Harry Keller

July 31, 2022

↬ July 2022: cooperatives everywhere, growing chilis and upcoming holidays

Hey y’all,
another month has passed, welcome back! This is now essentially a newsletter about cooperatives, I hope you don’t mind! Let’s go!

🚨 What’s new

In the last recap I already shared that Doro, Christoph and I founded a somewhat utopian design + tech cooperative called Village One. We’re also writing a company newsletter and sent the first dispatch mid-July, which you can read in the sadly not very beautiful archive. We’re working on a proper website, probably dropping sometime this week! The overall feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, even with a couple of people wanting to join already. It’s all coming together!

I’ve been on my phone too much and it’s making me miserable (Instagram, looking at you!), so I’ve decided to switch it to black/white, activate the reduce motion setting and set a completely black background. Now it’s very dull to use and a lot of small dopamine hits are cut out, without the popping colors and happy animations. It’s more of an object again, which I decide to pick up when I actually feel like it. Am I old or is this just what today’s social media does to you?

Stumbled upon Zèta shoes: vegan, recycled and recyclable sneakers, designed in France, manufactured in Portugal, made out of recovered plastic and grape most. Really liking my pair!

I dreamed about school last night, including my fantastic computer science teacher from way back. He died a few years ago and I often think about how much I owe to him – rest In peace, Herr Lauer! The dream itself was one of those impossible exam nightmares where everything goes wrong and it’s mega stressful, so that wasn’t exactly fun. Anyhow, moving on.

What’s good

Surprisingly, whenever I talk to people about co-ops (and that happened a lot this month, trust me), their eyes light up and there’s a sense of wonder, an inkling that a fairer, more equitable world is possible. Such a simple, powerful idea. Democratize work!

Almost exactly a year ago we picked up our little poodle Freddy (see photos at the end). Time flies and I love him to pieces!

Considering that the pandemic is apparently over, it’s quite surprising how many people have covid. I dodged some close bullets, attending a few in-person meetings this month and also seeing FC Union play in their stadium. To this day I still haven’t caught the rona yet and I hope it stays that way. Also still wearing a mask in supermarkets.

We had a fantastic book club meeting about Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Ministry for the Future”, one of the few optimistic novels about the climate crisis. I really liked the book, but most people in the group didn’t finish it and had very valid criticisms.

Wiltshire chili sauces are amazing (German shop). My girlfriend gave me a few for my birthday in June and they were hands down the best hot sauces I’ve had in a very long time. Highly recommended!

I went to a cooperative supermarket in Berlin-Wedding called SuperCoop (cute video here) – very cool concept, where the customers essentially own the store, each doing one 3h shift per month. It felt very personal, with more context to the products and to how the store operates (for example there’s a wishlist for new products at the door). Completely different experience to getting your groceries at one of the large supermarket chains.

💡 What’s interesting

👀 What’s recommended

I’ve recently discovered the Upstream podcast and they have a wonderful audio documentary about cooperatives (part 1, part 2, 1h each) which I loved and made me tear up several times. 🥹 They also have a fairly recent interview with Jason Hickel which I enjoyed (first one on this list). One day I’ll be able to talk this eloquently about democracy, economics and capitalism.

Because it bears repeating: “Record profits are unpaid wages”

Power napping! It’s my super power, or rather, it unlocks my super powers! I often nap for 20-30mins in the early afternoon and then I feel like 😵‍💫 for a bit, BUT THEN I’m super productive for the next few hours. Would harldly be possible in an office.

🔮 What’s next

We’ve booked a month-long stay in the UK – going to the Peak District. It’ll be two weeks of holidays and two weeks of workation, very much looking forward, but because of Freddy we have to go by car (current rental prices are nuts, ugh), drive through France, take a ferry, then switch to the left side of the road, later come back through the Eurotunnel. Gotta embrace the journey, gonna be a very different experience compares to flying. Very excited! 🇬🇧

📷 What’s in the camera roll

One year with this little fluffball

Random nature shots so that it’s not ALL dog photos

Pre and post furcut, did we get the same dog back?

Much love for this sign conversation (👸) + more Köpenick vibes at the Alte Försterei

Chili plants growing nicely! 🌶

Alright, that’s it for July, see you at the end of August! And as always: curious about any thoughts you might have – drop me a short message, say hello!

Take care and talk soon,

Harry Keller
@harryfk | .com

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! 💁