New Hackerspace Design Patterns

The wave of hackerspaces in the US over the last decade was triggered, in part, by the collection of the hackerspace design patterns, best practices that had been developed in European hackerspaces. This year at Chaos Communications Camp, Mitch Altman will be presenting an updated list of hackerspace design patterns and has asked the community for input. Here are my contributions based on several years of hackerspace administration.

A graceful end to Seltzer development

The Kickstarter I’ve been running for Seltzer (a tool for managing cooperatives) finished last night, at just shy of 1/3 of the funding goal. While the project wasn’t successfully funded, the crowdfunding campaign was far from a failure.

Art, Code, and Asking

As a programmer, I know that code can be beautiful. As an artist, I know that code is not art. I don’t mean to say that code is in any way less, just different. And the difference is important, particularly when it comes to asking for support.

Data Sculpture: Media Perspective

For those of us who work with data, we get used to visualizing in our mind and develop an intuition for it. For everyone else, data visualization usually takes the form of a diagram on a small, two-dimensional screen. Standard data plots can take an exciting idea and turn it into something boring, or even worse, drudge up memories of panicked high school math exams. This experimental data sculpture attempts to draw the viewer into the visualization and connect them with the data on an intuitive, physical level. The sculpture shows the amount of coverage the U.S.

Advice for First Generation College Students

Some students entering college this fall have prepared their entire lives. But first-generation students, the first in their family to attend college, will leave their known world behind, with little idea of what to expect.

Abuse Is Not a Choice, Empathy Is

When we label someone an "abuser," we let them off too easily and invite future abuse into our communities.

MIT Media Lab on Net Neutrality

When the FCC released it's 2014 Open Internet proposal, the MIT Media Lab formed a working group to make an official statement. I was one of the contributors, and I think we produced an insightful document on the importance of Net Neutrality.

MIT/Knight Civic Media 2014

New Work from the Center for Civic Media from MIT CMS/Writing on Vimeo.

A bunch of spectacular 5 minute updates on 2013—2014 research projects from the Center for Civic Media, where I work. Mine are at 11:00 (What We Watch) and 26:05 (Media Meter), but they're all wonderful.

How to Make Bread

Ed Platt: "How to Make Bread" from MIT CMS/Writing on Vimeo.

I gave an "icebreaker" ignite at the 2014 MIT/Knight Civic Media conference. The theme was "The most interesting thing I learned this year" and I talked about how to culture your own yeast to make bread.

Mooring Hitch on a Slipknot

Here's a fun knot I worked out. It's essentially two slipknots securing each other. It forms a secure, single loop, and can be quickly released by pulling on the working end. I'd be interested to know if anyone has seen it used or know if it has another name. Warning: I'm not endorsing this knot as being useful for any particular purpose, use at your own risk.

Tying Instructions

  1. This is a knot, get some rope.
  2. Tie a slipknot.
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