Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #662 - Penguicon 2017 - Part Two

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #662 - Penguicon 2017 - part two

Hi Mom,


So, since I am back dating these posts, I am not really going to adhere closely to the whole day-by-day thing. This post will bear the date and time stamp for the second day I was at Penguicon, but it's only going to cover the first day's stuff. Tomorrow's post will probably just cover Saturday's stuff and I will need a part four to cover Sunday. But we'll see. I am falling more and more behind (it's now Thursday 5/4.... uh, no, it's now Saturday 5/6... I really fell behind!). I will probably save a lot of the notes I took for future posts (as I took a lot of notes), but with this post, I will hit the highlights of Friday (with some notes).

So, I will say that my schedule changed somewhat with things I discovered when I got there. I will also say that I could not do nearly everything I signed up for let alone wanted to do.

It's quiet here now, and I can think. Another day has gone by as I struggle to catch up (It's Wednesday 5/3 now), and I need to work, so after some writing on this blog, I am going to have to do the work and blog writing back and forth pseudo-multi-tasking dance that I do from time to time.

I might have caught up more by now, but I am dragging. I am borderline ill and run down and exhausted.

BUT I did finally manage to finish watching Daredevil - season two on Netflix. Comments on that some other time because the subject of this post is, supposedly, Penguicon.

So, here's the quick recap with less detail, which may seem surprising as the recap will go on for a long time. But yeah.

But first, here's my actual schedule. I edited it for things I didn't make it to and things I switched out inspired by meeting new folks, like Sumana Harihareswara.

Friday April 28

16:00 - Career Building
17:00 - How to write a novel in a month
18:00 - Opening Ceremonies
19:00 - Things I wish I had known about open source in 1998 - Sumana Harihareswara
20:00 - Beyond Proprietary the code you can go to jail for writing
21:00 - DINNER

Saturday 4/29

09:00 - Listening to Your character
10:00 - Censorship & Information Control
11:00 - Cory Doctorow Reads from WALKAWAY
12:00 - Scalzi reads
14:00 - Career Building - Mock Interview
15:00 - LUNCH
16:00 - Teaching Python Informatics to everyone AKA The end of Dilbert -
18:00 - Giving work away for free
19:00 - Why doesn't everyone self publish?
20:00 - DINNER

Sunday 4/30

09:00 - Mechanics of Magic in Fantasy & SF
10:00 ICEI F2F Meeting
12:00 - How to Kill a Character - Let's Get Weird
13:00 - Office Hours with Dr. Chuck

Penguicon schedule - https://penguicon2017.sched.com/

Penguicon main site - PENGUICON

OH MY GOD!! So cool. Many of the presentations, including some I missed, on a file serve and available via a Creative Commons license.



opening ceremonies at Penguicon 2017
Maybe I will split the recap to cover Friday and Saturday in today's post and Sunday tomorrow. That's probably smart... :-)
Gregg pumping my gas;
what a mensch!

So, after a week of finals, both one I took (Calculus on Tuesday April 25) and ones I gave in LS 1040 (Thursday April 27), I was running full speed wind sprints to get everything done before leaving for Penguicon ad I still had several things not done that I planned to tackle in panels and in my hotel room.

But I did get CTU grades done, which were due Friday (4/28) night, stalled Park grades (now set to be delivered Tuesday 5/2, though I then delayed further to 5/3 because I am borderline ill and not running at peak efficiency), and I cobbled together some kind of résumé and cover letter for the career building workshop. I also had to pick up posters for Ganzeer's Kickstarter for The Solar Grid, which I am happy to say is now funded.

Recent post by Ganzeer:


So I was delayed leaving Kalamazoo is the upshot of all these comments. I managed to get my comrade, Gregg Morris, by 13:00-ish, and then we were off to Detroit (technically Southfield).
And we made it to the hotel by around 15:00 just as I had wanted.

room 816 - Westin - Southfield - home of Penguicon
After checking in at registration, NO HUGE LINE, and then checking in to the hotel, short line, we found our room, schlepped our things to our room, and then headed off to our respective activities.

My first stop, the Career Building workshop.

Friday April 28
16:00 - Career Building

Friday, April 28 • 16:00 - 17:50
Career Building Workshop: Kick-Off Session!
This is the first (and only required) session to participate in the Career Building workshop. Bring your resume and one or more recent cover letters. Our volunteers will help you edit them to show off your best, and provide typesetting assistance. This session is required in order to participate in mock interviews and wrap-up sessions. Participants should be ready BEFORE Penguicon with a résumé or CV and cover letter, as well as two examples of the type of job listings they would typically respond to. You'll also want to bring a set of grown-up business clothes to set up a time for mock interviews later in the convention. Overleaf has agreed to sponsor by providing three-month Pro accounts for all participants.

Very cool workshop with an introduction to Overleaf, which is an excellent tool for creating résumés and cover letters using LaTeX.

These are things I must explore in more depth as time permits.

