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<h1>Être libres à l’époque du numérique</h1>
<h2><a href="http://blog.sens-public.org/marcellovitalirosati/tre-libres-lpoque-du-numrique/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p><img src="https://mpng.pngfly.com/20190123/bst/kisspng-linux-libre-free-software-foundation-latin-america-download-freedo-svg-clipart-1-432-free-freedo-p-5c49402ceb6da7.6071370315483044289643.jpg"/>
<p>Nous parlons de plus en plus de « numérique » en substantivant un adjectif qui – initialement – comporte une signification technique précise et qui devient désormais davantage un phénomène culturel qu’une notion liée à des outils technologiques particuliers. Cette universalisation du numérique nous permet de comprendre des changements qui affectent l’ensemble de notre société et notre façon de penser, comme l’a bien expliqué notamment Milad Doueihi par son concept de <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674055247">« culture numérique »</a>.</p>
<p>Mais il y demeure un problème majeur au sein de cet usage : nous avons de plus en plus tendance à penser « le numérique » comme un phénomène uniforme et homogène (sur ce sujet, il est intéressant de lire le débat entre <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://newrepublic.com/article/112336/future-perfects-steven-johnson-evgeny-morozov-debate-social-media">Morozov et Johnson</a>) alors que, en toute évidence, il ne l’est pas. « Le » numérique n’existe pas en tant que tel. Il y existe de nombreuses pratiques, usages, outils et environnements différents, chacun fondé sur des principes particuliers, chacun promouvant des valeurs spécifiques et entraînant des conséquences caractéristiques.</p>
<p>Le fait de penser « le numérique » comme un tout nous amène souvent à exprimer des jugements de valeur qui font abstraction des caractéristiques propres à des outils ou pratiques distincts : inévitablement donc, le jugement se radicalise, s’uniformise, se généralise en perdant tout son sens et sa cohérence vis-à-vis du particulier. « Le numérique » devient ainsi tantôt synonyme d’émancipation et de liberté, tantôt synonyme de contrôle et d’assujettissement : en somme, le numérique est bien ou le numérique est mal. D’un côté les technoptimistes, de l’autre les technophobes.</p>
<p>Et comme cela est naturel, les modes changent : nous passons d’un technoptimisme généralisé à une technophobie universelle. Dans les années 1990, le discours des optimistes semblait prévaloir : de la <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence">déclaration de l’indépendance du cyberespace</a> de John Perry Barlow aux discours d’émancipation posthumanistes, en passant pas les merveilles de la virtualisation. Depuis quelques années, il semblerait que la mode ait changé : il faut être critique vis-à-vis du numérique. Les grands gourous du numérique sont les premiers à en devenir les critiques : de Bill Gates à Tim Berners-Lee, en passant par Jimmy Wales&amp;mldr; Le discours critique se retrouve dans la bouche des intellectuels – <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-meme-hustler">Morozov</a> est devenu le porte-drapeau de ce mouvement, avec des arguments que je partage dans l’ensemble – ou des universitaires. Des critiques philosophiques approfondies ont été développées consacrées à des phénomènes particuliers – je pense en premier lieu à la fine analyse que <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://ateliers.sens-public.org/facebook/index.html">Gérard Wormser</a> propose de Facebook.</p>
<p>Il me semble cependant nécessaire de différencier – et ainsi d’identifier – les aspects du « fait numérique » qui peuvent et doivent nous faire peur. Bien que j’ai toujours rejeté cette opposition entre optimistes et technophobes, je conserve néanmoins une préférence pour les optimistes – encore aujourd’hui alors que cette posture est passée de mode. J’ai tendance à être en accord avec <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://sens-public.org/article1369.html">les analyses de Pierre Lévy</a> qui soulignent le fait toujours d’actualié que plusieurs idéaux utopistes, qui portaient le développement informatique dans les années 1990, sont encore présents et en vigueur. Cependant, dans les dernières années – probablement aussi du fait que je suis devenu le père de deux enfants –, je suis de plus en plus angoissé, non pas par « le numérique » en général, mais par la place dans nos vies à laquelle accède – notamment via certaines technologies numériques – un nombre très restreint de sociétés privées : celles qu’on a commencé à appeler les <em>GAFAM</em> pour se référer à Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon et Microfoft, sachant que cet acronyme est devenu une métonymie pour inclure également les nouveaux acteurs comme Netflix, AirBnB, Uber etc.</p>
<p>Cette influence ne dépend pas « du numérique », mais de certains usages spécifiques : plus précisément des usages de logiciels et de matériels propriétaires. Et, plus important, ces usages ne sont pas inévitables, mais on fait, hélas, trop peu – ou presque rien – pour les contrer, alors qu’il serait facile de mettre en place des mécanismes et dispositifs de protection de l’espace public.</p>
<p>Concrètement, le fléau dont nous sommes victimes est représenté par le fait que dans tous les domaines, de la vie privée à la vie publique en passant par l’activité professionnelle, nous sommes encouragés à utiliser des solutions propriétaires : MacOs, iOS, Windows, Word, Adobe, Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Gmail, Outlook&amp;mldr; Ce problème n’émane pas, à mon sens, des entreprises – dont l’objectif principal est, évidemment, de vendre leurs produits –, mais du manque quasi total de sensibilité des institutions publiques et privées et de l’absence de littéracie numérique pour les usagers.</p>
<p>Quelques exemples :</p>
<ul>
<li>nous utilisons des systèmes d’exploitation propriétaires – MacOS et Windows – alors que nous pourrions utiliser des systèmes d’exploitation libres ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des dispositifs portables propriétaires sans nous soucier des conséquences ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des applications mobiles alors que nous pourrions utiliser des services web ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des logiciels propriétaires alors que nous pourrions utiliser des solutions libres ;</li>
<li>nous ne nous posons pas de questions sur les pilotes qui font fonctionner les dispositifs de nos ordinateurs alors que nous pourrions choisir les dispositifs en fonction de la transparence de leur conception.</li>
</ul>
<p>Ce sont fondamentalement les revendications de la <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.fsf.org/"><em>Free Software Foundation</em></a> qui n’ont malheureusement que trop peu d’impact sur les pratiques. Or deux considérations :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>ces pratiques sont très dangereuses ;</li>
<li>il serait très facile de les changer.</li>
</ol>
<p>Il me semble, en d’autres termes, que, le fait de penser « le numérique » comme quelque chose d’uniforme nous empêche de cerner le véritable problème et de chercher des solutions. Être génériquement technophobes est une posture qui n’amène à rien : cela revient à un nostalgique « <em>o tempora o mores</em> » qui plonge dans une inactivité abrupte. Des positions du type : « le numérique doit/ne doit pas être utilisé par les enfants » me semblent juste stupides. Elles réunissent des réalités hétérogènes qui n’ont aucun rapport entre elles : « le numérique » ? Quels outils ? Quelles plateformes ? Quels environnements ? Quels dispositifs ? Identifier des problèmes spécifiques est sans doute plus complexes : cela demande une étude et une compréhension du fait numérique dans sa diversité, une analyse des enjeux liés à un logiciel, à un format, à un protocole qui demandent du temps et de l’expertise. Mais cela permet de trouver des alternatives et de solutions concrètes.</p>
<p>Venons-en donc aux problèmes concrets pour ensuite proposer des pistes de solutions.</p>
<p>Le code est loi, <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2000/01/code-is-law-html">disait Lessig</a> il y a quelques années. <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Siegel-t.html">Morozov</a> explique bien à quel point les services proposés par les multinationales du numérique portent des valeurs précises qui ne sont jamais neutres. <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/20140407-geneva-tedx-talk-free-software-free-society/">Richard Stallmann</a> – fondateur du projet GNU et président de la <em>Free Software Foundation</em> – va plus loin : un ordinateur, dit-il, est une machine universelle qui calcule tous ce qu’on lui demande ; la question est de savoir qui demande à la machine d’effectuer les calculs ; on est là devant deux possibilités :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>l’usager est le maître du code et il est donc le maître de la machine ;</li>
<li>l’usager n’est pas le maître du code et il est donc à la merci de la machine – ou plus précisément de celui qui est maître de son code et donc typiquement une entreprise privée.</li>
</ol>
<p>Les téléphones portables, les tablettes et toutes leurs applications fonctionnent sur des logiciels dont le code appartient à des entreprises privées. Nous ne savons pas exactement ce que fait ce code, nous n’utilisons donc pas ces appareils, mais nous sommes plutôt utilisés par eux.</p>
<p>Concrètement :</p>
<ul>
<li>notre vie est influencée et structurée par ces outils sans que nous puissions précisément en comprendre les principes. Les affordances des plateformes nous poussent à certaines pratiques, les notifications scandent nos rythmes de vie, les formats des données et des documents structurent l’organisation de notre pensée ;</li>
<li>nous ne savons pas ce qui est fait de nos données et qui y peut accèder.</li>
</ul>
<p>La même chose peut être dite – avec quelques nuances – des ordinateurs portables propriétaires. Apple, notamment, met en place des politiques qui restreignent de plus en plus de pouvoir à l’usager. Le fonctionnement de la machine devient complètement opaque souvent en protestant la nécessité de rendre les choses « simples » ou d’augmenter la sécurité. L’argument qui est devenu très vendeur est de ne pas donner à l’usager la main sur ses appareils pour éviter qu’il fasse des dégâts involontaires. Tout fonctionne indépendamment de l’usager, tout se configure de façon autonome, nous ne devons rien comprendre. Le prix à payer est que nous ne savons plus ce que nous faisons. Oui, nous ne faisons pas d’efforts pour comprendre la machine, mais en revanche nous sommes entre ses mains.</p>
<p>L’injonction à l’usage de logiciel et matériel propriétaire gagne en force et pouvoir – et cela n’est pas de la faute des entreprises privées, mais des usagers et, surtout, des institutions.</p>
<p>Or, s’il est normal que la littéracie numérique ne soit pas très développée chez des utilisateurs que personne n’a formés à ce propos, il me semble cependant aberrant que les institutions publiques – et les acteurs privés – n’entreprennent rien pour contrer ce phénomène et qu’ils soient au contraire à l’origine de cette multiplication de l’occupation de notre espace de vie par les privés.</p>
<p>Je vais donner quelques exemples concrets issus de sphères différentes de notre vie quotidienne :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>L’usage d’applications propriétaires dans les échanges privés. Je pense en particulier à Whatsapp, Messanger/Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. Petite anecdote : je n’ai pas de Smartphone (pour les raisons que je viens de détailler). Depuis quelques années, je n’ai presque plus de contacts quotidiens avec mes parents (pourtant italiens !). Ils avaient l’habitude de communiquer avec moi par mail, mais depuis l’adoption de Whatsapp, ils considèrent que je ne suis pas joignable – je suis pourtant devant mon ordinateur connecté à longueur de journée. Ils préfèrent envoyer des messages sur Whatsapp à ma conjointe en lui demandant de me les relayer. Le contact familial est pris en otage par une compagnie privée. Au lieu que de devenir plus simple – avant il n’y avait pas ces possibilités de connexion, il fallait passer par une cabine téléphonique et un appel international&amp;mldr; etc. –, le contact devient plus difficile, presque impossible, à moins d’adopter une application. Vous me direz : mais même l’appel téléphonique passait par une société. Oui, bien sûr, mais le monde n’était pas investi par une compagnie unique. Et de plus, ces compagnies était contrôlées par les États&amp;mldr; Le téléphone était perçu comme relevant de l’utilité publique. Or la philosophie de la privatisation de l’espace public voudrait que j’achète un téléphone avec un des <strong>deux</strong> systèmes d’exploitation possibles (iOS ou Android de Google) et que j’installe <strong>une</strong> application qui appartient à Facebook. Si je n’accepte pas ces conditions, je suis exclu de la communication avec mes parents – pour la petite histoire, j’essaie de les obliger à m’écrire des courriels ou à m’appeler sur mon fixe.</li>
<li>L’usage obligatoire de logiciels propriétaires dans le cadre des institutions publiques. Docx, PDF, Internet Explorer (oui, encore lui) sont bien souvent des canaux obligés lorsque nous avons affaire aux institutions publiques ! Autre anecdote : je suis en train de demander la citoyenneté canadienne. Le seul moyen pour compléter cette demande est de remplir un formulaire PDF en utilisant Acrobat Reader. Impossible de le faire en utilisant un autre logiciel. Je suis donc obligé d’installer un logiciel propriétaire si je veux bénéficier des mes droits. Un formulaire HTML aurait été accessible par tous – en utilisant un standard ouvert. Formulons-le ainsi pour que la dimension d’aberration soit plus évidente : la seule manière pour devenir citoyen canadien est de passer par la société Adobe. Encore une fois, bien sûr, dans une société industrialisée et capitaliste, nous sommes depuis toujours confrontés à ce type de problèmes : pour remplir un formulaire papier, je suis obligé d’acheter du papier à une société privée, un stylo qui lui-aussi est produit par une société privée&amp;mldr; mais, dans ce cas, il y a plusieurs sociétés entre lesquelles je peux choisir et, surtout aucune de ces sociétés ne détient le brevet du papier ou du stylo (sauf les BICs, mais il existe d’autres types de stylos !). Dans le cas d’Adobe, le format du formulaire, son accessibilité, la structure de ses données sont établis par Adobe et par lui seul.</li>
<li>L’usage obligatoire d’applications et de software propriétaires dans le cadre d’institutions privées d’utilité publique. Un exemple : les banques. Il s’agit évidemment de sociétés privées, mais qui ont des responsabilités à l’égard de l’ensemble des citoyens. Or, il est désormais quasiment impossible d’être client d’une banque sans avoir recours à des logiciels ou du matériel propriétaire. Pour accéder à son compte, il faut un Smartphone – propriétaire – sur lequel faire tourner des applications – -propriétaires – sous le contrôle, au choix, de Google ou d’Apple. Encore une fois, en tant qu’usagers, nous sommes obligés d’être clients de ces deux entreprises si nous voulons avoir une vie normale dans notre société. Pourquoi donc ?</li>
<li>L’usage généralisé du format docx comme format texte. Le format docx est désastreux pour une <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://eriac.hypotheses.org/80">série de raisons</a>. Mais ce n’est pas là la question. Le problème est que son usage est banalisé par les maisons d’édition, les institutions publiques et privées. Au lieu que de produire du texte, nous sommes obligés de produire du docx. Le format, évidemment, n’est pas neutre : il propose une conception particulière du texte et du document. L’accessibilité, en outre, dépend seulement du bon vouloir de Microsoft. Comment est-il possible que nous soyons pris dans la dynamique de transformation de l’écriture en une propriété d’une boîte américaine ?</li>
<li>L’usage de logiciel propriétaire par l’université et par l’éducation. À l’université, on présuppose que les membres de la communauté – étudiants, chercheurs, administrateurs – utilisent MacOs ou Windows. L’ensemble des services est pensé exclusivement pour ces deux plateformes. Aucune assistance n’est garantie pour les système libres. Souvent, il est impossible d’effectuer les tâches quotidiennes si on n’a pas un Mac ou un PC Windows. Les logiciels proposés sont toujours propriétaires – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Endnote&amp;mldr; Dans le domaine de l’éducation primaire – ce qui est encore plus grave –, on associe le passage au numérique avec l’adoption généralisée des iPads. Or, il me semble absolument délirant de confier l’éducation publique à une entreprise privée. Mais, concrètement, c’est exactement ce qui arrive : les livres de texte deviennent des applications iPad, gérées et maintenues par Apple. C’est Apple qui décide de leurs vies, de leurs licences de distribution, de leurs accessibilités, de la date de leurs sorties, de leurs ergonomies. Nous voyons de grandes institutions se réjouir de leur progrès, car elles ont adopté ces technologies.</li>
</ol>
<p>De cette manière, nous sommes progressivement en train d’abandonner la chose publique – ainsi que nos vies privées – entre les mains d’une poignée d’entreprises. Je le répète : la responsabilité ne revient pas à ces entreprises, mais à nous-mêmes et à nos institutions qui – par commodité ? par facilité ? à cause des pressions commerciales ? à cause de notre ignorance ? – ne faisons rien pour défendre l’usage d’alternatives libres.</p>
<p>Il y en aurait pléthore, pourtant, d’alternatives ! Il suffit de prendre un moment pour regarder – par exemple sur le <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Main_Page">répertoire de la FSF</a> – pour constater que, pour tous les besoins que je viens de mentionner, il y a des solutions de type libre. Libres dans le sens que leur code est ouvert – et que donc il est possible de savoir ce qu’il opère –, qu’il peut être modifié et adapté à des besoins spécifiques – qui seront donc définis par les usagers et les communautés au lieu d’être fixés par une entreprise particulière – outre qu’être aussi gratuits, ce qui n’est pas la chose la plus importante, mais qui peut également servir d’argument.</p>
<p>Des exemples :</p>
<ul>
<li>des systèmes d’exploitation GNU-Linux qui permettent de faire tourner nos machines en évitant qu’elles fassent ce qu’elles veulent ;</li>
<li>des logiciels libres pour remplacer les logiciels propriétaires ;</li>
<li>du matériel qui respecte la liberté des usagers en rendant publiques ses spécifications techniques.</li>
</ul>
<p>L’objection qu’on entend souvent est que ces alternatives « ne fonctionnent pas ». Concrètement cela signifie que souvent ces logiciels demandent une prise en main plus complexe. Bien sûr : dès qu’il s’agit de choisir, il est nécessaire d’avoir une compréhension de base qui demande une étude. Mais cette étude est la condition de la liberté. Si nous voulons être maîtres de nos machines, il faut que nous soyons capables de leur demander ce que nous voulons.</p>
<p>Cela demande des efforts, certes ; mais ces efforts sont au fondement de la possibilité de liberté. Au nom de la simplicité et des interfaces <em>user friendly</em>, nous renonçons peu à peu à être maîtres de notre vie. Dans une situation orwellienne, nous sommes prêts à déléguer notre vie à des entreprises pour éviter l’effort de nous demander ce que nous voulons faire.</p>
<p>Or, évidemment, il n’est pas possible de demander ces efforts juste aux utilisateurs. Il est indispensable que les usagers soient accompagnés, sensibilisés et aidés par les instances institutionnelles et publiques. Si l’on pense aux enfants, la question devient encore plus claire : leur éducation sera entre les mains d’Apple et Google si nous ne prenons pas la peine de prôner des alternatives à leurs monopoles.</p>
<p>Il est nécessaire et urgent d’agir pour faire changer cette situation :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>En premier lieu, ce sont les institutions qui doivent s’engager dans cette démarche. Il est nécessaire que toutes les activités institutionnelles puissent être réalisées avec du logiciel et du matériel non propriétaires et que les solutions libres soient les solutions recommandées. Il doit évidemment rester possible d’accomplir ces tâches avec du logiciel propriétaire, cela doit rester une option pour garantir la liberté des usagers : si vous voulez utiliser un Mac, un PC Windows, soyez les bienvenus, mais nous privilégions les solutions libres – et nous offrons support pour ces solutions. Les institutions devraient aussi contribuer au développement du logiciel libre en investissant dans ce domaine pour leurs infrastructures numériques – au lieu que continuer à déléguer les GAFAM.</li>
<li>Ensuite, il est nécessaire d’obliger les acteurs privés d’utilité publique à faire la même chose. Et d’exhorter aussi l’ensemble des acteurs privés.</li>
<li>Le changement d’usages et la diffusion de pratiques libres sera un pivot pour déterminer les producteurs de matériel à s’aligner à la philosophie du libre. Les producteurs de matériel qui fonctionne exclusivement avec du logiciel propriétaires doivent être pénalisés.</li>
<li>Ces actions publiques doivent être accompagnées par une véritable démarche de sensibilisation à ces enjeux et un investissant important en formation. L’éducation doit être au fondement pour rendre libres les utilisateurs de demain.</li>
</ol>
<p>« Le numérique » n’existe pas comme phénomène uniforme. Il y a dans les pratiques et les technologies des univers différents et parfois même opposés. Nous devons en être conscients et agir de conséquence. Il faut lutter pour que le monde ne se réduise pas à la propriété d’une poignée d’entreprises.</p></p>
</article>


