid_9-DWeQR5NWRRikQgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1224/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.51.44.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1224" data-original-width="1084" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hA6UFRo5fYQ/YGm2hKxwc_I/AAAAAAAA06I/SLbxEzLr1wEb-Oid_9-DWeQR5NWRRikQgCLcBGAsYHQ/w354-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.51.44.png" title="https://twitter.com/Sander_vdLinden/status/1372668140421840903" width="354" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Sander_vdLinden/status/1372668140421840903">https://twitter.com/Sander_vdLinden/status/1372668140421840903</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><p><a href="https://drrispens.medium.com/why-the-world-needs-a-software-bill-of-materials-now-5a565df65dff">Long article about why we need greater use of software bill of materials</a>, by Sybe Izaak Rispens.</p><p>RUSI on the <a href="https://rusi.org/commentary/getting-serious-illicit-finance-finally-uk-foreign-policy-issue">need to tackle illicit finance in the UK</a>. <br /></p><p>An alternative framing of 'finance eating the world" from <a href="https://kneelingbus.substack.com/p/155-under-the-big-black-sun ">Drew Austin</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As GameStop helped to clarify a couple of months ago, everything is simultaneously a game, an investment vehicle, and “content,” and domains that haven’t yet been pulled into this vortex soon will be. </i></blockquote><p>I found quite a few gems in <a href=" https://www.crowdcast.io/e/underrepresentedfounders/1">this Zebras Unite event, ostensibly on underrepresented startup founders.</a> A&nbsp; powerful set of insights into venture capital (so young! and so driven by fear), how everything is being eaten by finance, the dystopia of $500 "resistance" cashmere sweaters, what matters in a new venture and how you can protect it.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</span> <br /></p>This is a little depressing, on the European Court of Human Rights: &nbsp;&nbsp; <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-abm0zr90NRQ/YGm3xmeL5iI/AAAAAAAA06Q/JTB5f6FWw9QO9RXcr3z0MnAOwziSWiukwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1078/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.56.56.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="580" data-original-width="1078" height="215" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-abm0zr90NRQ/YGm3xmeL5iI/AAAAAAAA06Q/JTB5f6FWw9QO9RXcr3z0MnAOwziSWiukwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h215/Screenshot%2B2021-04-04%2Bat%2B13.56.56.png" title="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1371898028584493061" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1371898028584493061">https://twitter.com/russss/status/1371898028584493061</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p>Thanks Mark Hurst for this:<br /></p><blockquote><i>&nbsp;• Finally, a limerick about NFTs, courtesy Limericking:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The NFT market has grown,<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As eight-figure auctions have shown.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The overall price is<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A worse climate crisis<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For art you pretend that you own. </i></blockquote><br /><p></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p></p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;<br /></p> <p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-81638210849598414082021-03-12T09:39:00.001+00:002021-03-12T09:39:49.543+00:00Weeknotes: geo-engineering, consequences, funding, a poem<p>A dire <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/23/climate-crisis-hitting-worst-case-scenarios-warns-environment-agency-head">warning</a> reported in the Guardian:<br /></p><blockquote><p class="css-puzfbd"><i>The climate emergency is already hitting “worst case scenario” levels that if left unchecked will lead to the collapse of ecosystems, with dire consequences for humanity, according to the chief executive of the <a data-component="auto-linked-tag" data-link-name="in body link" href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/environment-agency">Environment Agency</a>.</i></p><i>Warning that this is not “science fiction”, Sir James Bevan said on Tuesday that in recent years several of the “reasonable worst case scenarios” had happened in the UK, with more extreme weather and flooding.</i><p><i>... “The net effects will collapse ecosystems, slash crop yields, take out the infrastructure that our civilisation depends on, and destroy the basis of the modern economy and modern society.<br /><br />“If [this] sounds like science fiction let me tell you something you need to know. This is that over the last few years the reasonable worst case for several of the flood incidents the EA has responded to has actually happened, and it’s getting larger."</i></p></blockquote><p>David Finnigan on <a href="https://davidfinnigan.substack.com/p/my-personal-moral-hazard">geo-engineering and personal moral hazard</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><i>[Geoengineering] has led to one of the most intense (and heated) debates in climate science. For over a decade, researchers, activists and funders have argued - not about whether to deploy the technology, but about whether to even study it. Is it a 'a terrifying solution whose time has come', or a hubristic techno-fix which will do more harm than good?<br /><br />The fear is that even knowing how to do it will inevitably lead us to do it. This is the 'moral hazard' of argument of geoengineering (what a phrase). Critics argue that funding the research will give governments and fossil fuel companies an excuse to continue burning fossil fuels, by offering the suggestion of a quick fix. In other words, given the prospect of a medicine that could abate some of our symptoms, governments and businesses will choose to continue making us sick.<br /><br />On the one hand, that seems absurd. On the other hand, as someone who's lived through the last thirty years of climate politics, that seems... pretty plausible to me?<br /><br />...&nbsp; I was half-certain that solar radiation management projects would be first introduced by stealth, and if that happened, I would be furious.<br /><br />It turns out that I was complete correct about the introduction by stealth, but completely wrong about my own reaction.</i></blockquote><p>Coming soon: <i>This year, <a href="http://nowplaythis.net/">Now Play This</a> will take place on 25 - 28 March 2021 as an online festival full of games, workshops and conversations that you can join from around the world.<br /><br />The four-day programme will explore the relationship between play, games and the climate crisis. What can playful art teach us about agency, resources and cooperation? Can games inspire us to relate sustainably to each other and to the environments around us? Is games culture complicit in this crisis?</i> </p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HpQJ72QTTh4/YETILQpnn0I/AAAAAAAA0Rk/nolhymeDtgwyrPjpoOqRR4H1JJ0wi3RcgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2194/Screenshot%2B2021-03-07%2Bat%2B12.33.16.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="now play this logo" border="0" data-original-height="1398" data-original-width="2194" height="255" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HpQJ72QTTh4/YETILQpnn0I/AAAAAAAA0Rk/nolhymeDtgwyrPjpoOqRR4H1JJ0wi3RcgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h255/Screenshot%2B2021-03-07%2Bat%2B12.33.16.png" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://nowplaythis.net/">https://nowplaythis.net/</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><p><a href="http://www.jenitennison.com/2021/02/28/february-2021-month-notes.html ">Jeni Tennison writes:</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>I saw a bunch of comments on Twitter objecting to the term “unintended consequences” when it comes to the use of data and tech. The words we use matter and it’s useful to examine them. I understand the objection to “unintended consequences” when it’s used to describe consequences that arise from people, purposefully or through lack of thought, ignoring adverse consequences of tech and the people who point them out. But I do think that there are sometimes consequences to new technologies that are unpredictable, simply because we live in a hugely complex and interdependent world, where even with the best consideration, will and preventative action in the world, shit happens. Unknown unknowns. I’m going to try using “ignored consequences” and “unpredictable consequences” for these two types of outcomes in future.</i></blockquote><p>I'm going to try using these two phrases too.</p><p>A <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ori6J8oR0jI">fascinating lecture by Diane Coyle</a> on progress, data, and more. <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C4l4QjZ2n88/YEoBGJoPpwI/AAAAAAAA0Vg/-IERkMdIkkMbSyieYuvJNm_eSdEqnoMnQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1822/Screenshot%2B2021-03-09%2Bat%2B18.29.31.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="908" data-original-width="1822" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C4l4QjZ2n88/YEoBGJoPpwI/AAAAAAAA0Vg/-IERkMdIkkMbSyieYuvJNm_eSdEqnoMnQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2021-03-09%2Bat%2B18.29.31.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">image from Diane's lecture<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://danhon.substack.com/p/s09e03-a-small-collection-of-things ">Dan Hon notes (highlight mine):</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are stupid and interest in them is more about finding new and exciting ways to add scarcity where scarcity didn’t exist, so in that sense the whole horrific mess is less about software and blockchain and so on and more about the creeping (by this point, a fucking enormous tidal wave) of <b>finance eating the world, not software </b>— the software is just helping.</i><br /></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.astickadogandaboxwithsomethinginit.com/take-me-to-your-algorithm/">Bill Thompson is correct in this post about Facebook's Oversight Board</a> - there is no meaningful "see the algorithm" and even if there was, it wouldn't help.<br /><br />I continue to find myself more skeptical about open - in that whilst it is essential in many things, it is not a universal unalloyed good. So it was interesting to see the launch of <a href="https://www.openfuture.eu/">Open Future</a>:<br /></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>We believe in openness, but also believe that it needs to be imagined anew. Today, openness increasingly functions as not just a challenge to concentrations of power, but also their enabler. Openness, once a rebel vision, is now part of the status quo - one that needs to be questioned.We believe that open sharing and the commons still hold great promise. Yet we need to evolve the mode of operation and adapt to a changing environment that has become increasingly centralised. We need a new vision of open, resilient against abuse and unintended externalities.</i></blockquote>Bryce Roberts announced the end of <a href="https://medium.com/@bryce/the-end-of-indie-6e1b92d90b09">IndieVC</a>, which supported different kinds of business to most tech venture capital; turns out that institutional investors (the kind which put money into VC funds) don't like it much. Zebras Unite <a href="https://medium.com/@sexandstartups/indies-are-everywhere-92da69f2e3e7">comment</a>:<br /><p></p><blockquote><i>VC cannot be “fixed.” VC is a specific tool used to drive a specific type of growth for a specific kind of company. It can produce harmful outcomes if outsized returns are prioritized over the company’s sustainable growth. If we want new outcomes, we need new funding models. Indie.vc was one of them. These models exist and they have names: revenue-based financing (like the <a href="https://www.1863.fund/">1863 Fund</a>), character-based loans (like the <a href="https://www.nativewomenlead.org/matriarch-response-loan-fund">Matriarch Fund</a>), worker-ownership conversion (like the <a href="https://www.mainstreet.coop/">Main Street Phoenix Fund</a>), and equity injections (like the Community Equity Fund). These emerging products on the market serve the chasm Bryce identified (and more are invented every day). Let’s pour our effort into connecting these capital innovations.</i></blockquote><p></p><p style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://kneelingbus.substack.com/p/communities-and-personas?">Drew Austin on community, highlight mine:</a> <br /></p><p style="text-align: left;"></p><blockquote><p style="text-align: left;"><i>One of the concepts that has evolved the most in the past year is that of “community.” We all have a sense of its historical meaning, which could vary considerably but almost always implied a shared physical context. More recently, and especially this decade, community became a popular marketing term, largely because community is something scarce that everyone wants; however, this deployment of the term was frequently empty, usually referring to “a group of people who share a characteristic” and in practice bearing little relation to the word’s established meaning.</i></p><p style="text-align: left;"><i>... Internet users were already seeking something more intimate than the Hobbesian plains of social media, taking the relationships they had formed on the clearnet and porting them to various private enclaves... These enclave-based internet communities are closer to the word’s traditional meaning, but they still aren’t quite communities. An important aspect of a true community, I think, is that you can really only be a part of one at a time. </i></p><p style="text-align: left;"><i>... Online, in contrast, I can join 100 communities and participate in all of them.... But I’m still only in one at any given moment, even though I can create the illusion that I’m present in all of them just by posting more frequently. And the more communities I join, the more thinly I spread myself, diluting my involvement in any single group.</i></p><p style="text-align: left;"><i>... I do think<b> “community” is a misnomer for the groups that inhabit most digital spaces</b>, and that we’d be better served by a more accurate word for what these new social forms actually are... On social media, we tend to amplify certain aspects of our personalities and conceal others, and in these environments, it’s usually more accurate to describe individuals’ presences as personas rather than personalities... Maybe the word for internet communities, then, should be something like “persona”—not as robust or mutually exclusive as a personality, but still incredibly valuable, and native to its own environment.</i></p></blockquote><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p>Thanks to Matthew Somerville for <a href="https://twitter.com/dracos/status/1365058300451172357">sharing</a> this graphic and the source <a href="https://t.co/7GyGVtd5Ei ">paper</a> “Covid-19 contagion via aerosol particles comparative evaluation of indoor environments with respect to situational R-value”:<br /></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0wqTY6gmH1M/YEiw1gyygWI/AAAAAAAA0U0/h60QPZ1zD1guMAYao6YYiizziB2fru8fwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1096/EvGpSODXUActTox.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="711" data-original-width="1096" height="416" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0wqTY6gmH1M/YEiw1gyygWI/AAAAAAAA0U0/h60QPZ1zD1guMAYao6YYiizziB2fru8fwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h416/EvGpSODXUActTox.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><p><br /></p><hr />A nice <a href="https://www.tomforth.co.uk/binsandthelaw/">illustration from Tom Forth</a> of why not everything is open source-able - in this case, a successful app to provide local rubbish collection info is closed source, because of the costs of using the UK's postcode address file. But there's more:<br /><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>I mention the centralisation of digital services in the UK because it's important to completing this story. It is why I have realised that I cannot, for now, launch an update to my bin apps that I think would improve lives. It is why, I suspect, I never will be able to.<br /><br />The UK government restrains this activity in four ways, so I thought I would spell them out.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By defunding local government it denies it the resources to fund the bin app notification system that I have built, submit it to rigorous security testing, and deploy it within a proper system of oversight.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By failing to make the UK's postcode address system open, it makes it illegal or prohibitively expensive to share code for my bin apps, and most other local government digital services. This mean that councils cannot easily pool their funds and collaborate on digital service development.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By continually intervening in areas of local government competency, such as tip bookings, it makes the private investment that I would otherwise secure to make my bin app notifications a reality too risky.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; By imposing conditions on how local government should do digital innovation it makes services that would compete with the centre unfundable.</i></blockquote><p></p><p>We are<a href="https://www.opengovernment.org.uk/2021/03/03/uk-government-under-review-says-open-government-partnership/"> not doing great </a>on open government - <br /></p><p data-incom="P4"><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p><blockquote><p data-incom="P4"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Open Government Partnership [OGP] of 78 countries representing some 2 billion people has placed the UK government ‘under review’ for failing to properly deliver a plan for </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">transparent, participatory, inclusive and accountable governance.</span></i></p><p data-incom="P5"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a </span><a href="https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/united-kingdom-under-review-letter-february-2021/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">letter to Minister Julia Lopez</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Sandjay Pradhan, CEO of the OGP details the UK government’s failure to produce a plan to the required standards for a second consecutive time. As a result, and despite being one of the eight founding member countries of the Open Government Partnership in 2011, the United Kingdom has been placed ‘under review.’</span></i></p></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.nickhunn.com/uk-tech-needs-a-fat-lady/">Nick Hunn on the depressing state of innovation funding here</a>, expressing a problem I've observed in almost all my interactions with this sort of funding:<br /></p><blockquote><i>Over the years, Government funding for innovation has become more and more bureaucratic.&nbsp; There was a time when the Design Council awarded Support for Innovation grants which were fairly open ended – you just had to make and sell something.&nbsp; Now we have competitions, forcing people who would probably never consider working together to form unholy alliances to try and get the money.&nbsp; A consequence of that is that a whole industry has grown up around funding applications for Government technology schemes, not just for the UK, but also the wider European Horizon initiatives.&nbsp; They help to put together consortia and proposals, but for a price – they’re probably responsible for creaming off around 20% of the funds.&nbsp; Once you’ve been awarded funding, the management reporting is sufficiently onerous that it takes up a further 30% of the money.&nbsp; In order to have a chance of getting funded, you need to focus on what you think the judges want, rather than the product you actually want to develop, so the outcome is that only about 10% of the grant is ever useful.&nbsp; It keeps people employed, but it rarely does much for research and innovation.</i>&nbsp;</blockquote><blockquote><i>... many applications feel like life-support for zombie companies that only manage to hang on because of these grants.&nbsp; Some companies have become particularly adept at winning multiple grants and seem to exist solely for that purpose. <br /><br />... We remain good at the oddball and bleeding edge stuff; not always so good at commercialising it, but getting better. &nbsp;</i></blockquote><hr /><p>A sad note from Alex Fleetwood (incidentially in a great thread on closing/finishing companies, which everyone talks about far less than starting them):</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KE64wUQHIFU/YEivfZW9iII/AAAAAAAA0Uk/rb3u69Cbkg803HbsbeEvqb_ofzxVU7_lACLcBGAsYHQ/s589/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.36.54.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="295" data-original-width="589" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KE64wUQHIFU/YEivfZW9iII/AAAAAAAA0Uk/rb3u69Cbkg803HbsbeEvqb_ofzxVU7_lACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h200/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.36.54.png" title="https://twitter.com/ammonite/status/1361747095460405249" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ammonite/status/1361747095460405249">https://twitter.com/ammonite/status/1361747095460405249</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p><a href="https://grist.org/climate/why-frances-new-repairability-index-is-a-big-deal/">Maddie Stone writes about France's new repairability index</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><i>In a world first move last month, France began requiring makers of certain electronic devices, including smartphones and laptops, to tell consumers how repairable their products are. Manufacturers selling these devices in France must give their products a score, or “repairability index,” based on a range of criteria including how easy it is to take the product apart and the availability of spare parts and technical documents. <br /><br />...Manufacturers grade their products using worksheets that integrate five criteria: availability of technical documents to aid in repair, ease of disassembly, availability of spare parts, price of spare parts, and a wild-card category for repair issues specific to that class of products.<br />... By 2024, the repair index will transition to a “durability index” that not only tells customers how repairable a product is but also describes its overall robustness.</i></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s2Q21-E81RY/YEivGURyGyI/AAAAAAAA0Uc/bld4oVQTOkIibSlOYGg3uhLDdprhfBLegCLcBGAsYHQ/s588/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.35.24.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="377" data-original-width="588" height="256" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s2Q21-E81RY/YEivGURyGyI/AAAAAAAA0Uc/bld4oVQTOkIibSlOYGg3uhLDdprhfBLegCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h256/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.35.24.png" title="https://twitter.com/rorymathews9/status/1362336874505908226" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/rorymathews9/status/1362336874505908226">https://twitter.com/rorymathews9/status/1362336874505908226</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p></p><p>The Green Homes Grant <a href="https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/uks-green-homes/104560/">has not gone well</a>.&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>However, according to recent government data, just 6.3% of the £1.5 billion budget for the Green Homes Grant scheme in 2020/21 has been spent and 86% of homeowners reported having a ‘poor experience’ with the application process. <br /></i></p><p></p><p><i>... It has also been revealed that Ministers awarded the contract to run the programme to ICF, a large American consulting corporation based in Virginia, but details of the value of the government contract have not yet been published, leading to widespread criticism and anger that a key plank of the plan was to create work and jobs for the UK, not US economy.</i></p></blockquote><hr /><a href="https://twitter.com/swardley/status/1365447863988350978">Simon Wardley has an idea</a> for a different kind of carbon trading, not a carbon market, but focussed around citizens. <br /><p>A startling fact from <a href="https://www.billjaneway.com/can-capitalist-democracy-survive">Bill Janeway's 2019 "Can capitalist democracy survive?"</a>: <i>in the UK, private-sector union membership has fallen to 13.2%, from 52% in 1980. </i><br /><br />Thanks to Hetan Shah, I now know <a href="https://twitter.com/HetanShah/status/1367392351598108673">that R&amp;D Tax Credits excludes social sciences</a>! Maybe this will change. <br /><br />Thanks Rachel Coxcoon for this <a href="https://impact-tool.org.uk/footprint/footprint?parishId=E04010465&amp;footprintType=territorial&amp;scale=per-household">carbon footprint tool for communities in England</a>.</p><p>There were <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielZeichner/status/1363536260711780357/photo/1">3000 instances of violence </a>against shopworkers in Cambridge's Co-ops alone in 2020. Grim.<br /><br />Henry Smith at t<a href="https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/blogs/accessibility-key-better-housing">he Centre for Ageing Better writes:</a><br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>A <a href="https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/priorities/coming-home/about-coming-home" target="_blank">new report</a> from the Church of England’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community has highlighted that around eight million people of all ages live in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable homes ...a staggering 91% of homes don’t meet even the most basic <a href="https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/accessibility">accessibility standards</a> that make them ‘visitable’ by most people including wheelchair users, never mind suitable to live in. ... Currently, 40% of households aged 65 and over lack one or more of their required adaptations to suit their needs...</i></p></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cSmPL3wnzHk/YEiwOgBK1RI/AAAAAAAA0Us/OWyZWSJqw583Et6bSEt1QXo8PXyGR820QCLcBGAsYHQ/s636/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.40.21.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="636" data-original-width="582" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cSmPL3wnzHk/YEiwOgBK1RI/AAAAAAAA0Us/OWyZWSJqw583Et6bSEt1QXo8PXyGR820QCLcBGAsYHQ/w366-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-03-10%2Bat%2B11.40.21.png" title="https://twitter.com/davidjmadden/status/1365040982287413249" width="366" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/davidjmadden/status/1365040982287413249">https://twitter.com/davidjmadden/status/1365040982287413249</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;The thread for the original tweet contains the instructions for billboard hacking. <br /></p><hr />There are many good thoughts in <a href="http://donellameadows.org/archives/dancing-with-systems/">Donella Meadows's Dancing With Systems</a>.<p></p><p><a href="https://richdecibels.substack.com/p/8-metamodern-social-justice">Rich Bartlett on social justice movements</a>, and different paths and ways of thinking from "the most visible currents of social justice activism" -<br /></p><blockquote><i>One of the defining characteristics of metamodernism is a commitment to multiperspectival thinking. If metamodernism is a game, the objective is “who collects the most perspectives wins”. ... To move towards a more just and liberated world, we need to cultivate multi-perspectival thinking. We need to understand why people believe what they do, not as a step on the way to converting them to our perspective, but to be enriched by the mutual exchange of knowledge...<br /></i></blockquote><hr /><p>Thanks to Lee Vinsel for sharing this poem by Baron Wormser - <a href="https://www.writersalmanac.org/index.html%3Fp=7472.html">A Quiet Life</a>, which starts:<br /></p><blockquote><i>What a person desires in life<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;is a properly boiled egg.<br />This isn’t as easy as it seems.</i></blockquote><p>Worth reading.</p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-36143034490498115532021-02-14T11:02:00.001+00:002021-02-14T11:26:31.498+00:00Weeknotes: populism of equal cheating, warranties, language<p>Thanks Adrian McEwen for the link to this <a href="https://michael-g-head.medium.com/a-personal-rant-the-uk-and-a-failure-of-governance-4f671aa1bb1e">clear depressing summary of UK government failures over 12months by Michael Head.</a><br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RfQ9rxE7VZM/YCafvEq-KWI/AAAAAAAAz44/IH9WBr3YqLIdywJMqDbNEfLKaARNQRC8gCLcBGAsYHQ/s674/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B15.33.00.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="674" data-original-width="593" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RfQ9rxE7VZM/YCafvEq-KWI/AAAAAAAAz44/IH9WBr3YqLIdywJMqDbNEfLKaARNQRC8gCLcBGAsYHQ/w353-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B15.33.00.png" title="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1355533287482138626" width="353" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1355533287482138626">https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1355533287482138626</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />I remember the energy and drive when the UK hosted the Open Government Partnership in London in 2013, but we've not kept up:<p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1Qq0McfZjjo/YCapBpcUETI/AAAAAAAAz5c/4EmH4WuzOG4g7T5vrCkZ_dAsUD34XXfnQCLcBGAsYHQ/s591/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.12.10.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="458" data-original-width="591" height="310" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1Qq0McfZjjo/YCapBpcUETI/AAAAAAAAz5c/4EmH4WuzOG4g7T5vrCkZ_dAsUD34XXfnQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h310/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.12.10.png" title="https://twitter.com/TimJHughes/status/1358433586848821248" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/TimJHughes/status/1358433586848821248">https://twitter.com/TimJHughes/status/1358433586848821248</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>Where should the UK invest in R&amp;D? <a href="https://www.tomforth.co.uk/rdandskills/">Tom Forth writes about R&amp;D, transport, skills and growth. </a></p><hr /><p>Check out<a href="https://twitter.com/wutheringbytes/status/1357687873227657217"> the amazing talks from Wuthering Bytes 2019, now on YouTube.</a>&nbsp; It was, as ever, an honour to compere these incredible sessions. I shouldn't pick favourites, but <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ716y3pvZQ">Sarah Angliss on atomic gardening</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZRzhQLJALM">Georgina Ferry on Lyons cafes and the first business computer</a> were highlights for me.&nbsp;</p><p>I loved (ha) <a href="https://twitter.com/CassieRobinson/status/1360853528512770050">the thoughts in this thread of Chiara Acu's art</a> - "in the spirit of waging love." Many thanks to Cassie Robinson for sharing these this morning :)</p><hr /><p>There are so many good bits in <a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/the-cantillon-effect-and-gamestop">Matt Stoller's latest newsletter.</a>&nbsp; Highlights mine: <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>And this brings me to the Cantillon Effect, in which how money travels matters for distributional purposes. There are an endless number of corrupt bailouts and scams that all of us have seen over the past fifteen years, from the financial crisis to bondholders destroying Puerto Rico and Argentina, to the ‘flash crash’ of 2010, to the CARES Act bailout in the spring, which boosted the fortunes of billionaires once again. One of the key reasons for why these bailouts always seem to tilt to the powerful is because that’s how our financial plumbing is set up - <b>the pipes from the Fed to big banks work quite well, those from the Fed to small businesses don’t.</b> </i></blockquote>-- Matt calls this the "populism of equal cheating"<br /><p></p><blockquote><p><i>... Most of the retail investors betting on GameStop are going to lose their money, and Wall Street is going to be fine. People on Reddit - some of whom are probably professional insiders - are helping men like Donald Foss, who owns a half a billion dollars of GameStop; Foss is a billionaire who made his money from subprime auto lending, the sleaziest business imaginable...