Huzza live stream (Open Psychology Project) December

The December 2016 stream went live.  And you can watch it there.  I intend to find a way to put the stream (maybe edited) here as well.

Earlier today we had a live video stream on Huzza, and we covered a number of topics including:

  • Huzza and video streaming
    • Using as a broadcast method (or more technically narrowcast)
    • Fees for Huzza.io
    • Using Tips on Huzza.
    • Private broadcasts on Huzza (even more narrowcast)
    • Archives of Huzza broadcasts
    • Huzza interface
  • Gender, gender identity, transgender
  • Open Psychology Project
  • Datse Multimedia
  • Travelling from Rossland to Vancouver (where the two streaming broadcasters today were).
  • Generating income
  • Personal appearance
  • Facebook
    • Pervasiveness
    • Myth of free Internet
  • Social Business vs. Social Enterprise
  • Interdependence
    • Financial goals
    • Other later things
  • Autism assessment
  • Empathy, lack of, what might really be going on
  • Mindfulness/Awareness practice
  • Issues with sound quality today
  • Use of technology to get stories out there

Even though those are probably not listed “in order” I have mostly done so in order to allow for better grouping of topics.

Huzza Broadcast Topics

I’m going to try to say a bit about each of the above listed topics, without making this turn into a bit of a overkill on the wordiness thing:

Huzza and video streaming

In the past I have tried to use UberConference for presenting these online meetings.  The nice thing about UberConference is that it is very good with allowing multiple people to connect, and it seems that it is able to allow that without too much technology on everyone’s end.

Huzza is a video streaming technology, which allows users to stream videos without too much (but probably a lot more than UberConference uses) on any particular user’s device.  This is designed more to allow users to do presentations or whatever.  I had used both Huzza, and Periscope from watching streams before, when I looked at those and which would be a better fit for me, I found Huzza worked better for me, as it didn’t tie me to any social media platform.

I am able to log in through Patreon (which I use regularly) and people can log in through Facebook as well.

Using as a broadcast method (or more technically narrowcast)

This was my first attempt at connecting to other people through it.  It works really quite well, though I would recommend that a person give themselves more than 10 minutes to go from computer not even running, to trying to stream from it.  Which is why I have scheduled for a half hour later for the 4th Monday in January (January 23, 2017).

Fees for Huzza.io

Huzza has a nice fee structure as it is currently setup.  There are 4 levels starting from free, up to ~$200/month.  The pricing tops out at the $200 level, but that is not a fully unlimited solution, so if for some reason that is not likely to be “good enough” for you, I don’t really think that matters all that much.

Though, I have been on some hugely popular streams, and the $200/month plan probably isn’t that likely to be not enough for, well, pretty much anyone.

Using Tips on Huzza

One of the members of the stream ended up testing out the tipping options.  This is the the only direct response to streaming on our Huzza stream right now.  If we go up one other level, we can “sell products” as well as have tips.  If each of the live viewers had given even a $3.00 tip, it would have come very close to paying for a whole month on our current plan.  Though, the $3.00 tip isn’t going straight to my plan, there are fees that get deducted.

Private broadcasts on Huzza (even more narrowcast)

In order to do private broadcasts (password, or patreon only) we would need to upgrade to the next higher level, at, about 3.3 times the current price.  Unless we start to do these more frequently, or draw larger audiences I believe we will probably be staying at the current level for the next few months.  In January I am hoping to do a similar broadcast at the end, and in February I may consider doing 2 broadcasts of this sort (though splitting the broadcasts into different types I think).

Archives of Huzza broadcasts

Huzza provides archives of broadcasts.  I am able to disable the replay of the archive, but I don’t believe I am able to delete an archive.

Huzza interface

One thing that seemed to be clear was that people need to log in, in order to be able to enter stuff into the chat, as well as to be able to ask questions.  I think that viewers can log in with Facebook, and creators can log in with either Patreon, or Twitter Artist (or something).  I’d like to get more information about that.  It looks like all three platforms are allowed, but there is no way to sign in unless you are on one of those platforms.

