|Look, lightning carries 5 to 200 kiloamps ranging from 40 to 120 kilovolts, USE IT TO MAKE HOWEVER M
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April 28th, 2017: Odds are much greater that someone will be reading this comic while eating toast than they are that they'll be reading this comic while being struck by lightning, but according to science, BOTH are possible!!
Reddit is home to millions of people, communities, and conversations online. Together over the years, you’ve taken inspiration from each other’s ideas, and you’ve turned some of the internet’s most remarkable ideas into IRL moments. One such idea came in late 2009, when users in r/meetup suggested a GLOBAL Reddit meetup. Since then, every summer, we (deliberately) encourage you to get off Reddit (for at least one day) and meet fellow redditors IRL.
This year, we will be celebrating the eighth (yes, EIGHTH! Can you believe it?) annual Global Reddit Meetup Day on Saturday, June 17. If you’ve never attended a Global Reddit Meetup before, it’s a day where redditors from around the world come together and enjoy each other’s company, laughs, and camaraderie. There are often board games, brass bands, barbecues, bouncy houses, beverages, and who knows—maybe a surprise guest or two?
And we’re talking cities, towns, and villages around the world, because that’s where Reddit communities really are. Of course major cities like Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and London do it big every year! But don’t fret—you’ll be covered in smaller locations like Kalamazoo and Suva! Don’t know where to find your community? Check this nifty global list of community subbies! Don’t see a GrMD event happening in your area? Start one up!
Hong Kong (Photo: u/u/kawaiixxx)
Portland (Photo: u/Peace_Love_Happiness)
Bangalore (Photo: u/FRE3STYL3R)
We hope you’re as excited for GrMD this year as we are, and we hope you’re proud of the work fellow users put in each year to make these meetups so amazing. It’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of local community users that Reddit is lucky enough to have such quality meetups. We’ll be sending reminders as we approach the date, and be sure to subscribe to r/GrMD for more updates! GrMD 2017 is coming, so get pumped!
This weekend, April 28-30, people coming to Penguicon in Southfield, Michigan can catch a number of sessions of interest to Geek Feminism readers.
Coraline Ada Ehmke is one of the Guests of Honor (her Penguicon schedule). Ehmke “is a speaker, writer, open source advocate and technologist with over 20 years of experience in developing apps for the web. She works diligently to promote diversity and inclusivity in open source and the tech industry.” She and others are participating in a Women in Tech panel and Q&A on Saturday.
Sumana Harihareswara is another of Penguicon’s Guests of Honor (schedule). That’s me! On Saturday I’ll be conversing with Ehmke about what it could be like if free and open source software were more like fandom, a conversation which will likely include and expand upon some questions I raised here at GF a few years ago.
If you enjoyed the “Sorcerer to the Crown” book club Geek Feminism ran in 2015, you might be interested in a Saturday session I’m leading on themes in Zen Cho’s work.
Penguicon has several other Guests of Honor and there’s a wideranging schedule that includes a bunch of other sessions that could be particularly relevant to geeky feminists, and I’ll mention some here:
Perhaps I’ll see you at the con! Feel free to comment if you’re going to be there and mention any parties or sessions you’re particularly looking forward to.
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April 26th, 2017: I am still in Alaska! IT IS STILL GORGEOUS!! Everyone come here, it's great! Only some local teens burned down the local (AMAZING) park so I am here to tell you: teens, don't do that. Teens, you will go to jail for burning down a park and then everyone will say "what the heck is wrong with these teens".
Three months ago, a self-described “simple peasant with a master’s degree” named u/beaverteeth92 made a passing comment, sharing their idea for a Scientists’ March on Washington. This past Saturday, that comment became a reality as 600 cities around the world participated in the March for Science.
In the lead-up to the event, many users from Reddit’s vast Science communities contributed to the organization of the March through the r/MarchForScience subreddit and AMAs with the national March organizers and Honorary Co-Chair Bill Nye.
And ICYMI, over the weekend, news outlets like Mic, Quartz, and VICE News covered the Reddit origins of the March for Science. The Washington Post even interviewed u/beaverteeth92.
Of course, for those of you who remember your Reddit history, the March for Science isn’t the first march to go from a casual post to Washington, DC.
Back in 2010, u/mrsammercer had an unshakeable vision for Colbert to hold a satirical rally, which soon became the “fear” side of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Given this historical precedent, we wanted to mark the occasion of the second large-scale, Reddit-inspired march by doing a quick recap of users’ posts from Saturday.
