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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.

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

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.

I'm going to give this a shot! "Sustaining Lake Superior" by Nancy Langston is about a mass effort of and in a time of .

Just finished "The Fall of Gondolin" by . More moved than I expected to do.

Before that "Deus X" by Norman Spinrad was the read. I first read it in high school, dusted it off as a pallet cleanser. A cyberpunk novel musing on the soul of software while the global ecosystem collapses.

"Mission Economy" by Mariana Mazzucato. A call for stakeholder, rather than shareholder .

I finally read "Ghost in the Shell" by Masamune Shirow. The manga basis for the classic 1996 film. Did you know the entire book is available on

I finished reading the Lord of the Rings again. This time around the anti-industrialist, naturalist themes really stood out to me. The evil done to the Shire is industrialization; to win, our heroes end up deconstructing a coal-fired mill and building back a water-powered one.


Just finished "Blackout / All Clear" by Connie Willis! What a monster.

New Read: "Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings" by Peter Kropotkin.

Apparently Kropotkin's writings inspired 's "The Dispossessed". I've been on a Russian Revolution history binge of late, so I'm excited to add this to the mix.

Will the community come out of the woodwork? 😃

"Basic Bakunin", by the Anarchist Federation, is a brief pamplet on the writings of Mikhail Bakunin. A contemporary of Marx - apparently the two agreed about the problems of capitalism but clashed over how to address them. Bakunin inspired Kropotkin (see above in the the thread). Adding to my collection of late 19th-century revolutionary thinkers.

Finished "Russia in Flames" by Laura Engelstein. A history of the Russian civil war. TL;DR? It was brutal.

Currently reading "Building Soil" by Elizabeth Murphy. The principles of building health.


Just finished Jung Chang's "Empress Dowager Cixi". I've never absorbed much Chinese before and this was a pleasure. This gives me a jumping off point, either to go back to the Ching dynasty, or forward, to the revolution.

"Nature's Best Hope" is superb. The author advocates that we grow native species in our yards (and minimize our grass lawns) to provide food for the insect and bird populations we love.

So many of Philip K. Dick's stories are about being trapped and struggling (usually failing) to escape.

Murray Bookchin's "Ecology of Freedom" is supposed to be his magnum opus, I'm just hoping that one of these anarchists (Bookchin, Kropotkin, Bakunin) will eventually tell me what the ideal society actually looks like.

"Parable of the Talents" by Octavia Butler

I've read that a lot of great figures in history had trouble connecting with their children. That part of the story rings true. The Trump-Jarrett parallel was eerie considering this story was written decades ago.

In "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz recounts a colonialist and imperialist history U.S. Americans are not taught in school. Changing things for the better requires one to first understand what is and has been, and this book is a great instrument to educate oneself.

"Environmental Monitoring with " Emily Gertz and Patrick Di Justo

I don't have Arduino, but I've got a bread board and my work has me focusing on tech for the environment. Let's do this!

I'm already in love with "Make: Tools - How They Work and How to Use Them" by Charles Platt

It's essentially a collection of very simple "how to" guides. It feels like a written version of what YouTube tutorials have evolved into, if that makes sense.

Also read "Future home of the Living God" by Louise Eldrich.

Current read is "Glass and Gardens Summers"

The editor, Sarena Ulibarri, introduces the book by explaining how she selected the stories for the anthology. The stories she selected didn't need to be about or to be , "but I tried to choose stories that depict adaptation and compromise rather than destruction and conquest, stories that value empathy and cooperation over greed and competition."

This one is for work - "Cross-Cultural " by Senongo Akpem.

A great tidbit: "Culture has a huge, yet often overlooked, effect on what we consider aesthetically pleasing. It's common for Western designers to point to concepts like rational type systems, clean lines, an absence of decoration, and mathetmatical layout grids as universally 'good' design without realizing that most of those principles originated in the century-old movement."

Finished John Green's "The Anthropocene Reviewed". Really good! Green speaks simply but the words strike hard.

Yes, I inhaled that book. The thing I liked most about it was the optimism. People overcame their problems by being empathetic, vulnerable, by overcoming their flaws, by growing.

It gives me a model for what I can do in my own .

I'm thumbing through a (1903!) volume of Edgar Allen Poe's poems and stories and... I was unaware of this particular facet of Poe's life.

"¡Ya Basta! Ten Years of the Zapatista Uprising, Writings of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos"

...because eventually I need to read about the

"Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth

Book argues that we think of economics wrong. We shouldn't be trying to maximize growth, we should try to improve the minimum standard of living.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
- Buckminster Fuller

Reminds me of that Thomas Kuhn theory of how scientific revolutions happen.

"As the visual literacy expert Lynelle Burmark explains, 'unless our words, concepts and ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out of the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information.... images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched."

"When Adam Smith published 'The Wealth of Nations' in 1776, there were fewer than one billion people alive, and in dollar terms, size of the global economy was three hundred times smaller than it is today. When Paul Samuelson published '' in 1948, there were not yet three billion people on earth, and the global economy was still ten times smaller than it is today."