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title: Être libres à l’époque du numérique
url: http://blog.sens-public.org/marcellovitalirosati/tre-libres-lpoque-du-numrique/
hash_url: 02b1967f7086ab2d3eb84d2ce8129e95

<img src="https://mpng.pngfly.com/20190123/bst/kisspng-linux-libre-free-software-foundation-latin-america-download-freedo-svg-clipart-1-432-free-freedo-p-5c49402ceb6da7.6071370315483044289643.jpg"/>
<p>Nous parlons de plus en plus de « numérique » en substantivant un adjectif qui – initialement – comporte une signification technique précise et qui devient désormais davantage un phénomène culturel qu’une notion liée à des outils technologiques particuliers. Cette universalisation du numérique nous permet de comprendre des changements qui affectent l’ensemble de notre société et notre façon de penser, comme l’a bien expliqué notamment Milad Doueihi par son concept de <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674055247">« culture numérique »</a>.</p>
<p>Mais il y demeure un problème majeur au sein de cet usage : nous avons de plus en plus tendance à penser « le numérique » comme un phénomène uniforme et homogène (sur ce sujet, il est intéressant de lire le débat entre <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://newrepublic.com/article/112336/future-perfects-steven-johnson-evgeny-morozov-debate-social-media">Morozov et Johnson</a>) alors que, en toute évidence, il ne l’est pas. « Le » numérique n’existe pas en tant que tel. Il y existe de nombreuses pratiques, usages, outils et environnements différents, chacun fondé sur des principes particuliers, chacun promouvant des valeurs spécifiques et entraînant des conséquences caractéristiques.</p>
<p>Le fait de penser « le numérique » comme un tout nous amène souvent à exprimer des jugements de valeur qui font abstraction des caractéristiques propres à des outils ou pratiques distincts : inévitablement donc, le jugement se radicalise, s’uniformise, se généralise en perdant tout son sens et sa cohérence vis-à-vis du particulier. « Le numérique » devient ainsi tantôt synonyme d’émancipation et de liberté, tantôt synonyme de contrôle et d’assujettissement : en somme, le numérique est bien ou le numérique est mal. D’un côté les technoptimistes, de l’autre les technophobes.</p>
<p>Et comme cela est naturel, les modes changent : nous passons d’un technoptimisme généralisé à une technophobie universelle. Dans les années 1990, le discours des optimistes semblait prévaloir : de la <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence">déclaration de l’indépendance du cyberespace</a> de John Perry Barlow aux discours d’émancipation posthumanistes, en passant pas les merveilles de la virtualisation. Depuis quelques années, il semblerait que la mode ait changé : il faut être critique vis-à-vis du numérique. Les grands gourous du numérique sont les premiers à en devenir les critiques : de Bill Gates à Tim Berners-Lee, en passant par Jimmy Wales&amp;mldr; Le discours critique se retrouve dans la bouche des intellectuels – <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-meme-hustler">Morozov</a> est devenu le porte-drapeau de ce mouvement, avec des arguments que je partage dans l’ensemble – ou des universitaires. Des critiques philosophiques approfondies ont été développées consacrées à des phénomènes particuliers – je pense en premier lieu à la fine analyse que <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://ateliers.sens-public.org/facebook/index.html">Gérard Wormser</a> propose de Facebook.</p>
<p>Il me semble cependant nécessaire de différencier – et ainsi d’identifier – les aspects du « fait numérique » qui peuvent et doivent nous faire peur. Bien que j’ai toujours rejeté cette opposition entre optimistes et technophobes, je conserve néanmoins une préférence pour les optimistes – encore aujourd’hui alors que cette posture est passée de mode. J’ai tendance à être en accord avec <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/http://sens-public.org/article1369.html">les analyses de Pierre Lévy</a> qui soulignent le fait toujours d’actualié que plusieurs idéaux utopistes, qui portaient le développement informatique dans les années 1990, sont encore présents et en vigueur. Cependant, dans les dernières années – probablement aussi du fait que je suis devenu le père de deux enfants –, je suis de plus en plus angoissé, non pas par « le numérique » en général, mais par la place dans nos vies à laquelle accède – notamment via certaines technologies numériques – un nombre très restreint de sociétés privées : celles qu’on a commencé à appeler les <em>GAFAM</em> pour se référer à Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon et Microfoft, sachant que cet acronyme est devenu une métonymie pour inclure également les nouveaux acteurs comme Netflix, AirBnB, Uber etc.</p>
<p>Cette influence ne dépend pas « du numérique », mais de certains usages spécifiques : plus précisément des usages de logiciels et de matériels propriétaires. Et, plus important, ces usages ne sont pas inévitables, mais on fait, hélas, trop peu – ou presque rien – pour les contrer, alors qu’il serait facile de mettre en place des mécanismes et dispositifs de protection de l’espace public.</p>
<p>Concrètement, le fléau dont nous sommes victimes est représenté par le fait que dans tous les domaines, de la vie privée à la vie publique en passant par l’activité professionnelle, nous sommes encouragés à utiliser des solutions propriétaires : MacOs, iOS, Windows, Word, Adobe, Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Gmail, Outlook&amp;mldr; Ce problème n’émane pas, à mon sens, des entreprises – dont l’objectif principal est, évidemment, de vendre leurs produits –, mais du manque quasi total de sensibilité des institutions publiques et privées et de l’absence de littéracie numérique pour les usagers.</p>
<p>Quelques exemples :</p>
<ul>
<li>nous utilisons des systèmes d’exploitation propriétaires – MacOS et Windows – alors que nous pourrions utiliser des systèmes d’exploitation libres ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des dispositifs portables propriétaires sans nous soucier des conséquences ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des applications mobiles alors que nous pourrions utiliser des services web ;</li>
<li>nous utilisons des logiciels propriétaires alors que nous pourrions utiliser des solutions libres ;</li>
<li>nous ne nous posons pas de questions sur les pilotes qui font fonctionner les dispositifs de nos ordinateurs alors que nous pourrions choisir les dispositifs en fonction de la transparence de leur conception.</li>
</ul>
<p>Ce sont fondamentalement les revendications de la <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.fsf.org/"><em>Free Software Foundation</em></a> qui n’ont malheureusement que trop peu d’impact sur les pratiques. Or deux considérations :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>ces pratiques sont très dangereuses ;</li>
<li>il serait très facile de les changer.</li>
</ol>
<p>Il me semble, en d’autres termes, que, le fait de penser « le numérique » comme quelque chose d’uniforme nous empêche de cerner le véritable problème et de chercher des solutions. Être génériquement technophobes est une posture qui n’amène à rien : cela revient à un nostalgique « <em>o tempora o mores</em> » qui plonge dans une inactivité abrupte. Des positions du type : « le numérique doit/ne doit pas être utilisé par les enfants » me semblent juste stupides. Elles réunissent des réalités hétérogènes qui n’ont aucun rapport entre elles : « le numérique » ? Quels outils ? Quelles plateformes ? Quels environnements ? Quels dispositifs ? Identifier des problèmes spécifiques est sans doute plus complexes : cela demande une étude et une compréhension du fait numérique dans sa diversité, une analyse des enjeux liés à un logiciel, à un format, à un protocole qui demandent du temps et de l’expertise. Mais cela permet de trouver des alternatives et de solutions concrètes.</p>
<p>Venons-en donc aux problèmes concrets pour ensuite proposer des pistes de solutions.</p>
<p>Le code est loi, <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2000/01/code-is-law-html">disait Lessig</a> il y a quelques années. <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Siegel-t.html">Morozov</a> explique bien à quel point les services proposés par les multinationales du numérique portent des valeurs précises qui ne sont jamais neutres. <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/20140407-geneva-tedx-talk-free-software-free-society/">Richard Stallmann</a> – fondateur du projet GNU et président de la <em>Free Software Foundation</em> – va plus loin : un ordinateur, dit-il, est une machine universelle qui calcule tous ce qu’on lui demande ; la question est de savoir qui demande à la machine d’effectuer les calculs ; on est là devant deux possibilités :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>l’usager est le maître du code et il est donc le maître de la machine ;</li>
<li>l’usager n’est pas le maître du code et il est donc à la merci de la machine – ou plus précisément de celui qui est maître de son code et donc typiquement une entreprise privée.</li>
</ol>
<p>Les téléphones portables, les tablettes et toutes leurs applications fonctionnent sur des logiciels dont le code appartient à des entreprises privées. Nous ne savons pas exactement ce que fait ce code, nous n’utilisons donc pas ces appareils, mais nous sommes plutôt utilisés par eux.</p>
<p>Concrètement :</p>
<ul>
<li>notre vie est influencée et structurée par ces outils sans que nous puissions précisément en comprendre les principes. Les affordances des plateformes nous poussent à certaines pratiques, les notifications scandent nos rythmes de vie, les formats des données et des documents structurent l’organisation de notre pensée ;</li>
<li>nous ne savons pas ce qui est fait de nos données et qui y peut accèder.</li>
</ul>
<p>La même chose peut être dite – avec quelques nuances – des ordinateurs portables propriétaires. Apple, notamment, met en place des politiques qui restreignent de plus en plus de pouvoir à l’usager. Le fonctionnement de la machine devient complètement opaque souvent en protestant la nécessité de rendre les choses « simples » ou d’augmenter la sécurité. L’argument qui est devenu très vendeur est de ne pas donner à l’usager la main sur ses appareils pour éviter qu’il fasse des dégâts involontaires. Tout fonctionne indépendamment de l’usager, tout se configure de façon autonome, nous ne devons rien comprendre. Le prix à payer est que nous ne savons plus ce que nous faisons. Oui, nous ne faisons pas d’efforts pour comprendre la machine, mais en revanche nous sommes entre ses mains.</p>
<p>L’injonction à l’usage de logiciel et matériel propriétaire gagne en force et pouvoir – et cela n’est pas de la faute des entreprises privées, mais des usagers et, surtout, des institutions.</p>
<p>Or, s’il est normal que la littéracie numérique ne soit pas très développée chez des utilisateurs que personne n’a formés à ce propos, il me semble cependant aberrant que les institutions publiques – et les acteurs privés – n’entreprennent rien pour contrer ce phénomène et qu’ils soient au contraire à l’origine de cette multiplication de l’occupation de notre espace de vie par les privés.</p>
<p>Je vais donner quelques exemples concrets issus de sphères différentes de notre vie quotidienne :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>L’usage d’applications propriétaires dans les échanges privés. Je pense en particulier à Whatsapp, Messanger/Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. Petite anecdote : je n’ai pas de Smartphone (pour les raisons que je viens de détailler). Depuis quelques années, je n’ai presque plus de contacts quotidiens avec mes parents (pourtant italiens !). Ils avaient l’habitude de communiquer avec moi par mail, mais depuis l’adoption de Whatsapp, ils considèrent que je ne suis pas joignable – je suis pourtant devant mon ordinateur connecté à longueur de journée. Ils préfèrent envoyer des messages sur Whatsapp à ma conjointe en lui demandant de me les relayer. Le contact familial est pris en otage par une compagnie privée. Au lieu que de devenir plus simple – avant il n’y avait pas ces possibilités de connexion, il fallait passer par une cabine téléphonique et un appel international&amp;mldr; etc. –, le contact devient plus difficile, presque impossible, à moins d’adopter une application. Vous me direz : mais même l’appel téléphonique passait par une société. Oui, bien sûr, mais le monde n’était pas investi par une compagnie unique. Et de plus, ces compagnies était contrôlées par les États&amp;mldr; Le téléphone était perçu comme relevant de l’utilité publique. Or la philosophie de la privatisation de l’espace public voudrait que j’achète un téléphone avec un des <strong>deux</strong> systèmes d’exploitation possibles (iOS ou Android de Google) et que j’installe <strong>une</strong> application qui appartient à Facebook. Si je n’accepte pas ces conditions, je suis exclu de la communication avec mes parents – pour la petite histoire, j’essaie de les obliger à m’écrire des courriels ou à m’appeler sur mon fixe.</li>
<li>L’usage obligatoire de logiciels propriétaires dans le cadre des institutions publiques. Docx, PDF, Internet Explorer (oui, encore lui) sont bien souvent des canaux obligés lorsque nous avons affaire aux institutions publiques ! Autre anecdote : je suis en train de demander la citoyenneté canadienne. Le seul moyen pour compléter cette demande est de remplir un formulaire PDF en utilisant Acrobat Reader. Impossible de le faire en utilisant un autre logiciel. Je suis donc obligé d’installer un logiciel propriétaire si je veux bénéficier des mes droits. Un formulaire HTML aurait été accessible par tous – en utilisant un standard ouvert. Formulons-le ainsi pour que la dimension d’aberration soit plus évidente : la seule manière pour devenir citoyen canadien est de passer par la société Adobe. Encore une fois, bien sûr, dans une société industrialisée et capitaliste, nous sommes depuis toujours confrontés à ce type de problèmes : pour remplir un formulaire papier, je suis obligé d’acheter du papier à une société privée, un stylo qui lui-aussi est produit par une société privée&amp;mldr; mais, dans ce cas, il y a plusieurs sociétés entre lesquelles je peux choisir et, surtout aucune de ces sociétés ne détient le brevet du papier ou du stylo (sauf les BICs, mais il existe d’autres types de stylos !). Dans le cas d’Adobe, le format du formulaire, son accessibilité, la structure de ses données sont établis par Adobe et par lui seul.</li>
<li>L’usage obligatoire d’applications et de software propriétaires dans le cadre d’institutions privées d’utilité publique. Un exemple : les banques. Il s’agit évidemment de sociétés privées, mais qui ont des responsabilités à l’égard de l’ensemble des citoyens. Or, il est désormais quasiment impossible d’être client d’une banque sans avoir recours à des logiciels ou du matériel propriétaire. Pour accéder à son compte, il faut un Smartphone – propriétaire – sur lequel faire tourner des applications – -propriétaires – sous le contrôle, au choix, de Google ou d’Apple. Encore une fois, en tant qu’usagers, nous sommes obligés d’être clients de ces deux entreprises si nous voulons avoir une vie normale dans notre société. Pourquoi donc ?</li>
<li>L’usage généralisé du format docx comme format texte. Le format docx est désastreux pour une <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://eriac.hypotheses.org/80">série de raisons</a>. Mais ce n’est pas là la question. Le problème est que son usage est banalisé par les maisons d’édition, les institutions publiques et privées. Au lieu que de produire du texte, nous sommes obligés de produire du docx. Le format, évidemment, n’est pas neutre : il propose une conception particulière du texte et du document. L’accessibilité, en outre, dépend seulement du bon vouloir de Microsoft. Comment est-il possible que nous soyons pris dans la dynamique de transformation de l’écriture en une propriété d’une boîte américaine ?</li>
<li>L’usage de logiciel propriétaire par l’université et par l’éducation. À l’université, on présuppose que les membres de la communauté – étudiants, chercheurs, administrateurs – utilisent MacOs ou Windows. L’ensemble des services est pensé exclusivement pour ces deux plateformes. Aucune assistance n’est garantie pour les système libres. Souvent, il est impossible d’effectuer les tâches quotidiennes si on n’a pas un Mac ou un PC Windows. Les logiciels proposés sont toujours propriétaires – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Endnote&amp;mldr; Dans le domaine de l’éducation primaire – ce qui est encore plus grave –, on associe le passage au numérique avec l’adoption généralisée des iPads. Or, il me semble absolument délirant de confier l’éducation publique à une entreprise privée. Mais, concrètement, c’est exactement ce qui arrive : les livres de texte deviennent des applications iPad, gérées et maintenues par Apple. C’est Apple qui décide de leurs vies, de leurs licences de distribution, de leurs accessibilités, de la date de leurs sorties, de leurs ergonomies. Nous voyons de grandes institutions se réjouir de leur progrès, car elles ont adopté ces technologies.</li>
</ol>
<p>De cette manière, nous sommes progressivement en train d’abandonner la chose publique – ainsi que nos vies privées – entre les mains d’une poignée d’entreprises. Je le répète : la responsabilité ne revient pas à ces entreprises, mais à nous-mêmes et à nos institutions qui – par commodité ? par facilité ? à cause des pressions commerciales ? à cause de notre ignorance ? – ne faisons rien pour défendre l’usage d’alternatives libres.</p>
<p>Il y en aurait pléthore, pourtant, d’alternatives ! Il suffit de prendre un moment pour regarder – par exemple sur le <a href="https://via.hypothes.is/https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Main_Page">répertoire de la FSF</a> – pour constater que, pour tous les besoins que je viens de mentionner, il y a des solutions de type libre. Libres dans le sens que leur code est ouvert – et que donc il est possible de savoir ce qu’il opère –, qu’il peut être modifié et adapté à des besoins spécifiques – qui seront donc définis par les usagers et les communautés au lieu d’être fixés par une entreprise particulière – outre qu’être aussi gratuits, ce qui n’est pas la chose la plus importante, mais qui peut également servir d’argument.</p>
<p>Des exemples :</p>
<ul>
<li>des systèmes d’exploitation GNU-Linux qui permettent de faire tourner nos machines en évitant qu’elles fassent ce qu’elles veulent ;</li>
<li>des logiciels libres pour remplacer les logiciels propriétaires ;</li>
<li>du matériel qui respecte la liberté des usagers en rendant publiques ses spécifications techniques.</li>
</ul>
<p>L’objection qu’on entend souvent est que ces alternatives « ne fonctionnent pas ». Concrètement cela signifie que souvent ces logiciels demandent une prise en main plus complexe. Bien sûr : dès qu’il s’agit de choisir, il est nécessaire d’avoir une compréhension de base qui demande une étude. Mais cette étude est la condition de la liberté. Si nous voulons être maîtres de nos machines, il faut que nous soyons capables de leur demander ce que nous voulons.</p>
<p>Cela demande des efforts, certes ; mais ces efforts sont au fondement de la possibilité de liberté. Au nom de la simplicité et des interfaces <em>user friendly</em>, nous renonçons peu à peu à être maîtres de notre vie. Dans une situation orwellienne, nous sommes prêts à déléguer notre vie à des entreprises pour éviter l’effort de nous demander ce que nous voulons faire.</p>
<p>Or, évidemment, il n’est pas possible de demander ces efforts juste aux utilisateurs. Il est indispensable que les usagers soient accompagnés, sensibilisés et aidés par les instances institutionnelles et publiques. Si l’on pense aux enfants, la question devient encore plus claire : leur éducation sera entre les mains d’Apple et Google si nous ne prenons pas la peine de prôner des alternatives à leurs monopoles.</p>
<p>Il est nécessaire et urgent d’agir pour faire changer cette situation :</p>
<ol type="1">
<li>En premier lieu, ce sont les institutions qui doivent s’engager dans cette démarche. Il est nécessaire que toutes les activités institutionnelles puissent être réalisées avec du logiciel et du matériel non propriétaires et que les solutions libres soient les solutions recommandées. Il doit évidemment rester possible d’accomplir ces tâches avec du logiciel propriétaire, cela doit rester une option pour garantir la liberté des usagers : si vous voulez utiliser un Mac, un PC Windows, soyez les bienvenus, mais nous privilégions les solutions libres – et nous offrons support pour ces solutions. Les institutions devraient aussi contribuer au développement du logiciel libre en investissant dans ce domaine pour leurs infrastructures numériques – au lieu que continuer à déléguer les GAFAM.</li>
<li>Ensuite, il est nécessaire d’obliger les acteurs privés d’utilité publique à faire la même chose. Et d’exhorter aussi l’ensemble des acteurs privés.</li>
<li>Le changement d’usages et la diffusion de pratiques libres sera un pivot pour déterminer les producteurs de matériel à s’aligner à la philosophie du libre. Les producteurs de matériel qui fonctionne exclusivement avec du logiciel propriétaires doivent être pénalisés.</li>
<li>Ces actions publiques doivent être accompagnées par une véritable démarche de sensibilisation à ces enjeux et un investissant important en formation. L’éducation doit être au fondement pour rendre libres les utilisateurs de demain.</li>
</ol>
<p>« Le numérique » n’existe pas comme phénomène uniforme. Il y a dans les pratiques et les technologies des univers différents et parfois même opposés. Nous devons en être conscients et agir de conséquence. Il faut lutter pour que le monde ne se réduise pas à la propriété d’une poignée d’entreprises.</p>

