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Worker-owner at Agaric web development collective, co-author of the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, and person who gives a damn about justice, liberty, and gaining the most power possible for all people over our own lives.

benjamin melançon

Black Radical Women in the U.S. 1910-1960 – A Study & Discussion Circle


benjamin melançon

Replied to a post on :

Don't forget making the step of making the initial determination of whether something is a command or not happen locally. We don't need any more always-on surveillance devices. Even a new home-based intelligent assistant marketing itself as a privacy-minded alternative doesn't include such a basic safeguard.

Definitely an open, web-based architecture is a good thing. Most popular assistants will likely need to make their own determination of which service, which API, to talk to to get the response you want; very few people will want to keep track of many options and what to call them and when one gives a better result.

So it's worth looking at what this mediation layer would look like, what kind of machine learning could be used, and how to make it as free and hackable (by the user, not others) as possible.

benjamin melançon

Thanks Chris for expanding on Dries' super-welcome post about using Drupal to participate in the independent web first, and push to locked-down privatized pieces of the Internet like Facebook, Twitter, et. al. secondarily!

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way – and honestly i was happy to be alerted to your post by – but you seem to have pioneered a sort of webmention spam! I couldn't figure out where in your post you actually referenced me, like Known claimed, until i viewed source and saw that in empty links you had my blog and indeed my cooperative's post as well as a link to the fantastic (he is more active on but is indeed working to push the movement forward).

Were you intending to alert us through webmentions, or had we come up in research but didn't end up being included in the finished post?

benjamin melançon

Boston Black-owned restaurants!

benjamin melançon

I liked it when Eminem was the spokesman for White America better.

Not that he ever was. He made a powerful video about not letting Bush steal the election again, and it was pretty well ignored by the establishment media, along with everything else that might have helped mobilize the country against our number one war criminal.

benjamin melançon

"We live in a nation hated abroad and frightened at home. A place in which we can reasonably refer to the American Republic in the past tense. A country that has moved into a post-constitutional era, no longer a nation of laws but an adhocracy run by law breakers, law evaders and law ignorers. A nation governed by a culture of impunity, a term from Latin America where they know it well - a culture in which corruption is no longer a form of deviance but the norm. We all live in a Mafia neighborhood now."

— Sam Smith

In 2005. And yes, it's gotten worse since then.

benjamin melançon

Bath faucets and showers without a water volume control are standard now? What is wrong with society? You all take showers at one setting, full blast, with no way to increase or decrease? Just on or off? This is NOT PROGRESS, people.

Of all life's frustrations, i did not see this one coming.

And don't tell me i'm old-fashioned. I've always been pretty annoyed with the two separate faucets for hot and cold water— i mean, the technology for merging two pipes, the facet spouts themselves, into one has always existed. It could never have made sense.

Apparently low standards in bathroom faucets and showers has a long tradition.

benjamin melançon

And @amyxzh follows up with the importance of friends, and giving friends tools to help people deal with online harassment, which does

benjamin melançon

Simply labeling 'online harassment' for what it is validates, and validation and sympathy people get from is huge for people, @linguangst said, especially contrasted to impersonal & non-responses from Twitter, Facebook )

benjamin melançon

Powerful presentation by @linguangst on showing need for more democratic, user-driven processes to define values of social platforms. Study: (and apparently this is the hashtag i should have been using: )