@scottmatter@aus.social avatar



small axe working for sustained / systemic change (he / him).

Also Senior Lecturer, TD School at UTS.

Some areas of interest: #anthropology, #anarchism #ethnography #strategicDesign #serviceDesign #foresight #futures #buddhism #hockey #music #collectiveImprovisation #speculativeEverything #JustTransition #politicalEcology #Australia #Canada

[Banner image is a panoramic photo with snowshoe tracks on Maligne Lake, Jasper NP, December 2018]

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raymondpert, to newyorkcity
@raymondpert@mstdn.social avatar

Bronx medical school students receive free tuition after $1 billion donation

> A historic, billion-dollar donation to a medical school in #NewYorkCity has provided students with free tuition moving forward.

> Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the #Bronx received a $1 billion donation from Dr. Ruth Gottesman, former professor and chair of the school's board of trustees, the institution announced in a press release Monday.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/bronx-nyc-medical-school-albert-einstein-college-free-tuition-ruth-gottesman/story?id=107549540 #US #RuthGottesman

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@Etche_homo @raymondpert

I’m completely lost as to how a professor ended up with a billion dollars to donate…

scottmatter, to random
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

This is fascinating and weird and wtf…

"3.72 million [US] is something that is very rarely seen in this industry. It's one of the highest-priced items ever sold at Heritage, and it's certainly the highest price sold unopened item in the sports collectibles market. …

… I could imagine at some point the buyer will sell individual boxes of this case to collectors, and if that happens, then it's very possible that some of these will be opened."


gerrymcgovern, to random
@gerrymcgovern@mastodon.green avatar

A Wi-Fi router will typically consume about 15 watts per hour of use. The difference between when the Wi-Fi network is empty and when it is completely full is maximum 10% or 12%. If it uses 14 watts ticking along with nothing on the network, and then you load it up to its maximum capacity, it’ll start using 16-17 watts. There’s over one billion Wi-Fi routers in the world. Just imagine if the designers cared about every milliwatt? A milliwatt times a billion: 10 megawatts

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Nice one. Digging your work on this stuff.

Question: in what sense do we “need” convenience?

We value it, sure, but what does convenience actually do that is necessary to our individual or collective wellbeing?

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@JetlagJen @gerrymcgovern


Capitalism promises us freedom, but it actually traps us, to be exploited on both the working and consuming ends of the cycle of wealth extraction and accumulation.

grimalkina, to random
@grimalkina@mastodon.social avatar

We have measured something researchers call beliefs about "role-based communal affordances" in my lab or in other words: how much do software developers think that the job of being a software developer includes helping other people and improving their lives? And the answer is A LOT of professional developers think this is important and see this as part of their identity.

People's beliefs about the communal affordances of software work is an undermeasured, underappreciated important thing imo.

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Could you share links or references? Apologies if I’ve missed them downthread… curious to learn how “affordances” is being used!

jeffjarvis, to random
@jeffjarvis@mastodon.social avatar

Hed: "Is polyamory the future?"
Lede: "Everyone seems to be talking about polyamory"
3 grafs later: "Strictly speaking, the practice is not terribly popular"
Editor: Go ahead and run it.

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Seeds of change, weak signals…

But yeah, newspaper articles structured like this are pretty lazy sensationalism.

capntransit, to random
@capntransit@urbanists.social avatar

"The legislation announced today would introduce new weight-based registration fees calculated using scientific data, which prove heavier vehicles cause more deaths and serious injuries; one study estimates that for every 1,000 pounds of vehicle weight, the chance of fatality increases by 46 percent. These fees would incrementally increase starting next year until they reach the full rate within six years (during which owners could switch to smaller, safer vehicles)."


@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@bluGill @capntransit

Pretty easy to include a business adjustment to registration fees for companies or traders that need a bigger vehicle for work purposes. Some combo of vehicle model and registered business would work fairly well.

gerrymcgovern, to random
@gerrymcgovern@mastodon.green avatar

The Green Transition will massively deepen the biodiversity crisis because it requires an explosion of mining in wilderness areas and in the deep seas. The Green Transition is killing the life it’s claiming to be saving.

In Australia, 144 species of mammals, frogs, plants and birds were added to the national threatened species in 2023. That was five times more than the yearly average and double the previous record year set in 2009.

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@FantasticalEconomics @lienrag @gerrymcgovern

Is the point here that the sixth mass extinction and climate catastrophe are totally normal, utterly precedented, and unavoidable outcomes of human existence? Because it kinda sounds like that.

Haven’t read the link, but I wonder if there’s mention of re-stabilization and relative harmony after initial ecological disruption?

Or the possibility that human cultures, particularly among the people who identify as Indigenous today and who overwhelmingly steward the remaining thriving ecosystems, may have responded to initial megafauna extinctions by evolving to say “oh shit, maybe we shouldn’t do that again and should behave in ways more likely to result in longer-term viability”?

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@FantasticalEconomics @gerrymcgovern @lienrag

Also worth noting the role that exponential population growth has played over the last two hundred years (in large part enabled by technological change).

The chart here tells the story pretty well:


ChrisMayLA6, to ArtificialIntelligence
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Here's Tom Gauld's take on the #ArtificialIntelligence in #Art...

