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submitted 3 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I'm always looking for things to add to my RSS reader! I loved the Hundred Rabbits site that was posted here recently and thought others might have some nice submissions.

I recently found Sunshine and Seedlings which is substack, alas, but has some great content.

I'm also a fan of Low-tech Magazine.

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submitted 9 hours ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

i don't like sharing crowdfundings because there are a looooot of them; but i feel like this can be an exception for 3 reasons:

  • it's Gaza
  • i know that the hacker association behind it is more than honest
  • dulcis in fundo, looks like a very much solarpunk solution on a lot of fronts, it's not ''just'' the usual mutual aid :D
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submitted 2 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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The Solarpunk Survey 2024 (leidenuniv.eu.qualtrics.com)
submitted 4 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Hello everyone! For my bachelor’s thesis, I am making a survey to find out what Solarpunks think of the movement, the genre and the community. I believe Solarpunks are often curious about the thoughts of others in the community, so I think this could be another instance to promote discussion and interesting conversations within the community. Once the survey is closed, I'll distribute the key findings within the communities where I initially posted the survey (so, here, in the r/solarpunk subreddit, etc). It takes around 9 minutes and it would be great if we get a lot of responses. It is also anonymous and under the supervision of my tutors. If this sounds like something that interests you, please fill it in and share it with other Solarpunks! And if you still have questions I am happy to answer them, but there is also more information available in the first part of the survey!

I think there is a link already in the post but just in case: click here

(btw, I sadly wont be gathering data from people under 18 years old. This is because consent-wise it gets tricky, not because I don’t value your input. Thank you very much for understanding!)

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Rewild the Internet! (www.noemamag.com)
submitted 6 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

This needs (IMO) more attention, seems to fit here...

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submitted 6 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

cross-posted from: https://beehaw.org/post/13231381

I was thinking a lot about how design patterns are useful solutions to certain classes of problems. I went spelunking online and found this from a Wikipedia page lol. Hope it proves helpful for community activists!

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submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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Do you Dig? (lemm.ee)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Adventurers on solar bikes choosing their course through Eurasia. Inspired by unassisted yacht races around the world, the Sun Trip is writing a new page in the world of overland adventures.

The Sun Trip is a showcase for new forms of mobility. Each adventurer is an ambassador of solar energy and eco-mobility, proving their efficiency and their humanist dimension.

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submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

GAZA -- A man in the Gaza Strip is using solar panels to clean water for his neighbors – a seemingly small gesture that has large consequences at a time when the region is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

"Yesterday, I filled this car with clean water from the well, 6,500 liters, and distributed it among people in need of water," Mohammed Assalia told ABC News. "Some people use these wheelchairs to transport the water they fill, which is kinda sad but it does the thing."

As the resource becomes more scarce, Assalia said he is now looking for a way to reach more people in the most devastated area of the Gaza Strip, six months since Israel declared war on Hamas. The high costs involved with the project may hinder his ability to do so without help, he says.

"With the solar-powered well in my house, at least 1,000 people benefited and received clean water every day," Assalia said. "Now people from other neighborhoods have come to use it and we're trying to help more by operating as many wells as possible."

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submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I found that idea interesting. Will we consider it the norm in the future to have a "firewall" layer between news and ourselves?

I once wrote a short story where the protagonist was receiving news of the death of a friend but it was intercepted by its AI assistant that said "when you will have time, there is an emotional news that does not require urgent action that you will need to digest". I feel it could become the norm.

EDIT: For context, Karpathy is a very famous deep learning researcher who just came back from a 2-weeks break from internet. I think he does not talks about politics there but it applies quite a bit.

EDIT2: I find it interesting that many reactions here are (IMO) missing the point. This is not about shielding one from information that one may be uncomfortable with but with tweets especially designed to elicit reactions, which is kind of becoming a plague on twitter due to their new incentives. It is to make the difference between presenting news in a neutral way and as "incredibly atrocious crime done to CHILDREN and you are a monster for not caring!". The second one does feel a lot like exploit of emotional backdoors in my opinion.

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submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I came across the idea of creating a social network whose purpose it is to connect you with people in your area/neighbourhood. Such a network would also be managed by someone in your neighbourhood and would be aimed at creating in-person connections, making people meet and come together.

Such a network is the perfect opposite of currently widespread "social" network platforms, which mostly aim to engage users online as much as possible, ultimately at the cost of direct interactions. These networks are also centrally controlled and usually come with algorithms that steer conversation into inflammatory directions.

Even the open source and federated alternatives to these platforms often only change the centralised and closed part but still maintain most of the attention-taking design that I don't see as ideal.

In my vision of a local network (as I will call it for this post), people should be able to find others nearby with similar interests and be supported in meeting up for activities, sharing/exchanging goods or services and more. Creating something like this is tricky, it needs to be very useful and shouldn't become a time sink of its own, however it should still be attractive enough for people to actually want to use it.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions what are some helpful and necessary features or aspects to keep in mind, and perhaps even more critically, what should not be present?

Looking forward to your thoughts!


Bonus ideas:

  • Such local networks could still federate, so neighbourhood networks could federate on some level to connect larger areas in a city. What should federate, and how far?
  • Local networks can also be hosted on non-internet networks like Freifunk since they are geographically based in a small area. This can also improve resilience of such networks in catastrophic situations.
  • Is there a good way that geographically more spread-out groups of activists, perhaps even in different countries, could make use of such networks? (How) Can this be compatible with keeping it simultaneously locally rooted and local-first?
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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I have been following them for a few years and they are making some slow and steady progress

From their page: As the world generates more electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, there is a growing need for technologies which can capture and store energy during periods of low demand and release it rapidly when required.

