Concerns about Hackathons and Establishing Project Flow

Hackathons are great fun, aren’t they? New friends, pizza, maybe some beer. Working on problems that might save the world, or at the very least, a life? We listen to rad music, stare at stacks in confusion, and yell at our code. At the end of the event, we have a working prototype of an idea, and we all feel very good about what we’ve done. But how much impact does it *actually* have? The applications coming out are often poorly documented, stored all over the place, and have quite a bit of work left to do on them. And those devs, the wonderful devs, they disappear back into the mist when the event is done. Leaving their freshly-born application mewling in the cold cold world of the Internet.

So what can we do about that?

Heather Blanchard of Crisis Commons and I sat down at DEFCON to discuss this. We have multiple solutions, which when implemented together, should make this much less of an issue.

1) The problem definitions themselves need a lot of work. Problem definitions are what organizations such as the Red Cross bring to the Volunteer Technology Community in search of software/hardware solutions. You can peruse some on the RHoK site. The individual or organization bringing the problem def also needs to OWN it, making themselves available for questions, resource needs, and feedback.

2) The hackathons themselves are fantastic. But people who are truly inspired and wish to continue their efforts need a way to continue interacting and documenting with their creations.

3) We need a vetting process wherein people actually submit their applications (ala GIS Corps) to be a part of this network and to continue their efforts. When disaster strikes, we must know the people we are calling on for help will respond and will be competent.

4) There needs to be an end to each project. When is something done? Play with it, do a trial run. Did it work? What still needs improvement?

Rinse and repeat.

Crisis Commons and Geeks Without Bounds feels this rough draft of flow will greatly improve the tools emerging from VTCs, give a more meaningful experience to volunteers, and save more lives. And we still get our pizza and 24 hour events for feel-good-feelings, but also a path for continued engagement.

The Mystery is Discovered

frontier psychiatry

I’ve been awake since stupid early. We’re about to start the drive to San Francisco, via Santa Monica. I hate mornings.

However, yesterday we found our first clue:
Someone has removed a picture from a wall of pictures at the Big Boy! This always means adventure is afoot!

“But what does that mean?!” Shannon asks.

Only time will tell…

catalyst changes

I’m loaded. Not as in alcohol, or as in a gun, but as in questions.

I wish I had some end point to this post, some next step. The thoughts aren’t even complete. But I do want to get them down, get started on… something.

Past occurrences were necessary to arrive at where we are now, so if you’re happy with where you are, those events must have been ok, right?

I’ve been called a Catalyst for Awesome. Friends have gotten out of bad relationships based on frank discussion, friends have started on that long-dreamed-of project based on passionate discussion, but friends have also gone epic places in their lives because of when I abandoned them. I don’t want to abandon anyone again. Sometimes the catalyst has to change. /thread

I don’t have set boundaries. Constantly in flux to best deal with situations, there are certainly lines that won’t be crossed by anyone for any reason, but those lines are contextual and often more about those I care about than myself. It’s protected me from a lot of hurt, but it’s also unhealthy in the long run – both for me, and those I care about. I miss being a cyborg sometimes. It was certainly easier, though it lacked depth. So… how does one do that? Set boundaries, I mean. /thread

This kind of goes along with boundaries, but I need to know who I am outside of my communities. I have been existing for the communities I’m a part of. Again, not healthy. /thread

I don’t take the sort of time to process things that others seem to. Maybe it’s part of the “get over it” upbringing, maybe I’m actually processing that fast, maybe I’m not processing enough. But I end up seeing where I’m freaked out, why, and going back into the fray to face it head-on. I scream in the face of things. I call out the elephant in the room. With respect, mind you, and with love. /thread

Also need some sleep and a loooong motobike ride.

Hello, LJ. I think you’ll be good for me.

done lists

in the past two weeks, I’ve:
+ played on a playground
+ been on NPR
+ held hands
+ seen new people at Jigsaw
+ presented at Dorkbot Seattle
+ spent time with my tribe
+ been tempted to sing the national anthem
+ gone to art walk
+ met Mark Ganter
+ gone on a date
+ been gifted a couch
+ moved a LEGO motor with my mind
+ been kidnapped to a brass band performance
+ blogged on SPWS, and got picked up by MAKE
+ spent 12 hours in Jigsaw meetings
+ worked my rad job
+ eaten pears
+ been cuddled a lot (ok, just the right amount)
+ worked on my bike

this week, I’m:
+ going to NYC and Boston
+ peeling labels off video games
+ seeing Geoffrey Canada speak
+ (hopefully) finishing my bike
+ meeting Raine
+ seeing my sister in a play
+ visiting a bunch of friends and family on the east coast
+ maybe visiting MIT
+ working more at my rad job

year’s end

I’m taking a moment to further procrastinate on my law school application paperwork reflect on the past year. I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned even more.

