I finally got Covid19, where from exactly? I gather somewhere in Brussels or else where on my travels. Its been a super busy few weeks and my immune system wasn’t exactly in top form with the shifting sleep patterns recently.
To be clear, I am ok. Its not mild like a bit of a cold but its also not a case of going to hospital. I’ve had my 2 shots of the vaccine and a booster late last year just as omicron took hold in the UK. But I was shocked when the 2 red lines appeared on the rapid tests which has always been one red line. To be fair 2+ years without catching Covid once is good going.
While in Brussels, I started feeling my feet blowing up with large bumps, sometimes it became a bit painful to walk with pace. I thought it was an allergic reaction because my fingers started getting something which I would class as hives and I couldn’t even wear my Oura ring on the usual fingers. That plus my lips felt puffy and everything felt super dry no matter what I added to them.
The café offered popcorn, juice, and smoothies not found anywhere else at the festival, but to enter the café, you had to cross a boundary that required a ridiculous data user agreement. As part of this agreement, your personal information would be plastered through the festival’s halls hours later. This experience was about getting out of a chair and experiencing the dilemma in a real, tangible way. Would you read the agreement in order to obtain a glass of juice? Ignore the agreement and quench your thirst in ignorant bliss? Or read the agreement and walk away, and try to find snacks elsewhere because the agreement was unacceptable?
People scanned a QR code, signed up to a fake cafe ordering system with their email or social media login. After that, they are forced to answer a question before being presented with a QR code which can be scanned for a hot drink (or looking at the very very long receipt, cold drinks). If you went for a second, third, etc drink you will get more and much more personal questions. We had 5 levels of questions and the single 5th question was deeply personal. Is the coffee really worth it
Talks included Designing the Internet for Children with the ICO, Keeping Trusted News Safe Online with BBC R&D, Trustworthy AI – what do we mean when we say with Mozilla.
Talks were kept to 15mins as it went out to the whole cafe and people were encouraged to take a table to keep the conversation going afterwards. In typical Mozfest style.
Finally the workshops included Materialising the Immaterial with Northumbria University, Designing the Internet for Children with the ICO, Why might you personalise your news with BBC R&D, Common Voice / Contribute-a-ton with Mozilla.
In the usual Mozfest style there was plenty of great moments for example when the traffic warden came to check out the Caravan of the Future.
There was plenty of interest in the reverse metaverse (presence bots), which was one of the projects which run through out the 2 days. Like the original ethical dilemma cafe, we wanted to expose people to work in progress rather than a museum, where everything is perfectly working. When they worked it really worked well.
To get a real sense of the reverse metaverse / presence bot, I recorded Jasmine for a short while with a remote person.
Does it understand me, is a speech to text system trained using the similar/same algorithms as the Amazon Alexa. It was so weird to see how when it got the wrong word, it guessed with something so strange. Like Deliveroo and Kindle?
Having the public come into the space was a positive, as many of the regulars popped in and end up going to a workshop or checking out a few of the interventions. Even better was having the staff of the feel good cafe joining in and enjoying the event. There’s a few times, when I overheard people asking what was going on and then the staff suggesting checking out the loom, human values postcards, etc.
The concept really came together well over the two days. Its something which will come back in other forms. Keep an eye out for future iterations of the ethical dilemma cafe soon.
Massive thanks to everyone involved in the Ethical Dilemma Cafe, so many people from the Mozilla Foundation, who took over a hotel in the northern quarter (it was so strange seeing people I usually see on Zoom or in London only 10mins away from my home), all the partners who took a leap of faith with the concept bringing their research and passion to the cafe. The cafe and the amazing woman (can’t remember her name) who really went with the concept. All the people who helped promote it and encourage others to join us over the 2 days. My colleagues who pulled out a number of stops to make things like the coffee with strings, reverse metaverse bots, etc. All amazing along with the talks and workshops, which nicely fitted with our partners. Thanks to the security guard who worked 2 full days and his presence was just right. Finally thank you to all the people who traveled sometimes from quite far to make the event, because without you there would be no ethical dilemma cafe.