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<h1>Computers as I used to love them</h1>
<h2><a href="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>I’ve been struggling with file sync solutions <a href="https://tonsky.livejournal.com/323469.html">for years</a>. In the beginning, Dropbox was great, but in the last few years, they started to bloat up. I moved to iCloud, but it was even worse. Finally, a few days ago, after iCloud <a href="https://twitter.com/nikitonsky/status/1269741673715810304">cryptically broke again</a>, I decided it’s time to try something different.</p>

<p>I tried <a href="https://syncthing.net/">Syncthing</a>, a free and open-source alternative. And you know what? It’s been liberating. The sanity, the simplicity, the reliability, the features. It brings the joy of use and makes you believe <a href="https://tonsky.me/blog/good-times-weak-men/">the collapse of civilization</a> can be slowed down a bit.</p>

<p><em>Syncthing is everything I used to love about computers.</em></p>

<p>It’s amazing how great computer products can be when they don’t need to deal with corporate bullshit, don’t have to promote a brand or to sell its users. Frankly, I almost ceased to believe it’s still possible. But it is.</p>

<h1 id="installation">Installation</h1>

<p>You download a single binary executable. You run it. There’s no step three.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/cli.png" />
</figure>

<p>No, seriously. It’s so simple I thought I missed something. But no. After you run that binary, you have a fully operational node of Syncthing. It’s ready to sync with any other Syncthing node, no other setup necessary. There’s no installers, no package management (but there are packages if you want to), no registration, no email, no logins, no password creation, no 2FA, no consents, no user agreements. Just download and run. Heck, setting up autostart on Linux server was more complex than just running the app itself!</p>

<p>Homebrew makes it even simpler:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/homebrew.png" />
</figure>

<p>Just to give you the perspective, these are all the steps that Dropbox puts you through when you install it on a new computer:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_2.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_3.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_4.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_5.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_6.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_7.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_8.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_9.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_10.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_11.png" />
</figure>

<p>Aaaaand… that’s not all! You also get this annoying notificaiton to deal with:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_12.png" />
</figure>

<p>Only at this point can you start using Dropbox. Luckily, I already had an account, otherwise, it would be 5 more steps. Ridiculous!</p>

<p>(It goes without saying, that all of these are different windows. It does not happen in a single predictable area, mind you. You have to chase every one of them. And the “Set Up Dropbox” window is always-on-top, so it hides other required steps, which also adds to the fun.)</p>

<h1 id="no-artificial-limits">No artificial limits</h1>

<p>Because Synthing is free and doesn’t depend on server-side storage, they don’t need to put weird or unnatural restrictions on you. You can use as much space as you have on disk. You can sync as many folders as you want. You can sync any folder, no matter where it’s located. You can sync with anyone in the world. In fact, you can sync any folder with any number of people. At no point have you to wonder “but will it work with my plan”? If your hardware allows it, it will work. As simple as that.</p>

<p>Folders are the most vivid example of how other cloud storages constantly fuck up the simplest things. Syncthing can sync any folder on your drive, located anywhere. You can sync existing folders. You can sync multiple different folders. <em>Folders are just folders</em>, nothing special about them. Here I’m syncing “system” folders: <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Desktop</code> and <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Fonts</code>, and three custom ones. No sweat:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/folders.png" />
</figure>

<p>This simplicity lets you use it as a tool you can apply, sometimes creatively, to your task, not as a service you have to put up with. For example, by syncing <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Fonts</code>, if I install a font on one machine, it automatically installs everywhere.</p>

<p>Contrast this with Dropbox, which requires you to put everything inside <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Dropbox</code> folder. If you keep your projects under <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/work</code> and want to sync it, well, tough luck. You can’t sync multiple folders either. Well, technically Dropbox can sync anything, of course. Files are files. But branding dictates there MUST be a Dropbox folder somewhere, even if it’s inconvenient for the user.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_folder.png" />
Sweet, sweet branding...
</figure>

<p>But the worst offender is the iCloud. Same as Dropbox, it also requires you to put all your stuff into a folder. But that folder is called <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs</code>!!!</p>

<p>If you are a programmer, it’s unusable. First, you can’t in your right mind type THAT every time you need to <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">cd</code>. Second, it contains spaces! Which breaks all sorts of things, believe me or not, even in 2020. I can’t keep Fira Code in iCloud because of python scripts, I can’t keep Jekyll blog like this one there because of Ruby, I can’t run bazel, etc. Useless.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/jekyll.png" />
</figure>

<p>And if you think symlinking it to <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/icloud</code> helps, believe me, it does not.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/absolute_path.png" />
</figure>

<h1 id="no-registration">No registration</h1>

<p>How do you connect two devices, if there’s no registration, accounts, email, etc? Simple! Each device has a unique id, generated automatically when you first run the program. Share this id with another device, let them share their, and you are good to go.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/id.png" />
</figure>

<p>Best news? Those ids are not even secret. They are more like public keys, so you can exchange them freely. But the scheme only works if both devices know ids of each other.</p>

<p>What I like about this scheme is how beautifully simple and down-to-absolute-essentials it is. This is pure mathematics. But it’s also very convenient to use. There’re no emails, no forms, no unresponsive web pages, no invites, no expiring tokens, no failing/outdated/overloaded APIs, no password management, nothing to hold onto or “manage”.</p>

<h1 id="power-mode">Power mode</h1>

<p>There’s power user mode! If you don’t care, there’s always a UI, and most of the things you can configure there. But if you’re a programmer and need more, you can:</p>

<ul>
<li>Install Synthing on a headless Linux server,</li>
<li>Control it by editing XML config,</li>
<li>Control it via REST API,</li>
<li>Configure folder ignores via regular expressions.</li>
</ul>

<p>All APIs and configs are well-documented:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/api.png" />
</figure>

<p>For example, this is my <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">.stignore</code> for workspace folder:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/stignore.png" />
</figure>

<p>Configure it once and forget about generated classes, vendored dependencies and other caches syncing unnecessary forever.</p>

