Weeknotes 52

November 13, 2022

I travelled to Glasgow this week for a gathering of the Co-operative Technologists network. It was a restorative and fun couple of days. As well as hanging out with some old and new friends I also spent some time writing a couple of how to guides to get some things out of our collective brains and onto paper. I worked with some colleagues to form a proposal to trial hiring a coordinator for the network and updated the accounts. It was an expertly-organised event from our friends in media co-op and it reminded me again why I decided to work in this way.

Travelling was made much easier by having A-s parents over to stay for a few weeks. They were able to help out with the kids while I was away, although F- takes very badly to me being away. It was great to see them all when I made it back on Friday night.

I awakened my dormant ruby.social account to join in the exodus from Twitter. I wasn’t a heavy user of twitter, and have long-since unfollowed politicians and news outlets on there, but the vibe of my local instance has reminded me of what twitter used to be like 14(!) years ago when I created my account.

I’m currently working with the folks at Unthinkable. We’re helping a university incorporate some practices from product teams into the design of their new courses. This week that’s mostly involved prototyping a interface for transcribed lectures that allows students to ask each other questions about the content. I’ve been blown away by how accurate the automated transcriptions from OpenAI’s Whisper are. I worked quite a lot with automated transcriptions back at BBC R&D 10 years ago and this is really a step-change from what was possible then.