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Your Software Freedom is not my Software Freedom: A reflection on Chadwick Boseman

Trigger warning: Grief, police violence, death.

This blog post was first written on August 28th, 2020.

Today is a sad day. Chadwick Boseman is dead. At 43 years old, he lost a terminal battle with stage IV colon cancer. As his great light dims, I am left to wonder what loss will happen next in 2020.

But like the ashes of a phoenix, we will rise. His death reminds me of the fierce urgency of now, as said by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That in the moment of darkness that follows death, a new bright light will emerge. It is just so human for us to cling to the embers of hope, in the fear that we will one day be delivered from suffering.

Boseman was a social leader and source of inspiration for many. His life and many roles championed racial equity on the Hollywood screens. Boseman was passionate about what he did. He led a committed life.

Boseman’s death caused me to reflect on the definition of Freedom in the movement I am embedded within: the Free Software movement. Yet in this community I value, there are seeds of discontent. The fierce urgency of now has revealed that systemic social injustices continue to exist in our society, as they have for centuries. The generational question we must answer as witnesses to this moment is: will we continue to tolerate the systemic faults within our society? Or must we imagine a more fair society? A more just society? I know we can because we have to.

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Facilitation, collaboration, and webcams: A story about Principles of Authentic Participation

This is the story about the facilitation of the Principles of Authentic Participation.

This post does not describe what the Principles are (click that link to learn more about them). This post describes the story behind the Principles, and how our Sustain Working Group worked together over three months of virtual facilitation during the COVID–19 crisis to build these Principles.

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How did Free Software build a social movement?

The Free Software movement is rooted to origins in the 1980s. As part of a talk I gave with my colleague and friend Mike Nolan at FOSDEM 2020, we analyzed how the Free Software movement emerged as a response to a changing digital world in three different phases. This blog post is an exploration and framing of that history to understand how the social movement we call “Free Software” was constructed.

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The day open source died: a story about Minecraft, Bukkit, and the GPL

Once upon a time, when I was a teenager, I volunteered in the Minecraft open source community. I volunteered as a staff member of the largest open source Minecraft server today, called Spigot. Spigot is a fork of the Bukkit project.

This blog post is a story roughly covering 2010 to 2014 on the meaning, values, and promise of open source. This story impacted a community of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly adolescent children, teenagers, and young adults. It is a tale about the simultaneous success and failure of the GNU Public License (GPL).

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Maladjusted

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1967)

Throwback draft: Reflections on Sarajevo and Croatia

This is an unfinished draft of a blog post I wrote at the end of my study abroad semester in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was originally written in May or June 2017. It captures some of the perspective and feeling as my semester abroad finished. As I explain in my 2017 year in review, this was a profound experience and exposed me to a part of the world unlike my own, yet it felt like a home by the end.

Unfortunately, as I write later in this blog post, the “window of inspiration” to finish this draft has closed. So I figured it better to publish it as-is than to let it waste.

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2017 – My Year in Review

I can’t remember how writing an annual reflection became a tradition, but after writing them for the last two years, it is now a habit. Every time I look back on all that the last year brought into my life, it is surreal. Many things that happened, I could never have expected one or two years ago. And perhaps now, I see that life is defined by the unexpected moments: the things that surprise us, warm our hearts, sadden us, and remind us of our humanity. Thus, I present my year in review of 2017.

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HFOSS: Quiz #2

In the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Development (HFOSS) course at the Rochester Institute of Technology, quizzes are in the form of blog posts submitted during the class period. The room stays quiet, but it is an open IRC quiz, so many of the students collaborated with each other in #rit-foss on freenode for the quiz.

This post is my quiz submission for the Spring 2016 semester Quiz #2.

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HFOSS: Quiz #1

In the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Development (HFOSS) course at the Rochester Institute of Technology, quizzes are in the form of blog posts submitted during the class period. The room stays quiet, but it is an open IRC quiz, so many of the students collaborated with each other in #rit-foss on freenode for the quiz.

This post is my quiz submission for the Spring 2016 semester Quiz #1.

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