<p>In contrast, iCloud has a feature to exclude <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">*.nosync</code> files from syncing, but you know what? I usually don’t have files called <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">*.nosync</code>, that’s the problem:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_exclude.png" />
</figure>

<p>And Dropbox? Well… I still have nightmares about this Dropbox UI:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_folders.png" />
</figure>

<p>It’s kind of funny, how commercial apps have feature bloat but don’t have power mode. You can do more different things, but can’t configure them to your liking.</p>

<h1 id="no-upsell">No upsell</h1>

<p>Commercial solutions are interested in keeping users locked in and constantly upselling more features to them. As a result of that, you get notifications, features, popups. For example, on this screenshot, after I <em>just</em> installed Dropbox on a fresh machine:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_12.png" />
</figure>

<p>Top to bottom:</p>

<ul>
<li>I already have an annoying red dot in the menubar,</li>
<li>Link to another product (Paper), even though it has nothing to do with file synchronization,</li>
<li>A firm suggestion I should enable notifications,</li>
<li>A notification that says my Desktop app is ready for use?! I mean, I’m looking at it from the desktop app!</li>
<li>Dropbox advertising some sort of trial,</li>
<li>Dropbox selling me more space (even though it was 2 years ago and I have &gt;50% free),</li>
<li>Large “Upgrade” button,</li>
</ul>

<p>In the mystic “For you” tab:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_for_you.png" />
</figure>

<p>we see:</p>

<ul>
<li>Starred items? What is it, a high-school notepad? If I really wanted, I could tag files in the OS, but thank you.</li>
<li>Calendar sync? Why on Earth would FILE SYNCHRONIZATION application wants to access my calendar?</li>
</ul>

<p>Wait, there’s more:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_settings.png" />
</figure>

<p>More “features”:</p>

<ul>
<li>Desktop sync,</li>
<li>Photos sync,</li>
<li>Screenshots sync.</li>
</ul>

<p>These are at least file-like? I don’t understand why they have to be “special features”, though, if you already have an app whose primary task is to sync files. It already does that. Why are some files more special than others?</p>

<p>The answer is simple: the only way Dropbox can survive is by building and selling more features. You’ll never have peace of mind with them.</p>

<p>iCloud is much younger and doesn’t have feature bloat yet, but they are still interested in selling more Macs and iPhones. So they will always try to isolate you from the rest of the world. Expect weird restrictions and great inconveniences, like iCloud folder location or moving Desktop folder when you enable/disable sync for it.</p>

<p>Syncthing survival, on the other hand, does not depend on making more features. They do one thing, but they do it well. Look, their menu<a id="f1" href="#fn1" class="footnote">1</a> looks exactly how Dropbox used to look when it still was good in 2012:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/menubar.png" />
</figure>

<h1 id="no-lock-in">No lock-in</h1>

<p>Another ugly thing both iCloud and Dropbox routinely do is trying to scare you from walking away. Those appear every time you move more than one file outside of iCloud folder:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_scare_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_scare_2.png" />
</figure>

<p>And those are Dropbox versions:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_scare_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_scare_2.png" />
</figure>

<p>It might seem like they try to explain something, but they do not. They are scared you might be leaving and try to scare you back. The tactic is simple: question your every action, even trivial operations like moving or deleting files, display huge warning signs even for safe operations, long puzzling wording (“<a href="https://grumpy.website/post/0Ts_fkPQb">documents stored in iCloud will be removed from Mac</a>”) so that you never sure what will happen. That’s some shady shit.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/scared.png" />
</figure>

<p>Syncthing, on the other hand, simply doesn’t care. They don’t get any money from you, so they are not interested in creating a need or constantly reminding about themselves. If you are looking for peace of mind, you can’t have it with commercial offerings.</p>

<h1 id="conclusion">Conclusion</h1>

<p>Syncthing has reminded me how great computers can be if they are not made by corporations. It’s simple, predictable, sane, acts no-nonsense. You can configure it however you like and it always keeps you in control. It’s a pure function and it’s good at that. It’s free and open-source, but I’m much more happy to donate them €10/month than e.g. Dropbox. I would be a much happier person if at least half of the programs on my Mac/iPhone were like that.</p>
</article>


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title: Computers as I used to love them
url: https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/
hash_url: 154a7a62b2eb5b0fbe17673fd7cbcf42

<p>I’ve been struggling with file sync solutions <a href="https://tonsky.livejournal.com/323469.html">for years</a>. In the beginning, Dropbox was great, but in the last few years, they started to bloat up. I moved to iCloud, but it was even worse. Finally, a few days ago, after iCloud <a href="https://twitter.com/nikitonsky/status/1269741673715810304">cryptically broke again</a>, I decided it’s time to try something different.</p>

<p>I tried <a href="https://syncthing.net/">Syncthing</a>, a free and open-source alternative. And you know what? It’s been liberating. The sanity, the simplicity, the reliability, the features. It brings the joy of use and makes you believe <a href="https://tonsky.me/blog/good-times-weak-men/">the collapse of civilization</a> can be slowed down a bit.</p>

<p><em>Syncthing is everything I used to love about computers.</em></p>

<p>It’s amazing how great computer products can be when they don’t need to deal with corporate bullshit, don’t have to promote a brand or to sell its users. Frankly, I almost ceased to believe it’s still possible. But it is.</p>

<h1 id="installation">Installation</h1>

<p>You download a single binary executable. You run it. There’s no step three.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/cli.png" />
</figure>

<p>No, seriously. It’s so simple I thought I missed something. But no. After you run that binary, you have a fully operational node of Syncthing. It’s ready to sync with any other Syncthing node, no other setup necessary. There’s no installers, no package management (but there are packages if you want to), no registration, no email, no logins, no password creation, no 2FA, no consents, no user agreements. Just download and run. Heck, setting up autostart on Linux server was more complex than just running the app itself!</p>

<p>Homebrew makes it even simpler:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/homebrew.png" />
</figure>

<p>Just to give you the perspective, these are all the steps that Dropbox puts you through when you install it on a new computer:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_2.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_3.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_4.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_5.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_6.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_7.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_8.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_9.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_10.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_11.png" />
</figure>

<p>Aaaaand… that’s not all! You also get this annoying notificaiton to deal with:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_12.png" />
</figure>

<p>Only at this point can you start using Dropbox. Luckily, I already had an account, otherwise, it would be 5 more steps. Ridiculous!</p>

<p>(It goes without saying, that all of these are different windows. It does not happen in a single predictable area, mind you. You have to chase every one of them. And the “Set Up Dropbox” window is always-on-top, so it hides other required steps, which also adds to the fun.)</p>

<h1 id="no-artificial-limits">No artificial limits</h1>

<p>Because Synthing is free and doesn’t depend on server-side storage, they don’t need to put weird or unnatural restrictions on you. You can use as much space as you have on disk. You can sync as many folders as you want. You can sync any folder, no matter where it’s located. You can sync with anyone in the world. In fact, you can sync any folder with any number of people. At no point have you to wonder “but will it work with my plan”? If your hardware allows it, it will work. As simple as that.</p>

<p>Folders are the most vivid example of how other cloud storages constantly fuck up the simplest things. Syncthing can sync any folder on your drive, located anywhere. You can sync existing folders. You can sync multiple different folders. <em>Folders are just folders</em>, nothing special about them. Here I’m syncing “system” folders: <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Desktop</code> and <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Fonts</code>, and three custom ones. No sweat:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/folders.png" />
</figure>

<p>This simplicity lets you use it as a tool you can apply, sometimes creatively, to your task, not as a service you have to put up with. For example, by syncing <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Fonts</code>, if I install a font on one machine, it automatically installs everywhere.</p>

<p>Contrast this with Dropbox, which requires you to put everything inside <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Dropbox</code> folder. If you keep your projects under <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/work</code> and want to sync it, well, tough luck. You can’t sync multiple folders either. Well, technically Dropbox can sync anything, of course. Files are files. But branding dictates there MUST be a Dropbox folder somewhere, even if it’s inconvenient for the user.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_folder.png" />
Sweet, sweet branding...
</figure>

<p>But the worst offender is the iCloud. Same as Dropbox, it also requires you to put all your stuff into a folder. But that folder is called <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs</code>!!!</p>

<p>If you are a programmer, it’s unusable. First, you can’t in your right mind type THAT every time you need to <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">cd</code>. Second, it contains spaces! Which breaks all sorts of things, believe me or not, even in 2020. I can’t keep Fira Code in iCloud because of python scripts, I can’t keep Jekyll blog like this one there because of Ruby, I can’t run bazel, etc. Useless.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/jekyll.png" />
</figure>

<p>And if you think symlinking it to <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">~/icloud</code> helps, believe me, it does not.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/absolute_path.png" />
</figure>

<h1 id="no-registration">No registration</h1>

<p>How do you connect two devices, if there’s no registration, accounts, email, etc? Simple! Each device has a unique id, generated automatically when you first run the program. Share this id with another device, let them share their, and you are good to go.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/id.png" />
</figure>

<p>Best news? Those ids are not even secret. They are more like public keys, so you can exchange them freely. But the scheme only works if both devices know ids of each other.</p>

<p>What I like about this scheme is how beautifully simple and down-to-absolute-essentials it is. This is pure mathematics. But it’s also very convenient to use. There’re no emails, no forms, no unresponsive web pages, no invites, no expiring tokens, no failing/outdated/overloaded APIs, no password management, nothing to hold onto or “manage”.</p>

<h1 id="power-mode">Power mode</h1>

<p>There’s power user mode! If you don’t care, there’s always a UI, and most of the things you can configure there. But if you’re a programmer and need more, you can:</p>

<ul>
<li>Install Synthing on a headless Linux server,</li>
<li>Control it by editing XML config,</li>
<li>Control it via REST API,</li>
<li>Configure folder ignores via regular expressions.</li>
</ul>

<p>All APIs and configs are well-documented:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/api.png" />
</figure>

<p>For example, this is my <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">.stignore</code> for workspace folder:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/stignore.png" />
</figure>

<p>Configure it once and forget about generated classes, vendored dependencies and other caches syncing unnecessary forever.</p>

<p>In contrast, iCloud has a feature to exclude <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">*.nosync</code> files from syncing, but you know what? I usually don’t have files called <code class="language-plaintext highlighter-rouge">*.nosync</code>, that’s the problem:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_exclude.png" />
</figure>

<p>And Dropbox? Well… I still have nightmares about this Dropbox UI:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_folders.png" />
</figure>

<p>It’s kind of funny, how commercial apps have feature bloat but don’t have power mode. You can do more different things, but can’t configure them to your liking.</p>

<h1 id="no-upsell">No upsell</h1>

<p>Commercial solutions are interested in keeping users locked in and constantly upselling more features to them. As a result of that, you get notifications, features, popups. For example, on this screenshot, after I <em>just</em> installed Dropbox on a fresh machine:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_12.png" />
</figure>

<p>Top to bottom:</p>

<ul>
<li>I already have an annoying red dot in the menubar,</li>
<li>Link to another product (Paper), even though it has nothing to do with file synchronization,</li>
<li>A firm suggestion I should enable notifications,</li>
<li>A notification that says my Desktop app is ready for use?! I mean, I’m looking at it from the desktop app!</li>
<li>Dropbox advertising some sort of trial,</li>
<li>Dropbox selling me more space (even though it was 2 years ago and I have &gt;50% free),</li>
<li>Large “Upgrade” button,</li>
</ul>

<p>In the mystic “For you” tab:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_for_you.png" />
</figure>

<p>we see:</p>

<ul>
<li>Starred items? What is it, a high-school notepad? If I really wanted, I could tag files in the OS, but thank you.</li>
<li>Calendar sync? Why on Earth would FILE SYNCHRONIZATION application wants to access my calendar?</li>
</ul>

<p>Wait, there’s more:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_settings.png" />
</figure>

<p>More “features”:</p>

<ul>
<li>Desktop sync,</li>
<li>Photos sync,</li>
<li>Screenshots sync.</li>
</ul>

<p>These are at least file-like? I don’t understand why they have to be “special features”, though, if you already have an app whose primary task is to sync files. It already does that. Why are some files more special than others?</p>

<p>The answer is simple: the only way Dropbox can survive is by building and selling more features. You’ll never have peace of mind with them.</p>

<p>iCloud is much younger and doesn’t have feature bloat yet, but they are still interested in selling more Macs and iPhones. So they will always try to isolate you from the rest of the world. Expect weird restrictions and great inconveniences, like iCloud folder location or moving Desktop folder when you enable/disable sync for it.</p>

<p>Syncthing survival, on the other hand, does not depend on making more features. They do one thing, but they do it well. Look, their menu<a id="f1" href="#fn1" class="footnote">1</a> looks exactly how Dropbox used to look when it still was good in 2012:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/menubar.png" />
</figure>

<h1 id="no-lock-in">No lock-in</h1>

<p>Another ugly thing both iCloud and Dropbox routinely do is trying to scare you from walking away. Those appear every time you move more than one file outside of iCloud folder:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_scare_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/icloud_scare_2.png" />
</figure>

<p>And those are Dropbox versions:</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_scare_1.png" />
</figure>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/dropbox_scare_2.png" />
</figure>

<p>It might seem like they try to explain something, but they do not. They are scared you might be leaving and try to scare you back. The tactic is simple: question your every action, even trivial operations like moving or deleting files, display huge warning signs even for safe operations, long puzzling wording (“<a href="https://grumpy.website/post/0Ts_fkPQb">documents stored in iCloud will be removed from Mac</a>”) so that you never sure what will happen. That’s some shady shit.</p>

<figure>
<img src="https://tonsky.me/blog/syncthing/scared.png" />
</figure>

<p>Syncthing, on the other hand, simply doesn’t care. They don’t get any money from you, so they are not interested in creating a need or constantly reminding about themselves. If you are looking for peace of mind, you can’t have it with commercial offerings.</p>

<h1 id="conclusion">Conclusion</h1>

<p>Syncthing has reminded me how great computers can be if they are not made by corporations. It’s simple, predictable, sane, acts no-nonsense. You can configure it however you like and it always keeps you in control. It’s a pure function and it’s good at that. It’s free and open-source, but I’m much more happy to donate them €10/month than e.g. Dropbox. I would be a much happier person if at least half of the programs on my Mac/iPhone were like that.</p>



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<article>
<h1>Unreal Engine 5 is meant to ridicule web developers</h1>
<h2><a href="https://www.theolognion.com/unreal-engine-5-is-meant-to-ridicule-web-developers/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>Our sources report that the underlying reason behind the impressive tech demo for Unreal Engine 5  by Epic Games is to ridicule web developers. </p>

<p>According to the Washington Post, the tech demo includes a new dynamic lighting system and a rendering approach with a much higher geometric detail for both shapes and textures. For example, a single statue in the demo can be rendered with 33 million triangles, giving it a truly unprecedented level of detail and visual density.</p>

<p>Turns out that the level of computational optimization and sheer power of this incredible technology is meant to make fun of web developers, who struggle to maintain 15fps while scrolling a single-page application on a $2000 MacBook Pro, while enjoying 800ms delays typing the corresponding code into their Electron-based text editors.</p>

<figure class="kg-card kg-embed-card kg-card-hascaption"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qC5KtatMcUw?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="">VIDEO</iframe><figcaption>Each of hundreds of millions of triangles that compose this magnificent image is a direct evaluation of the skills of all web developers worldwide.</figcaption></figure>

