Harry Keller

July 2, 2023

↬ Half of May, all of June 2023

I’m back in your inbox, after taking a bit of a break from writing this newsletter. Let’s see what happened, shall we? Life/work update is long this time, feel free to skip down to the links, no judgement.

So at the start of June we returned from the UK and (again) we had an absolutely incredible time there. Great weather, spectacular nature, a picturesque cottage in a charming village, so many hikes … seeing Freddy joyfully dive through a field of flowers was my favorite moment this year. However, now that we’re back in our Berlin apartment, it’s time to ponder what’s next: It feels like it might finally be time to leave Berlin and there are a couple of options on the table, listed in ascending difficulty:

  • move somewhere nicer, but still close to Berlin
  • move to Bavaria where my girlfriend is originally from
  • move to the west of Germany to have easier access to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and of course the Eurotunnel to the UK
  • move to Ireland (relatively simple, EU)
  • move to the UK (relatively difficult, post-Brexit)

After spending much time in the UK recently and feeling very much alive there, we definitely have an itch to find out what it would be like to actually live there. However, post-Brexit, getting a visa without a company sponsorship is tricky. Over the coming months we’ll explore our options In more detail and then use the dark months to figure out where we want to go. 

Meanwhile, Berlin-Köpenick is also pretty great in summer. We recently rented a boat to cruise around Müggelsee for three hours with our neighbors and I felt super relaxed afterwards. Boats, they have a good vibe going on.

On to some work stuff: One year ago we officially founded Village One, our somewhat utopian cooperative workplace, which we celebrated on Friday with dozens of lovely people in Berlin. I wrote about it on LinkedIn for #CoopsDay. Leading up to the party we co-worked with the whole team for a few days, which was very needed, recharging our team energy batteries. I’m happy we’re a remote-first company, giving us the flexibility to work from anywhere, live anywhere and also enabling us to collaborate with other people wherever they may be … and yet meeting in person once in a while feels important, to stay empathetic and connected. Some photos at the end.

Working at (and on) Village One in a democratic setting has given me lots to think about, revolving around the differences to hierarchical company structures, power dynamics, privilege, the democratization of work, capitalism, ethical technology and design, the climate crisis, inequality, the cooperative movement – it’s all connected, I’m constantly jotting down lose thoughts and trying to cram more knowledge into my leaking brain. So far I’m not sure if and when these thoughts coalesce into something to share. Feels like I need more time to put the pieces together in my head. 

Meanwhile we’ll continue the Village One journey, Sev having just joined as a full member (from Yorkshire, UK), and also a new designer starting in two weeks. We’ll be six people then. Exciting!

Anyhow, on to the bullet points – I collect these links and thoughts across the weeks, so it’s all fairly random:

  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is back and the second season starts out SO WELL! Best Trek in decades: The chemistry between the characters, the mix of old and new, the humor, the sincere/sad/lonely undertones, it’s fantastic! The first three episodes of the new season focused very much on individual characters and that’s cool, but I hope we see them doing stuff together as well. Bonus points for the new chief engineer, she is such a refreshing addition to the crew!
  • Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom had taken over my life for a while and it was the main reason for this newsletter coming late. It’s so much fun to spend time in Hyrule again, but the story is a bit of mess and Breath of The Wild had a much more cohesive atmosphere. I think a lot of the reviewers were too quick to give it a perfect score, acting on initial impressions, rushing out their reviews. Still great fun!
  • More slime molds \o/
  • Extremely fun touchscreen finger puzzles … well, the first couple are fun because you feel clever, but then it gets very hard and I quit.
  • Reddit has spiraled into a mess, inspired by the Twitter take-over and so I deleted my account. Somewhat related: the first paragraphs of this piece (the whole thing is worth reading, we’re at a tumultuous time in internet history).
  • This Tetris video had me on the edge of my seat – the most impressive thing being the moderation. Seriously, listen in!
  • Meta building upon ActivityPub and joining the fediverse with their new Threads app: a very convincing case against forming any alliances
  • Movies we watched and I kept thinking about: Blackberry (yes, the Blackberry), Reality (neat idea, well executed, stellar acting, important story), Boiling Point (one shot, whaaaa, intense!), Forest for the Trees (cool documentary about reforestation, wonderfully shot).
  • In our book club we had a very lively discussion about Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – what an intricate story, 5/5 stars, recommended! We’re reading The Sixth Extinction next and might organize a book swap for Berliners as well.
  • Vision Pro deserves to be ridiculed, yes, but I do want a personal mobile workspace that lets me find focus in a familiar virtual environment anywhere. Right now it’s obviously just a proof of concept, so ignore for the time being.
  • “Why consider languages as rivals, after all? You can borrow from one language and not lose your own.”fascinating musings on Berlinglish
  • A very personal interview with Elliot Page
  • A super cool cooperative co-working space in Hamburg, opening in 2025: Neues Amt Altona – if I were a Hamburger, I’d become a member!
  • I’m now a Freund of Hacking Gutenberg / p98a – it’s such a special place, with those bonkers letterpress machines, the smell of paint, the tactility of it all. Erik has been trying to find a sponsor for years, now he’s taking a more community-led approach. Consider supporting this unique place!

Alright, those where the links, I had quite a few more, but we all have too much to listen to, read, play and watch, so let’s leave it at that. Time for some photos from the camera roll, let’s start with leftover shots from the Peak District:

Fairly random other shots I liked:
And a few impressions from our Village One co-working days and anniversary:
And it’s a wrap, you’ve made it to the end! Thanks for reading and I hope you had a good month of June, followed by an even better July!

Stay cool, take care, see you next time!

Harry Keller | harryfk.com
Berliner, works at Village One
Writing a newsletter, running a book club
Elsewhere: Mastodon | Pixelfed | Twitter

About Harry Keller

Heya, I’m Harry, a software developer in Berlin/Germany—he/him, *351ppm, feminist, cooperativist, dogfather. I recently co-founded the somewhat utopian design+tech cooperative Village One and also diesdas.digital before that. You can learn more about me on harryfk.com and we can connect on Mastodon, Twitter, BeReal, PixelfedInstagram. Or you can simply read my newsletter below! 💁