What does a wealthy Silicon Valley angel investor do when presented with the problem of “gun violence”? He organizes a hackathon, of course. Money man Ron Conway’s putting on the group think-and-code event today in Baghdad by the Bay. “‘We were galvanized around the massacre in Sandy Hook, and with Ron’s leadership, we brought together a number of folks in the tech community,’ said event organizer James Colgan, a product manager at Rackspace, a web-infrastructure service. ‘The hackathon was the ideal vehicle.’ Saturday’s event is meant to help coders and programmers find ways to mine public data and statistics to assist communities on ‘crime reporting, gun violence, mental health and school safety,’ Colgan said.” Sounds promising. But their efforts aren’t entirely altruistic . . .
sfgate.com goes on…
“Hackathons build prototypes of real apps that could save lives someday,” Conway said. “We will take the best ideas and potentially turn them into companies.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with making a buck. And if mining data is the goal, the NSA could probably lend a hand, too.
But these hackathons aren’t the sole province of bay area lefties.
Conservative groups are seizing the hackathon as a tool for organizing. On June 21-22, billionaire Charles Koch – half of the famous Koch brothers – is supporting a Liberty Hackathon in San Francisco to push for “small government” ideas.
That event, held at StumbleUpon’s headquarters, will provide programmers and tech innovators “the opportunity to build creative products that help to advance individual and economic liberty,” organizers say.
Who knows? Maybe a gun rights hackathon would be a profitable use of our time. We know some Rackspace whizzes, too — who are a little more firearm-friendly than Jim Colgan seems to be — who might be able to put something along those lines together.
Could the collective genius of a dedicated group like that cobble together an app that would facilitate enacting a federal-level Constitutional carry law with national preemption and demonstrate the number of lives saved and crimes prevented? Or is that just kooky talk?