We're happy to announce that we just started to work on three new interdependent online resources: the Damaged Earth Catalog, the Permacomputing wiki, and the permacomputing workshop series!


Damaged Earth Catalog

A growing online catalog of the different terms in circulation, used by communities of practice, in relation to computing and network infrastructure informed by ecological ethics, degrowth, resilience, repair, and minimalism. Currently developed by @l03s as part of her PhD research.


Permacomputing wiki

A new wiki about permacomputing that aims to expose its principles, present and discuss the concepts and jargon required to engage with permacomputing, and maintain a repository of related projects. Currently facilitated by @viznut and @320x200 open for contributors!


Permacomputing in the Arts

A workshop series that will be developed throughout end-2022 and 2023 as an onboarding course for permacomputing practices in art an design. The workshops will be made available as an Open Educational Resource. Developed by @320x200 as part of a postdoc research on the topic. Nice, I can give you critique of permacomputing some time.

In short, using solar powered Raspberry for watering the garden and actually grow a lot of species (needing a water harvest technology) is not qualifying as permacomputing, but playing with old chips and emulators actually not growing anyting just purely wasting non-renewable energy is.

I like permacomputing and i incorporated the word to some of my later texts, although I did not use it in original livinglabs manifest, which actually predates permacomputing. But i see it like "Every construction should include sustainable ubiquitous technologies, in least necessary measure, communicating with land, water and people."

That is how i primarilly understand it, but seems like permacomputing people not really understand it this way and never connecting livinglabs principle to anything permacomputing related and sometimes i doubt i understand it correctly because maybe it is far less connected to permaculture than i think and too much limited to IT.

Never mind, I welcome these efforts and i can participate happily, but system change to biodiversity positive technologies needs much wider and interconnected approach with other technologies like sustainable architecture, which is principal in ecosystem care and livinglab is also a basic research method how to include science, social and other concerns (it is not my term, it can be found elsewhere). So I think it could be good to develop permacomputing principles and i think some of them even cannot be achieved without it - if you dont want to emulate biodiversity on some software emulator of course.

I hope i am not too rough, i could write more elegant arguments, i am just sketching it. Like requiring total openness is questionable when it excludes something which can drive viable cooperative economy (Raspberry), while open design RISC-V actually being used by chinese manufacturers to produce boards capable of 60fps facial recognition with 1Watt. And Raspi is something what you can actually get and use, while not having Z80 disqualifies you. So being in rich country where there was a lot of game consoles in 80s makes you permacomputing and being from east or from Africa, seems like you are out..

@michal @viznut Where did you read that hardware required absolute openness? The wiki is still a work in progress, it's not because there is not a page about any one platform that it is not considered, it's likely that we just haven't gotten to it yet.


Yes, there is a possibility for permacomputing to become a keyword to designate the cool hobby of dilettantes, relatively privileged tinkerers, or posers obfuscating their nonetheless genuine interest in some aspects of computational culture behind a vague discourse on sustainability.

For me, the gamble to open the wiki at a time where viznut just started to work on the principles, is that this is hopefully going to attract enough people from diverse backgrounds so that the scenario above does not happen, or that things will at the very least balance or will allow to keep a check on questionnable statements, projects, and narrow perspectives.

In that sense, it would be very useful to have your input, experience, and contribution to the wiki, and more generally active participation in forming the discourse around permacomputing in these early days.

What do you think?

@viznut @l03s Thanks for invitation, i can try that.

Seems like this ikiwiki does not allow registration.

@320x200 @l03s @viznut Amigues hispanohablantes: No se cómo pero tenemos que traducir estas belezas a la brevedad!
*al tiempo que se pregunta cuándo va a tener tiempo de amagar siquiera*


When I think of this text, I wonder why is for emulation needed such a platform? Emulation in principle is hardware abstraction, which can be implemented temporarily on various things leaving the software untouched.
That is how software works: Code which is interpreted or compiled to target instruction set is independent, while interpreter or compiler makes the hardware-dependent layer. Sometimes intermediary code is used, also universal, interpreted in the runtime context (like Java bytecode). Hardware is this or that but always temporary, like real bedrock, which consists of various minerals layered and shaped throughout time.

@michal @viznut I personally haven't found non-emulated/non-FPGA UVM implementations or even specs, but I have a few projects that come to mind, like the J1 that I would like to list. I'm taking suggestions if you've stumbled on papers on digital preservation that mentions specific target platforms that are not virtual machines.

Bedrock platforms and and UVMs are not the only possible way toward digital preservation. I've listed a couple here:

Temporary does not mean wasteful. Chip is a mineral thing and permanent as such. But software is free travelling from one mineral to another, regardless you know the inner structural composition, as long as the common interface is provided and such interface is open instruction set or other interpretative layer..
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