the low tech manifesto

we do not use high tech for the sake of being high tech

if your 10mb web application could be better served as a couple of text files and html forms, you fucked up. if your fancy javascript interactivity breaks screen readers, you fucked up. more complex is not better. more simple is more maintainable.

we do not tolerate distraction and fluff

we serve the content that's expected, plus any relevant asides or navigation, and that's it. no banner ads. no youtube preroll.

we hate advertisements

we do not see advertising as a necessary evil. if you cannot serve your content without advertising, perhaps it's better that you don't. we do not accept advertising as a benign annoyance. advertising exploits our fears and insecurities. advertising lies to us. advertising spies on us.

we are fine with lo-fi

we do not need to see the individual pores on the faces of youtube personalities in glorious 4k HD. we do not need our dance music encoded in full lossless audio compression. we rip youtube and soundcloud if we feel like it. words, thoughts and emotions are what's important.

we do not transcode

no deep fried jpegs. no screenshots of twitter in screenshots of tumblr reposted to facebook. we copy and paste text if it's text content. we give a shit about visually impaired netizens. we add image and audio descriptions if none are present. we share creative works in their original forms. we credit artists.

we pay for shit

if it costs money to provide a product or service to you, and you are getting it for free, you are the product. you are the resource, being mined for data and sold to advertisers. we reject this business model. if someone provides a good service we will pay for it. if someone makes a good piece of software we will buy it. if someone makes a good piece of free software we will donate and spread the word. if our friends can't afford shit, we help them out if we can.

we care about privacy

we are not complacent about the surveillance state we live in. we take measures to reduce the amount of private information that governments and corporations can glean from us. we care about the privacy of our friends and we do not leak their data. when we chat on facebook we pretend the zucc is sitting right next to us, his creepy face perpetually staring, and we adjust our topics of conversation accordingly or talk irl instead.

we own our own culture

we are not content to live in the walled gardens of spotify and netflix. we seek out lesser-known artists. we actually download music and videos. we share them with friends. we remix. we do whatever we want with our files.

we do not store shit 'in the cloud'

fuck gmail. fuck icloud. fuck dropbox. we run our own ftp servers and share them with our friends. we run our own websites and give out email addresses to our friends. we encrypt shit. we make backups at home. we give backups to our friends to keep safe. wherever possible we hold our own data, where it cannot be held hostage by a corporation or censored by a government. we accept that cloud storage is ephemeral and when we do use it, we use it with that understanding.

we do not tolerate planned obsolescence

we do not buy things that cannot be fixed. we fix things that are broken. we help friends fix their shit. we keep shit running. we will not buy an entry-level laptop every 3 years and throw it away because an unnecessary OS update rendered it too bloated to function.

we use native applications

our digital life does not solely revolve around a single browser instance with 20 tabs open. we have an email program for our emails. we have media players for our music and videos. we have text editors, word processors, paint programs, audio editors. our computers run better and use less energy as a result.

we care about our planet

digital bloat is an environmental issue. cloud storage has a CO2 cost. server CPU cycles have a CO2 cost. internet traffic has a CO2 cost. hardware manufacture has a CO2 cost. a single bitcoin transaction burns 5kg of coal. we give a shit about this. we acknowledge that “reduce” is the most important part of “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

we do not care if you think our attitude is outdated or irrelevant

if you're happy that your roomba is relaying all your private conversations to the nsa, fine. you do you.