DEFCon 25: Outcomes and new goals

edited August 2017 in Community
DEFCon 25 was great, the Biohacking Village was filled with awesome people. Most of the body augmenters(grinders) found their way to each other.

Suggestions for DEFCon next year:
1. Get everyone going on Slack for the #defcon channel - lots of coordination happened that way
2. Grinder badge/nametag - I was standing next to McStuff and didn't know it until he introduced himself. Maybe something simple like a sticker we put on our badges.
3. More social media and posts from grinders that are there. Using tech at DEFCon is a bit sketchy but we should be able to do some posts during and several after.
4. Second Annual Grinder Pancake Breakfast will need to happen, the first was great
5. More speakers and volunteers :) We made a great showing this year and I'd like it to continue. Having grinders on stage and in the audience makes for a better time. During the ethics panel three of us were fighting to bring up points. xD

Community 2018 Plan:
1. Website - bottlenecked all to hell. I'm getting a new server and we're getting it migrated.
a. After migration the website critical needs are wiki and project pages. Wiki because we need real wiki tags and project pages so we have a version of peer review and tutorials 
2. Code of Ethics - diyBio has one and I think we should too. I'll do a pull request on Github for theirs and set up a thread for discussion. We can kick things around and finalize at Grindfest 2018 (which should have Internet next year and thus online participation of some sort) 
3. O'Reilly Biohacking book - the Biohacking Village announced they are putting out a biohacking book, we'll need to make sure the body augmentation chapters are awesome
4. sustainability - we need to setup Patreon/donation options and a small store w/ stickers, t-shirts etc. The money will go to the tech costs (server, domain, software). Eventually it would be nice to have enough built to file non-profit and then give back any excess as grants and contest money -- pending community approval of such ideas. Transparency needed so it'll be on the wiki. 
5. Moderators - we need to set up the rules for who becomes one and who is demoted from being one. We were thinking it would be good to have sections for mods to cover - newbies, magnets, nootropics etc and then have cross-over as needed. Then put it on the wiki for transparency.

I'll try to set up thread and slack channels for all these and see what progress we can make. :)



  • 100% on board for a Patreon. I'd be happy to chip in to keep everything going + sponsor interesting projects. 
  • if you want to start selling stuff become a charity first, also a main website splash page is needed, some emails for the press to contact, also I think that in terms of our ethics code we should be able to vote etc too change it, along with promotion and demotion of volunteer
  • @tasty Becoming a charity is complex and potentially expensive. More research is needed on the right way to do this. Having ways for the community to donate or pay "dues" is the goal. 

    Agreed we need to improve the splash page and add contact info page. We also need better navigation menu to lets users easily move between parts of the site.

    The code of ethics is absolutely meant to be a dialogue, after we all have a say we will have to settle on the first version. Then determine regular revision periods and have the conversations around it. 

  • edited August 2017
    I'm 100% behind establishing a Patreon or some other form of fund raising to maintain the site.

    I really like the idea of having some form of grant or establishing a trust for interesting projects.  I also think eventually some sort of communal national lobbying effort will be necessary in the near future here in the U.S.

    Establishing as a nonprofit is probably a good idea, but as you said, a lot of decisions will have to be made.  The primary being what do we want to operate as, what the mission statement/limitations of powers would be, and what state the organization would be officially based in. I'll go through the newest revision of Publication 557 in the next couple of days and be able to go more in depth then.
  • mmm, I don't know much on US charities so you register to the state, not to the country. In the UK you register to the state as a whole, I would reckon whoever gives us the best tax breaks if not then Washington because we would be mildly political in terms of lobbying.
  • I think success in lobbying depends more on how successfully you can bribe, buy, and badger politicians than on where you are located. Proximity is probably less effective for badgering than ability to carry out a massive letter writing/phone calling campaign.
  • ok added an oath and an initial code of ethics what do people think?
  • @tasty that seems all fancy

    I like the idea of a non profit as running a website is expensive for one person as the community grows.

    Sadly I couldn't make it but hope you all enjoyed the pancakes.
  • I like the idea of a patreon. A code of ethics sounds like a good idea but enforcing it is another thing plus people have different opinions on ethicality. I hope I can go to defcon next year
  • anyone on any oversight commitee would have to swear unto it and maybe just a tick box when yousign up with a short hand version basiccly saying i won't hurt anyone, force an implant on anyone, and remember my humanity. I think as we grow it will become more important for us to apply to ethics one bad person who does something sick could shut us all down
  • @tasty The location of where a nonprofit is incorporated and registered has more to do with the amount of oversight the state requires than anything else.  

    And if we do want to set up some sort of grant, Nevada or Arizona would probably be best for our purposes.  From my understanding they have the least amount of oversight and the most relaxed legislation, while California has some of the strictest.  

    While your ethics code seems fine, you should probably remove that legality bit, as laws can be wildly different from one jurisdiction to the next on this sort of stuff. 

    tekniklr, the lobbying issue is more dependent on what sort of 501(c) nonprofit we want to register as, and needs to be kept in mind for the future. 
    Currently, a 501(c)3 would probably be best for us, as we could argue this site fills an educational & scientific niche.  However, it's limited in what they can and can't lobby for, and they can't have anything to do with elections, not even statements in support of a certain candidate. Which, again, works fine for now but is something we need to consider long-term.
  • @countseven in all seriousness, I think we should try to get established as a church. With a solid code of ethics, and potentially a community agreed on ideal of transhumanism, we would be golden. Legally, a church does not have to appeal to deity and I think thats an important point to make here. We can do this in a non dogmatic way, and instantaneously get legal backing/ permission to move forward with various procedures. We would also have the benefit of getting tax incentives for various large purchases (R&D for literally any pet projects made/sponsored by church members) Itll have to be paid for up front, but wed get at least some of it back when taxes come around, which could be put back into R&D.

    Note: I am highly biased on this topic, but I do genuinely believe a lot of problems can be stopped by establishing a church around an ideal. Again, Diety is not needed just a sense of belief in an ideal or way of life is needed to establish a church. Obv, its slightly more complex than that when it comes to all the documents but..
  • @Euclidiandream  Well, again, that comes back to purpose & limits. It's true that registering as a church might actually be easier in some jurisdictions, and if we are never going to be publicly active it might be a better choice.  However, I think doing so would cost us moral authority in the eyes of society at large, if we ever do intend to be more than an insular community.  
    Who would you expect a local news channel to go to for accurate information, a member of a nonprofit dedicated to transhumanism and scientific development, or a member of a "church" claiming dedication to the same principles?  

    Regardless, step one for any of that will be getting an EIN, IRS form SS-4.  And there's still the question of whether or not to incorporate.  I'd say yes, even though it's extra work, as it protects against individual liability in the event of debts.  

  • I would totally be down for a biohacking shirt esp if I could use btc (or similar) to pay.

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