Getting your hack on

The White House wants you hackers to hack.

Yep, on June 1 and 2, they want you to participate in a National Day of Civic Hacking. They’re wanting hackers to participate in all 50 states. As I write this, 27 cities are participating, including 5 in Georgia, counting Columbus (where I am).

I don’t see Boise on the list, so I don’t know if Frank is going to participate. I think Harvey is within 100 miles of one of them, but I don’t know if he’s going to participate. It’s a weekend, so people that have Monday-Friday jobs will be able to play along.

Am I going to participate? I don’t know. A lot, but not all, of the computer hacky types around here are goofy liberals. I might show up just to piss them off.

Anyway, if you were to participate, what would you do?

How would you “hack for a cause?”

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  1. They want people “collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans”.

    That sounds suspiciously like they just blessed the “publicly release the names of all gun owners” stunt by that jackass New York newspaper.

    Anyway, screw this. If I’m going to do any hacking, I’ll do it for profit like a REAL American.


  2. Oh, great. Seattle is listed as a “hacking location” – a city in a state now in direct violation of Federal law overrun with welfare, food stamp and drug addicts living under the freeway where pot is now legal and supposedly administered by the old “Liquor Control Board” (go figure). And now, we’re going to “hack” our way toward a better… something?

    This is totally dipsh!t.


  3. WTF is Civic Hacking?? Maybe I’m out of touch but I always considered the word hacking to mean doing something wrong/illegal/incompetent. Kinda like bring a democrat.


  4. This kinda sounds like one of those things were you get a letter in the mail saying “You won a free boat, just come to this location on this date and claim your prize”, then you get there and find out a bunch of cops are there to arrest you for all your unpaid parking tickets. So go ahead hackers and show up and claim your prize.


  5. Sorry. Too busy hacking as a government contractor to do any civic hacking. (Yeah, I get the irony of that.)


  6. In fact, the term “hacking” is intention-neutral. It just refers to the study of a machine or system, often understanding it better than the designers themselves, then leveraging this understanding to make the system do unexpected things, or even better things than it was intended to do. The term has been contaminated by the enemedia (big surprise, there) who latched onto the word and used it to refer to illegitimate things that have been done.


  7. Suggested Slogan: join us in the National Day of Uncontrolled Civic Hacking (Electronic) — be a National D.O.U.C.H.E. like us!


    Q: When is the National Day of Uncontrolled Civic Hacking (Electronic)?
    A: June 1 and June 2, 2013.
    We are highly skilled hackers; we just can’t count.

    Q: Who is leading the National Day (sic) of Hacking?
    A: “National Day of Civic Hacking is a national initiative to promote transparency, participation and collaboration between governments and citizens.”
    Q: Um, that wasn’t the question.
    A: “It’s a collaboration between citizens, organizations, companies and government.”
    Q: Way to be specific, D.O.U.C.H.E..
    A: “Events will take place in cities around the nation.”
    Q: Are you deflecting from the question, for some reason?

    Q: What’s all this about hosting a block party?
    A: “Super Happy Block party is a street festival model for innovation.”
    Q: What the . . . ?
    A: “Innovation communities are strengthened as technologists and creatives connect with other technologists and creatives.”
    Q: “Creatives”?
    A: “Magic happens. . . “
    Q: Somehow, I guessed that was the basis of the plan.
    A: “. . . when the general public and kids are warmly welcomed into these innovation environments and collaborate together with technologists and creatives to solve problems with meaningful impact.”
    Q: Kids, technologists, and creatives – an unbeatable combination!
    A: “The first ever Super Happy Block Party happened March 2012 in Palo Alto.”
    Q: Block parties have taken place for decades, haven’t they? So it’s all about the name?
    A: “The street is simply a canvas for community activities and the creative space for technologists and creatives. There should be a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and hackspaces.”
    Q: Dibs on the hackspace! Um, what is it, exactly?
    By the way, those canvas streets sound dangerous and inefficient.
    A: “On one day, . . “
    Q: Or two. Remember?
    A: “. . . the city comes together to celebrate its innovation history and look ahead and aspire to even greater greatness. Start planning a Super Happy Block Party!”
    Q: Are you freakin’ kidding me?
    A: “Design for creative chaos! Set up the space for anything to happen. Spark spontaneity! Create an environment that invites people to create. Canvasses!
    Q: For cars to drive on!
    A: “Power cords! Paints! Internet! Screens! Soap boxes! Set up certain areas so that technologists and creatives have everything that they need to create.
    Q: You would think they would be able to improvise.
    A: “Make it fun! Fun, food and music bring people together. Put a street festival flair on your block party! Include a live band! Create space for people to eat and connect!”
    Q: How often do you have to replace the exclamation point key on your keyboard?

    Q: And what is a “Brigade Meetup”?
    A: “A Brigade Meetup is a local collaboration that organizes citizens to engage through the development and use of civic technologies.”
    Q: I keep reading that and re-reading it and I still don’t know what it means.
    A: “Our activities are interdisciplinary. Many of us are programmers, graphics designers
    and user experience designers. These technologists need to collaborate with professionals in other fields, too. You might meet: city planners, policy analysts, volunteer coordinators, GIS specialists, public works engineers, city council members and more.”


  8. Nope, this seems like the online geek version of “Occupy Wall Street”…a bunch of morons trying to damage law-abiding companies that we all rely on for goods and services, under the guise of “teaching them a lesson.”


  9. At first I was all excited: a bunch of people getting together to hack stuff? That sounds awesome! What are we going to be hacking, Iran’s nuclear reactor? Russian government sites? Chinese companies who are stealing U.S. technology?

    Then I realized they just mean coding – a bunch of yahoos getting together in the meatspace to code together. The whole point of the internet is that we don’t have to meet physically to collaborate on projects.

    Besides, if all I’m going to be doing is writing code, I’ll just stay at home and work on one of the various games I started to develop and lost interest on halfway through. “Coding for a better tomorrow.” I don’t think they understand their target demographic very well.



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