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We live in the future. Computers drive cars, fight parking tickets and raise children. Why not let machines name our children, too? What if a computer program could find the ideal baby name. Maybe it’s a perfect combination of both parents’ names—or maybe it’s a name that’s completely unique.

I trained a neural network on a list of 7500 popular American baby names, forcing it to turn each name into a mathematical representation called an embedding.


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Building a social network is more of an art than a science. All the social platforms we use today strike a unique balance between allowing free-form communication and enforcing productive constraints that make posting less dauntingly open-ended and chaotic. Unique combinations of media, constraints and etiquette let online communities develop in wildly different directions.

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Countless possibilities.

So Zach Deocadiz and I decided to build a social network for building social networks—it’s called Stacks. Every stack is its own social network—when you make one, you can drag-and-drop the content that appears on each post.

Want to make a community where people share photos of food and tag their friends in it? Or one where people check-in to concerts and share audio clips of the show? A photo-sharing community with no comments but six different Like buttons? A group for sharing articles and commenting on them using sketches? …


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When you’ve been surrounded by a team of people working towards an building an inclusive, enriching hackathon for three years, it’s sometimes easy to forget that for many people, the phrase approachable hackathon is a bit of an oxymoron. Over our three years, we’ve tried to build an event that’s at odds with the unfriendly connotations of hackathon—an event that’s approachable, rather than intimidating; where you don’t need to be an expert “hacker”, but you’ll still make really impressive things; where hopefully the systemic inequalities of tech culture are a little less bad.

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Communicating those values in our brand, our marketing materials, our website and our experience took lots of work from an incredible team of designers; in this post, I’ll talk a bit about the work we’ve done to achieve that. …

About

Nate Parrott

coding and designing and things, somewhere http://nateparrott.com

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