Most of the things I’ve learned have been in harsh lessons, and in people caring enough to make sure I didn’t get yet another round of ass kicking. I’ve emerged with my Tribe, and a Home, and the ability to accept my own vulnerabilities.

Where to even start? My life is made of up of regaling stories, of the amazing people I interact with, of experiences and meals and quiet moments. So I guess thank-yous are in order, though who I thank comes in alphabetical order.

rage

I posted to my website. I have a website? Good lord, better fill it with content.

This particular content is asking a question, and I’ll gladly take your responses here.
How does one warn others or even just talk about an Abuser without coming across as being a drama queen or having Survivor as your main identity?

Situation: I didn’t reach out to people about Corey because I didn’t think it was Proper or in-line with my world view. He then hurt other people. A lot.

Suggestions welcome.

(other than this, life is fucking fantastic)

Jigsaw Renaissance

Hi, all. Life’s been a bit crazy. Well, more than a bit. Lots of working on my bike, lots of working on my relationships, lots of projects, lots of learning.
One of the projects is a non-profit I’m director of called Jigsaw Renaissance. It’s an emerging maker space – we focus on education and interdisciplinary interaction. We believe in passion-based learning and action-based thought. And we’re gearing up to move into a space by year’s end, so we can have work space and cooking space and hang-out space. To raise money, we’re holding an event:

Jigsaw Renaissance Benefit Event
11/18/09 9p-2a
Heaven Nightclub
172 S. Washington St.
Seattle, WA

Dash EXP – dubstep
Toy Box Trio – classical/acoustic/crunk
Q – dub/industrial
Cathartech – experimental/noise
xben – mashup

$15 admission / 21+

I know it’s a Wednesday, but it would mean the world to me if you’d come out to dance in support of a cause I believe in so much!

your logic puzzle for the day

Willow has LSATs Saturday morning at 8a. She has 2 hours Thursday night and 6 hours Friday night to study for them. However, she believes the people who write the tests were not merely dropped, but thrown at the ground with no small amount of force by those who were meant to care for them most as small babies, and subsequently finds studying for the LSATs a retarded waste of time. Willow therefore needs motivation, which can be found in the following forms:

+ rewarding each round of a practice test with 15 minutes Fable 2 playing time
+ rewarding each round of a practice test with 10 minutes of riding on her motor bike
+ drinking alcohol (1 ounce in each cider, 3 in any mixed drink : wears off at 1 ounce per hour)
> only the alcohol can take place at the same time as studying
> only one motivational factor can be chosen for each section
> each section takes 30 minutes
> at least three sections must involve being rewarded by Fable 2 or the bike

– she cannot drink more than 3 ounces of alcohol in any hour without losing focus
– she cannot have any alcohol in her system before riding bike
– there should be a 1:2 ratio of alcohol to sections
– she cannot play Fable before having study time
– she must study for at least 5.5 of the available hours

What is the most efficient use of her time to get the most studying done without wanting to shank bitches “for the sake of high-speed cameras”?

google reader

I have just realized that I can RSS from LJ into my google reader, which means perhaps I’ll be a bit more active in posting replies to things. How exciting.

Life is interesting. I’m looking for personal assistant gigs, as I’m tired of my wigged job. And then law school. Eek!
Moved into a condo downtown with Baron. We’re currently almost sort of done painting it, and have already trekked to IKEA a number of times and bookmarked more awesome DIY projects than I care to admit.
Matt comes to visit soon, Jen in early September, Mom and Dad in November, and Baron and I may be going to Boston mid September.
Went to Defcon, Vegas is excessive, also to Toorcamp and Ignite and etc. Happy fun times of travelling and learning a lot.

Trying to figure out how to give my friends enough time while still doing all the things I like to do. Have decided only possible route is a rift in the space-time-continuum, though I’m open to other suggestions.