Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

Hey Tumblr

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Verizon owns Tumblr. Verizon has no chill and probably will kill this service anytime they want, which might be tomorrow. Probably in the next couple years.

I always thought having a slideshow of my likes at my funeral would be the shit. I wish I could save them all in a convenient file with a big ass folder full of gifs and pictures. I found a script that does it but I haven’t tried it yet. SAVE YOUR LIKES AND POSTS TOO, DIGITAL STORAGE IS ULTRA CHEAP.

To users and post makers: I love you. I love y’all (not y’all over there stirring up shit and stealing content, of course). Tumblr has some of the funniest shit I have ever seen online and I’m decently old now. Thank you for all the work, all those perfect gifs. All those inspiring posts. I’m serious. It’s phenomenal.

To women of color of Tumblr: you already know. You know you made that website a million times better. I’m still giggling at shit like Dick Me Down Darius™ and so many more.

To youngsters: if you feel something for someone and this relationship is reasonably doable, just go and fucking give it a try. Embrace the offline world. We’re so incredibly polarized and you will live longer than any previous generation so pace yourself, give some love, get hurt, regroup, give more love, block, give more love. Stay away from the dark forces, I know they’re strong. But I also know they don’t lead anywhere.

To my followers who still can read more than a sentence at a time: heyy thank you for reading.

Pineapple

Friday, December 8th, 2017

On my IT gig I’ve been helping this old Asian lady for months. She comes to see me to get help. She’s over 75. She has no family around, she works and needs basic email stuff etc. So I show her how to do stuff on her devices. Once I’m done explaining and showing her, she’s always excited and happy like a child.

She often says "oh I love you so much!" and I’m like "I love you too!". Yesterday she comes by. New phone, new stuff to learn. I show her the process of uploading pictures and she’s super excited and happy as usual. She says "do you like pineapple?" And I’m like "yeah" She comes back 3mn later and gives me a pineapple.

I don’t know if she got rid of it or if it was a true present but it’s all good. “How did it go today?” asked my boss. I raised the fruit, shaking my head laughing, she started wheezing. My bagpack was heavy this morning and I remembered that it had a pineapple in it. A pineapple.

"He was rich in personality and getting pineapple for free" on my tombstone y’all.

Slow Clap

Monday, December 4th, 2017

The pursuit of popularity in a hyper-connected digital environment accentuates the populist style of communication that already characterized media-driven forms of political communication well before the internet age—a style characterized by dramatization, confrontation, negativity, emotionalization, personalization, visualization, and hyper-simplification.

Important article. Get involved locally, focus, make moves, support what you believe, don’t stop.

FirstDraft

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

I finished editing the first draft. 207 pages.

Writing a memoir is a trip. There’s something mind-bending, thinking back and forth, forth and back over almost four decades.

It’s liberating. I wrote down some stuff that I had in mind for years and I don’t think about them anymore, as if my mind knew that now that it’s out there, there’s no need to keep thinking about it.

It’s exhilarating and weird.

Going through pages, jumping here and there makes me realize how much Design has been and is my life, my soul. I obsess about designing better. For anything and everything. I need to fix this shit. It’s like an emergency, a countdown to me. It’s beyond passion. I know where it comes from.

Now what? I have to hand it over to a few readers I guess. See if I can find a publisher. I’m toying with titles, it’s fun. One that still makes me laugh after months is “I Got Out I Guess”. I haven’t seen the movie yet. You have to read my book/know me well to truly understand why. I also have “Baguette & Burgers” and a dozen others.

The pitch? “from 80s socialist France to post-Obama America follow the fascinating, intersectional life of a different tech worker of color.”

BITCH BUCKLE UP

UnpredictaBall

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Phila whoopin Western conference 4th seed’s ass hello? The Sixers having a scary as shit month. I call him INDEED EMBIID now. I saw a play where Simmons just torture super athletic Iguadala under the basket like he’s a toy. Ben Simmons is a devilishly good rookie. Best game I’ve seen this year was Sixers vs Mavs, it was awesome.

The key to win is to be unpredictable. And if possible, to offer some entertainment to people.

