Tuesday Sweep: 24 July 2018

Your weekly reminder to back up your data, update software and otherwise pay attention to your digital environment. (Oh, and to head to the CRASH Space meeting…)

Zone 4 this week. “Leave it Better,” focusing on making sure your own projects are in order, like they’re using HTTPS. I’m adding a task to this zone. “Maintain and clearly communicate healthy boundaries. Don’t allow people to bring poison to your pot luck.”

Why this? Because working on projects and being in communities ideally should be a source of joy not a drain.  Burn out can happens so quickly when we put ourselves constantly on the line for things that don’t feel like they care back. Guido van Rossum, inventor of Python, now sick of the Python community. Game Devs sick of toxic gamers. Conference goers, sick of conferences that give a long leash to toxic personalities, sapping energy away from everyone else. When the horde shows up, not shutting down bad behavior FAST isn’t simply “letting things work out,” it’s a decision to drive away good people who don’t want to be around that level of bullsh*t.

Boundary formation plays an important role in the development of self, and it takes work to get it right. Secure technologies need boundaries, i.e. what kind of data a field accepts, how often a client can ping the server. Individuals need boundaries, too, like what time they stop working on any given day. Communities hopefully form boundaries so that bullies don’t march in and start sucking all the oxygen out of the room. It’s perfectly fine to kick holocaust deniers off your site without hesitation.  It’d be nice if “more speech” was a viable solution to false speech, but unfortunately our minds don’t work that way. It only takes seeing something once, with even the slightest suggestion to change our memories. The Paradox of Tolerance requires us not to allow folks to bring poison to the pot lucks we host. (Link to original Popper)

Jump in Here

  • Welcome. If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You’re not behind, you’re just where you are.
  • Need a instant pick me up? Jump straight to our Easy Wins.
  • There are more recommendations under Start Here.
  • Feeling more ambitious? Just wait for the Learn section!


Weekly Basics

  • Check that backup systems are actually running. (more)
  • Update main computer(s), phone(s) and tablet(s). (more)
  • Clean out and reset wallet/purse/laptop bag/vehicle. (more)
  • Spend some time adding passwords to your password manager and updating flagged passwords. (more)
  • Wipe down your main devices, physically! (more)
  • What neglected inbox will you check today? (more)

This Week’s Focus: Leave it Better

  • Survey your domain. Patch ‘em up or shut ‘em down. Better off than a bot. (more)
  • Spend some time today learning your industry’s best practices. (more)
  • If you found a security problem in one of your projects, tell people. Don’t be embarrassed. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s how they get fixed that matter. (more)
  • Maintain and clearly communicate healthy boundaries. Don’t allow poison at your pot luck. (more)
  • If you’ve found a security flaw in someone else’s project, speak up safely. (more)
  • If you’ve found a security flaw speak up KINDLY and with attention to detail. Community, it can be the best thing and the worst thing. Which one it is, is up to us. (more)


News and Updates

Where do you scan for news, include a politics update!

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They’re currently on hiatus, but now’s a good time to catch up on episodes of Gastropod.

Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode every two weeks.

The most recent episode was actually on Pots –  “Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan”

In our last episode, we covered one of the most important innovations in human history: cooking food over fire. But, although cooking may have made us human, it is the invention of pots that made us into cooks. As Bee Wilson, author of Consider the Fork [affiliate link from orig quote] and frequent Gastropod guest, explained: “Pots led to cuisine itself. To me, it’s the great beginning of cookery.” Tens of thousands of years ago, the invention of pots brought with it life-changing benefits: prolonged cooking could slowly break down plants like yams and cassava that would have otherwise been inedible; the process releases more starches from foods and therefore more calories; long boiling kills harmful microbes and thus makes food safer; softened food like grains could be fed to babies, allowing children to be weaned earlier and leading to yet more children and early population growth; and finally, the ability to create dishes that were cooked slowly and indirectly, mingling many different ingredients, made the business of eating a lot more delicious.



I make things that do stuff. The best, though, is teaching others to do the same. Founder of @crashspacela Alum of @ITP_NYU

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