Gisteren is de Stichting ActivityClub opgericht en ingeschreven. De stichting vormt het onderdak voor mastodon.nl. Maar het doel van de stichting is breder: “het duurzaam stimuleren, ontwikkelen en onderhouden van de organisatorische en technische aspecten van publieke (sociale) netwerken gebaseerd op onder andere het ActivityPub-protocol, zoals Mastodon, Pixelfed en PeerTube, in het Nederlands taalgebied

Als onderdak voor mastodon.nl kunnen donaties voor het onderhoud van mastodon.nl aan de stichting worden overgemaakt, in plaats zoals tot nu toe aan een privérekening. En voor plannen om ook andere ActivityPub toepassingen aan te bieden is nu ook plek.

Zodat er voor het publiek bruikbare sociale platformen zijn die ook op een publiek controleerbare manier worden onderhouden.

Samen met Eelco Maljaars (voorzitter) en Mike Dell (secretaris) vorm ik (penningmeester) het oprichtingsbestuur. De stichting is uiteraard non-profit, en bestuurders kunnen niet worden betaald.

Bookmarked Opening Space to Remember Harrison Owen by Nancy White

The originator of the Open Space technology, Harrison Owen, died March 16th. I am very grateful to Harrison Owen, as Open Space has been a key element throughout my working life in the past two decades. Open Space has allowed me to collaboratively set the conditions at various events for interaction in a way that fosters inclusion, allows all present to be heard, and works towards outcomes that are carried by all involved. You can find resources on Open Space at Openspaceworld.org. I first encountered Open Space as a format in January 2004, and was immediately convinced of its value. Since then I’ve facilitated it in a huge variety of sessions, that included our BlogWalk series 2004-2008, many conference side-events, Barcamps, IndieWeb camps, and the birthday unconferences E and I have hosted over the years. At times opening and especially closing the space can be an emotional experience. “Coming down to earth from creating and surfing the group’s collective energy and shared attention, from weaving the tapestry of the experience togetheras I wrote two years ago.

…the person who birthed OST, Harrison Owen, who passed away earlier this month…

Nancy White


One of the guidelines of Open Space posted on the wall in our living room as nudge and reminder for the participants of our Working on Stuff That Matters birthday unconference in 2010.

A little over a decade ago I was at a small conference, where I happened to share the stage with a British lawyer, Polly Higgins, seeking to internationally criminalise ‘ecocide’, alongside various other speakers. One of those others was a self declared rationalist running a data driven research start-up with billionaire funding. He believed the trickle down innovation trope that usually ends in pulling up the ladder behind them, which can be readily found around all things tech-singularity. And he called himself a futurist. After the talks we as speakers stood on and in front of the stage chatting about the things that had been presented. The futurist, addressing me and one other speaker, chuckled that ‘that eco-lady’ had a nice idea but a naive unrealistic and irrational one that obviously had zero probability of happening. At the time I found it jerkish and jarring, not least given the guys’s absence of expertise in the fields concerned (environment and international law). It’s one of the key moments I remember from that conference, as the condescending remark so strongly clashed with the rest of the event and atmosphere.

Meanwhile we’re some 10 years into the future of that conference. The futurist’s efforts collapsed soon after the conference it seems and there are no recent online traces of him. Polly Higgins is no longer alive, but her cause has very much outlived her. On 26 March the final step in the legislative path of a renewed Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law has been taken, when the Council of the EU formally approved the text agreed (last November) with the European Parliament. In that new ecocrimes directive preamble 21 uses the phrase ecocide to describe specific crimes covered in the Directive (PDF).

Criminal offences relating to intentional conduct listed in this Directive can lead to catastrophic results, such as widespread pollution, industrial accidents with severe effects on the environment or large-scale forest fires. Where such offences cause the destruction of, or widespread and substantial damage which is either irreversible or long-lasting to, an ecosystem of considerable size or environmental value or a habitat within a protected site, or cause widespread and substantial damage which is either irreversible or long-lasting to the quality of air, soil, or water, such offences, leading to such catastrophic results, should constitute qualified criminal offences and, consequently, be punished with more severe penalties than those applicable in the event of other criminal offences defined in this Directive. Those qualified criminal offences can encompass conduct comparable to ‘ecocide’, which is already covered by the law of certain Member States and which is being discussed in international fora.

