054 :: Velocity

I’m still doing the ‘The Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp‘. The first week was entirely writing lists, which was surprisingly enjoyable.

Now that summer is ending. we are moving in to my favourite season of the year, I can feel myself gaining more momentum and drive to complete a lot of thing things I have been noodling around with all summer – so thats exciting.

This creeping feeling also coincided with the end of Jupiter Ret. As the planet of wisdom, it’s no wonder that Jupiter’s retrogrades are often viewed as learning opportunities. Whatever my personal lesson was/is I’m sure it will become clear evetually.

Permanently Moved

Episode 20
The internet broke this week and we had a whole day without it – It was nice. From those beginnings I end up talking a little bit about social media being an enemy.
Warrens, Plazas and the Edge of Legibility

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.

Dipping the stacks

TAMAR GROW LOCAL A Local Food Ecosystem of Opportunity

First randomised-controlled trial of an employee “Wellness Programme” suggests they are a waste of money

Ongoing patchwork debates in my RSS

Patchwork is not a Model

ENACTING PATCHWORK (1): SOME THEORETICAL AND TECHNICAL CONCERNS

The Ministry

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At least  Better than an outright rejection! If you want to support the Kickstarter and maybe get my first short story about a group of solarpunk anarchist drug manufactures into print (maybe) its embedded below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1537879721/resist-fascism-an-sff-call-to-action

I haven’t done any work this week really tbh.

Reading

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I’m still reading How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. Finished  Hybrid Geographies: Natures Cultures Spaces by Sarah Whatmore. I Started For a Left Populism by Chantal Mouffe that Verso kindly sent me. So I thought I’d better read it!

Music

The new Twice music video is amazing:

Post apocalyptic? ✅
Ocean’s 8 ✅
Home Alone Style Shenanigans ✅
Cute CGI Sanriostyle Characters With Carebear Powers ✅
Love Song ✅
Extremely 2018 💯

Remember Kids:

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053 :: Absolutely Jammin’

Had a pretty fun week with all the various birthdays and stuff that happened, but I got rained on and now have an unshakable cough and a mystery cold. It’s been really annoying.

I started ‘The Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp‘ this week. Had to go out and buy a notebook and pen as it suggests its better done by hand. so i went out and bought a new writing notebook the day after Andrew and I submitted the short story we wrote together to the anthology on Wednesday. I’m expecting another rejection – It’ll be my 5th one this year but ah well.

Another Solarpunk author asked what it was about in a mailing list, and this is what he got back:

“A group of solarpunk anarchist drug manufactures cook up contraceptives in a lab under a big box store set in a retrosuburban Boise Idaho.”

Not that I mind the rejections as each and every one makes me a better writer in various ways. I’ve probably written in excess of 150k words so far this year. None of it will probably see the light of day. But at least I’ve felt busy.

So i’m going to do this writers boot camp then roll straight into Nanowrimo if i still have the energy.

In other news my tomatoes are still absolutely Jammin’

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We made pasta with them all obviously.

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I think I’ll probably get another load of tomatoes before the end of the year about the same size. As long as the sun comes back out again here.

Permanently Moved

Episode 19

Nostalgia? A folk festival, the Horizon, and a weeping virgin I have a cough and a cold.

Please, like subscribe, 5* and share!

Dipping the stacks

If You Want to Survive this Election with Your Mental Health Intact, Turn Off the “News” and Social Media Now

Breaking the Chain: Building Worker Power under Monopoly Capitalism

Systems Seduction: The Aesthetics of Decentralisation

The Ministry

Thinking about applying for a full time job instead of working freelance so I noodled around in the hell documents known as CV and resume.

I’m going to East Asia + Australia for like 6 weeks next year so we’ll see if thats a problem. I’d be looking for something fairly senior in Operations or Strategy so maybe I could swing it. Dunno tho.

Reading

I’m still reading How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human.

Its still blowing my mind.

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I picked up Hybrid Geographies: Natures Cultures Spaces by Sarah Whatmore so i might read that next.

I also caught up on a bunch of podcasts this week. The newest episode of Londons Peaks with Alice Procter was quite good.

Music

I tweeted about it but here’s Aretha Franklin belting out Mariah’s Touch My Body live. Filmed back in 2008.

