Welcom Wagon Essay Series: 2

This is a call for questions for the civic welcome wagon project.

There’s going to be an essay for each state. There’s going to be an essay for every metro area in the US

There’s going to be a prompt document of stuff that should be in each essay on both the state and metro area. I’m thinking of it as a sort of questionnaire. So what should be in these questionnaire documents?

Welcome Wagon Essay Series: 1

On GitHub, there is now a public repository for essays to create a civic welcome wagon. A public repository in GitHub means anyone can contribute. If you don’t like what I wrote, fork it, write something better, and compete.

My previous post about using Git in this fashion can be found here.

Git ‘er done

If you wanted a distribution channel for text files that is practically uncensorable and highly resistant to being taken over by hostile gatekeepers, you could do worse than the open-source software program git and the sharing platform GitLab. Git lets you manage arbitrary text files and share them with anyone that downloads the software. GitLab and its better-known competitor GitHub let you easily share projects.

If outside pressure comes along demanding GitHub or GitLab get rid of your project, losing access to either or both of the hosting platforms isn’t the end of the story. You can install a version of GitLab on your own server and keep working with the nice abstractions that the sharing platform software provides on top of git or even just share the repository on the Internet as a directory and just use git. Even a search and seizure of all your computers is just a bump in the road because anyone who has cloned your repository has all the files and can publish them.

The hostile gatekeeper problem is handled by the project license, which should allow others to fork (copy and make a legal clone of) a project and the nature of git. Everyone who grabs the project is cloning it onto their local hard drive. It’s trivial to get around the gatekeeper so why bother being a jerk about other people participating? Someone will clone the project, behave better, and replace the misbehaving gatekeeper.

Since everyone gets a copy of shared content in their own fork and everyone can move the project in the direction that they’d like, the risk of doing useless work goes down. You pick what you’d like to add and your own version maintains that addition. Nobody can stop you. Whatever you contribute can’t get deleted later on. You never let it go.

Whatever happened to FEE’s Fresh States Project?

Here’s the original mention of Glenn Reynold’s using Fresh States to implement his Welcome Wagon project in Instapundit.

Here’s the most recent live page grab in the Internet Wayback Machine.

The current website yields 404 page not found at time of writing.

FEE’s search engine doesn’t yield any relevant results for either fresh start or welcome wagon.

Has this morphed into something else or should I go live with something less likely to die on the vine?