Record of future Makers Team call #1

Taken down until developments.

Here is a zip of the .amr file. It is not the best file or recording but it should be easy to play on a phone. Unless someone asks I won’t put it up on soundcloud yet, as I’d have to take down the general community call for that.

@Matthias It would be nice if I could upload sound files directly - I am not sure how easy it is to for everyone to pull it out of a zip. For now don’t make a hassle but if it is only a click or two…

file_fid:14100 -

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Thank you!

For findability, maybe when you do recordings, add notes like the one above on the event page where we announced the call itself?

Yeah good point

I’d love to not have to post them as a separate document - but a pointer will be good enough. That’s true.

Sorry for shoddy quality by the way. Someone borrowed my real recorder, and the record stops when I had to recharge my phone (of course). I’ll try and see if there’s a nice way to grab the audio in VLC directly and use that. Then the problem will be the 8MB limit though…

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might be a good place to stash media files.

they take video / audio /pdf and have/are sprucing up their platform so its better to use.   Give their computers a bit of time to process and uploaded files are made available in a number of different formats, and as torrents.

Also feels to me a bit more in line with edgeryders ethos (open community led services) than using proprietary services - especially when you need an account to download the file (think this is the case with both soundcloud and scribd - which means I don’t bother)

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Thanks for the comment - now downloadable

I hadn’t thought of the - I always had them in the drawer for “finished document hosting”. I would feel a little unease about piling “low quality” data on them. Perhaps unreasonably so. Do you have an account there already? If yes, you could upload a copy of the call.

A similar option would be I guess. But I have the same reservations there.

I liked soundclcloud mostly because you can easily link to a specific time (and the visualized comments are neat - if not really useful in our context). I just saw I did not set the license yet. BY NC SA would be ER default, right? It does remind me that we may need a simple way of saying I thing or two off the record as well…

Not comfortable with public audio

remember we move in environments where there is a need for caution. So if you do, I think the correct way of doing this would be to check with each and every person (and get signed release form) before publishing content of calls on public platforms. My two cents.

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Hmmm… I’ll take it down for now

I think I see your point. Of course a signed (paper) release form let’s transaction cost go through the roof making this pretty much a moot issue - as no one is going to use it. Plus you might shoot yourself in your own foot with this.

A recorded explicit consent would probably be enough (but would still not cover people that pop in and out of the call quickly). And even a recorded consent is subject to group dynamics and not necessarily a good idea. I had offered the recording to the two people I think had most use for it directly as well - so the loss of it not being there isn’t so great I’d say. I think the whole transparency/security/inclusiveness/structure aspect needs some serious thinking though. We’re just working with what happens to be simple by default. My impression is that most of the time this is pretty far from the optimum - even for either one of these respective considerations…


I’d agree this is a bit of a thorny issue.

I used to engage with a geographically diverse group who were exploring pushing FLOSS stuff ( Stallman style ) into areas outside software.  They had (before I ran into them) some audio meetings and recorded them and archived on their wiki, although this had stopped.  They also logged and publicly archived their main IRC channel (the main communication channel)

After the Snowden revelations they stopped the IRC logging and removed all accessibility to the archive.  Which is interesting considering that the Snowden revelations were about covert capture of private communications and the IRC logs were public.  I guess it made everyone think a bit more about their data and what it might be used for, but then its also somewhat stifling to effective open collaboration.

Its a cost benefit thing.

The cost can be made explicit.  If everyone is made aware that things will be recorded in all communications about the meeting then they can talk, or not, with that awareness.  Similar to whether they choose to attend/participate in a real life meeting which is open to any attendees and may be being photographed or videoed.  I know sometimes, but this appears to be the exception, people are asked to tell the photographers / videoers if they dont want to be recorded - I went to a 50 person soil science seminar recently where this was the case.

But then how many people want to actually listen to the recordings?   I do a lot of manual work and often listen to podcasts while I work - I could see myself also listening to meeting recordings.

There are many potential benefits to open working.

