John Lockwood

Close the camps. They're wrong. You know they're wrong. Tell everyone.

Do You Have The Support To Be An Activist?

Let me confess once again my amateur, newcomer status to the field of activism. People who are pros at this don’t need to impose learning goals on themselves like “100 days of action”, although I would welcome them to join in on the fun. Indeed, the inspiration for the 100 Days of Action program didn’t just flower in my mind nurtured by the fertilizer that’s found there in abundance. It actually had an external source as well, and that external source is a similar program for newcomers.

I’m a professional software engineer, and one of the things I enjoy doing from time to time is hanging out with newcomers to the field and amateur software engineers who are honing their skills in hopes of finding career opportunities. A lot of these folks are active on Twitter, and use the hashtag #100DaysOfCode to share their progress there. There’s even a website that tells you how to do it.1 So when I started 100DaysOfAction, I didn’t explicitly say to myself “I’ll copy that”, but given my familiarity with that program it’s fair to say that that’s exactly what I ended up doing.

The thing that’s tough about being a newcomer to any field is the same thing that makes it fun: the learning curve is a vertical slope. At this point you’re not meandering up and down gentle hills, it’s more like rock climbing on a cliff face.

This weekend I learned that I don’t have good support from my family for spending the time I would like to spend on being a real activist. Hence the title of this post. I don’t really have a good idea if I have any readers on this blog or who they are, but if you’re planning on learning how to drive by watching me crash the car, here’s a tip: before committing to any activist program, make sure it won’t cause trouble at home.

I think I have a few alternatives for dealing with this, some of which are personal. Two public ones I can mention are:

  • Call myself a “digital activist” (as if that were a thing). Maybe it even is a thing.
  • With my tongue pressed further into my cheek, declare “I’m not an activist, but I play one on the Internet.”

“Hello, On-Star? I’ve crashed my progressive-mobile. Can you please send someone?”


1 While I was looking at 100DaysOfCode.com it occurred to me that having lost out on registering CloseTheCamps.com, I should probably go grab 100DaysOfAction.com, so that’s mine now. Don’t go there yet, since it’s only registered for now. It’ll be a fun little project.