So, I've been asked to come and present Mailpile at a privacy/blockchain-themed conference.

Pros: I like going to cons now and then. I like presenting my work. Since current work is funded by the Bitcoin lottery, we're quite on-topic. Interesting location.

Cons: Takes time, money. All male speaker list. Blockchain community is notoriously toxic, not sure I want to be affiliated with it TBH.

Maybe I should set aside my prejudice and just check it out? Or is that just enabling?

@HerraBRE If you decide to go, don’t “just check it out.” Go with the intention of stirring shit up and confronting those prejudices you find. Go with the intention of using your position of clout and privilege to shine a light on any disparities or toxic patterns you find.

Not easy. But neither is being on the receiving end of that kind of community’s toxic shit.

Good on ya for openly considering your options and recognizing you have a choice to make!!!

@morley That is actually my preferred contribution to many "men sucks" issues.

I have a lot of privilege, and how I use it matters. Whether it's by speaking up or just making sure people get home safe...

The old fashioned concept of "being a gentleman" still has a lot to offer.

But it is work, and I'm not going to go to a event just for that purpose unless I'm heavily invested in the community, which in this case, I'm not.

@HerraBRE Sounds like an answer to me. If you don’t have the energy or bandwidth to attend in a way that is positive and supportive, skip it. Better than being part of a silent consenting majority, adding your name to the weight of the toxic culture.

Support and positive contributions are awesome! But you gotta take care of yourself, too.

Any alternate, more inclusive conference you could attend instead? Not blockchain specific, but overlapping/adjacent perhaps?

@morley If I decide not to go, I'll be looking into exactly that. :grin:

Suggestions are always welcome!


@HerraBRE Heh. I’m a geological engineer who had to google blockchain. I haven’t a clue!

But if you want to learn about seismic retrofitting of dams I can think of three great conferences in the next year!

@morley That sounds fascinating.

My dad is a geophysicist and Iceland gets most of its electricity from hydro... so I'd be right at home until technicalities started wooshing over my head at high speed.


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