Interior of a London Coffee-house, 17th century | Source: wikipedia.org
On the social impact of coffeehouses
“Remember — until the mid-seventeenth century, most people in England were either slightly — or very — drunk all of the time. Drink London’s fetid river water at your own peril; most people wisely favoured watered-down ale or beer. The arrival of coffee, then, triggered a dawn of sobriety that laid the foundations for truly spectacular economic growth in the decades that followed as people thought clearly for the first time. The stock exchange, insurance industry, and auctioneering: all burst into life in 17th-century coffeehouses.”
A look inside a coffeehouse:
“As the image shows, customers sat around long communal tables strewn with every type of media imaginable listening in to each other’s conversations, interjecting whenever they pleased, and reflecting upon the newspapers. Talking to strangers, an alien concept in most coffee shops today, was actively encouraged.”
Change, openness and free exchange of information cause fear amongst the ruling class:
“Charles II, a longtime critic, tried to torpedo them by royal proclamation in 1675. Traditionally, informed political debate had been the preserve of the social elite. But in the coffeehouse it was anyone’s business — that is, anyone who could afford the measly one-penny entrance fee.”
… are some of the most interesting things that happened to the internet lately:
We are selling our product, NOT our users. We will never sell your personal data, content, feed, interests, clicks, or anything else to advertisers. We promise.
You own your content. App.net members always have full control of their data and the fundamental right to easily back-up, export, and delete ALL of their data, whenever they want.
Our financial incentives are aligned with members & developers. In this paid model, the more people that value our service highly enough to pay for it, the more money we make. Our financial incentives are entirely tied to successfully delivering a service you can depend on, not on holding our ecosystem hostage.
App.net employees spend 100% of their time improving our services for you, not advertisers. Rather than waste most of our engineering time coming up with new and exciting ways to sell your personal data to advertisers, 100% of our engineering and product team is focused on building the most innovative and reliable service we can.
“I want you, all of the gatekeepers, to become fans. I want you to become true enthusiasts like me. I want you to become thrill-seekers.
And if in the opportunities you give me, you try to cram all this wildness and risk-taking back in to the crappy mimeographic worksheet form of middle school, we’re just going to walk away. We’re not going to work together. No harm no foul. We can just walk away.
You know why we can do that now? Because of these. (Oswalt holds up an iPhone)
In my hand right now I’m holding more filmmaking technology than Orsen Welles had when he filmed Citizen Kane.
I’m holding almost the same amount of cinematography, post-editing, sound editing, and broadcast capabilities as you have at your tv network.
In a couple of years it’s going to be fucking equal. I see what’s fucking coming. This isn’t a threat, this is an offer. We like to create. We’re the ones who love to make shit all the time. You’re the ones who like to discover it and patronize it support it and nurture it and broadcast it. Just get out of our way when we do it.”
- Excerpt from Patton Oswalt’s Keynote @ Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012 (via thecomicscomic.com)
Our vision is to create a commercially sustainable, social enterprise that achieves its growth and profitability targets whilst operating within values based on community development and cohesion. Our intent is to offer an alternative food buying network, by connecting an urban community with the local farming community.
Colin Tudge’s Do-Lecture How we can get good food for everyone. “We need to learn from nature not ignore it. It has all the answers. We think the answer to our food problems is to have bigger farms. But the opposite is true.”
Colin provides us with some great design principles for ecosystems provied by mother nature:
Let’s be clear on the cause of these problems. It’s not really about wealthy people or executives. Our problems are not caused by evil masterminds who want to hurt us. Big companies are full of good people. People like us. Businesspeople just work hard to achieve whatever goals are defined by the system. Many CEOs may want to do good, but they can only do what the system allows. Blaming people distracts us from the big picture. Focus on the system. I believe our economic system is afflicted by a design flaw, and I believe we can fix it. … Collectively, we have a ridiculously large amount of money. If we organize our spending as a group, then our money becomes the biggest and most powerful carrot you could ever imagine, big enough to move even the most stubborn donkey.
We’re throwing out the well-worn assumptions about how applications are supposed to work, and are instead paying attention to the clever ways in which people have adapted software to fit their needs. These workarounds usually contain the seeds of a better solution.