There is likely people I have forgotten and I have deliberately not named anyone in-case I miss anyone by name. But I thank everybody especially Sarah, Lucie, Jasmine, Marc, Henry, Iain, Julian, Sam, Laura, Paul, Jesse, Bob, Steph, Lianne, Jimmy, Bill, Zach, Michael, Juliet, Georgina, Todd, Charlie, etc.
There is so much I can say about the film but I gave it 8/10 because its truly incredible. Not only is the multiverse and quantum science really interesting in it, not only is the film a genuinely different from everything out there, heartfelt (Its super touching in parts) but also funny as hell (absolutely hysterical in parts, and doesn’t take its self too seriously).
You might also note in the picture above both directors opened the preview, which was a total shock because I knew the BFI IMAX in Waterloo had a Q&A with the director’s (the Daniels) but this was a big surprise!
Ian thinks: This reminds me of the community WiFi initiatives, which filled in the gaps of big internet companies which refused to support smaller communities. However I can see these growing, with the backlash against generic speedy delivery systems.
Ian thinks: Not my usual interest but shrinking fast fashion’s carbon footprint is interesting. However its the community focus and peer 2 peer model which elevates it into this line up this month. Expect this business model to be duplicated over and over again.
Ian thinks: Much has been written about the recent announcement to sell off Channel 4 but the misunderstanding of the business model of Channel 4 isn’t just embarrassing but shocking that people assume the model is one way.
Ian thinks: The joy of tinkering, making, and sharing is part of the human condition. In modern times, this creative freedom too often is stifled by secrecy as a means of monetization – from non-compete laws to quashing people’s right to repair the products they’ve already paid for.
Question: What do you value most in a friendship? Answer: When Ian Forrester gives chocolate 😉
The screen was part the ethical dilemma, where people use a QR code to register for free hot drinks but in return they need to answer personal questions getting more and more personal/intrusive the more hot drinks you have.
Do I know who wrote the answer?
Actually I do not, but I have a small number of people who I do think it could be…
Look out for a full blog post in the next few weeks.
I am super skeptical of any new social network claiming to be more ethical.
These days social media seems to be full of pictures that have been filtered, photoshopped or altered in some other way. But that’s not the case with BeReal, which is all about sharing an unaltered snapshot of your life in real time.
That means no filters, no editing, just an authentic look at what users are doing at any given moment. Wrinkles, messy hair, smudged makeup (assuming you’re wearing any at all) is all on show for your followers to see. The real you, in other words.
Its a interesting idea but I do wondering about the public shaming and nudging part of the app to get you to post on the app’s schedule. Something to consider…
Its been a very busy few weeks and theres little let up heading into May.
I noticed I haven’t blogged for a while. Not out of choice, its just been a super busy time.
Between the creation of the ethical dilemma cafe in Manchester, developing the adaptive podcasting app and web creator (more on this soon), suffering with a cold (not covid, I even got my first PCR test just incase the 4 rapid tests were all wrong), my birthday and dating an amazing woman (now my partner).
Of course I’m ok but its amazing how things I use to do all the time like booking trains, hotels, flight, etc have become more tricky than in the past. In the coming month I’ll be in London, Bristol, Newcastle/Gateshead (for the covid delayed Thinking Digital conference), Brussels (for the Exit platforms hackathon) and maybe even Amsterdam (for the in person Publicspaces conference #2). I’m also trying to go by train when ever possible!
My sleep cycle has become a bit of a mess and things keep pushing earlier starts into my calendar. If I could show a graph of my quality of sleep, sleep length, weight and effectiveness… It would be so telling.
I’m keeping a eye on this all and have a holiday booked for Lisbon. Not using my airline credit which was a total con for short haul flights. Ultimately I had to pay a large fee from the airline credit and I was able to book with another airline for cheaper than the fee! What a joke!
Ian thinks: Understanding the ethical dilemmas we face every day online has always been difficult to explain the harm. Putting them into physical spaces really brings home the dilemma. If you are in Manchester in late April, grab a free ticket and join us.
Ian thinks: Reading this piece, I couldn’t help but think about the digital realm with the ever growing divide between rich/poor. Not only with money but time and knowledge The digital divide is live and sadly growing..
