Back

Back again from a couple of weeks off. I spent one week in NY. I enjoyed the city from 2 different perspectives. From the eyes of someone who had never seen it (!), Ester, my wife. And from the eyes of someone who spent 3 years there as is obviously in love with it, Carlos.  I can only thank them both for letting me rediscover such an amazing place.

I’m sharing just a couple of shots: 

 

Lincoln Center is a fascinating space at night. 

Lincoln Center is a fascinating space at night. 

Loved MOMA. Big Time. 

Loved MOMA. Big Time. 

There’s a distinct atmosphere (and hamburgers) in NYC restaurants. 

There’s a distinct atmosphere (and hamburgers) in NYC restaurants. 

I also took the opportunity to change my broken iPhone, by the way. And I did something unusual. I downgraded it. I changed my iPhone 6 Plus for an iPhone SE (yes, the small one that resembles the iPhone 5 with upgraded internals.) As the guy in the Apple Store said: “You don’t see this jump very often.” You know I want to limit the exposure to tech, so it felt like the right move. So far (just 2 weeks) I love it, but it´s hard to know if it is just because is the last new thing I have or I genuinely do prefer it. Anyway, I’m back to using my phone one handed. I’m back to not noticing it in my pocket. The iPhone Plus looks absurdly big now. I’m surprised about the number of things you do with your iPhone where the size of the screen is no big deal: listening to music, reading WhatsApp’s, or even email triage. For those where the screen is a key factor (reading a book or writing) I use my iPad (which I use constantly and is clearly the main reason why I can downgrade safely to a smaller phone.) The Lincoln Center and restaurant shots up there were taken with my iPhone (and edited in it with VSCO, grain is artificial.)

I love holding this phone, which tells me the industrial design is beyond that of the last iPhones. It has become a small treasure for me and I’ve discarded completely the idea of buying an iPhone X (saving in the process around 700€.)

Small wonder. 

Small wonder. 

Anyway, I keep working on solosequenosenada.es and this week a new cell is open, under the title night. It may be as dark (and perhaps as beautiful) as the title suggests.

Enjoy the week and we send you our best regards. From “Damusha & Estef”.

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A new step

My journey continues in solosequenosenada.es. I’ve published a second step in the way. No interface changes, though, and I’m sorry for that because I don’t love the readability of the site, I know. I focused on writing because I was not sure of the cadence of production. I must say I’m surprised I made it to this week.

As I’ve moved the heavy lifting out of this page, I feel liberated to share more mundane stuff here.

I’m more interested about this phone that I’d like to admit. Since I use a Samsung S7 at work I’ve realized how far Android has come. Which is interesting because in a world of ubiquitous services (Netflix, Spotify, Facebook… are available everywhere), there is an element of indifference about the phone you use… or not. Google/Samsung have managed to catch up with Apple in all terms that made Apple, Apple. Hardware wise, I feel the new devices from Samsung are top notch. Design wise, one could argue that both the hardware and the software (thanks to the excellent work on Material Design) are pretty much there. But when I consider switching, there is one last barrier that still stops me: privacy. I simply feel that Apple’s protection of the privacy of its clients is a well declared principle of the company, while Google’s business model is based, as a matter of fact, on gathering as much data as possible from you. I feel Apple’s devices (and ecosystem of services) are more personal than Google´s. When I use my Android phone, I cannot shake off the impression that everything is being tracked. And I find it creepy enough to shy away from embracing the platform.

Not so long ago I did not pay attention to any of this. I believed in the anonymity of my dullness. “I have nothing to hide”, “There’s nothing specially interesting about me”. But more and more, even though those arguments remain true, I’m simply pissed of by companies tracking information about me that I have not given my consent to. And so, for the time being, I stay at Apple or offline.

See you next week..

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New language means a new world

Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said: ”The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” A clear reference to how language shapes who we are and how we think. Language becomes one of those invisible constraints that we take for granted, unaware of their existence.

Learning a new language is an effective way of widening your perspective. Doing so, I’m afraid, takes a little longer that we would like, so I will try the closest thing I can come up with in this post: words that exist in other language but have no direct translation in English. They represent ideas that are relevant enough for a culture to baptize them. Surprisingly, something so significant to be named by a culture didn’t capture the attention of our ancestors. They signal potential gaps, concepts worth considering ourselves despite our culture’s collective apathy. Check some examples.

Kintsugi, not only a word but a complete art in Japan, is the act of fixing broken pottery with gold. When your bowl breaks in an accident, this Japanese art will assemble the pieces using gold resin as the fixture between the pieces. I love the metaphorical significance: our fractures gives us character, make us who we are, arguably are our most valuable feature.

Gezellig, Dutch word that denotes something close to coziness, but probably more than that. Laying out the living room to create a nice environment to have a late night drink with your friends, soft and warm lights, right temperature, comfortable armchairs… that is gezellig. I love the idea that there’s something in the environment that needs to be taken care of. It is that awareness of the physical conditions around us that I find so lovely. I would have just brought the drinks and started talking.

Komorebi, the effect of sunlight filtering through the leaves of a tree. We all know this. We just did not have the sensitivity to give a word to it. Beautiful.

(Check our this article for more. Spanish readers will rejoice with the choice our word. So appropriate.)

So yes, language provides the build blocks of thought. Give two children a different set of lego pieces to produce whatever they want. I’m pretty sure the result will vary significantly depending on the set they were given. Swap the two children and there’s a chance results are consistent. That’s what language do for us. It shapes our thought, and therefore, shapes our view of the world.

That’s why when I was asked to start writing in Spanish I was so scared. I don’t know what I think of the world in my language. I’m not a fluent writer in my mother language. I don’t really know what type of person I am in Spanish. I’m not sure what will come out of this, but I can guarantee you something: it will be different. (It won’t take long to notice.)

I’ve been working on it for some weeks now, registering domain names, installing a new blog engine in my servers and trying to figure out what my voice is in my own language (I will need some weeks for that, so bear with me until I get there.)

I produced a totally raw site for this (it´s my MVP, my alpha version.) What you will find has no attention to detail whatsoever. I didn’t want my obsessive character to hold this any longer. It may be fun too to watch me fiddling with the design of the site until I settle, so you will get to see a lot of choices. It is, in the end, an experimentation ground, in more ways that I can describe here. Those ways will unfold to the reader as we go along the peculiar journey I have in mind.

So… it is not without excitement, fear, and some mental exhaustion that I’d like to open the doors to something new:

solosequenosenada.es

I hope you like it.

Btw, the site has no comments or visit tracker, so I’ll be blind for some time on the reception. Leave a comment here, send me an email, WhatsApp me or something if you want to give feedback. And if you like it, don’t hesitate to share it on your network, some journeys are better done in company.

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