At DIY Days Gothenburg, I showed the EarthOS project in the experience hall. With this, I collect and integrate open source alternatives for plain everything in life, and showcased things like Makerbot, Bitcoin, Open Source Ecology.

What totally surprised me was how DIY Days contributed back: It made me understand that EarthOS is more story than engineering project. Because that's how DIY Days participants intuitively understood it ("I appreciate it as a work of art.") It's a novel, disguised as a manual. An utopian exploration into how open source will transform the world.

Some thoughts from the accidental storyteller that I am:

  • Share Do Learn. Share your half-ready project – DIY Days fits great! Forced to explain, you're forced to learn what you do. It so happened to me.
  • Mingle with people you never meet. As a tech hacker, getting involved in the artful DIY Days community enabled me to see my story. A story is what the audience says is a story!
  • Tell an open story, not just an open end. EarthOS has no plot, just a framework, tools, inspirations. People imagine their own plot and role from this vague vision of the future.
  • Let's call it a plan. Your ambitious story is most inspiring when you call it "project" and disguise it as reality. It made me sad that People never knew if EarthOS is real, vision or outright fiction. Now it's a story that covers all these, and I want to play with this confusion, challenging the audience towards action.
  • Live out your stories. It makes them much harder to ignore, and it makes you a synthesis of the arts. Everything has its place: code is poetry, sewing is costume design, makeup is art, home hacking is set design and demonstrations are stages. Let's care to tell world-changing, deeply meaningful stories with our lives. Unfinished stories which others desire to continue when we're dead.

Awesome life stories to all! (And, would love to hear how you enact yours.)

Matthias (@matjahu)

This is a somewhat extended version of an article by me that appeared in the Learn Do Share Book number 3 (from DIY Days Gothenburg in 2013-02 – available in full for download). The article was inspired by my experience at DIY Days Gothenburg 2013.

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