Issue 37.3 of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly has been published, and the magazine’s staff have replaced what would normally be the “Meetings” page at the back of the issue with a piece on the status of in-person 2600 meetings during the current crisis.
We at NYC2600.net agree wholeheartedly with the thoughts and sentiments presented, and are republishing that page here for reference.
2600 meetings remain suspended, due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis. We know this is super frustrating and disappointing for everyone, but we aren’t going to do anything that puts your health – or that of the people you live with – in jeopardy. There is really nowhere on the planet where these gatherings would be safe at the moment.
But this time doesn’t have to go to waste. Of course, virtual meetings through Zoom or irc.2600.net can be fun, but the whole point of 2600 meetings is to get away from being online for a few hours and actually meet some people in person. That’s the whole magic that our meetings have been known for since 1987. What we can be doing during this time off is restructuring and improving for the day we all come back.
We’re asking all meetings to reconnect with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re part of an existing meeting, let us know that you still intend to meet at the last published location or, if you’ve found something better, the new details. If you don’t have a meeting where you are but would like to start one, come up with a location and tell us the details. When we relaunch, your meeting will be part of our new list.
We do have some guidelines:
1) We meet in a public area. Nobody is excluded. There is no admission charge or dues of any sort. It’s preferable to have meetings in as open a spot as possible rather than behind closed doors. This ensures that new people who don’t know about the meetings will be drawn in. We have nothing to hide and we don’t presume to judge who is worthy of attending and who is not.
2) We act in a responsible manner. We don’t do illegal things and we don’t cause problems for the place we’re meeting in. Most 2600 meetings are welcomed by the establishments we choose.
3) We meet on the first Friday of the month between 5 pm and 8 pm local time. While there will always be people who can’t make this particular time, the same will hold true for any time or day chosen. By having all the meetings on the same day it makes it very easy to remember, opens up the possibility for inter-meeting communication, and really causes hell for the federal agencies who want to monitor everything we do. (Meetings can have slight variations on the time and we make exceptions on the meeting day in those countries where the dominant customs prohibit meeting on Fridays.)
4) While meetings are not limited to big cities, most of them take place in large metropolitan areas that are easily accessible. While it’s convenient to have a meeting in your home town, we encourage people to go to meetings where they’ll meet people from as wide an area ass possible. So if there’s a meeting within an hour or two from your town, go to that one rather than have two smaller meetings fairly close to each other. You always have the opportunity to get together with “home town hackers” any time you want.
Follow @2600meetings on Twitter to find out when meetings will resume. Stay safe!