Those who dance professionally can attest that when your moves are on point, it feels like you are one with the universe. It is one of many variations of being in the flow state where nothing else matters but being in the present moment, and all of your attention and focus is on the next step. The young stunna Seth Vangeldren embodies this, which is evident in his memorizing videos of him dancing. Digital artisans from across the internet have channeled their energy to create memes on behalf of the Yang Gang in a grassroots effort to support Andrew Yang’s Presidential Campaign. Erika Herzog is an information specialist whose attempts to highlight issues in Wikipedia led to her ousting from the Wikimedia Foundation. Operating out of Hong Kong, technologist Sherman Lee is on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology with his projects and funds. And Toritseju Blessing Kaka is evangelizing blockchain technology in his native Nigeria through the organizations he is working with on the EOS blockchain. Learn more about this week’s honorees in the Everipedia Culture Roundup!
Move over backpack kid, there’s a new dancing whiteboy in town. Not even a teenager yet, Seth Vangeldren of Florida has gone viral multiple times over his smooth moves. He was first noticed at a local basketball game and has since made a number of videos of him dancing to different contemporary rap hits from the likes of XXXTENTACION, Rich The Kid, Maxo Cream, and others. Seth has since capitalized off his talent and fame, being contacted by rappers and their record labels to dance to their songs for a price. As he fine-tunes his moves, Vangeldren will only get better and there will be someone with a camera for sure to capture it.
Mix the meme power and enthusiasm of both Bernie Bros and the Trump Train together with a dash of unique ideas and you get the YANG GANG, the self-titled group of online supporters backing Presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Self-proclaimed members proudly procure their mission to “secure the bag” in reference to Andrew Yang’s freedom dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000 a month. The origins of the Yang Gang are murky but it is accepted that the group started to gain a foothold following Yang’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast. As a result of the Yang Gang, Yang himself has seen a catapult in donations and is likely to make it on the stage of the first democratic debate. Time will tell of the Yang Gang’ strength will last, but at least we have some dank memes for historians to study and analyze in the future.
Armed with years of experience as an information specialist, Herzog has made the curation and organization of data as the centerpiece of her career. Herzog would even volunteer her time editing Wikipedia and was the Secretary and on the Board of Wikimedia NYC. As Secretary, Herzog was vital in securing a Wikimedia Plan Grant worth $74,000 and led efforts to accelerate growth. Yet, in her attempts to take this passion to the hallowed halls of Wikipedia as well as further the conversation about gender bias and harassment on the platform, she was met with hostility and was banned from the Wikimedia Foundation in August 2018.
At the nexus of blockchain and artificial intelligence is where you can find Sherman Lee who has his toes in both fields. The Hong Kong-based entrepreneur is the co-founder of the Raven Protocol which provides deep learning training in a distributed manner for neural networks. In addition, he is a partner at the accelerator Zeroth.AI which focuses on investing in companies in the artificial intelligence and machine learning spaces. For his education, Lee graduated from UC Berkeley where he studied computer science and linguistics. Between what he is building and what he is funding, it is safe to say what he sees on a regular basis is Unbe-Lee-Vable!
Based out of Nigeria, Toritseju Blessing Kaka is doing everything he can to bring blockchain technology to the African nation. Kaka first became involved in crypto in 2016 as a user of Steemit and became an ambassador to the platform soon after. He later became an active participant in the EOS community and became an ambassador to projects such as the block producer EOS Nation and the African Community Champion for the tech education platform Carmel. In February 2019, Kaka launched EmpowermeEOS, a social enterprise organization that aims to empower marginalized youths and teens by giving them EOS tech, education, and mentorship. As the EOS community evolves and moves forward, it will be people like Kaka and many like him that will play a vital role in its success.