Open Coops: Federated API Introduction

I’m going to try and talk pretty quickly, so that there’s time to discuss from the floor. I hoped for mini-unconference format, but the seating etc. doesn’t allow it, so we’ll have to go with something more conventional.

Me, studied chemistry at Imperial, spent about 40 years in IT and currently a philosophy undergrad at Birkbeck. Worked with Michael Linton in about 2005, resulting in cclite, which currently fits on a Raspberry Pi, Bank in a Box

So I see two problems in platform coop world that could do with thought, discussion and technical experimentation. They are:

1. Give, Open food networks, Open cycle etc there are connection and supply chain opportunities to federate. Simple example cargo-bike delivery for something from a local food coop. More complex, search, production and delivery of some 3d printed component, 3dhub does this pretty well in commercial space for example.

2. And this is dealt with somewhat in some of the other sessions, transfer of value and clearing operations for these eco-systems. There are some quite successful examples Sardex and the WIR for example. I’m an old fashioned social credit person, but we may have to deal with interconnected systems that have different financial philosophies too. I’m not a big fan of ‘one ring to rule them all’, there’s a lot of safety in diversity.

3. There’s a lot of layers, ontology layers (what things and operations exist), pure protocol choices (REST and (ugh) SOAP), versioning, discovery, security and ‘intimate details’. I think it will probably turn out to be ‘rough consensus and running code’ leading to standards rather than pages of imposed standards.

Michael Linton has publish an Open Money API and there’s currently a Web Payments API, these may be examples of ‘where to start’ or not.

OK, that’s it, I hope that’s provocative if not immediately useful.

Noham: A thought experiment

I’ll have to write a long essay (it’s somewhat pretentious to call it a dissertation) as part of my final year at Birkbeck. If the powers that be agree, I’m going to base it on this essay that I wrote in 2016, some of it has already ‘come true’, like the (in)famous William Gibson quote.

When I’ve finished it’ll probably be less like this and more like a Socratic dialogue. Comments welcome, you (probably) know where to find me, not on FB, anyway.

This is an update with a list of references at the end of the document and these are now clickable links.


Science Fiction Booklist

I seem to have deleted my first version of this so:

The Futurological Congress
Stanislaw Lem, a hidden gem

Tik-Tok a psychopathic robot

Keep the Giraffe Burning
I love the story with the 300 word Ladybird vocabulary

The Complete Roderick
probably related to Voltaire’s Candide, funny and finally sad

The Demolished Man
First cyberpunk novel, in my opinion

The Stars My Destination
very famous but I like this less

Philip K Dick:
A hero for my generation 20 years before Blade Runner:
The Ganymede Takeover
wow, this is collectable now, not many people know about it. It would make a great film too. With him is Ray Nelson
who wrote the story that became: They Live

Roger Zelazny:
Lord of Light probably one of my all-time favourites

Walter M Miller:
A Canticle for Leibowitz
again this is forgotten now

Kurt Vonnegut:
Player Piano this book is becoming more and more relevant, I love this as well:
Cat’s Cradle

Frederick Pohl:
The Space Merchants
another set of accurate predictions
Gladiator at Law
more stuff that’s true now

Ursula LeGuin
The Left Hand of Darkness another all time favourite

Short Talk on Boycott

Here’s a short talk I gave to the Birkbeck Philosophy Society last year. I’m very happy to see the NRA thing going so well and believe that boycott is one of our remaining tools, but, possibly a very potent one. Anyway, enough already, share and enjoy! Here’s the pdf:  boycott

Platform Cooperatives and Anarchism

This is the second draft of a talk I gave on 25th November 2017 to the Anarchist Research Group in London. Currently, I’m thinking about it as a ‘living document’, so it will probably get updated in a month or two as a response to criticisms and areas of discussion that have opened up.

Thanks to everyone that has contributed, so far. I think you all know who you are.  See below for the download link to the pdf.


Tokyo Days

Down to my last couple of days in Tokyo, a great visit. I spent some of today before the rain on a minor suburban adventure to visit Shimo-kitazawa: a sort-of nicer Camden, now menaced, as usual by development.

Had lunch in a cafe set to the Stone’s music at about the time of Altamont, Gimme Shelter, I know it’s not real but pleasant to bathe in some of those previous days. Kids cycling around with solid guitar cases strapped on their backs too.

Back to London on Wednesday, just my fairly minimal Japanese is beginning to function too.