Quinn Norton continues her excellent coverage of Occupy sites for Wired, sending back dispatches from Occupy Boston, which has refused to budge and has established a sophisticated alternative city-within-a-city, assisted by hackers from MIT:
Wiley mans the Logistics tent, a shade structure with shelves of organized, masking-tape-and-marker-labeled supplies, sitting next to piles of as yet unsorted donations. It’s incredibly busy. While we talk, he still handles requests, giving out batteries to members of the Safety crew, socks to old homeless men, and telling people where to go to find food, blankets, and other people in the Occupy.
“This is something to commit to,” he says. He takes a break and gives me the tour, pointing out different people in the community, tells me who they are and what they do for Occupy Boston. The community gives them something to care about, he explains. “That’s what a lot of this is. We’re rediscovering our self respect.”
Occupy Boston is cacophonous day and night, dense and messy with enthusiastic humanity. Volunteers feed a thousand people a day.
The camp has a library, media tent, clothing tent, a place to make art and protest signs, and a sacred tent littered with the holy texts and statues of many faiths.
It has a dozen or so events per day, managed by its 57 working groups, who do everything from taking care of animal safety and planning direct actions to documenting and improving pedal powered generators — a favorite of their MIT contingent.
Defying Police Blockade, Boston’s Occupy Builds a City
(Image: Quinn Norton/Wired.com)
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I’ve been writing about the work of Cathy “Mathbabe” O’Neil for years: she’s a radical data-scientist with a Harvard PhD in mathematics, who coined the term “Weapons of Math Destruction” to describe the ways that sloppy statistical modeling is punishing millions of people every day, and in more and more cases, destroying lives. Today, O’Neil brings her argument to print, with a fantastic, plainspoken, call to arms called (what else?) Weapons of Math Destruction.
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