Most tech are frustratingly incapable of predicting the future, and 2006's 2.0 is no exception. But it holds up better than many, and identifies four key themes still relevant today: - by states, and by code - competing , and latent ambiguity.

Next book is "Thinking in Systems", by Donella H. Meadows, because eventually I'll have to back up all my mutterings about "self-reinforcing behaviors".

Next book is "Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can", edited by Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti of the Sunrise Movement. A collection of essays by environmentalists and policy folks.

Next read is "Concrete Economics" by Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong.

First book from the reading list.

I finished "The Power" by Naomi Alderman today.

I didn't enjoy the read, but it was thought provoking. The central thesis of the book seemed to be, "our society is based on power, and if women were stronger than men we would see the same oppressive dynamics we see now, reversed."

That's a grim thought.

Next book is The Entrepreneurial State, by Mariana Mazzucato.

I'm going to try not to overdo it with the social notes. It's a library book due back soon, and I'm not sure writing down everything helps me absorb the content.

Still, I'm excited to dive into another book.

This pretty little number is my next read, the Verso Book of Dissent.

Thanks to @mayel for the recommendation. I think I have a different edition, but it still looks good.

I didn't realize when i bought it that the book was written 2006, but I'm still pretty interested to read "Producing Open Source Software," by Karl Fogel.

I just joined an software company and I have a lot to learn.

Next read: I've got the audiobook of Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments". Figured I'd intersperse the heavy stuff with *some* fiction.

Next (current) read: if Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin

Just finished the Tombs of Atuan by . The whole thing, cover to cover, on . The Internet rules.

Next book is "City at World's End" by Edmond Hamilton, a 1950s book hosted on .

Thus far, it's classic 1950s fare. A square-jawed team of white man scientists are flung into the far future along with their town. The local government is weak, the women are frail and must be protected.

For all that the premise is interesting - reminds me of "The Night Land" and "The City and the Stars" - post post post apocalypse cities surviving on doomed worlds.

Next read is "The Buried Giant," by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Post-Aurthurian legend where nobody can form long term memories.

Next read is Andrew Krivak's "The Bear". A father- daughter post-apocalypse tale.

Next Read is "Kiss The Ground" by Josh Tickell.

I started a job in October trying to help farmers (and other people living on the land) practice . We've got to store that and save the world.

More of an essay than a book, but my next read is "Making Kin with the Machines" by Jason Edward Lewis, Noelani Arista, Archer Pechawis, and Suzanne Kite.

Next book is "Let It Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting" by Stu Campbell.

Is it me, or does Kim Stanley Robinson really like the name "Frank"?

Gini coefficient - measure of wealth inequality.

I think stories at their best are tales of individuals, their lives twisting together in a series of vignettes that end up making a whole. Punctuated interludes to add depth, or character.

Ministry for the Future feels more interested in the interludes, and less on the characters. This time around there are two protagonists, and a lot more disussion of trends or ideas.

I'm burning through it, and loving it. Just thinking through how KSR is changing over time.

"'...But what should we be telling national governments to fund now?'

Bob said, 'Set increasingly stringent standards for carbon emissions across the six biggest emitting sectors, and pretty soon you're in carbon negative territory and working your way back to 350.'

'The six biggest emitters being?'

'Industry, transport, land use, buildings, transportation, and cross-sector.'

'Cross sector?'

'Everything not in the other five. The great miscellaneous.'

'So those six would be enough.'..."

"'Yes. REduce those six in the ten biggest economies, and you're hitting eight-five percent of all emissions. Get the G20 to do it, and its essentially everything.'

'And how do you get reductions in those six sectors?'"...

"Eleven policies would get it done, they all told her. Carbon pricing, industry efficiency standards, land use policies. industrial process emissions regulations, complementary power sector policies, renewable portfolio standdards, complementary power sector policies, building codes and appliance standards, fuel economy standards, better urban transport, vehicle electrification, and freebates..."

Never let anyone tell you that fiction can't teach!

Loving Ministry for the Future. Kurdistan gets its independence! Carbon coins gain confidence. A mass transition to sustainable agriculture!

It also driving me a little crazy. I can see our ship turning, but too slow. Can we wake up fast enough?

Yay! Excited to get into "All We Can Save" by @ayanaeliza and Katherine K. Wilkinson

The introduction starts with Eunice Netwon Foote - the first woman in whose paper, "Circumstances Affecting the Heat of Sun's Rays", presented in 1856 (165 years ago!) was the first to link to atmosphere temperatures.

"Female legislators more strongly support environmental laws - and stricter laws at that. When parliaments have greater representation of women, they are more likely to ratify environmental treaties. When women participate equally with men, climate policy interventions are more effective. At a national level, higher political and social status for correlated with lower carbon emissions and great creation of protected land areas."

"We want to tip toward life. While it is too late to save everything - some ecological damage is irreparable, some species are already gone, ice has already melted, lived have already been lost - it is far to too soon to give up on the rest."

