Open Thinkering


Weeknote 13/2021

Rothley Castle, Northumberland

This week has been a short one, work-wise, with me taking the equivalent of two days off (Monday PM, Wednesday AM, all day Friday).

The main focal points of the week were a playback session for the Catalyst-funded sector challenge project I’ve been leading over the last 11 weeks, and a workshop for NEAR, an open source platform accelerating the development of decentralized applications. For the latter, it will be the first time our co-op will be paid partly in crypto, so we’ve been sorting that out.

Unlike the majority of England, this was the first week of Easter holidays for our two children. They’ve played a lot of Minecraft this week during the times my wife I have been working. There are worse games; at least it’s both collaborative and creative.

This week has seen the easing of lockdown measures at a time when the weather improved dramatically. This meant that we could invite my parents into our garden for the first time in a long time. There are many things I used to take for granted that now seem quite precious.

I’m continuing to work on my side project, This week, I created @extinctionfyi, re-purposing an old conference-focused account I haven’t used for seven years. I also wrestled with Mailchimp to create an automatic RSS-to-email Saturday digest which you can subscribe to here. The website itself will show the latest 10 items, but the RSS feed and email digest contains everything.

My personal website also has a projects page where I’ve listed Thought Shrapnel,, and

Allied to the above, I’ve been thinking about resilient tech this week. This is on the road to what some might call appropriate technology. I haven’t over-theorised this, but I’ve been doing things like:

  • Buying old MP3 players to hold downloaded music (instead of streaming)
  • Resurrecting spare phones and updating them with LineageOS
  • Getting used to using my ThinkPad x220 with a 20-hour battery dock

I had a quick chat with my neighbour yesterday, who was the only other person I know from where I live who both went to the climate strike a couple of years ago and to the Northumberland County Council meeting on the climate emergency. He told me that he’s quite optimistic about the future because of the groundswell of younger people taking up the challenge that climate change poses.

I’m looking forward to getting to his state of optimism at some point. Right now, I’m continuing to wallow in despair at the scale of the challenge that humanity faces. I can’t see a way out other than a process of deep adaptation that might further exacerbate existing divisions in our already-fragmented societies. I hope I’m wrong.

This weekend is Easter, so I’ve got four days off in a row to scoff chocolate and feel slightly guilty about not doing more DIY. I’m planning to also take next Friday off, meaning that next Friday will be another three-day week, before diving into new work the following week.

Photo of Rothley Castle, Northumberland, which we visited on Saturday afternoon. Dithered using this service.

One thought on “Weeknote 13/2021

  1. Eat chocolate watch planet die. Could be worse… oh hang on… keep it up Doug we can all do our part and know we did our best.

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