846 stories

The 450 Movement


I do peer review and I want you to pay me four hundred and fifty dollars. I’ll even say please.


It’s amazing how quickly a perspective can change.

I thought I’d be an academic forever, maybe longer.

That was Plan A.

For all its ridiculous foibles, and the resulting incipient hair loss, and for my many, many attempts to kick its shins, it was still Plan A. I liked it well enough.

But I never wanted to be ‘an academic’.

I wanted to be ‘a scientist’.

And there are flavours of that.

Plan B was always working in wearable tech, wearable physiological data, wearable device design. I’ve been around things which go beep a lot, more than a decade. I’ve used everything, measured everything, broken everything, and generally gone from muddling my way through to being the full-stack equivalent of a wearables weirdo. Every conceivable way you can get data out of a person without puncturing them, I’ve used it.

The Plague didn’t help. Higher education institutions, research institutions, etc. — they’re in A Right State. They never saw this coming, and it blindsided them, utterly. Many of them will hit the rocks, and soon.

So, I got a job at a company building medical wearables for physical therapists.

(Side note: I work here, and my job is pretty great. I’ve always derived a tremendous amount of pleasure from building a physical object, and being able to build a wearable device is… well, it makes me wonder why it wasn’t Plan A. We’re hiring engineers right now and I have to resist the temptation to give people advice for life which consists of “Hey, stop vacillating and start work here.” If you’re an engineer in Denver, call us.)

Having a ‘corporate job’ hasn’t made me dress any better, but it has certainly has changed my perspective on things.

And yesterday, I had a very odd experience. I was clearing out my personal inbox, which has hundreds of unanswered emails, and I found a review request from a journal.

My first thought was: oh, I should hurry up and send them a contract.

That’s my world now.

We need advice? We find a consultant.

We like the consultant? We sign an NDA, so we can talk freely.

We have a productive conversation? We draw up a contract.

Or, maybe we do spec work for someone else? The other way around. But, again, it ends with contract.

We want something done, we pay for it. The rules apply to us. A little company in a big world. Maybe not a little company for very long, if I have anything to say about it, but we’ll see about that.

This is how commercial relationships are conducted. It is straightforward and ubiquitous. The result is often no more complicated or mysterious than a regular bank or wire transfer. You buy goods and services.

And then, contemplating drawing up a contract to perform a peer review, I realised simultaneously both the utter normality, and the astonishing weirdness of this thought.

And then I laughed myself sick, and had another cup of coffee.

… then I sat down,
wrote up a contract,
shined it up a bit to reflect the fact that it was for peer reviewing,
stuck my tongue firmly in my cheek,
and sent it to the accounting department of the journal group.


A certain irony is: I don’t really need the money now.

But forget me. I don’t matter. This is about you.

This is about your rent, and your tenuous academic job, and your time taken out of your own workflow with increasingly rapid review requests, accommodated in an environment where you have to produce research even faster, and to teach more classes of increasingly anxious students.

Now, you can call this ‘exploitation’ or ‘efficiency’, that depends on your perspective. But the inarguable fact is that academia is a increasingly casualised, difficult, moribund place to work. It squeezes people into dust, and usually people far less able to defend themselves and headbutt circumstances than me.

This is, and I cannot overstress this, awful.

The only people who don’t understand this, and you can check their public resume because they’re usually very proud of it, are people who got tenure during the Taft administration.

These are the only people yammering on about ‘service’ and ‘values’. Everyone else needs the money, because they don’t have a stable full-time job to leverage against.

Ever met a homeless graduate student? I have.

What about someone who couldn’t ‘afford’ to be an academic any more? Yep.

An adjunct who got their classes cut then didn’t have an income? Again.

A pre-tenure professor worried about the debts that got them there? Course.

And now, The Plague. This will get a lot worse.

I’m going to repeat that. This will get a lot worse.

Now, there’s no call to arms here. I’m not going to make the claim that ‘people don’t deserve this’. They don’t, but that’s not the point. The universe is a smelly old thing which has plans for trampling ‘deserve’. We would wish it otherwise.

I am going to make the claim, however, that in our bold new astonishingly tenuous academic hellscape, this is a straightforward matter of commerce. Fiscal reality.

