[-] [email protected] 4 points 5 days ago

My dream is to use the donkeys as my main means of transport. I've had so many cars broken recently, I don't know why I bother anymore.

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

The crumbles

Out here where we are organizing our market, Southern Europe middle of nowhere, many of the original inhabitants have left decades ago and there are many empty houses and abandoned farms. There has been a steady influx of foreigners in the last decades, many of them seeking refuge from something, from unsafe conditions in their countries of origin, rigid school systems and overcontrolling state powers, poverty, high property prices in their home countries, war, disconnect from nature, pollution, persecution.

With the summer heat returns the fear of wildfires - every year some part or another of the landscape catches fire, houses and farms and sometimes animals and people burn. It would help if more people lived here and cared for the land, and if the local authorities didn't encourage the planting of pine and eucalyptus monocultures. There is an underlying feeling that everyone would rather be left alone by all the rules and regulations that stifle each and every activity, but some facade has to be kept up towards an increasingly absent central power, and lets face it, some rules and regulations keep the more desperate from wrecking the last bit of landscape that is left.

As for absent power, I'm still trying to create an association, but nobody of the places supposedly available seem to want to do it. The only powers always ready to become active are those authorized to collect fines! I've spent the last couple of days somewhat enraged about that, which isn't very healthy. The second edition of our market is coming along nicely however, with a collective spamming of posters on every surface in this and the neighbouring towns, and sharing it on social media. The old plus some new stallholders are eager to arrive, we are growing the number of stalls quite significantly ...

In the background, people are coming together and approach us about sharing costs and give advice around cutting costs. I'm not pushing any of it, it's still mainly our investment and it's worth it. People will be more comfortable to step in when we get a monthly event going, and we'll continue as long as we aren't going hungry - and there seems to be plenty of food everywhere we turn up, so it might be a while.

Which brings me back, again and again, to the idea of value. In the case of people living here, more and especially younger people provide value. So the different refugees and especially their children are quite welcome. There's language courses to help people fit in, bureaucracy seems to have a somewhat loose interpretation to help people settle around here, and we have heard many times from locals how happy they are that some life returns to the region! The return of life means the necessary work gets done. In our case, we couldn't get our car repaired. In fact, we were forced to organize the whole first edition of the market with a tiny microcar which is falling in pieces. When it didn't pass the inspection we realized getting mad at the mechanic wasn't helping, so we just made a deal and sent our resident young person to go do something useful and help the man in his workshop (or: sacrifice my firstborn to get my car fixed, depends on your perspective). I find that everybody wins, for now. No money involved, but value created. A friend seems to have been helping out in the local cheese factory and I'm considering it as well, as a learning experience and to support the tiny local business.

These developments slot in nicely with some ideas another friend had about a 'school of volunteers' where youngsters would be getting to know different eco-projects and businesses of the region. It satisfies a need: the tiny family businesses we have around here can't always afford permanent staff but often might need some people who can jump in and help. And also, people don't want to do 8 hours of the same, every day. My coop ideas are very much also connected to these issues. So this working without the formal form of cooperative is maybe even better, more flexible. Make it part of the culture again.

This invites to re-inspect my perception of value and the many ways value does not have to relate to money. To let go, at least for a while, of the idea that money provides safety, and welcome the idea of community providing it instead, and find out together how we would shape this community to be comfortable for the many different people, cultures and ideas that it is made up of. And how to integrate this manifold human community into the larger landscape of non-humans and make this into an abundant circle of life. For this to happen we might have to treat our money in more unconventional ways, to not hold on to it too much and invest in community wherever we can. And invest in handmade stuff, because handmade craft slows down the stream of resources. So it's important that the market be for crafts and second hand things and locally grown and made food - these being things of real value compared to cheaper, mass-produced stuff.