<p>"We are disappointed with our colleagues," says the head of Web Developers Union Peter Eanline. "Both 3D game- and web-development have fundamental problems to overcome. Sure, they work hard computing millions of states in real-time by applying linear algebra and physics while maintaining up to 60fps of 4k video output. But at the same time we expect them to acknowledge equally challenging tasks like highlighting dozens of lines of code with 16 <em>different</em> colors, or remembering the scroll position after user closes an absolutely-positioned div, or deciding whether to inject CSS via JS or scale up the static assets cluster with Kubernetes."</p>

<p>The Web Developers Union members created an online petition to bring this potentially hostile decision of Epic Games to public light. The petition website is scheduled to go live in July 2020 (in approx. 43 days), as soon as the Node packages updating process is expected to finish.</p>
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title: Unreal Engine 5 is meant to ridicule web developers
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<p>Our sources report that the underlying reason behind the impressive tech demo for Unreal Engine 5  by Epic Games is to ridicule web developers. </p><p>According to the Washington Post, the tech demo includes a new dynamic lighting system and a rendering approach with a much higher geometric detail for both shapes and textures. For example, a single statue in the demo can be rendered with 33 million triangles, giving it a truly unprecedented level of detail and visual density.</p><p>Turns out that the level of computational optimization and sheer power of this incredible technology is meant to make fun of web developers, who struggle to maintain 15fps while scrolling a single-page application on a $2000 MacBook Pro, while enjoying 800ms delays typing the corresponding code into their Electron-based text editors.</p><figure class="kg-card kg-embed-card kg-card-hascaption"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qC5KtatMcUw?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="">VIDEO</iframe><figcaption>Each of hundreds of millions of triangles that compose this magnificent image is a direct evaluation of the skills of all web developers worldwide.</figcaption></figure><p>"We are disappointed with our colleagues," says the head of Web Developers Union Peter Eanline. "Both 3D game- and web-development have fundamental problems to overcome. Sure, they work hard computing millions of states in real-time by applying linear algebra and physics while maintaining up to 60fps of 4k video output. But at the same time we expect them to acknowledge equally challenging tasks like highlighting dozens of lines of code with 16 <em>different</em> colors, or remembering the scroll position after user closes an absolutely-positioned div, or deciding whether to inject CSS via JS or scale up the static assets cluster with Kubernetes."</p><p>The Web Developers Union members created an online petition to bring this potentially hostile decision of Epic Games to public light. The petition website is scheduled to go live in July 2020 (in approx. 43 days), as soon as the Node packages updating process is expected to finish.</p>

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<h1>What’s up with me?</h1>
<h2><a href="https://helloanselm.com/writings/whats-up-with-me">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>I’ve turned pretty silent over the past months here and on Twitter. And there’s a bunch of reasons for it that I now want to share.</p>

<h3>Digital Exhaustion</h3>

<p>It started a while ago that I lost my sould for web development, for working in the whole area. At the time I was Engineering Manager for a small team at <a href="https://laterpay.net/">Laterpay</a>. It was a great job, I had nice team mates but I realized that sitting in front of a computer all day isn’t something that’s going to work for about 30 more years for me. And when you realize this, it’s getting harder to do the work. I have backpain issues since over a decade, a good portion of it due to being in front of a device, steady and still standing or sitting, all day.</p>

<p>Last year I started the plan to grow more food in a new garden, to be more outside, less in front of a screen. My backpain issues and the lack of motivation, the feeling of being burnt-out from work empowered me to follow this sooner than later, so I quit my job beginning of March and focuses solely on being not in front of my usual devices all day. My days turned from at least 10hrs a day screen time towards less than 3hrs on average now.</p>

<h3>Nature and Outside Work</h3>

<p><a href="https://schaufelundgabel.de/en">Schaufel &amp; Gabel</a> is my latest project, my biggest so far in my entire life. My biggest because it’s a huge challenge to grow food entirely outdoors, without much support from others except my brother who’s my business partner here. My biggest because I never had to make such a big financial investment into starting a project so far. With digital tools it’s easy: Buy a computer, a screen, a desk, an office chair and pay a little bit for hosting and Internet.</p>

<p>With growing vegetables, this is an entirely different level. You need a lot of equipment for growing plants, you need professional seed starting soil, you need to heat the small self-built sowing greenhouse which costs a lot during cold times of the year, you need to buy a lot of stuff to make the soil better (okay, you don’t need to but I want), you need more tools, more utilities and you need to ask and pay your local farmer colleagues to help you out with the big machinery for initial digging and grubbing the soil to prepare the beds.</p>

<p>So yes, this changed my life quite a bit and my daily work with it. I had a 100 square meter garden so far, now I have to care about over 1200 square meters. I can now produce vegetables for more than 10 people already, and most likely this number goes up by next year when we’re more efficient. This feels great, it feels great to be outside all day, to feel the soil in my hands, to grow my own food and share it with others. Knowing that they don’t need to buy it from the supermarket where it comes from all over the world. Now they get it from their neighbourhood.</p>

<h3>Covid-19 and the Internet</h3>

<p>When the Covid-19 lockdown started in Germany, I was already registered as a farmer which belongs to our system-relevant jobs. Of course, because we’re producing food for others. But what it means for me is that I’m able to go to work every day, to a place of calmness, full of nature because it is all nature. And to go there, I can go by bike and do my 7km commute and calm my mind during these ~15 minutes of cycling.</p>

<blockquote>
<p>Being outside during this mentally difficult times is one of the biggest reliefs and helpful advice I can give.</p>
</blockquote>

<p>One thing I realized with the whole really mentally exhausting situation of a social lockdown is that the Internet isn’t really helpful. When I stopped reading newspapers and any other news, including Twitter and other social media, this helped me stay sane. It’s not that you don’t know about the latest news, the latest regulations. I always was up to date with that at latest by the next day. But I stopped dragging myself into more and more depressing news, more fear of a virus that is indeed a big issue for our society. On the other hand, anxiety and fear are fuel for viruses to spread, and it’s the worst for our immune system. </p>

<p>Blocking news away from me, not using the Internet much these days helped me a lot when feeling not well in the current lockdown situation. Going outside helped. Hearing about so many conspiracy theories these days makes me confident: SOcial Media isn’t helpful in such situations, it fuels anxiety, it fuels these theories and it doesn’t help making us happy. We should be happy in order to fight a virus, we should be connfident and strong so it doesn’t get a chance. Fair criticism is fine, conspiracy theories that are blindly follow opinions of single persons out there are not. Reflect, research your own, build your own opinion. But please don’t drag others blindly into wild theories, let them build their own opinion. Help them achieve it.</p>

<h3>A child was born…</h3>

<p>But yeah, I said I had multiple reasons that my life changed and the virus section already got longer than I intended it to be. Anyway, here’s the probably biggest news in my life: <strong>I became a father in early April.</strong> We’re now a family of three and it changed a lot: The days seem very short these days, everything takes a bit longer and “time is running short”. The nights are different, it’s now a couple of sleeping blocks with short breaks instead of 6–7hrs straight. But overall it’s warming my heart to have a small baby in our family. I learn a lot, for myself, about babies, about my mind, about how a family life is different to a no-child life. For me, I can’t complain and while son is crying multiple times a day and sometimes I can’t calm him down easily, it’s a huge enrichment to my life. He helps me stay sane during weird times, he helps me stay on track being a farmer for idealistic reasons—you don’t become farmer because of the money, I chose it because it’s mentally rewarding, manual work and a great chance to help stopping climate change and do things differently.</p>

<p>That’s it for this time, it’s the reason why the <a href="https://wdrl.info/">WDRL</a> is currently on hold for the first time ever but I’m very sure it’ll come back soon again with a new writing. It’s the reason why it took me a week to see this nice <a href="https://twitter.com/mxstbr/status/1255053482178097153">Twitter notification</a> and <a href="https://helloanselm.com/writings/open-source-can-be-a-career-path">video by Max Stoiber</a>.</p>

<p>Stay sane, stay healthy, reflect your thoughts and stay positive. Hear you soon!</p>
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title: What’s up with me?
url: https://helloanselm.com/writings/whats-up-with-me
hash_url: 25289703cb4dd3023c087715cddf6d55

<p>I’ve turned pretty silent over the past months here and on Twitter. And there’s a bunch of reasons for it that I now want to share.</p>
<h3>Digital Exhaustion</h3>
<p>It started a while ago that I lost my sould for web development, for working in the whole area. At the time I was Engineering Manager for a small team at <a href="https://laterpay.net/">Laterpay</a>. It was a great job, I had nice team mates but I realized that sitting in front of a computer all day isn’t something that’s going to work for about 30 more years for me. And when you realize this, it’s getting harder to do the work. I have backpain issues since over a decade, a good portion of it due to being in front of a device, steady and still standing or sitting, all day.</p>
<p>Last year I started the plan to grow more food in a new garden, to be more outside, less in front of a screen. My backpain issues and the lack of motivation, the feeling of being burnt-out from work empowered me to follow this sooner than later, so I quit my job beginning of March and focuses solely on being not in front of my usual devices all day. My days turned from at least 10hrs a day screen time towards less than 3hrs on average now.</p>
<h3>Nature and Outside Work</h3>
<p><a href="https://schaufelundgabel.de/en">Schaufel &amp; Gabel</a> is my latest project, my biggest so far in my entire life. My biggest because it’s a huge challenge to grow food entirely outdoors, without much support from others except my brother who’s my business partner here. My biggest because I never had to make such a big financial investment into starting a project so far. With digital tools it’s easy: Buy a computer, a screen, a desk, an office chair and pay a little bit for hosting and Internet.</p>
<p>With growing vegetables, this is an entirely different level. You need a lot of equipment for growing plants, you need professional seed starting soil, you need to heat the small self-built sowing greenhouse which costs a lot during cold times of the year, you need to buy a lot of stuff to make the soil better (okay, you don’t need to but I want), you need more tools, more utilities and you need to ask and pay your local farmer colleagues to help you out with the big machinery for initial digging and grubbing the soil to prepare the beds.</p>
<p>So yes, this changed my life quite a bit and my daily work with it. I had a 100 square meter garden so far, now I have to care about over 1200 square meters. I can now produce vegetables for more than 10 people already, and most likely this number goes up by next year when we’re more efficient. This feels great, it feels great to be outside all day, to feel the soil in my hands, to grow my own food and share it with others. Knowing that they don’t need to buy it from the supermarket where it comes from all over the world. Now they get it from their neighbourhood.</p>
<h3>Covid-19 and the Internet</h3>
<p>When the Covid-19 lockdown started in Germany, I was already registered as a farmer which belongs to our system-relevant jobs. Of course, because we’re producing food for others. But what it means for me is that I’m able to go to work every day, to a place of calmness, full of nature because it is all nature. And to go there, I can go by bike and do my 7km commute and calm my mind during these ~15 minutes of cycling.</p>
<blockquote>
<p>Being outside during this mentally difficult times is one of the biggest reliefs and helpful advice I can give.</p>
</blockquote>
<p>One thing I realized with the whole really mentally exhausting situation of a social lockdown is that the Internet isn’t really helpful. When I stopped reading newspapers and any other news, including Twitter and other social media, this helped me stay sane. It’s not that you don’t know about the latest news, the latest regulations. I always was up to date with that at latest by the next day. But I stopped dragging myself into more and more depressing news, more fear of a virus that is indeed a big issue for our society. On the other hand, anxiety and fear are fuel for viruses to spread, and it’s the worst for our immune system. </p>
<p>Blocking news away from me, not using the Internet much these days helped me a lot when feeling not well in the current lockdown situation. Going outside helped. Hearing about so many conspiracy theories these days makes me confident: SOcial Media isn’t helpful in such situations, it fuels anxiety, it fuels these theories and it doesn’t help making us happy. We should be happy in order to fight a virus, we should be connfident and strong so it doesn’t get a chance. Fair criticism is fine, conspiracy theories that are blindly follow opinions of single persons out there are not. Reflect, research your own, build your own opinion. But please don’t drag others blindly into wild theories, let them build their own opinion. Help them achieve it.</p>
<h3>A child was born…</h3>
<p>But yeah, I said I had multiple reasons that my life changed and the virus section already got longer than I intended it to be. Anyway, here’s the probably biggest news in my life: <strong>I became a father in early April.</strong> We’re now a family of three and it changed a lot: The days seem very short these days, everything takes a bit longer and “time is running short”. The nights are different, it’s now a couple of sleeping blocks with short breaks instead of 6–7hrs straight. But overall it’s warming my heart to have a small baby in our family. I learn a lot, for myself, about babies, about my mind, about how a family life is different to a no-child life. For me, I can’t complain and while son is crying multiple times a day and sometimes I can’t calm him down easily, it’s a huge enrichment to my life. He helps me stay sane during weird times, he helps me stay on track being a farmer for idealistic reasons—you don’t become farmer because of the money, I chose it because it’s mentally rewarding, manual work and a great chance to help stopping climate change and do things differently.</p>
<p>That’s it for this time, it’s the reason why the <a href="https://wdrl.info/">WDRL</a> is currently on hold for the first time ever but I’m very sure it’ll come back soon again with a new writing. It’s the reason why it took me a week to see this nice <a href="https://twitter.com/mxstbr/status/1255053482178097153">Twitter notification</a> and <a href="https://helloanselm.com/writings/open-source-can-be-a-career-path">video by Max Stoiber</a>.</p>
<p>Stay sane, stay healthy, reflect your thoughts and stay positive. Hear you soon!</p>

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<article>
<h1>Setting Up Git Identities</h1>
<h2><a href="https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>Working on many projects across multiple identities can be difficult to manage. This is a procedure for leveraging git aliases to set an identity at the project level for any project with support for GPG-based commit signing.</p>

<h3 id="first-remove-any-existing-global-identity">First, remove any existing global identity</h3>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global --unset user.name
git config --global --unset user.email
git config --global --unset user.signingkey
</code></pre></div>

<h3 id="require-config-to-exist-in-order-to-make-commits">Require config to exist in order to make commits</h3>

<p>Without the global user name and user email, git would use the system’s hostname and username to make commits. Tell git to throw an error instead, requiring you to specify an identity for every new project.</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global user.useConfigOnly true
</code></pre></div>

<h3 id="for-each-identity-generate-gpg-keys">For each identity, generate GPG keys</h3>

<p><img src="https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/keygen.png" alt="GPG key generation output"/></p>

<p>Generate a GPG public/private key pair:</p>

<p>Choose (1) RSA and RSA (default) key type. Choose key size of 4096 bits. Set the key to not expire (0) unless you want to repeat this step periodically. Finally, set your name and email address. Comment can be left blank.</p>

<p>Once the key pair is generated we need to export the public key.</p>

<h3 id="export-the-public-keys">Export the public keys</h3>

<p><img src="https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/key-export.png" alt="GPG key export"/></p>

<p><em>For each identity</em>, export the public key:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format LONG user@example.com
</code></pre></div>

<p>where <code>user@example.com</code> is the email address of the identity you just created.</p>

<p>This will output a <code>sec</code> ID in the format of <code>rsa4096/[serial]</code>. Copy the serial number, then run this command to output the public key:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">gpg --armor --export <span>[</span>serial<span>]</span>
</code></pre></div>

<p>Copy the public key block and add it to your Github or Gitlab settings. With the public key, Github and Gitlab can cryptographically verify your commits, placing a “Verified” label next to each.</p>

