Be prepared: Suggested reading for the coming months
The unthinkable has happened, and a madman is the President-elect. People feel they now have carte blanche to act however they want (not even a week has gone by and the social contract is unraveling by the moment), and it's going to get much, much worse before it gets better. I note that as of this writing, I am still optimistic that it will get better.
Read More About It
First of all, read Autocracy: Rules for Survival. Six simple rules to live by. It all goes back to "When somebody tells you who they are, believe them." Count on Donald's administration trying to do what he said he would do. Do not get taken in by people trying to normalize this as normal. What is happening is not normal.
Anil Dash wrote a great piece on getting started. We have a little time ahead of us, so we must focus on the work ahead while we can.
Help the People Already doing the work
If you're a tech person, learn how to be an effective ally with these easy steps.
- Help the helpers who are already doing the work
- Help the fighters on the front lines
- Invent solutions for the things the feds will decide they no longer care about
- At a minimum, don't make the problem worse
Write your representatives in Congress. Let them know, in no uncertain terms, how you feel. Here's a great guide to how, and get your voice heard, collected in Storify. Basically, the more direct the contact, the better. Emailing them or signing a petition doesn't have the greatest impact. Calling their office and talking to a human being is best. Pro-tip: If you can talk to the policy advisor, that seems to be the most effective!
Expand your horizons. Follow people on Twitter that don't share your background, get out of your comfort zone.
Also, put your money where your mouth is. Jezebel compiled a great list of organizations that need your support, either in time or labor. Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union have their work cut out for them in the coming months, to name just a few.
How to Encrypt Your Life In Less Than An Hour Guide to using Tor, two-factor authentication, and secure messaging. I cannot stress the importance of a password manager enough. 1Password helps organize your passwords, has a fairly decent built-in password generator, and is even usable by teams if you work in an office. No more writing down vital details on a flippin Post-It!
Sarah Benincasa, one of my favorite people on the planet, wrote about what we're going to do. It incudes a very important piece of advice.
Be a helper. And take breaks. It’s okay to take breaks, too.
As my trainer said to me this week, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. It is awesome to help people, but remember that if you don't take care of yourself, you're not going to be able to help others put their mask on, too.
Kate McKinnon's not going to give up. And neither should you.