The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age, by Pekka Himanen, was one of those essays that had a big influence on my early years. It resonated with how I felt about a lot of things: the joy of learning and work that has a purpose are two that I remember now. It was the first time I had thought about how we compartmentalize our lives into chunks of time, which are more or less isolated.
One thing I didn’t realize at the time was who this essay was written for: a generation of individuals, with friends & family, but that see themselves self-contained, as units of life on Earth. Given that the book defined the zeitgeist that has driven one of the major social and cultural changes of the human race, this is no minor issue. Like Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean, this generation had a mindset of fighting for their liberty against companies and governments – as individuals.
This attitude towards life, I believe, is one of the reasons why the products we create and consume are tailored to the individual and not to the communities: we have a personal music account, a personal pictures account, a personal email account, etc. Solutions that take the group into account are rare and mostly exist for production-driven organizations (companies or volunteer based bodies), but less for leisure or consumer communities.
As we grew older and our communities became online, they asked us for help. So we created the “pay the service for user” feature as to pay for our relatives accounts, the family plans in our music and video stores, or the network setup for our publishing platform. These changes reflect a fundamental and more human way to interact with others through technology. We are still in the early stages, but I expect this pattern to become stronger because one of the drivers for this to happen is that we have grown older in the same way that any other generation did in the past; realizing that we are weak as individuals, our natural state is to thrive within groups. Jack Sparrow struggled with this as well; he found out that the Black Pearl can be easily lost if you are on your own, and that you need a team if you want to navigate the ocean in freedom.
I, for one, look forward to a more community-centered future. What specific shapes it will take is something that only we can invent; so let’s do it.
I’ve been working from home for more than 3 years now, and my setup has gone through several iterations – the current one is i4.
After joining Automattic, I was encouraged to think about my office setup. The company sponsors the kind of high-quality office perks that you’ll expect in companies at this level, and I took that opportunity to upgrade my own in ways I had been already thinking about. The fact that you are not in their offices, but in your home adds a different feeling to it. Although I appreciate the company efforts and perks, I’d like to stay frugal within comfortable limits, so I didn’t get anything I wouldn’t buy with my own money. I think of my office setup as a gift for the elder me – I wish he’ll be proud of what his younger self is doing for him.
For the past two months, I’ve been experimenting with that idea to learn what works better for me. I’ve used three main positions -traditional seating, saddle seating, and standing- and a lot of other crazy ones. What I’ve found out is that I change positions through the day as my body asks for it, but I mainly use the saddle position (most of the time, but especially when I need to write) and standing (for consuming information). The traditional seating feels a bit unnatural to me now, although it may be a side effect of using the Capisco which is more tailored for other postures. I also have a more traditional chair at home, but I rarely use it.
This is i4. This setup fits me so well that I cannot imagine what i5 will look like yet.
It had been a while since I hadn’t listened to Marlango. The first albums were kind of intimate jazz with a touch of Radiohead. As they matured, their sound evolved into something more electric and a more open & positive way of looking at life as well.
The long fall is one of my current favorites.
Skies are open. Eyes are closed. I’ll take a while to put on my clothes.
You walk in and I wake up. And the world starts another round. Make it long and take it slow. All we have is this free fall.
Eyes are open. Sun is slow. Linger ’round the coffee shop. Girls and spring they show their skin as the world starts around round.
Make it long and take it slow. All we have is this free fall. All we have is this long fall. Skies are open. Eyes are closed. You can linger ’round these girls. I will wear my Sunday smile. And the world will start another round.
Make it long and take it slow. All we have is this free fall. Make it long and take it slow. All we have is this free fall. All we have is this wrong goal. All we have is this free fall. You’ll walk in and I’ll wake up. I will wear my Summer smile. And the world end another round.
Make it long and take it slow. All we have is this free fall. Make it long and take it slow. ‘cos all we have is this free fall. All we have is this free fall. All we have is this long fall.