My Spurs doing pretty well so far but can’t wait for Parker and Leonard to come back. The Pels are doing a little too well, they’re getting more stable with Rondo. The Two Towers are real. So is Filthy Kyrie. All those teams are pretty hard to decipher. What will be the next play? Exactly.

The Raptors are meshing harder and harder. I think their game vs the Warriors was amazing, they figured some shit out. But they still are predictable. So are the Warriors even though they’re so good it’s not an issue. It is with Cleveland. Houston wins with ease but seriously, the 3s all the time? Not fun to watch, even though Harden is unreal from behind the arc.

Holding on and not giving in

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

I was reading about social media attacking our free will. It reminded me of the internal struggle I had when trying to get that Gmail address in 2004 (invite-only, already a vicious mind trick). At that time, Gmail was vastly superior to anything around but the catch was unprecedented: Google would have access to my emails and contacts. I remember pondering and not wanting that at all. I gave in.

Quote:

it’s more about people having a totally different sense of reality, even within the same society or on the same street. It really makes it hard to achieve that common sense of what’s at stake that is necessary for an effective democracy.

And this behavior reinforces itself because of the power of communities, that are sheltering us from a lot but also are destroying the common. In the end, we still all live together on the same big rock. The sense of being all part of the same thing needs to stay but is pulled out by a mix of technology and capitalism.

Every week there are these outrage cascades online. Outrage is a rewarding thing to us, because it fulfills a lot of these psychological needs we have. It could be used to help us move forward, but often, they’re used to keep us clicking and scrolling and typing.

That’s honestly what I fear most about all the sexual harassment stories lately. Not that they are false, but that we think those websites are trying to be progressive when they’re mostly playing us for clicks. Those stories are sadly not new so why so many in few months? Because engagement is insane and metrics are in real time, pushing for all kinds of shady tactics. That undermines actual solutions to real problems.

I don’t know any comparable governmental or religious mechanism that’s anything comparable to the smart phone and social media, in the sense that people give so much attention to it, and it has such a frequency and duration of operation.

I think it varies a lot across generations. Boomers don’t care. Most Gen X can slow down and not give a fuck overnight. Millennials, less. Gen Z, smartphone natives, even less if at all. Don’t give phones to your kids. Let them grow without that stuff as much as possible.

In the end we need to stop using advertising as the source of income in a global environment, it’s just bad design that created what we’re living now. It’s already unsustainable. Let’s stop giving in.

MakesNoSense

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

People are said to be excited by AR but can’t mention one single reason or one application where it would actually change their lives for the better. Also people in 2009: “I want notifications!!!” and in 2017: “no I don’t omg make them disappear please”.

If you download a movie you might get a letter telling you that they will cut your connection if you persist but tax evasion in the hundreds of billion dollars offshore is “in the spirit of laws” so it’s fine. Flint still has no clean water.

I lost track of how many VR systems there are out there but it’s a lot and when looking at all time peak stats I only see single to triple digits players. That’s ghastly. Outside developers, I’ve never seen anyone using one.

There’s a new programming language called Pony. People code in Pony now. If they code in Octopus or Calzone in 2020, don’t bother asking.

Elon Musk unveils $200K car and an electric truck and has the weirdest transportation ideas. Elon, we good on that front. We made tremendous progress since the Prius, people don’t move that much and half of pollution comes from cooling/heating buildings anyway. Disrupt housing, man.

People are happy to download iOS 11.3.9.1.1.call.me.sometime to fix the most inexcusable bugs on $1000 phones like it’s totally fine and normal. It just works.

I see programmers on Hacker News arguing about why we don’t need that much JavaScript on websites because most of them are static pages. Bitch, we knew. We told you years ago but y’all needed jobs and now the web is technically a monstrously inefficient pile of shit.

Here on the west coast people throw free joints at you at traffic lights, in Portugal all drugs are legal and in France you will soon get a $375 fine for smoking cannabis, the weakest link. What le fuck.

Lack of consistency and nonsense just get on my nerves so much.

The perfection of the laptop form factor

Monday, November 20th, 2017

After almost six months doing IT support, I am still shocked at how much people don’t like their tablets. I never bought the hype but I was pretty sure that people enjoyed their devices.

