Articles I’ve read in the past week. One for every day.
There are therefore four logical combinations of the two oppositions, resource abundance vs. scarcity and egalitarianism vs. hierarchy. To put things in somewhat vulgar-Marxist terms, the first axis dictates the economic base of the post-capitalist future, while the second pertains to the socio-political superstructure. Two possible futures are socialisms (only one of which I will actually call by that name) while the other two are contrasting flavors of barbarism.
I recently attended the World Future Energy Summit. I was unable to attend the conference but the visitors and speakers were prestigous, Wen Jiabao, Premier of People’s Republic of China, Francois Hollande, President of France, Christina Fernandez, President of Argentina, Hwang-sik, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly and Ban Ki Moon UN Secretary General. With such illustrious guests you could rest assured that there was no danger of anything important or interesting happening.
The exhibition was an endless sea of stalls, some meagre tables with no table cloth and a pile of leaflets, others colossal corporate monuments with animated displays, artwork, meeting rooms and sometimes water features.
I had to answer some questions in an application recently. I thought the answers were blog worthy.
Describe the world as it is. (a description of the status quo and context in which you will be working)
Stresses to infrastructure arise when it is asked to supply more than it can deliver. Sometimes this is an explosion of need following disastrous events, or it can be a slow build up as the old infrastructure falls behind due to increased demand or diminished capacity. Failure to expand can be caused by technological, physical, financial or governance limitations
Vinay asked to throw together some graphics for the updated hexayurt site. Whilst making them I discovered styles in sketchup. An incredibly cool tool. So I made him a gif showing 13 members of the hexayurt family and a banner concept piece.
The Future We Deserve a collaborative book project to create a vision of the future is finished and launched as of yesterday. I cannot describe how good the book is to read. Perhaps it has been best expressed by Vinay in the introduction.
It is all available to read online, You can download the PDF or buy the book. I contributed to the book in the 11th hour after a moment of inspiration about a future scenario. Vinay encouraged me to write it up for the book. It is freely available online so to help promote the launch I reblogging my contribution to the book.
After reading a blog post by Noah Raford I was awakened to the fact that visions of the future are typically commissioned by the wealthy and as such are horrendously narrow in their vision. How will the the glittery sustainable technology we all wish for change the world?
My friend Jay @thejaymo made a wonderful series of tweets a few days ago taking a list titled The 12 Warning signs of Fascism and attaching each to a picture, article or news story in the UK. Read the storify
The 12 warning signs of fascism seem to have evolved from an article written by Dr. Lawrence Britt (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20) inside it he outlined Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism.
The impermanence of twitter compels me to commit his efforts into a blog so that it may be more easily shared and retrieved.
Wordless instructions. This suggestion comes up almost immediately as the best way to deliver instructions to the developing world. Whether it be an answer to tackling the behemoth that is multi-lingual translation or addressing mass illiteracy, this is the answer that keeps coming up. It is easy to see why, it sidesteps the issues of translation and illiteracy.
This approach was undertaken by two Swedish students in a remarkable a project the called Made in Kenya that tries to engage with the informal manufacturing industry and uses IKEA inspired styling http://www.notechmagazine.com/2011/11/when-low-tech-goes-ikea.html Continue reading
I gave a talk at the open source hardware user group recently titled “The Needs of Others”. It was half outlining what is known about the effective delivery of technology aimed alleviating technology and half talking about how faithful reproduction of physical objects at any reasonable scale is dependent good documentation and then exploring the challenges all int he context of Free and Open technology. Unfortunately I only had 20 minutes while it was at least an hours worth of talking.
I really enjoyed it and the other two talks we great.
It was the first time I had to talk about the topic so the practice was great and I now have a better feel for it. Might ask a few ewb branches if they need a speaker
You can see my notes if you download the file.
I will write up about the talk at OSHUG later on but this has been the first rest period for a while so I thought it would be best to update the project status first. Short form – back to the foundation and in need of a rename
The last month has been rather quiet on both of my blogs. Why is an interesting question. It started with Richard Stallman comeing to give a lecture at Hub Westminster. Another three high profile events followed and a freelance contract.
Stallman took a great interest in the Hexayurt Project and seemed interested in the idea of free hardware. His talk about free software sparked in me a need to delve deeper into the heart of the documentation issue. Continue reading
It’s been a good long while since my last post. In truth I am not a blogger by habit. I do things, or I think about doing things. Writing about the things I am doing or thinking about is a forced action for me. Ironic in light of the documentation bent I am pursuing.
I recently applied for a job. Both shocking to those who know me that I could muster up the effort and attempt to pursue something resembling a typical life path, and shocking to those who don’t for that this should stand out as anything remarkable. Surely for all my whining about having no money or job I should pursue gainful employment with all the vigour afforded to me by my body in the waking hours.
Nevertheless I applied for a job and was forced to commit the past two to three month of my life onto paper. Continue reading