This movement needs an iconic product

Something that is proof that the philosophy of the humane tech movement is more than just a collection of ideas. A product that exists non digitally (like a smartphone) that is built in the real world. It needs to demonstrate to all who see it that the user is choosing to live in freedom from technology addiction. Over time it will become a symbol of this movement. It needs to be built to only accept apps or software that does not exploit the user. And it needs to show that this philosophy is a viable alternative to the current state of tech which addicts and exploits people.

Apps are great as are software filters which encourage time well spent. But they are still part of the platform used to exploit people and thus are vulnerable to those apps designed to hijack attention. You can only use apps to fight apps so much. It would be cool to see a completely novel phone (like Lightphone 2 maybe) or other piece of tech that is built from the ground up specifically around the principles of this movement.



We had hope to achieve this with the Siempo phone. Originally intended to be a physical device (see 2017 Kickstarter), we pivoted to software after learning how high the switching costs were for a replacement device, and how personalized each human’s digital needs are. People demanded an experience they could try on their original device, so now we’re meeting them where they’re at with an Android home app (demo video of our upcoming release.)

Physical products can only scale so fast (e.g. Light Phone took two years from campaign to shipping, three years to 10k users), unless you’re talking about stickers or something lightweight, whereas there is precedent for home apps (aka launchers) reaching 10s of millions of users in a similar amount of time. Light Phone has its place, and we need real solutions real fast. We’re betting Android home apps can fight other apps.


Just thinking out loud:
what about a light plastic wrap to put on the screen on your smartphone, keeping the touch functionality but charging with static electricity as your finger swipes on it? After you spend five minutes swiping it will propagates to you a very very small electric shock, like when you get out of your car and touch the car door, after it charged with static electricity during the trip. Your body will learn very soon to moderate your smartphone use!


Throwing out ideas in the air:

If we could proxy connections to track the time (or maybe block it) wich we spend on specific websites or apps, we could maybe give people insight into how much they use technologies.

To be fair, I really think this is not something that can be fought with technolgy. I think it’s more about spreading the word, and letting people understand how valuable their time is.

Interesting and worthwhile discussion!

But I’d like to make a suggestion … in the spirit of Einstein’s statement that imagination is more important than knowledge. The community of people is more important than the tools.

Of course knowledge is extremely important. But imagination is more important … and needs to be a primary focus. Of course technological tools are extremely important. But the community of people is more important … and needs to be a primary focus.

So … as we are beginning to envision and build new tools, or to fix the tools we already have … we need to simultaneously - and with even more attention, vigor, and resources - begin to envision and build new community. Especially among the younger members of society! So kids have a chance to latch on to civilized and humane tech ideas at an early age … AND … even more importantly - they get to participate in the creation of the more civilized and humane assisted-by-tech future.

Do you think we should be starting right away to create a network of humane tech chapters/studios where we can begin to engage more people - especially young people - in the discussion and creative problem solving effort?


Wow. Thank you for your reply. I have thought about it and I think you are right.

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The possibilities and challenge and importance are enormous and exciting!

Should we start by trying to get a couple/few Meetup groups to communicate/coordinate as a small network of teams - working locally but sharing with, and learning from, each other? We’re just in the process of getting a group launched in Seattle. I’m imagining that we’d eventually like/need to have a large, global, highly active, and well coordinated network of teams supported by a digital platform.


Very cool. Love the emphasis on mindfulness and being present.

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Is it possible to build something iconic that’s not capable of equal parts good and bad?


How about we build an advanced evolution of price tag for a product. This price tag will automatically include in any purchase a crowdsourced estimate for the price of externalities like how much time you will spend as a result of buying and crowdsourced estimates and data for the amount of time and quality of time benefits you will receive as a result of the purchase? Imagine a price tag that priced everday items in the store or online in units of “hours of your personal time”? Then it would be more convenient because people wouldn’t have to do the math in their head to figure out how much time they will have to work to pay for something.


We had also hoped to achieve this with the launch of Muse by Socos, and I still believe it has come close - and often closer than any other app, since it’s uniquely parent facing! Empowering parents with a student to ask each student a probing question to help them think based on take results, see our learning arm:

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I think Kyocera already makes this iconic product we need. Here’s mine:

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Though I generally hope the “phone era” will end soon in favour of technology that allows us to be in the world paying attention, not looking at a little screen, I don’t think an iconic product would be something that manages my technology use, but rather one that helps me achieve real goals as a human connected to other people and the world around me without resorting to artificial means to keep me engaged.