Remember Kids:

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052 :: Learn how to feel

I’ve be absolutely fascinated by various subcultural bloggers, thinkers and writers that are attempting to explain ‘what the fuck is going on’ recently. I’ve found myself pingponging around the occult blog world, conspiracy theory, nrx, accelerationism, anthropology and botany, to name a few places.

The most interesting of the writers have a number of things in common.

  1. They all come from outside of the academy.
  2. They operate from large macro discussions around society, history etc first.
  3. Some of them re-describe concepts from other subcultures and it isn’t clear that they have any cross pollination.
  4. Shady backchannel group telegrams, discords and slacks are full of women critiquing the loudest male voices in productive ways. (you will see many blogs that will say ‘I was talking with my friend X about something blah blah blah’)

A few friends have asked me to do a series as part of permanently moved called ‘Da Fuk’ where I attempt to summarise and compare various ideas across stuff I’ve been reading. I might just do that.

The first episode would begin with the most important element that almost all the writers and thinkers seem to hold in common. It relates to the fake news plague. But also questions of Truth in todays society and that I would summarise (and agree with) as:

You do not know what the fuck is going on.

Your job is to be absolutely certain that you have no idea what the fuck is going on.

And from that raw chaos, that raw uncertainty.. as a default state of being.

Learn how to feel.

How to move forward and act in the world

These are my words, but its also how I have lived my life for a while. Its interesting. No wonder why as a macro cultural trend theres a shift towards personal responsibility. Classical virtues, Ethics and Seneca etc

In other news I went for dinner with two of my old bosses, and it was AMAZING.

In other other news. Going to the pub in 2018 is Sci-fi as FUCK

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Permanently Moved

Thinking out loud about Genius Loci, Kitchens, Workshops, Desks, Mise en place and Knolling.

Please, like subscribe and share!

Dipping the stacks

Fertilizer destroys plant microbiome’s ability to protect against disease

RADICAL MUNICIPALISM & TRANSLOCAL FUTURITY – PART 1: QUERYING THE LOCAL (1)

The politics of Listening

BUDDHIST FUTURES: THE BLACK HOLE OF POST-CAPITALISM

The Ministry

By the end of today a short story i’ve been writing with a *real* sci-fi writer should be finished. We have till Wednesday to submit it to the anthology. Its been eye opening working with someone who can actually write. I’m really happy that they wanted to co-write something with me. The benefits of some of the travel i’ve done this year.

A lot of story edits have been done as we have gone a long which i wasn’t expecting. Whole segments ripped out and moved to different characters etc. A sketched out 90 word plot at the top of the document has ballooned to the target 8k words since July 27th.

TFW you see your words get re-written doe. Co writing for me seems to be less harsh emotionally that overzealous editing but still.

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Reading

I finished re-reading all four Scott Westerfield books in less than two weeks. They are such an easy read. Well paced etc too. I remember i used to recommend it as a sci fi series to old greybeard sci-fi fans over a decade ago when I worked in a huge bookshop leading them up to the YA section. They would balk at the covers but eventually come in and buy the whole set.

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Finally reading How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. I kinda already know what its going to say as its such a seminal text, but finally reading the source text. Every other paragraph is blowing my mind.

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Music

Man Child on repeat. All fucking week. Hang Up Your Hang Ups is one of the best tracks ever written. I sometimes take a break and listen to Head Hunters but the track Chameleon just gives me horrible flashbacks to being in an orchestra at secondary school and all the insufferable people who were in the Jazz band.

Remember Kids:

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050 :: Waypoint

It was my birthday this week gone. I turned 33. Happy to be alive.

The space weather is bad at this time for everyone – but especially for me. So I have been hunkering down, reflecting on the year so far. Thinking about short medium and longterm goals. Its nice having a birthday in the middle of the year-ish as it allows you a natural time in the year to review your new years goal list and tack towards the things that are achievable given the amount of year left.

A cypberpunk short story I wrote about teenagers growing DMT yoghurt and starting a cult in their high school got rejected. Two editors from the same anthology reviewed it and gave me vastly different feedback.

The good Paul Graham Raven gave me some supportive words over chat saying ‘If all else fails, try another editor; rejections are the author’s rite-of-passage scars.’ and it made me feel better. Adam @interdome once told me that you only get to call yourself a writer if you have been rejected as most people who want to write don’t even get that far.

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Beers and Blockchain talk by the river. Melting in 36 degree heat.

Eve’s sister was on homes under the hammer in her professional capacity. Here she is very professionally doing the property manager *look at the ceiling routine* I did more than one little laugh at her face it must be said.

