Alpha's Manifesto

A black and white figure's thought-hive

Anecdote: Jaimitos

Life-juice, one slurp at a time

Sudden realization skunk

Back when I was in elementary school, and I might have been around 10 years old, I had a couple of friends with whom I would spend some time around school in-between classes. One of our favorite things to do in recesses, like any other child, was to go to a store and get some candy. We had a particular store crossing the street owned by this man that would make pretty much of his finances thanks to the school nearby, so he was really kind to all of us.

naranjuAround that time as well, one particular “candy” (if you can call it that) was popular. They were called Jaimitos (ha-ee-me-toh, translates to “little Jamies”? ugh), and they were basically frozen juices in a bag that you’d slurp out of it to get refreshed and drink some. I honestly can’t remember if that’s the real name, or that’s just how we would call them. The design was not particularly appealing: it was literally a plastic back that you’d puncture on one side and from there you’d suck the blood out of it. Since it was frozen, you could not get out all of it immediately, so you’d be entertained for a while.

This particular day I was buying some of those with a close friend I had. He had some spare money so he payed one of those for me. The store clerk gave them to him, and he handed one to me. I took it in my right hand, and even before he had finished paying, I was passing it to my left hand since it was freezing me down to the bone.

While we were walking away, I mentioned this as a random thought and a conversation starter.

“Doesn’t it freeze your hand?”, I asked.

“Yes, but I don’t care.”, he replied uninterested.

Silence invaded me, as I had this kind of life-changing epiphany. It never occurred to me that it was a choice for someone to not care about stuff. Could you just do that? This opened so many possibilities for me. So many things in the world that could worry me and I could just choose some of them and not care. Of course, I was a child at the moment, so this didn’t have great implications at the time, but the thought stuck around.

Decades later, it still invades me sometimes. Sometimes it is a temptation, to decide to neglect particular situations that affect me. Sometimes it is a self-inspecting doubt, whether I am ignoring the right situations and actively caring about the ones I should.

I did mention in a previous post how I consider really important to have knowledge management as something in your life. (If you can read Spanish, you can read that post, or if not, let me know so I’ll translate it.) But as a sidenote to that very same post, I think it is really important to decide what you’ll ignore, and what you’ll neglect. Both from a mental and emotional point of view. Make it a choice, and own up to it.

We know we have limited time and limited energy to deal with the world, so if we don’t take such decisions, they’ll be taken for us. And it turns out, it has always been our choice.

In a way, I’m drinking that Jaimito up to this day.

My time tracker: Google Calendar

Boxes and colors, what's left to ask?

Calendar chain

Long time ago I wrote about a proposal from a StackExchange user about how to use Google Calendar for task planning across projects and activities. The idea seemed good, and after months of making it my bread and butter, I think I have perfected it to address most of the problems I had with my workflow in Trello. It’s  not the holy grail of productivity, but it has helped me a lot.

Let me explain it to you, because if you use Google Apps or GMail, you’re most likely to benefit from this.

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Sleep time

Smart alarms

Many of you that know me also know that it has been forever a problem of mine to get to sleep properly. Not to sleep early. Not to wake up early. It’s about the quality of sleep. I’ve tried many things to address this problem, raging from hormones to witchcraft, but something seems to be making a difference: smart alarms.

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Write it down!

Before it makes you frown


Not sure if this has happened to you, but sometimes there’s just too much going on at the same time. Pretty much more that we can handle in our head.

This happens to me quite a bit: I’ll in the middle of an important meeting when suddenly someone comes in Skype saying “would you mind to code review this, please? It’s kind of urgent”. Then somebody will reach out to me saying “hey, I think the server’s down”. Then somebody will say “I think this issue is actually a server configuration thing, we’re blocked”, and somebody else will say “I cannot get the tests to run, it says undefined is not a function”. It’s like it’s raining urgent issues! This a way I found to handle the situation.

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CommonJobs: el fin de una etapa

Proyecto final y producto real


Como varios pueden haberse enterado, hace poco CommonJobs dio su etapa final como proyecto oficial que comprendía mi proyecto de tesis final. Voy a contar un poquito al respecto y qué fue lo que lo hizo destacar, si es que hubo algo al respecto.

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Lo que no se sabe que no se sabe

Manejo del conocimiento, parte 2

Temo por cualquiera atrapado entre lo que sabe y lo que todavía no sabe que no sabe.

— Cecil, Pilot (Welcome to Night Vale)

Tiempo atrás hice un post sobre consejos que yo tenía para iniciarse en la práctica de la programación, pero sobre aspectos que no tenían que ver con la tecnología. (“Consejos para un no-programador“). Hoy, uno de esos conceptos volvió a mi recargado, y quisiera elaborar sobre él: no saber que no se sabe.

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Anécdota: Clases para sentir

Aprendiendo a ser humanos


Cuando uno entra en el ámbito de la educación sabe que muchas cosas son planeadas y diseñadas a drede para que lo siguiente pueda ocurrir. Muchas otras veces, se trata de la audacia del educador, de realmente dejar de lado lo que estaba planeado para mejorar las vidas de sus estudiantes. Estoy casi seguro que este fue uno de esos últimos casos.

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