Matthew Schutte

Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 6)

what I do: a summary

Today an old friend and roommate sent me a text asking for a summary of what it is that I actually do for work.

I responded with a quick text Message. I’ve copied that message below. It’s probably the briefest articulation of what it is that I am up to.

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Our tryst will have to wait


Dear Mexico,

I know we were planning to dance together.

But it’s not going to work out this time, either.

One day, I will touch you and know you;

and you will know me;

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Leadership, in the water.

As a surfer, there are a handful of role models that I’ve looked up to over the years. People that surf well, but are beacons of joy in the lineup. Always giving. Always grounded. They are able to transform the attitude and the experience of a whole mass of humans, simply through their example.

Donald Day​ is one of my all-time favorites.

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Article: Is there such a thing as objective reality?

I found this article on Wired today.  It is an interview that they pulled from Quanta Magazine with Quantum Physicist Christopher Fuchs.  The interview is an interesting one, particularly for someone like me.  I’ve been inspired by my brief forays into quantum physics to be aware of the ways that “perspective” dominates experience and as a result shapes what we can know about the world.  I have no idea whether some of the things Dr. Fuchs is conjecturing are accurate, but for completely different reasons I’ve focused my designs of information systems on architectures that allow for each subject to view the information in the system from their own perspective.


Guest Speaking at UC Berkeley: On Privacy + On Regulation

I recently was invited to speak to a class at UC Berkeley on Critical Digital Philosophy.

I used the opportunity to open up a discussion with the students on a couple of subjects.

This probably includes the clearest articulation of my general theories of privacy and regulation that I’ve shared to date.

Colas Zibaut gave a class introduction and shared a short film on digital surveillance. The discussion that I led starts at 9:45.  Thanks to Colas and to Lukas Peter for the invitation.


Build The Collaborative Internet Monthly Builds

I’ve been obsessed with changing the basic structure of the internet for the past 8 years.

The lengthy path that led me to that conviction is outlined in another blog post, so I’ll skip that here, but suffice it to say that I’m thoroughly convinced that the architecture of the internet needs to evolve and that this evolution can create a world where communities are much more effective at self-regulation and thus at navigating the threats and opportunities that we are faced with.

At the beginning of 2013, I started a meetup group called Build the Collaborative Internet (or BtCI) … Continue reading

A sense of duty

“You live in the most privileged nation on Earth.  You are the most privileged citizens of that privileged nation; You can use your enormous privilege and opportunity to seek purely private pleasure and gain. But history will judge you, and, as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, on the extent to which you have used your gifts to enrich the lives of your fellow man.  In your hands, not with presidents or leaders, is the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit.”

– Robert F. Kennedy

This pretty much sums up my own personal sense of duty to make an impact. I have been so incredibly, undeservedly fortunate throughout my life. To squander all of that opportunity without using my gifts to make this planet and its people a bit better off, would feel, in some sense, tragic.

At the same time, I’ve learned the hard way that … Continue reading

A Simple Human

14 years ago, my friend Dan Price, a.k.a. The Hobo Artist, took a trip across America… on a tricycle.

Dan pedaled 3 1/2 months across 4500 miles of American countryside from Oregon to San Diego and then all the way across to Key West.

Dan is committed to living a “simple life,” has documented his experiences with
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CEPTR, infratructure for the future of communication

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m passionate about improving the collaborative capacity of large groups of people.  More specifically, I’ve spent over 15 years searching for better structures to help our global society better regulate itself.

This search has driven me to look away from traditional political structures and to focus more on information technology and related processes.

However, though my work “gets geeky” in the computer sense, the underlying philosophical concepts that drive it mirror those of traditional liberal political theory.

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Big Walls, Big Waves, Learning and Mastery

This weekend, I finally made it to Yosemite in person. I went with two wonderful friends (Colleen and Tory) and got to attempt outdoor rock climbing for the first time since I was barely 15 years old. Yesterday, weclimbed the lower part of the Nose at El Capitan, focusing on crack climbing. There were other climbers at the site as well. Some, like us, were there for a day or two of single pitch routes — that means they were climbing up about 60 feet or so, then descending back down. Others were attacking the entire 2900 foot face with huge sacks of food and plans to spend multiple days and nights dangling from the side of the wall. They were taking on one of the best and most famous climbs on planet earth.

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