So let’s talk about that, and why I want four hundred and fifty dollars, and why I think you should have four hundred and fifty dollars too.


My corporate consulting rate is $250 USD per hour. In some circles, that’s unthinkably large. In others it’s embarrassingly small. Pick your poison.

My academic consulting rate is a lot lower, and if I’m being honest with you, I hardly ever charge it. Desperate people have turned up trying to get out of analytical holes, and I simply cannot bring myself to take their money. I just help them. Which is what I would have done if they had just asked, anyway.

So let’s bear in mind as well that while this is academic consulting, journal groups have more money than God. You can read the hundreds of articles about that have been published since… forever. It’s boilerplate. Everyone knows that.

So throw all that together and we can start from some estimate that’s… let’s say $50 to $150 ph. Ballpark.

(Bear in mind, you have to pay legit tax out of this — 15.3% self-employment, plus whatever it adds to your income, which means it’s adding to your highest bracket. For me, this means I’ll keep a hair over half of it. That’s one of the reasons contracting fees are often higher than you’d think.)

Now, I estimate I will spend three to nine hours reviewing a paper. I am quite annoyingly meticulous, actually. This includes responses and editions and wrangling with journal management systems, and everything.

So if we put the low with the high, and the high with the low we get… $450, actually, both ways.

Give me four hundred and fifty dollars.


Universities, throughout every decision they’ve ever made in the last 30 years, have made it very clear that they are businesses. You work for a business. A university may claim to have higher values and they may blather on about them more often, but it is an institution run by professional business administrators. Often they used to work at large banks, hedge funds, higher levels of government, other financial institutions, et al.

Students are customers. Good staff who bring in grant money are assets. On and on it goes. They aren’t joking when they use this language.

Journals, as privately owned or publicly traded companies, have made it even clearer. They publish P&L statements. They have investors, and boards of directors, and they calculate revenue growth, and operating income. Part of their revenue growth and operating income is made out of your research.

So, you work for a business, and a journal is a business, and — under what is at the very least a quasi-commercial agreement — that business is asking for your time to ensure the quality of their core product?

Cool. We are all jolly and mercantile together then, aren’t we?

They can pay you four hundred and fifty dollars.


I have no call to arms, no banners to shake at the sky.

I am not ‘a radical’, I oscillate between poles of the maintenance of basic human dignity, and free speech (I need that one, I can be… Robustly Australian at times).

I don’t want to ‘change the world’.

I’m not the slightest bit upset writing this. I am not angry.

I’m not sticking it to the man.

I am a person with a set of skills, in a commercial market, skills that other people offer to pay for all the time.

I want to be compensated for my labor in the same way any other grinning fool in LITERALLY ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL CONTEXT ON THE ENTIRE PLANET WOULD BE.

I want four hundred and fifty dollars.

Give me four hundred and fifty dollars.


Wait, aren’t you that open science guy?


But many, many journal groups obviously don’t want what I want.

They want to publish research within a closed environment, not building community resources, not making processes transparent, not sufficiently weeding out bad research, etc.

This is because they don’t care. Some combination of (a) they have no commercial pressure to do so (b) they don’t care (c) it’s too hard (d) they don’t know it’s a good idea.

They are companies. Their fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders. As far as they are concerned, they owe you nothing as a community resource.

So why would you demand anything from them except money? Clearly it doesn’t work very well, or something might have changed in the shinty-six years we’ve been talking about it.

Help people. Help the community. Bill companies.

What about community journals, not-for-profit journals, and society journals struggling to get by?

I will review their papers. Even now, in my often-dilapidated corporate state. Quickly, and well, and for nothing. It will not even occur to me to charge them money. That is unthinkable and unfair.

Aren’t you holding up the work of people who need the publications?

No. I am offering the journal group the chance to employ me. Wherever possible, I will tell the editor that this is happening. It should take no longer than a regular review acceptance. Either party is entirely entitled at any point to tell me to go fuck myself, and this is FINE. Contracts are often not established for a variety of reasons. This is just A-OK.

If *I* did this, wouldn’t I get in trouble?

From who? Who are they going to rat you out to, your mum? They just asked for a commercial arrangement, you provided one. And they’re going to complain if they don’t like it?