At Gravitricity we are developing innovative, long-life, underground technologies which store energy safely and deliver it on demand at a lower lifetime cost than current alternatives.

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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Listening to a recent episode of the Solarpunk Presents podcast reminded me the importance of consistently calling out cryptocurrency as a wasteful scam. The podcast hosts fail to do that, and because bad actors will continue to try to push crypto, we must condemn it with equal persistence.

Solarpunks must be skeptical of anyone saying it’s important to buy something, like a Tesla, or buy in, with cryptocurrency. Capitalists want nothing more than to co-opt radical movements, neutralizing them, to sell products.

People shilling crypto will tell you it decentralizes power. So that’s a lie, but solarpunks who believe it may be fooled into investing in this Ponzi scheme that burns more energy than some countries. Crypto will centralize power in billionaires, increasing their wealth and decreasing their accountability. That’s why Space Karen Elon Musk pushes crypto. The freer the market, the faster it devolves to monopoly. Rather than decentralizing anything, crypto would steer us toward a Bladerunner dystopia with its all-powerful Tyrell corporation.

Promoting crypto on a solarpunk podcast would be unforgivable. That’s not quite what happens on S5E1 “Let’s Talk Tech.” The hosts seem to understand crypto has no part in a solarpunk future or its prefigurative present. But they don’t come out and say that, adopting a tone of impartiality. At best, I would call this disingenuous. And it reeks of the both-sides-ism that corporate media used to paralyze climate action discourse for decades.

Crypto is not “appropriate tech,” and discussing it without any clarity is inappropriate.

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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Very mainstream coverage, but I guess it's not too bad from that perspective. And yes, green skyscrapers are a stupid idea.

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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

One of my goals for my postcard series is to show a rebuilding society that prioritizes reducing waste and externalities, and examining what weird technologies might appeal to them because of those goals/limitations. So I've been wanting to do a scene of a caustic soda locomotive ever since I first heard about them.

Soda locomotives were a type of fireless steam locomotive that barely made it out of the prototype phase, where the boiler is surrounded by a tank of ‘caustic soda’ (usually one of several possible chemicals), which generates heat when mixed with water. The heat produces steam in the boiler, which is used to drive the pistons, but instead of being released, its condensed and added to the soda to create more heat. This goes on until the soda gets too dilute to produce more heat, but it can be 'recharged' by drying it out again.

These never really took off because it took more coal to dry the soda at the station than to just run a conventional steam locomotive, and electric trains quickly came into their own and filled the niche of quiet, low-pollution trains for inside cities and tunnels.

But I feel like these could pair well with solar steam generators (another late-1800’s design) stationed along the tracks, to create analogue, solar-powered trains. These could run on existing unpowered tracks, without requiring any new electrical infrastructure, just the isolated drying stations.

The train crew would just exchange wet soda for dry and start again (looks like that took about 45 minutes). The cool thing is that this arrangement could be asyncronous - the station can dry out the caustic soda, then store it for when the train shows up. The train can run on cloudy days or at night, as long as they get enough sunny days to dry out big batches of soda at the stops along the way. And the solar concentrators can be huge and optimized for their location because they don’t have to move.

The focus of these postcards isn’t on technological utopias so much as on societies that are reexamining how to do things as they rebuild, anachronistically combining all kinds of tech. So trains and solar concentrators built with 1800’s technology seem like an easier starting place.

The concentrators require fairly simple materials (mirrors or polished metal) and math to make (plus some simple mechanical timing or basic motors/electronics to get them to follow the sun without a human turning a crank).

Most of the descriptions I've seen of drying the caustic soda mention pumping superheated steam through the dilute mix from another (coal) boiler, so it seems like you could use almost any design from the earliest solar steam generators to something like these modern ones depending on the society’s manufacturing capabilities. The solar concentrator/boiler I referenced for the art is a design from 1901.

(The most common modern design for solar steam generation I've seen is that sort of mirrored-trough-and-vaccum-lined-tube system. I mostly went with the big round reflector because I was worried the trough design wouldn't read as distinct from photovoltaic panels in this art style.)

The trains could run with minimal pollution using these simple technologies, and even if their range is lower, or they're not as fast, that might be a trade off this society would accept.

Ideally they would use existing tracks and passenger or freight cars, and only need new infrastructure around whatever station fueled them up on their route (or at a destination). I think this applies to the compressed air locomotives just as well as the caustic soda ones.

(If you don’t like the idea of caustic soda locomotives, but you still want this idea to work, another option with a shorter range is compressed air locomotives. Instead of drying the soda, the station would be using a solar steam engine or windmill or water wheel to run an air compressor, steadily filling a tank which would be used to top up locomotives on their route. This would still allow for isolated infrastructure to power a train along unpowered rails. IRL these mostly saw use in mines.)

The locomotive in the scene is based on a real-life fireless locomotive. They’re similar, but filled with super-hot steam by external sources. They seemed like a good reference for what a caustic soda locomotive might have looked like had the concept reached a more polished, production format. But they don’t really fit my goal for tolerating intermittency as they’d need the heat source to be going when they stopped for a refill.

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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

During the Little Ice Age, Native North Americans devised whole new economic, social, and political structures.

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submitted 3 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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The Men Who Sold The Moon (www.notthesky.com)
submitted 3 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 3 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

cross-posted from: https://lemmy.blahaj.zone/post/10318840

The herbal solidarity project resisting state oppression

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submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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