</i></p><p><i>In fact, much of what Robinhood is now doing shouldn’t be allowed, including encouraging retail clients to be speculating in margin accounts and in options. And my guess is that there are big funds with anonymous people on the subreddit whipping up a furor - <b>pump and dumps on message boards didn’t start in 2021</b>. Ironically, I don’t think they those on WallStreetBets would disagree, I think they would just claim that <b>if you’re going to put a stop to gambling, stop it on Wall Street first.</b> And that’s right, the amount of leverage and/or cheating by hedge funds, big banks, private equity firms, and market-makers like Citadel is likely off the charts.<br /><br />... The basic problem that GameStop is revealing in our economy writ large is that <b>as a society, we are increasingly putting our time, energy, capital and talent we could use to build fun or useful things into gambling or acquiring market power. </b></i></p></blockquote><p>Onto supply chains:<br /></p><blockquote><i>.... A few weeks ago, I talked to a contact in the domestic textile industry, who told me that when the pandemic hit, most companies in that commercial area turned to producing personal protective equipment for government stockpiles. And now we have a domestic supply chain that can meet our own needs for things like N95 masks, which was not true at the beginning of the pandemic. Only, she noted, there’s a problem. <b>The big buyers who represent most hospital purchasing still want to buy from China, even if individual hospitals might want a more reliable domestic producer.</b><br /><br />Without action against these buying monopolies and tariffs to stop China from dumping into our markets, these new supply chain will die. This isn’t isolated to textiles, but is a long-standing economy-wide bias towards monopolies and finance and against production of real goods and services. With the current setup of our markets, there’s just no clear reason to be investing in useful enterprise. </i></blockquote><span>I hadn't thought of these purchasing choices as being particular related to finance. &nbsp;&nbsp; </span><blockquote><i>Very low or negative interest rates mean that investors can’t find any place to place their savings. Investors perceive there are no more factories to build, no distribution centers to create, no new energy systems to research, no more products to create. You can only stuff money under a mattress, and the price of mattresses is going up. Our financial system, in other words, is acting like we have no more social problems to profitably solve.<br /><br />What is really happening is not that we’ve run out of problems to solve, but that the economy has become a giant “kill zone,” which is a term venture capitalists use to describe areas they can’t invest for fear that a monopolist will crush their company. ...<br /><br />With an economy of monopolies, there are now <b>large profits with nowhere to go because investment in new production doesn’t make sense if you have market power. Workers have little bargaining power, so the extra money doesn’t go to them. Taxes on capital are low, so the money isn’t heading back to the government.</b> Moreover, a lot of small businesses have been shut down because of the pandemic, so people can’t put their savings into new business even if they wanted to. Monopolies and a corrupted financial system have broken the ability to put money into useful enterprises. So where is it going?<br /><br />Speculation.</i></blockquote>Matt also notes that responding to this doesn't go down well:&nbsp;<p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>....Most of the politicians speaking out about Robinhood, however, adopted a bizarro populist approach to the speculative fervor. Instead of saying let’s get money into the real economy so it reaches everyone in productive ways, they argue that everyone should have the right to cheat. The one exception is Elizabeth Warren, who made the case that the very speculation itself was dangerous. She asserted that “Casino-like swings in stock prices of GameStop reflect wild levels of speculation that don’t help GameStop’s workers or customers and could lead to market instability,” and demanded that the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate speculators on both sides, and the middlemen.<br /><br /><b>It was weird to point out, as Warren did, that GameStop has workers and customers. And the pushback online towards Warren was intense, even among her own side. </b>She’s clearly correct, and yet, there’s a reason that it’s very hard to argue for financial regulation in an economy that is incredibly concentrated and unfair, and speculation is one of the few avenues open to a large group of people. Cynicism is the order of the day, at least on the internet.</i>&nbsp;<br /></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DOAK5ZDcepc/YCajLpStpCI/AAAAAAAAz5E/lIj6j5y5ossJ3m3WIoTIkCK4G51x-SFvQCLcBGAsYHQ/s589/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B15.47.39.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="572" data-original-width="589" height="389" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DOAK5ZDcepc/YCajLpStpCI/AAAAAAAAz5E/lIj6j5y5ossJ3m3WIoTIkCK4G51x-SFvQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h389/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B15.47.39.png" title="https://twitter.com/matlock/status/1360242963490742276" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/matlock/status/1360242963490742276">https://twitter.com/matlock/status/1360242963490742276</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>Good perspective:<br /><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zNPsFOLhNwE/YCamX9Z41rI/AAAAAAAAz5Q/KBkA05wVtEoJqFpSQoUIXIFkT_UzPAfkgCLcBGAsYHQ/s561/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.01.17.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="293" data-original-width="561" height="209" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zNPsFOLhNwE/YCamX9Z41rI/AAAAAAAAz5Q/KBkA05wVtEoJqFpSQoUIXIFkT_UzPAfkgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h209/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.01.17.png" title="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1357267001241124865" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1357267001241124865">https://twitter.com/suepritch/status/1357267001241124865</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><p>Creative idea:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7vo1sqGQJ4Q/YCatmjsDDHI/AAAAAAAAz6M/aJ_kGzSc1mMwK2S1Gocw-bni-Ln9pe5SwCLcBGAsYHQ/s589/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.31.57.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="233" data-original-width="589" height="159" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7vo1sqGQJ4Q/YCatmjsDDHI/AAAAAAAAz6M/aJ_kGzSc1mMwK2S1Gocw-bni-Ln9pe5SwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h159/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.31.57.png" title="https://twitter.com/abscond/status/1356250122540216321" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/abscond/status/1356250122540216321">https://twitter.com/abscond/status/1356250122540216321</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/anishmohammed">Anish Mohammed</a> for the link to this fascinating article by Holger Mack and Tom Schroer about security's midlife crisis. <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>The classic application software stack relied, at all levels, on a development approach that was largely based on homegrown software developed by (often large) companies that had their own developers. ...The best practice was to integrate security into the lifecycle as early as possible.</i></p><i> Measures such as developer training, threat modeling, and security planning aim at creating security by design and proactively prevent design flaws and bugs. Security testing, code reviews, and so on additionally detect any mistakes made during development; security response processes have the goal to provide fixes quickly, if necessary.</i><p><i>... In the modern stack, coding that follows such a development process is increasingly reduced to only a small set of “glue code” or configurations built to combine software developed elsewhere, especially in the open source community. ...</i></p><p><i>... the increased scale of today’s challenge becomes more apparent when you look at other aspects of the modern architecture, such as: </i></p><ul><li><i>The size and complexity of projects: Kubernetes (including Docker) as well as Cloud Foundry and Hadoop consist of millions of lines of code and are themselves built by combining other components, which, again, consist of more open source projects.</i></li><li><i>The increasingly dynamic nature of today’s architectures: Those architectures are built on the principle of dynamically loading components and dependencies from their source (e.g., using NPM). What, at first glance, looks like a good security measure (always use the newest version) becomes, with more insight, a security challenge, especially if the source and its controller are unclear. ... <br /></i></li><li><i>Rapid replacement: Last but not least, technologies are superseded by newer and cooler versions at an amazing rate. This leaves very little time to develop the right expertise on how to secure them. The Hadoop project is just one example of such a complex technology trend, with a fast-growing ecosystem of related components and subprojects (Ambari, Cassandra, Pig, and Spark).</i></li></ul></blockquote><p>Technology takes work.&nbsp; <a href="https://twitter.com/hondanhon/status/1359587806159405057">Great thread from Dan Hon:</a></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uuqtIADR2Jw/YCarzJX5cMI/AAAAAAAAz54/3nnHBzT68hEW9xFDEbuzsKyfjPx5RDZ-wCLcBGAsYHQ/s599/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.23.38.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="294" data-original-width="599" height="196" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uuqtIADR2Jw/YCarzJX5cMI/AAAAAAAAz54/3nnHBzT68hEW9xFDEbuzsKyfjPx5RDZ-wCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h196/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.23.38.png" title="https://twitter.com/hondanhon/status/1359587806159405057" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/hondanhon/status/1359587806159405057">https://twitter.com/hondanhon/status/1359587806159405057 </a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Somehow I'd missed this <a href="https://www.cigionline.org/articles/data-governance-or-your-money-back-case-digital-warranties">2019 article from Sean McDonald on how warranties could transform digital products</a>. </p><p><span><span><span></span></span></span></p><blockquote><p><i><span><span><span>So, warranties don’t just create liability, they focus it: warrantied products face specific liability, whereas products without a warranty face broad, less predictable liability. </span></span></span></i></p><p><i><span><span><span>Warranties do two critical things. First, they require a manufacturer to specify how and where its product should be used and to run tests to ensure it performs under these conditions. And second, warranties attach liability to the risks created by a product to the user. Warranties are familiar enough to seem trivial, but they are an important part of how we structure the responsibility for the things we create, share and sell — including intangible and digital products. </span></span></span></i></p><p><i><span><span><span>In analog products, warranties are often regarded as badges of quality; companies that are willing to guarantee their products are seen as more reliable than those that do not. Those guarantees didn’t come to be for marketing’s sake alone. Companies, especially those working on products with significant or potentially dangerous impacts, would go through the effort of defining and testing not only whether a product worked but what conditions it worked in and how it worked in different use cases. In short, to offer a warranty, companies needed to do extensive contextual research and development before launching the product at all. </span></span></span></i></p></blockquote><p><span><span><span></span></span></span></p><hr /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l3ImbHKR2Kg/YCaqOz7haxI/AAAAAAAAz5s/VEuGY0b6ylUWSApZAYAENz_AecGoAL74ACLcBGAsYHQ/s588/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.17.44.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="385" data-original-width="588" height="263" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l3ImbHKR2Kg/YCaqOz7haxI/AAAAAAAAz5s/VEuGY0b6ylUWSApZAYAENz_AecGoAL74ACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h263/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.17.44.png" title="https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1359132821365936130" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1359132821365936130">https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1359132821365936130</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Debbie Cameron on <a href="https://debuk.wordpress.com/2021/01/25/pussy-riot/">sexism in language around sexual anatomy,</a> highlighted by a cancer prevention campaign, of all things.</p><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rFhAzt_gPv8/YCashiTXMEI/AAAAAAAAz6A/DgJBebNpvvU2fhInTwibljJhfxx0hCoHACLcBGAsYHQ/s706/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.27.18.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="706" data-original-width="591" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rFhAzt_gPv8/YCashiTXMEI/AAAAAAAAz6A/DgJBebNpvvU2fhInTwibljJhfxx0hCoHACLcBGAsYHQ/w335-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.27.18.png" title="https://twitter.com/AlexSteffen/status/1355788370572582913" width="335" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/AlexSteffen/status/1355788370572582913">https://twitter.com/AlexSteffen/status/1355788370572582913</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>The <a href="https://twitter.com/luis_in_brief/status/1357003712326107137">best thread of thoughts I've seen on ethical licences and open source, from Luis Villa.<br /></a></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bQ_i15cwfgc/YCaplZW9UUI/AAAAAAAAz5k/1SQk8jvHlX4GAYQfa4qe63wHx7RDPaG5wCLcBGAsYHQ/s586/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.14.59.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="477" data-original-width="586" height="325" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bQ_i15cwfgc/YCaplZW9UUI/AAAAAAAAz5k/1SQk8jvHlX4GAYQfa4qe63wHx7RDPaG5wCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h325/Screenshot%2B2021-02-12%2Bat%2B16.14.59.png" title="https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1358486111409082368" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1358486111409082368">https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1358486111409082368</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>McSweeney's on form as ever with <a href="https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/i-am-the-designer-of-this-restaurants-outdoor-seating-space-and-this-is-my-artists-statement">Simon Henrique's artist's statement on the design of a restaurant's outdoor seating space</a>.<br /></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-43043912991166760422021-01-31T14:16:00.005+00:002021-01-31T14:19:32.551+00:00Weeknotes: weather forecast, gadgetbahn, accountability<p>Check out <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/met-office-a-review-of-the-uks-climate-in-2020">the Met Office's review of 2020's weather:</a></p><p></p><blockquote><i>...the UK’s third warmest, sixth wettest and eighth sunniest year in the UK national series, which extend back to 1884 for temperature, 1862 for rainfall and 1919 for sunshine. 2020 is the only year that features in the Top 10 ranking for all three. .... It is likely that, globally, 2020 was <a href="https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/climate/wmo-statement-state-of-global-climate" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">one of the three warmest years on record</a> and that 2011-20 was the warmest decade. ...The UK has warmed by close to 1C, comparable to the global rise in average temperature.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></blockquote><p></p><p>February was the wettest ever for the UK, and the fifth wettest calendar month ever. It was followed by an exceptionally dry and sunny spring - the sunniest on record. </p><p>What's the long range forecast? <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Relative to 1981-2000 average, 2020 was 0.93C warmer than average. However, the chart above suggests that, by the 2040s and 2050s, this would be counted as a cooler than average year.</i></p> <p><i>For rainfall, annual projections for the UK have a large range as mentioned above. In the context of future climate, a year as wet as 2020 would still be considered a relatively wet year for the UK, but UKCP18 also projects an increase in the likelihood of its occurrence through this century.</i></p><p><i>... We have seen a number of exceptionally wet winters in the last decade and, due to climate change, we expect UK winters to become wetter. Of the Top 10 wettest winters, four have occurred since 2007 and seven since 1990 – while there has been a 17% increase in the total rainfall from extremely wet days. </i></p></blockquote><p><a href="https://davidfinnigan.substack.com/p/the-end-of-climate-art">David Finnigan writes about art</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><i>Climate is an era, not an issue. We are living today in the early years of the climate era. At this moment, climate change has moved from being a story to being an all-encompassing setting. In that light, trying to make work 'about' the climate is like being a medieval artist trying to make work about 'medieval'.<br /><br />One consequence of this is that today, even artists who don't mention the climate in their work are still producing 'climate art'. As Mckenzie Wark put it, 'All fiction is Anthropocene fiction, some of it just doesn't realise it yet.' Just as modern scholars read the novels of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen through the lens of the Industrial Revolution, so scholars centuries from now will examine all the art of this era through the lens of the planetary transformation. Even the most lightweight escapist artworks can be viewed in the context of the crisis, in the way that 1930s screwball comedies are often seen as a reaction to the grim realities of the Great Depression.<br /><br />.... At its worst, climate art and cli-fi tends to rehash the same stale post-apocalyptic tropes. Alex Steffen argues that this kind of apocalyptic thinking is a refusal to see past the end of our old worldview and into the realities of our new existence. 'The need to present a before-and-after narrative landscape obscures the most difficult part of the planetary crisis, which is that it will grow more chaotic, and we will never in our lifetimes have a "new normal".'</i></blockquote><p> </p><hr /><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iniADU0W01w/YBRcRXiuNgI/AAAAAAAAztQ/W5fOX8mdcr4nMFcCD_LoFmSNijB912eFQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B19.03.42.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="764" data-original-width="1076" height="284" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iniADU0W01w/YBRcRXiuNgI/AAAAAAAAztQ/W5fOX8mdcr4nMFcCD_LoFmSNijB912eFQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h284/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B19.03.42.png" title="https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1348943390973550593" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1348943390973550593">https://twitter.com/dougclow/status/1348943390973550593</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>A lovely <a href="https://www.hillelwayne.com/post/crossover-project/are-we-really-engineers/">three-part essay by Hillel Wayne about software engineering and 'trad' engineering,</a> concluding:</p><blockquote><p><i>First of all, We software engineers are “really” engineers. All the differences people give between software and “real” engineering don’t accurately reflect what “real” engineering looks like. And the biggest difference, licensure, is a political construct, not a technical one. At the same time, there is a difference between the different ways people make software, and it makes sense to think of software developers and software engineers as distinct concepts. But even then, it’s very easy for a software developer to become a software engineer and vice versa.</i></p> <p><i>Second, we are not special. There are some aspects of software engineering that are unique to software, such as the speed of iteration, loose constraints, and the consistency of our material. But software engineering has far more in common with the other forms of engineering than it has differences. The same ideas that engineers use to advance their craft are equally useful in our own domain.</i></p> <p><i>Finally, there is a lot we can both teach and learn. Engineering processes are more sophisticated than ours in ways that we can extract lessons from. Traditional engineers have a stronger sense of professionalism and responsibility than we tend to. In contrast, our culture is much more open and our communities much stronger than what exists in trad engineering. And our developments in version control have the potential to revolutionize traditional engineering.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7mcMS3IVuco/YBQrOPsFOXI/AAAAAAAAzsQ/uw-w6k7jJc45cI1a4Ne4vCKjXrK4ZwGhgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1298/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B15.34.55.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1298" data-original-width="788" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7mcMS3IVuco/YBQrOPsFOXI/AAAAAAAAzsQ/uw-w6k7jJc45cI1a4Ne4vCKjXrK4ZwGhgCLcBGAsYHQ/w388-h640/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B15.34.55.png" title="https://twitter.com/jamesjohnson252/status/1353396713067847682" width="388" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/jamesjohnson252/status/1353396713067847682">https://twitter.com/jamesjohnson252/status/1353396713067847682</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Wow.</p><hr />Pick your investors wisely, says <a href="https://ceonyc.substack.com/p/seed-investments-in-insurrection">Charlie O'Donnell - consider their politics</a>: <br /><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>Some investors who rewrite the history of innovation. They forget that taxpayers funded the creation of the internet and contributed to pharmaceutical discoveries. They call for the end of regulations except for the ones that incentivize them to invest through tax benefits regular people don’t get. They want the government off their backs except when it comes to making sure no one builds affordable housing down the street from them.<br /><br />These people want to make the technology ecosystem the wild west where anyone that doesn’t have privilege and power just gets run over and I fully believe their views are going to make them less desirable to have on cap tables. ...<br /><br />Don’t let someone who could give you a term sheet scare you into thinking that de-platforming violence and hate is censorship. Don’t let them tell you that living wages must come at the expense of “worker freedom”. Don’t buy the argument that anyone can lift themselves up by their bootstraps unless you see them fighting the SEC for you to able to invest $100 into their fund as a non-accredited investor—given how much they’ve been bragging about their top-quartile returns and unicorn investments. Don’t let them tell you that anyone can learn to code and make a living unless they’re willing to put a homeless shelter with internet access in their neighborhood.</i></blockquote><p>There's a new <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1V_WdghZdmTPrKHevjArCrv5t3Tduy4seD-cO2_9BYI4/edit">taxonomy</a> for investment capital - <a href="https://medium.com/village-capital/venture-capital-is-like-skinny-jeans-or-why-we-need-a-new-language-for-capital-6a935bf15ce7">introduced by Rob Tashima here</a><br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Uh9WWiLu2ig/YBQUmmXE4tI/AAAAAAAAzsE/7c1bHG5jauwOicr__UXAHkI7jFgCPSHMgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/0*gboJC_hc9rxIWTfj.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="898" data-original-width="1600" height="360" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Uh9WWiLu2ig/YBQUmmXE4tI/AAAAAAAAzsE/7c1bHG5jauwOicr__UXAHkI7jFgCPSHMgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h360/0*gboJC_hc9rxIWTfj.png" title="investor taxonomy" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">investor taxonomy<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><a href="https://medium.com/swlh/is-cambridgeshires-new-metro-all-it-s-cracked-up-to-be-cfbc6d9d0a22">Gareth Dennis writes about local transport</a>. I learned a new term - gadgetbahn:<p></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>If it isn’t autonomous, and it isn’t a metro system, then what exactly is the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro? ... Have you heard the word “gadgetbahn” before? It is a portmanteau coined to describe transport proposals that, to all intents and purposes, ought to be delivered using proven railway technology and yet go out of their way to be anything but a railway. Typically, such systems are intended to distract from or be at the expense of investment in proper, functional public transport.</i></p><p></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="89e7"><i>... Led by Mayor James Palmer, the Cambridgeshire &amp; Peterborough Combined Authority are continuing to progress their tunnelled bus system, bizarrely named the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro or CAM for short, which promises to transform transportation in the region.</i></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="572e"><i>Meanwhile, over in Las Vegas, Elon Musk’s aptly named Boring Company has been updating the details of its Loop system..., which is reaching the end of its initial construction phase.</i></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="6e28"><i>Originally proposed as a tunnelled rapid transit system using platoons of autonomous people movers...is now little more than a lane of traffic buried underground, with a fleet of regular Tesla cars shuttling a few people between stops. Even the much-celebrated autonomy has been dropped, with each vehicle requiring a permanent driver. And the capacity of this system? Merely a fraction of the promised figures.</i></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="6e28"><i>... This is a useful bit of foresight as to what happens when the glamour of a technology-heavy solution pushes the rather more mundane matters such as “how many passengers will it carry” or “will it actually work” to one side. As I’ve heard it neatly put, “nodes before modes” — in other words, understand what a transport system needs to do and then pick an appropriate type of system that fits.&nbsp;</i></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="e828"><i>...&nbsp; Even the name itself is all about the technological whizzgiggery rather than describing the transport network independent of how it moves people about... its “autonomous” features are further undermined by the fact that “driver costs are included, as CAM is expected to operate with drivers on ‘day one’ and move towards autonomous operation <i class="ko">at a future date</i>”... In any case, making a huge fuss about autonomy betrays a lack of knowledge of the public transport sector — for example, the Docklands Light Railway has been “autonomous” for decades.</i></p></blockquote><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="e828"></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="6e28"> </p><p>So, what are we talking about?</p><p></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="c778"></p><blockquote><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="c778"><i>CAM was selected in an options appraisal process that concluded back in January 2018, undertaken, I’ll add, by the same consultancy that proposed it in the first place. CAM was selected over a more conventional MCS because it supposedly offers the same benefits as an MCS but for a third of the cost.</i></p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="df66"><i>Around a year later the consultancy in question then published their strategic outline business case, in which the cost of CAM had increased from an optimistic £1.7bn to a more reasonable £4.5bn. This was precisely the cost of the MCS system that they had analysed in the options selection report (with a more reliable estimation as it was based on proven engineering), completely undermining the decision made in that report.</i></p></blockquote><p>Aside from the cronyism driving pandemic response in the UK, at least, we aren't very good at talking about things that aren't a good/bad binary. This great <a href="https://twitter.com/m_older/status/1355132467628429314">Twitter thread</a> from Malka Older discusses how&nbsp; values and how to handle scarcity have beenn neglected -</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NoLaL0OcfA4/YBa6WhzZ6tI/AAAAAAAAzuk/E0P5OdlWkrEmUJO2nc107T7mH5AxLZEXACLcBGAsYHQ/s1078/Screenshot%2B2021-01-31%2Bat%2B14.10.19.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="282" data-original-width="1078" height="168" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NoLaL0OcfA4/YBa6WhzZ6tI/AAAAAAAAzuk/E0P5OdlWkrEmUJO2nc107T7mH5AxLZEXACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h168/Screenshot%2B2021-01-31%2Bat%2B14.10.19.png" title="https://twitter.com/m_older/status/1355132467628429314" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/m_older/status/1355132467628429314">https://twitter.com/m_older/status/1355132467628429314</a></td></tr></tbody></table>At scale:<p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8g0P7Ojwi1U/YBQxw4awcKI/AAAAAAAAzsc/gw5yQKfYcW4ZPYeOL3TNuSI7JbrUPrdggCLcBGAsYHQ/s1060/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.02.50.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="640" data-original-width="1060" height="241" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8g0P7Ojwi1U/YBQxw4awcKI/AAAAAAAAzsc/gw5yQKfYcW4ZPYeOL3TNuSI7JbrUPrdggCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h241/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.02.50.png" title="https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1352454103927037952" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1352454103927037952">https://twitter.com/leashless/status/1352454103927037952</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />Also, this is not good:<p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gax6mfrhkdk/YBQyCiZl2AI/AAAAAAAAzsk/0ZmnuQLryFsCJVTDx5Wk2VXE2-EEIqhnACLcBGAsYHQ/s1014/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.04.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="530" data-original-width="1014" height="209" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gax6mfrhkdk/YBQyCiZl2AI/AAAAAAAAzsk/0ZmnuQLryFsCJVTDx5Wk2VXE2-EEIqhnACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h209/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.04.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/vgr/status/1353589712145899521" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/vgr/status/1353589712145899521">https://twitter.com/vgr/status/1353589712145899521</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Can the state fix our broken capitalism? <a href="https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts-and-books/mission-economy-capitalism-government-moonshot">Diane Coyle reviews Mariana Mazzucato's latest book:</a></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>In the middle of a tough winter, the government enticingly vows to “build back better,” but it’s hard to believe things can go “back” at all.</i> </p><p><i>Yet changing “the system” is difficult. What new form of capitalism should we be hoping for and how can western market economies hope to get there? Fixing challenges of such range and complexity requires co-operation between many people and organisations, all in the context of populist politics and fundamentally diverging views. After all, some countries (the US pre-eminently, but also to a concerning extent the UK) do not have the political consensus or the institutional capability to control a lethal pandemic. What are the chances of transforming business and daily life to deliver, for example, zero-carbon activity, better infrastructure, lower inequality, higher productivity, or the preservation of biodiversity?