What yearning brought you to the Digital Life Collective?

What drew you here? Is there a deep yearning you can name that is at the core of your decision to become a member? If this initiative were to to be wildly successful, how would your life be different? If our success was guaranteed, what bold steps would you want to take as part of this emergent community?

1 Like

I am looking for two things that DigLife might provide, in addition to what it has already offered–a space for putting creative thinking into action, in service to systemic transformation.

My first yearning is to help develop and then use new tools for engaging large groups in asynchronous conversations (especially text). I’ve been thinking about this for seven years, and have some very specific notions about what might take us “way beyond the comment thread.” I’m hoping I can find the right folks to explore those ideas with, and get some actual code into place to try them out. Shortly after that, we should be ready to replace Facebook!

Seriously though, if I had such tools, I would be using them in my other work as a convener of virtual conversations. And I want to help create a community of practice for “conversation architects” who want to explore ways to release the generative capacity of these new tools.I think they can allow us to have entirely new kinds of conversations.

My second yearning is for an active, engaged community with which to convene such dialogue on a regular basis. One that can pay me a living wage to do that work. I sense that possibility among the members we will be gathering.


I am a technologist. I see tremendous change and opportunity at this juncture in time, but also disinformation and an urge to cling to industrial age thinking. There is work to do. We need to acquire a 21C digital literacy skillset and toolset and I believe this initiative has the capacity and capability to not only bring the right skills and tools on board but more importantly to return this knowledge to people who really need it (and don’t have the capacity or capability to do so). So, my purpose here is twofold. I want to define what is Our Tech and then find ways to bring Our Tech back to the communities around the world (who can then contextualize it). This is as much a collective learning journey as it is a transformation we are going through together. Oh, and a visual…


The world becoming decentralized will change almost everything we do. This disruption might have many victims if we do not embrace the change intelligently and cooperate in creating a better future in this new realm. DigLife is a coming together of thought leaders I admire seeking to help our transition from a controlled society to a decentralized one

In the early 1990’s the internet was free.Everyone was an equal participant. We could add value to any webpage with shared annotations of our colleagues. We could customize our personal interface with our own choices and format. But things got to complicated and users lost control. Corporations dominated and users became their product. We lost our power.

To be fair, the anarchy of the early internet was not sustainable and some control was necessary, but the people were unable to cooperate effectively to manage the revolution and prevent domination be a small number of players… Balancing transparency and privacy, autonomy and cooperation, and making the internet trustworthy and safe without central control is indeed a great challenge.

I see DigLife as the right people in the right place to help restore the internet to the people.


I have been deeply involved in digital inclusion for over a decade now. I have seen the importance of connectivity in people’s ability to participate in our increasingly digital world, communities, and economy. Conversely, I have seen how people struggle without it. The current structure of the internet and of technology is one where control has been awarded to the powerful. Titans have build the ecosystem. They control the system of sustainability with is based on a relationship that rewards those that can feed that ecosystem, and those who can’t are being left in the dark. I am an equity advocate. The power structure must change in order to allow those without the ability to feed the powerful to participate in our digital world. Making the internet more equitable is a dream of mine. The web offers opportunity, and everyone should have the same right to access that opportunity. I am involved in the Digital Life Collective because I have a dream that one day, the access to the internet will be equitably made available to everyone, and that internet will put power into the hands of the people, not into the pockets of the powerful.


Perhaps my yearning began with the likes of Bill Gates & co. I was incensed at the progressive and seemingly inexorable enclosure by the corporate / legal cultures / vultures in the '80s and then that extension into the commercial internet. So my first encounters with this splendid effort were like finding air after being underwater for far too long. I have seen many previous “good works” in this general direction, but this is the first that brings the head, heart and hand in the sort of co-ordination that attracts me - thought, feeling and action, often in that order. And it’s not just another bunch of men - for me, that’s a litmus test.
However, what particularly holds my interest, my yearning is that this venture may bring the same change to the hi of the emerging connected human world that Linux brought to servers and software.


My yearning is for a community of like minded people who view software as tools not ways to manipulate people. I want a community that can help move the needle toward decentralization and federation of the Web. This is the way I believe the Web was intended to be in the first place.


Yearning or frustration? :slight_smile: I blogged about some of my reasons here. Ultimately, I’m keen to see a future where we have ethical, responsible technology which works for everyone - and we’ve got some work to do to get there.


A bit of both frustration and yearning. A community where we all are looking for the same thing is key.


I find writing the best way to organise my thoughts. I wrote:

If we can’t trust our technology, we can’t trust ourselves. And if we can’t trust ourselves, we can’t trust each other.

And I thought, that can’t be right. The complexities here can’t be expressed so simply. But actually they can, as current affairs in 2016/17 are testament.

In this world where any previous boundary between the digital and the analogue is now blurred, my interfaces onto and into that world had better be mine, because if they aren’t, they are by definition someone else’s.

Software and data represent me. I should trust that I have agency over it because it has agency over me.

Unfortunately, commercial and political structures appear to counter the development of trustworthy, private, accessible, distributed networks, and consequently the individual agency they enable and sustain. So we have no other choice in responding here but to co-operate.

Co-operation requires mutual trust. ‘Tech we trust’ requires co-operation.

