Winter afternoon, walking on the beach, watching a family of five (two adults three kids) rock fishing.
Nothing stays still.
For work reasons I’ve just been reading a gorgeous bit of US political science from 1909, on publics, crowds and the manipulation of public sentiment.
With a couple of tweaks in language, we’d all recognise our lives, our talk, our social platforms, in his lens.
The key point he makes is familiar: we are in many publics, each trying to get our opinions to the top of the pile. Public opinion is not one simple thing; what matters is who makes the loudest claim to own it.
I tried to reflect and to write about this concept some time back (during a period of digital auditing myself), about how Mastodon is where I find myself as a "writer" as opposed to Twitter, where I find myself as a "teacher." Of course, neither of those identity demarcations is completely true. I am always spilling over and into myself.
Still -- blog post link, if interested: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2018/02/04/on-twitter-im-a-teacher-on-mastodon-im-a-writer/
The joy of this fireplace in early winter. We don’t have heating in our home so on cold nights this is it. We’ve made it through the week, it’s Friday night, nothing needs doing, we’re all together on the sofa by the fire.
On weekends we go to the university and scavenge fallen tree branches from the campus for the fire. It’s strangely satisfying, like settling a score with what’s wrong with work.
@RussSharek and I sat down at our local coffee shop before heading to a class he teaches. We started chatting with a couple of young ladies sitting near us. By the end of our chat about what we do, one of them agreed to come along to class. With us, in our car. This boggled my mind as I grew up being told to NEVER get in the car with strangers. But I guess in the world of Uber, having strangers drive you somewhere interesting is more normal than I could have imagined. #smallstories
When I think of a future with Open Social Media, I imagine three pillars.
1) Microblogging (ActivityPub), for sharing thoughts with strangers, ephemeral community building, and broad+global reach.
2) Forum / Stable Community (no good solution yet, AFAIK), for discussing, planning, buying/selling locally. All within a distinct group of people, membership of which can be managed.
3) Peer2Peer (Scuttlebutt?), for talking directly to friends, family, nearby people, and easily sharing files.
Australian politics, refugees, LGBTIQ, fury Show more
Why post this here? It’s not uplifting, it’s not the good in us, it’s not what I have been doing here.
But I think here is also where I have come when the grief of how callous we can be gets overwhelming.
There’s an article on this in yesterday’s Guardian by the fearless Behrouz Bouchani, Iranian writer trapped on Manus Island, PNG, who will not be silenced. I stay on Twitter because there are voices there who aren’t heard here. His is one.
Australian politics, refugees, LGBTIQ, fury Show more
One of the things about privilege is that sometimes an obvious fact takes a long time to sink in when it was just right there all the time.
In setting up offshore processing in PNG, Australia chose to send gay men escaping from persecution to a country where male gay sex is punishable by a long jail term.
And then we left them there for years.
Every time I prepare to teach a clown lab I worry that my job is little more than to sit in a chair and yell at people to make eye contact and stop acting.
On the other hand, I can't help but notice how badly we sometimes need some idiot on standby to remind us to truly connect and stop lying to both ourselves and others.
Sometimes, I suspect the only real counter agent to impostor syndrome is to adopt that sort of near-poetic sensibility about whatever it is we are trying to do.
For odd reasons I’m reading Drucker’s Concept of the Corporation (1946).
What he explains well is that in a culture trained to view job and economic advancement as the only source of dignity, inevitably the majority would experience corporate working life as demoralising.
I think we could have paid more attention to this bit.
steampunk but it
A. is actually punk
B. the steam machinery makes sense
Yesterday’s job perk: listening to students who want to apply for a major national scholarship. The terms of the contest are stacked against them in subtle ways that Australians will understand. They haven’t had any of the life opportunities you need to develop the extracurricular resumes the program will select on.
But their clear-eyed focus on working to deliver compassionate justice in a failing world was beyond energising.
Solarpunk is coming.
3 ways people are challenging traditional work structures - Shareable https://www.shareable.net/blog/3-alternative-models-changing-the-way-we-work
solarpunk is what happens when we take all of this technology we have, and decide that maybe instead of chasing infinite exponential growth that's impossible we'll try to build a world with it that can coexist with nature and provide for everyone so they can do more of what they really want.
i'm 0/1 on expressing things well so take it with a grain of salt. i maybe missed some things and overemphasized others
solar: we have this bonanza of free energy from the sun, and it's enough to provide a good quality of life for everyone if we manage and distribute it well enough. but it's not an infinite supply to fuel exponential growth for its own sake.
punk: the system we have now is not nearly as equitable or fair as it should be. some people get rich, more get oppressed and dumped on. so we fight to end this and do better
I live with someone with insomnia. The result is a night filled with podcasts, audiobooks, general quiet talk. It’s like hypnotapes: I wake up knowing fragments of things, mashed up.
After weeks of Russian history, we have turned unexpectedly to football.
I am learning to take an interest in more or less anything.
Be ruthless when it comes to defending and maintaining your joy and contentment. If something or someone is not making a positive contribution to your life, investigate why they are a part of it and deal with it appropriately.
It takes time to learn how to curate your environment to one that promotes your happiness and growth, but once you get it, show no mercy to those that would hinder either.