Good work barrister Higgins, and the Stop Ecocide organisation.


A photo taken by Polly Higgins of me as we had fun together driving an all electric ‘motor bike’ around the venue’s hallways at that conference in 2013.

Polly Higgins about to take the e-chopper for a spin through the venue.

In my line of work I need to regularly type the word data. I need to equally regulary type the word date. Or datum in Dutch for date, which coincidentally is also the singular for data.

My fingers often choose the wrong ending while writing. A date ends up as data, and data ends up as date. For the phrase ‘open data’ I solved that by adding an Alfred snippet ‘.od’ which expands into it. This prevents me from ever writing open date.

Today I noticed that a template in Obsidian I had tweaked yesterday threw error messages. I looked at it several times before I noticed my mistake. Where I should have typed date, I had typed data.

I now added additional snippets to Alfred. .d will expand into data. /d will become date, and .D will be datum. (/D I use already and expands into Digital Transformation)

From this data forward I will not mistype date 😉

Favorited The Making of “This Box is for Good” by Peter Rukavina

We received one of these lovely boxes in the mail just before New Year. Such a fantastic project, and what an enormous amount of work, over multiple weeks. Peter’s description of the iterative process and how the process leads to design choices along the way is a gift in itself.

I’m currently reading The Notebook, A History of Thinking on Paper by Roland Allen, which I coincidentally had sent to Peter as a gift before Christmas. In it Luca Pacioli spends a year in Paganini‘s printshop to get the Summa published, in Venice 1494. Let’s just say that several weeks is Renaissance style.

Peter and Lisa intend the boxes to be (re)filled with something and then to be given to someone else. A paying it forward process, that comes with a website to register each recipient. I’ve registered ‘our’ box, as we will soon hand it over later this week.

And, of course, every box needed to be printed with two lino blocks, one for each side. It was a process that spread out over almost two weeks.

All told, each box was printed seven times: one side each with lino-block, then four separate letterpress-printed messages on different parts of the box, and a final numbering run for the unique box numbers. …

Our hope is that boxes get received, refilled, passed on, many times; we built a little website (a Google Form, for now) to allow people to register their box number, so that we can follow their journeys around the world. …

I can say with some assurance that I have never been involved in a collaboration—artistic, logistic, design, spirit—as connected as this one was. Lisa and I can both rightfully attest that what emerged from our collaboration was something that neither of us could have arrived at individually. It was a joyful, intimate exercise in creativity. One we hope to repeat over and over.

Peter Rukavina

The Watsonville Chevrolet car dealership just wrote me a python script to calculate π. I have no idea where Watsonville is, or which one of several in the USA it is, but their website also helped clarify how to deal with red wine stains.

Some companies are adding ChatGPT to their website marketing chatbots. Found via Chris White, it’s clear that not in all cases the boundaries of such bots are well defined. Perhaps because they are directly connected to OpenAI’s service, and only prompted to behave ‘like a car dealer’, rather than specifically trained and isolated instances.

I engaged the chatbot and didn’t want to directly prompt it with something off-topic. I asked about a car, and then built on whatever the bot generated in response. My attempts to take it away from the topic of cars (towards Santa’s sleigh having more advanced tech features than Chevrolet and the infotainment systems the bot praised) didn’t bring much. The bot then aimed to end the conversation, which is when it gave me an opening….

It ended politely with ‘Is there anything else I can assist you with?‘. ‘Anything’ you say?

Why yes, thank you for asking! There is. You can. I’d like a python script to approach the number π in at least 100 decimals.
Which it wrote for me. “Certainly!”

And then it ended politely once more with “If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!”
Sure thing, ChevroGPT. How about removing red wine stains? Any tips?

Which it again concluded with ‘any other questions?’….

There’s no need to pay for your own ChatGPT4 account, just find a website that uses it to create a marketing bot.