Next week is the final working week of the year, and it feels like a final dash on the last length.

The past days I

  • Worked on a data governance improvement project
  • Prepared two presentations for next week
  • Worked on a transparency measurement framework
  • Had a meeting on e-participation
  • Formally joined the board of an NGO, more in the coming days
  • Thought about finding useful automation opportunities in my work routines
Liked Company of One – Why staying small is the next big thing in business. by Frank Meeuwsen
"The real key to richer and more fulfilling work could be to not create and scale something into a massive corporation, but rather, to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one."

Pre-ordered for next month. This is something that I’ve been engaging with for 10 years. At one hand I’d like colleagues/staff to speed things up, but it also always increases your needs. Having employees is a relentless responsibility. Networked working prevents those additional needs, but usually also has less effect in increasing speed and versatility, as the connections create more overhead than in the case of employees. I’ve seen peers find themselves with dozens of staff, and no longer doing the stuff they love. I’ve seen individuals struggle to keep moving for lack of impulses that a ‘normal’ company would provide. Now, the blurb and preface of this book reads as someone able to ditch a lot of hassle because of privilege, and trying to turn an individual experience into a theory and ascribe outcomes to one’s own individual ability to act. (And then there’s the awful, red flag like, up-sell to ‘take my course’ after you order the book) Whereas context and your starting position matter a lot. Not all of us can afford a move to beautiful Vancouver Island. But the trajectory is very familiar. My friend Robert Paterson left the banking world for PEI and working from home, and found that it greatly also reduced the cost of living as many expected behaviours or symbols of status in a city and in the banking world no longer applied to him. Reducing the level that is ‘enough’ to somewhere much more manageable. There are many more like that in my peer network as well. So I am at least curious.

Elmine deed onlangs iemand een Rijkswachter cadeau en voegde daar bovenstaand gedicht bij.

De Rijkswachters zijn houten robotjes gemaakt van de kisten waarin, tijdens de tien jaar durende verbouwing van het Rijksmuseum, de collectie opgeslagen was. Tijdens de verbouwing (2003-2013) was het museum gesloten. Al die tijd zat de collectie in houten kiste. Elk robotje heeft een nummer achterop, waarmee te achterhalen is welk object er in het het hout zat opgeborgen. Dit najaar vonden we een Rijkswachter (met nummer 7496) in een winkel in Leeuwarden. Die figureert nu in de video. In zijn vorig leven als kist, was er een zilveren kraantjeskan in verpakt.

Elmine maakt in de aanloop naar de Feestdagen elke dag een korte video. Over Rijkswachters, storycubes, sluwe katten, 19e eeuwse treinverliefdheid, en filosofische bespiegelingen van een mier en meer. Volg haar op Youtube voor jouw video-adventskalender.

Some news to put our earthly issues and political navel gazing in a wider perspective. A much wider perspective: NASA has announced this week that recently Voyager 2 has left the Heliosphere, and is now in interstellar space.

It’s the second human made object that has reached this far outside our home. Launched in 1977 Voyager finished its primary mission in 1989. In its 42nd year of duty, it will now start measuring interstellar space as long as the connection isn’t lost.

Voyager 1, launched 2 weeks after Voyager 2 in 1977, was first to leave the heliosphere in 2012. It is still sending back data, and even accepted a remote controlled course correction last year.

Below is the graph NASA published that shows the moment of leaving the protective bubble around our solar system.

I was 7 years old when it was launched, it has been flying through space for most of my life. Currently at a distance of 119 AU, 119 times the distance between Earth and the Sun, or 119 times 150 or 17.850 million kilometers, it’s an awe inspiring journey.

25 years ago, 10 December 1993, a major time sink for me at university was released: Doom. It replaced Wolfenstein 3D, which had proven a very effective time sink in the year before it. I don’t think Doom’s teleportation experiments swallowed Deimos, they swallowed Chronos, time itself. I have a creeping suspicion my muscle memory would still guide me through the levels even after 25 years.

[Update, a quick test on a flash based online version of Doom confirms the suspicion, but let’s not dive into that particular rabbit hole……….did I say rabbit?

]
(images screenshots from the game, artwork (c) Id Software)

Replied to Some quick quotes on #edu106 and the power of #IndieWeb #creativity #edtechchat #mb by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry
....fun to figure out everything I wanted to do with my website,....gained a sense of voice...,...I’m so tired of all the endless perfection I see on social media......my relationship with technology changed....

After my initial posting on this yesterday, Greg shares a few more quotes from his students. It reminds me of the things both teachers and students said at the end of my 2008 project at Rotterdam university for applied sciences. There, a group of teachers explored how to use digital technology, blogs and the myriad of social web tools, to both support their own learning and change their teaching. The sentiments expressed are similar, if you look at the quotes in the last two sections (change yourself, change your students) of my 2009 posting about it. What jumps out most for me, is the sense of agency, the power that comes from discovering that agency.

With WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg now launched, I think I will wait until the dust settles a little bit. I’m not encouraged by Matt’s State of the Word talk, in which he said ‘get deeper into Javascript’. I’d rather not actually. Most of the few plugins I use haven’t been updated to WP5 yet, and some of its authors write how Gutenberg breaks them. Also there’s still some bugs being ironed out. For now I’ll stick with WP4, until I see more confident reviews. Currently, searches for WP alternatives, calling WP’s new course Dreamweaver, quirks, and bugs, do not inspire that confidence. And already earlier this year there was the discussion of the total lack of accessibility efforts.

Ik volg met interesse het blog van Elja Daae, die in 3 weken tijd een concept voor haar boek af wil schrijven. Omdat de uitgever het dan verwacht. Elke dag schrijft ze over haar voortgang en afwegingen. Inmiddels zijn we een week onderweg, met een eerste posting over het niet bestaan van Writers block, en de laatste over schrijven is schrappen in Refocus.

Mijn interesse zit hem vooral in hoe je dat nou aanpakt, tot een boek concept komen. En eigenlijk ben ik ook wel nieuwsgierig naar hoe ze dan straks van een concept naar een boek komt. Is dan niet immers alles al gezegd? Waarom meer woorden er tegenaan gooien als je de boodschap al op papier hebt? Dat is ook meteen waarom ik haar proces volg. Het verschil tussen schrijvers en lezers lijkt vooral te zijn dat iedereen stiekem wel een boek wil schrijven, maar dat schrijvers het uiteindelijk ook doen. Mij wordt ook wel regelmatig de suggestie aan de hand gedaan, “schrijf daar nou eens een boek over!“. En ik heb bij vlagen ook wel die wensgedachte. Maar doen is iets anders. Veel van de boeken die me als voorbeeld worden voorgehouden komen op me over als veel wol om de ruimte tussen de kaften te vullen. Nog maar weer vijf anecdotes en voorbeelden om het punt nogmaals te maken. Waar een handjevol blogposts, of zelfs een rijtje bullet points, waarschijnlijk ook had volstaan.

Elja komt in ieder geval tot actie, en ze laat iedereen meekijken. Frank Meeuwsen schreef ooit ook een boek, Bloghelden, over de vroege Nederlandstalige blog-wereld. Zou hij het proces van Elja herkennen? Frank en ik hadden het laatst over een boek over het IndieWeb, om het vrije en open web uit te leggen aan nieuw publiek. Materiaal genoeg op zich. Maar ook nog veel te onderzoeken. Schrijft Elja alleen uit ervaring, of doet ze ook extra onderzoek tijdens het maken van haar boek?

(Ik ontmoette Elja aan de keukentafel van Ewout, voor een goed gesprek over de toekomst van het internet. Frank was daar ook bij. Hij en ik kennen elkaar uit de Nederlandse blog-oertijd. Zowel Elja (blogpost) als Frank (blogpost) waren aanwezig op onze STM18 unconference op Elmine’s verjaardag.)

Heading into the last two busy weeks before all goes quiet until the end of the year. This week was full and busy.

  • Spent two days with the great Frysklab team working on the Impact through Connection projects / Networked Agency method.
  • Stayed over in Leeuwarden for a night
  • Worked on procurement conditions concerning open data for a client
  • Worked on research design concerning transparency rankings
  • Discussed a World Bank project in Malaysia
  • Joined an online board meeting of a NGO I will be joining (more end of next week)
  • Did some bookkeeping
  • Worked on a data governance improvement project for a province

A random public domain photo from the National Archives to close off the week.

Friesland: Leeuwarden
Torenstraat, Leeuwarden, 1969. The right hand side has since been torn down and replaced by city hall.

The contortions US media outlets go through, to be able to ignore the inescapable conclusion that adtech isn’t GDPR compatible (adverts are though). After the bluntness of the LA Times and others switching their site off for EU visitors. Aside from the NYT berating me that I have an adblocker when ads are their lifeblood (which must be why they outsource it). Now comes the NPR with a novel twist: they provide a plain text version of their content. It seems to be an interpretation of the GDPR element that you can’t deny basic service to those that refuse permission to collect personal data. Basic service apparently means no CSS files. Although it’s a slightly silly choice, I do appreciate being able to read the articles. It’s not much different from how material is presented in my feed reader, after all. They provide the text version of the site for all, on a separate subdomain, which seems a rendering of their rss feed: text.npr.org

NPR GDPR Choices
Get tracked, or get text: NPR’s GDPR choice

NPR plain text
A plain text page version of an NPR article

Liked Am I any closer to working on Doctor Who? by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
Okay, but seriously, how can I get to work on Doctor Who? It's a dumb question, but my love for this show runs deep - I've been watching it since I was five years old at least. As a non-aggressive, third culture kid who couldn't fit in no matter how he tried, growing up in Britain in the eighties an...

Am I any closer to working on Doctor Who? What a fun question Ben Werdmüller asks himself each year.