<h3 id="set-global-git-config-identities">Set global git config identities</h3>

<p>Now we need to create the identities in git’s global config. For example:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global user.gitlab.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.gitlab.email <span>"gitlab@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.gitlab.signingkey 543166183AE7043A
git config --global user.github.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.github.email <span>"github@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.github.signingkey BCF8B7A8C138D16B
git config --global user.identity3.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.identity3.email <span>"identity3@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.identity3.signingkey 4F3FFC37B1A027BD
git config --global user.identity4.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.identity4.email <span>"identity4@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.identity4.signingkey D921F8BA473CF1FC
</code></pre></div>

<h3 id="create-git-alias">Create git alias</h3>

<p>Setting a git alias will give us a new git command to use to set the identity at a project level. This really is just a script that sets a particular global identity to the local config.</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global alias.identity <span>'! git config user.name "$(git config user.$1.name)"; git config user.email "$(git config user.$1.email)"; git config user.signingkey "$(git config user.$1.signingkey)"; :'</span>
</code></pre></div>

<h3 id="specify-git-identity">Specify git identity</h3>

<p>For each project, specify the git identity to use:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">$ cd /path/to/git/repo
$ git config user.email <span># should be no response</span>
$ git config user.github.email
github@example.com
$ git identity github
$ git config user.email
github@example.com
</code></pre></div>

<p>That’s it! Now whenever you start a new project or work on an existing project, you can be confident that the correct name, email address, and GPG signing key are being used.</p>
</article>


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title: Setting Up Git Identities
url: https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/
hash_url: 4218c8b3332d61d6702bb2bd73ea9944

<p>Working on many projects across multiple identities can be difficult to manage. This is a procedure for leveraging git aliases to set an identity at the project level for any project with support for GPG-based commit signing.</p>
<h3 id="first-remove-any-existing-global-identity">First, remove any existing global identity</h3>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global --unset user.name
git config --global --unset user.email
git config --global --unset user.signingkey
</code></pre></div><h3 id="require-config-to-exist-in-order-to-make-commits">Require config to exist in order to make commits</h3>
<p>Without the global user name and user email, git would use the system’s hostname and username to make commits. Tell git to throw an error instead, requiring you to specify an identity for every new project.</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global user.useConfigOnly true
</code></pre></div><h3 id="for-each-identity-generate-gpg-keys">For each identity, generate GPG keys</h3>
<p><img src="https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/keygen.png" alt="GPG key generation output"/></p>
<p>Generate a GPG public/private key pair:</p>
<p>Choose (1) RSA and RSA (default) key type. Choose key size of 4096 bits. Set the key to not expire (0) unless you want to repeat this step periodically. Finally, set your name and email address. Comment can be left blank.</p>
<p>Once the key pair is generated we need to export the public key.</p>
<h3 id="export-the-public-keys">Export the public keys</h3>
<p><img src="https://www.micah.soy/posts/setting-up-git-identities/key-export.png" alt="GPG key export"/></p>
<p><em>For each identity</em>, export the public key:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format LONG user@example.com
</code></pre></div><p>where <code>user@example.com</code> is the email address of the identity you just created.</p>
<p>This will output a <code>sec</code> ID in the format of <code>rsa4096/[serial]</code>. Copy the serial number, then run this command to output the public key:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">gpg --armor --export <span>[</span>serial<span>]</span>
</code></pre></div><p>Copy the public key block and add it to your Github or Gitlab settings. With the public key, Github and Gitlab can cryptographically verify your commits, placing a “Verified” label next to each.</p>
<h3 id="set-global-git-config-identities">Set global git config identities</h3>
<p>Now we need to create the identities in git’s global config. For example:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global user.gitlab.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.gitlab.email <span>"gitlab@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.gitlab.signingkey 543166183AE7043A
git config --global user.github.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.github.email <span>"github@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.github.signingkey BCF8B7A8C138D16B
git config --global user.identity3.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.identity3.email <span>"identity3@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.identity3.signingkey 4F3FFC37B1A027BD
git config --global user.identity4.name <span>"Your Name"</span>
git config --global user.identity4.email <span>"identity4@example.com"</span>
git config --global user.identity4.signingkey D921F8BA473CF1FC
</code></pre></div><h3 id="create-git-alias">Create git alias</h3>
<p>Setting a git alias will give us a new git command to use to set the identity at a project level. This really is just a script that sets a particular global identity to the local config.</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">git config --global alias.identity <span>'! git config user.name "$(git config user.$1.name)"; git config user.email "$(git config user.$1.email)"; git config user.signingkey "$(git config user.$1.signingkey)"; :'</span>
</code></pre></div><h3 id="specify-git-identity">Specify git identity</h3>
<p>For each project, specify the git identity to use:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre><code class="language-shell" data-lang="shell">$ cd /path/to/git/repo
$ git config user.email <span># should be no response</span>
$ git config user.github.email
github@example.com
$ git identity github
$ git config user.email
github@example.com
</code></pre></div><p>That’s it! Now whenever you start a new project or work on an existing project, you can be confident that the correct name, email address, and GPG signing key are being used.</p>

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<article>
<h1>Home .git</h1>
<h2><a href="https://martinovic.blog/post/home_git/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>Git is an incredibly useful tool for a programmer, you use it to version the work you do and distribute it easily on other computers.
But over the years, I&rsquo;ve found that a lot of my workflow depends on various configurations and helper scripts I have in my path.
So why not version those as well, it does allow you to get started in seconds in a very familiar environment on every new computer or even a server if you spend a lot of your time in SSH sessions.
Bonus points for making it a public repository so others can take a look at your stuff and possibly get inspiration for improvements in their workflow, just make sure you don&rsquo;t commit any private keys.</p>

<h1 id="the-setup">The setup</h1>

<p>Feel free to check out my home repository over <a href="https://github.com/tophatcroat/home">here</a>. As you can see, it contains my <code>.zshrc</code>, <code>.vimrc</code> a <code>bin</code> directory with various scripts, dotfiles and some other stuff I&rsquo;ve curated while doing what I do best, fidgeting around a computer.</p>

<p>You can start your own version by simply initializing a Git repository in your home directory.</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#111">cd</span> ~ <span style="color:#f92672">&amp;&amp;</span> git init</code></pre></div>

<p>Now your directory will be full of stuff you probably don&rsquo;t want to commit, like your downloads, pictures, private keys, shell history or what have you.
So it&rsquo;s important to set up the <code>~/.gitignore</code> file immediately to stop you from accidentally committing stuff you didn&rsquo;t want to.</p>

<p>Most importantly, you should ignore everything by default in your <code>~/.gitignore</code>:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#75715e"># Blacklist all in this folder</span>
/*
<span style="color:#75715e"># Except for these</span>
!.gitignore
!.gitconfig
!.notes/
!bin/
!Development/Sh</code></pre></div>

<p>This will instruct Git to keep its hands off all files except for the <code>.gitignore</code>, <code>.gitconfig</code> and the files in the <code>.notes</code>, <code>bin</code> and <code>Development/Sh</code> directories.
So now, when you want to add any other file or directory you will require a force flag like so</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh">git add -f path_to_file</code></pre></div>

<p>And that&rsquo;s basically all you need to do to set this up, it&rsquo;s now up to you to add and commit all you want and push it to the Git hosting service of your choice.</p>

<h1 id="the-cloning">The cloning</h1>

<p>So now it&rsquo;s time to clone this into your new home directory, but if you try cloning it using <code>git clone</code> command it will complain that it can&rsquo;t do that in an non empty directory.
To get around this, you need to initialize it first then manually add the remote and finally force a checkout like so:</p>

<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#111">cd</span> ~
<span style="color:#75715e"># Create an empty git repository in your home folder</span>
git init
<span style="color:#75715e"># Add the remote</span>
git remote add origin https://github.com/TopHatCroat/home
<span style="color:#75715e"># Get the stuff from up there</span>
git fetch
<span style="color:#75715e"># Be careful! This will overwrite any local files existing on remote!</span>
git reset --hard origin/master</code></pre></div>

<p>Running the last command will basically checkout all the files from the origin master branch and overwrite any files with the same path, so be careful if you already did some setup on the new machine.</p>

<p>And that&rsquo;s it, you&rsquo;ve saved yourself the bother of copying over the config files.
The only thing that remains is to install the tools that use the configs you&rsquo;ve just brought over.
If you are feeling adventurous you could make a script that will do that for you like I did in <a href="https://github.com/TopHatCroat/home/blob/master/Development/Sh/setup.sh">here</a>, but that is up to you.</p>

<p><em>EDIT:</em> As a response to this blog post others have pointed out <a href="https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/dotfiles">another viable solution</a>, or by using <a href="https://protesilaos.com/codelog/gnu-stow-dotfiles/">GNU stow</a>, or <a href="https://github.com/technicalpickles/homesick">homesick</a> or <a href="https://github.com/thoughtbot/rcm">rcm</a>.
Still, the solution presented here is the simplest to setup and understand and it does not depend on any other tool besides Git.
All in all, there are a bunch of ways to do this and a lot more resources are available <a href="https://dotfiles.github.io/">here</a>.</p>
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title: Home .git
url: https://martinovic.blog/post/home_git/
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<p>Git is an incredibly useful tool for a programmer, you use it to version the work you do and distribute it easily on other computers.
But over the years, I&rsquo;ve found that a lot of my workflow depends on various configurations and helper scripts I have in my path.
So why not version those as well, it does allow you to get started in seconds in a very familiar environment on every new computer or even a server if you spend a lot of your time in SSH sessions.
Bonus points for making it a public repository so others can take a look at your stuff and possibly get inspiration for improvements in their workflow, just make sure you don&rsquo;t commit any private keys.</p>

<h1 id="the-setup">The setup</h1>

<p>Feel free to check out my home repository over <a href="https://github.com/tophatcroat/home">here</a>. As you can see, it contains my <code>.zshrc</code>, <code>.vimrc</code> a <code>bin</code> directory with various scripts, dotfiles and some other stuff I&rsquo;ve curated while doing what I do best, fidgeting around a computer.</p>

<p>You can start your own version by simply initializing a Git repository in your home directory.</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#111">cd</span> ~ <span style="color:#f92672">&amp;&amp;</span> git init</code></pre></div>
<p>Now your directory will be full of stuff you probably don&rsquo;t want to commit, like your downloads, pictures, private keys, shell history or what have you.
So it&rsquo;s important to set up the <code>~/.gitignore</code> file immediately to stop you from accidentally committing stuff you didn&rsquo;t want to.</p>

<p>Most importantly, you should ignore everything by default in your <code>~/.gitignore</code>:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#75715e"># Blacklist all in this folder</span>
/*
<span style="color:#75715e"># Except for these</span>
!.gitignore
!.gitconfig
!.notes/
!bin/
!Development/Sh</code></pre></div>
<p>This will instruct Git to keep its hands off all files except for the <code>.gitignore</code>, <code>.gitconfig</code> and the files in the <code>.notes</code>, <code>bin</code> and <code>Development/Sh</code> directories.
So now, when you want to add any other file or directory you will require a force flag like so</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh">git add -f path_to_file</code></pre></div>
<p>And that&rsquo;s basically all you need to do to set this up, it&rsquo;s now up to you to add and commit all you want and push it to the Git hosting service of your choice.</p>

<h1 id="the-cloning">The cloning</h1>

<p>So now it&rsquo;s time to clone this into your new home directory, but if you try cloning it using <code>git clone</code> command it will complain that it can&rsquo;t do that in an non empty directory.
To get around this, you need to initialize it first then manually add the remote and finally force a checkout like so:</p>
<div class="highlight"><pre style="color:#272822;background-color:#fafafa;-moz-tab-size:4;-o-tab-size:4;tab-size:4"><code class="language-sh" data-lang="sh"><span style="color:#111">cd</span> ~
<span style="color:#75715e"># Create an empty git repository in your home folder</span>
git init
<span style="color:#75715e"># Add the remote</span>
git remote add origin https://github.com/TopHatCroat/home
<span style="color:#75715e"># Get the stuff from up there</span>
git fetch
<span style="color:#75715e"># Be careful! This will overwrite any local files existing on remote!</span>
git reset --hard origin/master</code></pre></div>
<p>Running the last command will basically checkout all the files from the origin master branch and overwrite any files with the same path, so be careful if you already did some setup on the new machine.</p>

<p>And that&rsquo;s it, you&rsquo;ve saved yourself the bother of copying over the config files.
The only thing that remains is to install the tools that use the configs you&rsquo;ve just brought over.
If you are feeling adventurous you could make a script that will do that for you like I did in <a href="https://github.com/TopHatCroat/home/blob/master/Development/Sh/setup.sh">here</a>, but that is up to you.</p>

<p><em>EDIT:</em> As a response to this blog post others have pointed out <a href="https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/dotfiles">another viable solution</a>, or by using <a href="https://protesilaos.com/codelog/gnu-stow-dotfiles/">GNU stow</a>, or <a href="https://github.com/technicalpickles/homesick">homesick</a> or <a href="https://github.com/thoughtbot/rcm">rcm</a>.
Still, the solution presented here is the simplest to setup and understand and it does not depend on any other tool besides Git.
All in all, there are a bunch of ways to do this and a lot more resources are available <a href="https://dotfiles.github.io/">here</a>.</p>

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<article>
<h1>Digital Gardens</h1>
<h2><a href="https://sentiers.media/dispatch-08-digital-gardens/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<div class="wp-block-columns alignwide">
<div class="wp-block-column">
<p>If you deal with a lot of knowledge “stuff,” articles, books, feeds, and need (or really like) to be able to not only find things again but also collect them somehow and ideally built from there to advance your thinking, make sense, and understand, most people would agree you need some kind of system, some set of practices. The oft cited idea of “information overload” is actually, a lot of the time, some form of filter failure. There is a lot of information out there but by focusing on stronger signals in the noise, keeping track of things, and having some structure in how you work, you can parse quite a bit of information without sliding into overload.</p>
</div>



<div class="wp-block-column">
<p class="has-background has-normal-font-size has-light-background-background-color">This <em>Dispatch</em> is made possible by members of <em>Sentiers </em>and currently unlocked and free to read for everyone. If you are new here, you can subscribe to the free weekly below or <a href="https://sentiers.media/membership/">become a member</a> to also get the extra dispatches.</p>


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<p>I’ve already covered some of that thinking in the second Dispatch, <a href="https://sentiers.media/dispatch-02-ideas-tools-from-my-process/">Ideas &amp; tools from my process</a>. Here I’d like to look at a type of tool I’m not using yet, although there is some overlap with things I use. It’s the idea of the Digital Garden. I originally happened on it through Tom Critchlow’s piece <a href="https://tomcritchlow.com/2019/02/17/building-digital-garden/">Building a digital garden</a> which you should read but for now let pull this bit out:</p>

<blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>It’s a less-performative version of blogging – more of a captain’s log than a broadcast blog. The distinction will come down to how you blog – some people blog in much the same way. For me however blogging is mostly <i>performative thinking</i> and less captain’s log. <span class="highlight">So I am looking for a space to nurture, edit in real time and evolve my thinking.</span></p></blockquote>

<h3>Metaphors</h3>

<p>When talking about having a system for Personal Knowledge Management I usually use two metaphors. It’s easier to “find a needle in a smaller haystack,” which reflects my experience that when you think you’ll “just find it again on Google” it’s often not the case because “that guy who wrote that thing around that time talking about metamodernism” will give you nothing. However, simply searching for the word “metamodernism” through the full text of what you’ve bookmarked on <a href="https://pinboard.in/">Pinboard</a> usually does give results pretty quickly. The second metaphor is “composting” (fermenting is more exact but whatever), the idea that things you read and hear pile up in your brain, simmer, ferment, and might turn into something else. For that to work though, you need to randomly “bump into” those articles, quotes, notes, thoughts and have a practice of reviewing, revisiting, and ideally writing about the links you are making. That’s where the garden comes in.</p>