Xiye Bastida is a youth activist with some times for being a activist. Some highlights:

"1. Don't start from scratch. There are hundreds of existing inititative that you can join."

This one strikes a chord with me. Alone, you can only accomplish so much. In a group, the group's success is your success and visa versa.

"4. Make your activism ; include all stakeholders in your decisionmaking, and don't tokenize."

"At events you hold, invite peoples to do the land acknowledgements, and remember that Indigenous knowledge is the foundation for addressing the ."

The more I learn, the more I learn this is true. So much of what I read is pointing to the fact that Indigenous practices for safeguarding the soil and and water should be the model.

In "Reciprocity", Jenine Benyus writes about how the scientific consensus regarding the relationship between trees has changed over the years. Early in the 20th century the dominant paradigm was "cooperative-community theory", a concept championed by Frederic Clements. According to Clements, trees cooperated as well as competed with each other, facilitating each others growth, sharing resources, etc.

Tragically, the idea that plants cooperated with each other fell out of favor - perhaps, in the 1950s, it smacked too much of communism, even in scientific circles. (Also, apparently ecologists had "physics envy" and wanted to be able to study trees as complete, separate individuals.) At any rate, says Benyus, the scientific community viewed trees as competitors, and even went so far as to recommend policies where tress would be felled, supposedly to support "healthy" ecosystems.

"Discoveries about the connected nature of mutualists," says Benyus, "have vast implications for forestry, conservation, and agriculture in a warming world. Although 80 percent of all land plants have roots that grow in association with mycorrhizae fungi, it's rare to find thriving ... networks in agricultural fields. Plowing disturbs the cobwebby network, and the year-on-year addition of artificial nitrogen and phosphor fertilizers tell bacterial and fungal helpers they are no longer needed..."

"... not needed for water transport or pest defense, not need to absorb the micronutrients our bodies long for. It's time to bring the wood-wide web to farmlands."

In "Indigenous Prophecy and Mother Earth", Sherri Mitchell discusses how native traditions and knowledge are not just applicable, but vital for the modern world.

I frequently think of conservative commentator Tucker Carlson asking, "how precisesly is diversity our strength?". Mitchell's response describes the benefits that emerge from a diverse society.

" fosters social coherence, creating more stable and harmonious relational networks, which in turn lead to more stable and harmonious societies. Additionally, the more diverse a group or community, the greater the perspectives and innnovations that arise and the greater the success for all. Human diversity is just as critical to society as is to an ecosystem, without it there can be no healthy functioning."

"The United States is a nation of scarcity, and increasingly so. Seventy-eight percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. As of 2018, about 40 percent of Americans could not afford an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt or having to sell off their possessions. About 25% of Americans skipped necessary medical care because they couldn't afford it."

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

"If we do not counter this scarcity, how will we build anything but a society of fortresses as the planet continues to warm?"

"...the world's richest 1 percent have carbon footprints that are 175 times higher than the poorest 10%." - Régine Clément

"The failure of the market economy to price so-called externalities, such as the positive impacts of greenhouse gases, should lead us to question the limitations of how we measure financial performance."

In "A Field Guide for Transformation", Leah Stokes argued that our focus should be on structural, rather than individual, reform on reducing emissions.

"The goal is not self-purification but structural change. As Bill McKibben has put it: "Changing the System, not perfecting our own lives, is the point. 'Hypocrisy ' us the price of admission to this battle.""

"We can feel fear and grief and anger – we can even feel avoidant sometimes – and still attend to the world's very real and immediate needs."

Show newer

Next read, this time with the kiddo. "We Are The Water Protectors"

Beautiful illustrations. The right story.

The , , and Working Group (EDIWG) at , published a white paper called "Ethical Exploration and the Role of Planetary Protection in Disrupting Colonial Practices" and it calls for incorporating practices as we explore other worlds.

"Ethical considerations must be prioritized in the formation of planetary protection policy. The choices we make in the next decade of space exploration will dictate the future of humanity’s presence on other worlds, with the potential to impact the environments we interact with on timescales longer than the human species has existed. We should make these choices consciously and carefully, as many will be irreversible, especially those pertaining to how we interact with...extraterrestrial life."

The authors did not come to play. This is, I remind you, a document:

"What we call 'is the culmination of a process that began with the constitution of America and the colonial/modern Eurocentered as a new global power.' The result is a world where political and economic systems, namely , prioritize profit over human welfare, producing an environmental crisis and vast inequalities further compounded by ."

On mechanism of settler is, say the writers, is Biological Contamination and Ecological Devastation.

"Settler colonial dominance can be described 'as violence that disrupts human relationships with the environment,' a framework that allows us to clearly see how coloniality continues to enact violence on Indigenous lives as well as many other communities through pollution and other environmentally-related effects."

Colonial expansion reduced the population of the Americas by 90%.

