I've committed an unknown quantity of time to a project of unknown, but not unknowable scale.


A conference about free culture and what it means today.

I've done a few big events in my time, but not too sure about how this will turn out. Some years ago in college I produced a large 100+ video and computer gaming event. It took hella work and we probably only had that many people because there happened to be another event that next day. Lots of the work was in organizing volunteers to run gaming stations, getting food donations to show up, and just plain getting a location. Hella work.

Hella fun, too.

Of course, I wasn't the only one working on making it happen. There were a number of close friends who made it happen too, each taking on a certain piece of the massive task.

Later on at SYNHAK we got twice that to show up to our open house when we moved into 48 S. Summit. The whole community pulled together to make a really awesome thing happen. It was mindblowingly awesome and the coolest thing I've done to date. Even better than showing up at Akron's Mini Makerfaire and having a micro hackerspace appear out of nowhere.

This time, I want to bring together a whole 'nother unique set of hackers. The bay area has been devoid of Free Culture hackers as far as I can tell. Sure, Mozilla is here as are a whole bunch of other open-sourcey places. But is anyone talking about Creative Commons or the GPL? Are they still relevant in this day and age?

Its a good question that drives me to contribute to the idea of Freecon in the hopes of finding the answer.

I've been to exactly two Unconferences in my life. The first was FudCON 2012 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The second was the BACH Unconference at the Omni Commons in San Francisco. In them, the schedule of speakers and events for the day was scheduled by those who wanted to do them by writing your topic on a sticky note and putting it on the schedule. Before the event, attendees collaborated through the Fedora wiki.

Taking some ideas from this, I'd like to see about convincing people to do similar talks about topics. Though the event has a strong feel of doocracy, I still feel that it is worth sharing a few ideas I'm unlikely to act on or even realistically begin:

  • How To use the Creative Commons license on your stuff
  • A dramatic reenactment of RMS defnestrating a printer and starting the free software movement
  • A roundtable discussion about the importance of the GPL today and where it has failed
  • Linux kernel hacking workshop
  • Lawrence Lessig Q&A
  • Hackerspace communities as a vehicle for free expression of ideas

I've taken on the responsibility to get the freecon.us website up, which includes getting the wiki in place. In the process, I'm working out how to best use Flask blueprints so as to add user authentication which is cause for the delay. I miss the familiar territory of Django, but I won't learn otherwise.