Hack.Summit() Notes 02222016 12:00 PM EST: Brian Fox – “A Little Manic is Good” in Building Stuff, Amen!

02222016 – 12 pm EST

Brian Fox

Inventor of GNU Bash, Maintained EMACS

Technical Debt

You do not do it,

Write intellectually honestly

No technical debt

Solve problem you defined

Define problem…

Really focused on solving your business space

Make that shit work, that is when you get debt

GNU, Emacs, and Bash…




Cloud IDEs

Program things on the web

Visual Studio
Desktop IDEs

Applications are not running on your desktop

Applications run in the browser now!

Chrome OS works now.


Code that runs cross natively

Code d

Processor is a JavaScript engine

Open-Source Voting


Voting problems…

Do not loose momentum…

Cast your vote

Open-Source Voting

Holes in the system?

Database available to administrators?

Not transparent…

First thing I want in voting software, transparency…

Software should be public so people can look at it

NSA wrote security code for Linux…

Is the NSA ripping stuff off…

Open-Source and transparency in voting, end users should be able to observe and validate in what is happening in election systems

Moving forward down on that path

Followmyvote company

Block Chain based voting


Al Gore

Hanging Chads

500 vote difference


Could have altered fate of the United States

11,000 people in conference

Go vote

Blockchain voting

Next challenge inside of open source

Much like our governmental system the way we overcome our politic bit rot, the people who are being most effected become more involved

Get 11 or 12 ,000 people get into a dialog about Open-Source not Brian Fox or DHH

Everybody on this call is Open-Source not siloed it is flat

# of people contributed to angular and rails, that is what creates change in technology

Brazil is 100% Open-Source Netherlands is 100% Open-Source

Eschew Microsoft

Very inspiring to see it working in those countries, amount of money save by the government that is saved by moving into open systems is great

Not fan of Microsoft, not fan because they made bad software acceptable, blue screen of death, 3 fingered salute, became de facto standard for people, technical debt

Copy and paste everywhere, code that runs your car sucks, copy and paste
That is what they need to do to hit their deadlines, in Open-Source, everyone reads your code

Microsoft, do you think they have improved their stance?

Chacra project, Node.js, Microsoft embracing shift to Open-Source

RedHat and Apple are utilizing Open-Source and benefiting from it.

Microsoft is contributing to Open-Source now

I was actually very impressed when I saw those in roads

Open Source Voting, when will we have cloud based open source voting system?

100% if Bernie Sanders is elected, the outcome of this election will determine the acceleration of Open-Source in government

Top 1% in business, those people do not have an open mind yet

Stifles acceptance of Open-Source, Open-Source should be everywhere

Does not need you do not need to have companies that make money

Free Software Foundation

Service for code IDEs

Code IDEs

Beginner writes in JavaScripts, CSS, HTML, etc.

Make URL,


How do you get started, find your own itch and scratch it

If you do not care about the problem your solution will not be very good

Larger projects more



Search for things you are interested in

Understanding architecture is the key to writing good software

Pick something bite size and write a solution for it

Like Universal Translator

Ask audience about them

41-42% have made a contribution to open source

significant proportion, but I really want to

2-1 people


How to make it for a living with Open Source

Open Mind and Think

Guy in UK who is has a real job, pays money

people use his software

I need 5000 Euros a month for him to work on his project

People donate to his work, so he will not have a real job

He will put 100 hours a week into it

Solar Poem Machine can be this way too

Build software that does something valuable and run a company that services companies that run it

Solar Poem Machine is an educational platform using MakerEd platform


Richard Stalman

Driven by intellectual curiosity and emotional stances

Some times they cannot make a separation between getting 90%, so they argue about the 10%

Although the entire world has moved to open source he still has a distinction about open and closed source

Has created controversy, has sidelined him from Open Source community

We loose intellectual giant
Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, trying to solve for several months

Well tell me about it, why do not you solve it like this?

He gives him the solution to his Ph.D. philosophy problem…

Bad ass intellect…

Brian is sorry that people do not understand the depth his contribution…

David Wallace “Gumby”


Cignas is your GNU support, charged $100,000 contracts

Hired people to work on Open Source

Met Gumby at MIT

Getting degree in history

Hero in the spiritual world

Pattern in entreneurs are brilliant and spiritual some aspect for their personality they are compensating for, most successful organizations are started for unbalanced individuals

Look for unbalanced, to start projects,

A little manic helps!

Thank God! 🙂

Linux would not have gotten as far as it did without

He had all that

Just write a Kernal…

He did a brilliant job doing something that was not being done by Free Software Foundation

Bill Gates is great, but not empowering people…

82% are new

Rest programming for 30 years +

Thank you for making Open Source what it is today!

Excited for the large contingency of people here!

Online knowledge base, hack.guide()

Ed is excited for it, want to see how the community likes it

Plural Site is excited too

Marvin Minsky

Who was Marvin?

What can we learn from Marvin?

Marvin as everyone knows, Marvin was brilliant

He was also very kind, very emotionally connected

People could take away if they had been around him at all, he approached everything with fresh eyes, did not assume anything!

Example, glass terminal

Not bitmapped

Oriented in portrait mode, What do you think of this?

Yea, watch!


cursor wrapped from the bottom to the top

Why did it do that?

He was completely to change the paradigm to the extent that he implemented to see if it was better or not

Ph.D. in math, to starting AI lab, to communicating about how the brain worked about emotion

Blessed to see


Thank you Brian!

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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