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Permanently Moved

Episode 16

Post birthday reflections delivered whilst melting in my flat. I talk a bit about medium term goals and how I navigate my life towards them. I also talk about one of these past goals was back in 2012 running thoughtmenu.com/

I also talk about the event I’m speaking at on the 27th Sept in Amsterdam. Tickets available here: http://www.codedmatters.nl/event/terrafiction

I wanted to talk about magic in this post so bad but i’m still scared about speaking my mind/truth in public.

Dipping the stacks

Russia: Life After Trust

“Literally” a Communist?: Communism’s Ontology of Difference (Part 0) – Xenogothic

(Justin Murphy interviewed Xenogothic in a fascinating conversation on his youtube channel recently)

The Ministry

In the the process of applying for a job working for a major blockchain consortium (A surprise to me). Its a job role across a lot of responsibilities and from what i can gather if you get the job we’ll find a place for you and tighten the description up once you settle in to the role.

Maybe I’ll get to interview I dunno. I have about 80% of the skills and experience required.

Terra0’s Flowertokens trial went live. Really proud of all the work that team have done, its been a pleasure so far this year.

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow

I’m speaking at a citizen sci-fi event next week wednesday, I’ll be proposing full permaculture’d finsbury park of 2035, and also proposing working with local communities, schools and restaurants to develop new street food as part of the imaginary/exhibition.

Tickets for the ‘Terra Fiction – art and sci-fi in the new age of space colonisation’ event I am speaking at in Amsterdam in September went up heres my topic/thing from the press rlease Solarpunk researcher and technology theorist Jay Springett lays out the strategic narrative of land-as-platform which grafts the organisational logic of the digital ecologies back onto living soil – more soon

Reading

I just finished reading Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Hirschman this week – fascinating.

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Taking a crack at NRX a basilisk now, but quite frankly the book is so full of snark it is almost unreadable. I’d rather just go read/listen to what the primary sources say.

Image result for neoreaction a basilisk

Still re-reading Scott Westerfield. I’m on to the last book in the series. I realise in the years between reading it when it came out and now I had forgotten a whole books plot

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Music

Remember Kids:

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028 :: A strange sort of collapse

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa of Avila

Narrative

I walk from Bank down Bishopsgate.

A man shouts ‘Standard’ over and over. I wonder if he’s an NPC: street dressing in the simulation.

Though the new Spitalfields, past chain stores and expensive second hand furniture stores.

Cut across Brick Lane to the Co-working space.

So fancy, but at the same time just shabby enough to raise the rent. Dosa World next door seems utopian in comparison. We talk about designing Blockchain protocols as the sun goes down.

It’s all End of Empires stuff.

The background societal ennui comes from our cultures core problems. Ignore the buzzing, stick to the mission: Escape from Prison, Save the world.

-0-

Another freezing cold morning.

I follow an hour behind Eves commute. We met for a quick kiss at 3pm.

The building is next door to the Red Cross Office. Co-located but different views of the city and the world.

Blockchain talk again.

Nearly 6 hours of technical presentations. ZK-Snarks are discussed, the speaker assumed that audience knows WTF they are.

The MC is obsessed with alt coins. I shout out a fake ‘ASS coin’ and people around me nod and write it down.

A UK lawyer speaks: TLDR if you are in the UK and want to start a blockchain biz: Don’t bother.

I sat with someone from a Slack I’m in. I enjoyed his company.

The sun went down.

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I decide to drink way too much free Prosecco and watched the sunset to cope. Later, I wound up in full rant mode to a stranger about how despite everything we’re all fucked. “Gallows are platforms too”.

Inspired, I drunk call one of my oldest friends and demand he drinks with me in Moorgate after work.

He obliges.

Turns out he’s working out his notice.

Stress levels at the biotech startup he works at was getting to him. I told him he had a nice haircut – that made him happy.

I get back to the HQ in Zone 6 and drink even more with a different friend. We talk about his recent job interview and the state of high end electronics market in retail.

-0-

Skype call with a total stranger.

He tells me he liked my short fiction I sent him. “Don’t edit it down into a short story. Make it 3 times as long.”

We discuss grass roots democracy in the US. Watershed management in Arizona.

We discuss the merits of Cooking vs Polyphony as appropriate metaphors for ways of navigating online spaces.

