Pinned toot

Technologist who’s spent a lot of time building interfaces (both pixels and APIs/data formats). Often helping people get around without cars.

Looking to help build & maintain technical and social systems to help society weather the challenges of the next 100 years.

Honored to join this community of makers and explorers, and hope to contribute to the exchange of ideas and inspiration.


We live in a time of wonders. How can we make the most of it?


Kim Stanley Robinson:

“Don’t get too impressed by any one technology or ideology—we all suffer from a bit of monocausotaxophilia, the love of single causes that explain everything, but reality isn’t really like that, so you have to take a lot of factors into account, and realize they will mix in unexpected ways in your head as in the world.” 【实】


A lot of my current thinking is around practical mycology, and how to most efficiently bioconvert inedible feedstock into dependable nutrition. Something-something #collapsonomics. Anyways, some mushrooms can have a dry protein content of up to 40%, depending on their inputs. I'm wondering what combination of easily-grown 'shrooms would provide a reasonably-balanced complete protein source. Anyone familiar with this problem-space?

Finally saw “Last Year at Marienbad” after years of hearing it name-checked. If you’re setting out to make a film that breaks the mind of logic, you might as well make it captivating to look at, and Resnais and Verny sure did. A good lazy Sunday afternoon movie.


Another basic Android question: given that relatively modern devices support USB hosting via OTG, capably enough to do things like Ardiuno programming, are there any fundamental technical barriers to acting as an adb/fastboot host in a userspace app?

All of the stuff I’ve found says that it’s possible on rooted devices, but I’m wondering if that’s a technical limitation or merely the path of least resistance【视】

Researching UART cables for working with phone hardware, I’ve brushed up against an unfamiliar ecosystem.

There’s this genre of phone unlock/service kits like OctoPlus, Sigma, etc. that I’d like to understand more: if you know more about how they work, I’d be interested to talk to you.

At first blush it seems like a way of monetizing the development/maintenance of phone unlocking software via hardware keys, but is there more to it than that? 【师】

I’ve been thinking that as a platform for resilient tech projects, the Android forks like /e/ OS and LineageOS hit the sweetest spot between freedom, power consumption, usability by non-techies, and number of already-manufactured devices they can run on【适】

Still spending too much attention on personal sysadmin, today I got carried away and set up a hackintosh system.

Though I did also set up Android Studio on it and hacked around on AntennaPod a bit, to tweak some sleep timer behavior that’s been irking me. (Figuring out the right design change to be upstreamed in an open-source consumer app would be way harder than hacking the functionality for myself was.)【嗜】

Merveillescrolling is a much needed alternative to doomscrolling

These jeans were one of my partner’s first visible mending experiments, and I’ve enjoyed how the look has evolved with each new mend. It’s extended their life for over a year, though the weave is finally starting to give way in too many places to keep going.【式】

New post: Finding an Alternative to iOS

Fuelled by Apple’s recent uptick in hostility towards developers and general greediness I attempt to find an alternative smartphone platform I’d be happy to use.

My keynote for ActivityPub Conference 2020 is now online a few days before the conference begins! Since it's a fully remote conference, the idea is you can (should?) watch the talks before the interactive/live sessions later this week.

Here's the keynote, which is about ways to provide value to users that CANNOT be re-centralized by the big corporations:

And all the other talks, which I'm excited to watch:

I didn't need the Mac in the end, the rpi4/aarch64 worked fine for building a basic PinePhone app. flatpak happily installed GNOME Builder on the rpi, and I didn't even need to cross-compile for the phone, just copied the executable across.

I spent just as much time getting the creature comforts of tailscale/syncthing running on the phone to make the copying easier, really.

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Current project: build a test app for postmarketOS/Phosh on the PinePhone

Proximate yak-shaving: set up Ubuntu external boot drive for MacBook, so that I can run GNOME Builder to follow tutorials (since I’m not sure it’ll be happy on rpi) 【始】


The Precursor is the latest open source hardware project from OSHW wizard Andrew "bunnie" Huang - AKA "the guy who broke the Xbox DRM and is now suing to overturn the DMCA."

It's a mobile hardware platform, "a framework upon which you can assemble a wide variety of DIY mobile applications...designed from the ground-up to be carried around in your pocket."


Looking forward to finally spending some time with the PinePhone.

Ondřej Jirman‘s p-boot video on this page ( ) captures my imagination in the way that it goes straight from an instant boot menu into a map application, instead of loading a bunch of slow OS layers.

It’s a bit perverse for a phone because you couldn’t receive incoming calls/messages, but there’s something about combining modern hardware with the 80s model of booting right into a single app. 【视】

For all of the promising decentralized tech we discuss here, when I read articles about actual internet shutdowns and blocks in today’s world, I don’t hear much about these technologies yet. For example:

Does anyone have any success stories to share?

What could we be doing differently to create things that are more useful (or known) to people that are suffering in these conditions? 【实】

Spending such a long time in the same constrained space has given me a greater awareness of exactly how the sun moves through the days and seasons, by when it intersects each of the surrounding buildings and trees 【时】

Interrogation of supply and disposal chains through the medium of toast.

Exhibit A: a toaster built from scratch:

Exhibit B: three design-fiction toasters optimized for extreme longevity, modularity/remanufacturing, and ease of disassembly:



@jrc03c i think sarah friend's talk is sort of an interesting primer on decentralization, in particular: *what* you want to decentralize?

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.