The Big Picture
My ultimate goal is to enable people to collectively build projects of /degrowth in their communities that equitably distribute the challenges and collectively multiply the benefits of that transition in a time of /civilizational collapse.
Right now, I'm organizing for /livable cities and /mutual aid in my local area, am in the early stages of getting an artist cooperative off the ground, building my practical skill sets around /woodworking and /farming, and designing a /coalescent computer to facilitate all of these changes.
September 5, 2023
The summer has been incredibly busy. My /livable city advocacy group has had a lot of both engagement and disengagement, with city initiatives asking for our input and members being generally unavailable due to summer holidays. It continues to be a difficult line to walk as a volunteer based organization, where nobody is getting paid but success requires people to keep showing up.
Over the course of August, my partner and I stumbled into an opportunity to take over a large commercial space in the center of our Downtown as part of a collective of artists. There is huge potential for the space to be a much needed non-commercial hub of arts and activism, but organizing a bunch of strangers into creating a financially solvent space in such a short time frame is also a difficult task. We're hoping to establish a legal Co-op, and we'll see how it plays out.
Progress on the /coalescent computer moves in small bursts, though my time is increasingly dedicated to scheduling meetings and running agendas for volunteer and activist groups. It's hard to get a concrete feeling of forward movement, but it does generally feel like things are happening. I'd be lying if I didn't mention how frequently I wonder if I shouldn't move out to the country and focus my time on /farming, land stewardship, writing about /philosophy, and /programming, but that feels like giving up and running away.
Finally, we are not in imminent financial danger, but our lack of household income is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. I have been hoping to serendipitously find a way to generate a bare minimum of income while working on all of these projects towards a better world, but it doesn't seem to be happening. It's frustrating to feel like I need to pause one or more of my many important initiatives so that I can extract money from the economy, but sooner or later something is going to have to give.
I'll try to post smaller and more frequent updates in the future.
June 1, 2023
I left my most recent salaried job in the Fall, and have been living off of savings while I put together plans for the next major phase of my life. I had saved a good amount of money in my 20s that I intended to use to put a down payment on a house, but the world (and the housing market) had other plans. I decided to "be the change", and dedicate my life completely to bringing about the economic and social shifts that the planet desperately needs.
From one angle, I've been building up a local grassroots advocacy group that focuses on the holistic thinking needed for livable, resilient, people-oriented cities. We've built up a distributed group of people who show up to city council meetings, meet with neighbors, and talk to reporters. We've pushed for parking reforms and have shaped local narrative around density and transit. In the future we hope to continue to organize and educate our neighborhoods on the need for intentional, dynamic, and fearlessly compassionate community, that welcomes new neighbors and lives within our "ecological means". Hopefully, we are just getting started.
At the same time, I am building real, practical skills for the future I want to live in. I have been developing my skills as a woodworker, doing my best to learn how to repurpose old materials, to favor hand tools, and to build for longevity. I am in my second year of volunteering at a local community farm which provides a no cost CSA to low-income or food-insecure folks. I aim to continue developing these skills and communicate them, to better distribute the knowledge of buiding and food production among my community.
Finally, I am working on a /permacomputing system inspired by natural complex systems called the Coalescent Computer. My hope is to develop a platform for social computing that allows communities to "fork and evolve" economic processes and knowledge systems for their local needs, while still gaining the computational benefit of code and data reuse.
I turn 30 this summer, and I think that I'm actually ready for it.