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March 23 2012

My Paleo Media Diet

I've been on a train to New York City for about 20 minutes and it just occurred to me that I haven't checked Twitter today. In fact, I sat on a bench in the station for 30 minutes without even touching my phone. I watched people walk by, I daydreamed, thought about my plans for tomorrow, stared at the ceiling and generally just sort of zoned out. That would be no big deal except that later I realized I didn't get that itchy urge to check my phone and do the circuit: email, Twitter, Yammer, G+, Email, Twitter, Yammer, G+ … my little socmed treadmill.

That's huge! This is the first time I can remember sitting down somewhere in at least three years without immediately feeling the urge, or more like compulsion, to pull out my phone and twiddle with it. And this was at the train station, for 30 minutes! I feel like a smoker just realizing that I forgot to light up when I stepped outside for an afternoon break.

For too long I've been killing time on that treadmill, which would be fine if I had time that needed killing, but that's rarely the case. Plus, once that circuit gets started it tends to keep on going well into time that really should be better used. After a while I began feeling like I was never really present anywhere. Whether I was riding the train, sitting at dinner, watching a movie, whatever … every few minutes I'd get that tug. "See if there's a pellet. Give the bar a push."

Maybe you'll scoff at this, but I'm an addict. I have been for a long time, and I'm sick of it. I'm tired of having the attention span of a meth addict. I'm tired of reaching for my phone at every red light because the urge has been building inexorably since the last one. I'm irritated that my first impulse after any real world human experience is to tweet it. What the hell? Narcissist much?

I'm tired of walking down busy sidewalks full of interesting people and places with my head down staring at a rectangle. I want to be present, in the moment and the place. I want to experience mental flow by the river full and I want to be more productive. And above all, I want to nurture the relationships I have with people that I actually see and touch in all of their materialized-in-atoms glory.

If you have never experienced addiction, be happy. This post isn't for you. But I'm addicted to those little bursts of pleasure that pile into my inbox, or are prefaced with an "@" in my stream. Each one a new affirmation. "You mean something to someone" they seem to say. Although they needn't even say that to adequately stimulate. A Skinner Box really doesn't take much. Hell, I'd probably reach for my phone if it actually dropped little pellets from a chute.

If you've read Clay Johnson's thought provoking book "The Information Diet" you know that he describes his diet in terms of infoveganism. While I get what he means by that, I think it's the wrong analogy, at least as it relates to my addiction. Going vegan is a moral choice. An approach to food designed to satisfy first and foremost the conscience. Which makes a lot of sense in the context of government and political ideology in which he uses it. But my problem isn't one of extremism, or TMZ, or empty calorie media of any kind. Most of the pellets I chomp are just fine, probably even nutritious. It's the fact that I immediately crave the next one so much that is driving me crazy.

So a few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of a mini-sabbatical and go paleolithic. I guess I'll call it the Paleo Media Diet because for me it's not about the content per se, but its medium of conveyance. The medium is the message, and the stimulant.

I'm not doing this to satisfy my conscience, I'm doing it to satisfy evolution. Or more specifically, my evolutionary state. If my ancient and maladaptive wiring, that evolved in a different time, can't resist the lever and the pellet, then I figured I was going to have to get rid of the damned lever. So I did.

Now I own the world's dumbest smart phone. I removed all of the "social" apps - Yammer, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Path ... all gone. I open up preferences and turn off "cellular data" for long stretches of each day. If there is a specific email I'm waiting for I'll go through the multiple steps to turn it on and check, otherwise data stays turned off. I'll get my mail when I'm at my computer, with intention. But I turn my computer off when I'm not actively using it too, and leave it off for most of each day. The first time I turn it on is at lunch. I don't check anything electronic in the morning — that was the first thing I needed to stop. Compulsively checking messages before brushing my teeth is just ridiculous.

If I'm using my computer to write (like right now) I turn off the Wi-Fi. Sometimes I turn it off at the router to make it a little bit more difficult to "just check that one thing." In fact, maybe I'll make a T-shirt with this on it:

NoFi icon

Who knows, maybe it will become the symbol of a movement.

Oh, also, out of a sense of new media / old media fairness I'm leaving the TV off too unless there is a specific thing I planned to watch. No more flicking it on to just see what's on. After all, for the first 30 years of my life we railed against the "tube" as a flood of stupid coming into our living rooms. There's no point in letting it off the hook now just because there is a new even raw'er media that has a pellet bar attached to it.