We talk about intellectual pursuits and how some cultural figures preoccupations aren’t the ones I always want to be devoting my intellectual and moral energies to sorting out.

-0-

On a back channel I talk at length about Curation Markets and Token inflation curves with people who are inveting the stuff.

-0-

I remember that it’s always the End of Empires. And for now I’ll keep buying out of season fruit whilst it lasts.

Dipping the stacks

  • #Theassistance
  • Doesn’t matter what the hell you say there’s still 21 trillion dollars missing
  • I forget what we are arguing about but i’m going to argue anyway
  • Youtube launched a patreon thingy
  • Anthems good, Cops good (Apparently)

The Ministry

See the above Narrative. It’s been a weird week.

My new accountants terrified me by sending me a pdf of my old companies accountancy firm’s HMRC case from last year.  “Within the law, but not its spirit”. I might end up owing hella taxes. But hey ho, thats life I suppose, It’ll impact people in their early 20’s far more than it will impact me if it comes down to that. I’m holding on to my butt.

I wrote an essay for myself. Kinda like it.

I sent of nearly 1k words of critique to a blockchain startup on their go to market strategy having read their white paper and watched a few live Q&As with their founder they were super receptive which was really cool

I haven’t finished anything substantial that I thought I would do this week but there is always the weekend.

Reading

I put down 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos for now and decided to re-read the Papyrus of Ani instead.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;a man can say: “It was the property of my father.

The 6 virtues of Maat 

Truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice.

The 42 laws of Maat

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man.
I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).
I have not polluted myself.
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.
I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

Music

Queen of K-pop BoA released a new single this week. Its the title track from the new EP of the same name. Its a reminder to everyone why she’s the queen. I think she’s in the 18th year of her career or something. Her 2003 album Valenti used to be on repeat in my kitchen at university. My housemate at the time Mari was obsessed with it, and we all loved it for its Britney vibes.

Remember kids:

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021 :: I used to bother to post things here

I’m aware that I lament almost every time I bother to login to wordpress to post something… I used to write a round up of all the things that happened during the previous year but stopped in jan 2016.

That was back even when a blog with a total of 21 posts (including this one) would get thousands of views because of strong social ties and network effects. Not so much anymore – But as I will explain, I’m going to be writing a little something here more often. Writing more in general really. If you find this blog. Let me know on twitter here.

2017: unrelated + unordered observations

2017 was a fucking horrible year for me. A year totally consumed by stress, health problems and work. The former two things all fell out from the later.

Quitting my job at the startup I’d been working at for the previous two years was possibly one of the best decisions i have ever made in my life. When i finally quit I was suffering from Hypertensive stress: causing anxiety in social situations, muscle locking in my legs that left me in agony at night and unable to walk properly, I was grinding my teeth – it also began affecting my Crohn’s Disease. I blew up relationships with friends and generally was an unbearable human being to be around – even myself. I should have quit sooner, and I should admit and publicly state again to my friends, family and my partner that all told me to do so well in advance of actually pulling the trigger I’m so sorry i didn’t do it sooner.

My partner and I went to Portugal for a spa holiday the week after I left work and a lot of the stress immediately melted away in the Sun. Pithy idioms like ‘a weight of your shoulders’ really contain truth once you experience them in effect.

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I’m still suffering from anxiety and really don’t like the idea of busy social situations. In fact last week, I was dreading going for drinks with some of my oldest and closest friends on Christmas Eve whilst back at my hometown. As usual though, when I actually got there it was 100% fine and i was honest and talked to them about how my prior concerns before i walked down the seafront had now melted away, it turns out several friends also had had anxiety about going out too – It seems that it’s a low level collective emotion, almost all of it driven by over work and guilt at not having time for socialising. The whole work thing was all back in September with at least a six month build up and I haven’t really done anything in the four months since except sit at home and slowly try to pull different bits of myself back together…

2017 was the year that twitter went to 240 characters – I like it. It’s made for a much clearer space. Slightly more room for nuance – but only just. There is however still no time and space allowed to be convinced under the logic of the modern social network. You have to have a position immediately to keep the whole machine running. Long threads of 240 characters however are annoying and are better served by other mediums/platforms. 1 tweet is a microblog. A chain of ten 240 character tweets is just a short blog write it somewhere else. I commented a while back on twitter that we should all go back to writing blogs and I think this is an extremely good idea Warren Ellis made a comment in his newsletter about that and added “It would be fucking funny to see everyone go back to Tumblr and dance in the ruins as the sun went down.”. This is a good place to start as i mean to go on in 2018.