Happening as well: Yesterday I got myself a mild sunstroke walking way too fast and far through this landscape I love, with a rather tougher-than-me group of elderly locals, but it was worth it because someone explained me how to make a brush from a local plant. The feverish hours spent in a dark room afterwards were invaded by ideas of how to foster the mushroom-growing capabilities of ants for easier mushroom cultivation. Yay for multicultural and interspecies community, and a liveable future for all!

submitted 4 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Towards the second edition

After the first market being a success we felt we had to continue building on what we started. So we called a meeting with the townhall again to confirm a second date. They took their time to receive us (we should have been professional and book the market aftermath meeting beforehand) and confirmed our date. And then, after we immediately started distributing the information and receiving stallholder registrations, unconfirmed it again two days later because apparently we are too close to a voting booth, which the law doesn't permit.

We sent them a rather unkind email. Had a somewhat heated meeting, and changed date, and then scrambled to let everyone know. One of the townhall people was really quite offended and emotional about the fact that we questioned their commitment, and I'm still confused by the fact how much emotion we stirred up with that. It's like they are completely out of their depth and make things up as they go, and they look mostly overwhelmed - not that different from what we are doing. I guess we were actually lucky that whoever came to shove that law into their faces didn't decide to wait with it until a day before the market.

We are, so far, still losing money. I'll have time to come up with a collection of things to sell to support ourselves in this one, among ram pumps, trees and used goods. We also had a long discussion about the real worth of things, worth that has nothing to do with money. The seeds that are created even when you fail, the young people inspired to try and create something one day, the connections created with these events. It's all worth it.

This is the first time the townhall confirmed not only that creating an association would be useful, but also that (and how) we could ask for financial support, and that they will support us in doing so. I feel we are now in the category of 'annoying but useful' and we also meet a lot of people who we might tag in a similar way. We know they are ultimately aligned with what we want (create a resilient community in our region) but the way they do things doesn't align perfectly with our ideas. We'd rather limit our exposure to them if we can or don't really think their methods work, but they are welcome anyway. That's the heart of community, especially a multicultural one - the daily work of getting along also with those whose goals are close enough. It means people need to have space to get out of each other's way, and that one also has to maintain a fierce stance for tolerance and being non-judgemental while keeping one's own integrity intact.

We are learning a lot about different cultures. Someone invited themselves over for coffee in a rather abrupt way, and there I was confused, scrambling to produce some coffee in my unprepared kitchen! Just to find out it's more of a figure of speech somewhere else as a way to ask if the person is prepared for someone else to pop by - actual coffee not necessarily expected.

And so edition two of the market is on the way, with a lot of friends from the last time getting ready to appear. This time the anxiety is way lower. There's so much less to organize, we'll have electricity and shade, according to the townhall.

Meanwhile our market activities are just one of many little things happening around here and bringing people together. The cultural bandwidth of events we've visited only in the last month is making us a little dizzy. And each of the places we visit brings another element to our mix. We went, pretty much in one row, to: a business-y and cautious kind of meeting with people from a large local eco-tourism project who would like to hold our event on their (beautiful but not public) terrain, the weekly clothes-farmers-food-everything market where I buy my sourdough bread, a rainbow gathering held by neighbours who will grace our next market with a vegetarian food stand, a quite surprising circus performance in the next town's market hall, a renaissance fair ... it's nice and diverse here already with a lot of inspiring stuff being created, and we're surfing through all of this inviting everyone to the market.

We have help from people distributing flyers now. We've convinced the right people to run food stands. Might be that on the next market we just can lean back and enjoy.

Fun fact: I was super pleased to hear that locals call our market the 'Come-ons market', 'Come-on' being a slightly derisive term for expats, and an excellent word-play with 'Commons'. Couldn't have come up with it myself. And I really like how the organization is playing out, with the right people already in place ready to advertise our event, and not just us this time - so it is turning into a multicultural Commons Market just as planned.

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

So I have this silly idea/longterm project of wanting to run a server on renewables on my farm. And I would like to reuse the heat generated by the server, for example to heat a grow room, or simply my house. How much heat does a server produce, and where would you consider it best applied? Has anyone built such a thing?