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Thorny indeed. I haven’t given the issue the amount of thought it deserves but I think it really looks different depending on what perspective you take on it. So “cardinal virtues” may not be very helpful, if everything is strongly context dependent - which is my general perception. Without going into detail (also because I’m still very shaky on them) I’d point to Alasdair MacIntyre’s approach to the general dilemma.

Now on the pragmatic side, I’d try to have my system work best for the intermediate case of all manual to all mental labor - if I have to pick one. Classrooms, screens, and schools have their place, but in short, I think we’ve overdone it (partially because it looked cheaper in the spreadsheets). Mens et manus. Thus you sound like my target audience - so please feel free to criticize without remorse.

Cameras and listening devices will probably just turn into a fact of life (just like our trackers have). We could perhaps re-privatize the skies (+ some enforcement) but short of that you’re better off “buying a couple of hats and sunglasses”. That does not mean we should stop thinking, or drop any inhibitions - but we can be pretty sure some party will. And we’ve learned some of them have pretty deep pockets too.

So what could we do? My current favorite approach for digital things would encrypt stuff using multiple pgp-style keys. So in a collaboration, stuff that gets archived is no use to an external party (they can still download it though) unless the group members let them decrypt it. Ideally one would be able to implement things like 2 out of 3 keys is enough - so if a key gets lost, or someone doesn’t react you can still get things done.

Then I think it would be important to have different levels of security, and default settings of course. The basic security should fence off automated large scale snooping and penetration mostly (say make it 3-5 magnitudes more costly to snoop). The higher level assumes you already are on someone’s list and you need to assume there are some man-hours sunk into digital and IRL penetration attempts. I think that would severely limit what you want to do digitally though.

For the soft security I could imagine a sort of “veto” style release routine. Content will be accessible to the involved parties exclusively for, say 3 days. If no one wants to veto (or extend the delay, or modify the license) a release, it goes public after that time pretty much automatically (e.g. a query to people’s enigmail settings - replied through default settings). Ideally you could nest such groups/licenses into each other easily.


We’ve gone from “record everything and make it available” to “encrypt with multiple PGP keys”. The latter solution solves the privacy issues, but removes the benefits of sharing.

So… maybe we go back to a man-made text that summarizes the call while exercising some restrain on the potentially difficult issues? This is a little hard for the summary-maker, but seems to solve all other issues.

I think you oversimplify

For now I have no problems to stick with summary making. The recording is more an experimental thing - which is why I am very happy when people chime in and comment. BUT:

I would start with there is no “we”. Of course there a bunch of EdgeRyders that use this platform, as it is now, and derive benefit from it. But there is such an overwhelming majority of potential users who cannot use it effectively to get their stuff done! That is what I tried to touch on here and here. Designing a system for privacy and transparency will of course be walking a thin line (very bad idiom in my perspective, as it implies too few dimensions, assumes continuity of the line, and that the line will always be a line - pretty much independent from where you look). My guiding principle is that many of the consequences of an action will strongly affect those working on it (in line with bottom up do-ocracy). If it affects other people it should be in a generally good way. If this is not true they should sit down and reflect some more. If there is some doubt about the distribution of consequences I would want a system that mandates including representatives from groups that are strongly negatively affected (will happen with any project if it is large/impactful enough). These people do not have a veto on all things but they have absolute technical/information oversight and are mandated to balance between the interest of the two groups. They are incentivized mostly by “their group”. “Their group” can decide to withhold their share, and parts of a (larger) share that has to be paid by the audited group, if there is a lack of trust. Thus I hope to achieve an “empathy for the enemy” effect in every project.

Re multiple pgp-keys: In effect this is a much sloppier and less individually private approach than one key. It is more 0.67 of a key.