To fill the time I'm getting back I'm meeting people for coffee, drinks, dinner, whatever. I'm spending time face to face with old friends and making new ones. I'm going to great lengths to try to make my social interactions more "around the campfire" and less mediated by a glowing rectangle. I'm reading, a lot.

The inspiration for this change was simple. First, I was getting nothing done. My productivity had been decimated by my inability to focus for more than a few minutes at a time and I desperately had to do something about it. So when I had the chance to take a break from work I knew I had to detox, and more importantly, change my habits permanently. This can't be a temporary "cleanse." This has to be me taking control of my interactions with media again, for the long run. These new habits have to be ingrained before I get back to work and back in front of my computer all day.

Second, I started a paleo-inspired dietary regimen in December in response to a different set of addictions: sugars and gluten. I started following the Perfect Health Diet because it seemed reasonable that during the bulk of our evolutionary past we ate very differently than we do today. As a result, the way we are eating now is poorly aligned with our biology and is probably killing us. We simply haven't had enough time to adequately adapt to what we actually eat in the mere 10,000 or so years of agriculture. Especially as our recent style of agriculture is being warped by farm subsidies into producing huge quantities of cheap fructose.

With three months' worth of results I think there is something to the theory. It was brutal to get off of sugar. It took two painful weeks of feeling like my head was made of wood, but then it passed and I'm eating and feeling better than ever. Energy is up, weight and body fat are down and blood work is trending in all of the right directions.

Once that basic idea — that in the timeline of human history and pre-history we simply haven't had time to adapt to our new circumstances — took root in my brain it seemed natural to apply it to other domains besides food. I think "going paleo" is going to be the catch phrase of an emerging counter culture and it isn't going to mean just diet. For me, at this point, it means a variety of lifestyle choices that recognize the limitations of my physical self to adapt to modern life. My approach now is going to be: "Where I can, adapt to my surroundings, where I can't, adapt my surroundings to me."

I know that we've always worried about the development of new media and what impact it might have on our culture. "The loss of oral culture will devastate us" etc. etc. I know I run the risk of getting lumped in with Nicholas Carr and all of the other Internet pessimists. But really, that's not what I'm saying. I just believe that my brain is maladapted to the networked Skinner Box, so I want out. My brain is plastic, but not in a sufficiently adaptive way. In fact it's probably adapting just fine, but in a fashion that creates a destructive feed forward loop.

I'm not trying to get all Walden Pond on you, and many of you will no doubt see this as nothing more than faddish crazy talk, but I'm going to work really hard to be both present and informed. I'll keep taking advantage of networks to live a better and more productive life, just as soon as I get through the part of my transition that makes my head feel like wood, but they're not going to keep taking advantage of me. And well, if a paleo media diet sounds stupid, do what works for you. We're probably different. But I'm turning off, opting out, and disconnecting as much as I can to save my brain for more of the things I really want to use it for. I'll let you know how it goes.


September 27 2011

High voltage music: Behind the scenes with ArcAttack

Anyone who's been to a Maker Faire is familiar with ArcAttack, a maniacal combination of music and mad science that uses half-million-volt Tesla coils to play songs. I caught up with Steve Ward, a recent addition to the ArcAttack crew, at Maker Faire NY and asked him about the technology behind the show.

How did you come to join ArcAttack?

Steve Ward: I actually started my own Tesla coil show in Chicago and worked remotely through the Internet with Joe Diprima, who is the main founder of ArcAttack. We were sort of conspirators on the technology for many years, and then just this past August, I quit my engineering job at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and moved to Austin, Texas. Now I'm working with ArcAttack.

How does the music actually get produced?

Steve Ward: We have a regular PC computer that is playing back MIDI sequences that we have preprogrammed. This MIDI is sent over a fiber optic cable to our stage area, where we have custom-built controllers that then initiate the sparking of the Tesla coil. We love using fiber optics for isolation. When we want to play a certain pitch — like a concert pitch A is 440 Hz — we then fire out 440 little lightning bolts per second, and each lightning bolt creates its own small sound. That vibrates the air at the right pitch, and then our ears hear it as that pitch.