I made a resolution in Jan of 2017 to write more. At least 500 words a day / At least 5 days a week for the entire year. With a few exceptions i managed it. In addition I also won nanowrimo again. It was quite a lot of words put down into a word document. None of it is likely to ever see the light of day, but it did provide me some discipline during the worst parts of the year, a space to vent, and has been been good practice which was it’s intention. I really like the 500-1500 word writing length and for perhaps the first time in my life i enjoy writing. As a result i got to join the rejection club, an upshot of all this writing was i submitted a short story to a solarpunk anthology. The editor gave me some fantastic feedback and i hope to write more this year maybe one of ‘em might even be accepted ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2017 was also the year we moved again. After three years in a cramped and damp basement flat we now have a wonderful ground floor flat with a garden. I’m hoping to make the most of it in 2018. With work stress last year the idea of doing anything beyond a little weeding and buying some garden furniture was a write off. This year i think we’ll be planting a edible container garden plated in polycultures. We also have a south facing balcony so i’m excited for plenty of tomatoes in the summer.

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Our garden is the back one with two apple trees in need of some TLC

I read A LOT. The full list of completed books is on my Goodreads. I also consumed more academic papers in the last 18 months than at any other point in my life perhaps since university. I’ve changed my mind about how many things truly work in the world, and that has had an impact on how i see it. I’ve been blown away by amazing thinkers in fields like ethnobotany, anthropology and straight up biology (soil science is amazing) even economic thinkers. I might write about a few of these someday. I am also extremely grateful to Gordon White for inventing the term ‘The Anthropogreen’ and for being introduced to the work of Ethan Roland Soloviev and his 8 Forms of Capital.

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On the Solarpunk front, the Tumblr I have run with Adam Flynn for the last few years has doubled its followers in 2017 and interest in the genre is accelerating all over the web. The decentralised P2P social network scuttlebutt community has embraced the term and some fantastic writing has been coming from them. I wanted to start a solarpunk podcast in 2017 but 2018 will be the year that this actually happens. Mainly it’s going to be an excuse for me to talk to amazing people about the amazing work they are doing. Do watch this space because it IS coming. I also pulled together the solarpunk reference guide this year which was more work than i was expecting but im glad i’ve done it and it’s uptodate. there are some page improvements that i’ll be making to it by hacking mediums HTML.

2018 is the year i need to find an income. After the last 4 months of sitting at home reading, writing and watching a lot of star trek I’m not sure exactly how it’s all going to work out but i need to do so as my position as someone who is privileged to be able to take a few months of work can’t last forever…

But as a first step – I’m starting a company called The Ruderal

“A Ruderal species is a plant species that is first to colonise disturbed lands”

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I’m not sure exactly what form the company will take, but I’m envisioning something like the a DIY record label/zine publisher I ran as a teenager. Housing and storing the things I’m putting energy and effort into. Things like the solarpunk podcast i’m starting, #stacktivism, potentially a rebooted thought menu of some kind, and any consulting / strategy work and speaking (which I have a number of engagements coming up).

Here’s a preview of that:

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I am hugely grateful to all the friends, family and people who supported me in 2017.

I hope 2018 treats you well.

014 :: #Asperity

I completely forgot to blog about this when it went up:

I wrote a piece last year for the 5 Viridian Years collection curated by Tim Maly over on Medium. ‘Viridian Design was an avant-garde bright green design movement engineered by Bruce Sterling and intended to address climate change. It ran from 1998-2008. Five years later, we reflect’

The piece was called the ‘The Coming Asperity‘. Asperity is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and it was great to finally write down/out. A definition is below:

Asperity

1. A policy of cutting resource use and consumption via a reduction in carbon dioxide (or equivalent emissions) and resources that are available/provided to a population. Asperity policies are often used by governments to try to reduce the emissions of a defined population, system or activity.

In the piece i put forward #asperity as a possible political reaction to climate change, similar to the way austerity was deployed by governments after the financial crisis.

Dougald Hine was kind enough to mention the concept in his talk ‘Making Ourselves Scarce’ at FSCONS 13 he also referenced Charlie Stross and Kevin Carson in the same breath – so I feel the idea is in good company.

You can read the whole piece at https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/5bf9407bd010