If we put on our Business Hats, let’s think of:

  • investment (reviewing papers takes ages and prevents you advancing your career, making money elsewhere, or sitting on the couch and staring happily at the ceiling) and
  • return (thankless task, where how many papers you reviewed and how well you did that job counts for nothing). And yes, I know about Publons, where you can see all the reviews I did for free.

Peer review has almost no determination over jobs, tenure, or promotion. Journal editors, especially fancy ones, will lie right to your face and tell you that it’ll ‘get your name in front of the right people’.

It won’t. Or, at least, if it does, it’s vanishingly uncommon.

Peer review has almost no immediate career benefit at all unless you literally steal the manuscript. (Don’t do that.)

The only reason you should do it is to support the community, right?

GOOD. DO THAT. Here are five ways you can do “service” right now:

  1. Write to an editor at a small community journal and offer to review manuscripts within an area of mutual interest.
  2. Come up with a sci comm seminar and teach it at a local school.
  3. Put a statement on your faculty website that says ‘I will help any graduate student, within reason, for free, with no questions asked’.
  4. Offer to read people’s resumes or conduct mock job interviews.
  5. Set up email alerts so you can capture and review preprints in your area.

But people don’t do this shit, because it’s work.

Or it isn’t fancy enough for them.

Perhaps they simply like the idea of their opinion being important in the right context. Their idea of service is somehow confined to reviewing for prestige journals only. And never replying to the emails I sent as a graduate student.

I’m an editor and you’re really pissing me off.

So write to someone within your journal’s organisational structure, someone that works for the publishing company that owns your journal and gets paid to do that work, and tell them to pay me.

If you don’t know who that is, I guess that’s a lesson in how utterly divorced they are from you — you’re working for a company for free, and you don’t know a paid representative of your employer?

You’re a stooge.

(Also, I can guarantee that reviews you pay me for will be superb. You’ll be so happy. Just, you know, when your overlords pay me four hundred and fifty dollars.)

Do I have to charge four hundred and fifty dollars?

No. It’s a contract under negotiation. That’s where it starts. You determine where it ends.

What will you do when you get four hundred and fifty dollars?

Probably buy a bottle of rye (I’m out) and give the rest to Rosie’s Place.

What happens when they don’t pay you?

… then I don’t get paid. You must be new at this.

They WON’T pay you, you know that, right?

OK, Mystic Meg. Glad you can read minds.

Seriously: business environments change. Why do you think they change? Magic? The waning of the season? No, you patronising div. Market pressure. I’m just some gink…

… but I wonder what would happen if I brought along several thousand of my best friends?

Anything else?



https://osf.io/tvdcg/ <- there.

Now, bear several things in mind.

(1) I’m so incredibly not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. It’s a sample or a template.

(2) This is very US specific. Sorry, I don’t work elsewhere.

(3) Let’s find someone with contract law experience to make sure it’s 100% kosher before handing it out willy-nilly. I can’t even remember where I got the stimulus material.

Read the whole story
21 days ago
Davis, CA
22 days ago
Share this story

Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for Sun, 30 Aug 2020


Nancy by Olivia Jaimes on Sun, 30 Aug 2020

Source - Patreon

Read the whole story
23 days ago
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
24 days ago
Davis, CA
Share this story

Nasty, Brutish, and Short: The Promised Neverland and Human Nature

1 Share

The nightmarish final boss of hit manga The Promised Neverland is... philosopher Thomas Hobbes??

Content warning for major late manga spoilers for The Promised Neverland, cannibalism, gore, monarchy, body horror.

Take a look at this rough beast. A crowned king with a miter and scepter striding across the land, a colossus. This is Thomas Hobbes's LEVIATHAN. It's a bit hard to tell from this picture, the first picture that illustrates his book of the same name, but the Leviathan made up of a mass of people. That's not just some people, some collection of various guys, but The People, the whole collection of folks that make up a governed population. In other words, parsing out the symbolism, the governed make up the body of the ruler--the ruler can only rule through agreement with the governed.