What are the engineering challenges?

Steve Ward: This is a solid-state Tesla coil. I began working on these things back in, I think, 2004. Within the last few years, the reliability has been outstanding with them, but we do have a lot of issues. If the sparks hit some sensitive electronics, it'll take the system down. So making everything rugged in the sense of protection is the biggest challenge for us.

How could someone get started with their own project?

Steve Ward: There are some electrical safety issues, obviously. But if you treat it with respect, then it will respect you back. Don't go touching the thing while it's running or energized, that sort of thing. For anyone who dives into this hobby, you can't get into it too fast. You build up the knowledge of working with these things as you go. When I was back in high school, I built my first solid-state Tesla coil, and it probably took me a good six months to figure out what was going on and to get it working. You can build a small one for probably around $100 to $150.

Here's a clip of ArcAttack at a 2010 Maker Faire:

This interview was edited and condensed.

Kinect-Controlled Tesla Coils: The Evil Genius Simulator


  • The long slow make

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    July 18 2011

    To get things done, be "reasonably unreasonable"

    Turing_Plaque.pngIn a recent interview, John Graham-Cumming (@jgrahamc), VP of engineering at Causata, Inc. and a speaker at OSCON 2011, said to change the world, it's often necessary to act in a "reasonably unreasonable" manner — to go just enough against the norm to effectively rock the boat.

    He knows what he's talking about. In 2009, using a blend of new and old media tools and a bit of geek expertise, Graham-Cumming got the UK government to apologize for its treatment of mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing in the 1950s. Below he discusses the techniques that produced that apology.

    Your OSCON session description says people need to be "reasonably unreasonable" to change the world. What does that mean?

    JohnGraham_Cumming.jpgJohn Graham-Cumming: You have to be "unreasonable" to get things done. By that, I mean that you have to go against the norm. If you are reasonable and go in the direction of society, then you don't contribute greatly. Just look at people like Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds. Stallman's ideas were pretty "unreasonable" at a time when there was a large move to proprietary software. Torvalds was "unreasonable" in thinking that he could build his own kernel and in telling Tanenbaum where to go.

    I say "reasonably" because you shouldn't take being unreasonable so far that people don't listen to you.

    How did you apply that philosophy to your campaign to make the British Government apologize for the mistreatment of Alan Turing?

    John Graham-Cumming: The important thing about the Turing campaign was that I felt that people were celebrating Turing without acknowledging the harm done to him by Britain's laws at the time. I didn't want people to be able to sweep this under the rug, so I decided to just tell everyone about what happened to him and ask for an apology from the UK government. That was pretty "unreasonable" in the sense that the UK government doesn't apologize for much, and I thought they would ignore my request.

    Geek Lifestyle at OSCON 2011 — From fine-tuning your setup to taking the geek approach to growing your own food, we'll celebrate and explore hacker culture in all its richness in the Geek Lifestyle track at OSCON (July 25-29 in Portland, Ore.)

    Save 20% on registration with the code OS11RAD

    What tools did you use in your Turing campaign?

    John Graham-Cumming: Twitter was very effective at getting people to hear about the campaign, but it's an echo chamber and builds pretty slowly. You tend to get the same circle of people mentioning an issue because they care about it, and it's hard to get it to a large audience.

    What really works is having a definitive source of information that people can point to on Twitter. So, when the BBC wrote about the Turing campaign on its website, Twitter was able to amplify that with thousands tweeting — and ultimately signing the petition. In some ways, what Twitter needs is a Wikipedia-style "[citation needed]" so that people take what's written on it seriously.

    Facebook also was helpful, but I think Twitter was much more effective.

    I also appeared on countless radio programs, on TV, in print and anywhere else I could. I made myself the focus of the campaign initially, and then when celebrities started signing, I used them to get the media to talk about the campaign.

    The important thing to realize with the media is that there needs to be a hook or peg onto which the story they are telling can be hung. So, initially there was some press about the campaign starting, and then I'd badger people in the press when there was a suitable hook — for example, when Richard Dawkins signed and publicly stated his support. You have to look for things to tell the press so they know what to write about.

    What kind of code did you use in your campaign, and how did you use it?