Watching the video stream is allowed without logging in, and perhaps even being able to contribute in other ways, I have just sent off a message to ask about that.

Gender, gender identity, transgender

A topic which I wasn’t really expecting to come up was gender, gender identity, transitioning etcetera.  It came up in the context that people used to have to go to Vancouver if they wanted to have any access to any kind of “transgender services” especially to have any access to any funding for surgery.  This has changed, and I am not aware exactly of what the details are for how things work in different areas, but I believe that if one can arrange it, the assessment can be done entirely in Nelson for those who would like to explore this.

Oddly, I believe that if I were to try to get approval through the practitioners in Nelson who are involved in that, I probably would have a far more difficult time to get that to happen, than I actually did with having to travel down to Vancouver to get it done.  Also, I think that when I had gone to get that approval, I was in a better place to be able to receive it.  And maybe the fact that things fell through as I had planned turned out to be a good thing after all.

Open Psychology Project

I talked a bit about my two areas of interest, and that is the Open Psychology Project, and Datse Multimedia Productions.  Very briefly I mentioned my interest in social sciences, not entirely separating psychology, sociology, archeology, anthropology, etcetera but considering them different aspects of studying humans and human behaviour.  But really didn’t go into much detail about that beyond how the project actually came out of having gone through my assessment for Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and feeling that I needed to create something from the fact that it had really not been able to meet expectations at all, other than to tell me quite clearly that there really are no services for me (further confirmed through going through every single suggestion, though with one which I am still struggling to “complete”).

Datse Multimedia Productions

Datse Multimedia Productions is more of my technical interests, and we only mentioned that as being a bit separate from the Open Psychology Project.  While it does come into being part of the project in the sense that I am handling the technical end of the Open Psychology Project mostly on my own (not the actual provision of machines and what not, but in running and maintaining them).

Travelling from Rossland to Vancouver (where the two streaming broadcasters today were)

Today, one of the participants was a young student (somewhere on the “early K12” level of education I think) so we talked about where we are, and how far it is between himself and myself.  I said 800km, but apparently now that I’ve looked it up, Google says between 600-700 km (roughly).  I decided to look it up because the math wasn’t working out.

Generating income

One thing that both myself and the other co-host were talking about is how we intend to make some money out of all of this process, and a lot of it is from doing stuff like we did today, and getting donations/tips in the $1.00-10.00 amounts which in small numbers may not do a very good job of paying for our time, but may at least pay for our expenses over time.  Also, with my use of Patreon, I am able to currently pay for the stream itself simply with a single post about it (though currently most of my Patreon income is actually going to other creators.  In November (I think) I decided to drop a couple of creators from receiving donations from me because they both were very personal and sharing stuff on there, and they were not saying anything about the political situation.

There are a number of creators I kept who were not saying anything about the political situation either because they were not posting anything at all, or because all they post is pretty much straight “creations” which are not directly political themself.

Personal appearance

With the timing of this and it really being “too early” for some people (it really ended up that I was ready 15 minutes later than I planned for this, despite rushing some of the morning stuff) so it lead to people not really being awake and presentable.  This is fine.  This is what is real.  It also might mean that things don’t end up being as “refined” as people expect things to be.  Which personally, I think people should make less fuss about anyway.  Still, I work hard to make sure I am pretty much presentable when I am doing something public.  Or if not presentable, “for a good reason”.

Facebook

I was asked if I have a Facebook account (which I do not) and a bit about why I don’t have that.  Facebook is actually a great thing for people who like it, or whatever, but part of my problem with that is that it is so good at what it really is meant to do.  Attract users, who are part of their ability to sell advertising.  By providing people with easy ways to do things if they have a Facebook account, it allows people to log in to other services, and other such nice treats.