Hobbes is a monarchist writing during the English revolution. Hobbes loves monarchy. In fact Hobbes believes that the monarchy should be constitutional--that agreement with the governed--but that constitution can't ever be overturned and replaced. "Consent of the Governed" turns out to be a bit of a bait and switch. Still, for Hobbes the ruler embodies the state and the whole of the people. The Leviathan is this big squirmy mass of all the members of a nation, coming together to establish authority. We need that colossus, Hobbes says, because it is our fundamental and material human nature to fuck each other up.

Without the Commonwealth we'd all simply, ah what's the expression...

Eat each other alive.

The Promised Neverland is a story about kids being raised in an orphanage which is actually a farm for tasty tasty brains which are fed to alien monsters. The protagonists of the story--Emma, Ray, and Norman--stumble on the truth and spend the course of the anime adaptation scheming to escape the farm with as many of their fellow kids as possible. People get eaten, there's a ton of mind games, it's a tense and suspenseful horror story. It's actually really worth reading, and the manga just wrapped up, so if you want to go pick it up quick before reading this piece I honestly highly recommend it, though it shouldn't be strictly necessary for understanding the article.

In fact, it might be worthwhile because I'm not gonna talk much about that first stretch of the story covered in the anime adaptation. I'm more interested in a much later part of the manga. This is a shonen, sorta, so of course the threats have to escalate over time. The demons that eat the kids have sort of a... corporate monarchy. The noble houses ruling this demonocracy each have a series of corporate farms that they own and operate on a monopoly basis. At the top of the hierarchy is the royal family, which remains strong by literally eating the best food. Which, remember, is kids.

All this works because of demon biology. Demons have a super unstable genetic code. They take on genes from whatever they eat and only have human-like intelligence because they eat humans. Literally the only way they can maintain a civilization is through human flesh. Without it they simply eat each other alive. A famine is also essentially a zombie apocalypse for them.

Eating the best meat makes demons more directly powerful. On top of that, the Royal Family enjoys other perks. Like, most demons can regenerate their bodies unless their single core resting within their central eye is destroyed. Already a formidable challenge for humans to face! But the royals sometimes have two cores.

Now, all that largely serves to drive forward the shonen structure of the story. Late in the comic, the kids attempt to wipe out the noble houses and the royal family, including the current queen Legravalima. She's an incredibly powerful foe and they need to employ all sorts of dramatic tactics and countertactics and so on, but ultimately it ends in disaster upon the reveal of Legravalima's hidden second core. In shonen fashion, Legravalima turns out to be a two stage boss fight. But what's really interesting is the specific form this disastrous revelation takes:

Look familiar? Look a little... Hobbesian?

Now, the battle itself goes down like this, roughly:

The kids successfully manipulate a disgraced former demon clan into working with them to attack the palace during a big festival. Everyone dies. The wild clan dies, the noble houses die, everyone dies. In particular the demons do a lot of cannibalism while they die, cause remember that's actually an evolutionary advantage for them. They absorb all the nutrients for their rapid regeneration and mutation and also get the benefits of all the good good human meat the noble families have been high on the hog with. Indeed, the disgraced clan even devours and replaces members of each noble house beforehand, a story beat that deserves its own article on symbolism, probably.

And then it turns out that Legravalima has that cool second core, and she turns into a mass off writhing flesh that eats damn well everything, just gobbles it all up. So you get this incredible image of practically the entire fucking dead cast of this crazy story all sort of emerging from the flesh of this giant monstrosity. A ton of the major players have just been funneled upward, through the nobility, through the dissident clan, and finally into Legravalima's body as she devours her allies and enemies. 

And then the big fucked up flesh cocoon opens and this regal and faceless entity walks out and triumphantly starts telling everyone how happy she is to eat them. Cool shit!

Ok so what's really exciting to me about this is the way the queens transformation makes really literal the abstract image of the leviathan colossus. She is quite literally made up of the polity she rules over because humans and demons alike are part of her body.

Remember I said that it was a little hard to tell that the leviathan was made of many people? That's cause they've all got their backs turned to the audience. That's not the only printing of leviathan though and the other is even more strikingly similar to the queen:

A body made up of the heads of all the people the state has consumed. Fuck yeah. I like that first image though because it reverses things from the queen. Faceless subjects making up a sovereign vs a faceless sovereign where the subjects are visible. This strikes me as meaningful because, yeah, for Hobbes the monarch is a person, but he's much more significantly a force and an institution. That institution in Promised Neverland is one of relentless consumption that goes beyond identity. It's just a raw force that exists to devour.

