The Activist Developer Who Helps Journalists Protect Data and Sources

Harlo Holmes by Rei Watanabe

“Initially, she only used computers to play videogames. But in college and grad school, she started getting interested in how computers and apps can be used for political purposes.

‘I learned that the way that we write code is actually a form of speech that can be political,’ Holmes once told Rookie Mag.”

From: The Activist Developer Who Helps Journalists Protect Data and Sources

@harlo | Freedom of the Press Foundation | SecureDrop

Story As Code

In honor of these recent storytelling to save the world and storytelling to save your life posts, respectively, I would like to cue in to this: story as mental model.

Filed under ‘Communication’:

“Story arc – human beings are wired to respond to storytelling. A story arc is a way to structure ideas to tap into this response, typically by describing a change in the world.

“Example: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.”

I would replace his amusing fairy tale synopsis example with the arguably more modern ‘Hero’s Journey’, but wow, what a tight little list. [Really nicely distilled bit of useful info here; the data addict in me got extra dopamine with this find. Thanks, Slava Akhmechet.]

how to tell a story at TED

But it also got me to thinking: story – whether a communal event shared by all to shape our cosmologies and proscribe our lives, or as an inner set of cycles which can be set, somewhat, for us or against us – is code. Story is code.

And the really important part here is – do we code our own minds, our own selves and our own future, or do we let all those choices be made for us by those who are presently contorting stratification to post-Dickensian levels and who are sending our very home – our Earth – into a reckless tailspin of climate instability mortally dangerous to all present life on it?

Rhetorical question, obvs. We don’t actually have a lot of time to think about this: the answer is – we code ourselves.

We code our own future.

So where are the apps for this? Where are the apps for coding our own stories? For coding our own minds, selves and futures? Are they . . . developing?

Where are the bustling online mental modules marketplaces? Imagine a neon-limned case of wares which look like this basic toolbox bit of mind models threshed through the magical marketing talents of Diagon Alley, where you can download items straight to your brain via your personal OS butler.

When will apps be more weighted to helping individuals realize their own true potential, and by extension, of society’s – instead of just being soulless dopamine-harvesting machines guilelessly and endlessly human mind-mining for insatiable and cancerous corporate profit?

Well, until then: everybody codes.
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