Things to Care About

GWOB’s IndieGoGo

Geeks Without Bounds, the thing I’ve given my life to over the past 3 years, has launched a fundraiser to hire a fundraiser. It’s all in the video, but it basically boils down to this: the internet was supposed to be the great equalizer, but it isn’t. People with technical skillsets need a way to help other people. We bridge that gap. Go help us grow. There are only a couple days left to contribute in this way.


All over the place, the internet is showing itself as what it is – not only owned by private interests, but also tracked. We’re building a prototype template of group-held servers for people who don’t know how to run their own servers. Email, Calendar to start, all sorts of other goodies as it builds. Join in the first round to help us build the future we were supposed to have, and to keep your data.. yours.

Moonlet will be a small scale personal cloud services collective. Our goal is to pool together about 20-40 peoples’ resources to pay for the hosting and sysadmin time necessary to replace most or all of the cloud services we use with ones we can trust.

Our goals are:

  • To offer cloud-replacement services at a reasonable price to members
  • Security and privacy are primary priorities
  • Ensure a useable and well-integrated solution that replicates the hassle-free convenience of the better existing cloud services
  • Document the process clearly so other people can replicate the experience

NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge

Some mornings, I wake up and watch the NASA/Sagan YouTube series. It gives me hope and peace to remember what humanity is capable of. All the shit we do to each other, rather than focusing our efforts of banding together to overcome the natural obstacles around us, is trumped when Us/Them mentality replaces the “Them” of other people with the “Them” of the unknown. NASA represents that. They’re also a manifestation of a gov org trying to do it right – massively pooled resources to conduct collaborative exploration turned atrociously bureaucratic. They’ve started releasing datasets, opening up their processes, engaging the public, etc. And now they have a grand challenge around finding asteroids. I’ll probably post more on this one later, but check it out now.

the victim

the smiling victimWe discover the victim in a mediocre Thai food joint.

Could the removed picture be of our victim? Did “they” not want us to know who he was, to never know if his existence?

Is this a meta-murder, not only of the person, but also of all the stories which comprised his identity in society?

Cause of death: a plastic fork to the forehead. We assume from the angle of the strike that the killer is right-handed. We also assume the killer either had personal motives or really, really hated soy-centric thai food. The victim: still smiling. Was this someone he knew? Someone that he trusted? He was still warm when we found him.

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…


I’m 39,000 feet in the air, and I’m savoring a few moments of calm between the crazy of the past few weeks and the promise of more epicness for the next month the moment we touch down.

Two weeks ago, I presented on Transhumanism at Gnomedex. Two days ago, I got the confirmation for a one-way-ticket to Los Angeles. How did I get here?

The gent who presented after me at Gnomedex, one Mr Johnny Diggz, talked about something called Geeks Without Borders. Now we’re calling it GWOBorg, for legal reasons which I might expound upon later. It’s a network of geeks set up to assist those providing disaster relief or who are affected by adverse conditions. Because, as Diggz said, “doctors need to look up shit.” We ended up sitting next to each other at the very lovely conference lunch (thanks, Chris and crew!), we talked about the OpenGov Hack-A-Thon his company Tropo was hosting. I informed him that the amount he had paid to use the nearby hotel was preposterous, and that having such events in hacker and maker spaces was a better idea on many counts. As the conversation evolved, we also decided that nodes for GWOB should be hosted out of hacker and maker spaces. I told him I would put him in touch with a slew of awesome people who might help him and his out. He asked if I couldn’t just do it – I knew the people, I knew the reasoning, I have the passion. We agreed upon some terms and I said yes.

My home is not the usual mess it’s left in for my hurried exit to the airport. The cat was mashed, the dishes (mostly) done, the carpet vacuumed. James Carlson helped me in massive ways with the presentation Diggz and I will give at each space. I’ll post it here once it’s done and the voice-over has been added. Levi wrapped his arms around me as we raced down the highway, droplets of water etching designs on my faceshield.

And so now I’m 39k feet in the air, on my way to LA for the first stop of our tour. I wonder how I would explain this to my younger self – what I’m going to do, or that I would ever accept a one-way-ticket from a person I met only 2 weeks ago, when my only liquid assets are the $10 bill in my pocket and blind determination.

Put up or shut up, it’s time to make a dent in the world.