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

A day of plenty, and more to come

We even got a few hours of sleep before, and then the first half of the actual market day was us running to set up. I must have walked several kilometers and answered more incoming phone calls than I had time to get nervous about before noon. Just as we had hoped, there were enough people to give us a hand, plus we had hired a few young friends to help out and man our badly thrown together food stand (it didn't burn down at least, we learned how to do it next time).

The second half of the market we had some time to see the miracle unfold. Square full of colorful stands, plenty of smiles, so many happy people. People thanked us for the good organization (?). We weren't well organized and forgot so much stuff, we were making everything up as we went. It just happened that our supporters were incredibly good at finding out where they were most useful, and all stallholders patient and friendly, and everyone contributed to the magic.

We even created a questionnaire to find out what to improve next time and got useful feedback.

The result is, people want to do it again, they really loved it, with only few things to improve. And so we are, for now, accidental market organizers.

Now we have this incredible buzz and enthusiasm we can build on. Registrations for the next edition arrived the evening after the market. We didn't rest the day after, as we had hoped, but made sure to collect everyone's feedback and thank everyone involved and start planning improvements.

And the cooperative? And what about subverting people?

I spent the last night before the market printing out a presentation I had written and designed, with as little text and lots of images, to try and get make people consider their work situation, and how they would like to improve it. I don't think anybody saw it. I had a nice idea about how to present this in a sort of interactive labyrinth with a haunted house style but no time to set it up properly, so there it was, forgotten in an unvisited corner of the market. Communication and creative challenges ahead, and I'm curious how to take them on. Probably the right people will appear to help make this real.

The cultural exchange did happen, and needs time to deepen. Because of the language and culture difference locals and new inhabitants often don't interact much and some people can be very shy around each other. We managed to have a lot of locals with stands and as visitors, mixed in with the foreign crowd, and mixed visitors thanks to our careful promotion in both communities. I consider this point a very effective and very important step towards living together in peace and getting along between the different communities around here. I feel that the people in the local town hall are with us in this, and I'm glad it's that way. A whole lot of town hall folk appeared to have a look and buy trinkets. As for police, I didn't even notice them, but people reported they appeared once in the beginning, once at the end, stayed in the background and far out of the way, and left without bothering anyone during or after, as far as I'm aware.

So no concrete steps taken towards a cooperative as I have envisioned it, although we now consider forming one as a small family team for event organization, seems we've discovered a hidden talent. At same time the market as the most simple and unregulated of economical exchanges is clearly the way to go for now, without need to (immediately or ever) grow it into a factory sized project or a legal entity. I know myself to be a person to get hung up on formats, channels, ways of delivery, while missing the already there and the obvious. It must be an autism thing.

The immediate

So far it has been a great experience. It is funny how the initial project changed shape as needed. The market is hopefully to continue to happen every month, and other projects and ideas start growing out of this event as well. So picking a realistic scale can happen during the process, if you permit the process to remain flexible. In the moment the local community doesn't need or want a community center, but a spot to meet once a month to exchange news and goods in a relaxed festive atmosphere with good food and drink, and that's also the perfect place to mix and mingle among cultures and talk to and learn from each other. Seeds for further cooperation in the future are being planted like this in a fairly easy way.

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

Just a few days left before market

Another nailbiting weekend. We could do without these, but they remind us to return to the basics: garden, animals, each other, and not worry about too much.

The generator rental has clearly taken their business practices out of a bad dating manual: 'Don't make yourself too available. Keep things a little mysterious.' Friday they were suddenly not sure they could arrange the distribution board for our generator. (After at first claiming they didn't even have any distribution boards for rent, and then yes they did after all ... ) Monday we drove back to the generator rental, find another solution (several small generators?). To be told: 'after all, distribution board will arrive with generator on Friday'. Thanks, generator rental?

Which lead to practical problem 2: what do with generator after market? Not great to be out on the street, and worse, will be blocking the space of the usual bi-weekly farmer's market. Also, had to negotiate about some more infrastructure to use there. We met with more town hall people (this town is so small that everything is relatively uncomplicated and informal). One technical guy (of those who do actual work) quickly solved all our problems to our utmost satisfaction.

