andres marrugo

Always Late to the Party

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

It always seems I’m late to the party. For several years I pondered on the idea of joining Twitter, but it never really made much sense to me – at least at the time – to join a social network where there were hardly any friends of mine1. Big mistake, that actually is one of the cool things about twitter. Unlike Facebook, it does provides an open space suitable for engaging in discussions, albeit short, of all sorts with interesting people who don’t really have to be your “friend.”

It turns out that shortly after joining twitter most people2 were already considering abandoning it in favor of For the time being seems like a niche thing, and most people seem to continue on twitter. Whether that stays that way for the next year or so depends on twitter and their recent policy changes that could well endanger the platform as we know it today.

It’s All About The Editor

For quite a while it seemed that everywhere I looked, geeks where rejoicing and feeling proud of their text editor of choice: Textmate. I did look into it a couple of times, but I always thought it ways a bit too expensive for me.

For the most part it seemed I had always managed to get by with the tools at my disposal, I really didn’t feel like I needed something else. I would use the builtin Matlab editor for writing Matlab code. As regards LaTeX – for writing papers – I would use the open source and free (as in beer) Texmaker. I really wasn’t aware of the exciting and cool features of advanced text editors like Textmate or Vim.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a computer enthusiast, but a lone one. I never did have close friends that were into the sort of things I liked. I was never really ostracized, but I was the “nerd” nevertheless.

This brief digression is not without a purpose, which is to bring forth the fact that despite being a geek, I’ve never been part of a geek community of any sort. And this influenced my way of life and how I – before social networks – ended up finding out about the latest and coolest thing. More often than not, late and when it wasn’t really a new thing. The text editor dilemma is proof to my lack of geeky-social interaction.

Before I bought Textmate, I did do a little background check to see what was happening to its development. Apparently it was being not-so-actively developed, but version 2.0 was on the way. I had managed to somehow convince myself that it was totally worth it and that I would write my thesis with it.

Shortly after I bought it, it went open source, and to the impression of some: abandoned. It seems that for quite some time, everyone had been moving to Sublime text or BBEdit. Late to the party once again. I just can’t stop thinking that if somehow I had looked into it a bit more, if I had participated more on forums and different communities all of this would have ended differently. I can however say, that I am still using Textmate 1, and I’m enjoying my self quite a bit.

A Static or Dynamic Blog

Technically speaking I’ve been bloggin since 2010. However, I must be honest and admit that for about the first year of my (former) blog I hardly posted a thing or two. It was a blog and for nearly the last year or so, I began posting more regularly and I was really enjoying myself. I rapidly got accustomed to wordpress; so much, that I felt trapped in the platform, and I needed more customization to set things my way. Well, for the looks of it, I had to leave and move my blog somewhere else in order to do just that.

I kept blogging there, while I looked around to explore my options. It was interesting that this time I was also late, but not so much in the sense that I was able to catch a lot of people during their migration from a dynamic blog to a static one. I’m not going to go through the details of why I chose a static blog, but it does have its advantages with respect to a dynamic one, like wordpress.

Getting Stuff Done

As a final section for this already long post, I’d like to mention how I’ve also been late to the whole GTD movement (if there is such a thing). It’s amusing how shortly after I started to actually read David Allen’s book on “Getting Things Done”, some people were already arguing

“whether GTD [was] valid after more than 10 years without any real “update”.”

Sven Fechner, The State of Getting Things Done.

I can’t really say for my self, if it is still valid. I can, however, say that it still seems to make sense in the philosophy behind it, probably not so much in the methodology. But hey, what can I say, I haven’t even finished the goddamn book.

I’ve been late, as always, to many fascinating events of recent years – at least the geeky ones it seems. But I’ve come to accept that as a reality of mine. These days I can say that I try to keep myself more in the loop by following several interesting people on the web, whether it be via their blogs, twitter, or podcasts. This seems a bit of a remedy to my bad timing, but hey everyone’s entitled to do things their way. I’m still struggling to actually find what is “my way”, but I’m in no hurry. There probably isn’t any real answer, I reckon the search is more valuable than the goal itself.

  1. I still have few close friends on twitter; most of them are rarely active. As regards Facebook, I cannot say the same.

  2. When I say most people, I actually mean the majority of people worth following.