Pervasiveness

The fact that so many people have Facebook accounts means that so much content is shared on Facebook, and in some cases “just on Facebook”.  A lot of people will tell you “Oh but you don’t need an account to look at stuff on Facebook” which in many cases, is entirely true.  But also true in terms of that is that “If you’re not logged in on Facebook, Facebook will tell you to log in” whenever you view any content which is there.

This may be a “nice feature” for users of Facebook, because it allows them to know that they aren’t logged in when they expected to be, so they’ll just log in.  But if you don’t have an account, what this ends up doing is asking you to create an account.  This I find enough problematic itself.  The number of sites which pretty much only allow, or at least encourage sign ins with things like Facebook, Twitter, or Google, actually bothers me.  The fact that people can log in with those services is actually great.  The fact that people are so encouraged to log in with those services is in a way somewhat annoying.

Myth of free Internet

Facebook is a “free site”.  Anyone who has worked with “getting stuff on the web” knows that if you want to have total control of your content, you have to pay.  Or someone does.  When you are using a site for free, someone else is paying for that site.  In the case of Facebook, the people who are paying are the advertisers, and the people who are paying to play games (or whatever).

This site itself (and I run about 5 sites of similar size) is currently costing about $10/month for me to run the hardware which runs it.  There are other parts of it that also come in.  A very basic site with no paid components (I pay for my spam protection), on a dedicated server is a minimum of about $75/year.  That tends to only work with very small, low activity sites.  Including spam protection for this site, I am paying just over $200/year on this site.  But that will allow for multiple (small multiple) users all at the same time, and it’s not (most of the time) very close to being “overloaded”.

Social Business vs. Social Enterprise

I run my business as a social business.  Too often when I try to tell people about that, they think it is the same as a social enterprise.  There are a number of key differences between social business and social enterprise.  Social enterprise are often non profit societies, that is, they run under the societies act.  Social enterprises are quite often funded through grants, or through donations.  A social business is registered as a for profit business, and is almost (if not entirely) self funded.

Self funding is somewhat unusual in some cases, as how some social businesses operate is through receiving funding through supporters, and providing services to clients.

To some extent I have been following this model with the use of crowd funding to keep the business running.  Part of that is, right now, I don’t believe I have a product that I can provide locally, that I can say “this costs this much”.  I can look at the fact that I can offer a product (this being one) on Patreon for people to pledge “I consider each of those is worth this much for me”.

So, even though I often spend 3 hours on a “thing” the fact that one person might feel that each “thing” I create is worth $1.00 for them, and another might say it is worth $15 or even more.  Mostly I consider each person being willing to price it how they want, allows for the content to be created in an equitable way.

How I create social good, is that the crowd funding I have done, has been almost all focused on providing ways to provide better content.  And, it has also been based on the benefit for the crowd funding has being “too the whole crowd”.  In the end, I hope that my supporters on Patreon will start to say “I would like some special content” which I will be happy to provide (if I have the means).

Interdependence

One other topic we talked about is interdependence.  Not entirely sure that we went into a whole lot of details about that, but here is the quick view I have of interdependence.  Interdependence is a term which psychologists tend to use in order to explain that we are never really “dependent” or “independent”.  But many people have considered it to be something much bigger than that.  Partially because it is often presented as something “special” whenever it gets presented.  Interdependence really means that we have relationships with a variety of people who some we are dependent on, others are dependent on us, but most of our relationships fall into a situation where there is mutual dependence, or mutual independence.

In a lot of ways interdependence comes across to me as more of a truism, than as something genuinely profound.  The problem with how it usually is presented goes something along this line:

client: I would like to become independent of the government for my income.
counsellor: have you heard of the concept of interdependence? We are in relationships with a variety of people, and interdependence is “beyond” independence, and you really should be aiming for that, especially since independence isn’t even really possible.
client: great, how do we do that.
counsellor: accepting you are already there. There is no need to become independent, you just accept you are already interdependent, and don’t need to become independent first.
client thinking: the counsellor just told me they won’t bother helping me meet my goals.