"Biological contamination is not a politically neutral or accidental phenomenon and will always have an effect in the environment in which it is taking placea mongst all actors involved – both human and nonhuman. This is true for both forward and backward contamination in missions to other planetary bodies."

"In the unlikely, but potentially disastrous scenario of backwards contamination, we must also reflect on how structural racism allowed the pandemic to disproportionately impact and communities. It is crucial that the planetary science community, with community input, take the opportunity before uncrewed and crewed exploration of other worlds to think ecologically – and seek to equitably address the consequences of our presence on these other worlds."


Another historical (and present) mechanism for settler colonialism:

"Race Science: Western science built the lie of racial difference that became a core justification underlying colonial expansion, the slave trade, and genocide against Indigenous peoples. White supremacy is a key aspect of almostall other forms of colonial violenceand race science is fundamental to its logic to this day."

"Commodification and Appropriation of Land and Resource Extraction: The commodification of land through extractive practices has led to significant disruption of the ecosystems that Indigenous communities rely upon for their livelihoods. Examples of extractive exploitation and colonialism abound; while many people in the US think only of the gold rush, mining of rare minerals in Central and South America and Africa incentivize and continue to accelerate colonial expansion even today."

"Agricultural practices throughout the colonial world have been and continue to be damaging, transforming environments and destroying human lives and cultures. From cotton fields in the American south to sugar plantations and rubber tappers in Brazil, the combination of land and people as property was key to the generation of wealth that built up the Western world."

"The field of planetary science and space exploration in the present day is not divorced from these practices, and both existing and planned space infrastructure continue to encroach upon land. This is often justified by falsely framing opposition to such encroachments as "obstructions" to "the future.""

"For example, construction of the Thirty Meter atop has begun despite opposition from many Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiians), who note that previous astronomy development atop Mauna Kea has already had substantial adverse effects."

@Argus looking forward to hearing how you like it! I might want to propose it for #SFFBookClub

@michel_slm It looks to be on the long side for #SFFBookClub , but it does sound interesting!

@naga @michel_slm Funny, it was just removed from the list of options because only one person voted for it. #SFFBookclub

@chiraag Thank you! That's a great idea, to link directly to the publisher. I'll try doing that in future posts.

This is where Patrick Whitefield comes into the mix with the idea of wooded permaculture.

@onepict that sounds great. Can you recommend something I should read?

@Argus @onepict
@Argus @onepict
Yeah, soils that are regularly cultivated tend to have a much lower diversity / frequency of micro organisms

Fungi is often very low - suffers from ploughing/cultivation & also chemicals (eg. non organic wheat is sprayed with fungicides multiple times while growing)

Fungi, bacteria & archaea are primary decomposers, protozoa feed on these, or other protozoa & so on.

A load of stuff about forest gardens on the web
Some classic books

@Argus @onepict
Dipped into a few of them but the only things I've read cover to cover are

Robert Harts booklet - The Forest Garden -Institute for Social Inventions
which I got inspired by back in 1995

& about 10 years ago I read Tree Crops, published in 1929 (revised 1952) that makes a good case for more trees for food & fodder

People also talk highly of Edible Forest Gardens, Volume 1: Ecological Vision and Theory for Temperate Climate Permaculture
(and Volume 2)

That's really interesting. My department's climate is changing to a drier climate to the south. So it's going to be interesting seeing what to cultivate. I need to get more rain reclaimation and storage as well.

@dazinism @Argus @onepict

also in my region and SE England a lot of public or semi public areas such as parks, school fields, uni campus are treated with some harsh chemical to actively destroy mycelium below the ground - this is ostensibly to prevent "nuisance mushrooms" for aesthetics, but I suspect a big factor is also to discourage harvesting of psilocybin containing ("magic") mushrooms by teenagers and young adults following binge use of them by school age teens in the 2000s..

It's annoying when you see measures like that to stop a problem. Like when they introduced the mixo to rabbits. There needs to be more education focusing on local ecosystems.
@dazinism @Argus


it coincides with the Internet being used to make identifying the shrooms easier - although there isn't a real risk of confusing UK psilocybin containing species with highly toxic variants, it was easy to harvest inedible but similar looking ones which just gave the user an upset stomach - and a subsequent change in the law around 2005 making even the fresh mushrooms class A (although that was caused more by their deliberate growing and sale over the Internet) >>

@dazinism @Argus


it seems many Councils realised that clued up teens would soon discover psilocybin mushrooms were abundant in our country (ironically they once grew very well on school and college fields!) and it was impossible to take down the sites showing what the correct ones looked like (previously books about mushrooms would often list them as "toxic and dangerous" to try and discourage harvesting)

@dazinism @Argus

Show newer

Ooh those look interesting. I'm trying to not buy books atm as half of my books are still in boxes until I build more bookshelves.

@dazinism @Argus
Although I can list them and I may well get them as presents, I got a root cellaring book for Christmas along with a couple of other books.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!