Newsletter #140: A Few Things to Find Hope In

Hello Recompilers,

Every day feels like a week, yet at the end of every week it feels like so little has changed. A lot of hope fled from the world in the past few days, when the last progressive candidate gave up in the US. I’ve found it useful for me to list out and focus on the things that do give me hope, like the blooming of the world outside my door. My list will look different from yours, of course, and that’s okay.


One of the single biggest sources of hope, for me, are the workers–and even businesses–that are willing to drop everything to help us all take care of one another. Now workers at four different General Electric factories are demanding to repurpose their production to make ventilators. Intel has opened up over 72,000 patents under the new Open Covid Pledge, in which owners of intellectual property are releasing their work for the public good for the length of the pandemic. And mutual aid networks (mentioned in this week’s podcast suggestion) are deepening and developing their strategy.

The apocalypse didn’t look like what macho preppers had assumed. It’s not about guns and doing lots of pullups. It’s about care work, baking bread, and managing mental and physical health.

But maybe the single most important fight that’s happening right now, the one that will determine what our world looks like, is the fight against nationalism. We’re watching each country face a global crisis largely alone, and while individuals are increasingly looking to help their neighbors and develop knowledge on a global scale, a lot of nationstates are going the opposite route.


The Final Straw: Seeing the World Elsewhere: Rural Mutual Aid in Appalachia

Apologies for linking to the same podcast series two weeks in a row, and one that isn’t specifically tech-focused. But this is, simply, the best thing I listened to this week. It starts with longterm anarcist prisoner Sean Swain giving a clear talk about how to manage your mental health in isolation. Longterm prisoners are, frankly, the experts in this. No offense to astronauts. From there, host Bursts talks with an organizer who works with a rural mutual aid organization about how some underserved communities are able to take care of one another.

Conference Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

The Etymology of Programming

Brittany Storoz at JSConf EU 2018 runs through the history of all the strange phrases programmers have developed over the years.



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This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image by HeungSoon (Pixabay)