Throughout the organization I've lost most of my usual shyness. Just phone calls are still a bit of a struggle. I do answer most of them but still avoid making them and forget to note down people's names every time.

Few days missing, I've been out distributing flyers and posters. Should have printed more. We are counting with 40-50 stands, hope we fit everybody in, and sort out the last bits before market day.

Cooperative? Spent a lot of time talking with a small group of people wanting to create one, and also spoke to other community members to find out what are their needs, spent time trying to understand what is the difference between a cooperative and an association, and what would fit people's needs better, and found that by this slow way of inquiring informally I am getting a good picture. I feel that building a larger cooperative active in different sectors that could be truly democratic and benefit the larger community would take interested people quite a while to create. All would have to study how it functions, build a way of self-organizing, create a business plan together, define membership options based on that ...

For many people a coop is 'something like tool share, food and skill exchange and doing stuff together'. For what I see, creating a coop (a legal entity created for business activities) with this approach risks both self-exploitation ('we can totally run this coop shop based on voluntary work') and being accused of lack of transparency because the core group hasn't defined their setup well enough to communicate it well to others. For what I see if people want to create a legal entity for 'doing stuff together' an association might be the better option. Of course, I might be totally wrong.

I am back to considering a digital solution first because that will actually be a solution for many people - a database with frontend where people can connect and post their skills, stuff to give away, events .... but I will keep inquiring and talking about the coop. For example, I have not much from actual members of coops yet. At least one will be at the market and I'm excited to speak to them!

Happy with all the progress made so far and curious where my meanderings around people lead me next.

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

they raise you somewhere
between quiet complacency
and revolutionary rage
and hope you choose wisely one day

these shoes are very big
they might be clown shoes
my mouth sewn shut
between quiet rage and no agency

then disapprove of you
and your quiet despair
but you had everything
i had more than i could stomach

when you meet them again
even smaller than last time
their childish tearful eyes
asking you are we free yet?

Hydro Power Overview (www.builditsolar.com)
submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

A good overview and link collection around small scale hydro power technologies

suv (slrpnk.net)
submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Small reminders for stupidly big cars

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

Notes from the marketground

Just 12 days before the market event we find ourselves in funny mood between feeling quite simply exhausted, being a little stressed out because there's still so much to wrap up, and also satisfied because there's so much already in place.

Two weeks and two days before the event we went to rent cables because we were informed that the generator we rented does not come with any distribution, after fruitlessly negotiating for power at the new market location with the town. We followed some recommendation into a very difficult to find tiny hidden shop where three helpful guys (electric wizards?) spent an hour drawing diagrams and explaining us how our rented generator will burn if not connected to a proper distribution board (very expensive!) and how the whole thing will surely ruin us. They called quite a few people with different generators, mobile stages, ??? to try and help us out, but to no avail. We then spent a weekend biting nails and asking around for other solutions - as we have to notify the generator people two weeks in advance. Then found out Monday that generator after all can be rented with distribution board and cables, for a reasonable fee. Phew.

We went to create an non-profit association, in the hope of having an official and hopefully cheaper and easier way to deal with purchases, donations and other financial stuff for future market organization, but also to have a sort of playground to experiment with acting as a public organization and find out about the pros and cons. However, bureaucracy won't have us! Behold four different attempts:

  1. walk into a registry office, be told creation of association has to be scheduled (Service is called sth like 'Association straight away')
  2. email to different registry for scheduling. Be told they don't offer the service (their website says they do)
  3. try to phone third registry. Nobody answers the phone
  4. email them. They don't offer the service (their website says they do)

I've sent some form to the central office of registries where you can complain about stuff (my council is not in the drop-down list when I'm asked to identify myself !?) I don't think it will do any good anyways. I will try to calm down my murderous heart and try in a different registry per phone and email (will be a 80km roundtrip). It is not easy to organize as a group of citizens, and I was so frustrated about this and the chewing-gum like email exchange asking stuff from town (with really no information given as to how they will actually follow through with the stuff they conceded, further nailbiting).

