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Why do am I writing on a vintage typewriter? It’s been a long time since I don’t write using a typewriter. I think maybe 20 years, and I realize I cannot type as fluently as I could. I’m making a lot of mistakes, and my fingers do not hit the keys as strong as they should. Typewriters are less tolerant to mistakes. I’m not talking just about spelling mistakes, but about the strength of my fingers: I’m quite less accurate than before.

When I’m writing using my laptop, mistakes are less important, for I can go backward and fix them. Then, you may ask: why the hell does a 21 st person want to write using an old piece of technology?

Actually, this post has been writing on my old Olivetti Lettera 40, bought in the 80’s. I’m used to taking notes on a notepad with my fountain pen. I will transcribe these notes to my laptop using Wordperfect for DOS.

So, I wonder why I’m using such a vintage technology. I’ve been collecting some notes on this issue, and I would like to share with you.

First of all, the main reason put forward by typewriters enthusiasts is that this technology helps them to avoid distractions. When one is typing a manuscript, Facebook notifications, open tabs in a browser or even the temptations to watch any kitten videos on Youtube are enough to lose concentration.

However, while it is reasonable to consider a typewriter as a mean to avoid such distractions, this is the objective I’m looking for when I use Wordperfect for DOS. Its modest, humble appearance, in contrast with MS Office or LibreOffice make it ideal for being focused on my task.

Another reason would be that the writer has his one writing space. This is particularly important, for one uses the computer to surf the Internet, to edit videos, to answer emails and so on. Typing is the moment and space where typists may concentrate just on writing.

Typewriters don’t allow editing. Although they have a backward key, fixing mistakes is not easy, so the typewriters make you move on and not be aware of mistakes. Maybe this is an advantage, for we must revise the whole text when we transcribe it to a computer file. By doing so, ideas flow freely from our brain to our fingers.

By having a single sheet of paper, we can have physically what we write, I mean, you write it and you have it. This feature is difficult to achieve if we are typing on a laptop keyboard. Oh, well, you can have a printer and print the manuscript, but who does it, nowadays?

Having said that, I must confess that none of the above reasons suit for me. The truth is that I love the look and feel of writing on a typewriter, using my fountain pen and using Wordperfect for DOS to transcribe any document. My last manuscripts have been written in Wordperfect for DOS, and I’ve been so happy with such as experience.

I’m enjoying a lot while I’m writing using such obsolete technology.

Thank you for reading.

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More than 150 years ago, Karl Marx stated this sentence to complain about religion, since he considered it a method of crowd control. I am not going to write about philosophy or politics, but I would like to reflect on some question regarding what happened days ago in my city.

First of all, I do not like football (or soccer, as it is called in America). But here, in Europe, it is the world’s more famous sport. So I can sometimes feel odd when I state I am not a football fan. To be honest, I do not care, for I have better things to do than shouting at the telly, being angry with a referee or a player who won’t hear me.

As I mentioned before, some days ago, a local team won Champions League. I’m not against a joyful crowd full of cheer. I’m against their blindness and stupidity for not being aware of that award wasn’t theirs. Such success wasn’t people’s achievement, but players’ who are wealthier than we’ll ever be.

While I was working on my dissertation, I could hear people’s happiness and fireworks in the streets, as the goal was their own. I feel they’re quite stupid, for crowd won’t hold any protest demonstration against wage cuts, budget reductions or limits on freedom of expression, but they will go out to the streets to celebrate the “opium of the people”.

So, what are they proud of? In the aftermath, children, adults and the elderly wore the team’s T-shirt, actually claiming they were happy for belonging to a group. Personally, I think they looked ridiculous. Come on, for God’s sake! Wake up! It was not your success, but a football team’s goal! Actually, each player will receive a grant, and you will receive nothing.

As I said, I was working on my dissertation. I could write a whole paper, so I submitted it to a journal that evening. That was my success, my achievement. It could be rejected, but I wrote it up. I can be proud of my own accomplishment.

A good article on Opium of the people can be found here

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The initial purpose of this post was another. My aim was to discuss something I was told a week ago, something about my own loneliness. A friend of mine, who is one of the few people who really knows me and with her, I can be myself, told me that one of the most remarkable things why she considered me as a great friend of her, was that I had learnt to live alone and to enjoy my loneliness. Besides, she appreciated I don’t need anyone to be happy but myself.

