The Sustainabilitist: Essays Every Day?

More like Ideas and Questions every day. Sentences, Paragraphs and More on Sustainability, Open Source, Design, and how Everythingis Connected in general.

Practical Primer for F/LOS Design

3rd February 2022 at 12:30am
Word Count: 84

or, Why Free Culture makes sense (cents?)

Utilizing free — free as in freedom — resources as a designer has a number of immediate practical implications.

  1. you can (for the most part) get images, fonts, tools, etc. for NO cost.
  2. you can share and redistribute the resources you use with your colleagues, clients, friends, students, etc. with no retribution or legal ramifications
  3. you can use and remix and modify and tweak to your hearts (and designs) content; again with no limitations or EULAs or production limits

Tagged with Practical Primer for F/LOS Design



    Twitch Live Streaming

    3rd February 2022 at 1:12am
    Word Count: 249

    Hello, welcome to the libre design live stream.

    I am working on a couple of things:

    • Putting down some thoughts using tiddlywiki to write, to collect references and quotes and ideas, to put together some larger "texts", to reuse and share my ideas and generate opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and just more quickly put otgheter future things — a sort of zettlekasten + digital garden + whatever else...
      • I am struggling as to how to sesibly order and organize my tiddlywiki though
        • WTF do I name things?
        • how to better atomize essays and ramblings for future use?
        • how to properly track sources and quotations, again to make future use and reference easier and more reusable/reliable!?
    • start designing materials for an actual printed book using only F/LOSS.
      • The book's production will aim to be sustainable; using best printing practices, cool paper stocks, etc.
      • The design streaming should be sort of interesting/humorous as I haven't used many of these FLOS programs in the first place, and the ones I used a bit in the past I have sort of forgotten mostly how to do anything in as its been since 2019!?!? So, I am sort of restarting from Zero (a BauHaus reference!?)

    So, do I just work on this a couple hours a week, and turn on the camera and go live? is that crazy?

    Does this stick to libre designing? do we get into climate designing or anything else?

    learning in the open, designing in the open.



      The Most Used Image on Earth

      3rd February 2022 at 1:02am
      Word Count: 216

      The most used image on earth IS an image of earth.

      Blue Marble

      NASA, as a US government institution, in producing images, automatically has them in the public domain? there needs to be better wording for this.

      Anyway, this blue marble image, it is in the pbulic domain because it was created by NASA > section 101 and 105 of the us Copyright act > copyright protection does not apply to any work created by the US Government...

      so, what is this image?

      • this is one of the most used images on earth...
      • why?
      • there are a lot of reasons...
        • one of the most important is that it is a “free” image
          • it is literally free in price, it is in the public domain
          • it is also liberated, you can do whatever you want with it, as it is in the public domain...

      Examples of the NASA blue marble in all sorts of funny places?

      The troubling part of the Public Domain when used like this is that these creations that use the Blue Marble ARE not free, neither in price, nor in copyright. You can use a public domain image to CREATE a copyrighted, protected, non-free culture image.

      This is where the ideology of Richard Stallman and The Four Freedoms come in.

      Blue Marble

      4th February 2022 at 12:23am
      Word Count: 80



      Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17

      NASA's first image of the entire sunlit earth from space. Also the worlds first picture of itself. The only one taken by a real human on real film. Taken by Apollo 17 mission. All more recent "blue marbles" are composites from combining satellite imagery.

      Things that have used this image:

      Tagged with Blue Marble

      Blue Marble 2012

      4th February 2022 at 12:25am
      Word Count: 112

      2012 composite blue marble update; the other hemisphere from the original

      Blue Marble 2012

      A 'Blue Marble' image of the Earth taken from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA's Earth-observing satellite - Suomi NPP. This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012. This image was released to the public on January 25, 2012.

      The NPP satellite was renamed 'Suomi NPP' on January 24, 2012 to honor the late Verner E. Suomi of the University of Wisconsin.

      Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

      Image Number: PIA18033

      Date: January 4, 2012



        How to Liberate your Designs?

        3rd February 2022 at 1:17am
        Word Count: 284

        Part of FLOSD and The Libre Designer

        In Discussion and collaboration with Henry Becker

        So you want to liberate your designing?

        Explain what liberating design is? What is Free Culture? > Free Culture

        Let's walk through some options from the simplest to the most complex.

        1. “Free” Images
        2. “Free” Type
        3. “Free” Software
        4. “Free” OS
        5. “Free” Output

        The Libre Designer is an ideal. If we look at the history of Cultural Production, for the most part that history is “free” — meaning that as cultural ideas are put out into the world, they are then built upon and remixed by those around.

        Contemporary design practice is no longer like this — at least not the visual design parts.

        Why does this matter!?

        If you wish to regain some aspect of "freed cultural production" then there are several ways one can start.

        The by far most easy way is to 1. pick image sources that come from the realm of free culture, and 2. pick typefaces that come from the realm of free culture.

        So why pick "free" images? well for one, they are usually literally free. This makes it particularly easy to start.

        Free images can come from several places. they might be old, and so just be in the public domain. This means anyone can use them for anything they want, build on them, repurpose them, etc.

