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Jeremy Vuillermet 2023-09-04 11:38:12

Hi! I recently noticed how I struggle regrouping things by topic/task/project on my different devices (laptop, phone). Quite frequently, one topic can be spread across 5+ apps/website. My less than ideal solution is to introduce another aggregator app (roam research in my case) and paste & tags different links when possible. Arc browser spaces also helps with that. The issue is that it's very manual and not worth for small ad hoc topic and researches.

Is this a problem you are facing? How do you solve/work-around it? Any interesting links on the topic?

I believe it could & should be solved at the OS level and found really interesting project:, MercuryOS, but I feel like there should be more

Kartik Agaram 2023-09-04 16:38:39

I think you already captured all the answers I could think of. The need to solve this at the OS level and also interoperate with all major OSs makes this challenging work.

Jack Rusher 2023-09-05 07:05:46

(grumbles about the difference between an OS and a graphical shell)

Kartik Agaram 2023-09-06 17:18:05

Question for people who've read Tools for Conviviality

Do you think "convivial" in the Illich sense has connotations of communality? Like, having a strong sense of membership in a coherent, shared community?

I'd never really thought of it that way, but I was just chatting with a friend who's only skimmed the essay, and had that impression. Obviously I think I'm right, but I also wonder if I've been reading my own bias towards independence and self-sufficiency into the essay. I'd appreciate thoughts. "The future is a disagreement with the past about what is important." And at this point it doesn't matter what Illich intended, only what we in the audience tend to make of his words.

If we tend to agree that conviviality is independent of social arrangements, and that it is equally applicable to gregarious people who like to be cheek by jowl with others and introverts who are more off on their own, this might suggest that the word "conviviality" isn't an ideal term in the year 2023 for a value a lot of us tend to aim towards here. It was a frontrunner in our long thread about renaming FoC ( but perhaps it has some distracting connotations.

Justin Blank 2023-09-06 23:50:17

Not quite an answer…I haven’t read Tools for Conviviality, but I read Deschooling Society, and I think Illich is very much interested in something like “mutual aid.” Parts of that book are reminiscent of the dream of the early Internet, as he envisions using technology to match people based on shared intellectual interests to discuss ideas, all outside of any educational system.

Konrad Hinsen 2023-09-07 04:47:02

For me, conviviality as used by Illich (i.e. as I understand the term when reading Illich's book) does imply the existence of a community that shapes and is shaped by the tools, but not a strong sense of membership. Introverts are welcome 🙂

Outside of the context of Illich's book, this connotation is much stringer. See e.g. Merriam-Webster's definition of "convivial":

relating to, occupied with, or fond of feasting, drinking, and good company

When I first read the book, my immediate reaction was "he uses "convivial" in a weird sense". By now I am used to it, and use it myself in that way, but there is a constant risk of being misunderstood.

Konrad Hinsen 2023-09-07 06:15:31

Summarizing what I wrote, I see Illich's use of the term "conviviality" as technical jargon: the use of a common-language term in a highly context-specific meaning that is not obvious to outsiders. Personally, as an interdisciplinary academic, I am used to dealing with technical jargon, but I guess most people are not.

Jonas 2023-09-07 09:37:29

Just finished Deschooling Society today, where he also uses the term a lot in certain sections. Also read some LM Sacasas and Ursula Franklin on this or similar topics. And with regards to your question of "Do you think "convivial" in the Illich sense has connotations of communality? Like, having a strong sense of membership in a coherent, shared community?" I'll have to say: yes, absolutely in my opinion. And I'm having a hard time seeing how it could be different to be honest. Could you maybe go into a bit more detail about how you interpret the term?

Also, I'm not seeing how introverts wouldn't fit into this. e.g. I'm highly introverted but couldn't exist or flourish in any way without a community–in my view, no human really can.

Andreas S. 2023-09-07 10:21:03

HI Kartik Agaram may of our relationships today are shaped by words and embodied concepts. Ilich , as many others likes to reminds us thats US embodying those pricniples. Practicing conscious creating of culture (group behaviour) is a difficult thing as the observation also changes behaviour again...

Its a bit like quantum physics in that sense.

