You’re never far from my mind (a message to the Free World)

I wonder about the assisted reproductive technology industry and whether anyone is looking into how free or unfree their practices might be.

I got rid of my smartphone which means an entirely different workload and relationship with labour. With Jano now three years old and roaming, it’s counterproductive to carry a laptop, and creating computer time for myself costs more than what I earn from it, not to mention the cost to Jano’s wellbeing (he needs not to feel alone and when I’m near a screen I have so much to do that I get absorbed and anxious). The last time I compromised his well being for some screen time I came across the notion of “radical accompaniment” to experiencing life and the world (a counter-proposal to “instruction” or “teaching”). I’m grateful for the screen as a tool that helped me find this information, but I also realise that without the screen I may not have needed such a prompt in the first place. I realise I need to disengage from my perceived obligations so that I can practice it.

Here are further paradoxes to my situation:

1. I’ve reached the conclusion that I might need to purchase a Youtube Premium Account to finally be able to download videos and share them with you and others in the free world (to liberate them)

2. I find myself defending technology to people in the Waldorf movement who believe that it is detrimental for children to have computer time early on. That they must first learn to play with knives and other tools of daily work: “A knife is a knife and was a knife the last thousands of years. The computer will be different in twenty years.” I find myself explaining that the problem isn’t technology in itself, but that the available technology is unfree: out to manipulate and create dependencies. Jano enjoys getting better with a knife, but is still asking to watch videos of animals (he wishes to imitate me in screen-time).

I’m thinking more and more about the “First Device” and the fact that I need to provide him with the right tools, otherwise we’re going to be ‘making do’ with what’s available and getting him trapped in the process.

I haven’t found a partner yet for coordinating and funding a visit from you. Have you been able to think of anyone?I spoke with friends at different tech organisations and now with a friend at a university. What I learned from my conversations about organising a physical visit is that it appears counter-intuitive at this time due to covid-19. What do you have organised so far?

How are you? What are your dominant emotions these days? Where are you?

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