Recently

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This month I went to Rehoboth Beach, recorded new songs with Teen Mom at Persona Non Grata, and celebrated the fifth anniversary of my house.

Watching

Reading

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Thinking

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Bouncing between many thoughts and a touch of anxiety.

I want to support Mayday PAC for whatever it’s worth, but it doesn’t look like the $5M goal will be reached in time. Of course it’s fraught - whether corruption truly can be fixed with a crowd-funded PAC, and if its set of funders will be an honest sample of the American population. But apathy is not just fatigue, it’s fatiguing. And things that move the needle and change the world - these things increasingly tend to be impractical, unprofitable, and improbable. Serving both masters, like the TOM’s approach of grafting good onto a leaf of this infinitely messed up tree, creates and fixes problems at the same pace.

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I’ve been thinking about open source and copyleft again. Working in that fashion has been the default for my entire career, so it’s less a question of whether, but why, what it means, and what that should become.

Open source licenses like the GPL, were an interesting hack of the legal system: in place of control of property, they enforce the commons. By the time I was done working with Drupal, the world had switched to the BSD license that didn’t have this infectious property. Companies can use your work in their products, without sharing their own source. You get attribution, a friendly credit, but they profit.

Liberal licenses like the BSD enable the startup tempo increase: companies have a plethora of free parts they can recombine into a product and ship, fail, or exit. Fast-burn startups breathe open source code but never exhale.

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I’ve been working on a side project. It’s a brutally simple, geographically limited, purely for-fun thing that I hope to finish in a week or two. A chance to learn a new facet of the real world, a different language, and work in private a little. I have a private repo or two, and gleefully curse in the commits.

Posted Jul 01, 2014 Tweet / Follow me on Twitter

Tom MacWright

I'm . I work on tools for creativity at Mapbox. This is where I write about technology and everything else.