Stephen Downes makes a good point. As ‘content consumers’ we correctly have the expectation that paying for something does not mean reduced advertising. In no medium is that actually the case, so the web isn’t and won’t be different. The issue of adverts on the web isn’t about ads per se. It’s about ad tech, which needs to die. It’s about web ad intermediaries too, who currently ensure there’s no link between me seeing an ad, the site I’m seeing it on knowing it’s there, and the actual money going to that site. There should however be such a link between the adverts shown on a site and the site knowing that, and the money flowing as direct as possible between advertiser and site. Advert intermediaries (deemed necessary because of their ad tech expertise) purposefully make the connection between me and the medium opaque to all but the advert intermediary. The problem with web ads isn’t ads.

I find I enjoy the process of self hosting my old presentations much more than I had expected. I expected the transition being a chore, but it turns out it is not.

Last September I quit using Slideshare and created a way to host my own slidedecks myself. I had 132 presentations in my personal slideshare account, and a similiar number in my company’s account. Migrating them into my own set-up seemed like a daunting chore. I resolved to take my time for it, to spread out the work load.

I first created a list of presentations that I embedded in this website at the time, containing 55 slide decks. In that list I marked those that I currently think are still relevant, or that I regard as important to me at the time, or that in hindsight turned out to contain something that gained more significance in my work afterwards. Then I started to manually add those prioritised slide decks to my self hosted collection (tonz.nl for Dutch slides, tonz.eu for non-Dutch slides), at most one per day.

Unexpectedly this is fun to do. Because I do not just upload slides, but add links to my blogposts about the talk at the time, a video etc, I sort-of revisit the conference in question. Sometimes rewatching my own talk, sometimes going through the slides of other presenters at the same event or watching their videos. It resurfaces old ideas I forgot about but still find useful, and it results in new associations and thoughts about the topics I discussed in those talks. Leading to new notes and ideas now. It also shows me there is a consistency in my work that isn’t always obvious to me, and it surfaces the evolutionary path of some of my ideas and activities. That makes it worthwile to bring these slides home. Like reassembling an old photo album whose pictures slipped out because the glue became too old.

De Open State Foundation en SETUP lanceren de SOS Tech Awards gericht op transparantie en verantwoordelijkheid in de digitale samenleving.

De Glass & Black Box Awards gaan over openheid en transparantie. De Dode & Levende Mussen Award gaan over verantwoordelijkheid nemen na technologische missers, en de mate waarin bedrijven en overheden niet alleen excuus aanbieden maar ook echt hun handelen aanpassen. De genomineerden worden in de komende weken bekend gemaakt. De SOS Tech Awards worden op dinsdag 23 maart 2021 uitgereikt via een livestream vanuit de centrale Bibliotheek Utrecht.

(In het kader van transparantie: ik ben bestuurslid bij de Open State Foundation)

It’s from 2017 but I just came across it, and it made me laugh: Ramsey Nassr’s Dialogue 3D, a fork of Wolfenstein 3D that asks you ethical questions. Nassr writes “a dialog box prompts players with ethical questions about violence against Nazis whenever they try to attack” although “that the Nazis continue to attack while the dialog box is open renders the game generally unplayable“.

In my university years I played this MS-DOS game Wolfenstein 3D, the original first person shooter in 3d, a lot when it came out in the early 90’s. Right when I and my friends were on the verge of getting bored with the original, some fellow students one apartment tower block down the road created a level-editor for Wolfenstein. Then we started recreating our student housing in Wolfenstein, changing med kits for crates of the locally brewed Grolsch beers and switching the hanging skeletons to Big Bird in blue. Why Big Bird? Because we once found a very large stuffed Big Bird, which in the Dutch version of Sesame Street is blue. We clothed it with a neat tie and hung it from the ceiling in our apartment. A few years later our student union moved to a new building, and the guy leading the design effort used the Wolfenstein level editor to create the proposed spaces in 3d and ‘show us around’ at the student union’s general assembly when we voted on the plans.

Though primary schools are re-opening today, Y’s school didn’t. While I was hoping to be able to get some work done today, I’m spending the day playing in the snow with Y. E is in video calls all day so we can’t share the time. Hopefully Y can go to school tomorrow, as she’s been looking forward to it enormously, and was rather disappointed this morning. Just before 7am she came to me (I usually start working at 6) all fired up ‘I’m going to school’, and then I had to tell her a late night e-mail came explaining that the school would still be closed today.