Xavier describes how things work in theory. Unfortunately, many startups grant options that systemically deprive workers of realizing the value they have created.

Chief among these are the "90 day rule," "repurchase rights" and "lock-up periods" that apply to workers but not investors.

Indeed, these terms are considered "standard" in some "off the shelf" option notices because they benefit investors at the expense of workers (most especially early employees).

Even worse, some companies will refuse to disclose the information you need to compute the expected values. …

LibrePlanet 2021 Logo

What is LibrePlanet?

LibrePlanet is the annual gathering of the Free Software Foundation (free as in freedom; not as in beer). The 2021 conference was completely virtual.

Unlike many conferences and conference platforms that put up pay and subscription walls, LibrePlanet runs on 100% free software. Anyone, anywhere can view the talks live, while FSF members get a few small perks like private IRC rooms.


Empower users by asking them for money

  • A directory of FLOSS (free/libre and open source) economic infrastructure tools are available: monetizeyourcode.com
  • The Free Software community has excelled in creating technical and legal (GPL) infrastructure, but our economic infrastructure is much less mature.
  • The primary models…


History, as in biological and physical systems, often has beautiful symmetries. In November 1944, President Roosevelt posed 4 questions to Dr. Vannevar Bush, then Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. 8 months latter, in July 1945, Bush responded with “Science The Endless Frontier” [link], which proposed the creation of what became the National Science Foundation (NSF).

On 15 Jan 2021, then President-elect Biden posed 5 questions to an eminent scientist of our era [link]. Within the year, I expect Dr. Eric Lander and his team will answer with “Science The Endless Frontier, Part II.” In the pages…

Incremental improvements on your API design workflow

Insomnia Designer debug mode on a swagger spec for FHIR R4 Explanation of Benefit (EOB)¹

On 28 April 2020, Kong announced Insomnia Designer, a stand-alone desktop application for API design and debugging with native support for Linux, OS X and Windows. This article is a point-by-point overview of Insomnia Designer vs swagger-editor (stand-alone API design) and Insomnia Core vs Postman API client (stand-alone request/response), intended for developers.

Insomnia Designer vs Swagger-Editor

TL;DR: Insomnia Designer is an incremental improvement with potential. I plan to use it on my next project.

Design: Tie

If you’re used to swagger-editor, then you’ll feel right at home in Insomnia Designer. …

OSEHRA Open Source Summit 2019, Day 1 of 2

OSEHRA registration sign. Bright and early.

OSEHRA was established by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) circa 2011, to support public and private-sector contributions to the VistA (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture) electronic information service. VistA is composed of hundreds of tightly coupled applications [1], a roughly 60/40 split between electronic health record (EHR) and back office (timekeeping, finance, supply chain, etc.). In 2017, the VA signed a $10 billion no-bid contract with Cerner, the largest US EHR vendor by revenue, that has expanded to $16 billion in 2018 [2].

From the audience of ~100 gathered in Rockville, Maryland — a short metro…

Oral testimony in hearing to examine implementing the 21st Century Cures Act

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has an information blocking proposal in public comment [link]. This information blocking proposal addresses, among other topics, the abuse of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by health IT vendors to block access to patient data, and in-turn extract economic rents from payors, providers and patients.

In observing the fracas of mobilization of concentrated interest against a very large, but relatively diffuse public benefit, I turn my attention to one man’s testimony at a hearing to examine implementing the 21st Century Cures Act.

Vendors develop products and services…

On Thursday 31 January 2019, ~75 members of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) of Maryland converged on Annapolis to meet and greet Maryland state representatives¹ and share stories about policy.

Health and Government Operations Committee chair Delegate Shane Pendergrass even took the podium for a few minutes to share the committee’s work on NextGen EMS.²


The de facto policy focus of the 2019 lobby day was telemedicine.

The “10,000 foot view” potential of telemedicine, as distinct from the broader concept of telehealth, was presented by Dwight Raum (Johns Hopkins University CTO) and Aalok Shah (JHU inHealth Initiative).

Boston Cooperative Investment Club (BCIC) at 2018 MIT Day of Action

On Tue (17 April 2018), Boston Cooperative Investment Club (BCIC) member Ryan spoke at the MIT Day of Action.

He gave an overview of:

It’s easy to talk about collective oppression, e.g. tax dollars going to kill black/brown people. It’s harder, for many, to take the concrete step of reducing harm by directing accumulated wealth towards less oppressive aims.


The first step is recognizing tech organizations have a problem. The second is realising that tech solutions won’t solve them.

geralt, Creative Commons

On 23/24 February 2018, ~200 folks representing academia (3/4), industry (1/4) and a handful of government folks convened for two rainy days at NYU Law to discuss how black box algorithms and powerful unaccountable tech companies have broken the Internet. The program is available online, as well as recordings.

Stand-out talks

“Approaches and Strategies for Providing a Minimum Income in the District of Columbia”

Two years ago, spurred by the fight for $15 movement, DC Council-member David Grosso commissioned a report by the Office of the Budget Director to answer three questions:

  1. What is the cost of living in the District for various households?
  2. How are households impacted by existing in-kind transfer programs?
  3. What would be the impact of a DC-wide universal cash transfer program?

The report was released on 27 February 2018 [Announcement, Full report]

The report finds that a universal cash payments via a refundable tax credit to the Federal poverty level has negligible impact on employment and existing federal payments for…

Ryan M Harrison

Software for life-sciences and health IT. Basic Income. Solidarity Investment.

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