Out in canyonlands, nature has this nifty thing called cryptobiotic crust.
Cryptobiosis is an ametabolic state of life entered by an organism in response
to adverse environmental conditions such as desiccation, freezing, and oxygen
deficiency. In the cryptobiotic state, all metabolic procedures stop, preventing
reproduction, development, and repair. An organism in a cryptobiotic state can
essentially live indefinitely until environmental conditions return to being
hospitable. When this occurs, the organism will return to its metabolic state of
life as it was prior to the cryptobiosis.
When we were out in the desert this past week, we cracked a lot of crypto jokes
about the crust dirt. On the real, though, I think we’ve got a lot to learn from
the dirt. It takes hundreds of years for cryptobiotic crust to fully develop. It
bides its time in a place that seems incapable of supporting life, and then
springs to action at exactly the right moment. Patience is everything. Timing is
I apologize for the extended radio silence, but I think it’s important to
periodically reboot. Too much cruft in /tmp. Happy to report that my personal
reboot was sucessful, and that I’m coming back online.
The past few weeks were certainly momentous. We succeeded in overhauling the
Kansas City Freedom Network from a bridged network to a routed one. We’ve got a
custom spin of guifi’s qmp firmware, which uses bmx6 for routing. The network
is performing well.
We also surveyed two very large areas of Kansas City, and are now working on
engineering studies. One will go to the Kansas City School District, and the
other will go to a group of neighborhood association in the Swope Park area. I
think it’s a big opportunity to put a lot of the design patterns and philosophy
behind the KCFN into writing. I’ve got a working draft, and should have
something ready for review in a day or two.
Roger, Pau and I travelled west, driving through the endless harvest. We saw the
desert, the mountains, the ocean, all the splendor of this unique and
schizophrenic continent. We consumed and were consumed.
There is something about moments of elation and frustration — they bind people
together. Shared experience is the fabric of understanding. After the stressful
marathon that was our time in Kansas City, spending long hours together in
Tyrone’s car, facing forest fires and closed passes, and climbing peaks and
seeing waterfalls and finally finding the ocean, I think I’ve got a much better
understanding of who we are, together. Real conversation doesn’t happen in
meetings — that’s where you do broing stuff. Real conversation happens on the
plains of eastern colorado at 1am.
We face different challenges from guifi, but if we are to succeed, it will be by
leaning on each other, learning from each other, and pulling in the same
Our short visit to Oakland was fantastic. There is something really cool
happening there, emanating from the sudo room hackerspace. The thursday night
mesh meetup turned into a very productive chance for sharing knowledge between
groups, and discussing the NCL. I think there is a lot of momentum behind the
NCL now. It’s critically important that we not take it too far on our own terms.
With the International Summit coming up in a couple of weeks, I think it makes
sense to wait on making any substantive changes, so that we can formalize the
coalition around the NCL and make sure that all stakeholders are on equal
footing. More on what we discussed in an NCL thread, but I think we made a lot
of progress, and have got a really sound idea.
I leave for Berlin in a little over two weeks, and in the intervening time,
we’ve got a couple of sites to build, our first streaming event over the
network, a engineering study to get out, and a whole lot of work to do
formalizing the KCFN gov structure. (Simply saying ‘consensus’ is not enough’).
The day before we left for the West, I quit my cafe job. Very very glad to have
done that, but also back to wondering how best to subsist. I think it might be
time to finally push on the financial front, and get the FNF to a place where it
is A) not broke B) capable of paying a small stipend.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the prospect of getting a bus and going
technomad. I think we should do a crowdfunding campaign, but that’s something
we’ll need to think out.
Glad to be back here, though also a bit sad for such an amazing experience to be
over. Nevermind that, though — there are so many days of struggle and love yet
to be experienced.
peace, love, and networking,