A Constellation of -Wares

relation between cybernetics and self-help movement :)
characteristics that software can have
rhetorics of software
presentation slides at http://bit.ly/cryptopad-obs
The Entreprecariat: http://networkcultures.org/entreprecariat)
relationship between the entrepreneurial environment and precarious practices

new spirit of capitalism - relationship between capitalism and creativity as ideology - Boltanski and Chiapello
Kickended, the database of failures of Kickstarter (campaigns that didn't get any backers)
reboot of american dream via apps
kickstarter biased from success stories usually.. 'top funded' are shown at the top
you cannot delete a campaign from kickstarter, even if you dont get any money, for reasons of transparency
there is a form of survivorship-bias present in Kickstarter service
history of software told through the lens of the successful softwares

dystopia of enterpreneurialism

crowdfunding puts on one subject all kind of enterpreunerial responsibilities
"Why crowdfunding? Simply: what else do i got?"
Source: way to finance an unpaid internship at the UN
the more precarity is present, the less entrepreneurialism is voluntary
so you mean welfare state sabotages enterpreneuring?

call for contributions for a fanzine with LĂ­dia Pereira
Pervasive Labor Union

display of productivity/performance of productivity communicates a sense/perception(?) of purpose
how to enterpreneur
Fiverr 'in doers we trust" https://www.fiverr.com/
"because thinking big, is still just thinking"

the idea of an entrepreneur as Mark Zuckerberg or Marissa Mayer, but an entrepreneur is a do'er
shift from visionary to doer
(maybe there is a link here to ways of knowing understood via distanced observation, optical systems, etc vs cybernetic/performance/behavioral turn that comes with computing)
there is no dream, or vision
productivity-driven entrepreneur
antagonist relation to the silicon valley kind of entreprenariat like Elon Musk enterpreuneurial populism
entrepreneurial populism

Isolator : a device to focus
fixing the problem(?) of procrastination
the infinite scroll is at the base of the problem

Isolator: digital tool with the same function of the isolator
it hides everything else except what you "have" to focus on

Productivity Owl, chrome add-on
closes the tab after 30 sec
the owl gets the mouse everytime :-)

Who creates these kind of apps?
The creator of productivity Owl lived 7 years under the poverty threshold

pomo-d or o
Pomodoro : 25 min of focused time with 5 min break, etc -> comes from kitchen timer
Francesco Cirillo : the entrepreneur that also sells the physical objects (and makes cash for it too)
the idea is to get into some small slots of focused activity in order to get things done

to work more efficiently
intervals (absolute time, relative time, segmented time, circadian time)
cfr. Workrave

what is productivity?
how does software help you to be productive?
display productivity
it has a lot to do with visualizing your productivity
todo list comes back in

Stayfocusd chrome extension
logo: eye with a clock that looks at you
shows banner reminding you to work "Shouldn't you be working?" & paypal button

Guy Debord : "ne travaillez jamais"
Silvio made stickers with that slogan and put it on objects in different situations to create tensions
stick them on various spots such as the toilet, fridge

work ethics dystopia : no possibility to go more extreme that it is already in order to denounce it. There is no fringe that you can go to critique this work ethic. This critique is internalized already cf. the fiverr ad
as a way to make this sentence external, instead of letting it stay in the internal only
H&M purse: "so much work / So little time"

irony cannot be used anymore (like the fiverr ad), it is already conditioned in
slow hot computer by Sam Lavigne
acts of resistance

circadian Rhythms
Mario Santamario : website opens 23h a day
also due to religion, website of the christian syndicate in the netherlands is closed on sunday.. shabbat websites closed on saturday

question: what features/imaginaries of software are at stake in productivity tool? efficiency of code -> speeding code execution -> do more in less time

F.lux, a color-changing software, to have less blue lights in your screen in night hours
(you also have one other: night owl! redshift also)
bringing night inside the screen because there is no more night without a screen

Jonathan Crary : 24/7 (also author of Techniques of the Observer so maybe a nice addition to the reader)


software meant to protect users by limiting space of activity, enforcing discipline
in a passive-aggressive way
parental control extended to adults :-)

the term arises from content-control software
extended to android, f.ex. turning up the volume warns you about excessive volume levels
this is something that cannot be uninstalled

wii sports announcement
ways to influence the body

Workrave, app to remind you to pause and exercise
slack (irc, emails, to manage projects), advise 'always get plenty of sleep, if you can'
facebook warning against drunk posting

command line ghosts remembering to take a break, too!
terminal dashboard
see more on lifehacker

relaxing in the office with ioga exercise videos
[[insert here image of room doing office exercises in unison]]

cybernetic self help

psycho-cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz
self-help meets cybernetics
understanding yourself as a thermostat, (mind) as self-regulating device