So, Promised Neverland's leviathan can be read as a deconstruction of Hobbes's. For Hobbes the citizens agreed to an essential pact: they gave up their individual autonomous freedom--on condition everyone else gives up their rights too--to the sovereign. That means that by definition it's a one way ticket to monarchy town. (Monarchy town is what the cool kids call the "Commonwealth"). You can't say the ruler isn't doing what's best for you. After all, you said yourself that you would give up your right to make your own decisions! And, what, you want to go back on it now? You want some sort of "right of revolution"?

Meat needs to learn its place.

And that's the problem with Hobbes. Our guy is a materialist. He's analyzing not from some higher cosmic spirit but from the simple realities of survival, desire, and power on earth. But that power only extends from the personal following to the political in this super abstracted way--we're like this as humans therefore we should get together and form a government like this. But the actual creation of governments follows just as much from the material! It doesn't abruptly transcend into the realm of philosophy but stems from historical contingency and material conditions and contradictions in a particular era!

It doesn't matter whether the queen is a constitutional monarch or whatever, it matters that the ruling class of this demon world have erected a system of governance that can maintain itself through force and economic control. All this talk of "right of revolution" and so on is beside the point. What matters is that the common demon peasant or proletariat class is under constant threat of the plague of starvation and degeneration, and are suppressed by the military force of the state.

What's so exciting about Promised Neverland is that all this is explicit. Hell, it's a plot point and the fundamental question that the protagonists grapple with. If the material circumstances were different in this world, Emma asks, could we humans and demons have been friends?

She's asking that specifically because early in the story she meets up with Musica, a demon who's living in exile in the wild, and she and her companion sonju befriend and help the kids. Musica has what's called "evil blood", which means her genetics don't change with what she eats, and if she doesn't eat humans she is still able to maintain her sapience.

No, think for a minute why such a seemingly beneficial mutation might be called "evil blood".

If you thought "that sounds like propaganda", congratulations you're achieving correct levels of cynicism. So, Musica's been around for a few hundred years, and the last time she was active she attempted to take on this Messianic role, saving the common people during one of their periodic horrible famines. The ruling class responded by murdering everyone who consumed her "evil blood". This is explicitly because without the threat of starvation they would have no way to maintain their monopoly on the means of production (of tasty humans) and consequently their position of power.

So the story is very aware of the material realities of governance. Part of that reality is the realization that the demons making up the worker and peasant class are also exploited, victims of a system that leaves them in a state of hunger and violent struggle. It's not that without governance they would revert to eating each other alive, it's that the governing body maintains a state of perpetual near crisis so that chaos can be imposed if the populace ever threatens revolt. Hobbes gets it backwards. Barbarism is not what the state comes into being to prevent, it is the tool the state uses to maintain its necessity.

So in this context Legravalima's design is a fantastic subversion and reversal of the leviathan. She's made up of the citizenry the polity, but it's in fact all the people she and the aristocracy have consumed! She's this writhing mass of the whole system of exploitation. Having eaten even the rest of the aristocrats, she is the perfect bloated nightmare image of the Absolute Monarch. You want a monarch immune from the "right of revolution" cause she's made up of the whole body of the populace, well, here you have it! Like, literally she's too powerful because of everything she consumed, and her mere presence strips Ray and Emma of their autonomy, freezing them in place in terror of her authority.

Well, until it all becomes too much to contain. You know that thing in anime where people are like "you're already dead"? Well, if you think about it, that's really the statement of dialectical materialism. The contradictions already present within a system create states of crisis that bring bring it down and give rise to new states of being in a revolutionary upheaval.

Monarchy, you are already dead.

What a stunningly literal example of the contradictions of a system boiling over unable to be contained! The queen literally dissolves into gooey ruin because she attempts to devour more than her body has room for. Badass. I love it. 