<p>Tom talks about streams (Twitter), campfires (his blog), and garden which was the missing part he started working on. Anne-Laure Le Cunff writes about <a href="https://www.mentalnodes.com/a-gardening-guide-for-your-mind">seeds, trees, and fruits</a> (further down I’ll be linking to a couple of her posts but you should browse her site, loads of stuff on this and other adjacent practices). Let me add to these metaphors, just in case this one makes things click for you.</p>

<ul class="miscellany"><li><b>Stream and market</b>. Twitter, RSS, and I’d even add reading newsletters. Some of them are essay length and need some slow reading but many contain a lot of links with few thoughts and, paragraph to paragraph, email to email, are “stream like.” I’m adding market as a slower input of books and longer reads.
</li><li><b>Garden</b>. The way I save quotes and notes is close(ish) to this but is not a proper Digital Garden. This is where you take things you want to remember and expand (grow) upon. The things you “cultivate in season” are the current top of mind topics.
</li><li><b>Pantry</b>. Longer term storage. Bookmarking, marginalia in books, anything you file somewhere virtual or physical, keep for later, but aren’t necessarily thinking about more deeply in the “current season.”
</li><li><b>Kitchen</b>. I know, I’m pushing it now but where you actually take the time to actively assemble ideas and insights into something actually useful. When you turn the things you’ve collected and the hunches you quickly noted into some new knowledge. Here you’re blogging, newslettering, sending a longer text to a bunch of coworkers or friends, etc.
</li><li><b>Market stall.</b> Last one, sorry for the stretched metaphor. If you are writing with a professional purpose, things usually get more polished and require more time. I’m splitting this from kitchen mostly to draw your attention to the fact that a lot of people seem to think that blog posts or newsletters need to be at a certain level of finish… and never end up taking the time to write because of that. The basic idea is to cook for yourself in the kitchen, no need to get pro unless you want to!
</li></ul>

<p class="has-text-align-center">—</p>

<p>In short: inputs; a place to save things for later; a place to start making sense and drawing links; a time to write and share for fun (this is almost not optional, it’s such a useful way of thinking); and, if you want to, a time to write and share more seriously.</p>

<h3>What is it, really?</h3>

<p>Getting back to the digital garden itself, what is it? Everyone’s definition is a bit different and it’s still an emerging practice—even though it’s built on similar older ideas—but I’d say most share a few of the following characteristics:</p>

<ul class="miscellany"><li><b>Thoughtful notes</b>. Not just copying things over as you read a book. Some call them evergreen notes, some call them seeds. They are basically your thoughts on something you’ve read.
</li><li><b>Compact</b>. We’re not talking about pages of text but rather nuggets that are meant to be reassembled.
</li><li><b>Heavy linking</b>. The notes are kept short because there are multiple links back and forth between each, to connect concepts and ideas.
</li><li><b>Backlinks</b> (bi-directional). This is the more recent development in what people are using for digital gardens. In the most interesting systems, you’ll have a section to the side or at the bottom with “Links to this note,” listing all the other notes linking to it. For example here <a href="https://notes.andymatuschak.org/z2ZAGQBHuJ2u9WrtAQHAEHcCZTtqpsGkAsrD1">Most people take only transient notes</a>.
</li><li><b>Transclusions</b>. Hovering the cursor over a link pops up a modal window displaying the targeted page/note. Since the garden is made up of lots of small notes, it’s useful to be able to glance at the target page instead of clicking back and forth all the time (see backlinks above for an example).
</li><li><b>Editable</b>. Kept in a format and a “place” where you can and it’s accepted (so usually not a blog) that you can edit multiple times, re-organize, and add to individual notes and the whole.
</li></ul>

<p class="has-text-align-center">—</p>

<p>In short: brief notes from your own thinking, heavily linked back and forth, continually added to and edited.</p>

<p>The goal is to have a library of notes of your own thinking so you can build upon what you read and write, creating your own ideas, advancing your knowledge.</p>

<p>Lets stop here with the explaining and link to some thinking and examples. Hit reply for all comments and questions of course!</p>

<h2>Explore</h2>

<ul class="miscellany"><li>Already linked above, Tom Critchlow’s <a href="https://tomcritchlow.com/2019/02/17/building-digital-garden/">Building a digital garden</a> is an excellent explanation of the concept.
</li><li><a href="https://nesslabs.com/mind-garden">You and your mind garden</a> by Anne-Laure Le Cunff is a great read and, as mentioned above, click around, she’s done a lot more writing on the topic.
</li><li>Joel Hooks has a useful and different perspective with <a href="https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden">My blog is a digital garden, not a blog</a> .
</li><li>Amy Hoy’s <a href="https://stackingthebricks.com/how-blogs-broke-the-web/">How the Blog Broke the Web</a> is often mentioned, where she argues that the format and reverse chronology broke the more random and adhoc nature of the pre-blog web. Gardens might be a return to that.
</li><li>Maggie Appleton’s <a href="https://twitter.com/Mappletons/status/1250532315459194880">Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems</a> resulted in the rabbit hole thread you need with many many great examples. She also wrote <a href="https://maggieappleton.com/bidirectionals">A Short History of Bi-Directional Links</a>.
</li><li>Robin Sloan’s <a href="http://snarkmarket.com/2010/4890">Stock and flow</a> from 2010 is a must read in this context.
</li><li>Lots of people are using <a href="https://roamresearch.com">Roam</a> for note-taking and its native backlinks make it a popular choice for garden-like writing. Anne-Laure researched <a href="https://nesslabs.com/roam-research-alternatives">free, open source, and self-hosted alternatives</a> to it and later settled on a wiki and kindly wrote <a href="https://nesslabs.com/digital-garden-tiddlywiki">How to build a digital garden with TiddlyWiki</a>.
</li><li>⭐️ Andy Matuschak’s <a href="https://notes.andymatuschak.org/About_these_notes">custom built notes platform</a> is extraordinary in it’s simple look, how it works, and there are literally hours and hours of reading in there with lots of very smart thinking. It might be the canonical example of a well tended digital garden.
</li><li>Azlen Elza made his own <a href="https://notes.azlen.me/g3tibyfv/">very similar version</a> which also makes for great reading.
</li><li>The <a href="https://zettelkasten.de/posts/overview/">Zettelkasten Method</a> is often mentioned in discussions around this kind of topic, I encourage you to have a look. <i>“Using a Zettelkasten is about optimizing a workflow of learning and producing knowledge. The products are texts, mostly.”</i>
</li></ul>
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title: Digital Gardens
url: https://sentiers.media/dispatch-08-digital-gardens/
hash_url: 5a82172cc73bfc2050a2590b4d81e82d
<div class="wp-block-columns alignwide">
<div class="wp-block-column">
<p>If you deal with a lot of knowledge “stuff,” articles, books, feeds, and need (or really like) to be able to not only find things again but also collect them somehow and ideally built from there to advance your thinking, make sense, and understand, most people would agree you need some kind of system, some set of practices. The oft cited idea of “information overload” is actually, a lot of the time, some form of filter failure. There is a lot of information out there but by focusing on stronger signals in the noise, keeping track of things, and having some structure in how you work, you can parse quite a bit of information without sliding into overload.</p>
</div>



<div class="wp-block-column">
<p class="has-background has-normal-font-size has-light-background-background-color">This <em>Dispatch</em> is made possible by members of <em>Sentiers </em>and currently unlocked and free to read for everyone. If you are new here, you can subscribe to the free weekly below or <a href="https://sentiers.media/membership/">become a member</a> to also get the extra dispatches.</p>


</div>
</div>



<p>I’ve already covered some of that thinking in the second Dispatch, <a href="https://sentiers.media/dispatch-02-ideas-tools-from-my-process/">Ideas &amp; tools from my process</a>. Here I’d like to look at a type of tool I’m not using yet, although there is some overlap with things I use. It’s the idea of the Digital Garden. I originally happened on it through Tom Critchlow’s piece <a href="https://tomcritchlow.com/2019/02/17/building-digital-garden/">Building a digital garden</a> which you should read but for now let pull this bit out:</p>



<blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>It’s a less-performative version of blogging – more of a captain’s log than a broadcast blog. The distinction will come down to how you blog – some people blog in much the same way. For me however blogging is mostly <i>performative thinking</i> and less captain’s log. <span class="highlight">So I am looking for a space to nurture, edit in real time and evolve my thinking.</span></p></blockquote>



<h3>Metaphors</h3>



<p>When talking about having a system for Personal Knowledge Management I usually use two metaphors. It’s easier to “find a needle in a smaller haystack,” which reflects my experience that when you think you’ll “just find it again on Google” it’s often not the case because “that guy who wrote that thing around that time talking about metamodernism” will give you nothing. However, simply searching for the word “metamodernism” through the full text of what you’ve bookmarked on <a href="https://pinboard.in/">Pinboard</a> usually does give results pretty quickly. The second metaphor is “composting” (fermenting is more exact but whatever), the idea that things you read and hear pile up in your brain, simmer, ferment, and might turn into something else. For that to work though, you need to randomly “bump into” those articles, quotes, notes, thoughts and have a practice of reviewing, revisiting, and ideally writing about the links you are making. That’s where the garden comes in.</p>



<p>Tom talks about streams (Twitter), campfires (his blog), and garden which was the missing part he started working on. Anne-Laure Le Cunff writes about <a href="https://www.mentalnodes.com/a-gardening-guide-for-your-mind">seeds, trees, and fruits</a> (further down I’ll be linking to a couple of her posts but you should browse her site, loads of stuff on this and other adjacent practices). Let me add to these metaphors, just in case this one makes things click for you.</p>



<ul class="miscellany"><li><b>Stream and market</b>. Twitter, RSS, and I’d even add reading newsletters. Some of them are essay length and need some slow reading but many contain a lot of links with few thoughts and, paragraph to paragraph, email to email, are “stream like.” I’m adding market as a slower input of books and longer reads.
</li><li><b>Garden</b>. The way I save quotes and notes is close(ish) to this but is not a proper Digital Garden. This is where you take things you want to remember and expand (grow) upon. The things you “cultivate in season” are the current top of mind topics.
</li><li><b>Pantry</b>. Longer term storage. Bookmarking, marginalia in books, anything you file somewhere virtual or physical, keep for later, but aren’t necessarily thinking about more deeply in the “current season.”
</li><li><b>Kitchen</b>. I know, I’m pushing it now but where you actually take the time to actively assemble ideas and insights into something actually useful. When you turn the things you’ve collected and the hunches you quickly noted into some new knowledge. Here you’re blogging, newslettering, sending a longer text to a bunch of coworkers or friends, etc.
</li><li><b>Market stall.</b> Last one, sorry for the stretched metaphor. If you are writing with a professional purpose, things usually get more polished and require more time. I’m splitting this from kitchen mostly to draw your attention to the fact that a lot of people seem to think that blog posts or newsletters need to be at a certain level of finish… and never end up taking the time to write because of that. The basic idea is to cook for yourself in the kitchen, no need to get pro unless you want to!
</li></ul>



<p class="has-text-align-center">—</p>



<p>In short: inputs; a place to save things for later; a place to start making sense and drawing links; a time to write and share for fun (this is almost not optional, it’s such a useful way of thinking); and, if you want to, a time to write and share more seriously.</p>



<h3>What is it, really?</h3>



<p>Getting back to the digital garden itself, what is it? Everyone’s definition is a bit different and it’s still an emerging practice—even though it’s built on similar older ideas—but I’d say most share a few of the following characteristics:</p>



<ul class="miscellany"><li><b>Thoughtful notes</b>. Not just copying things over as you read a book. Some call them evergreen notes, some call them seeds. They are basically your thoughts on something you’ve read.
</li><li><b>Compact</b>. We’re not talking about pages of text but rather nuggets that are meant to be reassembled.
</li><li><b>Heavy linking</b>. The notes are kept short because there are multiple links back and forth between each, to connect concepts and ideas.
</li><li><b>Backlinks</b> (bi-directional). This is the more recent development in what people are using for digital gardens. In the most interesting systems, you’ll have a section to the side or at the bottom with “Links to this note,” listing all the other notes linking to it. For example here <a href="https://notes.andymatuschak.org/z2ZAGQBHuJ2u9WrtAQHAEHcCZTtqpsGkAsrD1">Most people take only transient notes</a>.
</li><li><b>Transclusions</b>. Hovering the cursor over a link pops up a modal window displaying the targeted page/note. Since the garden is made up of lots of small notes, it’s useful to be able to glance at the target page instead of clicking back and forth all the time (see backlinks above for an example).
</li><li><b>Editable</b>. Kept in a format and a “place” where you can and it’s accepted (so usually not a blog) that you can edit multiple times, re-organize, and add to individual notes and the whole.
</li></ul>



<p class="has-text-align-center">—</p>



<p>In short: brief notes from your own thinking, heavily linked back and forth, continually added to and edited.</p>



<p>The goal is to have a library of notes of your own thinking so you can build upon what you read and write, creating your own ideas, advancing your knowledge.</p>



<p>Lets stop here with the explaining and link to some thinking and examples. Hit reply for all comments and questions of course!</p>



<h2>Explore</h2>



<ul class="miscellany"><li>Already linked above, Tom Critchlow’s <a href="https://tomcritchlow.com/2019/02/17/building-digital-garden/">Building a digital garden</a> is an excellent explanation of the concept.
</li><li><a href="https://nesslabs.com/mind-garden">You and your mind garden</a> by Anne-Laure Le Cunff is a great read and, as mentioned above, click around, she’s done a lot more writing on the topic.
</li><li>Joel Hooks has a useful and different perspective with <a href="https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden">My blog is a digital garden, not a blog</a> .
</li><li>Amy Hoy’s <a href="https://stackingthebricks.com/how-blogs-broke-the-web/">How the Blog Broke the Web</a> is often mentioned, where she argues that the format and reverse chronology broke the more random and adhoc nature of the pre-blog web. Gardens might be a return to that.
</li><li>Maggie Appleton’s <a href="https://twitter.com/Mappletons/status/1250532315459194880">Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems</a> resulted in the rabbit hole thread you need with many many great examples. She also wrote <a href="https://maggieappleton.com/bidirectionals">A Short History of Bi-Directional Links</a>.
</li><li>Robin Sloan’s <a href="http://snarkmarket.com/2010/4890">Stock and flow</a> from 2010 is a must read in this context.
</li><li>Lots of people are using <a href="https://roamresearch.com">Roam</a> for note-taking and its native backlinks make it a popular choice for garden-like writing. Anne-Laure researched <a href="https://nesslabs.com/roam-research-alternatives">free, open source, and self-hosted alternatives</a> to it and later settled on a wiki and kindly wrote <a href="https://nesslabs.com/digital-garden-tiddlywiki">How to build a digital garden with TiddlyWiki</a>.
</li><li>⭐️ Andy Matuschak’s <a href="https://notes.andymatuschak.org/About_these_notes">custom built notes platform</a> is extraordinary in it’s simple look, how it works, and there are literally hours and hours of reading in there with lots of very smart thinking. It might be the canonical example of a well tended digital garden.
</li><li>Azlen Elza made his own <a href="https://notes.azlen.me/g3tibyfv/">very similar version</a> which also makes for great reading.
</li><li>The <a href="https://zettelkasten.de/posts/overview/">Zettelkasten Method</a> is often mentioned in discussions around this kind of topic, I encourage you to have a look. <i>“Using a Zettelkasten is about optimizing a workflow of learning and producing knowledge. The products are texts, mostly.”</i>
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<h1>Plus rien à craindre</h1>
<h2><a href="https://nrkn.fr/blog/2020/06/13/plus-rien-a-craindre/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p>Pour le week-end de la Pentecôte, j’étais retourné là-bas pour honorer un engagement. J’avais dit à ma chère complice que je comptais prendre quelques jours pour avancer — enfin — dans le tri de mes papiers et de mes quelques affaires qui hantent encore ses lieux. Au moins élaguer, à défaut d’en finir une bonne fois pour toutes. J’ai donc retrouvé ce vieux bureau, à l’arrière de la maison, au-delà de la petite cour intérieure. Le petit destructeur de documents sous un bras, quelques sacs-poubelles dans la main restée libre. À peine installé, je me mettais en quête d’un cendrier également. Vieille habitude du lieu, nous y fumions à l’intérieur à l’époque.</p>

