A podcast about free software, free culture, and making things together
FOSS and Crafts is an interdisciplinary exploration of collaborative creation. We believe that all works (whether digital or traditional in nature) are informed by history as well as one's surrounding culture and community, whether directly or indirectly, and that everyone benefits from the expansion of the commons. We explore such topics as computer programming, craft production, user freedom and agency, especially informed by the principles of the F(L)OSS (Free, Libre, and Open Source Software) and free culture movements.
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Episodes and news
- 25: Governance, Leadership, and Founder's SyndromeSun 28 March 2021
What story does an institution tell about itself? To whom does a governance structure and its leadership serve? To what degree are leaders within a governing institution subject or exempt to the rules of the governed? We use this framework to discuss the unexpected announcement of Richard Stallman's re-appointment to the FSF board, by the FSF board.
- 24: Get Organized!Fri 12 March 2021
Morgan returns from handing in her dissertation! Very topically, Morgan and Chris talk about organizational systems which can help you stay on track... even when you're working from home or trying to finish your PhD during a global pandemic.
- 23: Nerdout! Fuzzy and crisp systemsSat 13 February 2021
Morgan is in the final crunch of finishing her dissertation draft, so Chris's brother Steve Webber joins us for a special "nerdout": analyzing the dual nature of fuzzy vs crisp systems! From physics to biology, from programming languages to human languages, the duality of fuzzy and crisp is everpresent.
- 22: Crafting the past... or trying toFri 29 January 2021
There's all sorts of reasons to pursue historical crafting techniques: for the experience of recreating them or learning new techniques, for education, or for entertainment and immersion. Morgan and Chris explore these paths under the terms "experiential historical crafts", "experimental archaeology", and "historical reenactment". What is important, useful, and fun about each of these? What pitfalls might we want to avoid? What can be gained by what we might find, how might we bring more people in... and what do we risk by what (or who) we might miss or leave out?
- 21: Vicky Steeves on Reproducibility, Open Research, & Librarians (... and game modding)Sun 17 January 2021
We're joined by Vicky Steeves, a hyper-talented librarian specializing in data management, open and reproducible research, and the overlap between FOSS, free culture, and library sciences! We dive into all of that... plus a bit of crafting... and even... what's this? A discussion of what the FOSS world can learn from the world of game modding (and vice versa)!
- 20: Hygiene for a computing pandemicSun 03 January 2021
Chris and Morgan, driving in the Covid-19 pandemic, reflect on lessons of hygiene and a separation of concerns from the past (seen through the retroactively surprising struggle for handwashing acceptance) while analyzing how to bring safety to today's computing security pandemic via object capability discipline.
- 19: Mallory Knodel on bits and bytes and human rightsThu 17 December 2020
With computing technology becoming integrated with every aspect of our lives, many issues are simultaneously human rights issues and technical issues. Thus, how are organizations concerned with human rights and social justice engaging with technological authorship and policy-making? Mallory Knodel, presently Chief Technology Officer for the Center for Democracy and Technology, explains her work as a Public Interest Technologist. Mallory is also heavily engaged in a wide number of technical standards-making organizations, and explains not only how technical standards are of interest to human rights organizations, but how the origin in work to define human rights overlaps with the emergence of standards-making efforts.
- 18: Sumana Harihareswara on sketching, standup, and maintainershipSun 06 December 2020
We're joined by Sumana Harihareswara, a FOSS advocate yes, but also a person of so many other talents! We talk about sketching, standup comedy, and maintainership for the long life of free software projects. (Did you know you can hire Sumana to help on your FOSS project maintainership btw? Sumana runs Changeset Consulting!) We also talk about representation in the FOSS community within the arts (especially narrative arts), and about learning new skills within "no big deal" contexts.
- 17: Gardening, from seedling to seasonedSat 28 November 2020
We're joined by our friend Tristan to talk about gardening experiences, from newbies (us) to the wise (Tristan and others who are not us). We (Morgan and Chris) have just started seriously gardening this year, and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. And it turns out that people who have been doing it for years (such as Tristan) still have a lot of successes but also a lot of failures. But those can be fun too!
- 16: Bassam Kurdali on using Blender for open movie productions and educationThu 12 November 2020
Bassam Kurdali (Fediverse, Twitter) talks about using Blender (a free and open source software suite for making 3d artwork) for open movie projects such as Elephants Dream (the world's first open movie project, which Bassam directed!) and Wires for Empathy, as well as use in teaching it to college students studying animation.