Re “it is a little harder for […]”: This is not a triviality for me. My vision of a collaborative platform is one where the investment very, very quickly starts to pay back. And this is the hardest to pull off they first time you have to do it. After that it’ll be downhill, and a psychological shift will probably happen on a similar level as wiki vs enc brit*. But if you keep the ingredients from reacting they can’t nucleate into a different “phase” (with different fundamental properties, e.g. approaches to getting stuff done). If the small groups that get together (LOTE) always have to keep overcoming a very large interaction barrier with the rest of the world - they will be slowly absorbed again or usually die out ineffectively. Individual groups are too small to skill-share effectively (not surprising as they are all from the tiny minority of “text inputters” sharing one language on this planet) due to small pool size and degree of uniformity.

They can only get rid of some secondary stresses(?) incurred through the friction and loss such a barrier produces if they interact with the outside world on its terms - or they produce significantly more groups in their vicinity with whom they can (and do) interact more easily because they are similar. I have my doubts on the state of affairs for the latter point. For me it is pretty clear that if you don’t have your hands (sometimes literally) full with work that will make an impact the chances are high that you will coordinate to death (myself included here**). If for you a text box does not incur a too high transaction cost in your view, you may have missed going straight into academia ;). They have a collaborative model based on this already for some time.

The third option is engaging in work that pays off much better than the stuff the outside world is willing or able to engage in. Unfortunately they pretty much picked the low hanging fruit clean (that can be measured in a quarterly report), and now there’s only the rotten financial instruments left. Unless you go for the three Ds of course - but this not the most popular proposition for a do-ocracy. And not the best place for a text box either. That means you gotta do things differently, or be able to measure things differently (however metrics is ultimately a question of authority, and thus more difficult as a first step). And for the reasons stated above, for me, this means inclusiveness. If you rub two sticks together - they sure get warm. But sometimes you got to push a little harder to get something much more useful out of it. Or in the words of an economist:

A trend is a trend is a trend.

But the question is, will it bend?

Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?

*Extremely profound tectonic shift - but nothing compared to a celebrity breakup!

**In everyone’s defense: Of course the most practical thing is a good theory.

After some more reflection

I feel the urge to beat a dead horse some more (perhaps my perception is wrong and the horse still has a pulse). Seeing that you are going to be busy with meeting people the next couple of days, I thought I’d try to do you a favor and summarize my arguments a little (á la unMon’s 2 types of work):

The Descender (unElevator) Pitch version 0.3

Use when traveling down in elevator, frustrated, after a work day full of meetings.

Imagine a world that can’t be saved through quarterly reports (or five year plans).

Competing for resources to address symptoms several degrees away from the problems.

Imagine that individual gut feeling reliably ends up leading the majority in the wrong direction. Imagine your gut just told you: you (or your kids) probably aren’t in this majority. Imagine we’ve made some big mistakes. Imaging the safest way out of this is by making MUCH more mistakes, and making decisions your gut tells you are probably NOT good. Imagine a world that can’t be saved through elevator pitches, but hard unpopular work. Imagine we’re suffering from anosognosia, but can’t look it up because we don’t know it exists, or we’re too lazy to write it down when we hear it. Where would we start?


A NOSO GNOSIA - without knowledge of sickness. If you prefer a more neutral latin term: meta-cognition


I’ll be waiting here at the entrance long enough for you to leave, walk to the car, and walk back here. Or, what I would prefer: You go outside, lean on the wall, close your eyes and “smell the roses” for a minute. Maybe make a call that you’ll be 10 minutes later. If that feels too funny (more funny than going to “work”), that’s okay - you’re probably not the one we’re looking for anyway.

Now you could do the ELEVATOR pitch that lists the things you can start with to address the problems. It should conclude that collaboration is important - thus you ask the person to snowball the pitch to two more people. Not more not less. Not today, not tomorrow - but when the time is right. And we would make sure there is someone from our group there to listen and answer questions that may come up in the next few days. If however he/she is already engaged in a similar activity - we would be happy if he/she pursues this more intensively, consider this as a pad on the back, and just give us a nod on the site so we know where to find him/her.

I think this has veered off topic just a liiittle bit. But if it was possible to restructure (tag) texts effectively it wouldn’t really matter, right. QED?