"abandon the struggle and you will obtain victory"
"only mediocre people make mistakes"

video: Dr. Maxwell Maltz
"[self] image is all"
"most of the people these days have an image of themselve that is close to the image from a fun-fair-mirror" (not exact quote)
plastic surgery to psycho-surgery
huge influence of this book in the US
the self-help books are shaping the world

strong relation with a psycho analysis movement (?) positive psychologists
famous book - "how full is your bucket?"

shift from what is wrong with people >>>> what is right with the people
new way of seeing the body and mind
'protestant porn', it is your responsability if you cannot lift yourself up by yourself
rise of behavioralism as dominant framework in the field of psychology. and this is a big shift from the initial psychologists who were into cybernetics because it shifts from the unit/system being imagined as the site of cause and effect as family or society to just the individual

what is the relation to the word cybernetics?
(In the US at least, Weiner made cybernetics a household term. The Cybernetic Brain by Andrew Pickering has a history/biography of three or four different psychologists who were important for the first, second, and third waves of cybernetics - )
was it based on the time when cybernetics was very popular?

video: Maltz and Dali
explaining the shadow side / optimistic side of the self

positive psychology => behaviorism - how full is your bucket
from university assessments(>) and self-help apps
similar to tests used by social security, to assess ability to work, "expanded human resources"

relationship between mind and mindfulness

accelerate me
rapid transformation through meditation techniques
'the fast track to the real you'[so an aspiration of both getting to the bottom/core of the self and changing the self to a better/enhanced/amplified version]]

Hacking the Brain : hackathon formathttp://hackthebrain.nl/
"a philosophical and practical" approach

"magic voluntarism" (Mark Fisher r.i.p.)
Mark Fisher:

also: Curtis White

We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data
the happiness industry (William Davies)
last chapter on collective strategies

decontextualizing techniques and practices can hollow out these techniques and practices such as doing yoga at work in order to be more efficient instead of in order to connect to spiritual
(but does that give us an idea of techniques and practices as basically non-transferrable, non-adaptive? maybe it would be interesting to think about best practices of shifting contexts)

platform conviviality

infantilization of the user
rhetorics of platform services

adversarial interfaces
informal address interfacing - Colm O'Neill

compassionate design: create kinder, more connected design
"a book apart" is a series of book dedicated to webdesigners and developers

Real Life magazine article by Will Davies

opposite example : Linkedin (in its previous incarnation
(explicitness of LinkedIn as networking tool and tool for measuring how well you do at networkin is interesting in part because history of networking in this sense is tied to the history of women entering the workplace and needing to make explicit the social relationships that facilitate access and advancement because the implicit networks were old boys clubs)
you rank in the lower 48% of your network
Book by the founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman: The startup of you

Eric Schrijver article in Libre Graphics magazine 1.3

Focus on the rhetoric of software
A bit similar to the question "how we can characterize software?"

What kind of "-ware" can we imagine?


a software that is a clock that somehow performs/represents what are the many ways you can present time?

Kim: Your practice deals with labour practices
temporally structures to former forms of labour & computation
Is there a relation to efficiency ideas implemented in code? and programmers?
If we think of punchcards, how do they differently structure labour?

Government as a platform, by Tim O'Reilly
Obama campaign, French developments
you can plug in services, government as operating system

Is there a direct connection between programming culture and these kinds of tools?

Luis: image of 'isolator' -- The relationship of the machine and the body
in coworking space, typical image of person sitting with headphones in front of machine
as compensation you go undo the damage in the gym/yoga in the evening

Analogies of 'your body as a system' or 'the government as a system'
a relation to programming
the body as infinitely reprogrammable (programmer's view of the body)
as a machine which needs to be maintained?

unsolicited advice

amazon patent on headphone technique - microphone: getting only the useful conversation from the office space

le pain quotidien : a french documentary about food and industry where there are no two workers together, only people alone doing unpleasant work

the goal of working from distance?