Hey CJ! As much as I've been enjoying our chat, I think this will have to be my last block in this conversation. I'm reaching a capacity point with writing-based online engagements right now - which is tied to a convergence of health issue management, holiday busyness / business stuff, and a reconfiguration of my offline/online balance heading into the new year. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to hang out with me in this cozy corner of Are.naville - it's been a real pleasure :^)

However! This is not to say that our exchanges need come to an end. I feel like at this point we should maybe switch over to trying a video chat over Jitsi sometime (in January?), if you're feeling up to it. My capacity to have verbal discussions is far higher than text-based ones generally. And unlike many people, I actually rarely do video chats so am not particularly fatigued in that regard myself. Let me know via email if you're interested!

And before I officially wrap things up here, I'll respond to your previous message!:

I think you're absolutely right about the grounding, empowering magic of active listening, learning, and collaborating. There are also some interesting parallels between making music and tinkering with computers & the web--especially if we focus on digital music production. People often ask me if I play music and my reply has always been that I'm an 'experimental musician' much in the same way that I'm a 'tinkerer' online. Formal learning has never been my forté, but I love playing instruments and experimenting with recordings/samples in much the same way that I approach things like web building (which is to say, crudely!). I've never released any music publicly, but have created single copies of two albums for friends once upon a time. But actually, on that note, I have some musical projects planned for the new year which I'll definitely share with you if/when I put them online :^) So glad that you've enjoyed some of my little mixography hehe I'll also let you know if I get a radio station running on my Raspberry Pi!

Social computing is such a great idea, and with so much more wholesome potential than 'Social Media' I'd say! I've been happy to see these trends towards things like SMCC, tilde club, Beaker, hyperlink.academy, 'digital gardens', etc., but the major issue for me is that it's really hard to bring non-tech people into the fold of things like this to build a diverse community sustainably in a purely digital context (especially when addicting platforms are competing for attention). On the other hand, I've seen some really cool, successful offline projects along these lines in the past - mostly oriented around teaching young people computer skills - but definitely not nearly enough. (I'm also reminded of the power and importance of libraries in this respect, just one of the countless community spaces that can't really function under current circumstances - and which offer so many great free tech literacy services!) I mean, sure, people can do their video chats, etc. but there is just no replacement for hands-on, face-to-face co-learning - especially when it comes to stuff like tech literacy - in my opinion. I think an ideal scenario will always be a hybrid offline/online approach to social computing... maybe one day we'll see widespread locally-oriented tilde web rings or something ;^P (On a side note, this was always one of the major appeals of Scuttlebutt to me - the whole local, offline potential!)

Whoa, sounds like you've got a great connection for trying out a PC! haha Funny how nostalgic your mention of Dell just made me, because that was the last Windows computer that I used. Now I'm thinking of old CD-ROM games like Age of Empires... Ahh... Anyway, I'm excited to move into a fresh new computer home - it's easy to forget how different other computing environments can feel.

I'll keep you posted on what happens with my Pi! Either way, it would be really fun to do some social computing with you sometime hehe Oh, and actually on that note, you should come stop by SMCC in January (on hiatus for the month) because we'll be headed back into Cooltown - our shared Unix server tilde town - and would love to have you join us :^) Just reach out to Zach if you're interested in becoming a resident!! You can also join the SMCC forum, where we have a small, but warm community as well.

Meanwhile, I hope things are well on your end all things considered! I'll continue keeping an eye to your blog for updates, and maybe we can coordinate a Jitsi chat at some point!

  • Happy Holidays *
Seán ⠀
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