Admittedly it's not like the people then actively rise up in revolution. The text isn't you know perfectly marxist-leninist or whatever. But I think this is a fantastic (in both meanings of the word) visualization of how the materialism of history trumps the materialism of Hobbes and his "human nature". Even demons with Musica's help are able to overcome their "innate" need to eat humans. Who knows, maybe without her they could've arrived at other technical solutions. Earth is in the year 2045 or so, so like, probably they've got stem cell tech that could just grow artificial blood cells. That's not important though. What's important is the story's recognition that if it wasn't in the material interests of the ruling classes to allow that technology to become widespread they simply would not do it.

Oh and in case you miss the subtext, the story has its ultimate opponent, a human named James Ratri, straight up say: look, you think you can escape to earth and everything will be fine, but humans are no fucking different than demons, you dumb babies, our world is a mess too!

When the kids actually get to earth, though, it turns out that after decades of collapse, contagion, and climate disaster the earth has unified under one world government. There is no more concept of "immigrants". The internal contradictions of earth led to the exact kind of civil war that the heroes were able to prevent on the demon world. And in the end a new system was instated not cause everyone got together and voted to have a King but because that upheaval transformed the material conditions.

Like I don't think this is a Marxist parable of anything like that. It just happens to be a solidly told story that really uses the surreal allegorical potential of the comics medium to go to some exciting places while always keeping an eye on the way its lore is grounded in the material. Doing that means grounding its morality too. You can't say everything is the result of material conditions and then simply commit a genocide. You always have to be aware of the intrinsic potential humanity even in the demons. 

We don't have a capricious demon-god sitting outside of time and space willing to grant us ironic and conditional wishes though--a core part of the manga's resolution. If we want to change our conditions we have to do it ourselves. We've got to make it so the leviathan trying to digest us can't swallow its food.

This Has Been

Nasty, Brutish, and Short

93 people supported this article on Patreon. Will you join them?

Eve Laughed At Their Decision

Yes, the Christian symbols in Neon Genesis Evangelion mean something. Rei Ayanami is the key... but does the word of her creating god give us enough room to find our own meaning?

I Want To Connect (But It's Hard To Understand): Sarazanmai

For an anime all about connections, Sarazanmai, with its musical numbers, kappa mythology, and formal experimentation sure can be obscure. But its unique symbols are an inventive communication tool, one rooted in the unique power of cartooning.

2x2 Girls: Queer Mirroring in She-Ra

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ended on a high and very gay note, but the show's queerness goes much deeper than the flashy finale. To understand how the show is constructed around its central lesbian relationship, though, we have to be open to learning the techniques it uses to tell their story.

Read the whole story
27 days ago
Davis, CA
Share this story

Laying the foundation for Rust's future


The Rust project was originally conceived in 2010 (depending on how you count, you might even say 2006!) as a Mozilla Research project, but the long term goal has always been to establish Rust as a self-sustaining project. In 2015, with the launch of Rust 1.0, Rust established its project direction and governance independent of the Mozilla organization. Since then, Rust has been operating as an autonomous organization, with Mozilla being a prominent and consistent financial and legal sponsor.

Mozilla was, and continues to be, excited by the opportunity for the Rust language to be widely used, and supported, by many companies throughout the industry. Today, many companies, both large and small, are using Rust in more diverse and more significant ways, from Amazon’s Firecracker, to Fastly’s Lucet, to critical services that power Discord, Cloudflare, Figma, 1Password, and many, many more.

On Tuesday, August 11th 2020, Mozilla announced their decision to restructure the company and to lay off around 250 people, including folks who are active members of the Rust project and the Rust community. Understandably, these layoffs have generated a lot of uncertainty and confusion about the impact on the Rust project itself. Our goal in this post is to address those concerns. We’ve also got a big announcement to make, so read on!

Community impact

There’s no denying the impact these layoffs have had on all members of the Rust community, particularly the folks who have lost their jobs in the middle of a global pandemic. Sudden, unexpected layoffs can be a difficult experience, and they are made no less difficult when it feels like the world is watching. Impacted employees who are looking for job assistance can be found on Mozilla’s talent directory.

Notwithstanding the deep personal impact, the Rust project as a whole is very resilient to such events. We have leaders and contributors from a diverse set of different backgrounds and employers, and that diversity is a critical strength. Further, it is a common misconception that all of the Mozilla employees who participated in Rust leadership did so as a part of their employment. In fact, many Mozilla employees in Rust leadership contributed to Rust in their personal time, not as a part of their job.