Buts its so interesting to see you come into this place where you start questionting the meaning of words used by people. HAHA

I'm sometimes also there. Its a related territory to the place where alan kay referenced martin luther as a great interface designer because of the "invention" of a common german language.

I think its a good thing to be in doubt or at least aware of the implications of using terms that lead to misunderstanding.

Also somehow I wanted to ask if you have watched Chris Martens talk she shared about the topic here about 2 years ago.

Eli Mellen 2023-09-07 14:31:37

I think Conviviality has a very specific meaning when used by Illich. He was a priest, and, in the church conviviality, or convivium is used to mean living in community.

Typically it is used in the context of the Eucharist, which is also about sharing food and how food is shared around a table.

Eli Mellen 2023-09-07 14:38:07

That being the case, I read Tools for Conviviality through the lens of “technologies that foster community,” or that bring folks together.

Kartik Agaram 2023-09-08 00:51:04

Thanks a lot everyone for your replies. I'm starting to realize there's a thorny pre-problem in this discussion of even separating two ideas in my mind using the imprecise tool of language. Or at least my imperfect wielding of language.

As I continue to poke at this, it seems worth leaving this quote from (italicization identical to original):

After many doubts, and against the advice of friends whom I respect, I have chosen "convivial" as a technical term to designate a modern society of responsibly limited tools. In part this choice was conditioned by the desire to continue a discourse which had started with its Spanish cognate. The French cognate has been given technical meaning (for the kitchen) by Brillat−Savarin in his Physiology of Taste: Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy . This specialized use of the term in French might explain why it has already proven effective in the unmistakably different and equally specialized context in which it will appear in this essay. I am aware that in English "convivial" now seeks the company of tipsy jollyness, which is distinct from that indicated by the OED and opposite to the austere meaning of modern "eutrapelia," which I intend. By applying the term "convivial" to tools rather than to people, I hope to forestall confusion.

Eli Mellen 2023-09-08 01:40:09

An observation, wholly my own, and rooted in my experiences, but that I think is maybe useful here: In the computer and programming spaces I’ve occupied I’ve observed that folks, generally, want words to have precise meaning — nearly mathematical in their precision.

But to an extreme, so that words can stand on their own. One word carrying a volume of concise meaning. Sort of holographically.

This is almost never how language works. The fun of language is in playing with it, getting it to stretch and meld with context and use. A thing said once can be revisited later and mean something else.

I think you are proverbially “getting it” in that you are raising these questions and playing them through. You are allowing the text to be a dialogue, not a static moment

Chasing butterflies in a field instead of pinning them to a board for detailed observation that can’t be achieved in the wild.

Eli Mellen 2023-09-08 01:45:20

Which leads to a big “how” question. My answer to that, personally, is to just go wild and swim in an absolute soup of sources. If I’m gonna read a philosophy text, I’m gonna read the biography of the philosopher and learn about the school they attended and who they studied under and if they had some other job…and on and on.

Defo not like an always workable solution, but I enjoy it. All text is hypertext.

Kartik Agaram 2023-09-08 01:47:17

You are all my sources.

Eli Mellen 2023-09-08 01:48:58

Bringing us full circle back to conviviality!

Konrad Hinsen 2023-09-08 07:26:39

Kartik Agaram I ended up choosing the label "convivial" in the context of scientific computing (see, in which this is only one topic among many others) after very much the same hesitations that you described. One additional motivation was to mention Illich's book and thus encourage people to read it.

📝 Establishing trust in automated reasoning

Since its beginnings in the 1940s, automated reasoning by computers has become a tool of ever growing importance in scientific research. So far, the rules underlying automated reasoning have mainly been formulated by humans, in the form of program source code. Rules derived from large amounts of data, via machine learning techniques, are a complementary approach currently under intense development. The question of why we should trust these systems, and the results obtained with their help, has been discussed by philosophers of science but has so far received little attention by practitioners. The present work focuses on independent reviewing, an important source of trust in science, and identifies the characteristics of automated reasoning systems that affect their reviewability. It also discusses possible steps towards increasing reviewability and trustworthiness via a combination of technical and social measures.