</i></p><p><i>... authors such as Thomas Piketty, Walter Scheidel and Peter Turchin have argued, from different perspectives, that only major crises or catastrophes bring about system resets. Conflict is what cuts through the tangle. Perhaps, in early 2021, the world will turn out to be at just such a point. But given that previous resets included world wars and revolutions, this should not be viewed with total equanimity.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Mazzucato’s new book criticises the narrowness of the philosophy that says the only role for government is to correct “market failures,” stepping in when the private sector cannot deliver adequately by itself... The power of this once-dominant philosophy is already ebbing, however... the Conservative government of Theresa May introduced an Industrial Strategy in 2017... The swathe of official strategy documents could not be clearer about the need for active government in, for example, shaping markets for new technologies. </i></p><p><i>... It is easy to see why officials like the clarity and sense of purpose that a mission gives to their responsibilities for improving society. ...But there are many choices to be made regarding both missions and intermediate challenges, which plunge us deep into the political domain. ... “Citizen wellbeing” is hard to argue with, but that may just push the disagreements down a level: why target the dementia burden rather than, say, redressing some of the multiple challenges from insecure work to inadequate housing facing the young? </i></p><p><i>... However, in today’s context, Mission Economy underplays two key issues. One is implementation. “Government failure” is not a myth. </i></p><p><i>... The other missing issue is accountability for outcomes. Complex problems require a lot of people and organisations to co-operate... For cross-cutting “missions” truly to get off the ground, such accountability must—somehow—be brought to bear across the traditional departmental responsibilities, and across different levels of government. Given the range of actors involved, who would be responsible for achieving a dementia-burden target by 2030, and which legislature would she have to answer to? Who could she require to act? Who would she have power to sack? Who would set the budgets? Leave the answers to these questions vague, and you discourage anyone from taking responsibility, and invite buck-passing and political evasion. The challenges are fiendishly complicated, which is perhaps why catastrophists like Scheidel or Piketty focus on clarifying moments of conflict. </i></p></blockquote><p> </p><p> </p><p class="js jt fp ju b jv kq iz jx jy kr jd ka kb ks kd ke kf kt kh ki kj ku kl km kn fh cf" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="df66"></p><p>How should we tackle cybercrime in the future? <a href="https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2021/01/19/friendly-neighbourhood-cybercrime-online-harm-in-the-pandemic-and-the-futures-of-cybercrime-policing/">There's a new paper from the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre &amp;friends:</a><br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>... as we have seen an enormous rise in reported cybercrime in the pandemic, we have paradoxically seen this dominated by issues with a much more local character. Our paper sketches a past: of cybercrime in a turbulent 2020, and a future: of the roles which state law enforcement might play in tackling online harm a post-pandemic world.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... we are witnessing a generational change in patterns of crime – in particular, a large increase in volume online harm.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... we argue that the local character of the rise in volume cybercrime also points to a potentially different future, one which doesn’t rely on centralised command or PREVENT-duty approaches taking on frontline online harm reduction. We argue that in fact, local forces are potentially better-equipped to handling many of these issues, and that ‘democratic’ community policing approaches driven by communities themselves could serve these functions in a more accountable and responsive way. This goes against the grain of traditional wisdom in this field, which sees cybercrime and online harm as a ‘globalised’, high policing issue, whose reach and scope make local responses impossible.</i></p></blockquote><p>It's hard to work out things from postcodes in the UK, because there's so many different ways we organise local areas for different purposes. At least we can see them all(?) here: <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8j3KtQq8de0/YBQzLgmAktI/AAAAAAAAztA/_E9sXV5DYmg34Ec0_LHhjUZkM0H8q2OQwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1168/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.08.10.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1168" data-original-width="1074" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8j3KtQq8de0/YBQzLgmAktI/AAAAAAAAztA/_E9sXV5DYmg34Ec0_LHhjUZkM0H8q2OQwCLcBGAsYHQ/w368-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.08.10.png" title="https://twitter.com/ONSgeography/status/1351183963986001921" width="368" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ONSgeography/status/1351183963986001921">https://twitter.com/ONSgeography/status/1351183963986001921</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>But then postcodes are problematic anyway. There's a consultation open about how we manage postcode data in the UK - check out<a href="https://www.centreforpublicdata.org/ask-ofcom-to-review-address-data"> this explainer from the Centre for Public Data</a> and respond by 5 Feb. <br /></p><hr />How do you know which masks are good? Why are we still reliant on random, hand-made cloth masks when better materials are available?&nbsp; <a href="https://zeynep.substack.com/p/frozen-in-place">Zeynep Tufekci observes that things have not changed as much as you might have guessed since early 2020.</a> I wish better reusable masks were available - the volume of waste generated by disposables used by regular folk not in high risk situations is grim. But we know there are materials that work well in layered cloth masks - this knowledge just doesn't seem available to many mask-makers, and the consumer has no clue what good looks like anyway.<br /><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4oVXgUcEC0A/YBQyYuciYnI/AAAAAAAAzss/aSHmvdtKGOQJyGuTI85l7EMgnnntZlVPwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1072/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.05.20.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="750" data-original-width="1072" height="280" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4oVXgUcEC0A/YBQyYuciYnI/AAAAAAAAzss/aSHmvdtKGOQJyGuTI85l7EMgnnntZlVPwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h280/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.05.20.png" title="https://twitter.com/debcha/status/1353466934625505281" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/debcha/status/1353466934625505281">https://twitter.com/debcha/status/1353466934625505281</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>How can people find the interesting local ventures near them? <a href="http://www.mcqn.net/mcfilter/archives/liverpool/liverpoolhannahlinks.html">Adrian McEwen on the Hannah Directory in Liverpool</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Check out the <a href="https://twitter.com/wutheringbytes/status/1354435810330861573">videos of the eclectic talks and demos from Wuthering Bytes in 2019.</a><br /></p><p>Alexis Lloyd et al have written <a href="https://alexis.medium.com/camera-obscura-beyond-the-lens-of-user-centered-design-631bb4f37594">a comprehensive article about where User-centric Design falls down, and design methods to counter this</a>. Digital products don't live in isolation from businesses and wider society.&nbsp;</p><p>Food and agriculture are complex too. In <a href="https://twitter.com/Tom_Clarke/status/1337737078789038082">this long twitter thread</a> Tom Clarke describes the interplays between sugar beet growing in the UK, the international markets and the subtleties of bee-killing pesticide legislation.&nbsp;</p><p>Worth reading the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/eb5e3bd7-c8bf-4934-b60e-0e49152183a5">article</a> if you have FT access: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sOFVIdC575E/YBQymKsXZPI/AAAAAAAAzsw/VH2qllMfB4Y3nTD0T9a5PEwGhdUvW51LwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1230/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.06.31.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1230" data-original-width="1070" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sOFVIdC575E/YBQymKsXZPI/AAAAAAAAzsw/VH2qllMfB4Y3nTD0T9a5PEwGhdUvW51LwCLcBGAsYHQ/w348-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-01-29%2Bat%2B16.06.31.png" title="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1354104437724377090" width="348" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1354104437724377090">https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1354104437724377090</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>&nbsp;<br /></p><p></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-18670194711157154432021-01-12T11:41:00.001+00:002021-01-12T11:41:14.139+00:00Weeknotes: Security/safety/economics, accountability, empathy<p><a href="https://www.thersa.org/blog/matthew-taylor/2021/01/accountability-four-levels">Matthew Taylor on accountability</a>, highlights mine:<br /></p><blockquote><i>If accountability is based on multiple objectives, relating to quite different domains, things become more complex. Perhaps it is not surprising that organisations often duck that complexity. More and more businesses advertise their ESG framework, but in many of them employees find their day-to-day incentives are still overwhelmingly aligned with profit.<br /><br />A friend of mine who works on ethical leadership says that <b>acknowledging the existence of genuine dilemmas is an essential first step to developing a practical ethical mindset but that most executives are loath to admit such conflicts exist.</b> Unless accountability systems incorporate multiple measures and openly recognise potential trade-offs between objectives they are neither as powerful nor honest as they could be.<br /><br />... Weak and mythical accountability is a big part of the erosion of trust and credibility in our politicians and political institutions. Ministers make promises they can’t realistically deliver – for example negotiating a Brexit deal without making any significant concessions – while at the same time evading accountability for things that are their responsibility like honesty, coherence and the effective delivery of policy. <br /><br />... As I sit here finishing this piece the BBC website features the headline ‘Formula for locating new homes revised after Tory backlash’. This highlights three failings. First, why is the government dialogue with its own party activists so weak that it couldn’t build or sustain support for this policy? Second, <b>why do we seem to think it is acceptable that a government elected to represent all of us is demonstrably and unashamedly much more influenced by its own unreconstructed activist base than the view of the public, experts or third sector groups? Third, why does so much policy emerge without going through the kind of deliberative processes that might make it stronger and less likely to be abandoned at the first contact with reality? This is our broken system of democratic accountability in a microcosm.</b></i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/01/brexit-bonfire-national-illusions-labour-alternative-future?CMP=share_btn_tw">David Edgerton hopes that Brexit will lead to a bonfire of national illusions.</a>&nbsp;</p><hr />What's the state of AI? Not great. Here's <a href="https://blog.piekniewski.info/2020/12/30/ai-update-late-2020-dumpster-fire/">a roundup of 2020 lacklustre news</a> from Filip Piekniewski, covering machine learning and robots and software-driven vehicles. <br /><br /><a href="https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/how-to-get-rich-sabotaging-nuclear">Matt Stoller writes about security and the private sector</a>:<br /><p></p><blockquote><i>Cybersecurity is a very weird area, mostly out of sight yet potentially very deadly. Anonymous groups can turn off power plants, telecom grids, or disrupt weapons labs, as Israel did when it used a cyber-weapon to cripple Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010. Bank regulators have to now consult with top military leaders about whether deposit insurance covers incidents where hackers destroy all bank records, and what that would mean operationally. It’s not obvious whether this stuff is war or run-of-the-mill espionage, but everyone knows that the next war will be chock full of new tactics based on hacking the systems of one’s adversary, perhaps using code placed in those systems during peacetime.<br /><br />... The most interesting part of the cybersecurity problem is that it isn’t purely about government capacity at all; <b>private sector corporations maintain critical infrastructure that is in the “battle space.” <br /><br />...And yet these companies have no actual public obligations, or at least, nothing formal. They are for-profit entities with little liability for the choices they make that might impose costs onto others.</b><br /><br />Indeed, cybersecurity risk is akin to pollution, a cost that the business itself doesn’t fully bear, but that the rest of society does. The private role in cybersecurity is now brushing up against the libertarian assumptions of much of the policymaking world; national security in a world where private software companies handle national defense simply cannot long co-exist with our monopoly and financier-dominated corporate apparatus. </i></blockquote><p></p><p>This is all down to firms run for profitability above all, which is made worse through private equity. <br /></p><blockquote><i>&nbsp;... There are many ways to see this massive hack. It’s a geopolitical problem, a question of cybersecurity policy, and a legally ambiguous aggressive act by a foreign power. But in some ways it’s not that complex; the problem isn’t that Russians are good at hacking and U.S. defenses are weak, it’s that<b> financiers in America make more money by sabotaging key infrastructure than by building it.</b></i> <br /></blockquote><p></p><p>As <a href="https://twitter.com/rossjanderson/status/1345829228831535104">Ross Anderson points out,</a> perhaps this suggests a new thread of research in security economics.&nbsp;</p><p>It's no better in open source. <a href="https://www.techrepublic.com/article/open-source-developers-say-securing-their-code-is-a-soul-withering-waste-of-time/">Tech Republic writes:</a> <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>A new survey of the free and open-source software (FOSS) community conducted by the Linux Foundation suggests that contributors spend less than 3% of their time on security issues and have little desire to increase this.&nbsp; ... </i><i>Moreover, responses indicated that many respondents had little interest in increasing time and effort on security. One respondent commented that they "find the enterprise of security a soul-withering chore and a subject best left for the lawyers and process freaks," while another said: "I find security an insufferably boring procedural hindrance." </i></blockquote><p></p><p>Thanks to Joanna Bryson for the pointer to that -&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uffNJbgND2c/X_wUYQSV0wI/AAAAAAAAzbQ/SVbjK-k7SXIZp205oViS8ALlVi7xvd4IACLcBGAsYHQ/s1172/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.03.01.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="814" data-original-width="1172" height="278" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uffNJbgND2c/X_wUYQSV0wI/AAAAAAAAzbQ/SVbjK-k7SXIZp205oViS8ALlVi7xvd4IACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h278/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.03.01.png" title="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1347911643917914116" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1347911643917914116">https://twitter.com/j2bryson/status/1347911643917914116</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><hr /><p><a href="https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/blog/inspectors-dilemma/">Martin Stanley looks at who is responsible for safety</a>, in a piece for the Bennett Institute.<br /></p><blockquote><i>The second lesson, surely, is that regulators must be properly funded.&nbsp; Most businesses may not need frequent inspections, but the occasional criminals and ‘chancers’ can do huge harm – and will do so unless faced with energetic prosecution and/or enforcement.&nbsp; It is worrying, therefore, that recent governments have reduced the resources available to regulatory bodies, typically by around 50% in real terms.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://e-pluribusunum.org/2021/01/01/in-a-historic-override-of-trump-veto-united-states-bans-anonymous-shell-companies-in-ndaa/">Anonymous shell companies have been banned in the US</a>. Thanks Alex Howard for writing about this sort of less-noticed DC news amidst everything else.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>A <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/padm.12712">depressing paper</a> about the growing use of management consultancies in the (mostly UK) public sector:</p><p></p><blockquote><i>the results show that, in general, high levels of prior MC use (in terms of expenditure) predict higher future use. This suggests a pattern of repeat or persistent external sourcing to MCs within buyer–supplier networks that leads to demand inflation. Consistent with this picture, a relationship was also found between previous high levels of MC use and the subse-<br />quent adoption of commercialization practices (H2). Turning to H3, the analysis further suggests that processes of demand inflation have negative consequences for<br />client performance in terms of efficiency. Consistent with earlier research ... we found that higher overall levels of expenditure (influenced by past patterns of use) are associated with lower efficiency in hospital trusts. Another indication of this tendency is related to the adoption of commercialization practices. Crucially, we found that the organizational inefficiency generated by higher levels of MC is amplified when it is linked to out-<br />sourcing and structuring of PFI contracts. In other words, it seems that the use of MCs to assist with the implementation of these initiatives is having a reinforcing, negative effect.&nbsp;</i> </blockquote><p>Marcus Baw has been working on <a href="https://github.com/pacharanero/awesome-missing-nhs-things">what's missing</a> (alongside what's awesome) in the NHS data infrastructure:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-saQgaO1-xek/X_14SS2qOJI/AAAAAAAAzcY/6HUtR4Vc6m823Ik0_2Ph2VIBGzplr74JwCLcBGAsYHQ/s587/Screenshot%2B2021-01-12%2Bat%2B10.21.16.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="407" data-original-width="587" height="278" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-saQgaO1-xek/X_14SS2qOJI/AAAAAAAAzcY/6HUtR4Vc6m823Ik0_2Ph2VIBGzplr74JwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h278/Screenshot%2B2021-01-12%2Bat%2B10.21.16.png" title="https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1346754637563621376" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1346754637563621376">https://twitter.com/marcus_baw/status/1346754637563621376</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p><a href="https://www.notion.so/Open-and-free-information-in-an-age-of-radical-personal-responsibility-ae166084c5444b78a4491258a531bf33">Alex Blandford writes about the failure of open data (highlights mine):</a><br /></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><i>Open data, as a movement, relied heavily on buy-in from government that was contingent on delivering savings and value for money. It was meant to be a technocratic revolution from government's point of view, and for civil society, a way to understand the quantitative data of Whitehall which might, in turn, bring up more detail on the qualitative.<br /><br />But almost none of the promised gains of efficiency have actually happened. <b>Making more open financial data happen at the same as closing down bodies like the audit commission doesn't lead to the same outcomes.</b><br /><br />And so in epidemiology data. All data is readable, able to be put into contexts that suit particular outlooks, it isn't neutral. Fine. But. <b>The political decisions have lagged data and very little has been made of that by political journalists </b>(there is the oft-cited problem that lobby journalists might bring a particular ontology of understanding all crises as crises of the cabinet rather than of government or state).<br /><br />Open data sits clearly in the "I need" rather than "so that" part of a user story. I've been able to make personal decisions in a pandemic using this data, but we need to acknowledge that this creates a narrative of personal responsibility for your own safety in a global pandemic. The publication of data has political possibilities and is a product that needs thought and iteration like any other.<br /></i></blockquote><p>Personal responsibility and personal use of data seems to have been a highlight of many tech people's response this year. So many graphs...&nbsp; The most poignant bit of this post is:<br /></p><blockquote><i>... I've been confused as to why charities like Diabetes UK weren't advocating for diabetics while this was happening. I saw lots of comms around following shielding/lockdown rules (which is all good and fair enough), but almost nothing about trying to push for better support and conditions for people who are shielding. Early letters in the pandemic advised me to isolate indefinitely from my family. This is not possible. <b>NGOs representing groups asked to shield should have been acting for us, standing up for bad policy, pointing out that households shield, not individuals and pointing out the massive deficiencies in the way that policy was drawn up and implemented so it could be improved.</b></i></blockquote><hr /><a href="https://zeynep.substack.com/p/moralizing-everything-641">Zeynep Tufekci dives into <i>"an eye-popping story</i></a><i> in the New York Times, the headline blaring that, “Britain Opts for Mix-and-Match Vaccinations, Confounding Experts.” The subtitle continued, “If a second dose of one vaccine isn’t available, another may be substituted, according to new U.K. guidelines”"</i> and finds this is mostly not true or significant. But:<p></p><blockquote><i>What we are seeing polarization and, in fact, moralization of every little thing, turning banal scientific manuals making routine recommendations into fodder for social media dunking and expressions of outrage. These developments have certainly made everything harder, including maintaining trust in public health guidelines. An ordinary person reading the article in the U.K. may leave with the impression that British scientific authorities are completely out of their minds, making outrageous, unprecedented decisions and gambling with public health on everything.The reality is much, much more mundane, and not that related to this most boring of guidelines. We’ve increasingly lost the ability to interpret even the smallest things outside of frameworks of outrage.</i></blockquote> <p></p><p>I don't think I have anything to say about the US this week but <a href="https://zeynep.substack.com/p/so-what-about-that-self-coup">Zeynep's post</a> seemed the most perceptive commentary I've seen. It seems so easy to get distracted by the facepaint and private jets etc. </p><p>Ban recommender engines:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-akG90_94QuU/X_wR18cJgnI/AAAAAAAAza8/INtUXe0A33AFNVI5ikqOXbDJmwKvEICQwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1194/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B08.52.06.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1194" data-original-width="1184" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-akG90_94QuU/X_wR18cJgnI/AAAAAAAAza8/INtUXe0A33AFNVI5ikqOXbDJmwKvEICQwCLcBGAsYHQ/w396-h400/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B08.52.06.png" title="https://twitter.com/nxthompson/status/1347744658764537857" width="396" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/nxthompson/status/1347744658764537857">https://twitter.com/nxthompson/status/1347744658764537857</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>On social media bans: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J8Uzf4hsHe0/X_ruLbT1qDI/AAAAAAAAzZM/Hh8VKgdmiWUj3bOemJqwFBBY0utKDk6DQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1164/Screenshot%2B2021-01-10%2Bat%2B12.07.36.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="730" data-original-width="1164" height="251" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J8Uzf4hsHe0/X_ruLbT1qDI/AAAAAAAAzZM/Hh8VKgdmiWUj3bOemJqwFBBY0utKDk6DQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h251/Screenshot%2B2021-01-10%2Bat%2B12.07.36.png" title="https://twitter.com/mala/status/1348110486189969408" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mala/status/1348110486189969408">https://twitter.com/mala/status/1348110486189969408</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Also how does this work elsewhere... (whole <a href="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1347904311427260416">thread</a>):</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_OSLWkyVfSk/X_wSKQToN_I/AAAAAAAAzbE/KRye1_CwGz053wpJOwKt-tbW5BMUeRlwwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1174/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B08.53.37.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="544" data-original-width="1174" height="185" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_OSLWkyVfSk/X_wSKQToN_I/AAAAAAAAzbE/KRye1_CwGz053wpJOwKt-tbW5BMUeRlwwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h185/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B08.53.37.png" title="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1347904311427260416" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1347904311427260416">https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1347904311427260416</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Or:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rp-p_Gq9qHM/X_wV7ev14zI/AAAAAAAAzbc/L7ofc-Y006E9kKFuk43sRwpsdWXeAvVSwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1170/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.09.13.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="490" data-original-width="1170" height="168" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Rp-p_Gq9qHM/X_wV7ev14zI/AAAAAAAAzbc/L7ofc-Y006E9kKFuk43sRwpsdWXeAvVSwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h168/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.09.13.png" title="https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1347705648234971140" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1347705648234971140">https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1347705648234971140</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>I should re-read Jennifer Cobbe's <a href="https://www.cigionline.org/articles/rethinking-digital-platforms-post-covid-19-era">paper....</a><br /></p><p>But there is also good news:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lJE9Amm_xLU/X_wW8WIgaRI/AAAAAAAAzbk/5Ekgcy-09qArs70MSpYwG3lK9SlK40tTACLcBGAsYHQ/s1180/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.14.06.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="670" data-original-width="1180" height="228" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lJE9Amm_xLU/X_wW8WIgaRI/AAAAAAAAzbk/5Ekgcy-09qArs70MSpYwG3lK9SlK40tTACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h228/Screenshot%2B2021-01-11%2Bat%2B09.14.06.png" title="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1347517255047913473" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1347517255047913473">https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1347517255047913473</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><hr /><a href="https://panthealee.medium.com/towards-a-politics-of-solidarity-joy-6f7648f8eb53">Panthea Lee writes about a new politics of solidarity and joy.</a> There are many interesting bits in this long article but I think the bits about empathy and power struck me most. Highlights mine.<br /><p></p><p><span style="background-color: white;"><span class="ii cf"></span></span></p><blockquote><p><i><span style="background-color: white;"><span class="ii cf">I am rejecting a politics of empathy. </span>I have spent the last 15 years <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.fastcompany.com/2681319/redesigning-public-services-so-they-can-actually-help-people" rel="noopener nofollow">advocating for greater empathy</a> in <a class="cy jf" href="https://reboot.org/partners/" rel="noopener nofollow">powerful institutions</a>. And I am done. My early professional training — in journalism, arts, and design — believed empathy to be both means and end. ... Because empathy begot good solutions, <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk01AelIuSpphga5HhzUl3-vZ9B1Fhg%3A1609352629204&amp;ei=tcXsX_HdC4S85gLf1avQCA&amp;q=importance+of+empathy+in+design&amp;oq=importance+of+empathy+in+design&amp;gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIHCAAQyQMQQzoECAAQRzoECCMQJzoFCAAQkQI6BAgAEEM6BQgAELEDOggIABCxAxCDAToCCAA6CAgAEMkDEJECOgcIABCxAxBDOggILhCxAxCDAToMCAAQyQMQChBGEPkBOgQIABAKOgoIABCxAxCDARAKOgcIABCxAxAKOgQILhAKOgcIABDJAxAKOgYIABAWEB5Q_IkBWN6lAWCvpwFoAnACeACAAXCIAeoTkgEEMzEuMpgBAKABAaoBB2d3cy13aXrIAQjAAQE&amp;sclient=psy-ab&amp;ved=0ahUKEwixjKDeqfbtAhUEnlkKHd_qCooQ4dUDCA4&amp;uact=5" rel="noopener nofollow">or so the mantra went</a>.</span></i></p><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="6d93"><i><span style="background-color: white;">...But major decisions were still made in big offices in the capital cities, or in even bigger offices in DC, New York, or London. In those boardrooms, armed with my photos, frameworks, reports, and slides, I’d try to convince those with power to address the injustices I’d witnessed. If I could just generate enough empathy within these decision-makers, I thought, then they’d approve the policy, allocate the funds, or greenlight the project. Generate enough empathy, I thought, and the injustices would go away.</span></i></p><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="c592"><i><span style="background-color: white;">How naive I was. For a few years now, I’d sensed that “building empathy” <a class="cy jf" href="http://thisiswonderland.us/episodes/episode-102-humanity-storytelling-heidi-boisvert-saket-soni/" rel="noopener nofollow">was a red herring</a>, but I’d struggled to put it into words. Then I heard <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbZuJXp5s9w&amp;ab_channel=CreativeTime" rel="noopener nofollow">Aruna D’Souza nail it</a>: “</span>A politics based on empathy imagines justice as something to be bestowed by newly enlightened individuals on other lesser individuals and communities.<b> A politics of empathy allows those called upon to be empathetic to remain in a position of supremacy, doling out justice as a matter of kindness.</b>”</i></p></blockquote><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="c592"></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>&nbsp; ... Much of my work has been at the intersection of communities, activists, and “powerful institutions”. But I’ve been questioning what exactly we mean by “powerful” — most of the time, we’re simply referring to concentrations of economic and political capital. There is so much we miss in this shallow formulation of power.<b>“Powerful” institutions by design struggle to be generous, creative, adaptive, and consistently values-driven. Yet we accept the central roles they play in setting our public agendas.