Firebee Dispatch #5: You gotta keep the fire burning
As mentioned last week, I’m deep in the busy season at work, so content is a little light this week.
What I’m Up To
I am deep in the super busy time of the year at my job. OH GOD, OH GOD, EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE.
Recommended Reading & Current Events
- This is why you never end up hiring good developers by Laurie Voss at Quartz. So much good stuff in here. If you are involved in hiring programmers, you should give this a read.
- A follow-up to some of the discussions of the bullshit in the gaming community last week. Zoe Quinn lurked in 4chan’s raid irc channel and recorded most of it for weeks while they were targeting her. She is a badass.
- Silicon Valley’s Cult of Male Ego by Bardot Smith at Model View Culture.
A culture that automatically mobilizes to search for a reason to dismiss the claims of those raising dissenting opinions and experiences is toxic. […] If they don’t want the game disturbed – it’s because the rules are in their favor.
- Reddit is a failed state from The Verge. A discussion on reddit’s shitty handling of the posting of the stolen nude photos of celebrities.
Reddit wants to be a techno-libertarian’s wet dream, but in practice it’s a weak feudal system that’s actually run by a small group of angry warlords who use “free speech” as a weapon. […] Reddit believes in free speech unless your speech involves speaking truth about the unsavory men who keep exploitative content flowing.
- Some companies are willing to lean in the other direction when balancing free speech and protecting oppressed people. Etsy recently decided to ban the sale of items with the racist name or logo of the American football team based in Washington DC.
- Con$ent Is $exy: The Imagined Racket of Social Justice from Consent Culture.
If we can cast the responsibility of “saving the world” onto some yet-unsurfaced Pollyanna, clean of conscience and free of finanicial commitments, then nothing ever changes. There’s no quid for the quo. We remain rusted wheels.
An activist is not a bad thing to be. It’s bad for your health–and sanity–but I defy you to make me feel guilty for taking a vested interest in toppling a system actively holding us down.
In the News
- The Senate Tried to Overturn ‘Citizens United’ Today. Guess What Stopped Them? from The Nation. The Republicans made sure that corporations will continue to be people. Hurray, America.
- The Kyriarchy Is Killing Us: Survey Says LGBT Women Poorer, Less Healthy Than Everyone Else from Autostraddle.
- America’s wealth gap ‘unsustainable,’ may worsen: Harvard study from Reuters. Good thing we have Harvard Business School to run a study telling us the obvious. The study seems to be arguing for better support of workers because YAY CAPITALISM. Ugh.
This Week in Sexism
- Megachurch leader calls women 'penis homes’ on religious forum. I could not make up a headline like this if I tried.
- There have been some important discussions related to domestic violence this week, but I am not sufficiently up-to-date on them. I will try to provide some updates in next week’s dispatch.
Mass Media Musings
I started playing Civ 5 again to relax during my off time. I cannot stop. Please send help…
I am incredibly bad at describing and reviewing music, so this will mostly be “here’s some things I enjoy listening to. YMMV.” I listen to music a lot at work or while doing other things, so I don’t always tune in well to lyrics and am not a reliable resource for notices about problematic content.
- Thanks to Liz Abinate for recommending this one.
- I think “Late Bloomer” is my favorite track from the album (and contributes the title of this week’s dispatch).
- Blast from the past! I remember loving the single “Your Woman” when it was on the radio in the 90s.
- This somehow ended up in a recommended list or something in spotify. I cannot remember how I got here.
- I had not previously listened to the whole album. I’m enjoying it.
- OMG CAT HEADPHONES. I really hope this becomes a real thing I can buy.
- Speaking of headphones, I finally ordered a good pair of noise canceling headphones. They have managed to diminish my seething hatred for open workspace noise.
- Dispatch title from “Late Bloomer” by Jenny Lewis [youtube].
- Interview with Chris Martens, Programming Languages Ph.D Candidate from Lambda Ladies about her work on logic programming, games, and forging new connections in computational creativity.
In this section, I promote events, fundraisers, organizations, and other things that I think are worthwhile.
Donate to Growstuff!
This week, you should donate to Growstuff’s indiegogo campaign. It’s an awesome project, and it would mean a lot to me if you support it.
Growstuff is an open source platform that helps support people who want to grow their own food. It helps people learn about growing food, track what they plant and harvest, and swap seeds and produce with other gardeners in their community.
This campaign will help support two primary developers as they improve the API and help people use Growstuff’s open data. I know both Skud and Frances and can attest to them being fabulous, dedicated individuals who do great work. I believe strongly in supporting people who do great work, so they can continue to do so (and eat, pay their bills, have a place to live, and all that jazz).
One of the things I love about Growstuff is that it isn’t just another social app targeted at rich techies in Silicon Valley. This is an open platform that helps people grow food, a very basic need that benefits a wide variety of people all over the world. It’s useful, practical, and sustainable. I want to celebrate and support a project like this because it seems so rare these days.
Growstuff is also a great project for people new to open source (see their newbie development guide). This is rare and should be supported, so that open source continues to be sustainable by bringing in new people.
TLDR: donate to Growstuff’s indiegogo because it’s awesome!