Andreas S. 2023-09-07 10:29:14

Hello FoC Community 🙂

I have something in mind which I don't know exactly how difficult it i or even possible so I'm going to ask for your council here. I have some files 2-4 GB and I want to share those with a friend. What would be the best way to do so? Assuming that I don't want to use dropbox or google drive. I vaguely remember that there was a programm called wormwhole or somethign which did this using python. I would kike to have something in go which has nice cross OS binaries. This looks nice but I would want to have a simple exchange application wher eI can use it instead of a lib to be implemented. Another question - fundamental in nature- if I join a P2P net what do I need to exchange with my peer - out of band such that we can exchange files through the P2P network. ie.e. how do we find each other? Thank you for your thoughts and ideas.

David Alan Hjelle 2023-09-07 12:38:06

I've used for this sort of thing. The FAQ says it is only P2P if the file is > 5 GB, though, so if that is a hard requirement, it's a no-go.

📝 Wormhole - Simple, private file sharing

Wormhole lets you share files with end-to-end encryption and a link that automatically expires.

David Alan Hjelle 2023-09-07 12:39:09

(I know this isn't what you had in mind, but never underestimate the bandwidth of a homing pigeon.)

Jeffrey Fisher 2023-09-07 13:06:56

The Python program you're thinking of is Magic Wormhole ( There is also a GUI that it is compatible with (

Apparently there is a cross platform GUI using a Go implementation on the backend

Jack Rusher 2023-09-07 13:43:36

memory stick

Mariano Guerra 2023-09-07 13:59:28

webrtc p2p file sharing? the site does the p2p connection and then the transfer is p2p,

📝 Transfer a file

WebRTC code samples

Mariano Guerra 2023-09-07 14:00:23

a quick search gave me this two

📝 SendFiles

Web site to securely transmit files between browsers

📝 ShareDrop

ShareDrop is a peer-to-peer file sharing app powered by HTML5 WebRTC.

Mariano Guerra 2023-09-07 14:01:15

here's the code of the second

Mariano Guerra 2023-09-07 14:03:03

you can host it in a static hosting AFAIR, the only extra thing you need is a STUN server to establish the p2p connection, there are public ones you can use or you can host your own too:

Konrad Hinsen 2023-09-09 07:46:35

The suggestions so far have assumed a one-time transfer. If you want to share files on a regular basis, Syncthing ( is a good choice. I use it for sharing data across devices (Linux, macOS, Android) and with family members. Its unit of data is a shared directory, which is identified by a UUID. Anyone who has the UUID can access the shared data (by default, you can configure more restrictive rules). Data exchange is P2P, but machines find each other (again, by default) via a public relay. With the standard configuration, you create a directory, add it to Syncthing, and then send the UUID to the people who you want to share with.

Grant Forrest 2023-09-10 01:45:07

Branching out from the discussions about the current state of AI agents vs. how they were imagined in the text from the recent podcast episode...

I was glad to hear our hosts were on a similar thought-track when discussing the "send this draft to the rest of the group and let me know when they've read it" example regarding how programmers tend to parse the last bit as "let me know when the metrics indicate they scrolled to the end" (etc) whereas a human agent would parse it as "and follow up with them after a reasonable time to ask if they've read it or not."

One thing that struck me was the number of times I've told a white lie in that kind of scenario. Yes, I read it! (No, I haven't, but I just pulled it up when you asked and I'm skimming it now before the meeting starts).

Dishonesty with the metrics-mindset takes a different form. In simple forms, it's like terms of service pages which gate the "agree" button behind a scroll value... You scroll to the end to lie. But if the designers of those metrics were somehow able to perfect them (eye tracking? a quiz at the end?) then an AI agent could force a more accurate/truthful answer from you.

All that to get to my point... Do we have a right to lie about this stuff? How important is it for us to be able to present less-than-truthful representations to other people even if the medium is via an AI agent? If we don't include this concern in our designs, are we facilitating a world of micro-surveillance of coworkers and friends?

Tom Lieber 2023-09-10 02:25:01


An app that automatically sends read receipts is often wrong about whether I’ve read something. ~That’s~ a lie. If my AI is going to lie, I’d rather it be on my behalf. I don’t think I can even consider it my AI unless its lies are in my interest.

Ivan Reese 2023-09-10 15:11:35

Totally agree with Tom — we have the right to lie.

Feels relevant: