Mek (@mekarpeles) libraries and runs OpenLibrary.org with a vibrant open source community at the non-profit Internet Archive (archive.org). There, he serves in the memory of Open Library's founder and his hero, Aaron Swartz, to help make millions of books freely accessible to read or borrow. Before joining the Archive, Mek co-founded two small startups, helped lead engineering for two YC companies, and was a regular tinkerer at the Noisebridge hackerspace. In his free time, when rock climbing gyms are closed, Mek helps facilitate Archive Labs (www.archivelab.org), an autonomous, volunteer-run incubator which promotes for open access and public good, is a steering member of the Open Book Genome Project (bookgenomeproject.org), mentors non-profits at ffwd.org, and prototypes open source knowledge maps and tools for thought. You can help him feed San Francisco's hungry at peanutsforgood.org and follow his life progress at mek.fyi.
On Doing Good Enough
We're facing pretty difficult times and many in our communities are struggling. COVID-19, unemployment, racial inequality, turbulent politics, and the psychological stresses of shelter-in-place all conspire to form a perfect storm. If there is a silver lining, it's that there too are a multitude of opportunities for us to help each other, to share resources, and to use our hacks for good. It's hard knowing where to start, it's hard to get started, and it's hard to keep going.
As technologists, many of us are uniquely positioned to do work remotely and collaborate. This talk will describe how to use this to our advantage. Whether you're out of work and need help, you're trying to stay employed and avoid burnout and distractions, or you have extra bandwidth and are looking for ways to "fight for the user," Mek will show how to share resources, techniques, and opportunities which hopefully will help each of us do good enough, together.