"In the twenty-first century, we have left behind the era of the 'Empty World' when the flow of energy and matter through the global with small of relation to the capacity of nature's sources and sinks. We live now, says Daly, in 'Full World', with an economy that exceeds Earth's regenerative and absorptive capacity by over-harvesting sources such as fish and forests, and overfilling sinks such as the atmosphere and oceans."

"'As reach into spheres of life traditionally governed by nonmarket norms, the notion that markets don't touch or taint the good sticks change becomes increasingly implausible,' warns Sandel. 'Markets are not mere mechanisms; they embody certain values. And sometimes, market values crowd out nonmarket norms worth caring about.'"

I continue to feel deeply uncomfortable with the interest I see in finding market values for priceless public goods, like air. A functioning biosphere.

"Merely mentioning roles can crowd out our intrinsic motivation. One online survey asked participants to imagine themselves as one among four households facing a water shortage due to a dropped affecting their shared well. Crucially, the survey described the whole scenario in terms of 'consumers' to one half of the participants, and in terms of 'individuals' to the other half. What difference did that single word make?"

"Those labeled 'consumers' reported feeling less personal responsibility to take action unless trust in others to do the same then did those referred to as 'individuals'. Simply thinking like a consumer, it seems, triggers self regarding behavior and divides rather than unites groups were facing a common scarcity."

"Likewise, as part of a forest conservation scheme in Chiapas, Mexico, many farmers are compensated in cash for refraining from cutting their trees, hunting, poaching or expanding their herd of cattle. The more years that they participate in the scheme, however, the more of their stated motivation to conserve the forest becomes financial rather than intrinsic and their readiness for future conservation efforts depends increasingly upon the promise of future payouts."

"In other parts of Chiapas, however, where the forest is managed through community planning and projects, it initially takes longer to generate farmers engagement, but the social capital that they build is far greater and their motivation remain centered on the inherited benefits of long-term conservation. Bringing money into the mix, it seems, can significantly alter our regard for the living world."

"In communities that are low on income but high on social capital, activating norms can have far reaching effects, as researchers in Uganda discovered when they set out to improve rural health care simply by creating a renewed sense of social contract. In 50 districts with poorly performing clinics, they brought local community members together with health center staff to assess current practices and draw up their own agreement setting out the standards that the community expected."

"Each community established a system for monitoring its own local clinic, such as staff duty rosters, suggestion boxes, and numbered waiting room tickets, then posted the monthly results on a public notice board."

"One year on, the quality and quantity of primary health care provided had dramatically improved: 20% More patients were being seen and with shorter waiting times; absenteeism among doctors and nurses had plummeted; and –most strikingly– 33% fewer children under the age of five were dying in those communities. All of this was achieved without fees, fines or a bigger budget. But thanks to the expectations of a social contract, backed up with public accountability."

" features only as a peripheral concern in the world of of equilibrium economics. Given that markets are efficient at rewarding people, goes the theory, then those with broadly similar talents, preferences and initial endowments will end up equally rewarded: any remaining differences must be due to differences in effort, and that provides a spur for innovation and hard work."

"But in the disequilibrium world that we inhabit—where powerful reinforcing feedbacks are in play—virtuous cycles of wealth and vicious cycles of poverty can send otherwise similar people spiralling to opposite ends of the income-distribution spectrum. It's due to what systems experts have come to call the ‘Success to the Successful’ trap, which kicks off when the winners in one round of a game reap rewards that raise their chances of winning again in the next."

"Between 1988 and 2008, the majority of countries worldwide saw riding inequality within their borders, resulting in a hollowing out of their middle classes. Over those same 20 years, global fell slightly overall ... but it increased significantly at the extremes. More than 50 percent of the total increase in global income over that period was captured by just the richest 5 percent of the world's population, while the poorest 50 percent of people gained only 11 percent of it."

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"User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development" by Mike Cohn

Because I need to learn to speak to designers and engineers.

Finished the "Good Omens" (Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman audiobook.

I definitely can see the Gaiman themes (what happens when the supernatural interacts with our world in almost a commonplace way) and Pratchet's humor.

"A Closed And Common Orbit" by Becky Chambers is set in the same universe as "The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet" but follows side characters from the first book.

It took me a while to adjust to the new cast (I was still in love with the old cast!) but once I took a little break and came back to it with a fresh pallet, I really enjoyed it.

Currently reading "Sustainable Web Design" by Tom Greenwood

"We therefore need to think carefully about our use of images on the web. Like everything, we first need to question what value each image in our designs actually brings. Does it help the user to understand something, or is it critical to making the user experience enjoyable? Often the answer is yes, but in the case of stock photography, the answer is probably more commonly no. What is the user really gaining from that photo of a team of twenty-somethings pointing their fingers at a fake graph?"

"Una Kravets blew my mind in her talk “The Joy of Optimizing Images” when she demonstrated how a photograph of a mountain range could be nearly halved in size by blurring the foreground, with almost no noticeable difference to the viewer ( I’ve done the same thing with a photo of a horse, which also reduced the image size by roughly half."

This reminds me of - where the designers dither all the images. It looks classy and it massively reduces the size.


