Tales from the MOSH>pit

July 07, 2020 | Posted by Damien Eversmann in observations with tags: culture


So I’ve been doing this thing for 11 weeks now called MOSH>pit (you shoud check it out some Wednesday at Noon CT). Essentially what it has turned out to be is a bit therapy session and a bit moderated-panel-type talk show. For an hour I loosely guide an open conversation through the news of the week. We keep it clean and try to tie everything back to tech in some manner. It’s a really good time and some of it has been cathartic for some people. We don’t shy away from deep issues! So anyway, I thought I’d share some of the things we’ve talked about over the last couple of months.

Back in May, we spent a little time talking about Microsoft’s admission that it was historically on the wrong about open source. Alot of people shared that they we relieved to see Microsoft taking part in OSS and indeed partnering with the likes of Red Hat on current projects. We also talked quite a bit about the news items (open source and otherwise) coming out of Microsoft Build 2020.

Other May topics of interest included SpaceX’s historic launch of the Crew Dragon to the ISS and Apple’s continued refusal to unlock customer iPhones for the FBI. The latter discussion garnered lots of praise for Apple and general discussions around privacy and our need to preserve it.

In June, our discussions continued to take on big topics. We opened the month with a special MOSH>pit where we did away with the normal format and exclusively discussed the killing of George Floyd and the huge corporate response (especially in IT) around discrimination and social justice. The main thrust of the discussion centered around what we as IT professionals can do to support and participate on the war against racism. One major topic was the role of IT in disseminating information about public officials and their actions toward that end.

June went on to include discussions about economic recovery and what shape it might take in the US, and when. We also riffed on the pandemic topic with some talk about the effect of the pandemic on businesses and their future plans as well as its effect on places to live in the US.

Finally, we wrapped up June with further social justice converations, including the decisions of several companies around the discontinuation of sales and even development of facial recognition software. While the outlook was generally favorable, many feared that there could possibly be achilling effect on AI development. Others worried that with the bigger (and in this case more ethical) players stepping out, that it could open the market wide open for more unscrupulous vendors. Finally, this discussion also morphed to one about the unconscious bias that designers and developers might code into their software.

May and June were powerful months for fostering meaningful discussion. That said, the topics keep coming and we’ve already had some good talks in July. Be sure to check back in for my regular rundown of past topics and discussions. Better yet, join the MOSH>pit at Noon CT on Wednesdays and hear for yourself and participate. These notes barely scratch the surface of the news and current events we share! Hope to see you there!