on telling small truths to yourself

The other day a stranger asked me what brings me hope these days. What brings me hope. Amidst all this.

And I thought I don’t have hope, I’m depressed, life is scary, I’ve always been broken, this world has always been broken, we have always fought each other so harshly for such scraps of temporary safety or power, and I can’t imagine how it will ever change enough to feel safe or free, not in this lifetime, not in this body, not with this brain, not in this country, not in this world, not…


photo: Alina Grubnyak

a) only show your original face to the cameras
b) be more human than you are able
c) ask a cyborg for help
d) build trapdoors in all important buildings that lead to wild empty spaces
e) prefer architecture to habit for changing self
f) give it another algorithm to play with
g) feed it all the data you have about the moment of your own death
h) practice overriding yrself. become unpredictable to all of yr observers.
i) shut your big mouth and be quiet. silence is your friend.
j) take small unplanned actions for the liberation of all beings. take one now.
k) cultivate deep appreciation for the…


photo: Chad Davis

We’re at the police precinct on Wednesday for the second day. At some point a liquor store gets ransacked and there’s just like beer and liquor floating through the street. I don’t care much about the looting, but I’ve been raised on a strict Catholic upbringing of no substances at demonstrations. Not a party after all. Serious business. We are serious folks working for serious change.

We get teargassed for the Nth time and for whatever reason I don’t really get out of the way and stumble through the streets with snot running out of my nose choking on my…


On movement work, listening work, and better power analysis

Okay, I guess I’m doing this writing on the internet about politics thing again. This one is directed at all the angry guys on the internet convinced we just lost our best shot at real change because of women being traitors. Cause I love ya, and I know you’re angry, and I’m also frustrated that we had a split vote going into Super Tuesday, but you’re doing it wrong. You are in fact doing exactly what you’ve been conditioned to do by the system we are working to change.

(And jayzus…


(Let’s talk about justice instead!)

Before I became a programmer, I spent about a decade doing racial justice as both a policy researcher and working in inner-city communities of color running programs for youth. Doing this work, I often found myself pushing back against (well-meaning) dominant frameworks of thought that understood racism to be only about overt acts done with malicious or prejudicial intent. However, if we want to talk about racial disparities and their persistence in the United States, we need to examine the structures that reproduce those disparities in complex and interconnected ways. Those disparities continue to be…


RabbitBear! by VikingStrike! (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

or: How to love the rabbit hole while still shipping code

Let’s talk a bit about the rabbit hole. It means different things to different coders, but it has the peculiar quality of feeling like you are getting something done, while you’re not getting anything done done. Into code review done. Shipped and merged to master done. Close the ticket done. You’re certainly doing something, but is it useful? …


The temple at TTATC — a burnery art event in Minnesota

On the decisions made for a small bit of code for the temple at a regional burn…

Temples are decidedly low-tech affairs usually and this one was no exception except for the hanging chandelier — trick with the chandelier is that we wanted it to appear very organic and respond to its environment, to not only be part of the same wood and fabric world of the temple, soft and natural and muted, but also set the tone for it from afar.

In my experience it is very easy to make LEDs look cool, but it is very hard to…


Orienting yourself in a new (large) codebase.

Thinking by Melanie Dretvic via Unsplash

I recently started a new job and found myself in the familiar position of having to find my way through a large codebase of code I didn’t write, which was written for reasons I don’t quite know yet, under conditions that I also don’t know.

I don’t know which parts of the code are known problem areas, which parts are well understood by other developers on the team, which parts are up for a refactor and which parts probably will never be touched again. Terra Incognita. Beyond here lie dragons.

I thought I’d…


So, I’ve recently gone through a job search as a senior engineer and landed a new position.Each one of these points could be a separate post, but just wanted to give some quick thoughts out there, for people in the process!

#1) I was pretty selective about applications and interviews. I liked my job and while I was looking for a new challenge and growth opportunity, I wanted an actual good fit since I had the luxury of time. Even still, it took /a lot/ of applications and time. Basically about a year. I don’t have the actual numbers, and…


My dear brothers. In this moment of cultural reckoning, I feel compelled to try to remind you of a few things.

Feminism is not just the story of why you are wrong. It’s not actually a story of why you are wrong at all. It’s definitely not a story about why you are bad! (No one thinks you are bad, truly, just, maybe, you.) But it is a story about you, about parts of you.

Feminism is the story of how and why masculinity constrains your very being and diminishes your humanity. Feminism grieves for you. Feminism weeps for you…

Eric Stiens

Coder for good. I value compassionate communication, concise code, and lots of tests. He/him. I write about non-code stuff at @mutualarising23

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