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Small Technology

ar.al/2019/03/04/small-technol

We need an antidote to surveillance capitalism that is so anathema to the interests of Big Tech that it cannot possibly be co-opted by them.

@aral Thank you, this is great. I'll post to our community forum.

This can be elaborated to a workable framework. A manifesto for anyone setting up Small Tech initiatives. Each of the bullet points should have elaboration on how to effectively act on them (like not-for-profit --> earning a decent living, present the options).

@aral this is similar to zebrasunite.com - be a zebra, not a unicorn. But with some important differences, like non-profit, copyleft, etc.

@humanetech @aral

Heh, I just came here to point out zebrasunite.com as well.

One thing that's still missing from this picture - a job board. I'm currently looking (while working on several open-source side projects) but finding a programming gig that isn't ad-tech or b2b enterpriseware is hard.

@gdorn @aral

Yes, hard to find viable, humane business models. We are in defining phase and there are lotsa things to discover to give #SmallTech and #Zebra like models shape and form.

I just gave a - I think glowing - follow-up to some misperceptions of the concepts, and was inspired both by Aral's article and the critical response of one of our valued members. Afraid it turned into a larger plea for #HumaneTechnology that I intend to blog about 😃

Check it out here: community.humanetech.com/t/351

@aral I think the not-for-profit model is very important too, as it allows the non-profit to compete (or better: to have USP's) in ways that are impossible for a for-profit business entity.

@aral "clear and simple characteristics and goals that are impossible to misinterpret" i particularly like this one

@aral Great piece. I often think about this and I end up wondering about how hardware innovation could happen in this alternative model. Unlike software, it gets much harder to achieve without capital resources. But we need to start somewhere.

@kaishin What's a good first step? Open source ovens for Si?

@aral

Great piece, agree wholeheartedly with many of your stated goals.

The one thing I have an issue with is the copyleft licencing bits. Copyleft, seemingly by design, don't "ensure that if you benefit from the commons, you must give back to the commons."

The GPL doesn't require that at all, except in the particular case of *sale* of the software. The AGPL, while better, doesn't provide any enforcement method.

The whole thrust of Copyleft appears to be the provision of free labour for corporate entities.

@aral "Encourages hitherto impractical non-hierarchial political organisation and agency at scale."
Do you mean that the organizations that manage small tech, should have an impractical structure on purpose?
Could you elaborate this point?

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