Hello Keith
I agree completely. I have been working on a governance structure for a community that is inclusive but also resistant to politics. It is based on a combination of the judicial system and native tribe structures. I believe intentional communities can be structured to solve many of the problems we are facing today.
Here is an outline of my thinking…
Cooperative Governance
Step 1: Guiding principals are formulated and Founding Fathers establish a base to support the development of a community association.
Step 2: Incorporate a co-op to manage assets and structure the community membership requirements.
Step 3: Establish a dispute resolution council. Founding Fathers will choose the original Chief. The Chief will then choose the original five Shepherds, two the first year, one the second year and the final two in the third year. Shepherds will serve for a term of 5 years. A Shepherds term can be renewed for an additional two years with unanimous agreement of the Council.
The Community
The Community Association consists of members, associate members, and guests. Members can sponsor a guest to join the community. Community members have responsibilities and benefits.
Dispute Resolution Procedure
Members are encouraged to resolve conflicting issues according to the founding principles. The Shepherd Council can be asked to make a determination to resolve an issue. The Shepherd Directive can be appealed to the Chief. The Chief’s decision can only be overturned with unanimous agreement by the Shepherds.
Council Member Representation
The Chief has no set term. A retiring chief will be succeeded by the Shepherd who has been a member of the Council for the longest term or has unanimous support of the other four Shepherds. The Shepherd Council will always consist of 5 members. When a Shepherd retires the Community members will submit up to three candidates to apply for the vacancy. The Shepherd Council will then choose one of the applicants.
General Business
The community will establish various ad hoc committees to deal with issues pertaining to the well being of the community.
This structure is designed to encourage participation and the exchange of ideas and at the same time solve the paralyzing problem of the consensus decision process. I have found that making the right decision is often the most difficult and is usually avoided.

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Is there a more gender-neutral term that could be used for the ‘Founding Fathers’ role?


The Librem 5 checks most of the Humane Tech boxes -

Peace of Mind

Our phone will not wholesale gather your data for profit. It will not lock you into an ecosystem that controls you. It will not require you to enter banking details to simply get an app from an app store.

Does Not Track You

Our phone will be built to protect you by default. It will never exploit you for profit. It will be a phone for the people, by the people.

Quick facts

  • Does not run Google Android
  • Does not run Apple iOS
  • Runs PureOS by default, can run most GNU+Linux distributions
  • World’s first ever IP-native mobile handset
  • End-to-end encrypted decentralized communications via Matrix
  • 5″ screen
  • Security focused by design
  • Privacy protection by default
  • Works with 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks
  • CPU separate from Baseband
  • Hardware Kill Switches for Camera, Microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth, and Baseband

IF you want to go that route, Founder.

I’m wondering if there is something that can be worn… that communicates association with this movement of humane tech… something tangible. i know you don’t want to compete with the various colored ribbon pins and colored rubber wrist bands… but some THING that communicates the message…

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I completely agree! I am currently working on creating an app, IntraText, Interactive-Text that will transform books into a multi-sensory learning experience. This will give readers the opportunity to imagine, experience, and apply everything in the story.

Books will be re-created using the same attention-enhancing techniques from traditional social media but will provide VALUE. All content would fall under Time Well Spent Development guidelines and create an incentivized learning experience that encourages users to apply what they are learning on and off the screen.

The home feed would be linked to your other social media accounts, but only display the content that YOU want to see. This link will also establish a sense of community through group learning and community forums based on your progress in current books.

Featured books have creative freedom in creating interactive incentivized learning experiences if they meet quality guidelines. Rewards for progress in the app include sponsored gifts in the mail. For example, if a wellness book has a chapter covering the health benefit of essential oils. A partnered brand will send you a sample in the mail for you to experience the chapter with all of your senses and apply what you are learning you improve your life.

My goal of IntraText, is to bring the value back in technology and embrace our community.

Together we have the power to help others and change the world.

Imagine if technology was used to enhance our lives, not erode it.


Thanks @erlend_sh! I just love :heart: the librem 5 - I asked fairphone before to focus on privacy/security as well - and right now shared the msg on LI: librem 5 rocks!