krozruch

CC BY-SA

Contribute

03-11-18

v0.1.0


There are many ways to contribute to marginálie and what marginálie represents other than by paying Subs - though that is ultimately what will make the difference between the project's success or failure and, as ever with projects run by individuals (as this is for now) and small teams (as I hope it may be in the future), small, regular amounts, make all the difference.

The first thing here to note is that, by removing oneself from the usual suspect monocultures and becoming more active in one's use of the internet, as well as by encouraging others to do the same, you will be doing a lot for your own mental health and clarity, as well as, at the least, doing less to damage the environment you live in. Since the marginal, the niche, the unfashionable, and the nuanced (I am at least one of the above), are silenced and shouted over in these spaces, this will in itself do much. The internet has been taken over by applications vying for your attention by creating dopamine loops as addictive as anything humankind has discovered. The first step, as with any addiction, is the hardest: recognise that you too, are vulnerable, and ask yourself in all seriousness whether you might not have a problem. If you do, you will undoubtedly need to do two things:


1. admit it to somebody (only by doing so can you admit it to yourself)

2. and ask for help (it might not be the same person, and indeed often will not be)


The reason I decided to work on Marginálie (morbid-interregnum is a test site working towards it) is because, standing outside of the communities I knew as an autistic person looking on, I saw them changing, those things I was unable to emulate, those things most people see or feel who didn't have to do so; they were narrowing slowly but perceptibly, at the same rate as the stars in the sky, the birds in the sky, and the insects on a windscreen after a long drive, had dwindled. Something was happening. I noticed those things as others did not. And neither did they notice as spectrum of human existence shrunk down like the colours over the shadow mask of a cathode ray tube television when you finally turned the damn thing off. You break this pattern - and pattern it was and remains practically everywhere I have lived and worked, and I have moved around a lot and worked in a lot of different places, and it is a pattern everywhere - when you speak about something that isn't trending and isn't a mere few steps down a side street from a trendy thoroughfare. You break this pattern when you risk losing your audience, or when you say something you can only say to one or two people, but you make a habit of seaking out those one or two people precisely because you can only say those things to them, and then you say them. You break this pattern when you turn off your damn phone. You start to break this pattern when you start wedging open the period of time when you are not on call.

In short, you stop being one of them, and start being one of somebody else, start being yourself.

But that is, honestly, the minumum. What if you want to do more?

Do you have a printer? Do you have access to a printer? Print some of this out. Leave or put in an attribution. Maybe draw a cover. Whatever. Put it in a cafe. It is designed for that. Not so long ago, and/or not so very far away, people risked their lives and freedom for their lives and freedom, putting themselves out to type out manuscripts at great risk, distributing them in two, four, eight, sixteen copies. In life, you get out what you put in. That is as true of social media as it is of samizdat. How much time do people put in to those posts, and yet what do they most often add up to? Wouldn't it be better to save up that energy, invest it a little better instead of tossing it this way and that. Ultimately, I would like to see some of this writing distributed on paper. I know how little people focus on writing on a computer screen. (Even Cory Doctorow who is a huge advocate of the internet, makes this point.) I know for a fact how rewarding it would feel for many people who have lost many many hours to the various sinkholes of the internet or who have seen their communities fall into the gravity wells of social media, if they were to get together and put a "paperware" zine together over an evening or three. In an age where there is so much of everything that it feels without value, that there might be as few copies as there were of some classic samizdat editions (forty or fewer) of any such zine could add a certain cachet. Sometime soon, I will be adding functionality for printing. It will be tentative at first, with qr codes instead of embedded videos and the like. There is an example below, from a class method attached to the Media class for the [Pythonically] technical among you.

Should you put a zine together using any kind of publishing software, compile it as any kind of printable document, make a version of whatever kind, please let me know at krozruch on Keybase or krozruch@marginalie.eu. Eventually, any printables ought to be collected without the database. If you can additionally host any large files as torrents, that may be ideal. An alternative would be the DAT protocol. (Should you really wish to go with the 'samizdat' feel, you might put them on I2P or something, but it's not necessary.

Mostly, for all of this to work, I will eventually (perhaps sooner rather than later) need a little help with the technical side of things. Currently, I host the code at Keybase in a closed group called pampeliška which is the name of the open source self-hosting platform the Marginálie codebase will, with any luck, spawn. The group is closed for the moment for a number of reasons. Some of the these involve my embarrassment over the idiosyncratic way my brain works: ideas tend to spin out in periodic brainstorms and areas jump ahead as I drill down with autistic perseveration. It may be that some of this is reasonably par for the course in software development, but I would say I am on the far foothills of a normal distribution for both of these trends, and, since I am coming at things from a broad-based, largely autodidactical background in literature and the social sciences and cut my teeth on git working on a html open notebook of writing, it is certainly eccentric. That I found I could handle the layers of abstraction requisite to dealing with SQL, sqlalchemy, Flask, Nginx and all of the rest of it at the outset by smoking and injesting cannabinoids, gives a little extra something to the whole gonzo-dev mix. (Everybody has got a pitch, but I sometimes hear myself think this whole thing is punk web dev at its most dada-situationalist, and there is something to that.) Had I been working within a group, some of this might not have been necessary, but then, too, had I been working with a group at the beginning, neither would I have permitted myself to imagine it all the way I have. If none of that puts you off,1 please write to me and let me know what you could give me a hand with. I have been reluctant to introduce any client-side scripting but perhaps you could change my mind. Otherwise, I could certainly do with some help with CSS, and as to the backend, I am using postgresql2 with sqlalchemy, so essential_skills == [Python, Flask, Jenga2]. Morbid-interregnum runs on Debian, but I would consider BSD for Marginálie proper once I rebuild it as a dynamic web app. It is important for me that Marginálie (and, perhaps by design, instances of Dandylion / Pampeliška) will be human-moderated, and I am very wary of automatically copying the staple interaction styles of mainstream social networks with followers and followed and bla bla bla but, since I am thinking of maintaining a distinction between issue content and all else ie. not only those pieces which are written by authenticated instance authors but those made for a given off-the-shelf variously-exportable "issue", it may be that aspects of federation including activity pub may be relevant, pulling to blogs, uncategorised sub-issue posts, and various 'slushpile' repos which may thereby be hosted until moderated. I have looked into Pleroma and ran an instance for a while, but, though aspects of federation would make sense and I woudl like to federate some works, the standard version doesn't work for me. Lastly, it is likely that git will be used for some aspects of collaborative writing.

Finally, should you wish, you could buy some music for me to either create to, or, if I get around to it (it is far from guaranteed), write about, on Bandcamp. Since it is possible I will get around to putting up audio content there, you may in future also be able to contribute financially through the service, which, should I ever shake off the curse of underemployment, I imagine I will begin to use more often.


1 Personally, I think that, having worked in countless environments and worked on fiction all of my life, I am much better-equipped to work with others than many who work in tech. I mainly struggle with authority and bureaucracy.

2 I opted for Postgresql mainly for its JSON type. On this and some of my other choices, my mind could be changed, by, having grappled with it somewhat now andhaving found it powerful, I am reluctant to change and then be left holding the baby if anybody were to join and then move on.


marginálie - opening doors since 2016