</b> Even most dogged activists focus on influencing the decisions of “powerful” institutions within the rigid frameworks they’ve set, rather than on reimagining our world anew. </i></p><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="8a82"><i>... Our visionary artists and writers, with their <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.akpress.org/octavia-s-brood.html" rel="noopener nofollow">gifts of radical imagination</a>, can help us see beyond our current realities. Our bravest activists, with their unwavering moral clarity, can help us set the bar for solutions that protect and nurture our humanity. Our most creative community groups, with their powers of loving generosity, can help us map out <i class="kl">how</i> to implement radical alternatives. <a class="cy jf" href="https://alp.org/programs/sos" rel="noopener nofollow">The</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://ellabakercenter.org/WKUS_EBC/" rel="noopener nofollow">models</a> <a class="cy jf" href="http://brooklynmovementcenter.org/food-justice/" rel="noopener nofollow">exist</a>. <a class="cy jf" href="https://sharedassets.org.uk/about-us/cic-why-what/" rel="noopener nofollow">They’ve</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://restorativejustice.nyc/" rel="noopener nofollow">been</a> <a class="cy jf" href="http://criticalresistance.org/" rel="noopener nofollow">pioneered</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.thefrontroom.cc/" rel="noopener nofollow">by</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://doughnuteconomics.org/" rel="noopener nofollow">visionaries</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.ruralstrategies.org/" rel="noopener nofollow">who</a> <a class="cy jf" href="http://gentleradical.org/" rel="noopener nofollow">have</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.glitsinc.org/about" rel="noopener nofollow">lacked</a> <a class="cy jf" href="http://www.poormagazine.org" rel="noopener nofollow">economic</a> <a class="cy jf" href="http://peopleskitchencollective.com/" rel="noopener nofollow">and</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://newbloommag.net/" rel="noopener nofollow">political</a> <a class="cy jf" href="https://ndncollective.org/ndn-collective-landback-campaign-launching-on-indigenous-peoples-day-2020/" rel="noopener nofollow">power</a>, and who’ve been <a class="cy jf" href="https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03V9_yZ3Ec2tj2Of2v1EKrdlmwOgA%3A1609357839158&amp;ei=D9rsX-yBCdO05NoPztSp8AE&amp;q=unintended+consequences+policy&amp;oq=unintended+consequences+policy&amp;gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yAggAMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjIGCAAQBxAeMgYIABAHEB46BAgAEEdQiUtYiUtgt01oAHADeACAAViIAViSAQExmAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdpesgBCMABAQ&amp;sclient=psy-ab&amp;ved=0ahUKEwisxcaSvfbtAhVTGlkFHU5qCh4Q4dUDCA4&amp;uact=5" rel="noopener nofollow">harmed by mainstream solutions</a>.</i></p><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="dd1c"><i>From there, our think tanks and researchers, with their intellectual rigour, can help us define paths to seizing this future. And “powerful” institutions, with their infrastructure and resources, can then set policies and organize markets to realize these agendas.</i></p><p class="ig ih gp ii b ij ja ik il im jb in io ip jc iq ir is jd it iu iv je iw ix iz cs ex" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="5b9b"><i>But the current norm is <i class="kl">literally the reverse</i>: “powerful” institutions set the agenda, and we fight on the fringes for crumbs. It’s just not good enough. If we want a world that is loving, joyous, and kind, <b>we must give key tasks to those who are most structurally fit to illuminate that path. And then we must line up behind their visions.</b></i></p></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mE0n9Zmiruk/X_rfazCc2cI/AAAAAAAAzY8/tS8oDvGAkSEHHKcODouQhmqm7O-AZjwlQCLcBGAsYHQ/s748/0*okn5iOSHkvWtu6Bg.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="432" data-original-width="748" height="370" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mE0n9Zmiruk/X_rfazCc2cI/AAAAAAAAzY8/tS8oDvGAkSEHHKcODouQhmqm7O-AZjwlQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h370/0*okn5iOSHkvWtu6Bg.png" title="image from https://panthealee.medium.com/towards-a-politics-of-solidarity-joy-6f7648f8eb53" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://panthealee.medium.com/towards-a-politics-of-solidarity-joy-6f7648f8eb53">https://panthealee.medium.com/towards-a-politics-of-solidarity-joy-6f7648f8eb53</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p><span></span></p><a name='more'></a><a href="https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/the-post-office-has-money-to-invest-heres-where-we-think-it-should-go-2038ce999504">Fascinating ideas from Citizen's Advice</a> about how the Post Office could invest and improve. (I had no idea the government has committed to investinng £177 million in the Post Office network in 2021.) One is "Address and collect" - like a PO box for people with no fixed address or whose post at home may be intercepted. Another is Post Offices holding parcels for collection, rather than leaving "we missed you" cards. This wasn't possible before but now it is! <br /><p></p><p><i></i></p><blockquote><i>Previously only parcels delivered by Royal Mail could go to post offices. But following a new agreement in December, that’s no longer the case. And Post Office Limited have already <a class="cm js" href="https://www.cityam.com/amazon-circles-post-office-as-it-loosens-ties-with-royal-mail/" rel="noopener">started talks with other delivery companies</a>.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>There is a <a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/spreadsheet-excel-errors">European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group</a> (Wired, October 2020). </p><p><br />From <a href="https://redecentralize.org/redigest/2020/12">the Redecentralise newsletter</a>:<br /><a href="https://rebelliousdata.com/p2p/"></a></p><blockquote><i><a href="https://rebelliousdata.com/p2p/">“The Decentralized Web of Hate”</a>, a recent report by Emmi Bevensee of Rebellious Data and the ScuttleButt community, investigates how peer-to-peer communication tools developed with social ideals end up being used for purposes antithetical to those — specifically, by white supremacy groups — and what could be done about this. Being both sympathetic towards and worried about the technology, the report gives nuanced reflections about trade-offs and challenges:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Centralization, such as a server controlled by a corporation, allows us to quickly remove dangerous content but it puts the control for what constitutes “dangerous” in the hands of a privileged few.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Radical democratization of the responsibility for maintaining a healthy Internet that respects difficult discourse, free speech, and the rights of marginalized persons to safety online is the great task of the P2P era”<br /></i></blockquote><p>Whether or not you think of this as the P2P era, it seems like this is a task for now. <br /></p><blockquote><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “For many in the P2P space, particularly those influenced by political ideologies such as techno-libertarianism, a belief in a combination of maximized liberty through free-markets and technology, the affordance of malicious use of their tools is understood as a necessary risk to advancing goals like freedom of speech and curtailing state overreach. To those in the P2P space more influenced by leftist and social justice ideologies, affordances such as use by white supremacists using a technology is something to be counter-acted as much as possible while still trying to leverage the potential of the tool. Further, there is a subpopulation of people in the P2P development space who themselves identify with white supremacist ideologies though they may take the cover of other political ideologies or dogwhistles.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are also those in the P2P space who are driven not so much by political or moral ideology but as by curiosity of the technical and mathematical possibilities. … This group is less concerned overall about whether any given group, hate or otherwise, uses their tools and more that they can advance the technology and theory.”<br /><br />Of course, most people do not fit in exactly a single category:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “The reality of these communities though is that many ideologies and motivations overlap and most people that I’ve spoken to have nuanced and complicated views on a range of these issues. Tensions at the level of code are embedded in the social context that creates them. The freedom of speech represented by an uncensorable P2P protocol interacts with the freedom to not experience racist violence organized through the very same protocol. Therefore it is important to investigate how some actors are pushing back against hate in a technological space that is, by design, difficult to censor.”<br /><br />Rather than giving up on decentralised tools, the report looks for ways to discourage or mitigate their abuse, hinting at explicit project values, various content moderation approaches, and instance block-lists...<br /><br />But, as the author concludes, in the long run we need social solutions to social problems. “P2P systems mimic the questions of how we combat racism and intolerance in the real world” — much depends on the real-world communities and culture around the technology. Perhaps this writing itself already helps by cultivating a culture among decentralisation enthusiasts in which nuances, trade-offs and responsibilities are acknowledged and appreciated.</i></blockquote><span></span><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-27713663221312477532021-01-01T20:39:00.002+00:002021-01-01T21:36:53.214+00:00Yearnotes: 2020<p>Looking back at <a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2020/01/yearnotes-2019.html">my 2019 notes</a>, it is tempting to say little has changed. My conclusion then feels prescient:</p><p><i></i></p><blockquote><p><i>So, this is my inspiration for 2020 (reposting from November):<br /></i></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><i><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2DLhEdLuZok/XcsX9Pc5xvI/AAAAAAAAqOs/6ibPfL1LtJQLO1lS5jRvN1SvjcHyMWltwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Screenshot%2B2019-11-12%2Bat%2B20.35.38.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1520" data-original-width="1194" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2DLhEdLuZok/XcsX9Pc5xvI/AAAAAAAAqOs/6ibPfL1LtJQLO1lS5jRvN1SvjcHyMWltwCLcBGAsYHQ/w314-h400/Screenshot%2B2019-11-12%2Bat%2B20.35.38.png" width="314" /></a></i></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/debcha/status/1193143681181736961"><i>https://twitter.com/debcha/status/1193143681181736961</i></a></td></tr></tbody></table><i><span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0">“Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation” is <a href="https://www.scottishreviewofbooks.org/2013/03/early-days-of-a-better-nation/">Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s rephrasing of a line from beloved Canadian poet Dennis Lee</a> (the original was "a better world"). </span><br /><br /><span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0"><span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0">“The Jackpot” comes from <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peripheral">William Gibson's </a></span></span><span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0"><a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peripheral">novel The Peripheral</a>, and is a distributed, slow-motion apocalypse of climate change, crop failures and famine, pandemic, political collapse, etc. </span></i></blockquote><p>My <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5dUD_cpwHv6VslBA1cpt__8Mjf9D6vUe8qAXA0/">resolution</a> for 2020 has been going ok:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YDDofwz5QmU/X-jzX7fL-BI/AAAAAAAAzJ0/qSVnObNG2XQili_zGEcvYJgbmXvr3RR9wCLcBGAsYHQ/s1904/Screenshot%2B2020-12-27%2Bat%2B20.49.18.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="instagram image of embroidery saying &quot;move purposely and grow things&quot;" border="0" data-original-height="1228" data-original-width="1904" height="412" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YDDofwz5QmU/X-jzX7fL-BI/AAAAAAAAzJ0/qSVnObNG2XQili_zGEcvYJgbmXvr3RR9wCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h412/Screenshot%2B2020-12-27%2Bat%2B20.49.18.png" title="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5dUD_cpwHv6VslBA1cpt__8Mjf9D6vUe8qAXA0/" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5dUD_cpwHv6VslBA1cpt__8Mjf9D6vUe8qAXA0/">https://www.instagram.com/p/B5dUD_cpwHv6VslBA1cpt__8Mjf9D6vUe8qAXA0/</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Perhaps we can skip the 'unprecedented' or 'strange' comments, and simply feel lucky that the challenges of this year for a lot of 'us' were not that significant compared to the challenges of this or other years for so many in our own country, let alone those in war-torn regions, or refugees, or imprisoned in labour camps, and so on. And it could have been - and perhaps will be - <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/29/who-warns-covid-19-pandemic-is-not-necessarily-the-big-one">worse next time</a>.</p><hr /><p>Leaving my main job (at lowRISC) at the end of January was perhaps not the greatest timing with hindsight, but it was definitely the right decision both short and long term. It meant I had the opportunity to use my skills and to do things I otherwise wouldn't've been able to do, and to find the right role for me at a good time in September. Some of the job-hunting experience was fascinating, too, and the extra time to reflect on what I really wanted to do was definitely helpful.&nbsp;</p><p>It seems a long time since the start of the year, when I was regularly popping down to London on the train for a variety of activities. We had <a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2020/01/fortnightnotes-bullshit-jobs-business.html">the kick-off board meetings for OpenUK</a>, the anniversary celebration of the Machine Intelligence Garage (and it does feel like I've served on the Ethics Committee there forever, not for 2 years and a bit), and a bunch of Doteveryone workshops for a Big Mystery Client.&nbsp;</p><p>It was bittersweet <a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2020/05/weeknotes-doteveryone-maintenance-by.html">when Doteveryone closed in the spring</a>, but having prepared and delivered those workshops made it feel like we'd crafted and created and landed the right ideas, and that others would excel at the next steps. <br /></p><p>The rest of the spring was a mixture of job hunting and volunteer work, and part time endeavours at the <a href="https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/">Cambridge Computer Lab</a>. Two very long and time-consuming recruitment processes saw me reach the very final stages before things stalled, which was tedious but not particularly distressing. I ended up mostly working on <a href="helpfulengineering.org/">HelpfulEngineering</a>, although there were no shortage of projects looking for help, whether in manufacturing or software or data or actually supporting local communities with things like food and essential support.&nbsp; I had resolved to avoid doing community coordination, but in the end that was what I did quite a lot of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯&nbsp; <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MJV8YrKvsQk/X-zh7JCbOjI/AAAAAAAAzNo/c3zKt7yo_NIfKiDOs7Ax24QzhsHBsw4iQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1178/Screenshot%2B2020-12-30%2Bat%2B20.23.57.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="668" data-original-width="1178" height="362" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MJV8YrKvsQk/X-zh7JCbOjI/AAAAAAAAzNo/c3zKt7yo_NIfKiDOs7Ax24QzhsHBsw4iQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h362/Screenshot%2B2020-12-30%2Bat%2B20.23.57.png" title="https://twitter.com/daspitzberg/status/1342872597474603011" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/daspitzberg/status/1342872597474603011">https://twitter.com/daspitzberg/status/1342872597474603011</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>I hope our modest efforts around coordination of supply, demand and effort, and information, were useful. Who can tell? (I have no idea whether anyone was researching the various initiatives at the time, or whether they leave behind any records that will last beyond short donated periods of web services, scattered social media and so on.)</p><p>It all catalysed new communities, though; I leave the year with new friends, too.&nbsp; <br /></p><p>I also worked on the University of Cambridge's "rapid response" test, trace, isolate working group through much of the year. It's fair to say that my idea of rapid response is not aligned with this august institution's conception of the term. (This is not a surprise, and not the first time that my idea of a reasonable pace of things has been not been matched by the University.) Nonetheless, the working group worked exceptionally hard, and delivered <a href="https://www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/stay-safe-cambridge-uni/data-from-covid-19-testing-service">both symptomatic testing and asymptomatic screening programmes.</a> My main contribution to all this effort was, I think, ensuring that we did not make An App (and also did not waste effort attempting to).&nbsp; <br /></p><p>(I also helped<span></span> the Computer Lab with some other projects this year, including <a href="https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/worshipful-company-gold-and-silver-wyre-drawers">working with an organisation nearly as old as the University</a>, making some embarrassing <a href="https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/news/cambridge-ring-hall-fame-awards-recognise-our-staff-students-and-alumni">videos</a>, and muttering darkly about power and inequality at the launch event for the new<a href="https://www.cst.cam.ac.uk/news/data-trusts-initiative-offers-grants-research-bridging-theory-practice"> data trusts initiative</a>.)<br /></p><p>The summer also saw great progress at <a href="cofarm.co">CoFarm Cambridge,</a> especially once volunteers cofarmers were able to get to the site. We weren't able to prove out the business model, as all the harvest this year was donated to local food hubs for those in need, but it was still a great first year:</p><p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J-_qN3KTqPg" width="560"></iframe></p><p>After a slow period with few reasonable jobs being advertised, things picked up in the summer and there were suddenly a lot more opportunities to apply for, even with my fairly fussy standards as to what I might consider, even in a pandemic. Having experienced some unimpressive recruitment processes earlier in the year, it was a delight to go through the well structured and thought-out one at <a href="the-open.net">the OPEN</a>, where I am now CTO. It's a lovely place to work with incredibly thoughtful, driven, smart and humane colleagues, and the same attributes apply across the network of progressive campaign groups we serve. I'm properly onboarded now and looking forward to doing more significant pieces of work in 2021. As one of the tech directors in the network noted, my role is a little like being CTO to 20 organisations (OPEN itself plus 19 members) which brings some interesting challenges in strategy development :)</p><p><span>That's two Opens I work with, then - one acronym and one actual word name. </span><a href="openuk.uk/">OpenUK</a> has made great progress, all things considered, and the events this autumn were really lovely moments bringing together people from the various 'opens.' Amanda Brock has been a powerhouse of energy and drive, despite the challenges of getting a new/revitalised thing off the ground in a year full of distractions.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My other new board role this year is with <a href="https://nowplaythis.net/">Now Play This</a>, which feels a pleasantly light contrast to everything else. Our 2021 <a href="https://nowplaythis.net/2020/12/17/now-play-this-2021-open-call/">open call (closes 5th January) is for games with a climate angle</a>.<br /></p><p>The Festival of Maintenance did not take place as a day long in person event, but instead moved online, running a range of sessions, some in collaboration with <a href="themaintainers.org/">The Maintainers</a>. We'd already noted that we think there's an ongoing conversation here, not just an annual festival, and to mark that we <a href="twitter.com/maintain_hive">rebranded</a>, and opened up our Slack.&nbsp; <span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><span></span><br /></p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VNCnatqnkec/X-4gMXjhv6I/AAAAAAAAzPM/xfpFPuZwLp41238k4wwYsv9uLR3uIBRWgCLcBGAsYHQ/s2000/Maintain%2BLogo%2BVariations-02.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="2000" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VNCnatqnkec/X-4gMXjhv6I/AAAAAAAAzPM/xfpFPuZwLp41238k4wwYsv9uLR3uIBRWgCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Maintain%2BLogo%2BVariations-02.png" width="320" /></a></div><p>We also helped out with a design class at CMU, which was enlightening and fun. Thanks Dan for the opportunity, and the shared philosophy.&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KHd7ZwWgVbE/X--AYSx1r0I/AAAAAAAAzSU/KizP4hBEzcMPL1FNq7_cA8z6yRCvjunjACLcBGAsYHQ/s1172/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B20.03.33.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="490" data-original-width="1172" height="268" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KHd7ZwWgVbE/X--AYSx1r0I/AAAAAAAAzSU/KizP4hBEzcMPL1FNq7_cA8z6yRCvjunjACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h268/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B20.03.33.png" title="https://twitter.com/imaginari_es/status/1344802349601193984" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/imaginari_es/status/1344802349601193984">https://twitter.com/imaginari_es/status/1344802349601193984</a></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><p>One of our best Maintain events was our festive chat in December, where a bunch of new and existing community members came along and discussed all kinds of things. We spoke of D=darning, and the hours of daylight available for maintenance in the past and today; the interestingness of maintaining an old ship, and the excruciating boredom of maintaining a modern ship; maintaining analogue hifi systems where the community of skilled people is so small, that individual deaths have a huge impact. Whether it is easier to maintain charismatic megastructures than other things; whether you get an unloved system to be cared for, by encouraging people to care for individual components; maintaining biodiversity, maintaining trust.&nbsp;</p><p>Someone there noted that perhaps one thing we might lose through Brexit could be our sense of complacency; that might be a general benefit from 2020. <span></span><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KgAdKdRjqI0/X-8AFnnBT0I/AAAAAAAAzRw/egfQE0PvkRkIdgzTZ6BQNuXR4QRWrqIDQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1162/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B10.56.59.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="724" data-original-width="1162" height="398" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KgAdKdRjqI0/X-8AFnnBT0I/AAAAAAAAzRw/egfQE0PvkRkIdgzTZ6BQNuXR4QRWrqIDQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h398/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B10.56.59.png" title="https://twitter.com/bydonkeys/status/1344705045489733632?s=21" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/bydonkeys/status/1344705045489733632?s=21">https://twitter.com/bydonkeys/status/1344705045489733632?s=21</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p>Indy always has a refreshingly different take on things:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kJB4uzU4CWU/X-4jihq8nsI/AAAAAAAAzPg/8-bJz1Nc3wIyPY0rsHd9rwma8M3rFXdqACLcBGAsYHQ/s1122/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.15.53.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="502" data-original-width="1122" height="286" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kJB4uzU4CWU/X-4jihq8nsI/AAAAAAAAzPg/8-bJz1Nc3wIyPY0rsHd9rwma8M3rFXdqACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h286/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.15.53.png" title="https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1342191597304356864" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1342191597304356864">https://twitter.com/indy_johar/status/1342191597304356864</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Brexit is less worrying than the structural issues with how our politics is working, illustrated by eg </p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PBThTjc3mXI/X-2mNzn0OFI/AAAAAAAAzOo/ubyw5vZFRMoOUsJwmYEhxh5egQ752ckXACLcBGAsYHQ/s1182/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B10.21.19.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="540" data-original-width="1182" height="293" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PBThTjc3mXI/X-2mNzn0OFI/AAAAAAAAzOo/ubyw5vZFRMoOUsJwmYEhxh5egQ752ckXACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h293/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B10.21.19.png" title="https://twitter.com/redhistorian/status/1344228458143113216" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/redhistorian/status/1344228458143113216">https://twitter.com/redhistorian/status/1344228458143113216</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p>Maybe it should be an offence for MPs to mislead the public - there's <a href="https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/561730">a petition for that</a>.</p><p>Then there's:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A6tnA6v1f8k/X-4mUPDJOFI/AAAAAAAAzP0/ygTzHQfVTVswZfXmOVY_Dbx35q0Bw5JHQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1366/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.27.54.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1366" data-original-width="1176" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-A6tnA6v1f8k/X-4mUPDJOFI/AAAAAAAAzP0/ygTzHQfVTVswZfXmOVY_Dbx35q0Bw5JHQCLcBGAsYHQ/w550-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.27.54.png" title="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1340224734236200963" width="550" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1340224734236200963">https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1340224734236200963</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>However we interpret "build back better" or the hopes for "green new deals", there's a bunch of practical work around these systems and institutions too, to tackle the populism and cronyism and so on. That's on top of local needs for very basic societal infrastructures after a decade of austerity.&nbsp;</p><p>There's nothing like working with civil society around the globe to put things in perspective, and help priortise what really matters. <br /></p><hr /><p>My first "unexpectedly online" event this year was the Open Hardware Summit, which was really wonderful, even if one hadn't known that the team had turned it around from happening in New York to on the internet in just a few days. I wouldn't've been able to go in person. This was followed by quite a few events - some of which I'd have been to in person, and some of which I wouldn't. OPEN2020 (yes, I know, a third OPEN, honestly) was a highlight as usual. Overall I suspect it was a year with no more or less events than I would have gone to in an average previous year.&nbsp; <br /></p><p>I listened to, and read, a lot less news than normal. From March the news was so relentless and yet somehow without content; switching from Radio4 in the morning to the World Service was a refreshing change, but eventually even that was replaced by silence.&nbsp; I think my online news reading diminished similarly, and I continue to curate my Twitter feed quite heavily to avoid too much of anything. </p><p>My non-fiction book<span></span> pile grew, and I consumed almost entirely fiction.<br /></p><p>Equally I have tried to find content which has been less popular in my circles, and to avoid the <span><span data-dobid="hdw">ephemeral hot takes, and to slow down my information consumption. I think that's working, but it does seem to take time. <br /></span></span></p><p>This <a href="https://twitter.com/krishraghav/status/1331180394687840256">whole thread of cartoons about bullshit jobs in China</a> was interesting but depressing - one highlight was Automation: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1zq4rzbApKs/X-73l7pzJgI/AAAAAAAAzRk/d9fuTXbSOFQqWThPzc3qIU6n8MYzCwFDwCLcBGAsYHQ/s3418/EnlNO-vVoAQ5hKP.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="cartoon from tweet" border="0" data-original-height="3418" data-original-width="2449" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1zq4rzbApKs/X-73l7pzJgI/AAAAAAAAzRk/d9fuTXbSOFQqWThPzc3qIU6n8MYzCwFDwCLcBGAsYHQ/w458-h640/EnlNO-vVoAQ5hKP.jpg" title="https://twitter.com/krishraghav/status/1331180394687840256" width="458" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/krishraghav/status/1331180394687840256">https://twitter.com/krishraghav/status/1331180394687840256</a></td></tr></tbody></table>Spotted thanks to Mark Mellors.<br /><hr /><p>There are many positive things at the close of 2020.&nbsp; I include only a random selection here. <br /></p><p>Africa has not suffered as much from the pandemic as many thought it would - here's<a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-explains-africas-successful-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic"> an article from November suggesting some reasons</a>.</p><p></p><p>The rules for international plastic waste trade <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/29/new-rules-to-tackle-wild-west-of-plastic-waste-dumped-on-poorer-countries">are changing,</a> so it will be harder to just ship waste to other countries.<br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-33OBvsaGwDk/X-4jM3QSiUI/AAAAAAAAzPY/OGnU0v_xH-gZSvqNZtB48NMPdPMTxhGSwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1178/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.14.37.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="982" data-original-width="1178" height="534" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-33OBvsaGwDk/X-4jM3QSiUI/AAAAAAAAzPY/OGnU0v_xH-gZSvqNZtB48NMPdPMTxhGSwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h534/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.14.37.png" title="https://twitter.com/CFPData/status/1342792596691816449" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/CFPData/status/1342792596691816449">https://twitter.com/CFPData/status/1342792596691816449</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p>Unexpected innovation:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--yW_aBgfEGY/X-4j8Vtd6KI/AAAAAAAAzPo/SahtGie1yno6diakqF5oHXKeiqyhC8kzgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1178/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.17.44.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="604" data-original-width="1178" height="328" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--yW_aBgfEGY/X-4j8Vtd6KI/AAAAAAAAzPo/SahtGie1yno6diakqF5oHXKeiqyhC8kzgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h328/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B19.17.44.png" title="https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1341554928616054787" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1341554928616054787">https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1341554928616054787</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/1342857944115908608">Energy labels change in 2021</a>, a nice example of a structural shift towards better performance:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0j69DGTRyIU/X-2zyPOu6TI/AAAAAAAAzO0/sBkgLurfZywEgifnAyykpcTEiAhWYOzBACLcBGAsYHQ/s1168/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B11.19.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="844" data-original-width="1168" height="462" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0j69DGTRyIU/X-2zyPOu6TI/AAAAAAAAzO0/sBkgLurfZywEgifnAyykpcTEiAhWYOzBACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h462/Screenshot%2B2020-12-31%2Bat%2B11.19.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/1342857944115908608" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/1342857944115908608">https://twitter.com/Sustainable2050/status/1342857944115908608</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><p>2020 was also fun.&nbsp;</p><p>The online games and playful experiences of <a href="https://nowplaythis.net/nptathome2020/">Now Play This at Home</a> were great, especially the guided tour and photo walk in-game. I think my most memorable moments were during <a href="https://coneyhq.org/">Coney</a>'s Remote Socials, which were hugely different and immersive and provocative. Check out their <a href="http://www.youhavefoundconey.net/">play at home stuff</a>.<br /></p><p>We tasted wine and <a href="cambridgecheese.com/">cheese</a> and <a href="https://www.brewboard.co.uk">beer</a> and <a href="cocoarunners.com/">chocolate</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMb0O2CdPBNi-QqPk5T3gsQ">coffee</a> in entertaining and educational sessions online with people near and far. I arranged for M to be <a href="https://www.breadahead.com/">trained</a> in the making of bagels and pretzels.