Read 'American Dirt' was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by Daniel Hernandez (Los Angeles Times)
Celebrities endorsed 'American Dirt' — then the reactions on Twitter turned negative. Cries of appropriation — and barb-wire dinner pieces — spark scorn for book
Certainly an interesting controversy to watch. This is also uncovering a lot of fluff promotional material by people who are endorsing books without having read or even vaguely vetted them. The upshot seems to be never to trust blurbs or reviews by famous people.
Read Against “Excellence” by Briallen Hopper (Avidly | Los Angeles Review of Books)
Harvard just denied tenure to an award-winning Latinx scholar and teacher who is working in the field of Latinx studies. (Yale did the same thing last year.) Thousands of students and scholars have already signed an open letter in protest. There is so much to say, and so much already eloquently being said, about the ways that, over and over and over, elite universities fail to support people of color and the fields of knowledge that center them. These repeated failures to recognize excellence in non-white forms demonstrate the systemic racism that pervades these institutions

Reflections on WordCamp Santa Clarita Valley 2019

I really had a grand time at WordCamp Santa Clarita Valley yesterday. I’d like to thank the visionary Joe Simpson, Jr. and his entire group of fantastic organizers and kind volunteers for putting the entire thing together. I couldn’t imagine a better launch for a brand new camp.

College of the Canyons was a fantastic location for the camp and even had some excellent outdoor patio and dining space for lunch.

I do wish I’d been able to make my schedule work out to have been able to attend on Friday. I’m particularly bummed that I didn’t get to see Glenn Zucman’s presentation as he’s always doing some of the most interesting and creative things with WordPress. I’ll wait patiently for WordPress.tv to deliver it for me.

Some of my favorite highlights:

  • David Nuon wearing a blonde Richard Dean Anderson wig during his talk MacGyver plays with blocks: Using the Gutenberg editor in new and surprising ways
  • Chatting with Kat Christofer of Woo Commerce about how she and the Woo team create better documentation for their product. I think there’s some things we can learn for documenting pieces of the IndieWeb experience with WordPress. She also mentioned the beginning of a new short Mustang road trip.
  • Joseph Dickson going old school on Upgrading Kubrick for Gutenberg. His highlighting the fact that the editor is able to better mirror the ultimate output as a time saver is an intriguing idea.
  • Not that they aren’t always in general, and I didn’t think about it until reflecting on it today, but I also want to mention the spectacular diversity of speakers and attendees at the camp. It really made for a better and more well-rounded experience. I’ll give all the credit to Joe and his team who I suspect are directly responsible for designing it to be that way from the very beginning.

On a more personal level, my two favorite parts included:  Seeing the viceral reactions of a handful of people as the proverbial light switch was turned on when they realized the power and flexibility of the posting interfaces provided by micropub clients during my talk. There was also a palpable rush at the end while using a few minutes of extra time demoing some examples of my website and and the power of Micropub, Webmention, and backfeed along with some other IndieWeb goodness. I’ve already had a number of people following up with additional questions, conversations, and emails.

For those who may have missed them, here is a link to my slides from the Micropub and WordPress talk and a link to some of the bigger pieces I’ve wrtitten about with respect to WordPress and IndieWeb technologies in the past. Naturally, these are only a supplement to the hundreds of others who are working in and documenting the space

I’ll also give a special thanks to Joseph Dickson for the photo/tweet of me just before the talk:

A selfie by Chris Aldrich with other campers in the background
Hanging out with old friends and new after WordCamp on the patio at Draconum.
Joseph Dixon, Erik Blair

👓 A Room of One’s Own White Colleagues | Diverse Education

Read A Room of One’s Own White Colleagues by (Diverse)
Every spring, I dread putting together my annual review materials. In March, a predominantly White room full of senior colleagues will discuss whether I meet th
He doesn’t even mention all the additional heavy mentoring work that he likely does for other minorities, POC, etc. which go above and beyond what his white colleagues are doing.

A Room of One’s Own White Colleagues  

Subtle hat tip to Virginia Woolf.

March 19, 2019 at 03:02PM

🎧 The Daily: A Rift Over Power and Privilege in the Women’s March | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: A Rift Over Power and Privilege in the Women’s March from New York Times

How tensions in the leadership of the protest movement burst into the open.

👓 Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? | Recode

Read Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? (Recode)
Venture capitalists spent 2018 welcoming women to the fold, but the welcome has been fitful, uneven and, scariest of all, tentative.
Lack of diversity is going to be like the cigarette problem of the early 70’s. We know that it’s bad for us, but in the present it doesn’t seem as significant on a marginal individual basis. But worked on over decades it will make us and our society much healthier and richer for having solved for it.

👓 Name Change | N.I.P.S.

Read NIPS Name Change by Terrence Sejnowski, Marian Stewart Bartlett, Michael Mozer, Corinna Cortes, Isabelle Guyon, Neil D. Lawrence, Daniel D. Lee, Ulrike von Luxburg, Masashi Sugiyama, Max Welling (nips.cc)

As many of you know, there has been an ongoing discussion concerning the name of the Neural Information Processing Systems conference. The current acronym NIPS has unintended connotations that some members of the community find offensive.

Following several well-publicized incidents of insensitivity at past conferences, and our acknowledgement of other less-publicized incidents, we conducted community polls requesting alternative names, rating the existing and alternative names, and soliciting additional comments.

After extensive discussions, the NIPS Board has decided not to change the name of the conference for now. The poll itself did not yield a clear consensus on a name change or a well-regarded alternative name.

This just makes me sick…

👓 Why I’m leaving Micro.blog | Belle B. Cooper

Read Why I'm leaving Micro.blog by Belle B. CooperBelle B. Cooper (blog.bellebcooper.com)
I've come and gone from Micro.blog several times before. I joined long before the Kickstarter, when barely anyone was there. I tried it again after the Kickstarter, when the community looked more like it does today. And I came back again a few weeks ago for the most fun, if not the longest, period of time I've spent there.

👓 a post | Flashing Palely in the Margins | Sameer Vasta

Read a post by Sameer VastaSameer Vasta (inthemargins.ca)
[...] We like to tell ourselves that micro.blog is a great place because we are civil and we have good conversations and discussions, even when we disagree, but I have faced more dismissiveness and insult on micro.blog in the past year than I have at any time in that other “micro” social network. This is not the civil community that we make it out to be, and by pretending that it is, we ignore when people feel actively excluded. [...]

📺 How the tech sector could move in One Direction | Sacha Judd

Watched How the tech sector could move in One Direction from Sacha Judd

This is a talk I gave at Beyond Tellerrand in Berlin in November, 2016 and at Webstock in February, 2017. A text version with the slides appears below.

👓 “Help! someone has pointed out my conference has diversity issues! | Samsung Internet Dev | Medium

Read “Help! someone has pointed out my conference has diversity issues! by Ada Rose Cannon (Medium)
How do I fix this?”

👓 Diversity on Micro.Blog | Kicks Condor

Read Reply to Diversity on Micro.Blog by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
One question I wonder: while I think the self-made entrepreneur has got to be synonymous with imperialist America—couldn’t the independent autodidact, operating apart from corporate interests, be a modern type of vanguard for the dispossessed? I feel like the Instagram influencer is more a direct descendant of The American Dream; the bespoke blog a piece of the underground press—particularly in 2018, when they have become ancient machinery.