Some redditors shared photos of the turnout at their local marches:
A few redditors shared sightings of some familiar celebrities at the March:
(The most common sighting, however, was neither a MythBuster nor a Science Guy, but a man named Rick Sanchez, who appeared simultaneously in Chicago, DC, and London.)
As the day went on, we saw hundreds of subreddits participating in the March in their own unique ways, regardless of their usual community focus. Here are just a few we spotted:
Want to see more photos from the March for Science? r/pics has added some handy flair to make its posts easily searchable here.
|I chose the name Toby because I like his game Undertale!! SORRY TOBY YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT
Josh Wardle & Justin Bassett
(u/powerlanguage & u/Drunken_Economist)
In just 72 hours, over a million redditors placed 16.5 million tiles to transform a simple, white, 1000×1000-pixel canvas into a surprisingly beautiful clash of communities, nations, ideologies, and fandoms. Because each user could only place one tile every five minutes, any single individual would have struggled to create a meaningful image on their own. However, through community collaboration, users quickly produced complex creations, surpassing all of our expectations about how this project would turn out once the 72 hours were up.
As with our previous April Fools’ projects The Button and Robin, Place was created to explore human interaction at scale. Because of their experiential (and temporal) nature, adequately summarizing these projects is always a challenge (though the fact that Place has a visual artifact does make this a little easier). Last week, we shared the technical story behind r/Place, so today we wanted to share a (very incomplete) collection of some of the amazing creativity that emerged from Place. We encourage you all to share your favorite moments in the comments. We have also released a complete dataset of Place data and are looking forward to seeing what emerges on r/dataisbeautiful.
What Is This Place?
If you have no idea what you’re reading right now, don’t worry, redditors have got you covered with a variety of summaries for you to dive into.
If you are wondering what all the images and iconography plastered across Place are, you may want to visit u/draemmli’s Place Atlas. The community-sourced, interactive map provides information and metadata about the different images that make up the final version of Place.
Surely This Will Not End Well…
Providing an empty canvas to millions of anonymous internet users? What could possibly go wrong? We knew there was an inherent risk to Place, but our previous projects have taught us to assume the best of the Reddit community. Fun outweighs fear. Part of the success of Place was due to the expectation that it would be largely self-policed. We thought that for every one person that wanted to do something negative, there would be thousands that wanted to overwrite that with something positive—and we were right. It turns out collaborating to make something bad is far harder than collaborating to make something good.
Factions, Alliances, & Destruction
Soon after it launched, redditors within and across different communities were working together (and sometimes against one another) to create upon the canvas. Collaboration was compelling.
Countries staked their claim in Place, with geographical rivalries emerging. The European contingent had its share of scuffles but eventually arrived at a harmonious equilibrium.
Redditors’ national pride was evident throughout. Dutch users were more likely to place orange tiles, Australians loved green and yellow, and Germans efficiently stuck to black, yellow, and red. The color preferences of each of the top 100 countries in Place can be found in the Place dataset.
With so many factions and alliances, it’s hardly surprising to see hotspots wax and wane. Despite a number of tiles remaining untouched throughout, many tiles more closely resembled battlegrounds. The bottom-right corner, for example, switched colors 37,214 times by 23,798 unique users, as r/TheBlueCorner valiantly held on (including the final blue tile by u/NotZaphodBeeblebrox).
Meanwhile, factions like r/theblackvoid sought to remind everyone why destruction is a necessary part of creation. u/theivoryserf shares their thoughts on the matter.
However, not all groups pursued destruction. r/ainbowroad spread around the canvas quickly, working with other factions to create something more:
Reddit is at its best when ideas and insights are being shared and remixed. We deliberately build these projects to be accessible to curious developers.
Redditors like u/mncke captured Place data in realtime and provided it for use by communities like r/placedevs. A popular usage was displaying the placement data in a heatmap that highlighted the most active areas of the Place canvas. u/Lucas7yoshi shared details of a Minecraft server that was tracking these changes in 3D. u/jampekka created an awesome timelapse heatmap of place. u/FLYING_HOOHAW took a similar idea and created a fictitious show’s opening credits:
u/d416 created a series of 3D tilt-shift images from the data. u/Physics_Dude went one step further and printed a topographical heatmap on their 3D printer.
If you’d like to explore the data, you can find the full dataset here.
After 72 hours Place ended but the creativity continued.
u/sudoscript penned the much-shared blog post When Pixels Collide, that retells the story of Place:
… at its core, the story of Place is an eternal story, about the three forces that humanity needs to make art, creation, and technology possible.
u/scharkfin also wrote a memorable comment, reflecting on Place’s short life. Some alliances have even gone as far as to write the history of place from their perspective., as in u/jojo6311’s “Tale of the Great Green Lattice.”