Ian thinks: The EU’s Digital Markets Act is a very bold legal policy which could have the similar impact to GDPR? Although people can’t stop talking about opening Apple’s iMessage, its worth remembering the DMA hasn’t been fully drafted yet!
Ian thinks: A lot is covered in a short amount of time. However they both settle on the practical problems of the current and future internet. The legal battles, societal frameworks and the web3 bubble is used to chill what the future internet could be.
March has been so busy and I really enjoyed the start of the month at the Mozilla Festival 2022 virtual (which reminds me I must write that up, maybe in my new conference new style as suggested by Bill Thompson).
Then I saw a bunch of Hyperaudio experiments with WebMon. This got me thinking imagine if every artist/label had a payment pointer?
Its not like we don’t have the precise timing metadata, especially when recording a mix digitally.
For example here is the Pacemaker editor, which gives you exact times of when tunes are used and not used. The mix is my latest one, the incidental contact high mix, I do love that mix!
The existing models for distributing DJ mixes is frankly painful with many DJs having to fight with take-down notices and copyright flags.
I am investigating ways to self-host and share DJ mixes with the care and attention of what a DJ would like to bring to the mix, and include a way to pay the artist/creator of the music in the mix.
Ways in Which I Am Web Monetizing These Resources
Currently I am Web Monetizing the whole of the site but I am going to change the audio player to HyperaudioLite and take advantage of the new feature to pay per section of the audio.
As a DJ, my main interest is to share the mix with as many as possible without limits and constraints. I will turn off WebMon for myself and use the payment providers of the artists instead. As I expect many artists have not heard of WebMon and so I recommend using payment providers of charities and non-profits instead (same ones Mozilla have used throughout the Mozilla virtual festival).
As more artists and labels start to support WebMontization and get payment pointers. It will be easy to reroute the payments to the new payment pointers and even split payments between groups/collaborations.
Ideally I’d like to see this fit within the fediverse systems like funkwhale, reel2bits or Castopod enabling support for future forms of sharing, ignoring and distributing.
I asked her why she gave money away to strangers and she said that giving made her happy, and that the secret to a good life was not to want more than you have. “If you are satisfied with what you’ve got, you’ll have a good life,” she said. “Too many people want what they don’t have, so they spend their whole life working so they can get the next thing. But that doesn’t make them happy – so they never get satisfied and they are always after more money to get the next thing that might make them happy.”
“And it never stops,” I said, getting her drift. “The treadmill. The person is actually never satisfied. I guess that’s capitalism …”
Its something I think a lot about with my geek lifestyle… Of course this isn’t a lazy way of saying you should have less or compare yourself to others.
Ian thinks: Although the paper seems slightly different from the news piece, The notion of faster internet as ultimate end is a bad mistake. Infrastructure is only part of the solution not the panacea.
Ian thinks: Last year I gave a talk about friction-less design and how it was partly to blame for the lack of control people have on the internet. This piece adds even more impact to the lack of friction.
Ian thinks: Amy’s new book The Genesis Machine, sounds far reaching but Amy raises a lot of points about who is driving synthetic biology? I kept wondering about a public entity besides Governments and Corporations.
Ian thinks: There is so much about Matrix 4 which speaks about the current and future state of technology and society. Clearly swarm mode activating sleeper bots from a therapist who manipulates our feelings says plenty
What is The Grand MozFest Web Monetization Experiment, you ask?
It is an experiment to see how the creative minds of MozFest Community can apply the Web Monetization Standard to their MozFest resources and assets to raise money for an Internet Health initiative of their choosing, inclusive of their own work.
What Does this Mean for MozFest Attendees?
This means that every MozFest attendee will receive a 6-month pre-paid Coil account* stocked with $10 US worth of tips to use on Web Monetized resources and assets at MozFest, in addition to $5 US / month of micropayments to stream to Web Monetized resources and assets that you spend time on each month.
I look forward to seeing how the experiment changes how virtual Mozfest works in 2022 and beyond (maybe). Its certainly something which I can imagine many others conferences try and copy in years to come.