As for the question about how my life will be different, that has a simple answer too. I will have the satisfaction of having co-operated and the confidence that I (that’s the biological, psychological, informational and interfacial combined) am me.


I’d like to talk with you about the things with which you are displeased.
One thing that moves me to develop data management software is that many people’s data are spread across the servers of many programs. Some people have expressed the wish that all their data are linked. Some people have complained about data being siloed. I suggest that we reduce fragmentation in communication, which will improve relationships, fragmentation of content (some people have complained that it is challenging to get an overview of their content), and fragmentation of data, which reduces efficiency to a dangerous extent and contributes to huge misuses of resources.


Very good point. This is the main reason why I think we shouldn’t have a Facebook Group and a Facebook page.

It would be interesting to enlarge the project to videofomat discussions.

I was motivated by Cory Doctorow’s new book Walkaway. which deals a lot with the main topics the Collective is about. Also, I must admit I’m attracted by the energy and the creativity of this group and I’d love to see it evolve even further (and contribute to it).

I’m a member of a group of alumni of Howard Rheingold, Metacaugs, which is basically a place where we read and discuss books, try to inspire projects (software for making decisions, mindmap-software, peer-to-peer learning handbooks). The basic question is how to augment communities and individuals in an ethical way. Linking up with the Collective will help contributing to that lofty goal.

1 Like

I am also a member of Metacaugs and have curated on Digital Culture for the past 7 years on Scoop.it…so this is a great way to merge my view of all that with real people who want to collaborate towards a better use of tools and tech for enhancing the Mixed Realites in which we now live (one foot in cyberspace, one foot on the ground). I am also a Systems Integrator and Social Media maven…so expect great conversations and co-learning from everyone here.

1 Like

I am a systems thinker with a desire to collaborate on creating a better world for everyone. When I look at our economic and political models today I see major failures due to polarisation, ideology based groups who think they know best and which are in competition with each other instead of trying to collaborate and use their combined wisdom, short term vision due to these power struggles and a massive disregard for the humanness in all of us. I believe power only works if it’s distributed. Running society must be a collaborative proces, where everyone works from their strengths and passions, if we want to make it successful. And from what I’ve heard and read I believe these values are present in the collective.
I am also working on the design of a new economic and political model called CMee (Circular Money economic ecosystem). For that I’m looking for collaborators, feedback, ideas, … and maybe some people in the collective might find it interesting.
And I am curious to what I will discover here :slight_smile:

1 Like

I am the founder of IT Jobs Watch. ITJW has be publishing job market insights in the public domain since 2004. With this background, I feel there must be something I can contribute to a collective like this.

Secondly, the collective is based in Manchester - a good enough reason on its own.

Hi John, and welcome. It’s great to have you as a member of our nascent collective. Have you been able to join in yet over at chat.diglife.com (the member only space … as opposed to discuss.diglife.com where everyone is welcome to join the conversation) <<< the welcome email should have had included joining details.

1 Like

Hi Ben,
I joined Digital Life Collective because the rate of acceleration in our use of technologies is likely to grow at such a pace that, if we are not careful, in the motion blur of innovation we will be railroaded into technologies that do not align with our needs and desires. Humanity’s technological direction and evolution should be determined by our needs, not the blind possibility of the tech or the greed of markets.

Already the sheen of the first titans from Silicon Valley is coming off, but their influence continues to grow. It is alarming that Google and Facebook have built some of the biggest surveillance networks ever. They have baited their honey traps with an algorithmic exploitation of our attention. Their service to the majority of its users is merely to serve them up for the service of its premium users, but they present an image of having their ordinary users best interests at heart. At the same time, their engineering of how we spend our time and money is designed to decrease our volition.

They are dishonest, curtail freedom, have structural inequality built in, and the driver is that they are owned and controlled by a group infinitesimally smaller than their user base. This tech, useful and ubiquitous as it is… can’t be trusted.

Time for Tech we Trust
It is important to note that the Digital Life Collective is not an attempt to stall or slow the development of technology. Rather it is an attempt to develop technologies that respect equality, privacy, and are resistant to centralised control and ownership in order to better secure the long-term survival and success of humanity.

Digital Life Collective
My take - and there may be many- is that the Digital Life Collective is set up as an enabling environment for an ecosystem of activities that will :

a)at least craft a set of tools that match and exceed those built under the extractive/surveillance model of technology that increases options as it decreases choice.

b)create a widespread expectation and adoption of technology we can trust so that that this becomes the default.

Early criteria for trustable tech

I joined the Digital Life Collective with some sense of what trustable tech meant, among the criteria I think should be considered are the following.

The technology:

— serves the user as the primary role, not as a way of mining a human resource be it identity, attention, relationships, driving skills, content production.

— respects the user and treats everything the user creates as essentially the users, from the deliberate acts of content creation or seeking information to the incidental footprints, traces or shadows they leave.

— enhances user abilities and our understanding of the world instead of just replacing some of our tasks.

— solves user needs with the minimal possible tech interaction.

The deep yearning is probably about the world my children will grow up in. I feel like some of those foundations are being laid now and its important to get them right.

Thank you for this beautiful articulation of your concerns and wishes, Gustavo! And welcome aboard!