030 :: “New Nerds”

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress – Gandhi

Narrative

I am/I’ve been in Berlin for a while. Right now I am typing this from Trust one of the many Blockchain Co-Working spaces that are in Berlin.

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Photo from Saturday Night. Thanks Cory!

So… I blew passed my self imposed Saturday blog posting deadline. I don’t really have an excuse to be honest. I’ve either been really busy all day or sleeping for nearly a week.

I must admit, Berlin is not my favourite city. It has a grey spirit. It’s not hostile but I have never found it particularly receptive to approaches. The Spree was completely frozen when I arrived (Tits where indeed frozen). It’s been days of grey Clouds. Wind, Rain (as I type this), But Sunday it was 17 degrees with blue sky sunshine. We ate dinner outside in the evening. Since then it has been Raining. Really strange weather.

I’m staying at a ‘Scandi’ Hotel. It’s trying to be international chic in an Airspace kinda way. If you have ever been in someones flat that is 100% Ikea furniture you can get the picture of what the hotel is like. Nice and practical on the surface but when you look more closely everything is slightly broken, chipped or delaminating.

Continuing with my airspace existence, I met up with Johannes in an airspace coffeeshop called westberlin on Saturday. We could have been anywhere but thats the point I suppose. I have data here: The whole city opens up as a strange techno airspace-dream. Get out of the airport, call a Mytaxi via app, pay for the U bahn with its app. Pay for shit in the hotel with my contactless online bank that isn’t charging me a fee for spending Euro. All good.

I went to see the The Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum yesterday. It was colossal

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Dipping the stacks

I must admit I haven’t really been online. Its been nice. Might keep it that way

The Ministry

I’m in Berlin both for work and for a (previously mentioned) conspiratorial reason. The weekend was spent at a facilitated meeting with a bunch of awesome people. We filled a huge whiteboard with notes and planning.

Solarpunk was written about in the LARB this week by Rhys who I had a call with a few weeks ago. We met at a sci-fi convention back in September, He including a link to the reference guide which was nice of him. It’s weird that different websites that I thought would have had a much lower profile than the LARB have driven more traffic.

I met up with Terra0 whilst I was here. they are building a forrest that owns itself.

Had some beers withJulian Oliver who I have known for a while now, since the early days of the #stacktivism project. That was nice.

My good friend Alex also happens to be in Berlin and we grabbed dinner.

I’m kinda blockchained out. TBH

Reading

Even though I have like 101 books on the go at the moment, I started and finished reading Skin In the Game by Taleb this week. Its such an important concept. One of my favourite quotes is:

 

“Bureaucracy is a construction by which a person is conveniently separated from the consequences of his or her actions.”

–  Skin In the Game Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Music

I’ve barely had the chance to listen to anything in the last week or so. The only music I have on my phone is a collection of Lightnin’ Hopkins MP3s so I’ve been listing to that tbh.

Remember kids:

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011 : on #stacktivism – my #ILIW13 talk

:: we cannot have a conversation about something whilst it remains unseen ::

‘The stack’The chain of interconnected activities and technologies of current and historical significance that spread far beyond the individual.

Stacktivism Logo

I think there are many people beginning to have/shape a conversation around the stack: From Jo Guldi the author of Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State , Timo Arnall in his No to NoUI piece, Benjamin Bratton and his geopolitics of the cloud and theoretical languge of ‘the stack’, artist/Critical Engineer Julian Oliver (Eyeo2012 talk is very good) & course my good friend Vinay Gupta.

> who owns the means of not dying?

> who controls the stack?

> is infrastructure neutral?

> what are the dilemmas of radical texts on Amazon in relation to capitalist realism while sat under a Tumblr image hosted on Amazon ?

On Sunday I gave a talk at ‘Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working: Digital Culture, Digital Work, Digital Insurrection’ hosted by Autoitaliasoutheast – the panel session was on New Luddism.

I used my time to introduce the concept of #stacktivism a term that i think allows us to form & give shape to the conversation around infrastructure & our relationship we have to it. I do not seek to define it, merely give shape to an idea.

The concept is early days & in its infancy: I hope my talk embedded below is a useful primer/introduction to this enquiry.


Join in the conversation here :: Stacktivism.com

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