Next fiction book is "Noor" by Nnedi Okorafor!

I hear it's . The first few chapters are "punk" for sure, and most definitely "solar".

I think I'll like it!

Next book is "Ivory Vikings" by Nancy Marie Brown, and it's about the .

In a document from 839, a Frankish author describes the as "haunting the tide". I think that's absolutely metal.

This book makes me want to recover my histories of Baghdad and Chess off my kindle, but they are locked in protected azw files. :(

I think it's crazy that "Noor" by Nnedi Okorafor has been out for 2 months and doesn't even have a basic Wikipedia page.

Help me write one:

"Extensive upfront requirements gathering and documentation can kill a project in many ways. One of the most common is when the requirements document itself becomes a goal. Our requirements document should be written only when it helps achieve the real goal of delivering some software."

"Words, especially when written, are a very thin medium through which to express requirements for something as complex as software. With their ability to be misinterpreted we need to replace written word with frequent conversations between developers, customers, and users. User stories provide us with a way of having just enough written down that we don't forget that we can estimate and plan will also encouraging this time of communication."

It seems like the author is emphasizing the importance of user Stories being the basis of a conversation with developers, rather than solely the substance that the developers work on.

@Argus it's a cracker, as is the follow-up and 3rd (and 4th? can't remember if there's a 4th one) even though they're all only loosely connected. The latest (so far as know) one, Record of a spaceborn few, didn't grab me as strongly, but was still interesting.

@Argus it's clear you read a lot and enjoy sharing. Have you tried @bookwyrm ? It's an #opensource federated book sharing/reviewing platform 📚📒

@davidoclubb @bookwyrm Just discovered it! I really like, it seems to handle the social component better than, say, goodreads.

@Argus @bookwyrm I have an account and I've started to support financially.

Goodreads is an Amazon product 🤬 so I'm delighted to see the open source community with an alternative 🌟👏🙏🦸‍♀️

@Argus @bookwyrm btw your terraso project looks fascinating! Will take a look and see if there's any application for us in #Wales

Kuhn was a bit more real than Fuller. I would follow his advice.

Also, Bucky's domes leaked....

@Argus jg ballard was writing fiction but perhaps this brief blip in psychotronic time is collapsing, and we are headed towards a Drowned World.

@Argus are these quotes from doughnut economics? Really interesting, makes me want to read it.

@Flarnie Yes indeed! And I recommend it. I'm new to economics thinking and I find it very compelling and accessible.

@Argus I think, that the left one looks far better. A constant blur feels like a 240p movie. However, a decent photo editor let's one adjust jpg compression for web in a way, that needs no blurring and still saves a lot of data bandwidth while almot retaining full quality (save for web in Photoshop, quality 71)

I never use these kind of images and my text posts are just text posts. So the following is just devil's advocacy:

That said, I've found that when browsing sites that do have images, it helps me at-a-glance tell pages and browser windows apart, and to remember which pages I've read and which I haven't. It just engages a different part of memory and attention.

"When the #LewisChessmen were carved, the queen moved one space. per turn, and only on the diagonal, or “aslant,” as a thirteenth-century sermon explains, because “women are so greedy that they will take. nothing except by rapine and injustice.” The queen was the weakest piece on the board, even weaker than the king, and Western #chess players had no clue what to do with her. Mostly they kept her close to her king, ready to block a check by a rook."

It turns out our modern version of #chess, with a "mad" queen that can move any number of spaces in any direction, only came about 500 years ago.

"Not until 1497, when Isabella of Castile ruled Spain and its new world colonies, does a chess treatise recognize the queen as the strongest piece on the board."

Next book is Monica Byrne's "The Actual Star", featuring three timelines across 2,000 years. It's beautiful, so far.

I finished "The Actual Star" and I can't stress enough how much my mind is blown.

It is beautiful. I inhaled it. But i'm going to need some time to process it.

You know how you can go through books and give out five star reviews here and there, and then you encounter a beautiful, poignant, delicious story and realize that *this* is what you should have saved the five stars for?

Becky Chambers "A Psalm for the Wild Built" is beautiful, and made me happy. A true five-star-ass five-star of a novella.

#scifibookclub #solarpunk #beckychambers #books #SciFi

Currently on "The Immortal Game: A History of #Chess" by David Shenk

📕 :sunbeam: Next book is "Cities of Light" - a collection of #solarpunk fiction from #ArizonaStateUniversity.

#Ebook available for free!

Stories by: Paolo Bacigalupi, S.B. Divya, Andrew Dana Hudson, Deji Bryce Olukotun

Essays by: Angel L. Echevarria, Robert Ferry, Max Gabriele, Chris Gearhart, Madeline Gilleran, Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Clark A. Miller, Elizabeth Monoian, Yíamar Rivera-Matos, Patricia Romero-Lankao, Joshua Sperling, Alāna Wilson

"Build Your House Around My Body" by Violet Kupersmith is unexpectedly a ghost story.

"A Bigger Picture" by #climate #activist Vanessa Nakate is a book about her fight to advocate for change as a woman, a young person, and a Ugandan.


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