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Re: latest in event cancellation

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: Re: latest in event cancellation
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2020 22:35:13 -0700
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.3.10

As a bit of a follow-up:  Suddenly, many institutions are
scrambling to "virtualize" their gatherings.

It is nice to see libreplanet using low, usually robust tech
like IRC.

It is nice to see that there is a streaming option libre enough
that libreplanet will use it.

I am thinking that this event will heavily (and probably not happily)
stress test non-libre communications software widely used in
academia and government to handle meetings.  To point at the categories
I'm thinking of, and not to pick on either of these two companies in
particular, I mean firms like Granicus and Zoom (meeting streaming,
captioning, and archiving;  teleconferencing;  respectively).

My personal guess, based on reading lots of climate science and some
about this virus and pandemics generally: Situations on which social
distancing is extrinsically imposed will tend to become more frequent.
Not all of these will be social distancing for medical purpose.  Some
will be because of breakdowns of other communications systems and
travel systems.

The Libre / Free Software Movement is enriched with a legacy of "low tech"
communications tools that are tried and true, well developed under real
world use.   IRC is an example.  Various mailing list software.  So on.
Making more that is also robust is also a practical task for modest amounts of "programming labor" to take on. Perhaps one beneficial path is for some of us to focus in these areas - not only on development but on packaging, distribution, support and documentation, and promoting its wider deployment.

Real-time, high-bandwidth, computationally intensive systems (such as
libre streaming) also seem suddenly invaluable and arguably merit a real
push right now, in the face of present and foreseeable emergencies.

Happy Hacking, ;-)

On 2020-03-08 18:40, Thomas Lord wrote:
MIT has temporarily required that all campus events with 150 or more in
   attendance be cancelled, postponed, or "virtualized".

   If I were among the libreplanet organizers, I would be trying to
persuade my fellow organizers that they should not proceed as currently

   Related:  Stanford has ordered that in-person classes not be held
   through the rest of the academic quarter.   Columbia has canceled
   classes for a week and then will resume them in virtual form.

San Francisco has ordered that no "inessential" events with more than 50 in attendance be held in any city-owned property and expressed that
   this is meant to be a model for all private venue operators in the
   city.  This is a very serious step that implies, for example, movie
theaters and nightclubs ought to shut down if they want to voluntarily
   comply.    Emergency legislation is being pushed through to, among
   other things, put a moratorium on evictions for tenants directly and
   indirectly impacted by the virus.  So for example, with hotel
attendance far down, many workers will struggle to pay rent and bills
   and thus risk eviction.

   Epidemiologists are projecting that on our current trajectory, the
   capacity of acute care medical facilities will be overwhelmed within
the next few months. In San Francisco, for example, one major hospital
   has been rehearsing how to put up acute care medical quonset-style
   tents in its parking lots.
The way we can lesson the society wide impacts of the epidemic include a period of social distancing in addition to all the handwashing and so


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