<span> We grew 385 tomatoes and quite a variety of other things, which we did not count. I balanced all this food with an unprecedented amount of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ZumbaAndAllThingsFitness/">exercise</a>. Huge thanks to Kerry and Lara!&nbsp; Early 2020 purchases of coffee brewing equipment, and a Switch with Ring Fit Adventure, were more valuable than anticipated.</span></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XQQvn3RafoQ/X-9_9ECXV3I/AAAAAAAAzSM/Q0BoHY1s3bkIntbq6pjORHH5QqEFfMp7ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1106/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B20.02.44.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="380" data-original-width="1106" height="220" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XQQvn3RafoQ/X-9_9ECXV3I/AAAAAAAAzSM/Q0BoHY1s3bkIntbq6pjORHH5QqEFfMp7ACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h220/Screenshot%2B2021-01-01%2Bat%2B20.02.44.png" title="https://twitter.com/LouWoodley/status/1344797542056390658" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/LouWoodley/status/1344797542056390658">https://twitter.com/LouWoodley/status/1344797542056390658</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>The best end of year message, out of the many more or less personally relevant newsletters I received, was from Ann Copestake at the Computer Lab. Her message was so clear, compassionate and thoughtful, sharing gratitude for the collaboration and cooperation across the department this year. Ann suggests that we don't look back to 2019 and see such years as "normal" and aim to get back to that, but to strive for something better.</p><div style="-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; caret-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); color: black; font-family: -webkit-standard; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px;"><blockquote><i>... maybe, in hindsight, we'll look back at 2020 as a year that helped [us] get better at change.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></i></blockquote><span class="Apple-converted-space"></span></div><p>Her email also introduced me to the great work of <a href="https://firstdogonthemoon.com.au">First Dog on the Moon,</a> through the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/18/2020-was-a-poisonous-sea-snake-lurking-in-the-foam-covered-storm-lashed-beaches-of-a-year">Seabirds for Climate Justice end of year review</a>.&nbsp; The final two panels are superb.<br /></p><p>I wrapped up the year at a party, which was delightful, with cheeses and mulled wine. Unstructured activity with groups of strangers is not really my thing, but it's much easier online. Thanks Mark W for the opportunity.</p><hr />Thanks to Jonathan Coopersmith for this: <p></p><p></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>practice social solidarity as well as physical distancing</i></p><p></p></blockquote><br /><p><br /></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-14367383977499978222020-12-19T13:20:00.003+00:002020-12-21T09:32:33.107+00:00Monthnotes: play, wisdom, AI collaboration, ephemerality, systems<p>I'm excited to have joined the board at <a href="https://nowplaythis.net/">Now Play This</a>, now a community interest company, and continuing to be a festival of experimental game design. We just opened up <a href="https://nowplaythis.net/2020/12/17/now-play-this-2021-open-call/">our call for 2021</a>, which will focus around the climate crisis, games and play.<br /></p><p>In similar vein, check out <a href="https://newrules.itch.io/new-rules-play-during-the-pandemic">New Rules</a> -<i> "A collection of essays, poems and other writing that explores the repetitive, revelatory, grim, comforting, stressful, nostalgic, familiar and strange ways that play and games have fit into our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic." </i>From my Now Play This colleague Holly Gramazio. </p><hr /><p><a href="https://kneelingbus.substack.com/p/favela-chic-in-the-fourth-world?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoxMTM1ODE5LCJwb3N0X2lkIjoyNTkxOTM3MywiXyI6IjFoSENvIiwiaWF0IjoxNjA4MjkyNjU5LCJleHAiOjE2MDgyOTYyNTksImlzcyI6InB1Yi0xMjY0NSIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.J95zewZiU_Irnj7fozt1xnrXjddMKFdHsytyEfZdyco">Drew Austin on the state of the worlds:</a><br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Venkatesh Rao <a href="https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2019/04/08/weirding-diary-7/">wrote a short blog post</a> last year about the perennially circulating idea that the United States is gradually becoming a third-world country. Rao argues that third world status is both too optimistic and too pessimistic an assessment, and that instead “a patchwork of post-industrial first and&nbsp;fourth-world conditions is emerging against a second-world backdrop.” These tiered categories, like most other environmental conditions, are unevenly distributed and far from uniform within individual nation states, in contrast to what the terms’ usage typically implies.</i></p><p><i>In his post, Rao defines the first and third worlds in the usual way: The first world is wealthy European countries along with the gentrified urban areas of the United States; the third world comprises the countries of the global south that modernized considerably later than Europe. In between those two he places the second world, which he characterizes as suburban and small town America along with wealthier Asian countries and some parts of Europe.</i></p><p><i>And then there is the fourth world, the product of a collapsing developed world in which the advantages of the industrial age have atrophied or vanished for many while the traditional community structures that preceded modernization also no longer exist and cannot provide a backstop to that decline.</i></p><p><i>... One idea I keep returning to is Bruce Sterling’s concept of “favela chic,” which describes the contemporary juxtaposition of material scarcity and digital abundance that also feels especially relevant now: being mired in student debt but having hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers, or <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/upshot/why-some-men-dont-work-video-games-have-gotten-really-good.html">dropping out of the labor market and gaming full time</a>, or pushing your shrinking savings into Robinhood and swinging for the fences. Today, content is effectively free and unlimited, and even the hardware we use to access that content is increasingly affordable (along with most consumer goods). Meanwhile, the costs of more fundamental needs like health care, housing, and education have continued to increase, becoming less available to the average person as public austerity limits their distribution among those who can’t buy them on the market.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... On the streets of New York City now, it feels like the multitude of wooden huts and inflatable plastic yurts for outdoor dining—filled with shivering patrons swathed in winter attire—is the perfect physical manifestation of Sterling’s favela chic concept. The resplendent interiors of Michelin-starred restaurants, some of the finest products of contemporary capitalism, sit empty... Most of our fourth world landscape, however, is invisible, and thus easier to ignore. </i></p></blockquote><p> </p><hr /><p>The best piece I saw about Google/AI ethics/Timnit - <a href="https://upfromthecracks.medium.com/on-the-moral-collapse-of-ai-ethics-791cbc7df872">a great rant from J. Khadijah Abdurahman</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>If you were shocked by the firing of Timnit you haven’t been paying attention. We need to fucking take responsibility for the present because while you’re immobilized, debating whether if you’re the one who should mention the corporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lexicon (inherently de-coupled from a political economic analysis) is half of the problem. The most opportunistic and/or mediocre are defining the discourse on a global stage. We’re ruminating about Jeff Dean’s feelings instead of building a cross class labor movement that defines tech workers broadly, ie researchers, engineers, Uber drivers, Amazon warehouse workers, content moderators etc. </i>&nbsp;</blockquote><blockquote><i>...The failure of the AI ethics initiatives and fairness, accountability transparency framework has allowed this moment to happen where the codified institutional resistance is immobilized and only the opportunists feel agency.<br /><br />... You people who I love and respect- out here with your AI resistance headbands on, with access to capital — but inhibited by your bourgeois anxiety — refugees, the homeless, the policed etc are for better or worse counting on you and you’re out here talking about corporate diversity. If the room taken up with building individual brands lent itself to researching with those most impacted; developing tactical initiatives like a social justice war room — we’d be in a very different place.</i></blockquote><p><a href="https://organizing.work/2020/12/there-is-something-missing-from-tech-worker-organizing/">Carmen Molinari writes about what is missing from tech worker organising.</a> Long read but interesting analysis.&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--3MkMjtroxo/X9ZNH8dG4XI/AAAAAAAAy1g/75QAhp4_PhEs0aAuQrd5LVNOcuEcxdpywCLcBGAsYHQ/s1320/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.18.25.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1320" data-original-width="1178" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--3MkMjtroxo/X9ZNH8dG4XI/AAAAAAAAy1g/75QAhp4_PhEs0aAuQrd5LVNOcuEcxdpywCLcBGAsYHQ/w573-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.18.25.png" title="https://twitter.com/rachelginsberg/status/1335591701344292867" width="573" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/rachelginsberg/status/1335591701344292867">https://twitter.com/rachelginsberg/status/1335591701344292867</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>Good <a href="https://twitter.com/alixtrot/status/1334100341047123968">thread</a> from Alix:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cX1-SiPbB6c/X9ZTOUx0yRI/AAAAAAAAy10/ZxNRUP-YrSwECHgBMUm48fg5tIPKX3_fgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1182/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.42.52.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweets" border="0" data-original-height="694" data-original-width="1182" height="376" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cX1-SiPbB6c/X9ZTOUx0yRI/AAAAAAAAy10/ZxNRUP-YrSwECHgBMUm48fg5tIPKX3_fgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h376/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.42.52.png" title="https://twitter.com/mstem/status/1334152284977192960" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/alixtrot/status/1334100341047123968">https://twitter.com/alixtrot/status/1334100341047123968</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>This is echoed in <a href="https://mcqn.com/posts/week-793-manifesting-challenges/">Adrian McEwen's note</a> -&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Matt Webb has written up his talk: <a href="http://interconnected.org/home/2020/12/11/thingscon">The hard work of imagining, ThingsCon 2020</a>. If you think imagining utopias is hard work, just wait till you try implementing them.</i> </p><p><i>I get, and broadly agree with, what Matt is saying. I'm a big fan of the Saint-Exupéry quote "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." Yet reading it also frustrates me.</i></p> <p><i>Looking up the quote just now to ensure I got it right, I noticed the second half of it, that I don't remember so much: "As for the future, your task is not to forsee it, but to enable it."</i></p> <p><i>I think that gets at my frustration. I see lots of my peers, people whom I respect, writing essays and policy papers, producing manifestos and giving talks imploring the world to build more ethical, more sustainable, more humane tech. And none of it has any impact because the capitalists and big tech can happily ignore it all.</i></p> <p><i>It might even help ossify the status quo. It makes it look like our concerns over surveillance capitalism are being taken seriously, but does nothing to increase the choices available to us. Leading to no improvement in Matt's observation that "it feels like I don’t get to choose, we don’t get to choose, those futures".</i></p> <p><i>What we need are more people building possible better new futures. People working through the myriad implementation details that get glossed over in some design fiction but which first tread the new paths for Matt's marketers, retailers, supply chain experts, risk assessors, the MBAs, and policy-makers to follow.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></i></p></blockquote><p>I recognise my bias here - I definitely fall into Alix's third camp, and get slightly jealous of the easy lives of the other two :) <br /></p><p>Adrian is also very correct <a href="https://twitter.com/amcewen/status/1337756688586317824">here</a>:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-arpXz8IpDNc/X9Zd73B4etI/AAAAAAAAy2I/B1Vdb1xKCr4bbdTw4CE0gs6sDFl2YGW0ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1380/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B18.30.35.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1380" data-original-width="1176" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-arpXz8IpDNc/X9Zd73B4etI/AAAAAAAAy2I/B1Vdb1xKCr4bbdTw4CE0gs6sDFl2YGW0ACLcBGAsYHQ/w546-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B18.30.35.png" title="https://twitter.com/amcewen/status/1337756688586317824" width="546" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/amcewen/status/1337756688586317824">https://twitter.com/amcewen/status/1337756688586317824</a></td></tr></tbody></table>It's me: <br /><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YTYrcSC5e9Q/X9ZdntkUjJI/AAAAAAAAy2A/kXvLwiiLeSAi07_ztu1ORYsXxrfKWs4TwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1188/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B18.29.24.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="482" data-original-width="1188" height="261" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YTYrcSC5e9Q/X9ZdntkUjJI/AAAAAAAAy2A/kXvLwiiLeSAi07_ztu1ORYsXxrfKWs4TwCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h261/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B18.29.24.png" title="https://twitter.com/qntm/status/1337888441040834561" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/qntm/status/1337888441040834561">https://twitter.com/qntm/status/1337888441040834561</a></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><p>Joe Morrison <a href="https://joemorrison.medium.com/openstreetmap-is-having-a-moment-dcc7eef1bb01">writes about Open Street Map</a>:<br /></p><p> <a class="cu kf" href="https://www.openstreetmap.org/about" rel="noopener nofollow"></a></p><p></p><blockquote><p></p><p><i><a class="cu kf" href="https://www.openstreetmap.org/about" rel="noopener nofollow">OpenStreetMap (OSM)</a> is now at the center of an unholy alliance of the world’s largest and wealthiest technology companies. The most valuable companies in the world are treating OSM as critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software ever written.</i></p><p></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="f2a9"><i>The four companies in the inner circle— Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft— have a combined market capitalization of <b class="io cb">over</b> <b class="io cb">six trillion dollars</b>.¹ In almost every other setting, they are mortal enemies fighting expensive digital wars of attrition. Yet they now find themselves eagerly investing <i class="je">in</i> and collaborating <i class="je">on</i> OSM at an unprecedented scale (more on the scale later).</i></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><i>... Not only was there already significant corporate investment happening in OSM in 2018, but in many cases corporate editors were responsible for the majority of edits<i class="je"> </i>in the specific geographies they were focused on.&nbsp; ...<br /></i></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="fb28"><i>Jennings noted, importantly, that as of 2018 non-corporate editors were still responsible for the majority of activity on OSM (about 70% of all edits) and were significantly more active on edits to buildings, places of interest, and amenities.</i></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="0c21"><i>...The question on my mind is how idiosyncratic this situation really is. Does OSM represent a model for strategic corporate sponsorship of public goods moving forward? Or is it tragically inimitable?</i></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="061b"><i>For instance: I work for a company called <a class="cu kf" href="https://www.azavea.com/" rel="noopener nofollow">Azavea</a> that, among many noble efforts, maintains <a class="cu kf" href="https://www.cicerodata.com/" rel="noopener nofollow">Cicero</a>. It’s a database of elected officials and legislative districts in several countries around the world that gets updated daily. You can imagine that this <i class="je">should </i>be a public good — like, doesn’t the government already have this information? Turns out…nah. Cicero requires ceaseless, grueling work to keep updated, and that means serious investment of time and money.</i></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="4712"><i>One of the key differences between Cicero and OSM is a community of contributors. Community is what makes OSM special. Without it, the project is “default dead,” as they say in Silicon Valley. Much like elected official information, map data goes stale fairly quickly and therefore requires constant life support.</i></p><i>OSM’s community seems conflicted about whether or not corporate participation is ok (let alone good) for the future of the project. </i></blockquote><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="fb28"> </p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Thanks to Nat Torkington for that link.&nbsp; <br /></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1336365199444553729">Russ Garrett notes</a> the shift at Mapbox around open source tools. &nbsp; <br /></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Entertaining <a href="https://www.lightbluetouchpaper.org/2020/12/02/pushing-the-limits-acoustic-side-channels/">research</a> into a side-channel attack, where voice assistant microphones can detect what you type on your phone nearby.</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Paul Ford has written <a href="https://medium.com/swlh/web-conversation-from-the-other-side-5f3881bfaad8">an amusing reflection on the web today vs twenty years ago.</a></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"></p><blockquote><i>It’s easy — unbelievably easy compared to how it had been— to set up community forums, raise money for a cause, and so forth. But you’re in competition with a lot of other things when you do this. In a lot of ways this happens with every medium. Early TV proponents were excited that people would be able to watch Shakespeare plays at home and get educated. There’s still a lot of great TV to watch, in the scheme of things.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></blockquote> <p></p><hr /><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://alexis.medium.com/r2d2-as-a-model-for-ai-collaboration-9a2638bfbd09">Alexis Lloyd on how R2D2 is a great model for human-AI collaboration</a>:&nbsp;</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"></p><blockquote><i>In many ways, C3PO is the perfect encapsulation of the popular fantasy of what a robot should be and the common failures inherent in that model. ... we have examples of the failure of the C3PO model in the voice assistants we use every day. They’ve gotten pretty “good”, but still can’t understand context well enough to respond appropriately in a consistent way, and the interactions are far from satisfying. It turns out that even with incredibly rich computational and machine learning resources, interacting like a human is really hard.</i></blockquote><p></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">I was especially intrigued by this:</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><i></i></p><blockquote><i>We don’t all talk to each other the same way. We don’t all have the same set of cultural backgrounds or conversational expectations. Below are charts created by British linguist Richard Lewis to show the conversational process of negotiating a deal in different cultures.</i></blockquote> <p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pbIQRh37mnI/X9UQqm1PIxI/AAAAAAAAy0c/yzmmOwf6MgY_4o7_gLIrhXM1BYlQSXIHgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1400/1*Nk4W80Z87hJ0WzcDAIKfPQ.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="784" data-original-width="1400" height="358" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pbIQRh37mnI/X9UQqm1PIxI/AAAAAAAAy0c/yzmmOwf6MgY_4o7_gLIrhXM1BYlQSXIHgCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h358/1*Nk4W80Z87hJ0WzcDAIKfPQ.png" width="640" /></a></div><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Instead, a more compelling approach would be to exploit the unique affordances of machines....&nbsp; I think things get really interesting, both functionally and aesthetically, when we get to the end of the spectrum where the machine is not only separate from the self but also has agency — it has ways of learning and rubrics for making its own decisions.</i></p><p><i>... When we’re talking about machines that have agency of some sort, we’re working with entities over which we don’t have complete control and that opens up the possibility of many different kinds of relationships with these entities. They could be collaborators, but they could also be antagonists, friends, bureaucrats, pets, and more.</i></p><p><i>... R2D2 clearly has agency — he often follows orders from humans, but just as often will disobey orders to pursue some higher priority goal. And R2D2 has his own language. He doesn’t try to emulate human language; he converses in a way that is expressive to humans, but native to his own mechanic processes.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Let’s not let the future of AI be weird customer service bots and creepy uncanny-valley humanoids. Those are the things people make because they don’t have the new mental models in place yet. They are the skeuomorphs for AI; they are the radio scripts we’re reading into television cameras.</i></p></blockquote><hr /><p>Cambridge Computer Lab research is the best:</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zJyrpHNOpzc/X93zmBphJuI/AAAAAAAAy64/9kdor0_JslMdriM3j3PTFwz2k4HxgySmwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1278/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.35.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1278" data-original-width="1174" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zJyrpHNOpzc/X93zmBphJuI/AAAAAAAAy64/9kdor0_JslMdriM3j3PTFwz2k4HxgySmwCLcBGAsYHQ/w589-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.35.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/fionntan_tech/status/1339562433137041409" width="589" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/fionntan_tech/status/1339562433137041409">https://twitter.com/fionntan_tech/status/1339562433137041409</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p> </p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://twitter.com/thomasforth/status/1335364033373990912">Amusing thread from Tom Forth</a> about what <span class="css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0">sovereignty</span> means at different scales. Example:</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XUWu3pcRP_E/X9ZOD_6LIHI/AAAAAAAAy1o/NoAai7MzDrIkWbyWVdiH00mQvat4pf6zACLcBGAsYHQ/s1176/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.23.09.png" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="868" data-original-width="1176" height="472" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XUWu3pcRP_E/X9ZOD_6LIHI/AAAAAAAAy1o/NoAai7MzDrIkWbyWVdiH00mQvat4pf6zACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h472/Screenshot%2B2020-12-13%2Bat%2B17.23.09.png" width="640" /></a></div><p>Much-shared <a href="https://twitter.com/redhistorian/status/1337526891868254208">thread</a> from Robert Saunders about UK food anxieties in the 1970s, and now.<br /></p><p></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Hackney Council had a cyberattack in October and are still struggling hugely - payments, property transfers, benefits, <a href="https://hackney.gov.uk/service-status">the list of services that aren't working is astonishing</a>.&nbsp; HT <a href="https://twitter.com/1Br0wn/status/1337357089589633024">Ian Brown</a>.tt<br /></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Depressing <a href="https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-grenfell-tower-inquiry-is-uncovering-a-major-corporate-scandal">article</a> from Peter Apps in the Spectator about the Grenfell Tower inquiry uncovering&nbsp; worrying ways the various construction businesses operate, and safety systems don't.</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://twitter.com/GavinChait/status/1337079623054667777">The full experience of a Freedom of Information request in the UK [thread]</a> - when you have to pursue the case - thanks to Gavin Chait for both many efforts on FOI, and sharing the tale.<br /></p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0">Are many UK assumptions about the pandemic really myths? <a href="https://twitter.com/philwoodford/status/1339226696499802114">Thread from Phil Woodford,</a> noting amongst other things the apparently low levels of self-isolation and compliance with guidance in general. I wonder how that varies country to country - not seen any comparative research - and also about the branding of "COVID-secure."&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://twitter.com/Acuity_Design/status/1338820304462876672">Nautical signal flags for online events</a>, from Alastair Somerville. Example:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r0fDmnCCpTU/X934T6M4TvI/AAAAAAAAy7k/fiwwACpyEsgHwDU1qSJU7bKsXxADvv1nQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1484/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.55.23.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1480" data-original-width="1484" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-r0fDmnCCpTU/X934T6M4TvI/AAAAAAAAy7k/fiwwACpyEsgHwDU1qSJU7bKsXxADvv1nQCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.55.23.png" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">from <a href="https://twitter.com/Acuity_Design/status/1338820304462876672">https://twitter.com/Acuity_Design/status/1338820304462876672</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p><a href="https://items.ssrc.org/covid-19-and-the-social-sciences/mediated-crisis/when-video-vanishes-how-ephemeral-social-media-platforms-disappear-protest-journalism/">Allissa Richardson writes about the ephemerality of modern protest records - social media is gone so soon. </a>And it's complicated: <br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>What footage, I wondered, would future generations have when they looked to recount the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in May 2020.</i></p><p><i>... In July 2016, Ms. Reynolds became the first person to livestream a fatal police encounter ... One month later, however, in August 2016, Korryn Gaines attempted to leverage the new technology to livestream the Baltimore County Police Department’s unlawful entry into her home. ... While Gaines was able to broadcast the beginning of the encounter, Facebook cut her feed eventually, at the police’s request. Then police rushed into her home and shot her fatally, wounding her five-year-old son, Kodi, in the process. This time, Zuckerberg did not release a statement about the incident. Facebook, in both cases, had the power to elevate or suppress the Black witnessing that occurred on its platform. </i></p><p><i>... My team and I found hundreds of dedicated citizen journalists who posted ephemeral videos, most commonly to Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Did these citizens have a “right to be forgotten,” even though they may have the only footage from a major protest in their town?<span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="12" title="Jasmine E. McNealy, “The Emerging Conflict between Newsworthiness and the Right to be Forgotten,” Northern Kentucky Law Review 39, no. 2 (2012): 119–136.">12</span> Moreover, if we were to curate our data and make it available to the public eventually, what potential harm could we bring to the citizen journalists who had hoped to disappear their civic participation? This was an especially tragic point of discussion among Ferguson protestors, who urged the public to remember the six high-profile Black men activists who died suspiciously after being photographed incessantly in 2014.</i></p><p><i><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020.">... </span><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020.">One of Stanford University’s new artificial intelligence tools placed brown fists over every face in a photograph, for example. Likewise, developers created tools that scrubbed EXIF metadata from pictures, and selectively blurred faces and other identifiable features.<span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests."> ... </span></span><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests.">Would the 1963 photograph of Gloria Richardson pushing away a US National Guardsman’s bayonet carry the same resonance had her face been blurred?<span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="16" title="Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2018More Info →">16</span> We need a study that surveys how people remember (and react to) protest-themed photojournalism when faces are obstructed, to determine whether calls for protester privacy can live in a space that endeavors to save impactful protest journalism.</span></span></i></p><p><i><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests.">&nbsp;... </span></span><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests.">I mention this because Instagram and TikTok admitted this summer that they did silence Black voices algorithmically, by hiding African Americans’ profiles and hashtags from in-app search.<span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="18" title="→Starr Bowenbank, “Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri Pledges to Amplify Black Voices after Shadow Banning Accusations,” Cosmopolitan, June 16, 2020. →Michelle Santiago Cortes, “Black Creators React to TikTok’s Apology and Share Experience of Suspected Shadowbanning,” Refinery29, June 5, 2020."> ... </span>If we find, for example, that livestreams of peaceful protests are removed or suppressed, while more violent imagery of cities on fire is allowed to remain in discoverable feeds, then we can begin to theorize about whether the social media platform mirrors legacy media’s normative news values about mediating protests.&nbsp;</span></span></i></p><p><i><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests.">...</span></span><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests.">We are at an odd crossroads, where we have more cameras than ever before—and even more vantage points—but limited places to archive that content for broad consumption. </span></span></i></p></blockquote><p><span class="inline-footnote inline-footnote-expanded" data-footnote-id="13" title="→EJ Dickson, “Mysterious Deaths Leave Ferguson Activists ‘on Pins and Needles’,” Rolling Stone, March 18, 2019. →Madlin Mekelburg and Samatha Putterman, “Revisiting Concerns over Deaths of 6 Ferguson Activists,” Austin American-Statesman, June 5, 2020."><span class="inline-footnote" data-footnote-id="14" title="Stanford University built a privacy bot to obscure protestor faces in crowd shots. Similarly, Everest Pipkin’s Image Scrubber is an open-source tool for anonymizing photographs taken at protests."> </span></span></p><hr /><p>Deb Chachra re-posted <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/08/charities-government-civilised-society">her 2013 article</a></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>I gave to a local food bank because women with infants are going hungry thanks to the shutdown. But it fills me with fury.