Daring greatly

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Citizenship in a Republic, by Theodore Roosevelt.

Picked–up from Chase Jarvis’ interview with Brené Brown, highly recommended.

Paul McCartney in Lima

And I was there, and it was amazing!

I regret missing the previous show, but I had not been properly informed who the Beatles were and why they were so awesome.

I consider that as the biggest oversight ever made by every person I have met, and I will make it my mission to prevent this terrible thing from happening to others.

The photos above are from my Motorola XT919, and according to Chase Jarvis, it was the best camera for the job. I’ll take the easy way out:

Setting up Apache + PHP + MySQL on OSX with Homebrew

Recently I’ve been doing some hacking for Chamilo LMS, a Free Software E-Learning system. For various reasons I had to do this on OSX, which meant setting up a web development environment.

This lead me to MAMP, an OSX bundle with Apache + MySQL + PHP. However MAMP had many weird quirks that forced me to maintain a local set of patches just to get things working.

I finally had the time to look into a saner option, take some notes in the process, and write a blog post.

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Habits and engagement

Nir Eyal — Automatic customers: How to design user habits at WordCamp San Francisco 2012:

I came across this video by Nir Eyal about his model for analyzing and designing user engagement through habits.

Successful services, he says, develop habits through triggers, actions, rewards and investments.

A trigger is some kind of prompt that suggest an action promising a reward, these can be external (Twitter notification) or internal (boredom).

Promising because our brains are wired for the thrill of search, of promise, rather than results. That’s why we keep reloading the Twitter feed hoping for good tweets this time.

Then comes the investment. Asking users to devote effort (following friends) in exchange of further rewards (better content) loads the value and triggers that will get the user to come back: direct messages, replies, suggested content.

Or, simply put: the more you use Twitter, the more triggers and rewards you create, the more you hook yourself.

This is really interesting as it is not limited to technology, the science behind it is actually nothing new. I’m curious to see how this can be applied to Free Software and personal projects.

Check out the abridged version linked above, and the longer workshop as soon as you have the time.

Adopted mindset

This just wrinkled my brain. Be nice to programmers:

In order to be a good programmer I need to adopt a certain mindset. That mindset is slowly making me unhappy.

Programming builds an acutely negative mindset over time. I’m always asking the question “what’s wrong with this?” Positive people are always focusing on “what’s good about this?”

Go ahead and read the full transcript, you might recognize yourself.

There are some other ideas in the original article that linked me to this transcript.

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Smartphone sin interrupciones

El año pasado finalmente compré un smartphone y un plan de datos.

Lo primero que descubrí es que todas las aplicaciones vienen con todas las notificaciones activadas. Una locura.

Aún sin notificaciones no es difícil pasarte media hora “jaloneando” la pantalla de Twitter o Facebook, donde terminas viendo solamente el nuevo puntaje de CandyCrush de tus tíos. Y, peor, no haces nada más que interrumpir tu cerebro.

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