Main complaint: They’re tired of pulling the keyboard out, constantly. And if they’re using their tablets a lot they buy stands and keyboards and then well, it’s just a laptop that isn’t compatible with everything like a laptop is.

Laptops are fantastic in terms of usage. They’re light, they sit on their own, mate screens are still the shit (thanks Lenovo, thank you). You might even be able to upgrade a thing or two to make them last longer. If I could have the same 2012 laptop that I have with 2017 AMD hardware inside, I’d buy one as soon as possible. OEMs are still thinking that people look for innovation when we’re looking for peace of mind. So they build new laptops with new hardware, changing the keyboard layout –who asked you?- getting rid of ports –who asked you?- and adding shit we never asked for, like a touchscreen. Laptops with touchscreens make absolutely no sense.

15” is kind of the perfect size to work at a desk and watch a movie in bed. Plug in a controller bam, it’s a Switch console now. Plug in speakers and a sound card, you now have a more than decent recording studio. It’s beautiful.

I want people to realize the beauty in the fact that we have reached some kind of perfection. Bigger sizes don’t do it. More pixels don’t change nothing (your eyes are not getting better with time) and are absolutely overkill on the GPU/battery life front.

There is no need to reach for new form factors. We could use more convenience like waterproof, washable laptop keyboard (how come it’s still not a thing????), actual standard sound volume buttons and other little improvements and consistency that need to be polished.

I wish I could start a hardware shop. Simple Machines. Customized by real users, for real users.

It’s all about distribution

Friday, November 17th, 2017

So I’m there in the little blue bar:

Distribution

The divide is staggering. You can read about the full report here (pdf).

Between 1983 and 2013, the wealth of median Black households decreased by 75%.

Basically most of the black wealth earned after WWII and the civil rights movement is gone. Let’s take a picture of economic growth:

World wealth growth over time

Wealth, worldwide, went up so hard after the 50s it’s almost a straight vertical line. At the same time, black people in the wealthiest country on earth, in the freest times –1980s and up– lost 75% of their wealth. That’s just not possible, technically. That makes no sense whatsoever. And yet.

If we don’t change everything now, well from the report’s own words:

By 2024, median Black and Latino households are projected to own 60-80% less wealth than they did in 1983. By then, the continued rise in racial wealth inequality between median Black, Latino and White households is projected to lead White households to own 99 and 75 times more wealth than their Black and Latino counterparts, respectively.

In a few years white people in the US probably will have on average, about 2 orders of magnitude more wealth than black people. I can’t even process that. I have to re-do the math. Twice as much is 2X, which is already a lot more. Five times more is filthy. 99 times more? No wonder white folks are so much more chill about the future while people of color are stressing out. Jesus. More facts:

Distribution

I think this is what gets me the most. Strong, qualified black and brown folks doing worse despite having done everything to succeed. I know, you white folks feel irritated by that because you did everything to succeed too and it didn’t pan out. But on average, you have a massive cushion of wealth that will help you out. We don’t have that.

Because the safety net is basically inexistent the fact that qualified, highly educated people of color can’t find work is a tragedy in the making. It’s even weirder with all that talk about inclusivity and diversity, that makes it even more confusing to me, tech worker of color. I can’t land a start of an interview for contract jobs that I can do with ease, that’s how bad it is. Meanwhile all the jobs I did? Stellar reviews from bosses. It’s disheartening. But I keep going. It’s been years.

It’s not about education. It’s not about working hard. It’s not about making sacrifices. It’s about wealth distribution. And distribution fucking sucks.

WellDamn

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach a few weeks ago. Photo by my dear Janet.

It’s when I noticed that homeless people all have better shoes than I do that I felt anxiety going up a bit. On that beach day I saw a pair of Jordan’s by the thrash cans and wanted to pick them up. No judging.

Colin Kaepernick is on GQ’s cover but my brothas are disappearing. They’re around, I see them, have them on the phone, text them. We have a bowl, a drink, talking politics and sports. And one day poof, gone. Nothing for days, which become months. There’s something terrifying in having your peers, your friends vanishing in a 24/7 connected world. Anxiety going up a bit more. Black men are really not doing well. We’re hiding it in plain sight. Stay strong, brother. Don’t forget to close your eyes and to stretch that body, it helps.