AACon13: An object lesson in building communities

I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to share my experience of the convention with people. I figure that even if few people read them, I’d like to look back at these posts in a few years and remember how enjoyable it was. In case you missed some, here are the recaps of:

In case it wasn’t obvious from those four posts, I had an amazing time. I don’t regularly get the opportunity to travel out of town for these conventions, and it was kind of American Atheists to host this particularly enormous event in my home town. I loved the speakers, but just getting to meet and swap stories with people who have influenced me or been influenced by me, was really enjoyable.


[Read more…]

How not to build inclusive communities

I’m a software developer, as many of you know.  A few months ago, a friend of mine took me to lunch a few times to talk about a web-based game he was interested in producing.  It didn’t pan out, but it was interesting to have a design discussion with someone who has a lot of business experience but is something of a rookie where web games are concerned.

Ultimately the game idea has been tabled, but without getting into any detail, part of the design was intended to allow people to upload multiple pictures to be used as character avatars.  The assumption was that it would be clip art or cartoon doodles, stuff like that.

Being a practical type when it comes to gathering requirements, I asked him: “Have you thought about what safeguards you will put in place to keep people from uploading objectionable content?”

I can’t see any possible way that THIS could go wrong.


[Read more…]

Neil DeGrasse Tyson posts a surprisingly disappointing video

Let me be clear here: I loves me some Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Whether he’s smacking down end-of-the-world predictions, or calling out James Cameron for putting the wrong sky in Titanic, or just letting Jon Stewart know that the latest private enterprise spacefaring scheme is no bullshit, the guy has a lot of charm, and has done a lot for science popularization.

[…] [Read more…]