@bfister Reading back I notice I replied to you before I found my hidden third account! That was quite a head spin. So I thought I’d wait and see how things settled, and now the planned merge is this one into the big instance one, holding on to aus dot social for, you know, swearing in Australian. I don’t do anything quickly though. For me, interesting people have come through hashtags. #florespondence is a treat.
@bfister After a while back here I’ve found that I’m using the other two accounts more than this one so I’m going to attempt a merge. That’s all part of how this works too — I’m gradually getting the hang of the federated self-community permutations. I like being in a smaller instance (aus dot social) where the local timeline is functional. I also like being in the big carnival of mastodon dot social where this all began for me.
@DonnaLanclos I’m so glad to read this today. It has assisted my thinking very significantly about (gesturing wildly) *all this interfacing*. How are we people to each other, how do we resist the vocabularies of reduction, the sorting of humans by useful gesture into followers and favourites and all the rest? Part of what connects us how we have kin, and practice kinship, and hold up our storied living. Thank you so much for writing and resharing this.
@csoren1 So rather than belonging-to being a foundation for care of specific others (colleagues, say, of family), then care becomes a way of responding to strangers in the moment — perhaps all strangers, perhaps always? This is a radical practice of openness for decentredness: care without structure.
@csoren1 I’m slowly forming a question about what happens to care reciprocity under radical decentralisation. “The community I belong to” changes dramatically when the connective tissue is me, shuttling between different interactions but not necessarily ever entering a stable community where I belong.
I’m listening to the weekend sound of my neighbourhood: kids in the street, someone’s playing drums, neighbours chatting. Thinking about small communities, pros and cons. We take care of each other: everyone drives into this street slowly because we have many little ones who might be playing in the road. But we also surveil and gossip. Our street is in a town of 6000. Today at the store I was served by a girl I knew when she was 5 years old. In small communities (workplaces, instances) care becomes conformity very quickly. It’s a delicate balance.
Slowly I’m peeling apart the two accounts, to think about education and working futures (here) and climate and communities (there). It feels like this might make sense. Let’s see. Randomly, my dad was an identical twin. He and his brother called each other Bill. Many wartime letters survive, in identical writing, “dear Bill, love Bill”. He died young and his brother lived on alone for another fifty years, into his nineties.
Thinking a bit about serendipities in public places. When we put ourselves in places where we could meet a good stranger, we balance risks. Be available, don’t be foolish. Know your surroundings. Know what you’re looking out for. Know the privileges that underwrite your freedom to choose your own adventure. Sit and watch. Listen.
@harmonygritz @csoren1 I think the question is about narrowing “here”. Of all the gin joints in all the world etc. I tend to agree about servers not being solutions, although for some niche reasons they might be. I joined an Australian instance for a while to see what that meant, and I haven’t stayed. I can see scholar.social is a bar many are walking into, and I like that I can hear the conversation from my milk crate outside that particular establishment. But I’m not drawn inside.
@csoren1 @harmonygritz Something I learned when mastodon was tiny was that the emphasis on safety for very vulnerable and often younger queers fleeing harassment on Twitter was really a focus. Some of the earliest culture rules were set around that priority, and often a single focus can lead to problematic outcomes. Back then I had reservations about a culture that so strongly prohibited acknowledging the politics of the world. I had to sit and think as a labour activist: ok, fine, but what happens to others if we all turn away from those lived realities?
@csoren1 This is what held me back from Roam, a product I loved and that my head really needed. The culture felt like a bar I didn’t want to walk into.
@csoren1 @harmonygritz This part is really complex. I’m not sure I know the answer fully. The culture-of-origin reminds me of other tech platforms, except more left and more queer, but multiple niche instances really fracture this. I think there are probably multiple answers too, and maybe one is Euro rather than US origins in terms of languages. And there have been specific experiences on specific instances. A question for me in checking out an instance is: how does this instance recognise racism and what practical action is taken? (I ask this about trans stance too.) But a question for tech bro culture everywhere: what are your standards for improving on what we can all see is a diversity problem?
@csoren1 It’s like walking into a bar: you know you might be asked to leave. The calculation is always about whether you broadly support the conditions of hospitality, or whether you’re still looking for a bar that feels more welcoming to your values, and also whether someone’s in there that you want to talk with, or strangers are in there that you might want to meet. It’s all in calculation I think.
@csoren1 This is something relevant to me too — evolving into a practice carefully. I’m learning to learn again.
Working in higher education in Australia, back after a while away, and thinking here about universities, platforms, working futures. Twin of the other @katebowles. Both are me.