About distributed[C]

(This post is about distributed[C], an experimental decentralized publishing platform Haad and myself were running through 2021-2022. It’s currently inactive.)

distributed[C] came about originally as a design experiment, thinking that a completely peer-to-peer Tumblr would be a great testbed for swarm-based design (more on that later).

Are we financially inclusive yet?

“And how do you get Euros out of this thing?”

That was my wife. I had been explaining Aave to her. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Aave is one of several platforms where you can deposit an amount of cryptocurrency and gain interest on it as it is lent to other people. Most if it is in the form of stablecoins - tokens whose value is pegged to a particular fiat currency (normally the USD).

It’s easy enough to understand: you add an amount of USD-valued tokens, get a variable interest rate, and can withdraw into the same wallet you deposited from whenever you want.

So far so good. But she wanted to know about the next step: the moving parts involved on how to get from there to a bank account, or to pay rent, or the supermarket. Once I started answering her question, talking about keeping an eye on gas costs, wallet backups, and other things to keep in mind, I saw her eyes roll.

She’s smack down on what I’d expect to be our target when talking about financial inclusion, having grown up with a depreciating currency no other country would accept. She has mental bandwidth to figure out this stuff. She’s demonstrated the required patience to put up with my shit. And still she saw it as annoying busywork.

Do we expect that interest rates and speculation are going to bring regular people in?

We need to talk about this. I don’t think we have built a tool of financial freedom yet that’s simple enough to be wielded by the people who’d need it the most.

Are we giving them something whose value is immediately obvious and the conceptual overhead low enough for them to adopt it before they are forced to?

What would that look like?

Supporting the randos

Let’s talk about some things that we as open source creators need to get better at, including supporting other developers ourselves.

(A talk I delivered at at the first CodeDAO meet-up during Berlin Blockchain Week in August 2019, about sustainable open source development).

Slides at Speakerdeck.

Identity, Privacy, and the Edge


My goals for this talk are to:

  • Give a small taxonomy going into categories and labels that I think are useful when talking about identity;
  • Walk you through what a layered conceptual model for identity could be like;
  • Talk about the privacy implications for how we go about implementing things;
  • Hopefully convince you that the closer to the edge we process things, the better it is for the user, but that the edge does not guarantee privacy (no matter what the Blue Behemoth whose name starts with an F would like people to believe).

Slides at Speakerdeck.

The Truth of The Thing

A talk on conceptual accessibility being fundamental for adoption, while discussing mistakes I’ve made.

Slides at Speakerdeck.

The Arrival of a Train

Creativity, innovation, mash-ups, and science fiction writers… as a lens on lessons from the software industry.

Slides at Speakerdeck.

Ledgers - When would you even

I delivered this talk at SAP Inside Track Berlin in September 2018. The audience was mostly enterprise developers, almost all of them specifically working with SAP as a platform.

Given how many companies I’ve seen flirting with the idea of distributed ledgers, I thought it would be useful to give people an idea of which cases I see as being a good fit for them, to give them a leg up the next time it enters the discussion.

Slides at Speakerdeck.

Remember the rubber hose

I delivered Remember The Rubber Hose, a talk on privacy and distributed applications, at DappCon Berlin 2018. Skipping the introduction and going straight to the beef…

Slides at Speakerdeck.

Stories we tell ourselves

Last week I had the privilege to speak at infiniTIFF Summit, a part of the Transylvanian Film Festival dealing with technology, storytelling and experimental narratives.

I wrote Stories We Tell Ourselves for the summit. Below is a slightly longer version of the talk I gave.

Slides at speakerdeck.

It's about the curry

I got invited to speak at Monkigras 2018, a superb conference on software, technology and craft. This year’s theme was “Sustaining Craft”. I wrote and delivered It’s about the curry - you’ll find a (close enough) transcript below.

Slides at Speakerdeck.