What are you doing now?
A Now-page is a hybrid between the About page and my weekly notes. The About page says something about my background and general activities. My weekly notes, that only RSS subscribers get to see, talk about actual activities in the past days. This Now page contains the general activities I’m spending time on these days. It contains the things I’d mention if you would ask me in a conversation what I’m doing currently, after we haven’t spoken for a while.
With pandemic prevention measures behind us meaning no more school closings, we’re in a steady rhythm. Over the New Year we made a brief visit to dear friends in Switzerland and took a week off in the hills of southern Limburg. The first months of the year are usually pretty regular with nothing much outside normal rhythms on the calendar. Y has been learning to read and write in the past half year and is increasingly starting her own individual learning journey, making good use of the local library.
During 2020 I’ve revamped my personal knowledge management system (PKM, using Obsidian as tool of choice), and that lead to more purposefully seeking out new knowledge. I’m trying to build reading more non-fiction into my days, and as part of that I’ve re(?)-learned reading non-linearly. Now I’m trying to make good use of that. I’ve also been tinkering with PHP code to tweak how I work with my notes in my PKM, such as building OPML booklists, and posting them to my site. I use a personal Micropub client in PHP that I created, which allows me to directly post to this site and e.g. my company’s site from inside my various workflows and tools, and a Microsub client which allows me to get nearer to building my personal ideal feed reader. Both micropub and microsub are IndieWeb concepts. IndieWeb is aimed at using the web they way I want, and staying in control of how you share information and data. My blog is the public facing focal point of these efforts obviously. In September I will talk about how I do that with IndieWeb building blocks in my WordPress blogging engine at the Dutch WordCamp.
Blogging (since 2002) is as important to me as ever, but I feel a disconnect between my (private) personal learning notes and this blog. Blogging is about conversations to me, and I’d like to more easily encourage them in connection to my personal learning notes. How to properly bridge the boundary between often fragile internal deliberations and more performative public writing without too much friction is an open question. As an experiment I’ve started using Hypothes.is as a public annotation tool, that directly feeds into my own local notes, but also allows others to follow along and respond. This year 2023 I want to more purposefully escape making notes for the sake of having notes, and finding multiple ways how to use them in practice.
I’m fully booked for the entire year. Currently I’m working exclusively within my company The Green Land. The pandemic shut down any World Bank work I was involved in, and I’m still contemplating how I want to take that up again. I’m still on their roster, but my previous focus was to a large part in the former Soviet Union, now in geopolitical turmoil.
My current work mostly is, for the Dutch government tactical council on EU information policies, keeping track of the many data related EU programmes and regulations with an eye of tying them to Dutch initiatives and representing the Dutch position in Europe. Next to that I’m helped form an interprovincial digital ethics committee, to which I’m now the secretary.
I’m interested in also working and speaking EU wide on these topics again, but not yet clear how I would want to shape that. Our team does a lot of work related to the ethics of data, and I’m moving closer to that in my own projects as well, working on establishing an ethics committee for a client and soon starting a project on AI ethics with a police organisation. I enjoy that, having done a few years of philosophy of technology focused on the ethics of technology development and use, and it brings me closer to some of the work my colleagues have been doing.
The pandemic hasn’t impacted our business negatively, and I feel our team has grown together during the pandemic. I’ve changed and learned much in my role as employer. Last November it was 11 years ago we started our company, we’re now 10 people.
I work four days per week, during the various lockdowns it was half time for extended periods because of having Y at home. In the past year or two I have noticed that I find the conceptual angles of my work extremely interesting, but currently struggle somewhat with finding ways to enjoy the actual work connected to it. Some type of shift in attention and activities seems to be in order, but I’m as yet unclear to where or what such a shift needs to take me. I used the summer to explore that in more detail, but haven’t reached any conclusions yet. This also ties back to the need I feel to do more with my knowledge and experience towards other/different outputs, that I mentioned above concerning learning.
The Open State Foundation I chair has been in good shape the past few years. We had some changes in the board, and are currently expanding the number of board members.
I’m working on getting the Open Nederland membership organisation, the Dutch Creative Commons chapter more or less, recognised as a public benefit institution under Dutch law. (I’m their treasurer).
I’m open to other voluntary board positions of organisations that fit with my current thematic interests, in the Netherlands or EU wide.
With the new wave of EU regulations on data and digitisation I am interested in weaving the type of networks and community we created in the early open data movement in Europe.
Current interests are: networked agency, ethics as a practice, digital transformation but distributed, self automation, civic tech, machine learning for civic tech and households, seeing my work as (political) activism, European and global developments w.r.t. data as a geopolitical force, personal knowledge management and learning in the networked age.
These interests inform my reading and information gathering at the moment.