Yes, I have gone through enough of these types of conversations which have allowed me to see that the use of the term “interdependence” is usually used to shutdown conversations about wanting independence, rather than actually being something which really brings value to the conversation.

love the concept of interdependence.  I have a sense that in a way pretty much everyone is somewhere “interdependent” rather than “independent” or “dependent”.  The problem I see with how these conversations tend to come up is that the use of the term interdependent is used as as much if not more of an absolute as dependent, and independent, and that it is also used to derail conversations around dependence, or independence, rather than to give more.

The intention is rarely, if ever to derail the conversation, but to give a person a better way of looking at things, but what usually ends up happening when the topic comes up, even if the person is well aware of the concept of interdependence, the conversation goes from “become independent of” to “this is a better way to look at it”.  And the original question of “how do I become more independent of” doesn’t ever get addressed.

Financial goals

One of the key parts of how people develop dependency, or independent relationships is through financial dependence, or financial independence.  A key part of this is to find a way for a person to better be able to support themselves through employment, or whatever.  While I believe quite strongly in the social safety net which we more or less have.  I also think that one of the things that it should allow is for people who might not be currently able to support themself, to get enough resources to be able to see how they might be able to better support themself.  Right now for the most part, unless a person is able to supplement the income that they receive from the government, they aren’t really able to make basic ends meet.

When I first got onto disability about 15 years ago, I felt that the amount that I was earning on that was just barely livable, if you don’t have any disabilities.  Since then, my income has increased a total of about $120, or about 12% over 15 years.  A recent increase of $22.00 after about 8 years of no increases was considered a “major improvement, so stop griping”.

At current levels the income is such that merely surviving is pretty much a full time job.  Unless you have some pretty serious support from other sources.  Places where there is a very low barrier access to free food, will typically only allow a person to get at most half the food that they need.  While I know some people who have been able to get most, if not all their food for free, it requires connections, or skills that many people simply don’t have.

It seems that unless you actually can get a “good paying job” it is also unlikely that you would be able to really support yourself anyway.  And some people like myself seem to be incapable of doing work on an ongoing basis which doesn’t end up being meaningful.  I can practically work for free on work that I find meaningful, if the work is meaningless to me, it doesn’t much matter how much you are going to be paying me, I am not going to end up being able to do that.

Which is why you see me spending 4+ hours on getting this together, when right now, I think I will end up with about $15.00.  The work is meaningful.  I enjoy it.  And if I’m lucky, I’ll get feedback to indicate that someone else has actually appreciated it.  In time?  Maybe I’ll get to the point that for the amount of time I have put into this, I’ll be getting something more like $80 of “employment income” after having paid for all of the other bits and stuff.  But even then, I would have to be doing that about 5 days a week in order for it to be “living amount”.  And I think the most I’ve done in a month has been 8 times.  Which is twice a week roughly.

Other later things

If a person isn’t able to earn enough income either through assistance, or employment, or whatever to really support themselves, other aspects of life will tend to really be next to impossible to achieve.  I currently am in a situation where I am able to do enough beyond bare survival to be able to bring money in, which will allow me to support other creative people, but not anywhere near enough freedom in my life to be able to really handle being able to move much beyond “a few extra bucks a month” kind of thing.

Autism assessment

I talked a little about how I went through my autism assessment in order to get some insight as to what I might be able to do through work on my own, or work with other people.

The other person is self diagnosed as having Asperger’s syndrome.  He hasn’t had a formal diagnosis.  We talked about all the benefits of getting an assessment, and whether for a given person it would make sense.  Here are some of the reasons I think a person may find an assessment helpful:

  • Access to funding or services
  • Allowing a person to better understand themself
  • Better understanding of what will help them, and what will not.
  • Getting a person to end up taking something from it to create something.