If he's right the writing on the gallery wall is about to get a lot more obscure....

Fans of cutting edge #contemporaryart will be grinding their teeth & complaining that this unfairly trivialises artists intent & commitments to avant-garde creativity.

either way it made me smile!

So lets not take the cartoon too seriously!

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@Loukas @ChrisMayLA6

This is relevant to my interests. What’s the title?

RadicalAnthro, to random
@RadicalAnthro@c.im avatar

More desecration of the #Moon!

The #Navajo Nation voices objection to obscenely rich private individuals placing #humanremains on the Moon:

'...the President of the Navajo Nation, Buu Nygren, has filed a formal objection with NASA and the U.S. Department of Transportation over what he calls an act of desecration. "It is crucial to emphasize that the moon holds a sacred position in many Indigenous cultures, including ours," Nygren wrote in a letter dated Dec. 21. "The act of depositing human remains and other materials, which could be perceived as discards in any other location, on the moon is tantamount to desecration of this sacred space." '


@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Sending your remains to space is the ultimate manifestation of culture:nature dualism. Imagine wanting to be permanently separated from the rest of the living planet.

SirTapTap, to random
@SirTapTap@mastodon.social avatar

Now that we're unfucking the social web from web 2.0 bullshit, can we do something about the bad "cyber security" web 2.0 bullshit of

"never click any website that isn't fakebook/that you haven't heard of" and

"never ever ever download any files ever"

You have to basically try hard to install a virus these days and people are refusing to play itch.io games because of advice meant to keep them from running "linkinpark.mp3.exe" from limewire in 2001

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


If we could also stop the patronizing “user cannot have admin privileges on job-supplied hardware” that would be great. Having to request permission to do dangerous things like update a browser or change screensaver settings is hilarious.

(Maybe that level of lock down is just at my job…)

scottmatter, to random
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

My heart goes out to the people I know here in Australia who are flying to Canada to ski this winter. I hope they pause and ponder what’s happening.


scottmatter, to random
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

Yet again I’m reminded of the time, in the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica, when a Google exec spoke at a company where I worked and talked about how FB’s business model was to trap users while Google’s was to get people off their platform and to the information they’re seeking as quickly as possible. It was obvious bullshit (or maybe just straight up lies) at the time…


scottmatter, to random
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar
chrisnoessel, to random
@chrisnoessel@hachyderm.io avatar

TIL that the team who created this video were highly influenced by the ideas in Designing Agentive Tech. chuff 😁


@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Humans ineffective, computers flawless.

I guess they had to bring in those other humans late in the piece to make it seem like there will still be executive teams in that future…

scottmatter, to auspol
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

Go to a public meeting in Sydney (I’m at one in Balmain on the Rozelle Interchange) and you’d get the impression that the city consists almost entirely of people over 50 years old.

#AusPol #politics #democracy #CommunityEngagement #CivicParticipation

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

Also, is it a post-referendum thing for white folks to heckle speakers acknowledging Country and Indigenous peoples? Because it happened to two different speakers at this meeting.

evelynefoerster, to Cat
@evelynefoerster@swiss.social avatar

#cat #cats #Caturday #catsofmastodon
.li, tabby cat: my turn now - shut down your mac! 😾
.li, getigerte Katze: Ich bin jetzt dran! Schalte den Mac aus! 😾

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@EmperorHenry @evelynefoerster

In before “well if that’s too complicated you probably shouldn’t be using computers at all”

scottmatter, to sustainability
@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

How, in December 2023, are non-rechargeable batteries still manufactured and sold?

My quick look in a few shops makes me think they’re still the majority of the battery market…

#sustainability #batteries #energy

baldur, (edited ) to random
@baldur@toot.cafe avatar

One thing that’s important to note about National Geographic discontinuing its news-stand edition and Popular Science no longer publishing their magazine is that both were still making money.

They were, even after the massive changes in the media landscape over the past few decades, still profitable.

They were shuttered because they weren’t profitable enough.

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Where is Nat Geo not doing print anymore?

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


Or do you meant something else?

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@Peternimmo @baldur

“In a statement, a spokesperson for the magazine said: “National Geographic will continue to publish a monthly magazine that is dedicated to exceptional multi-platform storytelling with cultural impact. Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms. Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”

Fwiw, they’re still selling print + digital bundled subscriptions. Maybe they’ll phase it out over time, but looks like they’re switching to print for prepaid subscriptions, not getting rid of print entirely…

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar

@Peternimmo @baldur

“However, the company doesn’t plan to reduce its monthly print magazine publishing schedule, despite its shift to digital, he had said.”


cstross, to random
@cstross@wandering.shop avatar

I can't help thinking that we'd be in a better place as a society if we assigned a notional value of, for example, 1 human lifetime per ten million dollars lost through financial crimes, and punished white collar criminals who cause >= $10M in damage as if they'd committed the corresponding number of murders.

(Lower the valuation if you want: $10M is plausibly a working lifetime’s earnings for a very well-paid professional. I went high because I'd rather err on the side of mercy.)

@scottmatter@aus.social avatar


We could easily extend this to apply to opportunity cost too. So, protesters blockading a coal port that cost a company tens of millions in revenue would be liable. Same with government regulations that limit how individuals and companies do business and prevent them from earning the maximum possible.

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