</i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i><a data-link-name="in body link" href="http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes,_Jr.">Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr</a> is reported to have said, now famously:</i></p><blockquote class="css-1xhj18k"><div class="css-1qmrhul"><p><i>I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.</i></p></div></blockquote><p class="css-38z03z"><i>Taxes aren't the only way to pay for civilization, of course: community groups, charities, and churches also contribute.&nbsp; <br /></i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>... Even excellent charities are inefficient. Take food banks. We have a distribution system that goes from farms to warehouses to grocery stores. <a data-component="auto-linked-tag" data-link-name="in body link" href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/food-banks">Food banks</a> then set up more warehouses and pick-up sites to get sustenance out to those in need, often food that's already gone down the first chain. It's far more efficient to give people the means to use the retail distribution network than to create and have them use an alternate system.</i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>Charity is also ad hoc: it's difficult to get help to people who need it in a systematic way that makes sure no one falls through the cracks. And charities, especially ones that do take on the challenge of large-scale issues, need to spend much of their income asking people like me to help. <br /></i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>... We live in an enormous, connected web of systems, and some building blocks of our civilization just can't be addressed by individuals or small groups of people. Most of us flat-out don't have the expertise to deal with them. Those groceries are the end-point of a global supply chain – how do we keep our food safe? </i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>... So, while I regularly donate to charities and I believe they play an important role in society, I don't want them in lieu of more efficient systems.</i> </p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>... I don't want to be a resident of a tiny village where everyone keeps an eye on everyone else, even if it were possible to do so and still be part of the 21st century. I want to live as part of a community of 300 million people, and I want it to be one where we take care of each other.</i></p><p class="css-38z03z"><i>That's civilization worth paying for.</i></p></blockquote><p class="css-38z03z"></p><p class="css-38z03z"> </p><p class="im in ge io b hb kg ip iq he kh ir is it ki iu iv iw kj ix iy iz kk ja jb jd co es" data-selectable-paragraph="" id="bab0"><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/11/stripe-climate-carbon-removal/617201/">How payments business Stripe is getting into carbon removal</a>.</p><a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/the-big-thaw-how-russia-could-dominate-a-warming-world">Russia is thawing;</a> much more food production will be possible there soon (super long article).<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b7zelJMx0Zs/X930wSsb10I/AAAAAAAAy7I/HRzhZ5c1A3IXgnToenAvxHmOZNnOnbPhACLcBGAsYHQ/s1172/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.40.00.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="610" data-original-width="1172" height="334" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-b7zelJMx0Zs/X930wSsb10I/AAAAAAAAy7I/HRzhZ5c1A3IXgnToenAvxHmOZNnOnbPhACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h334/Screenshot%2B2020-12-19%2Bat%2B12.40.00.png" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1339209258643099649" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1339209258643099649">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1339209258643099649</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p></p><p></p><p><a href="https://www.projectmoonshot.city/post/an-indigenous-view-on-doughnut-economics-from-new-zealand">An indigenous view of Raworth's Doughnut Economics </a>by Juhi Shareef<br /></p><blockquote><p><i>To inform the local context for sustainability, I felt New Zealand needed a doughnut of its own. I have been to too many meetings held to discuss issues affecting minority groups (Māori, Pasifika, women, children) without them at the table.&nbsp; Clearly, the process of reimagining the doughnut needed be led by an indigenous voice – female if possible.</i></p><p><i>... Teina and I first met at the Ōhanga Āmiomio Pacific Circular Economy Summit in 2019 where she spoke powerfully about the divine kinship Māori have with the natural world.&nbsp; I asked her to take on the interpretation of the doughnut in the hope that it would provide New Zealand with the social and environmental context for the nascent circular economy.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></i></p><p><i><span>... we didn’t just share the translation of the doughnut, we shared a second version: Teina’s reimagining of the doughnut from a Tūhoe Māori perspective, with the environment as its foundation, and social elements on the outer ring</span></i></p><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--UkwunQ6CMk/X8N6wC0PDRI/AAAAAAAAykU/eTAfIuKlmmQC-YX6IdhPiuwfyx6p-xp-gCLcBGAsYHQ/s1177/44cb96_0875a9d7382c4f3a8ebcad9a561bd6c0%257Emv2.webp" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="660" data-original-width="1177" height="224" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--UkwunQ6CMk/X8N6wC0PDRI/AAAAAAAAykU/eTAfIuKlmmQC-YX6IdhPiuwfyx6p-xp-gCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h224/44cb96_0875a9d7382c4f3a8ebcad9a561bd6c0%257Emv2.webp" title="Image from Juhi Shareef's post" width="400" /></a></i></div><i><span></span></i><p></p><p><i>... While I was initially confronted by Teina’s ‘flipped’ version, I soon realised that this was her worldview, and all the more relevant because of this. I also understood the power of Te Reo Māori: our planetary boundaries, or ecological ceiling, becomes hā tuamātangi: the Earth’s last breath: incredibly rich and evocative.</i></p><p class="XzvDs _208Ie ljrnk blog-post-text-font blog-post-text-color _2QAo- _25MYV _1Fao9 ljrnk public-DraftStyleDefault-block-depth0 public-DraftStyleDefault-text-ltr" id="viewer-1i9lj"><i><span class="vkIF2 public-DraftStyleDefault-ltr"><span style="color: black;">... As Kate Raworth said when we shared our versions with her on Twitter:</span></span></i></p></blockquote><p class="XzvDs _208Ie ljrnk blog-post-text-font blog-post-text-color _2QAo- _25MYV _1Fao9 ljrnk public-DraftStyleDefault-block-depth0 public-DraftStyleDefault-text-ltr" id="viewer-1i9lj"><span class="vkIF2 public-DraftStyleDefault-ltr"><span style="color: black;"></span></span></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oBS1mHc98JI/X8N64OhvbuI/AAAAAAAAykY/SurBp8GH90YTcUxgpgOCK38BIGLg4u4CACLcBGAsYHQ/s781/44cb96_1cc1ea1b0bcd4d9a829b996c1a909eb5%257Emv2.webp" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="781" data-original-width="646" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oBS1mHc98JI/X8N64OhvbuI/AAAAAAAAykY/SurBp8GH90YTcUxgpgOCK38BIGLg4u4CACLcBGAsYHQ/w530-h640/44cb96_1cc1ea1b0bcd4d9a829b996c1a909eb5%257Emv2.webp" title="Image from Juhi Shareef's post" width="530" /></a></div><p></p><hr /><p><a href="https://www.cam.ac.uk/thiscambridgelife/peterkirkham">A lovely profile of a Cambridge gardener.</a><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p><img class="_1Fjtc _2E02D" data-pin-media="https://static.wixstatic.com/media/44cb96_1cc1ea1b0bcd4d9a829b996c1a909eb5~mv2.jpg/v1/fit/w_646%2Ch_781%2Cal_c%2Cq_80/file.png" data-pin-url="https://www.projectmoonshot.city/post/an-indigenous-view-on-doughnut-economics-from-new-zealand" src="https://static.wixstatic.com/media/44cb96_1cc1ea1b0bcd4d9a829b996c1a909eb5~mv2.jpg/v1/fit/w_300,h_300,al_c,q_5/file.jpg" style="opacity: 0;" />Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-52740015465285081052020-11-22T08:59:00.004+00:002020-11-22T08:59:51.445+00:00Fortnightnotes: environmentalism, the left, information literacy<p>&nbsp;So many discussions of inclusion and diversity seem to ignore class, so I appreciated this -&nbsp; <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AAHx5CFFBSM/X7f4TywhwaI/AAAAAAAAycA/YgZkROOdFss0-hWcV54Cn1q-dlGOs1_9ACLcBGAsYHQ/s576/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.09.16.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="576" data-original-width="529" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AAHx5CFFBSM/X7f4TywhwaI/AAAAAAAAycA/YgZkROOdFss0-hWcV54Cn1q-dlGOs1_9ACLcBGAsYHQ/w368-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.09.16.png" title="https://twitter.com/Anna_Colom/status/1327348323330764800" width="368" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Anna_Colom/status/1327348323330764800">https://twitter.com/Anna_Colom/status/1327348323330764800</a></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>A <a href="https://kottke.org/20/11/the-moral-calculus-of-covid-19">great article</a> by Tim Carmody covering two different ways people have written about pandemic risks/decisions:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>Maddow has constructed a universe where she is a tiny satellite orbiting a much larger planet, whose continued health and existence is the central focus of her concern. Manjoo has drawn a map with himself at its center, where anyone beyond the reach of his telephone falls off the edges.<br /><br />Maddow is also explicitly pleading with her viewers to learn what they can from her experience, and adjust their behavior accordingly. Manjoo is performing his calculus only for himself; he implicitly presents himself as a representative example (while also claiming he and his circle are extraordinarily conscientious and effective), but each reader can draw their own conclusions and make their own decision.<br /><br />At this point the balancing dominoes tip over. Maddow’s position, her argument, and her example are clearly more moral and more persuasive than Manjoo’s. His essay is worth reading, but the conclusion is untenable. It doesn’t do the work needed to arrive there or persuade anyone else to do the same. And at a time when many people are spinning conspiracies about the pandemic, or claiming that it’s no big deal, and in turn influencing others, it’s irresponsible.<br /><br />The larger moral tragedy here is that because our leaders have failed, and too often actually worked to damage the infrastructure, expertise, and goodwill accumulated over generations, we have no consistent, authoritative guidance on what we should and should not do. We do not know who to trust. ... We have no sense of what rules our friends and neighbors, colleagues and workers, are following when they’re not in our sight, or would even admit to or deny embracing.&nbsp;</i> </blockquote><p></p><p><a href="https://joshuaschoenaker.com/lockdowns-for-thee-but-not-for-me/">Lockdowns for thee, but not for me</a> - a collection of examples of powerful people ignoring the rules. HT John Naughton.<br /></p><hr /><p><a href="http://paravirtualization.blogspot.com/2020/11/computational-thinking-considered.html">Computational thinking considered harmful.</a> Interesting idea from Jon Crowcroft.</p><p>Version control for machine learning - <a href="http://replicate.ai">replicate.ai</a>. Nice and open source, but did we really not have this sort of thing already?</p><p>A <a href="https://tink.uk/envision-glasses/">review of Envision glasses</a>, which are based on Google Glass, and can read text, describe a scene or find an object. (Link thanks to Terence Eden who was rightfully <a href="https://twitter.com/edent/status/1324386127432790016">excited</a> about this; similar to the impressive audio/hearables stuff mentioned <a href="https://lbj20.blogspot.com/2020/11/weeknotes-climate-algae-planning.html">last week</a>, it feels this tech has just been coming along nicely without anyone paying attention.)</p><p><a href="http://www.mcqn.net/mcfilter/archives/books/blog_all_dogeared_pages_lotek_design_by_radical_indigenism_by_julia_watson.html">Adrian McEwen reviews</a> Lo-TEK Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson.<i> </i><br /></p><blockquote><i>I had mixed feelings reading this, but I think that's because I'm not really the target audience. I grew up in the countryside, with plenty of exposure to farms. It was really interesting to read about these alternate systems from round the world, and plenty seem under threat from Western ideas about how to "do farming/conservation right" or just the endless appetite of capitalism. If it helps protect any of it, then that's more than enough good for the book. I'm less convinced that there's lots for the UK, for example, to take from it specifically, as our environment is very different—it felt a bit like it was fetishizing the indigenous technologies a bit, and I think we should also be looking to similar traditional, in-touch-with-the-land, long-term tacit knowledge from our own cultures too.</i></blockquote>I've seen similar fetishisation of indigenous tech before, and the UK context does feel very different; if only that we have no convenient shorthand for the older knowledge in our culture.&nbsp; <p></p><p>A <a href="https://twitter.com/nickdearden75/status/1318149953257091072">depressing thread</a> about vaccine access and big pharma and intellectual property - thanks to David Palfrey for sharing: <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eEm0XvG8MnQ/X7f86U9dLeI/AAAAAAAAycY/Z3rw6QQi3ewLX6vdMWk_UpYNMlqivUX5wCLcBGAsYHQ/s528/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.28.07.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="329" data-original-width="528" height="249" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eEm0XvG8MnQ/X7f86U9dLeI/AAAAAAAAycY/Z3rw6QQi3ewLX6vdMWk_UpYNMlqivUX5wCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h249/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.28.07.png" title="https://twitter.com/nickdearden75/status/1318149953257091072" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/nickdearden75/status/1318149953257091072">https://twitter.com/nickdearden75/status/1318149953257091072</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Nick Dearden's <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2020/10/18/big-pharma-is-not-going-to-help-the-world-defeat-covid-19/">full article </a>is worth a read.</p><hr /><p>Ouch:<i><br /></i></p><p><i></i></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AFI7HGVO98o/X7GNH2htDEI/AAAAAAAAyXA/K_n4GVw3k2sWL1nHqhWfDbeA3R1CX6yxQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1070/Screenshot%2B2020-11-15%2Bat%2B20.18.08.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="424" data-original-width="1070" height="159" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AFI7HGVO98o/X7GNH2htDEI/AAAAAAAAyXA/K_n4GVw3k2sWL1nHqhWfDbeA3R1CX6yxQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h159/Screenshot%2B2020-11-15%2Bat%2B20.18.08.png" title="https://twitter.com/RussInCheshire/status/1325371673336557568" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/RussInCheshire/status/1325371673336557568">https://twitter.com/RussInCheshire/status/1325371673336557568</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><i><br /></i>N K Jemisin has some thoughts on what is needed in<a href="https://twitter.com/nkjemisin/status/1325545838500843524"> this long thread</a><i></i><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sYcVfH8ABJk/X7GRIIV554I/AAAAAAAAyXM/bo2O4Q3KueYhm9_CIcbUzQBQBdyIXUPMQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2020-11-15%2Bat%2B20.35.13.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="416" data-original-width="1076" height="155" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sYcVfH8ABJk/X7GRIIV554I/AAAAAAAAyXM/bo2O4Q3KueYhm9_CIcbUzQBQBdyIXUPMQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h155/Screenshot%2B2020-11-15%2Bat%2B20.35.13.png" title="https://twitter.com/nkjemisin/status/1325545838500843524" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/nkjemisin/status/1325545838500843524">https://twitter.com/nkjemisin/status/1325545838500843524</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: 0px; margin-right: auto; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;">Plus:<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cH798PlY5Qo/X7f3wOsyy3I/AAAAAAAAyb4/hD-Csw8pSNMYbVe64taqD_F-gjQfoW_mACLcBGAsYHQ/s644/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.06.46.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="644" data-original-width="533" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cH798PlY5Qo/X7f3wOsyy3I/AAAAAAAAyb4/hD-Csw8pSNMYbVe64taqD_F-gjQfoW_mACLcBGAsYHQ/w331-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.06.46.png" title="https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673" width="331" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673">https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p></p><p>Then there's <a href="https://twitter.com/DoubleDownNews/status/1323930039101128704">Graeber in a super short provocative video</a>:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R9zxS3toVWg/X7k1DkVfBaI/AAAAAAAAydw/Aw8Q4hpPvkYoAQw7qoct65CtEe7ZDXGKgCLcBGAsYHQ/s1308/Screenshot%2B2020-11-21%2Bat%2B15.40.47.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1308" data-original-width="1072" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R9zxS3toVWg/X7k1DkVfBaI/AAAAAAAAydw/Aw8Q4hpPvkYoAQw7qoct65CtEe7ZDXGKgCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/Screenshot%2B2020-11-21%2Bat%2B15.40.47.png" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/DoubleDownNews/status/1323930039101128704">https://twitter.com/DoubleDownNews/status/1323930039101128704</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Whither higher education? Michael Feldstein <a href="https://eliterate.us/surviving-the-third-wave-of-covid-and-beyond/">writes</a> (wrote - earlier this year) about the third wave of Covid hitting universities:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>We cannot commit ourselves to the ideal of equal access to quality education for a global population of 7.8 billion people and simultaneously remain committed to the ideal of small in-person seminars as the paragon of quality education. The two are simply incompatible. I am not suggesting that we lower our standards. Rather, I am suggesting—and I believe Paquette is suggesting—that we take a good hard look at how much our standards may be influenced by hidden assumptions of privilege. Why should a “quality education” for the 21st-Century masses look identical to the “quality education” of the 19th-Century elites? Where do these ideas of quality come from? Whose goals do they serve? And what trade-offs do they entail?</i></blockquote><p></p><p>&nbsp;The article also <a href="https://www.chronicle.com/article/Bashing-Administrators-While/248886">quotes Gabriel Paquette</a>:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>It is easy enough to conjure a vision of a lost academic paradise where philosopher-kings served as presidents, and departments were semiautonomous cantons. This paradise, the myth continues, was decimated by the irruption of centralized authority, the eclipse of academic [sic] by corporate values, and the corruption brought by private philanthropy and athletics. The only chance for redemption, according to this view, is a restoration of the prelapsarian idyll.</i></p><p><i>If such an idyll ever existed, its heyday coincided with an age when universities were bastions of race-, gender-, and class-based privilege, with a minute fraction of the population enrolled in higher education. This scholastic arcadia could not withstand the pressures brought by the expansion of access to (and democratization of) higher education, the conversion of universities into vehicles of social mobility, the administration of enormous government contracts and grants, and universities’ newfound status as economic bulwarks of entire communities. The resulting transformation gradually made traditional modes of academic organization obsolete. What replaced this beloved anachronism was not necessarily superior to it. But it was a form of management better suited to the complex, large-scale multiversity.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lmy69RDyqTE/X7gCo77rj0I/AAAAAAAAyc4/IJPey6FucJMTaAbyGxCGuw2_toa4UDJnwCLcBGAsYHQ/s528/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.53.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="502" data-original-width="528" height="380" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lmy69RDyqTE/X7gCo77rj0I/AAAAAAAAyc4/IJPey6FucJMTaAbyGxCGuw2_toa4UDJnwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h380/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.53.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1328076285122289664" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1328076285122289664">https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1328076285122289664</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;<p></p><hr /><p>Check the small print - the tiny reduction from Google's data centre renewables buy:<br /><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rDV1DIoS3_Q/X7f953viN3I/AAAAAAAAycg/C3r2v7BGomk6IJAK31YR_OLPHQ9UNiIPwCLcBGAsYHQ/s495/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.32.54.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="456" data-original-width="495" height="369" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rDV1DIoS3_Q/X7f953viN3I/AAAAAAAAycg/C3r2v7BGomk6IJAK31YR_OLPHQ9UNiIPwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h369/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.32.54.png" title="https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1326119739924615170" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1326119739924615170">https://twitter.com/thornet/status/1326119739924615170</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;Michelle links to a <a href="https://parametric.press/issue-02/streaming/">super article on Parametric Press</a> describing the various carbon consumptions of different online activities. <br /></p><p><a href="https://tinyletter.com/vruba/letters/6-96-scrubbing-gases">Charlie Loyd categorises types of environmentalism</a>:</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>I want to lay out a way I’ve been categorizing kinds of environmentalism. It’s not surprising or clever, and it doesn’t replace any other schemes (like ecocentrism/anthropocentrism, dark/light/bright, or ecomodernism/degrowth). It’s a straightforward retelling of a history that many people know by heart. Plus, it only covers certain movements in mainstream American discourse.</i></p><p><i>... The first of three categories in this taxonomy might be called the surveyors, to suggest understanding and drawing straight lines from a distance, but also casting a grand kind of gaze, as one surveys an inspiring vista. The surveyor tradition is rooted in romanticism, transcendentalism, and manifest destiny.... Surveyism is concerned with visible purity. ...Surveyism was the dominant kind of published environmentalism (avant le lettre) until about 1960; other kinds of ideas about nature usually posed either as surveyism or as not ideas about nature at all. Because of its long history, its compatibility with established forms of power, and its easily pictured worldview, surveyism remains the primary approach to nature in US culture and law. ...</i></p><p><i>Another group we might call the neighbors, for their networked worldviews and emphasis on caring and mutualist relationships. As an identifiable movement, the neighbors started in the intersection of the postwar countercultures with biological breakthroughs: in short, second-wave feminism and ecology. One of its hallmarks is a respect for indigenous (i.e., very long-term) human practice, which the surveyor worldview more or less definitionally lacks. This is partly because the neighbors’ philosophy of time is far more sophisticated than the surveyors’ is. The neighbors neither see a philosophical border, nor want a physical border, between human and other-than-human life on Earth.&nbsp; ... Where surveyors are interested in conserving nature by keeping it apart from human space and time, neighbors are interested in sustainable relationships within nature, where individuals, some human, live and die but patterns continue and transform beyond reckoning.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... And finally is an equally loosely connected set of people we might call the stoichiometrists, who only care about carbon. For a stoichiometrist, the surveyors may have delivered us national parks, and the neighbors might have a wonderfully practical solarpunk utopia in mind, but by far the most important environmental issue is that we’re a few years of steady carbon emissions away from a mass extinction that the biosphere will only recover from on geological timescales.</i></p><i> Surveyors and neighbors are arguing about whether parks should allow sustainable wildcrafting while we’re looking at a fair chance that half the species in every park will be wiped out by heat waves and poaching during climate-driven famines. Who cares if a port city plants local trees along the sidewalk? We’re on track for them to be killed by saltwater by the time they’ve each fixed a fraction of a car-year worth of carbon. Surveyism’s estheticization of landscapes and its categorical, deontological, theology-like approach to ethical questions is useless in this crisis. Neighborism’s cozy communities and its caring and virtue ethics are pointed in the right direction but at a fundamentallly smaller scale than the crisis. We are in an emergency. We’re not approaching or planning for an emergency; we’re in it. To address it we need raw, often ugly or philosophically unsophisticated but effective utilitarianism. The only way out is to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as quickly as possible. </i></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><i>...&nbsp; It should be clear that while I think there are some philosophical valuables worth cutting off surveyism’s corpse, and we could be grateful we got the national parks instead of nothing at all, its main use today is to explain why everything is so badly tainted by colonialism. ... Between the neighbors and the stoichiometrists, I’m more torn. The stoichiometrist argument is simply true as stated. We must quickly retool the global economy or the climate will be a serious disaster everywhere at once. ... You can use both frameworks to think, but when you want to do something, neighborism is ready for you in a way that stoichiometry is not. Neighborism has ideas for things you can do today: build solidarity, improve your own ecological relationships, share knowledge, listen to the marginalized, deepen your understanding of your surroundings, join coalitions to accomplish local goals and build them into regional projects – neighborism doesn’t just suggest responsibilities like these; it starts from them. Will it work in time to save the world? No one knows what that question means. Neighborism is the answer to a different question: What will we do with our opportunities?</i></blockquote><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3hpMPMOGOwg/X7f7miDDwlI/AAAAAAAAycM/iCoAbwhlnMwOKG8adI1xo4l6ZTtVM4WRgCLcBGAsYHQ/s657/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.23.11.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="657" data-original-width="533" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3hpMPMOGOwg/X7f7miDDwlI/AAAAAAAAycM/iCoAbwhlnMwOKG8adI1xo4l6ZTtVM4WRgCLcBGAsYHQ/w520-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.23.11.png" title="https://twitter.com/guyshrubsole/status/1326236178832613376" width="520" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/guyshrubsole/status/1326236178832613376">https://twitter.com/guyshrubsole/status/1326236178832613376</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br />Nick Hunn <a href="http://www.nickhunn.com/smart-meters-fake-news-and-the-iot/">describes the shocking state of the UK's smart meter programme (</a>and thanks Nick for continuing to call out the dreadful ads from Smart Energy):</p><p> </p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Parliament keeps on forcing BEIS to produce updated <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smart-meter-roll-out-cost-benefit-analysis-2019">Impact Assessments</a>, which show the escalating cost of the GB Smart Metering Programme.&nbsp; What these don’t do is ask whether it’s worth stopping and starting again.&nbsp; The current meter specifications were started around the time that Steve Jobs stepped down from Apple, back in 2010.&nbsp; Technology has moved on since then.&nbsp; We are probably at the point where the most cost-effective approach would be to abandon the current smart metering project and replace it with Chinese smart meters for electricity.&nbsp; That would give us a working solution which could be installed by 2025 (especially if the installations were performed by the DNOs and not the energy suppliers) and which would have a 10 – 15 year working life.&nbsp; It will give our cellular network operators the incentive they need to install a country-wide NB-IoT network, which will benefit a host of other connected applications and industries, including Britain’s future in the IoT.&nbsp; We can ignore gas meters, as if we want to hit our net-zero targets, we need to start phasing out gas boilers and replacing them with electric heating, so gas needs to go away within the lifetime of the new smart meters.</i></p><i> This will all cost less than trying to complete the current deployment and mean that we don’t have to keep on paying through the nose for fake news campaigns from Smart Energy GB.&nbsp; </i></blockquote><hr /><p>Thanks to Harriet Truscott for bringing more poetry into my Twitter feed:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L6QITzjTfrc/X7gAhqdZ-iI/AAAAAAAAycs/vA0_6olsS_Ewwq8Yu-VwuMmFiIkf_oN6wCLcBGAsYHQ/s530/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.43.56.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="530" data-original-width="525" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L6QITzjTfrc/X7gAhqdZ-iI/AAAAAAAAycs/vA0_6olsS_Ewwq8Yu-VwuMmFiIkf_oN6wCLcBGAsYHQ/w634-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-11-20%2Bat%2B17.43.56.png" title="https://twitter.com/ClaraDaneri/status/1329482875180376068" width="634" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/ClaraDaneri/status/1329482875180376068">https://twitter.com/ClaraDaneri/status/1329482875180376068</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p><br /></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-34907507594386605812020-11-05T10:40:00.003+00:002020-11-05T10:40:28.890+00:00Weeknotes: climate, algae, planning, hearables, fun<p>The wonderful denizens of ClimateAction.Tech have <a href="https://www.climate-kic.org/news/branch-magazine-internet-sustainability/">collaborated on a new magazine</a>, because:<br /></p><blockquote><i>According to Nature, even before we pivoted to our screens so fully in 2020, uptake, information and communications systems accounted for two per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. The authors point to the music video for the hit song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee, which has five billion views on YouTube, and argue that to generate this kind of energy would take either 850,000 barrels of oil or 93 wind turbines running for an entire year. In the first quarter of 2020, Facebook reportedly removed 2.2 billion fake accounts, with each active profile estimated to account for 281 grams of CO2 – the same carbon footprint as a medium latte. And in 2019, the average user living in Europe scrolled the equivalent of 180 meters a day, exposing themselves on average to 1,700 carbon intensive – but ultimately ineffective – banner ads a month. </i></blockquote><p><a href=" https://branch.climateaction.tech/">Branch</a> is about a sustainable internet for all; the editors <a href="https://branch.climateaction.tech/2020/10/21/letter-from-the-editors/">write</a><i>: We believe that the internet must serve our collective liberation and ecological sustainability. We want the internet to help us dismantle the power structures that delay climate action and for the internet itself to become a positive force for climate justice. </i>Recommended.<br /><br />I had not heard (or had forgotten) about POUR - a really useful summary of how to design things for everyone (albeit seemingly ignored in many phone/tablet interfaces these days, thanks Apple and friends):<br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KZymbVY9dbg/X57aX1cKaSI/AAAAAAAAyDk/2u6HfilLQr0eQ3l8McsIP-vPMzjCW503ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1012/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.54.50.