OVERLEAF -- https://www.overleaf.com

This panel was run by Susan Sons, who will prove instrumental for my experience at the con, and one of the coolest people I met. We learned we have a shared passion for telescopes but also know about the conflict/protest surrounding the 30-meter telescope to be built on Mauna Kea.



Susan had visited Mauna Kea for work and had a reasonable solution, which is to replace the soon to be decomissioned NCAR telescope with the new 30 meter one, which is a compromise that might assuage the justifiably protesting native Hawaiians.

After signing up for a mock interview, I begged out of the second hour or the workshop to attend another event.

And saw this part of the building!

17:00 - How to write a novel in a month

So, I thought this panel would be about writing in general. Though I do not really approve of writing a novel in a month, I did not know that this panel was about that challenge to write a novel in a month, something called Nanwrimo:


This was a good "first" panel (a real panel, which the career thing wasn't) because I really got a good dose of the types of geeks at this thing. I appreciate a varied diet of geek, and I saw a lot of variety at this panel.

I know how to get my butt in the chair and meet word counts. I have done it before. So I did not really need tips on how to get that done. The reasons I do not have more novels finished is NOT because I can't meet word counts or can't get ideas or don't know how to shape prose fiction.

But it was interesting to hear others talk about meeting word counts, and I had a table and my laptop and so I did work while I listened.

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION: You've probably heard of the challenge, maybe you've even tried it already... writing a novel in just one month (November)! Join the Metro Detroit Municipal Liaison of National Novel Writing Month to learn the ins and outs of winning what can seem like an impossible challenge. Learn the tips and tricks to rock out the rough draft of a manuscript in just 30 days.

18:00 - Opening Ceremonies

Picture above.

This one was worth attending as I had never been to Penguicon before. I had a nice chat with a guy sitting next to me, and was inspired by Cory Doctorow lauding Sumana Harihareswara that I dumped what I was going to attend -- No Gods, No Servers - Decentralized Darknet Communication on Freenet -- and instead attended the following.

Sumana Harihareswara
19:00 - Things I wish I had known about open source in 1998 - Sumana Harihareswara

So I decided to attend Sumana Harihareswara's session on Open Source. I didn't really understand everything she was talking about, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will include my notes here because there are some cool things plus links.

Here's Sumana 's bio: Sumana Harihareswara - Guest of Honor. Sumana is a programmer, technology executive and open source expert who practices and teaches technical and people skills. She is also a comedian, author, and holds a master's in technology from Columbia University.

Sumana on Twitter.

One thing I loved was this idea Sumana had to list thirty-some topics and let people call out numbers to guide her talk. It meant that she did not get through all the topics in the list, but then, she wasn't going to get through all the items anyway.

Here's my notes: Things I wish I’d Known About Open Source in 1998

Topic #30 Noisy Failure vs. the dog that didn’t bark
“Failure is often silent.”
- When people leave an open source project, people leave silently.

Topic#11 FLOSS people aren’t all like Seth Schoen
- Knowing Star Trek episodes by title but not star date
- Stories you can’t tell
- “Life would be so much easier if we could just read the source code.”

Topic #3 automation can do more than you think
- solving problems can be automated away with process, though sometimes discussions could save the problems.

Sumana's current work - ZULIP - open source alternative to Slack.

Maintainership is not a binary and we don’t have to act like it is.

Twitter could make certain hash tags not searchable like hash tags that people use to harass others but Twitter doesn’t do that. Twitter is a closed source platform that we don’t have access to.

#6 go where the cognitive surplus is - go to people who just got laid off from Radio Shack, look at people who just graduated from Devry.

#24 - the bug tracker vs. the 10x programmer - could be a person that is better than us who doesn’t look like us, sound like us and that fundamental openness is important.
- A Wikimedian is an open source person.

Something to explore - Carol Dweck mindset work - https://mindsetonline.com/.

“Open source is about people.”

#20 - cookie licking and plins

It’s not a plan, it’s a plin - it’s not a plan until someone buys a ticket. There are problems with volunteers making plins - saying what you are going to do and then not doing it.
- “Cookie licking” - taking a cookie off the platter, licking it, and putting it back.
- Warding off people from doing something that would ordinarily do them.

#14 - patches welcome - needs to be invitation and not intimidation
“Hey, everybody can help...” but this also MIGHT mean “fish or cut bait” “Put up or shut up.”
"I turn into a dinosaur when I confront needless hierarchy." (not as in extinct but as in a devourer, a T-Rex.) - ComputerAidedRealTime Transcription.

#15 your teachers don’t respect you
Christine Peterson invented the term "open source."




- slash dot - https://slashdot.org/

lady business - geek fem blog - Hugo nominated


And then another panel despite having not eaten for 12 hours.

20:00 - Beyond Proprietary the code you can go to jail for writing

This was a Cory Doctorow panel mainly about breaking DRM. More notes on this later, so I can publish this beast that no one is reading... :-) Hi Mom.

FINALLY, I had dinner. I ate the first steak I have had since January.

21:00 - DINNER

STARVING!! Because I skipped lunch...


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 664 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1704.29 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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