Beyond written histories, redditors have been creating physical objects to remember Place by. u/onji had the best idea ever and u/awkwardatbest made it a reality:
Even now, two weeks after Place has ended, redditors are remembering Place in different ways. The community at r/thefinalclean has erased any ‘errant’ pixels from the final Place canvas. r/placenostalgia is gathering their favorite Place moments. And we’re still waiting for u/bro_just404it to honor their bamboozle-free promise.
The depth of projects like Place is only achievable because of the creativity and collaborative nature of the Reddit community. We created a canvas for you to draw anything on and you did not disappoint. From everyone at Reddit HQ, thank you.
Share your favorite moments from Place in the comments.
Place was made possible by the hard work of u/madlee, u/daniel, u/bsimpson, u/spladug, u/gooeyblob, u/eggplanticarus, u/d3fect, u/schwers, u/egonkasper, u/thephilthe, u/chtorrr, u/liltrixxy, u/ocrasorm, u/redtaboo, u/goatfresh and u/sporkicide.
A sort of topic-specific collection of links from about the last year, broadly talking about inclusion in communities, online and off, especially in geek(y) spaces.
What kind of discourses and conversations do we want to encourage and have?
- Nalo Hopkinson’s WisCon 2016 Guest of Honor speech: “There are many people who do good in this field, who perform small and large actions of kindness and welcome every day. I’d like to encourage more of that.” In this speech Hopkinson announced the Lemonade Award.
- “Looking back on a decade in online fandom social justice: unexpurgated version”, by sqbr: “And just because I’m avoiding someone socially doesn’t mean I should ignore what they have to say, and won’t end up facing complex ethical choices involving them. My approach right now is to discuss it with people I trust. Figuring out who those people are, and learning to make myself vulnerable in front of them, has been part of the journey.”
- “On conversations”, by Katherine Daniels: “I would love for these people who have had so many opportunities already given to them to think about what they are taking away from our collective conversations by continuing to dominate them, and to maybe take a step back and suggest someone else for that opportunity to speak instead.”
- “Towards a More Welcoming War” by Mary Anne Mohanraj (originally published in WisCon Chronicles 9: Intersections and Alliances, Aqueduct Press, 2015): “This is where I start thinking about what makes an effective community intervention. This is where I wish I knew some people well enough to pick up a phone.”
- “The chemistry of discourse”, by Abi Sutherland: “What we really need for free speech is a varied ecosystem of different moderators, different regimes, different conversations. How do those spaces relate to one another when Twitter, Reddit, and the chans flatten the subcultural walls between them?”
- “Hot Allostatic Load”, by porpentine, in The New Inquiry: “This is about disposability from a trans feminine perspective, through the lens of an artistic career. It’s about being human trash….Call-out Culture as Ritual Disposability”
- “The Ethics of Mob Justice”, by Sady Doyle, in In These Times: “But, again, there’s no eliminating the existence of Internet shaming, even if you wanted to—and if you did, you’d eliminate a lot of healthy dialogue and teachable moments right along with it. At best, progressive people who recognize the necessity of some healthy shame can only alter the forms shaming takes.”
How do we reduce online harassment?
- “Paths: a YA comic about online harassment”, by Mikki Kendall: “‘It’s not that big of a deal. She’ll get over it.’ ‘Even if she does, that doesn’t make this okay. What’s wrong with you?'”
- “On a technicality”, by Eevee: “There’s a human tendency to measure peace as though it were the inverse of volume: the louder people get, the less peaceful it is. We then try to optimize for the least arguing.”
- “Moderating Harassment in Twitter with Blockbots”, by ethnographer R. Stuart Geiger, on the Berkeley Institute for Data Science site: “In the paper, I analyze blockbot projects as counterpublics…I found a substantial amount of collective sensemaking in these groups, which can be seen in the intense debates that sometimes take place over defining standards of blockworthyness…..I also think it is important distinguish between the right to speak and the right to be heard, particularly in privately owned social networking sites.”
- “The Real Name Fallacy”, by J. Nathan Matias, on The Coral Project site: “People often say that online behavior would improve if every comment system forced people to use their real names….Yet the balance of experimental evidence over the past thirty years suggests that this is not the case. Not only would removing anonymity fail to consistently improve online community behavior – forcing real names in online communities could also increase discrimination and worsen harassment….designers need to commit to testing the outcomes of efforts at preventing and responding to social problems.”
What does it take to make your community more inclusive?
