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Tag: Mastodon

Returning to social.coop

social.coop logo

After time away from social media while on holiday, I’ve come to the decision to leave fosstodon.org and return to social.coop. You can now find and follow me at [email protected]!

There are several reasons for this decision:

  • Home timeline — Fosstodon has grown in membership quite a lot over the past couple of years, which is great in and of itself. However, the ‘local’ timeline is important to me, and as Fosstodon has grown I’ve found it’s less relevant to my context.
  • Reply-guys — there are some people (mostly middle-aged white guys) who seem to think it’s their duty in life to point out that a particular thing isn’t 100% FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open Source Software). There’s only so much of this I can tolerate.
  • Co-operation — while I’m still very much interested in making the world more open in every way (including Open Source) I think what the world needs more than anything is more co-operation. I’m a founding member of a co-op, and part of a network of co-ops. This is how the world gets better and, right now, I want to have my home timeline full of ways we can do that.

I was part of social.coop for a year from 2017-18. I left after some drama, which was ultimately resolved. In my interactions with the team while applying for membership, I’ve been informed that it was very much a learning experience and things are in place now (see the wiki!) to prevent such things happening again.

For those keeping track, I’ve now gone mastodon.social → social.coop → fosstodon.org → social.coop. It’s easy to migrate accounts, although posts don’t come with you (I delete them every three months anyway!)

Many thanks to Kev Quirk and Mike Stone for setting up Fosstodon, and for the excellent moderation team! I’m looking forward being a member of the social.coop community again and, of course, still being part of the Fediverse 🤘

Two years of spending more time in ‘dark forests’

Trees in a forest

Back in 2019, Yancey Strickler wrote:

Imagine a dark forest at night. It’s deathly quiet. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. But of course, it’s not. The dark forest is full of life. It’s quiet because night is when the predators come out. To survive, the animals stay silent.

Is our universe an empty forest or a dark one? If it’s a dark forest, then only Earth is foolish enough to ping the heavens and announce its presence. The rest of the universe already knows the real reason why the forest stays dark. It’s only a matter of time before the Earth learns as well.

This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest.

In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors, we’re retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream.

In doing so, he gave a name to something many of us had been feeling: that the fully-public spaces we previously inhabited in a carefree way are increasingly ideological battlegrounds. In response, we crave “depressurized conversation… possible because of… non-indexed, non-optimized, and non-gamified environments”.

I’ve spent a lot less time on Twitter in the last couple of years. But it’s changed and I’ve changed, and I find more joy, fulfilment, and recognition elsewhere these days. Slack channels, corners of the Fediverse, and Signal chats have become a lot more important in my life.

As Strickler wrote in a follow-up post, however, we can’t just stay in the forests all of the time. To “expect anything to change for the better”, he says, “we have to actively engage”. For some people, that will look like the digital equivalent of punching nazis. But for others, it will look like building, maintaining, and evangelising spaces which are more conducive to the depressurised conversations we often seek.


In a bid to be ever-more-present for my family and my own mental health, I’ve been experimenting again with Pinafore, an alternative front-end for Mastodon. Devoid of commercial imperatives to ‘hook’ users, this webapp implements easy-to-use toggles based on guidelines from the Center for Humane Technology. (You may remember the latter from the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma.) For example, you can turn the interface to greyscale, hide boosts and unread notifications, and make it so you have to press a button to reload the timeline.

Small differences, to be sure. But I’ve noticed that it makes a noticeable difference in lessening the number of times that I may mindlessly pick up my phone to do the dreaded ‘stare and scroll’…


Image based on an original by Kilian Kremer

How to subscribe to extinction.fyi

extinction.fyi logo

This is just a quick update to say that I’ve been working behind the scenes to make my side project, extinction.fyi, easy to subscribe to for updates.

There are now several ways to keep up-to-date with my ongoing documentation of the climate emergency:

  • Email digest
  • Telegram channel
  • Twitter account
  • Mastodon account
  • RSS feed

These options very much reflect the services I use, so no Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp options, for example. However, there’s nothing stopping someone using the RSS feed and creating their own bots for their favourite service! If you do this, please let me know so I can update the site.

Subscribe to extinction.fyi


This post is Day 97 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

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