I'm starting to get used to people sending me stuff from all over the world. It started with an awesome German hacker sending me a $20 bill. He chose cash because he wanted to contribute in a way that wasn’t traceable.
The next one came in the form of a phone call. I happened to be asleep at the time and so my mobil was on Do-Not-Disturb. It was someone from Islamabad Pakistan. He called to tell me how much he loved my movie.
This morning I got an email from Russia. It was someone telling me that I needed to translate ALGORITHM into Russian. I get these kinds of requests pretty often, but since I’m not rich and I don’t speak Russian, I usually reply with, “All the translations were done by people like you who chose to contribute. If you’d like to do a translation, feel free to send me an email and I’ll send you the required Excel document to make it viable on my end.”
I usually don’t get a reply.
But this morning’s Russian email was different because it had a link. I’ll get more into that in a moment.
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Because of the international nature of my new semi-famous life, I’ve implemented some basic security measures to make sure those emails don't get viruses onto my machine.
Within the settings of the email client, there’s a setting that says, “Load remote content in messages,” or something like that. That’s where most of the viruses that spread now days come from. By unchecking that, emails look a lot less pretty, but they’re all now pretty much plain text, which means no viruses. Of course, if I know they come from a trusted source, it’s easy to get the images back in, on an email-by-email basis.
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I did that months ago, so when the Russian email came in this morning, I knew I was safe.
The email had a link in it, which is pretty normal. I usually send those straight to the trash, but for some reason I clicked on this one. I’m very glad I did. It went to the website where people have been translating ALGORITHM into 19 non-English languages. Some of them aren't finished, but still, it's pretty awesome!
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There’s a tendency among creatives to want to hold on to something we’ve created and horde it. I get that. I understand the idea because it implies a desire to maintain a standard of quality. I know I do that when I’m making my projects. But, there’s a time when that kind of control stops helping and starts hurting a project. I wrote an essay about that called The Free Future Starts Now.
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If you speak a language that isn’t on the site, or if you’d like to add to one of the languages that’s already up, please feel free. There’s no barrier-to-entry with this.
One last thing, which should probably have been first (but that would have disrupted the narrative flow): HUGE thanks to everyone who already contributed! I love this new collaborative future!