    John Graham-Cumming: I used a custom Perl script that downloaded the names of the signatories every hour, looked them up on Wikipedia and, using some simple techniques, figured out if they were celebrities of any kind. If they were, then I was sent an email by the script and would try to get in contact with the celebrity to see if I could use his or her name.

    How do you translate technical and historical concepts into calls to action?

    John Graham-Cumming: You just have to tell a human story. In the case of Turing, this was easy: he was clearly a genius, a war hero, and then he was prosecuted and he committed suicide.

    This interview was edited and condensed.

    Photo: Turing Plaque by Joseph Birr-Pixton, on Wikimedia Commons


  • Lessig on Culture and Change
  • Creating cultural change
  • John Graham-Cumming's project to build Babbage's Analytical Engine

  • July 08 2011

    Top stories: July 4-8, 2011

    Here's a look at the top stories published across O'Reilly sites this week.

    Seven reasons you should use Java again
    To mark the launch of Java 7, here's seven reasons why Java is worth your time and worth another look.
    What is Node.js?
    Learning Node might take a little effort, but it's going to pay off. Why? Because you're afforded solutions to your web application problems that require only JavaScript to solve.
    3 Android predictions: In your home, in your clothes, in your car
    "Learning Android" author Marko Gargenta believes Android will soon be a fixture in our homes, in our clothes and in our vehicles. Here he explains why and how this will happen.
    Into the wild and back again
    Burnt out from years of school and tech work, Ryo Chijiiwa quit his job and moved off the grid. In this interview, Chijiiwa talks about how solitude and time in the wilderness has changed his perspective on work and life.
    Data journalism, data tools, and the newsroom stack
    The MIT Civic Media conference and 2011 Knight News Challenge winners made it clear that data journalism and data tools will play key roles in the future of media and open government.

    OSCON Java 2011, being held July 25-27 in Portland, Ore., is focused on open source technologies that make up the Java ecosystem. Save 20% on registration with the code OS11RAD

    July 07 2011

    Into the wild and back again

    The psychological wear and tear of office life leads many to fantasize about leaving it all behind. Ryo Chijiiwa knows this feeling well, but unlike most people he actually did something about it. In 2009, Chijiiwa quit his job at Google, packed up and moved off the grid.

    In the following interview, Chijiiwa, who will speak in-depth about his experiences at OSCON, talks about how solitude and nature have shaped his perspective.

    What possessed you to do an about-face from working for high-profile tech companies and ditch the grid?

    RyoChijiiwa.jpgRyo Chijiiwa: Part of it was that I was simply burnt out. I had spent the better part of 10 years either studying computer science in college or working as a professional software engineer (or both), and I suddenly decided I wanted to experience life outside the cubicle. Living in the woods was a childhood dream of mine, and it seemed like a good time to realize that dream.

    But, the other part was that I started to see some fundamental issues with the way the industry and our society are structured. At a personal level, I realized that striving for success and accomplishment didn't bring me any closer to happiness. And at a societal level, it occurred to me that a system predicated on infinite growth simply was not sustainable. So, I decided to step back, slow down, and rethink my life and my priorities.

    Can you describe a typical day in the wilderness?

    Ryo Chijiiwa: There's really no "typical" day in the wilderness. For a long time, there was actually a fair amount of work to do because I was trying to turn a patch of completely undeveloped land into something habitable. I built my cabin mostly on my own, and that alone took several months. The work that needs to happen also varies depending on the season. In the spring, I might be tending to the garden, or clearing brush to lower the risks of a forest fire. In the autumn, I might spend a lot of time gathering firewood. I also dedicate a fair chunk of time to cooking because food is important. There's also ample time for reading, writing, reflection and contemplation, too, which is one of the benefits of a slower lifestyle. Of course, if I can't find anything better to do, I can always step out of my cabin and go wander the woods.

    Geek Lifestyle at OSCON 2011 — From fine-tuning your setup to taking the geek approach to growing your own food, we'll celebrate and explore hacker culture in all its richness in the Geek Lifestyle track at OSCON (July 25-29 in Portland, Ore.)

    Save 20% on registration with the code OS11RAD

    As far as communications go, I was completely cut off for a while. I had an iPhone, but AT&T had absolutely no coverage on my property, and I actually enjoyed being disconnected. There's a certain peace of mind you can get only by switching off completely. I eventually found out that Verizon had coverage, so I got a feature phone on a pre-paid plan for emergencies and for those few occasions when I needed access to the outside world.

