036 :: Technical Support

“Lack of proper planning does not constitute an emergency” – Ancient Project Manager Saying

Narrative

Been a super fun week. Went drinking with Dr Kane Bidwell last night so I am feeling a little slow today. I need to get back up to full speed by later as we have friends coming over for more drinking. Its a nice life.

The weather is going to be gorgeous for the next week up to 23 degrees on Wednesday so i’m planning on going for a lot of walks by the thames and in Richmond park and will just spend the time thinking about my upcoming talks for May. I usually write/give the whole thing in my head over and over and then sit down and make the supporting slides. I’m hoping to have draft 1 of both talks complete by this time next week.

I bought some EZY Jeans from uniqlo and have been telling absolutly everyone how amazing they are. They have literally become my favourite item of clothing – maybe ever. I’m wearing them right now. A friend texted me saying “The EZY Jean comfort community welcomes you” lol.

Eve has started renting a counselling / therapy room in Kingston, I’m not sure if i’ve mentioned it by we have been running around the last 2 weeks getting everything ready for that. its looks great, she had her first client in it Sunday, and two other councillors are interested in renting the room already so that is 100% great! So proud of her.

Permanently Moved

Episode 4 has come around quickly. In this episode I address some feedback, moan about the neighbours, make a few announcements, and begin a new (hopefully) recurring segment called tech support.

It’s also now available in all your favourite pod catchers! (iTunes is still in review tho)

Peer to peer web Berlin: peer-to-peer-web.com/berlin/2018-05-05

Solarpunks podcast signup form eepurl.com/dqHO-9

Dipping the stacks

I don’t even know why people are so mad. This narrative has been 3 years in the making.

The Ministry

I’m speaking at peer to peer web Berlin on May the 5th!

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I’m speaking at het nieuwe instituut in Rotterdam on May the 10th and there will be a workshop on the 11th

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My talk title for Rotterdam:

Solarpunk: A grand dress rehearsal in remaking our present and future history.

Right now, across disparate fields, a future is being built. But the future does not passively ‘arrive’ fully formed from the aether, we must first meet it the way humanity has always done: though dreams, stories and song. This talk will explore narrative strategies and strategic narratives such as RetroSuburbia and Land as Platform to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow.

If you have a Runesoup subscription and are so inclined you can hear me talk with Gordon about solarpunk for over an hour in the bonus member material.

I’ve been writing a lot of fiction recently (500 words a day) and I’ve resurrected my hard sci-fi solarpunk novella which is a sci-fi novel where the world building is all technologies that exist today. Super solarpunk tbh.

Elvia Wilk wrote a long post over on e-flux about solarpunk: Is Ornamenting Solar Panels a Crime?

Reading

I’m still reading Improbable Botany And   The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf.

I also would like to point your attention to this long read on solar orientated cities

Music

Junglepussy has new music.

 

 

Remember Kids:

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035 :: No news is … good news?

“People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath.”

Marshall McLuhan

Narrative

It’s 2018. People don’t actually read newspapers either. Instead they step on/in to social media every morning  like a stinking cesspool.

Last night I tweeted:

1/ Thinking about what the minimum threshold information requires to qualify as news. Working theory is if information doesn’t meet the threshold it stays as information

2/ Working life example: I know a lot of information about celebrities but I wouldn’t qualify it as news.

I tweeted this in response to a piece of information that came across my feed:

Part of me wants to yell .. I mean WHO DOESN’T? But at the same time I find it hard to classify this sort of headline.

I got some interesting replies. One from @crwbot

@Crwbot / initial instinct is to say that threshold should be a combination of novelty & impact. celebs do weird shit like force coffee up their bums all the time, that’s not news. sometimes celebs provoke public health crises by denying shit like the effectiveness of vaccination. impact.

And one from @LondonPrmcultr

@LondonPrmcultr / If we take Bateson’s formulation that the elementary unit of information is a difference that makes a difference – perhaps ‘news’ is a difference that makes a difference to me

My feeling is I kind of end up in the middle of the two points:

‘news’ is a difference that (information) makes a difference to me is @crwbot’s – impact? Certain types of information have a subjective meta quality of impact (on me) which makes it news.

Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision affecting your life, your career, your business – compared to not having swallowed that piece of news.

The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to the forces that really matter in your life. At its best, it is entertaining, but it is still irrelevant.

–  Avoid News Towards a Healthy News Diet by Rolf Dobelli, 2012

Now, I think this might be the 3rd of 4th time I’ve mentioned Dobellis essay on this blog over the years, and it’s certainly the second time this year and probably won’t be the last.

I’ve be wrestling with this for a long time. I think personally its the first step to admission that I have an information … problem. But then I suppose its a questions of what sort of information. When I apply the above to my life there is certainly a lot of truth to it. But at the same time I consume ~12-14 hours of Conspiratainment a month and pay to access a lot of that content. I consider (or at least tell myself) that bingeing on that stuff is like going to an ontological gym. But its not news… it’s – terrain setting?

My RSS is slowly filling up with old and new blogs that I like, but its nowhere near the stream of information I want it to be on every re-fresh like it was in 2012. But I prefer it way more than twitter at this point.

I’ve even perhaps lost a sense of what twitter is for . People I mostly follow I know IRL or are one/two handshakes out. Should I have conversations with those people there? I’d prefer a forum, Slack, DM’s, or signal. Is it posting interesting links? Is it boosting others only even tho I know a lot of the people that follow me have turned off seeing RT’s? I really dunno.