        There are also plenty of ways that images are given over to free cultural use without just by being old enough. Services like Unsplash and Undraw release new images that have open licensing

        (Fuck do we need to go through licensing? maybe do this as a foot note, and have a glossary in the back, one part is different licenses)

        Free Means Freedom

        3rd February 2022 at 1:37am
        Word Count: 896

        The community aspects that Braithwaite and Raymond point to are not all there is to F/LOS — and not all that might interest a Graphic Designer. Torvalds was working on the Linux Kernel to aid in the completing of a larger project: GNU. GNU was created by Richard Stallman as “an operating system that is free software — that is, it respects users’ freedom.” This is where the Free/Libre part of Free/Libre Open Source came from.

        Stallman predicated Free software on the following essential freedoms:

        • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
        • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
        • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
        • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

        A program is free software if it gives users adequately all of these freedoms. Otherwise, it is non free.

        Free software defined by Stallman values users, it does not want to enslave a user to the will of a program or the will of that program’s developer. Stallman’s motivation in 1983 was to maintain the share-and-share-alike, vernacular-like model computer programmers were accustomed to where all are able to build upon existing works. Stallman saw this under attack (most accounts claim that “free software” was birthed when Xerox asked a peer programmer not to share a printer’s source code with Stallman). He was also motivated by being a good citizen.

        “I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this way.” — Richard Stallman

        Braithwaite nor Raymond deal with any ethical points in their discussions or analysis of open source. Neither take point of view as to why making should be done this way other than that “open design” arrives at better designs while saving resources. But “better” in that context is about less bugs and faster improvements, not “better” morals. Corporate culture has embraced the “open source” part of F/LOS, , what about the Stallman-esque Free/Libre piece, does that have implications for designing?

        In “Designer as AuthorAnthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose that designers “develop a parallel design activity that questions and challenges industrial agendas.” This is design that is in opposition to mainstream culture. Stallman’s ideals play wonderfully with this “critical design” perspective — Stallman is promoting critical software. Free Software challenges proprietary software’s agendas. Designers fully embracing “free-ness” in their software end up precluding themselves from the normal range of design tools, but open themselves to new territory better representing socially conscious and sustainability related content (the ideology of respecting a user [an audience] matches nicely with a socially aware design practice). Switching one’s software in this context is a critical act.

        Students in Special Topics: Open Source formulating practices around “design is political” or “design is ideological” found Stallman’s position more valuable than the pure pragmatics of Braithwaite’s “share more.” Using collective making to more rapidly come to a solution was not the important bit from F/LOS — the good citizen-ship was! That tools might now reflect one’s ethics was a valuable discovery. But, somewhat ironically, in adopting full libre practices for ideological reasons, collaboration can be more difficult. A peer’s set of tools may no longer be your tools. So, though F/LOS tools might not always be possible, protecting an audience member’s freedom is. Stallman’s golden rule still holds true: “… The Golden Rule requires that if I like a program [design] I must share it with other people who like it.”

        The Special Topics: Open Source class collaborated with MICA’s library on new print and signage materials. The library thinks of itself as an open entity within the school — the ideals of Stallman’s and F/LOS at large are mirrored by the Library’s director and staff (free-ness of information, open access, collaboration, etc.). There were limitations to how “free” we could be — we had to create files with Adobe Creative Cloud (it is a standard toolset for MICA offices), and we had to use the institution’s fonts. Though software and fonts were non-free, students did still go to great lengths to find ways of using F/LOS content and the share-and-share alike mentalities. One student utilized the MICA library’s personal archives for imagery. These are often works in the public domain, with no known copyright holder, or that the MICA Library directly holds the rights to. Reusing and remixing in the vernacular/open source vein is now a possibility for future library works. The class used issue queues to help divide and assign work; and the library staff were able to have access to the repositories to provide some input. The MICA brand guidelines themselves can be made more powerful if following institutional “open sourcing” is the goal. Instead of blindly following brand guides, find holes and places for improvement. There was one “bug” that the class asked the MICA communications department about for the library materials: what default set of icons should MICA school projects use? The communications team didn’t have an answer, and since then have been exploring what the best way to solve a branded icon set institutionally with some of our work as starting point.

        The Four Freedoms

        3rd February 2022 at 12:56am
        Word Count: 96
        • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
        • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
        • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
        • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

        Open Source Design

        3rd February 2022 at 12:50am
        Word Count: 207

        A search for “Open Source Design” online returns The Open Source Design Manifesto by Garth Braithwaite, a designer working on open source projects at Adobe. Braithwaite’s manifesto made a simple starting point in understanding how F/LOS impacts graphic design. The manifesto reads:

        I will:

        • find opportunities to design in the open
        • share my design experiences; both the good and the bad
        • find time for meaningful projects
        • openly participate in design discussions
        • work with other designers by choice
        • improve my toolbox

        In a 2013 talk called “Designers Can Open Source,” Braithwaite explains actions and behaviors designers might adopt for the “open-ness” the manifesto aims to inspire. The main tenant is to share more: “Sharing process, especially the failures, really helps” and “post as you are working, show how things evolve.” This creates an ecosystem where designers are more collaborative and more open with their neighbors — more unselfconscious — making design knowledge more effectively shared. Taking Braithwaite’s ideas to heart, our class made sharing and communicating a goal. To facilitate this we moved our class’ project files to repositories on Github (Braithwaite mentions Github as a tool for sharing and collaborating for codebases, we tried it for designing). We wanted to earnestly “design in the open.”