Cover photo

In the Protocol Trenches

Issue 10

The Summer of Protocols is beginning to hit it's stride. Our guest talk series continues to provide thought-provoking concepts, researcher meetings dive deep into the weeds of their respective topics and the Discord server is buzzing with conversation.

We began the week with an insightful talk from Matt Webb on technology adoption. He challenged the researchers to find practical answers to the complexities of protocol adoption, stressing that shared belief in a protocol's future potential is critical for its success.

Our adventure continued with a hands-on workshop led by Kyle Mathews. Researchers delved into the design of soft protocols, exploring the creation of Discord bot to assist in categorizing, surfacing, and summarizing conversations and links within the SoP Discord server.

JD Nolan then guided us through the complex terrain of modern healthcare. His talk underscored the potential for protocols to streamline healthcare delivery and open new avenues for patient care.

Meet a Researcher - Dorian Taylor

Dorian Taylor is a self-taught practitioner who grew up in Canada in the dot-com 1.0 era. Riding a wave of near-perfect demographic timing, he went from visual design, to system administration, to infrastructure development, to UX design, gleaning first-hand what it's like to build the Web from every angle while it was still possible to get one's arms around the entire thing. He now helps clients with strategic planning, developing situation awareness, and the occasional heavy technical lift.

Guest Talk with Matt Webb

From our Discord

"Thinking about Matt's talk today and large scale change being induced either by imposition or imitation. For the latter it seems like a pre-req is the creation of new grammatic capacities, without which there's no way to represent or express the new behaviour we want to see more of. Questions that come up for me:

  • Do protocols needs their own set of grammatic capacities so that participants/users have a shared reality around which they can organize/implement?

  • Are protocols just introductions of new grammatic capacities?

  • Can grammatical capacities/protocols be holonic/nested/created out of each other to create and support complex systems?

  • I'm trying to think of examples of this applied/already in existence. For Group 3's protocol example some grammatical capacities I can think of are knowledge of what's allowed and whats not (the right to deny unsafe work), and knowledge of different kinds of workplace hazards

Also looping back to imposition, maybe the way to avoid it is through grammatical capacities, which can also function as agreements at various scales (e.g. you can say no to unsafe work, you can flag hazards without repercussions/and expect changes to be made, etc)."
- Rithikha Rajamohan

Link to Discord Message

Three Links

Declaration of Human Rights, Protocol Design Annotation - UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights annotated with translations for the purpose of protocol design (🎩: Nathan Schneider)
The Cube Rule - Are hot dogs sandwiches? A humorous attempt at a food classification protocol (🎩: Garrette)
The Creative World's Bullshit Industrial Complex - How recycled content perpetuates unoriginal ideas (🎩: Dorian)

Upcoming Events

May 26 - Guest Talk with Sarah Perry
Protocols of Reproducible Science
Sarah will talk about the scientific method and protocols for establishing valid knowledge in science.
Pre-Talk Reading Material
May 30 - Guest Talk with Renee DiResta
A Troll's Guide to the Internet
This talk will focus on the exotic world of online manipulation, and particularly how the digital landscape unwittingly fosters vulnerabilities that trolls exploit with remarkable cunning. From coordinated disinformation campaigns to hoaxes and scams to psychological manipulation, we will discuss the challenge of hardening online social protocols against the tactics that trolls employ to infiltrate, disrupt, and manipulate online communities.
Pre-Talk Reading Material
May 31 - Guest Talk with Dara O'Rourke
How to Blow Up a Carbon Data Pipeline
This talk summarizes carbon and climate protocols, and then examines their current limitations, including: inaccuracies in carbon modeling; aggregation problems which miss major carbon “hotspots” in supply chains; a focus on output metrics rather than actionable input metrics; and a widespread lack of implementable decarbonization plans. This calls into question the effectiveness of current corporate climate goals and reporting, and underscores the urgency of integrating better carbon data and metrics into business processes. The talk briefly discusses strategies of delay and capture by incumbent actors, and why carbon protocols have been so slow to evolve. I will argue that much of the current focus in carbon reporting is misplaced, and likely to lead to only slightly better external reporting of output metrics, rather than internal processes that support decarbonization. We will conclude with a conversation about how improved carbon protocols might better advance carbon awareness in: optimization efforts; adoption, scaling, and lowering costs of low-carbon technologies; investment in deep tech innovations; and, supply chain decarbonization.
Pre-Talk Reading Material

Website | Discord | YouTube

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