Finally, we would like to emphasize that membership in Rust teams is given to individuals and is not connected to one’s employer. Mozilla employees who are also members of the Rust teams continue to be members today, even if they were affected by the layoffs. Of course, some may choose to scale back their involvement. We understand not everyone might be able to continue contributing, and we would fully support their decision. We're grateful for everything they have done for the project so far.

Starting a foundation

As the project has grown in size, adoption, and maturity, we’ve begun to feel the pains of our success. We’ve developed legal and financial needs that our current organization lacks the capacity to fulfill. While we were able to be successful with Mozilla’s assistance for quite a while, we’ve reached a point where it’s difficult to operate without a legal name, address, and bank account. “How does the Rust project sign a contract?” has become a question we can no longer put off.

Last year, we began investigating the idea of creating an independent Rust foundation. Members of the Rust Team with prior experience in open source foundations got together to look at the current landscape, identifying the things we’d need from a foundation, evaluating our options, and interviewing key members and directors from other foundations.

Building on that work, the Rust Core Team and Mozilla are happy to announce plans to create a Rust foundation. The Rust Core Team's goal is to have the first iteration of the foundation up and running by the end of the year.

This foundation’s first task will be something Rust is already great at: taking ownership. This time, the resource is legal, rather than something in a program. The various trademarks and domain names associated with Rust, Cargo, and crates.io will move into the foundation, which will also take financial responsibility for the costs they incur. We see this first iteration of the foundation as just the beginning. There’s a lot of possibilities for growing the role of the foundation, and we’re excited to explore those in the future.

For now though, we remain laser-focused on these initial narrow goals for the foundation. As an immediate step the Core Team has selected members to form a project group driving the efforts to form the foundation. Expect to see follow-up blog posts from the group with more details about the process and opportunities to give feedback. In the meantime, you can email the group at foundation@rust-lang.org.

Leading with infrastructure

While we have only begun the process of setting up the foundation, over the past two years the Infrastructure Team has been leading the charge to reduce the reliance on any single company sponsoring the project, as well as growing the number of companies that support Rust.

These efforts have been quite successful, and — as you can see on our sponsorship page — Rust’s infrastructure is already supported by a number of different companies throughout the ecosystem. As we legally transition into a fully independent entity, the Infrastructure Team plans to continue their efforts to ensure that we are not overly reliant on any single sponsor.

Thank you

We’re excited to start the next chapter of the project by forming a foundation. We would like to thank everyone we shared this journey with so far: Mozilla for incubating the project and for their support in creating a foundation, our team of leaders and contributors for constantly improving the community and the language, and everyone using Rust for creating the powerful ecosystem that drives so many people to the project. We can’t wait to see what our vibrant community does next.

Read the whole story
31 days ago
Davis, CA
38 days ago
Washington, DC
Share this story

MQF and buffered MQF: Quotient filters for efficient storage of k-mers with their counts and metadata

1 Comment
Background: Specialized data structures are required for online algorithms to efficiently handle large sequencing datasets. The counting quotient filter (CQF), a compact hashtable, can efficiently store k-mers with a skewed distribution. Result: Here, we present the mixed-counters quotient filter (MQF) as a new variant of the CQF with novel counting and labeling systems. The new counting system adapts to a wider range of data distributions for increased space efficiency and is faster than the CQF for insertions and queries in most of the tested scenarios. A buffered version of the MQF can offload storage to disk, trading speed of insertions and queries for a significant memory reduction. The labeling system provides a flexible framework for assigning labels to member items while maintaining good data locality and a concise memory representation. These labels serve as a minimal perfect hash function but are ~10 fold faster than BBhash, with no need to re-analyze the original data for further insertions or deletions. Conclusion: The MQF is a flexible and efficient data structure that extends our ability to work with high throughput sequencing data.
Read the whole story
32 days ago
a preprint from my lab =]
Davis, CA
Share this story

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Funding

1 Comment
That's just professor hair, not an affectation.

Read the whole story
35 days ago
Too real
Davis, CA
Share this story
Next Page of Stories