<p>Elle est venue me rejoindre, me donner un coup de main. Pour être avec moi avant tout, m’a-t-elle glissé. Et nous nous sommes alors affairés à ce grand déblayage qui paraît ne pas vouloir en finir. L’organisation s’est imposée d’elle-même, pour laisser le temps au destructeur de refroidir régulièrement. Sélection d’une boîte d’archives ou d’une pile de dossiers, parcours rapide des documents contenus. Ça se garde ? Oui/Non. Ça peut partir en l’état dans un sac ? Oui/Non. Ça passe forcément au destructeur ? Oui/Non. Au fil du tri, des redécouvertes heureuses et amusantes. D’autres moins.</p>

<p>Des révélateurs de souvenirs pas si profondément enfouis finalement. Des sujets à anecdotes, à discussions, à échanges de regards lourds de silence en tendant quelques papiers, entre chaque respiration de ce petit destructeur quasi indestructible. Et puis cet instant de pause improvisée où elle m’a regardé, le regard un peu triste, un peu hagard, de me voir broyer tout cela avec autant de ferveur. « J’ai l’impression que nous détruisons toutes tes traces, de t’effacer ». Quel effet a bien pu lui faire mon sourire, réjoui mais retenu autant que possible ? D’autant que j’ai pensé tout haut « c’est bien le but et j’y prends du plaisir ».</p>

<p>Je n’aurais su dire autre chose. Ç’aurait été mentir. C’était encore bien en dessous de la jubilation que j’éprouvais à assassiner cet autre que je méprise toujours autant, bien que je ne le haïsse plus depuis quelque temps. Mettre à mort ce non-être empêtré dans sa vie à découvert, parsemée de projets inachevés, de rêves tièdes et étouffés, de convictions sans engagement ni combat, de paroles en sourdine. Je remarquais pour l’occasion que ce que je tenais pour de la procrastination n’était rien de plus qu’un rejet de la bureaucratie, un déni de cette société qui me harassait déjà. Je culpabilisais alors. Je conteste désormais. Pas assez souvent encore. Pas assez fort, non plus. Mais je suis en bonne voie.</p>

<p>Dans ma nouvelle vie solitaire, je n’ai cure de ces traces, de ces preuves du temps d’avant. Mon monde d’après a commencé bien avant ce petit virus et le confinement qui s’est ensuivi. Dès que j’ai eu le courage de tout mettre en œuvre pour m’installer ici. Quoi qu’il en coûte. Solitaire, oui, mais jamais seul. J’ai tellement de voix dans ma tête. Régulièrement trop nombreuses pour que je puisse en isoler une dominante. Ce n’est pas un aveu de démence. Ce n’est pas quelque chose qui m’effraie, juste une source d’épuisement. Ces voix ne me sont pas inconnues. Elles sont miennes. Elles sont mes pensées qui parlent et qui débattent.</p>

<p>Lorsque j’essaie de les suivre toutes, ou le plus grand nombre possible, je sais que je peux perdre un instant les pédales, démarrer de ce monde pour partir un temps à la dérive. J’ai appris à le faire en confiance : il n’y a eu aucun naufrage jusque-là. Je termine systématiquement par retrouver le port à chaque fois. Déboussolé mais enrichi par ce voyage improvisé, même en eaux troubles et sombres. Le retour sur terre me donne matière à réfléchir. À décortiquer. Qui je suis. Qui sont mes semblables. Qui sont mes congénères. Que nous sommes peu de chose au milieu d’un grand tout qui ne nous appartient pas et que nous devrions entretenir et non exploiter avec cette avidité sans bornes.</p>

<p>Puis, lorsque je ne réfléchis plus, il arrive que des larmes d’espoir me coulent le long des doigts, s’invitent dans la plume et imbibent alors le papier. Je les vois prendre forme de mots que je ne soupçonnais pas sous mes yeux qui, eux, demeurent trop souvent secs de ne plus savoir pleurer. Lentement, je lis les phrases qui sont apparues malgré moi. Souvent à haute voix. De temps en temps, ma gorge finit par se nouer. Je suffoque. Perds pied. Me redresse sur ma chaise en vue de retrouver consistance. Bouche la plume et m’enfuis sur le balcon. Fumer.</p>

<p>J’ai maltraité l’enfant que j’étais. En ne le soutenant pas, en le trahissant parfois. Maintenant qu’il a grandi, que j’ai vieilli, il revient me demander des comptes. Je ne suis pas parvenu à le chasser, ni à l’esquiver. L’ai-je seulement souhaité ? Mais quelle n’a pas été ma surprise de constater qu’il n’avait aucune amertume, aucune cruauté, dans ses desseins. Il est revenu faire ce que je n’avais pas su : m’épauler. Il m’arrive même de me demander s’il n’a pas l’intention, folle, de me sauver.</p>
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<h1>Indefinite leave to remain</h1>
<h2><a href="https://colly.com/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<p class="as-subtitle">After almost six years of marriage, three expensive and stressful visas, and much quiet worry, we finally have confirmation that Geri can stay as long as she wants.</p>

<figure><span class="imageset"><img alt="A letter from the Home Office approving indefinite leave to remain" loading="lazy" src="https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail.jpg" srcset="https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-600x.jpg 600w, https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-900x.jpg 900w, https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-1500x.jpg 1500w"/></span><figcaption>A letter from the Home Office approving Geri’s indefinite leave to remain.</figcaption></figure>

<p>Early this year, we prepared the usual pile of financial evidence and supporting material, and <a href="https://colly.com/stream/another-visa-application">submitted our application</a> for indefinite leave to remain in late March as required. Almost immediately, immigration services were suspended, a three-month interruption in response to Covid-19. Geri was finally allowed to complete the biometrics requirement <a href="https://colly.com/stream/nothing-to-do-in-sheffield">last week in Sheffield</a>, and with everything finally finished, we prepared to wait up to six months for a decision.</p>

<p>And then, early this morning, Geri woke me with “You’re not gonna believe this...”</p>

<p>And I didn’t.</p>

<p>“Your application for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom has been approved.”</p>

<p>I’m a born worrier, and I deeply mistrust the authorities. The media’s calculated stirring of anti-immigrant sentiment and the government’s disgusting ‘hostile environment’ roadmap eats me up. Without certainty, the weight of concern is always present; not a constant worry, but the thought of rejection is quietly terrifying. So much anxiety, and yet Geri is white and a native English speaker, so of course, we have a significant advantage. In March, <a href="https://colly.com/stream/another-visa-application">I wrote</a>:</p>

<p>“I could list so many aspects of [the application process] that feel ‘hostile’ in some way. It’s awful for English speakers like us; I dread to think how someone with poor English manages to get through this.”</p>

<p>Anyway, we can breathe, and shed happy tears. Geri is the best thing that will ever happen to me, and we’re so happy together. At last, I can relax, safe in the knowledge that they can’t take that happiness away from us.</p>
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title: Indefinite leave to remain
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<p class="as-subtitle">After almost six years of marriage, three expensive and stressful visas, and much quiet worry, we finally have confirmation that Geri can stay as long as she wants.</p>


<figure><span class="imageset"><img alt="A letter from the Home Office approving indefinite leave to remain" loading="lazy" src="https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail.jpg" srcset="https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-600x.jpg 600w, https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-900x.jpg 900w, https://colly.com/media/pages/articles/indefinite-leave-to-remain/2548741874-1592227162/visa-letter-detail-1500x.jpg 1500w"/></span><figcaption>A letter from the Home Office approving Geri’s indefinite leave to remain.</figcaption></figure>
<p>Early this year, we prepared the usual pile of financial evidence and supporting material, and <a href="https://colly.com/stream/another-visa-application">submitted our application</a> for indefinite leave to remain in late March as required. Almost immediately, immigration services were suspended, a three-month interruption in response to Covid-19. Geri was finally allowed to complete the biometrics requirement <a href="https://colly.com/stream/nothing-to-do-in-sheffield">last week in Sheffield</a>, and with everything finally finished, we prepared to wait up to six months for a decision.</p>
<p>And then, early this morning, Geri woke me with “You’re not gonna believe this...”</p>
<p>And I didn’t.</p>
<p>“Your application for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom has been approved.”</p>
<p>I’m a born worrier, and I deeply mistrust the authorities. The media’s calculated stirring of anti-immigrant sentiment and the government’s disgusting ‘hostile environment’ roadmap eats me up. Without certainty, the weight of concern is always present; not a constant worry, but the thought of rejection is quietly terrifying. So much anxiety, and yet Geri is white and a native English speaker, so of course, we have a significant advantage. In March, <a href="https://colly.com/stream/another-visa-application">I wrote</a>:</p>
<p>“I could list so many aspects of [the application process] that feel ‘hostile’ in some way. It’s awful for English speakers like us; I dread to think how someone with poor English manages to get through this.”</p>
<p>Anyway, we can breathe, and shed happy tears. Geri is the best thing that will ever happen to me, and we’re so happy together. At last, I can relax, safe in the knowledge that they can’t take that happiness away from us.</p>

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<h1>Dark Ecology</h1>
<h2><a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/dark-ecology/">Source originale du contenu</a></h2>
<blockquote><p><i>Take the only tree that’s left,<br/>
Stuff it up the hole in your culture.</i></p>
<blockquote><p>—Leonard Cohen</p></blockquote>
<p><i>Retreat to the desert, and fight.</i></p>
<blockquote><p>—D. H. Lawrence</p></blockquote>
</blockquote>

<p>THE HANDLE, which varies in length according to the height of its user, and in some cases is made by that user to his or her specifications, is like most of the other parts of the tool in that it has a name and thus a character of its own. I call it the snath, as do most of us in the UK, though variations include the snathe, the snaithe, the snead, and the sned. Onto the snath are attached two hand grips, adjusted for the height of the user. On the bottom of the snath is a small hole, a rubberized protector, and a metal D-ring with two hex sockets. Into this little assemblage slides the tang of the blade.</p>

<p>This thin crescent of steel is the fulcrum of the whole tool. From the genus <i>blade</i> fans out a number of ever-evolving species, each seeking out and colonizing new niches. My collection includes a number of grass blades of varying styles—a Luxor, a Profisense, an Austrian, and a new, elegant Concari Felice blade that I’ve not even tried yet—whose lengths vary between sixty and eighty-five centimeters. I also have a couple of ditch blades (which, despite the name, are not used for mowing ditches in particular, but are all-purpose cutting tools that can manage anything from fine grass to tousled brambles) and a bush blade, which is as thick as a billhook and can take down small trees. These are the big mammals you can see and hear. Beneath and around them scuttle any number of harder-to-spot competitors for the summer grass, all finding their place in the ecosystem of the tool.</p>

<p>None of them, of course, is any use at all unless it is kept sharp, really sharp: sharp enough that if you were to lightly run your finger along the edge, you would lose blood. You need to take a couple of stones out into the field with you and use them regularly—every five minutes or so—to keep the edge honed. And you need to know how to use your peening anvil, and when. <i>Peen</i> is a word of Scandinavian origin, originally meaning “to beat iron thin with a hammer,” which is still its meaning, though the iron has now been replaced by steel. When the edge of your blade thickens with overuse and oversharpening, you need to draw the edge out by peening it—cold-forging the blade with hammer and small anvil. It’s a tricky job. I’ve been doing it for years, but I’ve still not mastered it. Probably you never master it, just as you never really master anything. That lack of mastery, and the promise of one day reaching it, is part of the complex beauty of the tool.</p>

<p>Etymology can be interesting. <i>Scythe</i>, originally rendered <i>sithe</i>, is an Old English word, indicating that the tool has been in use in these islands for at least a thousand years. But archaeology pushes that date much further out; Roman scythes have been found with blades nearly two meters long. Basic, curved cutting tools for use on grass date back at least ten thousand years, to the dawn of agriculture and thus to the dawn of civilizations. Like the tool, the word, too, has older origins. The Proto-Indo-European root of <i>scythe</i> is the word <i>sek</i>, meaning to cut, or to divide. <i>Sek</i> is also the root word of <i>sickle, saw, schism, sex</i>, and <i>science</i>. </p>

<p>I’VE RECENTLY BEEN reading the collected writings of Theodore Kaczynski. I’m worried that it may change my life. Some books do that, from time to time, and this is beginning to shape up as one of them. </p>

<p>It’s not that Kaczynski, who is a fierce, uncompromising critic of the techno-industrial system, is saying anything I haven’t heard before. I’ve heard it all before, many times. By his own admission, his arguments are not new. But the clarity with which he makes them, and his refusal to obfuscate, are refreshing. I seem to be at a point in my life where I am open to hearing this again. I don’t know quite why. </p>

<p>Here are the four premises with which he begins the book:</p>

<blockquote><p>1. Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster.<br/>
2. Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster.<br/>
3. The political left is technological society’s first line of defense against revolution.<br/>
4. What is needed is a new revolutionary movement, dedicated to the elimination of technological society. </p></blockquote>

<p>Kaczynski’s prose is sparse, and his arguments logical and unsentimental, as you might expect from a former mathematics professor with a degree from Harvard. I have a tendency toward sentimentality around these issues, so I appreciate his discipline. I’m about a third of the way through the book at the moment, and the way that the four arguments are being filled out is worryingly convincing. Maybe it’s what scientists call “confirmation bias,” but I’m finding it hard to muster good counterarguments to any of them, even the last. I say “worryingly” because I do not want to end up agreeing with Kaczynski. There are two reasons for this. </p>

<p>Firstly, if I do end up agreeing with him—and with other such critics I have been exploring recently, such as Jacques Ellul and D. H. Lawrence and C. S. Lewis and Ivan Illich—I am going to have to change my life in quite profound ways. Not just in the ways I’ve already changed it (getting rid of my telly, not owning a credit card, avoiding smartphones and e-readers and sat-navs, growing at least some of my own food, learning practical skills, fleeing the city, etc.), but properly, deeply. I am still embedded, at least partly because I can’t work out where to jump, or what to land on, or whether you can ever get away by jumping, or simply because I’m frightened to close my eyes and walk over the edge. </p>

<p>I’m writing this on a laptop computer, by the way. It has a broadband connection and all sorts of fancy capabilities I have never tried or wanted to use. I mainly use it for typing. You might think this makes me a hypocrite, and you might be right, but there is a more interesting observation you could make. This, says Kaczynski, is where we all find ourselves, until and unless we choose to break out. In his own case, he explains, he had to go through a personal psychological collapse as a young man before he could escape what he saw as his chains. He explained this in a letter in 2003:</p>