Sunday, February 23, 2014

Glossary, "Taking the Local", "Choose Your Own Adventure"

It's time for another Glossary installment; this week, we'll tackle "Taking the Local" and "Choose Your Own Adventure".

  • "Taking the local" - Have you ever said something that was witty, yet obscure enough that it takes people some time to get it? When the comprehension dawns in their eyes, I tend to refer to that time it takes slow people to catch up as "taking the local", as opposed to the time it generally takes to connect the dots on slang or meta-slang.

    PosDnuos from De La Soul as an emcee kicks a lot of rhymes that make people take the local. To quote a couple of lines from the fantastic single "Stakes Is High"...
    "I be a piece of the East Coast, so give a toast to Plug Wonder Why / Back in the day who soaked his words in ginger / So when I ran a phrase in June, you didn't catch it 'til December (emphasis added)".

    I'd venture that there are people who are still trying to figure out some of his lyrics 20 years later.
  • "Choose Your Own Adventure" - Sometimes your friends will ask you your opinion on a matter where they have made up their own mind already and are seeking validation. Sometimes, it's not possible to agree with said opinion, especially if said opinion is something like "if someone isn't clear on whether they like me, I should make a grand display to show them how I feel","We haven't talked about expectations for this sex party, but I'm sure it'll work out", "They've got some problems, but I'm sure my love will help them get to a better place", or "driving my car with just my feet is fun!". At that point, if someone seems determined to defend their bad decision to the end, I realize that I cannot change their mind, and I also don't want to participate in their rebellion verification session. So, the best response that comes to my mind is "Choose your own adventure". It's a reminder that the decision you made was yours, and yours alone, so I hope it works out.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hacking Away The Weekend; It's Personal

The title of this post is based upon the post on my tech blog about the hackathon I attended this past weekend. Here I have some more observations and thoughts not directly related to codebases, business propositions, or competition. Here goes:

  1. The XO Group had a pretty nice space, overall. The retro arcade room was good both for breaks and for nostalgia. I played Moon Patrol and Gauntlet and remembered how much fun simple games can be.
  2. The hackathon that brought people together to have people work upon projects to help with mentoring, dating abuse, development and conservation efforts was made possible by an organization that makes software for weddings.
  3. It's fascinating to observe bickering amongst language, framework or tool acolytes. While I think it's helpful to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of code that falls into any of those categories, the tunnel vision I encounter from those acolytes reminds me that Computer Science can be as much of a trendy fashion show as anything else.
  4. The Hackathon went overnight Saturday night until Sunday afternoon at 1. Red Bull was available as well as coffee. These all point to the image/idea that a coder (or anyone who works in tech, or new media) as an overstimulated geek who will work until exhausted. Unfortunately, there are folk who maintain that kind of work habit even in the absence of a particular deadline. I'd rather have a life-work balance than a work-life balance.
  5. There is a general happiness that people have when working upon something that means more to them than winning a contest. Everyone I talked to was very passionate about what they put together, and was looking forward to doing more. I'm already trying to figure out my next hackathon.
  6. There was a pretty wide & diverse spectrum of types of people working on their hacks, which was also encouraging to see. The tech field can be monochromatic sometimes, so seeing that balance is encouraging.
  7. Finally, not only did I have a lot of fun this past weekend, I feel very good about what I took away from it, which was primarily this app.
Although I have more to speak upon about this experience, I should try to get some shuteye and get ready for the day. Until the next time...