Ten Things I’m Grateful for—Chaos Communication Camp Edition

Continuing the gratitude-listing tradition, here are ten things I’m grateful for after an amazing week-ish banging around the woods outside Berlin, at Chaos Communication Camp 2015 near Zehdenick, Germany.

1. Finding my Tribe, being welcomed by my people. Remember that high school robotics team? And the dissertation research with all the techie things that no one in political science knew what I was doing with, and the releasing of files to the excellent reporter? And the manic living room dancing? Yeah. Turns out I’m a hacker.

2. Sleeping outside under the stars. 

3. Sky-diving with Sarah Harrison & friends. 

4. Lasercut-fitted butterfly wings and matching ballerina-fairy-princess ensemble. Directions for making your own wings, video of Wtf Butterfly lightning talk coming soon. 

5. Lightning talk—scarier than sky-diving, but done! Good ideas and people. Good practice for the next, hopefully 45-minute version to a bigger audience. And for a prospective 20 minute presentation of my research on bias in polygraphy (lie detection) at Hacktivity in Budapest in October. And for feeling good on camera even when I’ve lost my foundation and been running around in the woods for days with my underwear inside-out and my birth certificate in my purse. 

6. Plum wine

7. Writing my first (slow down, girlfriend—latest prospective) Guardian essay under my new(ish) name in under an hour in a tent with some of the world’s foremost information security and investigative journalism experts. 

8. Lake with laughing children and beautiful families, showing how normal and simple and wonderful life can be, even when one takes risks working on serious problems. 

9. Making and drinking tea with new friends—so many new friends—and old internet acquaintances. Finally meeting two particularly heroic and deeply admired female writers on contemporary surveillance state issues, Asher Wolf and Biella Coleman IRL. Blue-haired people. 

10. Skinny-dipping and civil disobedience with Keith Downy of the PayPal Fourteen