- “Want more inclusivity at your conference? Add childcare.” by Mel Chua and then “Beyond ‘Childcare Available’: 4 Tips for Making Events Parent-Friendly”, by Camille Acey: “I’ve pulled together a few ideas to help move ‘Childcare Available’ from just a word on a page to an actual living breathing service that empowers people with children to learn/grow alongside their peers, engage in projects they care about, and frankly just have a little break from the rigors of childcare.”
- Project Hearing: “Project Hearing is a website that consolidates information about technology tools, websites, and applications that deaf and hard of hearing people can use to move around in the hearing world.”
- “Conference access, and related topics”, by Emily Short: “This is an area where different forms of accessibility are often going at right angles.”
- “SciPy 2016 Retrospective”, by Camille Scott: “SciPy, by my account, is a curious microcosm of the academic open source community as a whole.”
- “Notes from Abstractions”, by Coral Sheldon-Hess: “Pittsburgh’s Code & Supply just held a huge (1500 people) conference over the last three days, and of course I’d signed up to attend months ago, because 1) local 2) affordable 3) tech conference 4) with a code of conduct they seemed serious about. Plus, “Abstractions” is a really cool name for a tech conference.”
- “The letter I just sent to Odyssey Con”, by Sigrid Ellis: “None of us can know the future, of course. And I always hope for the best, from everyone. But I would hate for Odyssey Con to find itself in the midst of another controversy with these men at the center.” (This is Ellis’s post from April 7, 2016, a year before all three of Odyssey Con’s Guests of Honor chose not to attend Odyssey Con because of the very issue Ellis discussed.)
- “The realities of organizing a community tech conference: an ill-advised rant”, by Rebecca Miller-Webster: “…there’s a lot of unpaid labor that happens at conferences, especially community conferences, that no one seems to talk about. The unpaid labor of conference organizers. Not only do people not talk about it, but in the narrative around conferences as work, these participants are almost always the bad guys.”
- “Emotional Labor and Diversity in Community Management”, by Jeremy Preacher, originally a speech in the Community Management Summit at Game Developers Conference 2016: “The thing with emotional labor is that it’s generally invisible — both to the people benefiting from the work, and to the people doing it. People who are good at it tend to do it unconsciously — it’s one of the things we’re talking about when we say a community manager has ‘good instincts’.”….What all of these strategies do, what thinking about the emotional labor cost of participation adds up to, is make space for your lurkers to join in.”
- “White Corporate Feminism”, by Sarah Sharp: “Even though Grace Hopper was hosted in Atlanta that year, a city that is 56% African American, there weren’t that many women of color attending.”
- “You say hello”, by wundergeek on “Go Make Me a Sandwich (how not to sell games to women)”: “Of course, this is made harder by the fact that I hate losing. And there will be people who will celebrate, people who call this a victory, which only intensifies my feelings of defeat. My feelings of weakness. I feel like I’m giving up, and it kills me because I’m competitive! I’m contrary! Telling me not to do a thing is enough to make me want to do the thing. I don’t give up on things and I hate losing. But in this situation, I have to accept that there is no winning play. No win condition. I’m one person at war with an entire culture, and there just aren’t enough people who give a damn, and I’m not willing to continue sacrificing my health and well-being on the altar of moral obligation. If this fight is so important, then let someone else fight it for a while.”
- “No One Should Feel Alone”, by Natalie Luhrs: “In addition to listening and believing–which is 101 level work, honestly–there are other things we can do: we can hold space for people to speak their truth and we can hold everyone to account, regardless of their social or professional position in our community. We can look out for newcomers–writers and fans alike–and make them welcome and follow through on our promise that we will have their backs. We can try to help people form connections with each other, so they are not isolated and alone.”
- “Equality Credentials”, by Sara Ahmed: “Feminist work in addressing institutional failure can be used as evidence of institutional success. The very labour of feminist critique can end up supporting what is being critiqued. The tools you introduce to address a problem can be used as indicators that a problem has been addressed.”
- “Shock and Care: an essay about art, politics and responsibility”, by Harry Giles (Content note: includes discussion of sex, violence and self-injury in an artistic context): “So, in a political situation in which care is both exceptionally necessary and exceptionally underprovided, acts of care begin to look politically radical. To care is to act against the grain of social and economic orthodoxy: to advocate care is, in the present moment, to advocate a kind of political rupture. But by its nature, care must be a rupture which involves taking account of, centring, and, most importantly, taking responsibility for those for whom you are caring. Is providing care thus a valuable avenue of artistic exploration? Is the art of care a form of radical political art? Is care, in a society which devalues care, itself shocking?”