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="862" data-original-width="1012" height="341" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KZymbVY9dbg/X57aX1cKaSI/AAAAAAAAyDk/2u6HfilLQr0eQ3l8McsIP-vPMzjCW503ACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h341/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.54.50.png" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061500811956226" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061500811956226">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061500811956226</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>I'm delighted to see Branch and friends pushing this thinking:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_G4XQb7bSW4/X57bDhj_vVI/AAAAAAAAyDs/OpdyR3xB0IU2vwd8KMoXpCgps9jxUa_fACLcBGAsYHQ/s1028/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.57.26.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="804" data-original-width="1028" height="313" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_G4XQb7bSW4/X57bDhj_vVI/AAAAAAAAyDs/OpdyR3xB0IU2vwd8KMoXpCgps9jxUa_fACLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h313/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.57.26.png" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061507040497665" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061507040497665">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1321061507040497665</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>I heard an advert for the Woodland Trust in a podcast this week, which mentioned that tree planting was still our best hope. This seems to elide over a lot of detail - you need to look after the trees, not just plant them, and plant the right kinds in sensible spaces, and so on. So many of the twig-like saplings around new buildings and roads seem more of a cheap gesture towards carbon capture or landscaping than a serious attempt to replace the mature trees destroyed in the earlier stages of work. Anyway, I was interested to read about <a href="https://parametric.press/issue-02/algae/">algae - Benjamin Cooley writes for Parametic Press</a>:<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>At Davos earlier this year, the World Economic Forum announced a <a href="https://www.1t.org/">plan to plant one trillion trees</a> over the next decade. The campaign received widespread approval and enthusiasm from attendees, and even received backing from President Trump through a <a href="https://www.axios.com/trump-one-trillion-trees-climate-change-forestry-1f4c32b7-9514-410b-a4dc-b2c6ecee72e0.html">recent executive order</a> to promote tree planting. (This may seem surprising coming from the man who notoriously <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/climate/trump-paris-agreement-climate.html">withdrew</a> the US from the Paris Agreement on global climate action.)</i></p><p><i>But as we’ll see, the possibility of even planting a trillion trees may be more of a political pipedream than an achievable reality.</i></p><p><i>... Trees, and plants in general, are very good at the removing CO₂ part of our fight against irreversible climate change. Many people categorize this as a viable carbon sequestration method. But there’s a problem with planting a trillion trees: we first need the amount of land to do it. We also need to keep them alive long enough to help us.</i></p><p><i>... Best case estimates show that it will take <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615102/tree-planting-is-a-great-idea-that-could-become-a-dangerous-climate-distraction/">around 25 years</a> before the amount of carbon sequestered matches the amount of carbon emissions for a single person’s share on a single flight (some trees can take up to 100 years to mature fully). So while the strategy may be effective, it won’t help us much in the ~10 years estimated by the IPCC that we have left to prevent irreversible changes to the climate.</i></p><p><i>... The United Kingdom has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050. A <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/ccc-one-fifth-of-uk-farmland-must-be-used-to-tackle-climate-change">report</a> this year found that in order to reach that goal, the UK would need to commit 20% of its current farmland to dedicated carbon capture and storage uses. And to have a chance at reaching their targets, they need to start doing that, more or less, right now.</i></p><p><i>Converting farmland is not an isolated effort either: Reducing traditional crops by around 20% means the government will also count on people to adopt low-carbon farming practices, reduce food waste, and make diet changes described as “a 20% shift away from beef, lamb and dairy to alternative protein sources.”</i></p><p><i>... On top of all this, if somehow we did find the 1.7bn hectares of suitable land to plant these trees, we would also need to protect them. When trees die, they release all the CO₂ they have eaten up back to the atmosphere. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-deforestation/brazil-amazon-deforestation-soars-to-11-year-high-in-2019-idUSKBN1XS1PK">rose by nearly 30% in 2019</a>. On the other side of the globe, bushfires in Australia emitted<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/13/australias-bushfires-have-emitted-250m-tonnes-of-co2-almost-half-of-countrys-annual-emissions"> nearly half</a> of the country’s annual emissions—and that’s on top of Australia’s usual CO₂ output.</i></p><p><i>... You’ve probably seen algae before—it’s floating about on ponds and washing up on shores as kelp seaweed. It takes many different forms, though. Algae can be as small as 0.2mm in picoplankton and as large as 60m long in the form of giant sea kelp. And incredibly, when you take all the types of algae together, this family of flora produces about half of all oxygen on the planet.</i></p><p><i>... Due to its size and composition, algae excels at a special type of carbon removal method called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This means that researchers are studying two things: 1) how we can use algae to remove carbon and 2) how we can use the captured carbon for something else, such as fuel, food, and heat. ... Regardless of being a less-developed research solution, scientists agree that in the long term BECCS is no longer an optional piece to solving the climate crisis.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p> </p><p>The article goes on to describe the benefits of algae as a carbon removal techology, albeit one at an earlier research and development stage - but algae work fast, grow in all kinds of places, and don't need the land or water commitment of trees.&nbsp;</p><p>Hmm: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-opWvf8a2erQ/X57ZRpq1zYI/AAAAAAAAyDU/v7jvJd4LvhclMUETyxmSfcgnTl0VSpqigCLcBGAsYHQ/s986/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.50.02.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="426" data-original-width="986" height="173" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-opWvf8a2erQ/X57ZRpq1zYI/AAAAAAAAyDU/v7jvJd4LvhclMUETyxmSfcgnTl0VSpqigCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h173/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.50.02.png" title="https://twitter.com/agentGav/status/1321791184335970304" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/agentGav/status/1321791184335970304">https://twitter.com/agentGav/status/1321791184335970304</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p> </p><p>Dan Stone from the Centre for Sustainable Energy writes (in July) about <a href="https://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2484">a review of Local Plans:</a><br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>Nearly 70 % of local councils have now <a href="http://www.climateemergency.uk/blog/list-of-councils">declared a climate emergency</a>,&nbsp;and many have set 2030 as a date for going zero-carbon, 20 years ahead of central government’s 2050 target.</i></p><p><i>The planning system has crucial role to play in delivering effective action on climate change: it is the gatekeeper that allows renewable energy projects to go ahead and regulates how our built environment is constructed. It is also the only mechanism through which the spatial aspects of decarbonisation and climate adaptation can be addressed. So while the Climate Change Act <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1056/contents/made">legally commits us to net zero emissions</a> by 2050,&nbsp;this will be achieved only if we plan for it; hence the question: are Local Plans actually planning for the zero-carbon future we need?</i></p><p><i>... most of the Local Plans we reviewed needed significant changes in order to address the climate crisis adequately. Most Local Plans do not acknowledge quite how radical and challenging the 2050 zero-carbon commitment is for planning and place-making. Indeed, the implications for planning beyond binding zero-carbon standards for new builds are dramatic enough to warrant listing here, and include:</i></p><ul><li><i>A significant modal shift (and reallocation of road space) to cycling, walking and public transport, and a significant overall reduction in vehicle miles – this will require a wholescale re-imagining of development patterns and layouts based on presumed access on foot, by bike and by public transport, rather than by car. (<a href="https://www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2435">See, for example, the research CSE undertook for Bristol City Council</a>.)</i></li><li><i>Widespread electric vehicle charging networks, to allow petrol or diesel vehicles to be phased out.</i></li><li><i>A quadrupling of renewable energy capacity.</i></li><li><i>Energy efficiency upgrades to nearly all our building stock, including listed and historic buildings, public and private.</i></li><li><i>The removal of gas boilers, to be replaced with district heating network connections and heat pumps.</i></li></ul><p><i>Climate change declarations targeting net zero emissions by 2030 necessitate doing all this in the next ten years.</i></p><p><i>&nbsp;... Only two plans that we saw were carbon audited and set out carbon budgets. Fewer than half of the others mentioned carbon emissions at all. Where they did so, it was in general rather than specific terms, and the councils involved did not set out a carbon budget for their district, or quantify the impact of their policies on their emissions. This is important because you can only know your progress in reducing emissions if you are measuring them in the first place.</i></p><p><i>... Only a third of the Local Plans reviewed (all from ‘core cities’) had binding zero-carbon policies or objective standards for energy efficiency or carbon dioxide emissions. The remainder either had no policies at all for reducing emissions from buildings, or merely supportive policies, encouraging ‘high levels of energy efficiency’... many rural authorities just don’t have these resources and are struggling to keep up.</i></p><p><i>Interesting in this context is the Future Homes Standard, which threatens to remove the discretion of local authorities to go beyond building regulations and impose zero-carbon policies – as many core cities have. National regulation is clearly the way to go, but only if it is strong enough and actually requires new development to be net zero-carbon. The Future Homes Standard should be a floor for those authorities struggling to keep up, rather than a ceiling constraining what the most ambitious authorities are doing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new development.</i></p><p><i>... In the majority of Local Plans, climate adaptation related predominantly, or even solely, to flooding. Only half contained an overheating policy, and not all of these set out criteria and a specific methodology against which overheating was to be assessed. Only half of the Local Plans made the link between flooding or overheating and the provision of green infrastructure, and only a couple committed to increasing tree cover.</i></p></blockquote><p> </p><p> </p><p><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/d9e18a02-3c86-48eb-80a4-47cdaa71941a">The FT this weekend[paywall]</a> reviewed Google's latest wireless earphones (earbuds? I dunno) the Pixel Buds and reckoned that the simultaneous translation of maybe 40 languages was 80-95% good. That's a startlingly high level of usability to my mind - I hadn't realised consumer audio in/audio out translation had got that good. <a href="http://www.nickhunn.com/the-hearables-market-a-covid-update/">Nick Hunn's latest review of the <i>hearables </i>space</a> notes that wireless headphones are really booming this year, but also that hearing aid sales are desperately low<br /></p><p>Thinking of and reasoning about plausible and useful futures is hard. I like the simplicity of some of the work from the Near Future Laboratory - I have a lovely catalogue from some years ago - which manages to be very thought-provoking in unexpected ways. Another example is the transport map of Geneva described in <a href="https://medium.com/design-fictions/the-making-of-things-before-taking-decisions-fb2145564e68">this talk write up by Fabien Girardin</a>.<br /></p><p>Building real stuff is hard:</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mF_5J5P484Q/X57ZzusBIGI/AAAAAAAAyDc/qTBnx5GZFL0j2z-6BquPZZM4EgoZAH6bwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1026/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.52.18.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="926" data-original-width="1026" height="361" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mF_5J5P484Q/X57ZzusBIGI/AAAAAAAAyDc/qTBnx5GZFL0j2z-6BquPZZM4EgoZAH6bwCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h361/Screenshot%2B2020-11-01%2Bat%2B15.52.18.png" title="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1321526648383115265" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1321526648383115265">https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1321526648383115265</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p><a href="https://twitter.com/katjabego/status/1321017916041711616">Thought-provoking thread</a> from Katja Bego (especially the bits with Tom Forth) about tech jobs, pay, access, and tech for good - or bad.<br /></p><p>Research into young people’s attitudes to democracy - and the role of populists around the world - in<a href="https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2020/285-are-young-people-losing-faith-in-democracy "> a fascinating edition of Talking Politics podcast</a>.&nbsp; I usually think I don't like podcasts, and perhaps I don't, but I am enjoying TP lately. Maybe its signal to noise ratio is better than most others I've encountered.<br /></p><p><a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/21523704/fun-quarantine-home">Is the thing people miss when stuck at home <i>fun</i>? </a>The highlights here aren't the most amusing bits of Rachel Sugar's piece in Vox I'm afraid. Finding unexpected moments of playfulness has been, well, fun, in lockdown for me.<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>“Are you fun?” I wonder, staring at <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2020/5/19/21221008/how-to-bake-bread-pandemic-yeast-flour-baking-ken-forkish-claire-saffitz">focaccia recipes</a> on the internet. Is <a href="https://www.vox.com/21502498/netflix-emily-in-paris-review-millennials"><i>Emily in Paris</i></a> fun? Is a <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2020/5/26/21256190/zoom-facetime-skype-coronavirus-loneliness">Zoom birthday party</a> fun, is <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/21502534/money-talks-pizza-anonymous-st-honore-cafe-lola">ordering a pizza</a> fun, are <a href="https://www.vox.com/culture/21453059/vine-cut-internet-video-cut-to-black">jokes</a> fun, is <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/4/15/21219860/alcohol-delivery-coronavirus-liquor-store">wine</a> fun? Have I ever experienced fun? Seven months into the <a href="https://www.vox.com/coronavirus-covid19">Covid-19</a> pandemic, I have lost track.</i></p><p><i>... There is surprisingly little research about the precise nature of fun, given how much we all apparently enjoy it. There is robust and growing literature on overlapping topics — <a href="https://www.vox.com/2019/11/20/20971189/happiness-happy-november-issue">happiness</a>, pleasure, leisure, <a href="https://www.vox.com/2019/5/23/18628235/inspiration-creativity-focus">flow</a> — but fun itself is rarely discussed as such, except in books for children.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... He loves heavy metal rock concerts, and his wife loves reading in solitude, and both of them are experiencing what Rucker would classify as fun. “What’s so awesome about fun,” he explains, quite seriously, “is that it’s unique to the individual,” which may explain the dearth of literature about it. “Happiness has been boiled down to these survey instruments, where we can fill out bubbles on a Scantron, and then the positive psych gurus of the world can tell us whether or not we’re happy. But fun is meant to be owned by you.”</i> </p><p><i>... Unless you really put some muscle in (take a bubble bath?), nothing is conveniently novel, nothing is effortlessly social, and very little is spontaneous, which is another factor in Oh’s theory of fun.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... Until mid-March, I hadn’t realized how much of what I did was possible because I had the freedom and resources to get out of the house. I would have said I didn’t do much, but in fact, I did things all the time. I went to the gym and sat in coffee shops and browsed in bookstores and in drugstores and in stores selling “home goods,” and so much of what read to me as fun was in fact commercial leisure, which I’d depended on for formal permission not to work. </i></p></blockquote><p> </p><p>A long read on <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/10/people-who-prioritize-friendship-over-romance/616779/">deep friendships</a> by Rhaina Cohen.<br /></p><p><a href="https://www.hownormalami.eu/">How normal am I?</a>&nbsp; A nice illustration of the scary potential of facial systems. Belated thanks to James Smith!<br />&nbsp;</p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-85894056186015452020-10-25T11:25:00.003+00:002020-10-25T11:25:25.870+00:00Fortnightnotes: time horizons, unseen infrastructures, toilet paper<p>Thanks Peter Bihr for picking out <a href="https://thewavingcat.com/2020/10/notes-on-the-ministry-for-the-future/ ">this from the Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson:</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>The tragedy of the time horizon:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “Having debunked the tragedy of the commons, they now were trying to direct our attention to what they called the tragedy of the time horizon. Meaning we can’t imagine the suffering of the people of the future, so nothing much gets done on their behalf. (…) What we do now creates damage that hits decades later, so we don’t charge ourselves for it, and the standard approach has been that future generations will be richer and stronger than us, and they’ll find solutions to their problems. But by the time they get here, these problems will have become too big to solve. That’s the tragedy of the time horizon, that we don’t look more than a few years ahead”</i></blockquote>The infrastructures we don't pay attention to:<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vRVs6aNsDvk/X5VR-Y4O4CI/AAAAAAAAx6Q/pT6kkmK94RYyBBjm1ynpC7-AyR9J4XTOACLcBGAsYHQ/s1080/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.22.13.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="548" data-original-width="1080" height="325" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vRVs6aNsDvk/X5VR-Y4O4CI/AAAAAAAAx6Q/pT6kkmK94RYyBBjm1ynpC7-AyR9J4XTOACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h325/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.22.13.png" title="https://twitter.com/seanmmcdonald/status/1315622673888743424" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/seanmmcdonald/status/1315622673888743424">https://twitter.com/seanmmcdonald/status/1315622673888743424</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Eli Pariser on <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/to-mend-a-broken-internet-create-online-parks/">online public parks</a>: <br /></p><blockquote><i>Venture-backed platforms make poor quasi-public spaces for three reasons.<br /><br />First, as the legendary venture capitalist Paul Graham put it, “startups = growth.” The focus on growth—of users, of time spent, and then of revenue—is the defining trait that has made Facebook a $750 billion company. And the key to rapid growth is optimization to create a “frictionless” experience: The more relevant the content you see, the likelier you are to click, return to Facebook, and bring your friends.<br /><br />But friction is essential to public space. Public spaces are so generative precisely because we run into people we’d normally avoid, encounter events we’d never expect, and have to negotiate with other groups that have their own needs. The social connections that run-ins create, social scientists tell us, are critical in binding communities together across lines of difference. Building a healthy community requires the careful generation of this thick web of social ties. Rapid growth can quickly overwhelm and destroy it—as anyone who has lived in a gentrifying neighborhood knows.<br /><br />... The third and biggest problem with private ownership of quasi-public space is that public spaces require constant, active care and maintenance by skillful stewards. Scholars like Sarah Roberts have pointed out that the nuanced labor of governance and maintenance—finding the balance between welcoming everyone and providing safety and comfort for everyone—is critical to the health of online communities.<br /><br />... But while this work is essential, it’s also both undervalued and costly. As the Maintainers have argued, building shiny new edifices tends to be seen as a masculine pursuit and lionized, whereas the work needed to keep spaces functional and livable over time is often seen as boring, feminine, and, as a result, uncompensated and sidelined. The cost of this labor also doesn’t scale the way techies like; the more people in a space, the more labor is required, and the greater the expense.<br /><br />Private spaces and businesses are critical for a flourishing digital life, just as cafés, bars, and bookstores are critical for a flourishing urban life. But no communities have ever survived and grown with private entities alone. Just as bookstores will never serve all the same community needs as a public library branch, it’s unreasonable to expect for-profit corporations built with “addressable markets” in mind to accommodate every digital need.</i></blockquote><p><a href="https://medium.com/strong-words/real-businesses-b21f44c99b6a">Bryce Roberts</a> made me laugh - <br /></p><blockquote><p><i>I assure you there are founders out raising money right now in the hopes of building a business so they can flip it, make millions, and fund their own comfortable “post financial” lifestyle. Of course, they would never frame it that way; so let’s be clear, if your pitch deck has an “exit strategy” slide you are pitching a lifestyle business. <br /></i></p></blockquote><p>Terrific <a href="https://twitter.com/lifewinning/status/1318587084396003329">thread</a> from Ingrid Burrington about what 'digital infrastructure' seems to mean to the philanthropic funding community:&nbsp;</p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vL1HZXLqH6c/X5VTae9j8UI/AAAAAAAAx6c/Y5q_6UYcX-4j7cOMYD0-ZihgW3G8J5GawCLcBGAsYHQ/s1070/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.27.41.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="546" data-original-width="1070" height="327" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vL1HZXLqH6c/X5VTae9j8UI/AAAAAAAAx6c/Y5q_6UYcX-4j7cOMYD0-ZihgW3G8J5GawCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h327/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.27.41.png" title="https://twitter.com/lifewinning/status/1318587084396003329" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/lifewinning/status/1318587084396003329">https://twitter.com/lifewinning/status/1318587084396003329</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><p>From <a href=" https://tinyletter.com/metafoundry/letters/metafoundry-74-attenuated-total-reflectance">Deb Chachra's newsletter</a> - highlight mine:<br /></p><blockquote><i>6. don't have to give up capitalism but...: Even leaving aside the moral issues around provision for human survival needs, infrastructural systems don't fit neatly into a market-based model, given network effects, natural monopolies, positive externalities, and more. That last is the term for when a person benefits from something a company does without paying for it, but <b>I haven't been able to figure out what it's called when corporations benefit from what society pays for without contributing to it in their turn.</b> Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's phrase 'salvage capitalism' (from The Mushroom at the End of the World) gets at the idea, but it suggests that it's something that happens at the edges, rather than being utterly, not to mention increasingly, central.</i></blockquote><p></p><p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xZRQA-uD9D4/X5VNPi-ap1I/AAAAAAAAx50/pXh6AFwIvK8zG4QwFgVmMUjWHxXG0rOeQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1078/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.02.19.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="534" data-original-width="1078" height="318" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xZRQA-uD9D4/X5VNPi-ap1I/AAAAAAAAx50/pXh6AFwIvK8zG4QwFgVmMUjWHxXG0rOeQCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h318/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.02.19.png" title="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1317778504663130112" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1317778504663130112">https://twitter.com/iotwatch/status/1317778504663130112</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>Patrick Meier <a href="https://blog.werobotics.org/2020/10/15/shifting-the-power-how-the-rules-of-play-written-in-the-global-north-exclude-the-global-south/">writes about the structural blockers to global South activities and collaborations and shifting power:</a></p><p><span data-preserver-spaces="true"></span></p><blockquote><i><span data-preserver-spaces="true">A multinational company that believes in the Power of Local wants to hire an African Flying Labs for a local data acquisition and processing project (precisely the kind of opportunities we seek to transfer to local experts as part of our shift the power strategy). Parts of the contract includes a list of compliance needs required by the client. One of them is “Third Party Drone Insurance” for an amount of US $1 million. While this is standard for North American or European drone service providers, such insurance does not exist in many African countries. And if they do, local coverage is often limited to much smaller amounts, e.g., TSH 10 million in Tanzania (equivalent to roughly US $4,300), an amount adapted to the local economy and needs. The contract can only be signed once all the client’s compliance needs are met (and ticked off in the vendor system by having a copy of the valid insurance contract), which neither the client’s project team nor the Flying Labs team has power over.&nbsp;</span>What to do?</i></blockquote>That's just one example from Patrick's article. It's super hard to centre local communities when global structures of travel, finance and legal structures are designed otherwise. <br /><p></p><p><a href="http://blog.castac.org/2020/10/crackles-of-science-and-other-signs-of-the-unseen-in-east-africa/">Tales of radioactive sand</a> - the impact of extractive industry, by Stephanie Postar (via Justin Pickard).<br /></p><p></p><blockquote><i>After hearing that several villagers stored bags full of radioactive sand inside their family houses, the nuclear scientist explained that he went into a man’s home with a Geiger Counter. Moving through the house, closer to the bag of sand, he recounted how changes in the quality of the sound corresponded to an increasing presence of radiation. He knew that the people in this village, which is located close to Tanzania’s first uranium mine, kept the bags in their homes because they did not want to give away something that they knew was valuable, like gold or the gemstones mined in the area. </i></blockquote><p></p><p><span></span><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KD8roXjvUAk/X5VM4AgnOpI/AAAAAAAAx5s/0FU9QC4_k4YUEXINwBowa0Ake-xRdF97QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1076/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.00.40.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="890" data-original-width="1076" height="530" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KD8roXjvUAk/X5VM4AgnOpI/AAAAAAAAx5s/0FU9QC4_k4YUEXINwBowa0Ake-xRdF97QCLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h530/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.00.40.png" title="https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1315755708919541761" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1315755708919541761">https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1315755708919541761</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>&nbsp;</p><p>CoFarm board colleague <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/14/invisible-hand-market-food-fields-agriculture-bill-farming ">Sue Pritchard writes in the Guardian</a>:<span></span></p><p><span class="css-1r9pv9q"><span class="css-14sgovv"></span></span><span class="css-38z03z"></span></p><blockquote><p><i><span class="css-38z03z">In a world of polarised debates, there is a broad, non-partisan consensus on the issue of trade and standards. So it was disappointing – even if predictable – that the government whipped against amendments to protect UK food standards in the agriculture bill, which returned to the House of Commons this week. The key amendment was <a data-link-name="in body link" href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/oct/12/mps-reject-calls-by-campaigners-to-enshrine-food-safety-in-uk-law">defeated</a> last night by 332 votes to 279. Curiously, many Tory shire MPs voted against the expressed concerns of their farming constituencies, while Ed Davey and Keir Starmer donned their wellies and backed British farming. Farming minister Victoria Prentis argued that the amendments were not needed, since the government had already promised to uphold UK standards in future trade deals.</span></i></p><p><i><span class="css-38z03z">... </span><span class="css-38z03z">Let’s be clear: trade is a good thing. It gives us choices and flexibility. It builds reciprocal relationships between countries, for a more stable and secure world. We can import what we don’t produce at home; countries can specialise in those things that grow better in their climate or conditions; and we can offset risk, if our own production fails – a point relevant for UK wheat markets, after floods and droughts over the last 12 months affected our own production. But it also has downsides. The kind of buccaneering free trade anticipated by the likes of Liz Truss is about handing over more power to the markets to drive down costs, producing cheaper goods and a greater range of options. This might be great for certain businesses and those that invest in them. But when the cost of production falls too low, someone, somewhere, pays.</span></i></p></blockquote><p></p><blockquote><i>... Most businesses want a level playing field of globally agreed, simple and rising standards that helps them play their part in tackling the climate and nature crisis. What do British citizens want? The Climate Assembly <a data-link-name="in body link" href="https://www.climateassembly.uk/">report</a> published last month demonstrated that – with the right information and evidence – citizens want a fair, transparent and sustainable food system. The public consistently say they do not want to compromise on food standards – they are outraged that poor and vulnerable people are most at risk of diet-related illnesses, and the most unhealthy and ultra-processed foods, made from cheap commodities, are promoted most aggressively. Proposals to improve labelling alone will not do. Governments must put legislation in place to uphold safe and secure standards, to act on the climate and nature crisis and improve public health and wellbeing.</i></blockquote><p>Sue's organisation, the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, also have a helpful <a href="https://tradeunwrapped.uk/facts-about-the-wto">fact sheet about the WTO</a>. I was delighted to learn of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. What a name.