We need to stop it.

“We’re waiting on specs for the San Francisco installation. Can you parallel-path two versions?”

Good grief … I think Molly Young is channelling me.

… at the very bottom, customer service. Which, by the way, has been rechristened “customer support” or “customer experience” at most companies — as though the word service might remind the college graduates recruited for these roles that they will in fact spend their days pacifying irritable consumers over phone, chat, text, and email. 

As you know – Language is one of the People First pillars.

I have no reason to write more on this article – it only becomes a block to you reading it yourself.

Abolish Big Data

A talk that argues that most of the big data is being used to screw us and mentions data trusts as a possible solution. Data trusts are an immature concept but worth considering because it’s one approach to decentralizing governance. Until we figure out data governance principles that are transparent and contextual to specific communities we should limit data aggregation by default and focus on personal agents and other fiduciaries.

Adrian Gropper – in a recent group email.

It is interesting because on the same day I received these words from a friend and occasional colleague Daniel Szuc after he received my newsletter declaring Data is Energy.

Energy is energy.
Climate is a result of energy misused.
Environment is the outcome.
What are the impacts on our environment today, inside people and in the outside environment people live in?
What contributes to the health or toxicity of the environment?
Data, understood deeply, should be used to contribute to the healthy environment … yet … how is it being used today?

Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong

The answer, of course, is exactly what Adrian expressed above.

It is being used to screw us.

I am working through Daniel’s words and what they mean in more detail – and will come back to them at a later stage.

I think that is the opportunity and in five years time we’ll know whether we got the mega-corporations holding my identity or whether we managed to take it back.

Ian Grigg – October 2015.

The five years are just about up and I think if the ‘megacorps’ have not won – they are about to. Is it too late?

Three years ago he wrote: Identity is an edge protocol, and not a nodal protocol. (pdf)

Imagine, turning around to a lawyer, an accountant, a doctor and telling them that they weren’t going to be paid.

Dear Lawyer

I listened to your advice – but I am not going to use it – so I don’t owe you.

Wrote no one ever.

So why does that happen to designers, creators, writers et al?

… Long Live Capitalism.

Here’s a snippet from a long-form interview of Yvon Chouinard in Fast Company.

Yvon Chouinard

Question : In the past, you consulted with folks at large companies, such as Walmart, and came away not so convinced of their actual ability to pursue sustainability. If we’re looking to create a better version of capitalism, what do you think should be done with publicly traded companies?

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Over here I share a lot of Gaping Void’s work. Hugh Macleod more often than not nails it. But this one needed a comment.

if it’s not a job, you are not an artist.

Boom! That’s the way it works, for anyone in the innovation or creative business. History decides what is ‘art’, history decides what is ‘important’ …

Meanwhile, you’re just doing your job, you’re just showing up, trying to be a pro, you’re just trying to be a grownup, you’re just trying to get paid.

Hugh Mcleod – Gaping Void

Whilst I don’t disagree that ‘history’ decides what is important – Hugh of all people knows that ‘history’ is not neutral. An example would be that ‘History’ for the longest time did not recognize art that came from (say) Africa, because we ‘superior’ Westerners were writing off thousands and thousands of years of ‘art’ – because it didn’t fit into our Western sensibilities and so classified the art into Natural History Museums.

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The following post comes courtesy of John T. Maloney, who sent me an email reply to one of my newsletters and it just was too good not to share. Thankyou John. Nicely delivered.

The ‘gig economy’ is dopey. Always had a problem w/the term.

For me, a gig is a trident tip spear used for gigging. Period.

Growing up in rural and coastal Connecticut, from April to November, gigging was a principal pastime. We’d go after anything gigable, but mostly bullfrogs and flounder. It was very effective. 

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Doc Searls, Godfather of The VRM/Me2B Movement observed recently that he writes on 4 (what amount to) personal blogs … which made me feel a lot better about myself. In that same post he wrote;

Bigger than all four of those blogs is Linux Journal, where I wrote a great deal, including what amounted to blog posts on its website, for 25 years. That ended when Linux Journal ceased business in August. Also, as of today the entire site, with all its archives, is offline, erasing a third to a half of what I’ve written online so far.

Doc Searls

Think about that …. a third to a half of what you have written online is suddenly not available. And you wonder why I write articles like this.

The Scream ....

It’s a cautionary tale because Doc (who’s final position at Linux Journal was Editor in Chief) might reasonably have expected that whoever owned Linux Journal wouldn’t suddenly remove it from public view.

Rule Number One : When it comes to your IP trust no one. Keep your articles and writing in a place that you have access to and control.

Rule Number Two : There is no Rule Number Two.


On a side note, but keeping the theme of Doc … he recently published the links to the last three posts on the VRM Blog. They are good reads.

People are the real edge

We’re not data. We’re digital. Let’s research that.

What law might clear the way for VRM development?

Counting both noun and verb forms, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lists and defines thirteen separate ‘gigs’. 

‘A flighty, giddy girl’ was where it all started and then ‘spin’, ‘whirl’, ‘whirligig’, ‘fool’, giggle and ‘joke’ are all in one way or associated with the word. Even when you get up to the 18th century where it meant ‘light one-horse carriage’, its origin might be ..

perhaps based on the ‘bouncing, whirling’ sense of the earlier ‘gig’.

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