Other kafkaesk emails were exchanged with the copyright authority for a music license and elaborating further on it would be bad for my health at this point.

In resume, every interaction with the famous 'system' in its manifold manifestations makes me want to scream or punch someone or burn something down, even though I'm by nature the mildest, lamest and laziest granny bog creature you will find on this server. Instead both me and bf were throwing up all weekend forcing us into a well-needed rest and re-consideration as to whether this official kind of organizing is even worth it. (Not the event and community organizing, but the closeness to government/authorities/asking permission etc. vs hiding in the bushes and connecting informally.)

For sorting my own thoughts and to create a sort of presentation/survey for local online groups and market visitors and participants, I have started writing down a few considerations and thoughts about forming a cooperative vs association vs no organization at all. Hope to get a better overview about people's needs and ideas and resume it into something actionable towards the beginning of summer in the latest (leave some days per month for throwing up?). Note to self: my notes are taking overhand, what do?)

To not finish this somewhat tattered report with vomit and worries, here's a wholesome bit: I scored a few hours of babysitting last week! Interacting with a little one resets heart and mind towards the important things, to remember who we are doing this for.

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

Mess up and mix up in market limbo

On Monday, instead of getting the last bits of gear for the event organized, we suddenly found out we are in major trouble with the site owner. Early on, after he already had agreed verbally to our event, I had sent him a text message to inform him of the support of the council and our event date. He (as I found out now) didn't like the way I did this and decided to simply not respond, but I booked it under 'Didn't say no, will follow up later..' and forgot about it all while we were getting busy with other details.

I got yelled at on the phone about not having his final authorization, which is not a nice experience for someone who is already really phone-phobic on the best of days. I believe I could make out 'we still would like to help' and 'agreement still on' between 'THIS IS NOT DONE LIKE THIS' and 'AN EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL WAY OF HANDLING THINGS' and a lot I couldn't really understand. It reminds me that this project is to build a future where you don't have to beg to people who have more properties than they can care for. But as things are, I had to admit I should have followed up with him, had to write a very polite email describing our event and project in detail.

At the same time me and bf had to agree we don't really like the idea of having to make the site safe. It's a bit of a nightmare in more spots than we had initially realized. Also, the lack of tree shade and natural surroundings seems too off-putting for quite a few of the market people, and we also have had feedback that people would like to have regular markets.

So we've decided to take the market serious as its own thing. I composed another email to the council asking for a better spot (the prime recreational spot in the area). Said we would like to talk about regular markets, and could have an association in place tomorrow to more easily formalize any support from them. We've also, just for ourselves, lined up a few other alternative sites. Something will turn up. We had a talk about the anxiety that comes with all this, and concluded we still lighthearted enough about the whole thing, and will just stubbornly continue to organize, apart from Monday when my period doomsday coincided with the sudden site trouble and I spent the day crying about a range of different matters, as expected.

After a few anxiety-filled days with a market floating in empty space (while still receiving registrations for stands), we got answers from both the original site owner and the council. Council wants to meet us again and make us a proposal. Get the wedding party started. They did not tell us what the proposal is, so now we enjoy a few forced days off, slightly nervous, but we welcome the opportunity to imagine in more detail what we want to dream up here - markets, coop, a permanent space for both projects ... after talking to so many different people out there we now know more about what would be interesting and helpful for people, and what we would personally like to be involved in.

We went to a meeting of another group wanting to set up a cooperative. The question keeps floating in the room: start with one larger cooperative or several small ones? Knowing that it is difficult for most people to work together even in small groups (I explain it with the fact that we all are re-learning how to work self-organized in community) I tend to favour starting with smaller groups. For now, we all seem to be studying, learning and stretching out feelers in different directions to find out what each person wants from a coop, which doesn't always coincide. It's good to find this out before sitting in an already existing coop together, so I tend to prefer wanting to meet more people and different combinations of smaller groups during the next few months, to find out who vibes together, which isn't always obvious. Taking it slow but steady in this phase, learning together but not stubbornly insisting in walking towards one or many coops right now, we might end up with a reasonable number of stable coops with the right people working together. Imagine the positive boost for a region where more and more people work together democratically and self-organize.