I feel it’s clear I’m an introvert. Don’t get me wrong, please, for I’m not an anti-social. Anti-social is quite different since it refers to people who have no consideration for the well-being of others. Indeed, I consider myself as quite empathetic.

But the point is that I don’t enjoy being surrounded by lots of people at a party, at a familiar event or at a business meeting, being forced to share my feelings, gossips, opinions or whatever with people don’t care about me beyond these gossips.

Social relationships are fine, but not for everyone. Not for me. Does it mean I don’t have friends o relatives? Of course I do, and I get on well with them. I’m not happier telling my opinions or feelings to lots of people. I’m not more active getting surrounded by lots of chattering colleagues. I don’t like to share meaningless ideas with you. Please, don’t force me.

I don’t hate mankind, I’m just happy with my life as is, not as you pretend it could be. That’s why I don’t need a girlfriend, a boyfriend nor a cat. Please, don’t insist.

Why this post? Because I took a spare week, and being in the middle of it, I realised I didn’t talk to anyone but the postman, and that I didn’t watch the telly, so I’m quite happy with it! I currently live a healthy life: drinking tea and avoiding fatty meals. Along these days, I could advance in my Ph.D. thesis, because what I need was a lot of concentration and focusing on the research.

I didn’t talked to anyone, and the best thing is that I don’t miss it.

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I have been attending some classes on Scientific Research and Methodology. It is a new topic to me. My former education did not include such knowledge. It is a hard course, not because it is difficult, but because it is very demanding and challenging. Attendants have different backgrounds: computing experts, mathematicians, psychologists and so on.

While each one has different education, some of them are geeks, that is, they can code and have programming skills. One of them, however, is quite nasty. His manners, his arrogance, his lack of empathy… What actually caught my attention was the deep contempt shown for those who do not know how to code.

While he was speaking, I was listening to his dismissive attitude to languages such as Mathlab, R, o everything different from Python. Of course, he believed Python was like his Bible. He passionate advocated the usefulness of this programming language.

Besides his disrespectful manners, he seemed to me as a person unable to acknowledge the merits of somebody else, even when they are better or they deserve more.

When somebody is trying to learn how to code, like me, encouraging words are always welcome. I can’t help remembering my friend Wilder, an enthusiastic programmer, eager to share his knowledge. How different from each other they are.

This post is dedicated to him, to Wilder, because not all heroes wear a cape.

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Today I would like to talk about envy. It is quite difficult for me to talk about feelings. Since English is not my mother tongue, I think I’m not able to give subtle nuances of human feelings. I feel some resentment (but not ressentiment), after the lecture at the hospital with Ignacio Hernández Medrano. To be honest, I must admit that he’s young and handsome. His physical appearance is quite cool, with a fresh, casual, lighter tone. He knew how to bring the focus on himself.

He was talking about exponential medicine for an hour. From my point of view, I was like attending a one-hour TED-Talk. He’s a speaker, some kind fo social communicator, who aims to instill excitement in the audience in the same way he feels it. However, he also played effectively upon our opinions. He was quite good at manipulating words, images and ideas. He made us believe in his own aims.

The entire audience was impressed and the speaker was hailed and applauded. By mentioning cognitive bias several times and the dangers involved, he made us think what he actually though. We were manipulated by some kind of cognitive bias. Well done. I don’t know if he’s a scientist, but I believe he’s some kind of an entertainer, a performer.

As far as I’m concerned, this was annoying: the appreciation and recognition I haven’t had for my work. I feel I’m surrounded by fools, by technologically illiterate colleagues who don’t know and will probably never learn how to work a computer or any form of technology. I’ve tried to teach them some skills on technology, with a very poor outcome. They never appreciated my work, my skills in computing, they never recognised my projects. However, a foreign speaker went to the hospital and told them what I tried to teach them all these years.

He talked about his technological projects, his stay at Singularity University (founded by Nasa and Google), so he gained the affection of his audience. He was appreciated. I wasn’t.

My work has been poorly recognised and rewarded, but from now on, it’s more painful, like rubbing salt in the wounds, like adding insult to injury.

So, my envy, my jealousy, my resentment, are not against the person, but against those around me.

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