Make Functional Programming Better by Supporting the Ada Initiative and Petitioning the ACMEdited to add: we reached our initial $4096 goal in just 5 hours! But please keep donating -- we're about to increase the goal to $8192 so folks in Europe, Australia, Asia, and anywhere else where most people are currently asleep can also participate :)
Clément Delafargue, Adam Foltzer, Eric Merritt, Chung-chieh (Ken) Shan, and I are orchestrating a community challenge to both raise money for the Ada Initiative, and make computer science conferences (specifically, the many technical conferences that the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) organizes) better. We are challenging anybody who identifies as a member of the functional programming community to do two things:
- Donate to the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit organization that is working hard to make it broadly possible for women and people in a variety of other marginalized groups to work in technology.
- Call on the ACM to consistently publicize their own anti-harassment policy for all its conferences. That is, I'm asking that those -- at least those of you who use Twitter -- tweet a statement like the following one (use your own words, just include the #lambda4ada hashtag and try to include the donation link):
I donated to @adainitiative b/c I want @TheOfficialACM events to announce their anti-harassment policy. https://supportada.org?campaign=lambda #lambda4ada
Our goal is to raise $4096 for the Ada Initiative by 5:00 PM Pacific time on Friday, September 19. If you use the URL https://supportada.org?campaign=lambda, your donation will count towards the functional programming community challenge and help us reach the $4096 goal. I personally pledge to match the first $1024 of funds raised -- that is to say, I already donate $80 per month to TAI, so over a year, my contributions will add up to $960. If we reach the goal, I'll donate an additional $64 to round the amount up to $1024. I've spent the past couple years struggling to pay off student loans and medical bills despite being generously compensated for my work -- nevertheless, I support TAI every month because I see it as an investment in my continued ability to work. I hope that my example inspires those who have a bit more financial freedom than I do to donate accordingly.
If you are reading this and you have benefited from your involvement, past or present, with any part of the functional programming community, we need your support. It is up to you how much to give, but we ask that you consider how much you have gained -- materially, intellectually, socially, perhaps even spiritually -- from what you have learned from functional programming and from the people who love it. Particularly if you are currently making your livelihood in a way that would be impossible without the work of many people who have and are making functional programming languages great, consider giving an amount that is commensurate with the gift you have received from the community. If you need a suggested amount and are employed full-time in industry who is using functional programming or doing work that wouldn't be possible if not for the foundations laid by the FP community, $128 seems pretty reasonable to me -- and at that rate, we would just need a total of 32 people to donate in order to reach the goal. I think there are far more people than that who do FP for a living!
If anybody assumed that Clément, Adam, Eric, or Ken endorsed anything in the remainder of this blog post, that assumption would likely be wrong. In what follows, I am speaking only as myself and for myself. I am an employee of Heroku, a Salesforce company, but neither Heroku nor Salesforce endorses any of the following content either. Likewise, I don't necessarily agree with everything that Ken, Eric, Adam, or Clément might say in support of this challenge; we are all individuals who may disagree with each other about many things, but agree on our common goals of supporting the Ada Initiative and raising awareness about the ACM anti-harassment policy.
If you've already gone ahead and made a donation as well as tweeting your support under #lambda4ada, great! You can stop reading here. If you're not sure yet, though, please read further.
Why ICFP Is Fun... For Some
- Young man, there's no need to feel down
- I said young man, put that old journal down
- And come publish at... I - C - F - P
- It's fun to publish at... I - C - F - P
- When your lambda is tight, and your theorems allright
- You can come, on, down, and publish at... I - C - F - P
- You know I'm talking 'bout... I - C - F - P
- There's a place you can go, and lots of friends that you know, at the I, C, F, P.
ICFP, functional programmers' annual "family reunion" (to borrow a phrase from one of the organizer's of this year's ICFP, which took place two weeks ago) feels to me like more than just an academic conference. The lone academic publication that I can claim (second) authorship for appeared in ICFP, but it's more than just the opportunity to hear about new results or share my own that keeps me coming back. Maybe that has something to do with the affiliated annual programming contest, or the copious number of co-located workshops revolving around different language communities, or maybe it's just about folks who know how to keep the "fun" in functional programming. It's a serious academic conference that occasionally features cosplay and [PDF link] once had an accepted paper that was written in the form of a theatrical play.