Hackercasting — a Big Idea

by on Aug.05, 2012, under - Show All Posts, Project-Related

To all those trying to hack education, I present Hackercasting — a big idea.

I’ve been discussing the concept of hackercasting with Daniel and a few others — basically, TwitchTV for hackathons, a service that allows people to cast their screens while they are coding, also cast their audio/webcam data, and also display what keystrokes they’re making. By putting themselves on a stage, pros enable avid learners to watch and learn how they think, talk, and code. I think this is of utmost importance as it allows transmission of hacker culture, and it’s a keystone in hacking culture and education (not to mention it’s a technically easy and lowhanging project).

The trick is to get people to actually do it. Like recording good conversations, it will start happening if it’s made ultraconvenient. We need to have a boxed tool and get it announced by a charismatic and well-respected person at the beginning of hackathons saying “all competitors! Load up this tool to start broadcasting yourself live and become a coding Olympian, inspiring people all around the nation. Anybody ever wanted a league of skilled minions to follow and work on projects with you? This is the first step to becoming a hero and gaining adoring acolytes!”
This community would scale exponentially, and have the secondary effect of allowing ordinary programmers to try on the shoes of being an inspiring leader. I want my Mouse Army from Diamond Age.————————

Secondly, on the topic of great conversations: these are beautiful balls of neurological patterns of inspiration and a precious resource of incredible sociological importance. Autorecording is a huge incidental benefit of chat as a medium, and I think it would be amazing if we could make it ultraconvenient app/device that automatically records the last few minutes of a conversation and allows me to replay them. One friend (Lucas Hansen) suggested a microphone necklace for this purpose. When the juices are flowing, when you’re in your little bubble, at the wellspring of truth, insights echoing off your brilliant companions, it’s easy to forget how much of society is clogged with negativity, uncertainty, avidya, etc., how the state of an joyful effort high activation that you are now experiencing is not even dreamt of in the philosophies of many. It would change things so much if we could work on including people in these blazing circles I often see form amongst my friends, where all but the most beautiful thoughts are seared effortlessly out of our collective psyche, and our insight leaps forward with ease.

What I’d I really want to do is talk to an anthropologist about this. Anyone know an anthropologist or journalist who would like to talk about this kind of thing (“cultural engineering”?)?

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