My book about gamification is out! You've Been Played (Bookshop.org, Goodreads) examines how points, badges, and leaderboards are creeping into every aspect of modern life as tools for profit and coercion. It’s a critique of gamification, sure – but by an actual game designer, games journalist, and former neuroscientist. And it goes far beyond the usual suspects like Fitbit and Duolingo to look at the historical roots of gamification. Foucault, Lewis Mumford, Skinner, medieval indulgences, Taylorism, ARGs – this book has it all! Reviews, talks, and excerpts inside... [more inside]
In honor of International Women's Day, I decided to do an experiment to see what GPT-3 might reveal about human gender bias. And boy did it reveal a lot!
"The Art of Python" was a miniature arts festival on Friday, May 3rd, at PyCon North America 2019, focusing on narrative, performance, and visual art "that helps us share our emotionally charged experiences of programming (particularly in Python)." It featured 4 short plays, a song, and a video remix. I started and chaired the festival. Then I wrote up a retrospective with photos, discussing why I started "The Art of Python", what led up to it, and how I feel about its future. Since I cannot be one of the co-organizers for "The Art of Python" at PyCon North America in 2020, I’ve also prepared a HOWTO guide for people who want to do this sort of thing in the future. [more inside]
At the PyGotham 2018 tech conference, Jason Owen and I presented "Python Grab Bag: A Set of Short Plays", inspired by the Neo-Futurists' show "The Infinite Wrench". The 40-minute video is up on YouTube and my blog post links to the script and slides, credits the crew and cast, deep-links to the specific timecodes for individual plays, and gives citations for the references we made. [more inside]
Bug Report! is a (free) zine about the frustrations and growing disillusionment of working in technology today. You can see the first issue online here; soliciting submissions for the second one now!
Your team’s code review practices cause ripple effects far into the future. In this play, see several ways a single code review can go, then fast-forward and rewind to see the effects – on codebase and culture – of different code review approaches. Video recording of a 22-minute play about code review, mentorship, tech management, and regret. Premiered on October 6th, 2017 at PyGotham in New York City. Announcement blog post ("it's Run Lola Run but about code review") and wrapup post (audience responses included "I used to be that reviewer and I'm trying not to be anymore" and "I don't code at all but this is a marvelous management parable").
A curated weekly newsletter/blog of mostly-tech links that are interesting, strange, surprising or funny. From the BGP Bitcoin theft in 2014 that started it to Kugelblitzes, hashmaps in Rust and licking Nintendo cartridges, the Weekly Weird is me dumping my browser tabs into an email just in time for lunchtime on Friday (EST). No politics unless the underlying story is really compelling. Subscribe here.
LBRY (pronounced "Library") is an open-source protocol providing a decentralized marketplace. LBRY allows anyone to publish content and anyone to buy it from anyone else, but with an economic design to combat piracy and benefit artists. If you are an OSX or Linux user you can test LBRY yourself. You can also learn more about LBRY or join our list.
I made a political video remix/fanvid using Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" to criticize hypocrisy in the tech industry's recruiting narratives. Specifically, I wanted to vivisect the ways the mainstream US software industry tries to attract marginalized people, especially women, into engineering careers, but doesn't take care to keep people who have entered the "pipeline." I montaged visuals from documentaries, movies, TV, comics, coding bootcamp ads, blog posts by tech feminists, and more. I've also posted a detailed making-of essay with links to nearly all of my video and web sources; I used free and open source software. All in all (including learning how to vid), this took about 75 hours to make.
I've had the good luck to have spent a bit of time in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma (and no, please don't ask me why I don't use that word, it's a long story). I work in tech. So, here's a series of stories I'm writing about it. You may or may not have known that in spite of all the incredible challenges the country still faces, there's also – what shall we call it? — a glimmer, of hope? That a lot has changed? That for example, a SIM card cost $2500 a few years ago, and $250 a year back (when I got mine), and now it's $1.50 AND available also to foreigners at the airport when you land? It is an incredible country. I hope you'll get to see a little bit of it through this. I really should update it more (I have about 5 more interviews/profiles lined up).
thinkContext is a web browser extension which adds contextually relevant, politically progressive information to your web browsing. It works by matching the URL of search engine results, sites you visit or text advertising against a database of progressive campaigns. If it finds a match it inserts unobtrusive icons into the browser. Currently it pulls information from a Union Hotel Guide, an Ethical Restaurant Guide, the Stop Rush Limbaugh advertiser database, The Green Pages, the Bechdel Test Movie database, and the B Corporation directory.
The Prepaid Economy: African edition began as a means to track notes on the rise of Africa as an investment opportunity back in January 2010. Today it has over 28,000 readers on Tumblr, engaging an audience of young Afropolitans. We will be beginning a new series of discussion posts where engagement from our readers is encouraged. This Friday (25th January) we will be having our very first moderated conversation and the topic at hand will be “China’s presence in Africa.” If there are any particular article links or thoughts that you would like to see addressed in the discussion, feel free to share them and we’ll be sure to integrate them into the post. We look forward to hearing your input and hosting a productive conversation on the effects of China’s presence in Africa. Your moderator will be Beulah Osueke, currently Masters Degree student at LaSalle University, Philadelphia
The power of team spirit harnesses the potential of technology to create...THE TWERRIBLE TOWEL!! Every tweet tagged with #steelersnation twirls the towel one time. Check it out at http://twerribletowel.com