Setting a cutoff point

Not having much to do in the past couple of weeks, I started to read my old entries to this weblog — stuff I wrote ten to twelve years ago. My original purpose had been to see if there were any old links still working and to hide the posts with broken links, but I ended up paying a lot more attention to my old prose. And that was somewhat... embarrassing. I've noticed that sarcasm doesn't age well and things that were obviously written as jest don't seem so funny in retrospect. They only seem sad.

So I better just come out and admit that my younger self was kind of a douche.

I've noticed that, with a few notable exceptions (mostly A-listers who were mature enough from the start) most people who still blog nowadays did start over multiple times. Unlike them, I took the atypical path of always posting to the same place, always merging the changes in technical backend, writing style, media & etc. to the same main trunk, doing so through URL changes, name changes (from the blog called If Then Else through Found Objects to the website simply called [My Name]'s you are now reading). Reasoning that if I have a single life, I might as well have a single journal collecting all the stuff I spread over the Internet.

I don't think that approach is wrong, mind you. I really, really like to have my own domain and website in this day of mass standardization. However, a look back in the archives is jarring. It presents a clear picture of how someone changes over time: how opinions change, how sensibilities change. I read stuff in there that made me want to hit my 2001 self in the face with the back of my 2013 hand for being such a troll. With time, one becomes an entirely different person.

So I decided I should start over, retroactively. Being such a backup freak (that hasn't changed a bit), I naturally saved all old posts to a safe place where I can still read them, but I set a cutoff date from which old posts are no longer available at this website. Somewhat arbitrarily, I went for January 1st 2007** as the new starting date for this weblog.

I'm thinking that in the future I might roll that cutoff date even upward. It's perhaps more interesting if a blog is a window into a certain timeframe of a person's interests and content becomes private after a certain time. Of couse, I might find really interesting stuff worth sharing outside that timeframe, and in such cases I might make those posts available.

In the meantime, I'd like to leave a note to my younger self:

Internet anger won't be worth it.

** Update: As there were actually a few interesting posts from earlier than 2007, I actually went to the trouble of leaving some available to a wider audience.

Here’s a 3D printed SLR camera. (via Boing Boing)

Of course you can’t print the optics (yet), but we are getting closer and closer to the kind of technology described in The Diamond Age. However, whether next-generation tablets will instruct the Nells of this world how to lead armies against injustice or will just teach them how to animate GIFs is a speculation I will leave to the reader.

S. Bento Station Jul 10th

R. Conde de Vizela Jul 10th

Crossing the Street Jul 10th

Manjericos Jul 10th

I think these first pictures taken with the 25mm Snapshot Skopar lens really show what the Voigtlander Bessa-L business is all about, even though I have to sharpen my scale focusing skills.

I was given a roll of old ORWO NP-20 film to try it. The film was probably long expired so most of its exposure latitude was gone and the results were a bit too grainy for 80 ISO (more like 800 actually). I liked using it, but I can't wait to load the camera with some Ilford Delta once I develop the color film I'm currently trying.

xkcd made a beautiful tribute to Douglas Engelbart, who died last Wednesday. In 1968, in what became known as the 'Mother of All Demos', Engelbart did showcase most of the computing technologies we now take for granted. I’m sure LOLcats weren’t mentioned only because of time constraints.

I have been playing with Map Stack by Stamen Design, a web service allowing you to create customised maps (and which strangely runs on a schedule). Here’s my hometown of Porto rendered in red.

Apropos PRISM, here’s A Paranoid’s Guide to Bugging from 1968, from the rather interesting tumblelog Babylon Falling.

I haven’t yet weighted on the US’ secret-ish pervasive surveillance operation as to me it seems pretty obvious and not-news. I don’t have a definite opinion on the value of privacy (or conversely, on the value of transparency), but the fact that well-funded government agencies read the same data Google and Facebook examine because their business model depends on it doesn’t seem like a surprise at all. PRISM to me is the very definition of cloud computing. Private companies might seem more trustworthy than secret services (and only if we believe they are more accountable), but a discussion about mere degrees of trust just shows how complacent we are about data privacy.

Here’s a funny public service announcement about the condition known as Bitchy Resting Face, the female counterpart to Resting Asshole Face. As someone with a deep suspiction of having RAF myself, I do empathize. (via Karen Abad)