[-] [email protected] 53 points 3 months ago

I was missing one aspect as to why so many of us are drawn towards cottagecore, which is that the return to a more simple life means a return towards more connections with non-humans. People and their different non-human allies (plants, animals, fungi) go way back and recently we've lost touch. We don't miss the sourdough for aesthetic reasons. We miss the sourdough because it's an old friend.

The world we have created is entirely human-centric, and now we feel alone.

As to the aesthetization and commercialization of subcultures - that has always been a risk and is in no way limited to stuff liked mostly by girls. As soon as a subculture gains a name the vultures arrive. Just waiting for the new range of solarpunk softdrinks to be available in my local store tbh.

[-] [email protected] 155 points 4 months ago

Captcha buster is taking care of the captchas now at least. A robot that proves I'm not a robot. Is this the singularity yet?

[-] [email protected] 85 points 5 months ago

I was leftie before I was techie. If you don't know anything around tech and computers you wouldn't know what to do. Even as a fairly tech-adjacent professional it took me quite a while.

Then again, I only became a real leftie again after kicking all the corpos out of my computer.

Tech used to be (and still is) obscured by heavy gatekeeping. We who understand a little more like to joke about those who don't, and I guess we'll have to stop that if we really want to unite the left. Don't ridicule, explain. The person might never have had a chance to learn the concept.

[-] [email protected] 87 points 5 months ago

LinkedIn just isn't for Jobs Anymore. It's Now a Pile of Trash.

Ads about pushing your career, then more ads about how to create a better work life balance. And everybody seems to be a coach who tries to push their courses about the above mentioned topics. Thanks but I'll pass.

[-] [email protected] 68 points 6 months ago

'Tech Billionaires give all wealth away to end world hunger.' 'Tech Billionaires lobby for wealth tax with national governments.' 'Tech Billionaires realize they are normal people like anyone else, not super smart world-saving geniuses, and finally shut the fuck up.'

Now these would be news.

[-] [email protected] 66 points 6 months ago

Same with real people out there. I grew up in conflict with my parents before the internet and had the exact same issues you describe, just offline. it comes down to taking any and every advice with a grain of salt, no matter. Online and offline self help groups can be great, and life saving.

[-] [email protected] 50 points 6 months ago

Currently sitting next to silent bf silently. We just grunt at each other for days in a row. Live with someone wanting constant interaction = hell.

[-] [email protected] 82 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

I am a translator. Some decades ago the language industry introduced MT - some kind of precursor of LLM. The prices of translation jobs didn't change, and translators didn't lose their work entirely. But gradually we were offered more and more MTPE (euphemism for fixing the robot's shit) jobs, for a lower rate. Many older colleagues stayed with the few remaining translation jobs, young people starting out became "MTPE editors". These days there are a few translation jobs, many MTPE jobs, and more and more jobs in "AI output rating" - and the new generation will be working as an "AI linguistic assistant" or other such barbarity for even less money.

The tech isn't necessarily bad in itself, but what we have to wake up to is that tech is used to pay each generation after us a little less. We have to resist this and demand fair pay for fair work always - no matter if they want to call it 'translation', 'AI output review' or 'ertdfg sfdgs' - it has a price, and this price has to respect our dignity and enable a healthy life for us language workers and all other workers.

[-] [email protected] 47 points 7 months ago

If I escape with clown shoes and a pogo stick, are the cops going to chase me in the same manner? Asking for a friend

[-] [email protected] 124 points 8 months ago

'Anti Prom' in a library sounds like an event I'd attend. I'd prefer it with snakes though.

[-] [email protected] 84 points 10 months ago

Just scrolling and consuming content is very bad for body and mind. If you feel numb like this, try to find one or several forms of self-expression that works for you.

Can be drawing, dancing, singing, petting animals, programming, staring at trees, knitting, gardening, making memes, recording videos. And even better: you're permitted to do all of it badly and just enjoy yourself, no rules need to be followed.

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joined 11 months ago