    After much deliberation, I got a MiFi earlier this year so I could go online, though I can't say getting "wired" was unequivocally better for my quality of life. With Internet access, I spend more time and electricity on my laptop, uselessly browsing the web when I could be doing something else. I think this is a common problem people have these days, but the shift that happened when I suddenly got Internet access really made it noticeable.

    Electricity is another constraint. This past winter, when sunlight was scarce and my solar panels were covered in snow, I once had to tell my mom, who lives in Japan, that I couldn't Skype with her unless the sun shined. While the lack of power was something of an inconvenience, it was also reassuring to know that I could have power as long as the sun shines, which isn't something you can say when you're dependent on the grid and the power goes out.

    What has solitude taught you?

    Ryo Chijiiwa's Hut 1.0
    Ryo Chijiiwa's Hut 1.0. He's currently working on Hut 2.1.
    Ryo Chijiiwa: I've learned a ton. I've learned some carpentry and architecture from designing and building my own cabin. I've also learned a lot about off-grid electricity, about the importance of water, gardening, wildlife, and self-reliance, to name a few things. But the fact that I gained knowledge and skills is hardly surprising.

    What I think made this experience uniquely valuable for me, though, is that I've learned so much about myself. In many ancient cultures, venturing out into the wilderness alone was a rite of passage, a necessary step toward adulthood. In our society, on the other hand, isolation is feared and even stigmatized. Yet, there's a lot about yourself that you can learn only through isolation and solitude. Sometimes, you can't hear yourself unless you put yourself in an environment where there's nobody else — no parents, no bosses, no peers. And knowing who I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and knowing what's really important to me is invaluable because the truly difficult decisions in life can only be solved if you know who you are.

    Do you expect to bring that new knowledge back into the grid at some point?

    Ryo Chijiiwa: Absolutely. I've been a fan of the open source model for a long time now, and I think a big part of it has to do with my desire to share and contribute things, whether it's code or knowledge. My entire journey, since the day I left Google, has been chronicled in my blog, Laptop and a Rifle, where I tried to make the whole experience pretty transparent. I'm also working on a book that's filled with practical knowledge, which will hopefully be published as an ebook sometime later this year.

    What are the benefits of alternative lifestyles? What do they allow people to do?

    Ryo Chijiiwa: Alternative lifestyles can have a number of advantages. The major one, I think, is that it helps us strike a better work-life balance. For example, I don't have to choose between working and living in a cabin in the woods because I can do both! One doesn't necessarily have to choose between working and traveling — you can do both! At the very least, there's so much more you can do when you're not spending 60 hours at the office.

    I think there are some benefits to society at large, too. Living in a 120-square-foot cabin in the woods and living purely off of solar energy probably helped me reduce my carbon footprint. After the March 11 earthquake in Japan, I was able to jet off and volunteer in the tsunami disaster area for two months, which would have been difficult to pull off if I had been tethered to a job and a mortgage. Also, by sharing what I've learned, I'm hoping that that information will help others realize their own dreams, and live healthier, happier, and more sustainable lives.

    Do you believe it's possible to find balance between always on and completely off?

    Ryo Chijiiwa: It's very, very difficult. When I'm in my cabin, I've accomplished something of a middle ground, simply because I have a limited supply of electricity and my MiFi account has a 3GB per month data limit. The trend is clearly going in the other direction. Everything is going into the cloud, which means you'll need an "always on" connection to have access to not just your email and social life, but your photos, favorite TV shows and your music.

    Living in the woods, and going from being completely disconnected to being mostly connected, made me realize how difficult it actually is to incorporate technologies into our lives in a healthy way. The pace of technological change is so blindingly fast that we're doing a poor job of adapting, not just at an individual level, but even as a society and as a species.

    The environmental impact of technological changes that started two centuries ago only became apparent a few decades ago. It concerns me somewhat to think about how, two centuries from now, our descendants will look back on today's technologies and the impacts they have on people, societies and our environment. There will likely be unforeseen consequences, some of which may prove to be undesirable. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

    This interview was edited and condensed.


    July 01 2011

    Music and lyrics and code

    If the popularity of Geek Choir at various tech-related conferences is any indication, there's a substantial correlation between producing music — whether vocally or with an instrument — and coding.

