Aaron Swartz Memorial Hackathon
Aaron was a hacktivist and friend of many in our community. He helped create RSS 1.0; contributed to Creative Commons; was an early builder of Reddit, where he's often acknowledged as a co-founder; created the web.py framework; and more recently, became a data liberator, first with PACER and then with scholarly articles from JSTOR, both of which got him into trouble with the law.
Aaron's Demand Progress project helped stop SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US, which threatened to have far reaching unintended consequences.
Aaron Swartz committed suicide on Jan. 11, 2013, but his work on making the world a better place should not die with him. Join us for two days of understanding his work and contributing to keep his memory and projects alive.
(This section adapted with permission from the Bangalore hackathon.)
When: 7pm Jan. 25 - 7pm Jan. 27
What: Come learn new skills and work together on projects that Aaron would have liked. Themes include open information access, sharing and preserving human knowledge, hacking for social/political justice, and techno-activism.
Remote collab: mailing list
The event is free, but we'll have donation boxes for purchasing food and project supplies. BYO-snacks-and-energy-drinks.
Post and gather volunteers for project ideas on this spreadsheet. Most of them need someone to volunteer to be the point of contact.
Major projects hacked on on Friday:
- Open Journal (mek)
- Cleaning up http://www.data.gov (Yan, Robert, Eric, Connie, Ian, Evan, David)
In addition, lots of suggested ideas were added to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai2JAMm86EJbdFg1TW5tenNJSUt3X2dVVmQ3M08xSlE#gid=3.
Things that people did on Saturday:
- Continue data.gov project
- Look into FOIA-type requests to liberate academic journals/datasets
- Scrape websites and stuff
- Learn LaTeX
- Discuss academic publishing reform
- Work on porting Recap to Chrome
- A bunch of talks (see below)
- BACE timebank
- Open Library
- Chromatest and Eric played some sick DJ sets!
Things that people did on Sunday:
- Studied the possibility of open access via California's public-records law: http://piratepad.net/Q7zUeEbi0E
Talks are relatively informal, supposedly fun, and probably won't go for an hour each.
Scheduled talks/demos (tentative):
- 7 pm: Hackathon starts, Yan probably says some words and asks for money.
- 8 pm: Keynote talk on Aaron's life and work by Danny O'Brien
- 4 pm: Step 1: FOIA, Step 2: ??, Step 3: Profit, Ping. How to write Freedom of Information Act request letters to do good things for the world.
- 5 pm: Hacktivism: On social justice movements, Daniel Jabbour. A brief history of social justice movements, and my own experience with policy reform and hacktivism.
- 6 pm: Principles of Low Power Design, Alex Newman. Hardware you have never heard of for more low power.
- 7 pm: Improving the Scientific Process through Software, Jacob Steinhardt. Learn about existing open source projects to improve science, and others that should exist but don't.
- 8 pm: Part two of Danny's talk
- 4 pm: Data hacking: Machine learning + NLP, Joseph Turian. I will answer questions about machine learning, NLP, scraping, data hacking etc.
- 5 pm: Scrape ALL the data!, how to scrape info from web pages with just a little Python, Ping
- 6 - end: Project demos! Show us what you've worked on this weekend.
Unscheduled / Unconfirmed Events
- DJ set by Chromatest J. Pantsmaker
- DIY Book Scanner workshop
- Field trip to look for hidden cameras in public places around the Mission
- Ilsa Bartlett is a "crisis counselor for highly intelligent people (geeks) who need someone to talk to and creates a container of quiet for people to fill with their issues." She will be around to provide counseling during the hackathon.
- David Newman, ipad portrait artist, showed up and started painting portraits of people hacking on Saturday.
If you'd like to give a talk/workshop, add it to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ai2JAMm86EJbdFg1TW5tenNJSUt3X2dVVmQ3M08xSlE#gid=2.
(There's also a Facebook Event, if you are so inclined. Sadly, a Facebook login is required to access that page.)