<br /></p><p>The Festival of Maintenance isn't hosting a Festival this year, so we decided to refresh <a href="https://twitter.com/Maintain_hive/status/1317513451464462337">who we are</a> a bit, for our new focus on community (we've opened up our <a href="https://t.co/o90Z2pZScg?amp=1">Slack</a>) and online events: <br /></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_0KBCWHAGto/X5VMQ1ujSyI/AAAAAAAAx5k/EmPcjTZ9Kn4F7Iv997k60Jt10mCR26u6ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1080/Maintain%2BSocial%2BMedia%2BLogo-01.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1080" data-original-width="1080" height="200" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_0KBCWHAGto/X5VMQ1ujSyI/AAAAAAAAx5k/EmPcjTZ9Kn4F7Iv997k60Jt10mCR26u6ACLcBGAsYHQ/w200-h200/Maintain%2BSocial%2BMedia%2BLogo-01.png" width="200" /></a></div>This was <a href="https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2020-10-21-rebranding-process">supported</a> by my Software Sustainability Institute fellowship - thank you :)<br /><p></p><p>I really enjoyed two podcasts this fortnight - <a href="https://politics-on-the-couch.zencast.website/episodes/8">Fintan O'Toole on Brexit and the revolutionary mentality (Politics on the couch), </a>and <a href="https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2020/282-democracy-for-sale">Talking Politics about cronyism</a>, with my Trust&amp;Technology colleague Jennifer Cobbe. Jennifer also <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2020/oct/15/cambridge-analytica-threat-democracy-facebook-big-tech">writes in the Guardian about Facebook as a threat to democracy.</a><br /></p><p><span class="css-38z03z"> </span></p><p><span>I appreciated the questions raised in this thread, which I spotted thanks to Lilian Edwards: <br /></span></p><p><span><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uotOXA6EPfY/X5VVRpVCN1I/AAAAAAAAx6o/34AKXZJkOroGUU_Korod1lwgDcsgtZhUACLcBGAsYHQ/s1082/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.36.27.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="474" data-original-width="1082" height="280" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uotOXA6EPfY/X5VVRpVCN1I/AAAAAAAAx6o/34AKXZJkOroGUU_Korod1lwgDcsgtZhUACLcBGAsYHQ/w640-h280/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.36.27.png" title="https://twitter.com/jelenajansson/status/1298118830976360449" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/jelenajansson/status/1298118830976360449">https://twitter.com/jelenajansson/status/1298118830976360449</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></span>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.accessnow.org/access-now-resignation-partnership-on-ai/">AccessNow have resigned from the Partnership on AI</a>. Having been fairly involved in this when I was working at Doteveryone, I'm not entirely surprised - the civil society interaction side was not really thought through then and I don't think that's changed much if at all. <br /></p><p>Some tiny bits of data from work that took time from me through the middle of the year: <a href="https://www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/stay-safe-cambridge-uni/data-from-covid-19-testing-service">University of Cambridge SARS-CoV-2 testing</a> info.</p><p>The <a href=" https://www.oshwa.org/2020/10/21/2020-open-source-hardware-weather-report/">Open Source Hardware Association "weather report"</a> is out, highlighting both the success of the last ten years of open hardware, and also some of the questions which remain. </p><p>Checking is sadly uncool compared to sharing drama:<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F7OxbDHbln0/X5VRHLaKFKI/AAAAAAAAx6A/K9dij9Ek18gx9z9iLKig-72ifsIkYnKNQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1090/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.17.50.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1090" data-original-width="1074" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F7OxbDHbln0/X5VRHLaKFKI/AAAAAAAAx6A/K9dij9Ek18gx9z9iLKig-72ifsIkYnKNQCLcBGAsYHQ/w630-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.17.50.png" title="https://twitter.com/TomChivers/status/1315932410127757312" width="630" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/TomChivers/status/1315932410127757312">https://twitter.com/TomChivers/status/1315932410127757312</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>But then what difference do facts make?<br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_DYmi3JKPk0/X5VRoSGG3oI/AAAAAAAAx6I/XO45ZAhPh9wmukdQwfLcKvqDRh59J9PVQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1408/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.20.52.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1408" data-original-width="926" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_DYmi3JKPk0/X5VRoSGG3oI/AAAAAAAAx6I/XO45ZAhPh9wmukdQwfLcKvqDRh59J9PVQCLcBGAsYHQ/w421-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-10-25%2Bat%2B10.20.52.png" title="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1316630354082623488" width="421" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1316630354082623488">https://twitter.com/mrchrisadams/status/1316630354082623488</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><p>Rachel Coldicutt has written a nice <a href="https://rachelcoldicutt.medium.com/policy-briefing-note-for-the-uk-national-data-strategy-3e7a17f0c55e">briefing note</a> which should help civil society groups respond to the National Data Strategy consultation. It's good to have helpful guides like this and encouragement for groups who don't think they are into 'digital' to be able to have a voice.<br /><br /><a href="https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/history-of-toilet-paper">Shoshi Parks writes about toilet paper</a>, and alternatives:<br /></p><blockquote><i>For his 2017 book, Bum Fodder: An Absorbing History of Toilet Paper, Richard Smyth went deep into the bowels of toilet-paper history, <br /><br />...&nbsp;You think the golden age of toilet paper may now be coming to an end based on a variety of factors, one of which is environmental. Does what’s happening with the coronavirus right now change your prediction at all?<br /><br />... I don’t know. I would hope that people start to realize we’re cutting down mature forests to make paper that we’re gonna wipe shit on. Is this sustainable? And you’d hope it would be one of those industries that would feel pressure in that direction.<br /><br />But another problem is that people don’t want to talk about it. And when people don’t want to talk about it, it’s quite difficult to effect change. It’s heroic work—particularly in the developing world, where people have to be genuinely brave to speak out [on issues of personal hygiene and waste]. This whole toilet business needs a revolution. But that’s a tough revolution to lead.</i></blockquote><br /><br /><p></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-73005991403571673562020-10-12T10:59:00.005+01:002020-10-12T11:05:17.868+01:00Weeknotes: data, consumerism, politics<p></p><p>This reminded me of the end of <a href="https://somethingnew.org.uk/">SomethingNew</a> noted last week: <br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="924" data-original-width="1078" height="343" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nqKnwSC2BcQ/X4QWDpKIMDI/AAAAAAAAxtU/Lqm4fcwa2-IkSjVRbQoar53gOPQs0VhPgCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h343/Screenshot%2B2020-10-12%2Bat%2B09.37.28.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1313055442105495552" width="400" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1313055442105495552">https://twitter.com/WebDevLaw/status/1313055442105495552</a></td><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p> I enjoyed <a href="https://politics-on-the-couch.zencast.website/episodes/8">this Politics on the Couch </a>podcast about Brexit, featuring Fintan O'Toole - some novel outside perspectives and the analogy with the Italian Job was great. <hr /><p><a href="https://restofworld.org/2020/whats-on-your-homescreen">Rest of World features phone homescreens</a> (via Matt Locke). Partly for the perspectives of healthcare workers around the world, and partly for their experiences with tech - the things they do to manage the costs (the costs themselves!) or the notifications, or the stuff they feel unable to change, like this:<i><br /></i></p><blockquote><i>Why do you have a woman doing yoga as your background?<br />‍* With a Huawei phone, there’s an app that regularly updates with their photos. I’ve deleted them a few times, but it keeps sending them. </i></blockquote><p><i><br /></i><a href="https://twitter.com/hollygramazio/status/1313382583397306375">Holly Gramazio found something weird</a>:</p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1088" data-original-width="1076" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PjmBUFpSPxI/X4GIL2B9fhI/AAAAAAAAxp0/YEk2E9V28tkoaObTH9VqNa6SEKI00f-rACLcBGAsYHQ/w395-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-10%2Bat%2B11.05.55.png" width="395" /></i></div><p>after some debate in the thread, it turns out the proportions are off <a href="https://www.wired.com/2015/10/pitfalls-of-studying-language-with-google-ngram/">because google scans different kinds of documents at different times</a>, so a lot of weird papers can distort the patterns.&nbsp;</p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="370" data-original-width="946" height="156" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xgmWwkwRfyc/X4Ne2EDYmoI/AAAAAAAAxso/Q-4AUasf9088vOz3X_0B7ypHS8IvHI-4QCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h156/Screenshot%2B2020-10-11%2Bat%2B20.36.30.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1314352702202077186" width="400" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1314352702202077186">https://twitter.com/tirath/status/1314352702202077186</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>If I could choose "chronological" as my timeline recommender system I'd be happy.<p></p><p>A lot of tech and data systems suffer from double think: <br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1340" data-original-width="1070" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FgIJDPExofE/X4Ni9FSZnpI/AAAAAAAAxs8/VErNQsS5vxYRNWYq_Er1ihlRi9rjWliCwCLcBGAsYHQ/w320-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-11%2Bat%2B20.53.51.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1313505622197972993" width="320" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1313505622197972993">https://twitter.com/RDBinns/status/1313505622197972993</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><p></p><p>Via Michel Bauwens, a terrific <a href="https://www.makery.info/2020/09/29/risques-et-normes-mais-a-t-on-le-droit-de-faire-ce-que-nous-faisons/">article</a>[French only] about the making of visors and masks in France, the tensions between makers and manufacturers and standards bodies. (I ended up translating this in 5000 character batches in Google Translate, and wondering whether there was a better platform I could use, even if it meant paying). <br /></p><p>Nice <a href="https://twitter.com/jah_photoshop/status/1315371649752092672">animation</a> of new Covid cases over the last month in England.<br /></p><p>Danny Dorling <a href="https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/october/how-many-more-will-be-dead-by-christmas">asks how many more will be dead by Christmas?</a><i><br /></i></p><blockquote><i>In the week after the schools went back in England and Wales, an extra 538 people died (77 a day). Over the previous five years, an average of 8720 people had died that week in September, but this year the number surged to 9258. How many more would be dead by Christmas?<br /><br />The next week there was a lull: only 289 excess deaths. But then the universities returned, and the excess mortality count doubled. ... On and on it went, week after week after week. ...The year was 2015 and most people weren’t paying attention. No one read the numbers out.<br /><br />The rise in mortality in autumn 2015 had little to do with the schools or universities returning. It wasn’t due to the onset of winter. It wasn’t because of a second wave of a new virus. It was business as usual. After five years of swingeing cuts to health and social services, many more people died each day than had in the five previous years – which were themselves not particularly good times, but the depths of recession.</i></blockquote><blockquote><i>... If we had reported mortality in 2015 as we report it today, would something have been done about a problem that was far easier to fix than a new pandemic? Might the 2015 election have turned out differently? Or would we then, as now, have been paralysed by fear? As it is, we now have not only Covid-19 to deal with, but the continued legacy of austerity, and Brexit to come, not to mention the climate crisis. The long-term solutions, once we have a vaccine, are the same as were needed five years ago. Whether or not we will reach for them is less clear.</i> </blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="428" data-original-width="1064" height="161" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yOzlAbZIt0I/X4NflESnKzI/AAAAAAAAxsw/hiGmcDWpywotoJrFCFOJYwj90xJ89Bu8gCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h161/Screenshot%2B2020-10-11%2Bat%2B20.39.32.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1313806816711782401" width="400" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/russss/status/1313806816711782401">https://twitter.com/russss/status/1313806816711782401</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><p></p><hr /><br /><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/oct/10/cory-doctorow-technologists-have-failed-to-listen-to-non-technologists">Cory Doctorow</a><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/oct/10/cory-doctorow-technologists-have-failed-to-listen-to-non-technologists"> in the Guardian</a> had one surprising bit:<i><br /><b></b></i><p></p><blockquote><i><b>You’ve described yourself as a jetpack socialist. Is this jetpack socialism?</b><br />I was more bullish on jetpack socialism or fully automated luxury communism before it was clear how much climate degradation we would endure before we took action. Now we’re not going to have technological unemployment. We’ve got 200 to 300 years of full employment for every working pair of hands, to do things like relocate every city on a coast 20km inland. The extended amounts of labour ahead of us are more than any technology could offset.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p>Via Chris Adams I came across <a href="https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673">this</a><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1306" data-original-width="1082" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6rJjxbhWT-8/X4L2raNGnsI/AAAAAAAAxrU/RVaoj_VXufIFsOI4VTeMoL6WYWgumgQVwCLcBGAsYHQ/w331-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-11%2Bat%2B13.12.19.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673" width="331" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673">https://twitter.com/JKSteinberger/status/1313026089489436673</a></p></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>It's a thought-provoking thread.<br /><p>An unusual way of thinking about different organisational cultures in Nadia Eghbal's <a href="https://nayafia.substack.com/p/25-space-mountain">latest</a> newsletter, which also links to <a href="https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/09/bring-back-the-bison/">this article</a> by Santi Ruiz with the note -<br /></p><blockquote><i>Why we should save the American bison. In addition to the reasons you'd expect, like climate change and economic development, I was particularly intrigued by Santi’s treatment of an unlikely source of support: megafauna nationalists, "a form of meme-friendly esoteric politics [who] dream of rewilding the country." Conservation efforts (and environmentalism more generally) historically draw supporters from across the political spectrum (think John Muir vs. Rachel Carson), so I enjoyed seeing that reflected in digitally-native political culture as well.</i></blockquote>Let's not talk about Excel. So many hot takes, so little thought as to the real issues of investment and accountability... Rachel Coldicutt <a href="https://medium.com/@rachelcoldicutt/magical-thinking-and-maintenance-61aeeb796043">writes on a subject close to my heart</a>:<br /><blockquote><i>Sky journalist Ed Conway described Public Health England’s Excel workarounds as “a little like putting together a car with sellotape”, and that kind of repair is familiar to anyone who has been asked to do more and more with a system that can’t quite cope, and which has not benefited from the minimum necessary investment. The widening gap between narrative and reality means that legacy technologies are often expected to fulfil the promises of an imaginary technical future — so it is not surprising their repair might be hasty, incomplete and not fit for purpose.<br /><br />... Anxiety for the unknowable, unmissable future creates more heroic propulsion than anxiety about the repairable past.<br /><br />... In their book The Innovation Delusion, Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell talk about how — although innovation is important for both improving economic growth and quality of life — what they call innovation-speak is actually:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; “a sales pitch about a future that doesn’t yet exist… [it is] the rhetoric of fear. It plays on our worry that we will be left behind: Our nation will not be able to compete in the global economy; our businesses will be disrupted; our children will fail to find good jobs because they don’t know how to code… . Innovation-speak is a dialect of perpetual worry.”</i></blockquote><p>I'm enjoying Lee and Andrew's book too.&nbsp;</p><p>The UK National Data Strategy consultation is going on and hopefully people are responding usefully. I found <a href="http://peterkwells.com/2020/10/05/some-initial-thoughts-on-the-uk-national-data-strategy/">Peter Wells's notes particularly helpful,</a> as some of the framing/vision seems worryingly unclear -</p><p></p><blockquote><p><i>The strategy describes itself as being about all information stored on computers and, if it is delivered, would impact all sectors of the economy and society with the exception of health and social care (which is due to get its own data strategy), geospatial (which already has its own data strategy), and the police and state surveillance agencies (who have had a strategy for a few years now).<br /><br />... I have concerns about strategies that stretch that broad, we cannot look at everything through the lens of data and data experts, but given data’s current prominence in government policy circles it was to be expected.&nbsp;</i></p><p><i>... The document has a vague set of opportunities and uses terms that it does not clearly define such as “responsible innovation” “progressive values”, “UK values” and “pro-growth data regime”.</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>I work for a specifically progressive <a href="the-open.net">organisation</a> these days, so progressive values sound great, but they probably need some definition - I might pick tackling climate change and inequality, and maintaining democratic accountability, say, but you don't always get those by also going after growth.<br /></p><hr /><p><br /></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Cat and Girl comic about hipsters" border="0" data-original-height="2082" data-original-width="1560" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xxiizyE8478/X4QWptDifJI/AAAAAAAAxtc/ZmlvxCNrhqYdCHEkjsvgmzr3EpPoSDseQCLcBGAsYHQ/w480-h640/2020-10-06-cghipster.gif" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="http://catandgirl.com/graveyards/" width="480" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://catandgirl.com/graveyards/">http://catandgirl.com/graveyards/</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><p><br />&nbsp;</p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17612543.post-35226668945943603602020-10-04T20:28:00.001+01:002020-10-05T09:41:57.153+01:00Weeknotes: politics, ethernet, unions, SIC codes<p>Some time ago, <a href="https://somethingnew.org.uk/">Something New</a> set up as a new kind of political party. This is, as tech people say, an extremely non-trivial thing to attempt - especially as the focus was on how people could get more involved with policy development together. Now <a href="https://somethingnew.org.uk/news/2020/09/30/the-time-has-come.html">it's winding up</a> - the right decision, but not an easy one:<br /><i></i></p><blockquote><i>We started on this journey to try to bring some better engagement with politics. The OpenPolitics Manifesto was a way to explore new ways of working together, and Something New was a party created to put that experiment out in front of voters. But we’ve found the last few years incredibly hard to engage with. The approach of rationality and evidence has no foothold in politics now, so it’s incredibly difficult to get any traction. Our ideals around a vision of a better future seem a very long way from the current political world. </i></blockquote><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1192" data-original-width="1084" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DiWROK2uoeE/X3odkM4idJI/AAAAAAAAxk0/33p1ZlrufsIGUzBi6wxxnXX0yo_Fq0bpwCLcBGAsYHQ/w364-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-04%2Bat%2B20.07.41.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/alexhern/status/1312717870619557889" width="364" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/alexhern/status/1312717870619557889">https://twitter.com/alexhern/status/1312717870619557889</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><p><span></span></p><hr /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1490" data-original-width="936" height="640" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mCYlhiiipLI/X3n1Lz4VGSI/AAAAAAAAxkg/aJKCa-YNKFoNfvV5eXVDPA9yI71GbkV-gCLcBGAsYHQ/w402-h640/Screenshot%2B2020-10-04%2Bat%2B17.15.28.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/aka_pugs/status/1311310109088182274" width="402" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/aka_pugs/status/1311310109088182274">https://twitter.com/aka_pugs/status/1311310109088182274</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><p></p><p>&nbsp;<a href="https://floppy.org.uk/blog/2020/09/28/unions-smoke-alarms-lifting-boats/">James Smith on unionizing in tech</a>:<br /><i></i></p><blockquote><i>While I was at primary school, Margaret Thatcher was doing her best to crush the power of working people that challenged her plans. Ever since then the word “union” has been inextricably linked to strikes, unrest and conflict, and has been very effectively labeled an enemy. Even now, the only time we hear about unions are when the trains aren’t running. The very idea of workers organizing among themselves is… well, pretty unusual.<br /><br />... We work in an industry that likes to think it’s progressive, but in reality, as most of us have experienced over our careers, the tech industry is full of exploitation. <br /><br />... Being part of a union is the same; it’s there in case something happens. For the situations we can’t see yet. As long as nothing’s on fire, you’d never even know it was there. I don’t want to need it. But I might, one day.<br /><br />... Unionisation is weird in the tech industry, as in society as a whole. If we do it, it makes it more normal. And by making it more normal, we make it more acceptable for those people who do need it right now.</i></blockquote><p><a href="https://www.wired.com/story/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-tech-expert-anymore/">Siva Vaidhyanathan on how There’s No Such Thing As a Tech Expert Anymore</a>, via Cassie Robinson.<br /></p><blockquote><i>Members of Congress clearly don’t understand the tech companies they’re supposed to regulate. But neither does anyone else.<br /><br />... So as we look at the myriad ways Google and Facebook have let us down and led us astray, let’s remember that no one has the manual. No one fully understands these systems, even the people who designed them at their birth. The once impressive, now basic, algorithms that made Google and Facebook distinct and useful have long been eclipsed by even more sophisticated and opaque data sets and machine learning. They are not just black boxes to regulators, journalists, and scholars. They are black boxes to the very engineers who work there.<br /><br />As Arbesman writes of other complex systems, “While many of us continue to convince ourselves that experts can save us from this massive complexity—that they have the understanding that we lack—that moment has passed.”</i></blockquote><hr />The <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc983/Diary_of_a_nation-20200907082746841/index.html">ONS published a diary of the nation in lockdown</a> - fascinating statistics and quotes.<p>Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino <a href="http://designswarm.com/blog/2020/09/alone-together-the-past-20-years-of-remote-connections/">looks back at the ways people have tried to connect </a>before now, often overlooked:<br /></p><blockquote><i>The pandemic seems to have triggered some investigation of how we connect remotely with others. Welcome to the last 20 years of HCI everyone!</i></blockquote><p>Now everyone is making UK lockdown lookup websites, but they aren't all very good, sigh. Check out the comparison <a href="https://dracos.co.uk/made/local-lockdown-lookup/comparison/">here.</a> <br /></p><a href="https://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/630678833703600129">Tom Gauld on autumn</a>:<p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Comic about reading books outdoors in the autumn" border="0" data-original-height="222" data-original-width="500" height="178" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-114ividTU6g/X3npETC9ahI/AAAAAAAAxkM/8imCnJ4NFLgwy1y0zricgvNb1gDdAL-zQCLcBGAsYHQ/w400-h178/tumblr_713410c105c842d6dc056e4dc0ef295f_8f2e607a_500.jpg" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/630678833703600129" width="400" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/630678833703600129">https://myjetpack.tumblr.com/post/630678833703600129</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><p>It's <a href="https://explore.org/fat-bear-week">Fat Bear week</a> at the Explore.org <a href="https://www.nps.gov/katm/index.htm">Katmai</a> bear cams.&nbsp; These, and other wildlife livestreams, are directed by volunteers in a <a href="https://www.outsideonline.com/2402981/fat-bear-volunteer-bear-camera-operator">surprisingly complex operation</a>.<br /></p><hr /><p><a href="https://www.tomforth.co.uk/buildingthedatacity/">Tom Forth writes</a>:<br /></p><blockquote><p><i>The Data City creates new SIC codes, in a new way, for new industries.<br /><br />Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes were created in 1937 to standardise how different parts of the US government classified businesses. Something similar has since been adopted in almost every country in the world.<br /><br />These systems assign a code to every company in the economy. In the UK a deep coal mine is 05101. A manufacturer of assembled parquet floors is 16220. Processors of seed for propagation are coded as 01640.<br /><br />These codes work well for agricultural and industrial sectors. Precise definitions for a wide range of industries go into very small niches. But as employment in these sectors has shrunk (industry and agriculture combined make up less than 20% of the UK’s economy today) and as new sectors have grown and become less precisely defined these niches tell us less and less about our economy.<br /><br />... Three other SIC codes — Management consultancy activities other than financial management (70229), Information technology consultancy activities (62020), and Other business support service activities n.e.c. (82990) — employ well over a million people.<br /><br />... It was easy to say what Nokia did when they manufactured rubber boots. Today it is much harder.<br /><br />To fix this we think about SIC codes differently. To show that difference we call them RTIC codes, Real-time Industry Classifications. Four big differences between RTICs and SICs are,<br /></i></p><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We don’t limit the number of RTIC codes that a company can have.</i></li><li><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We use a company’s whole web presence to assign it RTIC codes instead of asking it to self-identify from a set list.</i></li><li><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We create new RTIC codes constantly to reflect new niches of activity.</i></li><li><i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We update our assignments continually.<br /></i></li></ul><p><i>... If the UK is serious about using data in government, and if it’s serious about levelling up, and if it’s serious about industrial strategy, then it needs something like our data and our tools. Currently, for all their claims and assurances, too many of the UK’s major national institutions and too many government departments don’t know very much about what our economy is good at and where those strengths are. Too often they lack any reasonably objective way to tell the hundreds of places that ask for huge investment every time there is a competitive funding round that they are actually not good at what they claim to be. They lack knowledge about where clusters of excellence exist and what sectors they are in.<br /><br />Through a combination of proximity and a drive to innovate and support economic growth, some of the UK’s large cities already understand their economic strengths well. But within such a centralised country there isn’t much that they can do with that knowledge. It is not in their power.<br /><br />If the UK is serious about using data in government, and if it’s serious about levelling up, and if it’s serious about industrial strategy, then it needs something like our data and our tools.&nbsp;</i></p></blockquote><p></p><p>This is really exciting stuff - an important problem, a very different way of tackling it. Good luck to the Data City team!<br /></p><hr /><p><a href="https://kneelingbus.substack.com/p/gentrifying-transportation">From Drew Austin's newsletter:</a><br /></p><blockquote><i>In his 2005 book Planet of Slums, Mike Davis writes, “The urban edge is the societal impact zone where the centrifugal forces of the city collide with the implosion of the countryside.” Throughout much of the world, people are simultaneously being pushed out of urban and rural areas by different forces, and the “urban edge” is the ambiguous, often invisible place where they end up.<br /><br />... Davis’s thesis is that urbanization is not necessarily a product of opportunity. Cities around the world have become a default destination for populations that have nowhere else to go, and the interaction of center city gentrification and rural hardship, pushing from two directions, produces an “urban edge” that looks nothing like the stereotypical affluent American suburb.</i></blockquote><p></p><p></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1502" data-original-width="884" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZIKwr5jwXMg/X3n02IreoSI/AAAAAAAAxkY/lM8anB-wJYYmI1LG-BXR-rajG4tLeaQYACLcBGAsYHQ/w235-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-04%2Bat%2B17.13.52.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/JamesGDyke/status/1310587953245302785" width="235" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/JamesGDyke/status/1310587953245302785">https://twitter.com/JamesGDyke/status/1310587953245302785</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><p>Thanks to everyone who worked on Cambridge's divestment - but honestly, it's not the most enthusing news as Daniel notes:<br /></p><p></p><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img alt="screenshot of tweet" border="0" data-original-height="1026" data-original-width="934" height="400" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5UYm_ATyMLc/X3n1miNLxFI/AAAAAAAAxko/G3M1WnNu_TIK0r5UOsBV_Wu8OpF9Jc-yQCLcBGAsYHQ/w364-h400/Screenshot%2B2020-10-04%2Bat%2B17.16.49.png" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1311627504801677313" width="364" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1311627504801677313">https://twitter.com/DanielRThomas24/status/1311627504801677313</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><p>What if the North Sea had an <a href=" https://www.embassyofthenorthsea.com/">embassy</a>? HT Justin Pickard.</p><p><br />And finally, Carrie Wittmer <a href="https://www.theringer.com/movies/2020/9/30/21492341/actor-sex-scenes-research-study">explores the data around which male Hollywood sex symbols actually have sex on screen</a>. Thanks Verity Allan for bringing this joy to my stream.<br /></p><p></p>Laura Jameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15953274341262501446noreply@blogger.com