Manifesto (and expressions thereof)

I mostly talk about things like Networked Mortality, Weaponized Social, geek humanitarian efforts, gender+sexuality, and hackerspaces and education. I have also organized and facilitated a *lot* of hackathons. The majority of further pontification on manifesto-like things are filed under that tag. Random bits are further down this page.

It’s easy to see the sorts of work I do as being disjointed. Hackerspaces, humanitarian efforts, education. But to me it is all deeply connected. Let’s take a look at my outlook on life, shall we?

Humanitarian response and hacking both deal with the extremes of people. The very worst and the very best. It’s easy to flux between extreme joy at the wonders and extreme horror of the awfulness humanity does to itself. Our species is in on the constant verge of complete destruction and amazing possibility. We are terrible at seeing the long-term impacts of our actions, and allow a single-lifetime single-demographic viewpoint to steer our decisions.

That is balanced with an incredible ability to wing it. We can fix just about any problem as it happens. We will figure it out. I have hope this also means being responsible to the rest of the organisms on this planet (a possibility of evolution being that other things might become sentient if they aren’t already) even if we ourselves aren’t going to make it, or end up elsewhere.

Taking a multi-generational viewpoint means I have a limited time to impart what I can to get us on that long-term goal. The best thing I can possibly do with my energy is help the greatest number of people obtain the most empowerment. I simply have to trust that doing so in a way which encourages mutual aid, transparency, adaptability, and emergence will ensure whatever comes next will be handled responsibly. Well made technology and systems can’t solve the problems of humanity, but they can bring out the best in us.

Yes, I think the postgeographic tribe of hackers, makers, and responders are “Doing It Right.” Yes, I think we have a lot to learn. But yes, I do think that we are on the right track to ensuring the empowerment of more individuals on this planet.

I believe that we should be dedicating our energy into building new systems. Systems which are inclusive. Systems which transparent and consensual. To me, this means it’s ok to make compromises with other groups which also exist in the current system, if it can be done in such a way which the benefits far outweigh the understood (and stated, and discussed) risks. For example, currency is a good indicator of intent and simplifier of transaction, it is the systems in which it is used that are broken.

I choose the hacker community because it sees the world for the information it is, and how malleable and flawed and amazing that is. I choose the maker community because it takes an active role in participating in the world, and a joy in introducing the unconverted to involvement. I choose humanitarian response because it connects people globally to the consequences of intertwined systems in a way that is so fresh we can easily learn. And I chose education as a vector for these changes – it is the one thing which everyone interacts with and everyone agrees is broken.

We can do incredible things, with intent, before we have to.


Other random bits:

Write Ups:

On the Prezi blog


Brainmeats podcast

Egrigg9000 Podcast interview

Transhumanist meetups in Bloomington, Indiana and Seattle, Washington


At CyborgCamp MIT 2014

Social Scripts for cyborgs to be kind and inclusive.

At MIT-Knight Civic Media 2013 Conference

Willow bl00, “3 Weeks. No Checked Bags: Packing for Trips” from MIT CMS/Writing on Vimeo.


Awesome Foundation Seattle : Guest Trustee

Attended and had the joy of note taking and facilitating some sessions at Awesummit 2012.

Journey to the End of the Night : Organizer Support (San Francisco Halloween 2011, Berlin New Years 2011), Organizer (Seattle 2011)

FooCamp 2011

My tattoos.

2 thoughts on “Manifesto (and expressions thereof)

  1. just wondering why the Transhumanism at Gnomedex “video was made private by the owner!” i mean, it sounds interesting and i’d love to see it. so what’s up with that, especially when Ethan is espousing “intellectual” “theft” in the other linked video? i feel betrayed by the present, let alone the future.

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