initial ramblings

this semester, i’m taking a project development studio. i’d like to use the time and structure of this class to think and write about some projects i’ll be working on:

  • the p5-web-editor with cassie
  • a project about networks with surya

these are both very different projects, but i’m interested in thinking about what draws me to them and what they might have in common.

let’s start with the p5 web editor. this is an open-source tool for learning how to code with the creative coding language, p5.js.

the project with surya is different. this is a teaching and advocacy tool meant to make the process of learning about networks engaging and fun. i’ll be working on web episodes and thinking a lot about audience and tbd stuff.

the things that excite me most about any project are 1. the ideas behind the project and 2. who i get to work with. i am totally thrilled to work with both of the people leading these projects because i think they’re thoughtful and creative and kind and really smart.

switching gears. the backdrop of everything always for me is kafka and judith butler and hannah arendt. since i read eichmann in jerusalem a million years ago, i have never stopped being haunted by the idea that what makes people do evil things is a lack of imagination, an inability to think. what leads to this state of affairs? what is the role of bureaucracy here? and ideology? where can i possibly intervene?  what special opportunities does the internet present? demand? what about code? collaborative projects?

both of these projects are open-source or have elements of open-source thinking. i want to use the time in this studio to get specific about the difference between “free” and “collaborative” and “open-source.” they are not all the same. further: i think part of my excitement about open-source comes from a belief in the mcluhan thing that the medium is the message. if we are collaborating, if we are thinking and teaching each other along the way, we cannot be doing harm. of course, this is not always true. i wanna think about when it is true and when it’s not true.

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