Phoenix Has Forced Me To Come To Terms With Myself

published by Eric Mill on

I recently got a chance to go speak to a group of Arizona law librarians about legal informatics! I do not think that I would have guessed this future of myself back in college, but it's real and it's now, and it was actually a lot of fun.

They found me because of Scout, and asked me to talk about tracking government information. I decided to start with Scout as an example, to zoom out to similar projects, and then to describe the conditions necessary to make projects like ours possible. Because the audience was law librarians, a sympathetic crowd inside an unsympathetic area of government, I emphasized the necessity of absolutely free access to data as a fundamental requirement and right.

They asked me to send over materials that could be, like, printed - like on paper - to give to attendees for legal credit. Bewildered, I decided to do a sort of active outline, and drafted it in GitHub's Gist before converting it to a print-ready version (links -> footnotes). I actually really like how it turned out - it's not a bad tour over the space I work in and how me and my emotions fit into it. So here it is below, embedded directly from Gist. I also made a list of links of the 40-odd tabs I had open in my browser for the actual talk.