So, while I feel that I didn’t get access to any funding or services (I didn’t expect it to be), it didn’t really lead to any better understanding of myself (though it did lead to better understanding of myself in relationship to how allistic clinicians tend to be incapable of understanding me), and it clearly didn’t point to any better understanding of what will help or what will not help (it gave suggestions which for the most part either were impossible to implement, or they were suggestions to use tools and techniques I either have already found it doesn’t work, or am already doing), it did get me to take the lack of anything “positive” coming out of the assessment to get me to move towards creating stuff for myself, and hopefully other people (if you’re reading this, then you’re an other person).

Empathy, lack of, what might really be going on

There is a strong sense that people on the Autism Spectrum lack empathy.  There are a few issues with that statement, because “lack empathy” in reality means one of two things “lack of mirror neuron activation” or “lack of theory of mind”.

The first part of lack of mirror neuron activation is really hard to really explain what that really may end up meaning.  What it technically means is that when a person observes an action (who is autistic) they do not have the same pattern of neuron firing as the person performing that action.  In terms of what that means, it likely has little to do with what lay people even consider empathy to even be.  Then again, the experience of “firing together” in different bodies, may lead to “feeling together”.  To my knowledge there is little, or no evidence to support that it is needed, or even that it does happen.

The other lack that autistics have is a “lack of theory of mind”.  Now this is really far too difficult to explain what this really means.  But what it means in the sense of how it might be assessed is some assessor creates a scenario where they “know” what the other person is “feeling” and a person who doesn’t interpret it the same way the researcher says that they should, the researcher assumes the person lacks a theory of mind.

What theory of mind is supposed to refer to, is the ability to see what another person is feeling.  Recent research which I have read, has lead me to understand that the design of the assessment tool, is a major influence of how a person responds to a “theory of mind” assessment.  The recent research pointed to allistic people lacking theory of mind for being able to understand autistic people’s emotional expression.

Another factor, especially in group situations that I have heard several autistics express isn’t so much of a lack of feeling what others are feeling, but being overwhelmed by what others are feeling, and in several cases, being able to read stuff that the person is feeling (and clearly expressing) which they are trying to suppress.

Mindfulness/Awareness practice

I mentioned that I am aware of for me, the best way I am able to be better able to process that stuff, is though the use of mindfulness-awareness practices.  I find that many people are not very clear on what that really means.  Especially some people who are trying to express how important that actually is.

To most people what these practices are, and what the purpose is, is to “calm the mind”.  While, in some cases, that is exactly what the result is.  The real purpose is to “be with the mind”.  It’s really a hard thing to explain how that may be different, but the point is “just observing” rather than “quieting” the mind.

Issues with sound quality today

Today, I noticed that my audio quality was rather choppy, and at a point, I was finding that I was getting such strong echo, that I was almost entirely unable to talk.  The echo issue should resolve fairly well by using headphones, though I know that may end up not being quite enough for only one person to use headphones.

Use of technology to get stories out there

One of the overarching topics was the use of technology for the purposes of actually being able to communicate ideas and get our stories out there.  At least that is how I interpreted it.  To me for the most part the technology itself isn’t the key thing about what works and what doesn’t work, it is about “what are you trying to do” and “how can you best do that”?  So the technology is more of a “how to accomplish a goal” for me, rather than particularly important in itself.

One thing that I keep getting told as a web developer is “Everyone needs a website”.  Well, I don’t actually believe that.  What I believe is that a person needs to figure out why they want a website, and figure out how they can get that website to do what they want for them.  I have had people approach me for a website, after having been told how important it is to have a website, and now they want someone to build a website for them for free.

They then end up building that website for themself, and it ends up looking like a poorly hand drawn sign advertising their professional services.

Can everyone use a website?  Sure.  Even if you are just a “person on the Internet”.  But if you just create a website, and don’t really look at it month to month, or at least once every few months, your website really won’t do a whole lot for you.

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