    Michael Brewer (@operatic), application programmer specialist at the University of Georgia and a speaker at OSCON 2011, got the official Geek Choir sessions started at the Open Source Bridge and O'Reilly OSCON conferences. In a recent interview, he discussed how the choir came about and how music and coding complement each other.

    How do music and technical aptitude intersect?

    MichaelBrewer.jpgMichael Brewer: Since Geek Choir got accepted, I've been hearing a lot of anecdotal evidence of a high crossover between music and geek aptitude. Of course, people have been talking about the math-music connection since "Gödel, Escher, Bach." Recent studies have again shown connections between early exposure to music and math ability, although it's not exactly what we think of as the "Mozart Effect."

    I tend to view it as a combination of pattern recognition and the ability to organize and reproduce thoughts about larger, more abstract concepts and their executions. Also, the production of sound using tools at hand — including vocal chords — is similar, in a sense, to producing code with software or hacking other projects.

    We are a species that bonds with our tools in unusual ways. Correlation doesn't prove causation, though — there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem in figuring out if geeks are good at music or if musicians are good at being geeks.

    Geek Lifestyle at OSCON 2011 — From fine-tuning your setup to taking the geek approach to growing your own food, we'll celebrate and explore hacker culture in all its richness in the Geek Lifestyle track at OSCON (July 25-29 in Portland, Ore.)

    Save 20% on registration with the code OS11RAD

    What is a "Geek Choir," and how did it get started?

    Michael Brewer: I attended several OSCONs in the early-to-mid 2000s. I noticed several music jam sessions, as well as the popularity of the Gibson guitar booth in the exhibit hall one year. Folks were jamming on those guitars for hours.

    At the first Open Source Bridge Conference, I suggested a Geek Choir session for the "unconference" on the last day. We started with fairly few people, but once we started singing — and people in the halls heard us and "voted with their feet" — we more than tripled our attendance in 15 minutes. The next year, Geek Choir made it into the OSBridge main conference. We had a very successful and enjoyable session, mixing experienced singers with absolute newbies.

    In your OSCON session description, it says there's no advanced prep for the session choirs — why did you decide to go that route, and what benefits does a no-prep environment create?

    Michael Brewer: It makes it easier on the newbies if everyone is getting introduced to the music at the same time. Also, it means that I have to be sure in my preparation to select music that is both accessible for inexperienced singers and worthwhile for experienced musicians. It's a good engineering challenge.

    What are some tips for putting together a Geek Choir?

    Michael Brewer: Here's a few:

    • Be welcoming and respectful. Everyone can contribute, even if they have never sung in public before or don't read music.
    • Choose — or compose — music that can be done by a mix of voices, both in terms of range and skill level. Parts can be done, but they have to be fairly straightforward to pick up. Shape note songs are good for this, as they were specifically engineered to (a) be easily learned by the (somewhat) untrained American choirs of the late 1700s and early 1800s, and (b) be performed with mixed genders on the various lines — sopranos and tenors would both sing the melody, for example, and altos and basses the bass parts, at comfortable octaves for each.
    • Stay in the public domain when you can. There are some tremendous repositories of music, including the Choral Public Domain Library and the International Music Score Library Project.
    • Have a great time!

    There are a variety of open source tools for arranging music. Which do you recommend?

    Michael Brewer: In general, there are two types of music composition software: music sequencers, which work with manipulating and combining blocks of sounds (sequences) into larger musical works, and notation software, which deals primarily in written or printed music.

    Wonderful music is created with either. I generally work with notation software, so I'm much more familiar with notation editors. In this arena, everyone is chasing the main two commercial products — Finale (which I use) and Sibelius. For a long time, the open source tools weren't really comparable, in terms of ease of use, but MuseScore has really closed the gap. There's also LilyPond. I haven't worked with it yet, but I've heard good things about it.

    What similarities, if any, do you see in the communal qualities of music and the communities that grow around open source projects?

    Michael Brewer: There are several:

    • Both are groups of people coming together to create something, be it software or music.
    • There is artistry in the finished product for both. Code is most definitely art.
    • People vote with their feet for both, in terms of joining and leaving.
    • Coming together to work on common tasks builds connections and solidarity among the members. They tend to view themselves as a collective, giving themselves an identity as part of a larger whole.


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