I do know that the longer the amount of time that goes by between each time I look at the intertweetz stream the happier and more productive I am.

News is like opinions. There is too much of it / them and almost all of them don’t matter.

Permanently Moved

There is a rescue mission and a salvage mission.

In this one I have thoughts on my Land As Platform project and Kenneth Olwig’s concept of ‘Landship’.

Also please feedback on the overall audio levels, theres a few jump cuts between takes – are they ok? I AM only recording and editing this whole thing in an hour after all.

I think this is the first episode experimenting with the form of a 5min audio window. Not sure all of ’em are going to be like this, but certainly I’ll do some more. One piece of feedback I got was better show notes linking to the stuff I’m talking about.

Dipping the stacks

The last month or so in politics has been media figures demand other media figures apologise for things they said on Twitter. And when they get one… it’s considered a victory? When in fact absolutely no politics occurred. Anywhere.

The Ministry

Both talks are bubbling up in my head. They are both 25 mins and i want to try and not repeat myself across. Both events should be announced next week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Blood and soil’ politics and the dangers of saying anything about landscapes in 2018. Last week someone went on a rant about solarpunk being fascist – which was news to me.

Thats partly why this weeks permanently moved came about. Land As Platform feels like the right term from a The Lawrence Doctrine and the Post Industrial Rescue Mission’ point of view. But as Gordon White pointed out to me it’s a bit dissociative from an animist ontology perspective – which is also part of the overall project. I need someway of keeping Land As Platform on a parallel line to the Solarpunk future where Animist Ontology / Enchantment of the materialist west sits in my head. Its something I need to balance and sit with in more detail.

I also learnt a lot about how blockchain oracles work in detail this week.

Reading

I’m still leafing thought Improbable Botany But I have also started  The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf as i’d like to get though it before I write these talks.

On the blood and soil and solarpunk topic mentioned earlier I’ve returned to Barbarians in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction over on Gods and Radicals.

Aesthetic is narrative. Aesthetic tells a story, and Jack Donovan’s story is of anti-modernism. It is not just because he is anti-modern, but he also senses what his increasing fan-base knows and most anti-fascists refuse to admit: the modern is fucking awful. The modern is alienating, full of empty images and promises after which we all chase. Progress brings us a new iPhone each year and more flavors of Doritos, jobs in front of screens and new identities to try on and less and less land in which to play tribe with your friends.

The risk of becoming labelled another Eco-Farage needs to be navigated with care.

Music

Alert! EXID have a new single and it’s the most 90’s revival thing ever! That snare sound!

I also listened to s SHIT LOAD of Enya this week whilst I was walking into town by the old man… perfect backdrop.

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Remember Kids:

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034 :: “Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

I was asked to submit a talk to a big conference over in Berlin in May to talk about Solarpunk and what it’s like to have been involved in the genre from the very beginning as an admin over on solarpunks.net​. I found out last week that it wasn’t accepted, but some other solarpunks were – I posted this to tumblr already but it won’t ever have any google juice there so x-posting here for wider archives as is my tradition.

I’m posting my talk proposal below as it’s the first time that I’ve ever really written something on Solarpunk despite being involved for so long. Some of the wording and phrasing as become important to me especially the lines about not being able to speak for other solarpunks.

“Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

500 Char Public Thesis – ~ 75 Words

Give a short and catchy idea about your main argument. This text will be used publicly once your session is accepted, so it’s worth proofreading it.

Solarpunk is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?”.

The future does not passively ‘arrive’ fully formed  from the aether, we must first meet it the way humanity has always done: though dreams, stories and song. This session will cover the story of the nascent genre of solarpunk and the communities attempts to ‘remake our present and future history’.

2000 Char Description – ~ 300 Words

Please describe what your session is about, how you want to proceed and what methods you are going to use. Be clear and check orthography and grammar. This text will be used publicly once your session is accepted, so it’s worth proofreading it.

The emerging science fictional genre and aesthetic of “solarpunk” begins with ‘Infrastructure as a form of resistance’.

In 2014 the EIA, CIA, & World Bank published a graph charting the falling cost of solar energy and titled it ‘Welcome to the Terrordome’. The upcoming 21st Century shift toward clean energy opens the future to an age of ‘innovative dissent’.

But we don’t see terror in this future. Solarpunk envisions a world where the drastic technological shift towards renewables and decentralisation empowers movements for social justice and economic liberation. It attempts to foster a socio-cultural environment which emphasises individual autonomy, consent, unity-in-diversity, with the free egalitarian distribution of power. It creates a multitude of spaces for indigenous sovereignties, reproductive justice, and radical queer politics. Of course with these principles comes polyphony, one cannot speak for other solarpunks, only be in dialogue and occasional chorus with them. Some solarpunks recognize it was a great tragedy that the alternate historical genre of steampunk was not decolonial to its core from its inception. Others call for the recognition of rights for the ‘non-human’: trees, rivers and mountains. And technologists building decentralised P2P social networks are doing so under a solarpunk banner. The genre provides a rich soil of ideas and action from which our struggles en route to a better world can grow.

This session will briefly explore the history of the genre, some of its central themes and principles and offer a present that can help us begin to see a future with a human face and dirt behind its ears.