- 27: Nerdout! Game Design and Social SystemsThu 06 May 2021
Steve is back, talking with Chris about viewing social systems through the lens of game design. How do game mechanics, uncertainty, and narrative map onto governance, society, and citizen participation?
- 26: Dr. Morgan Lemmer-Webber, an academic journeyFri 23 April 2021
Remember how we've been saying the entire run of this show "Morgan's hard at work at finishing her PhD dissertation?" Well guess what! She finally got it handed in and defended it... Morgan is now officially Dr. Morgan Lemmer-Webber! (She still has to wrap up a few edits but hey it's official now!)
- 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.
- 15: Scribble and the Open Document FormatThu 05 November 2020
Morgan and Chris talk about the Scribble document authoring format, with Morgan talking about authoring her dissertation in it and Chris talking about writing an OpenDocument Format (sometimes shortened to "ODF" or "ODT") exporter. (That code is now a merge request which will hopefully become part of Scribble itself!)
- 14: Digital Humanities Workshops
- 13: ActivityPub Conference 2020 with Sebastian LasseThu 15 October 2020
This week we are joined by Sebastian Lasse, author of the Redaktor ActivityPub powered CMS, and co-host of both ActivityPub Conference 2020 and ActivityPub Conference 2019 along with Morgan. Lots of retrospective, especially on the difference between APConf as an online conference in 2020 vs an in person conference in 2019.
- 12: [Theatre] The What Goblins Saga, Chapter 2: Trees, Friends, and StaticThu 08 October 2020
On this episode of FOSS and Crafts Theatre, we continue the What Goblins Saga. The What Goblins saga continues as the characters continue to learn about themselves and their ever-changing environment. If you haven't listened to Chapter 1, maybe stop reading now to avoid spoilers from that episode!
- 11: An Ethics of AgencyThu 01 October 2020
Chris and Morgan discuss an ethical framework Chris has been workshopping for the last few years, "An Ethics of Agency", with the foundation of maximizing agency "for you, for me, for everyone" and minimizing subjection. CW: Note that Chris talks about an incident involving them experiencing suicidal depression at one point.
- 10: [Theatre] The What Goblins Saga, Chapter 1: What Are Goblins?Thu 24 September 2020
On this episode of FOSS and Crafts Theatre, we begin exploring "The What Goblins Saga". While the claim of "our goblins are different" is hardly new, these goblins seem to stand apart more than most... even their fellow goblins seem to think so. What is the nature of goblins, and what about The What Goblins in particular? Through little planning or foresight, our motley crew is about to find more answers than they expected... which only opens up more questions, of course...
- 9: What is Spritely?Thu 10 September 2020
What is this Spritely project that's taken up most of Chris's time for the last several years? Something about advancing distributed/decentralized social networks, but what does that mean? Chris and Morgan talk about it while they drive to the bank!
- 8: Stefano Zacchiroli on preserving source code at Software HeritageThu 03 September 2020
We are extremely excited to have on our first FOSS & Crafts guest: Stefano Zacchiroli! (Also known on some corners of the FOSS world as just "zack".) Stefano has a long history of FOSS advocacy, most famously for his role in Debian where he served three well-regarded terms as Debian Project Leader. These days zack works on Software Heritage, an archival institution for software source code. We talk about how Software Heritage plays a role in common with other GLAM institutions (which stands for "Galleries, Libraries Archives and Museums").
- 7: [Theatre] What Escaped from the Demonic Z.O.O.O.O. (part 2)Thu 27 August 2020
Leaving off from part 1, the office demons of Styx, Hexia, and Gummy Bear (or is it Gerumphy or perhaps Gzeumphi Behr?) track down and confront the mysterious lampmorel creature directly. What dangers await them? And just what secrets are the corporate overlords of Demonstrative Industries and Plentimint Industries both keeping (perhaps even from each other)? Find out in this thrilling conclusion!
- 6: [Theatre] What Escaped from the Demonic Z.O.O.O.O. (part 1)Thu 20 August 2020
On the first ever episode of FOSS and Crafts Theatre (a new subshow of FOSS and Crafts), Chris and Morgan are joined by veteran role playing game players Nick and LP to bring everyone a story of three demonic employees of the international conglomerate, Demonstrative Industries. Something has escaped from the Demonic Z.O.O.O.O. to the human realm, and its up to our demon heroes to clean up the mess before anyone finds out. Can they succeed in their mission and keep their corporate overlords pleased with them, or will things get dramatically out of hand... or perhaps something in-between? Find out on today's episode (part one of two)!
- 5: Milkytracker, chiptunes, and that intro musicThu 13 August 2020
Chris's journey of making the intro music is used as a backdrop to explore how to make music in Milkytracker, a FOSS program for making tracker music, as well as to explore a bit of sound theory, what chiptunes and tracker music are, and even a bit of exploring what it's like to learn something new even when you aren't necessarily very good yet.
- 4: The Eight Kinds of FunThu 06 August 2020
Morgan and Chris look at the domains of FOSS and crafts from the lens of the Eight Kinds of Fun, traditionally used to analyze game design. What kinds of ways do different people enjoy participating in creative activities? How can examining those help us understand how to grow our communities to accomodate different participants with different styles of interests?
- 3: Textile production and a nostalgic pastThu 30 July 2020
These days textile production is mostly automated aside from some niche markets and craft production. Craft production of textiles today taps into a vision of a nostalgic past, often evoking memories of a time the audience member wasn't there for. It turns out this potent imagery has been used not just for inspiring hobbyist crafters everywhere to pull out the drop spindle and knitting needles, but also by political participants going back all the way to (at least) Ancient Rome to try to steer a particular narrative. Follow some of that history from past to present, and hear from Morgan about how the whole process of textile production works starting from raw materials... from sheep to sweater!
- 2: The impact of machines that "learn" and produceThu 23 July 2020
The results from machine learning have been getting better and better and the results seen so far from OpenAI's GPT-3 model look stunningly good. But unlike GPT-2 (which was publicly released under a free license), so far GPT-3 is accessible via API-only. What's the reasoning and possible impact of that decision? For that matter, what kind of impacts could machine learning advancements make on FOSS, programming in general, art production, and civic society?
- 1: Collaborative Storytelling with DiceThu 16 July 2020
You've probably heard of "tabletop Role Playing Games" (or, tabletop RPGs) before, but what are they? In this episode, Chris and Morgan introduce a subset of RPGs called "Narrative RPGs" whose mechanics are focused primarily around storytelling (as opposed to tactical combat).2 Hear about how narrative RPGs can be used as "collaborative storytelling with dice", some of the narrative RPG systems that exist, as well as an in-depth look at one particular RPG system, Freeform Universal. Freeform Universal is so simple and easy to pick up that by the end of this episode, you should have enough information to use it for weaving stories with your friends!
- Episode 0: Welcome to FOSS and Crafts!Wed 15 July 2020
Here it is, the very first episode of FOSS and Crafts! Co-hosts Chris and Morgan introduce themselves, their backgrounds, and give some sense of what to expect from the show.