Fazendo parte do clube

Pessoas são engraçadas. Relações humanas são engraçadas. Eu não entendo muito bem, e tem dia que parece que eu acordo entendendo ainda menos.

Há um tempo me indicaram e eu assisti, Annie Hall. Numa de suas falas, o protagonista Alvy, brilhantemente diz: eu jamais ia querer fazer parte de um clube que aceitasse alguém como eu como membro (I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member). Ele resumiu nessa frase um dos traços mais marcantes do comportamento humano: afinidade com o impossível.

Eu achava que só um seleto grupo de pouquíssimas pessoas, e do qual Alvy e eu fazemos parte, pensava assim, mas pro meu assombro esse grupo é, na verdade, bem pouco seleto. Já faz parte da psiquê humana achar que sempre que a esmola é demais é porque alguém tá de sacanagem. Só pode estar de sacanagem. Afinal ninguém dá nada de graça. Afinal todos os solteiros que valiam a pena, hoje são ex-solteiros e só sobraram aqueles com algum defeito de fabricação.

Vou me arriscar só no clube da conquista amorosa, que é o que mais tem me interessado. Sabendo que as pessoas pensam assim, como então convencer alguém que você merece atenção? Fica claro nesses nossos pouco coerentes dias atuais (por atuais entenda-se desde o aprendizado da fala pela raça humana) que não é mostrando suas melhores qualidades que isso vai acontecer. Se fizer isso, o outro logo vai pensar que você é bom demais pra ser verdade, vai querer insistentemente acordar do sonho e safras inteiras serão perdidas (parafraseando Morpheus em Matrix, cujo primeiro filme, aliás, também tem a ver com o que estou falando). Ou então vai te taxar de carente, inseguro, ingênuo, infantil e outras coisas que invalidam cada uma das suas boas qualidades. Não, não, o caminho, meu caro, parece ser outro.

Meus conhecidos mais bem sucedidos nas empreitadas românticas e conquistas são os que praticam o jogo do desinteresse e da pouca atenção. Os que ligam menos, os que mandam menos mensagens, que falam menos, os que sorriem menos quando encontram o objeto de interesse, os menos afáveis, menos atenciosos. Em resumo, são os que infligem mais angústia, insegurança e desconforto àquele que lhe interessa.

Ao menos essa tediosa dança do acasalamento não dura pra sempre. Depois de viver algum tempo do sangue de ratos e pombos e sabendo jogar direito, as coisas mudam. Aliás, as coisas se invertem e tudo aquilo que antes você precisava esconder, subitamente e finalmente torna-se o seu diferencial e se você colocar isso tudo de volta na gaveta, vai arrumar encrenca.

Pois é, tudo isso vai ao encontro direto da filosofia do Alvy. Extrapolando, se alguém se interessa por mim, boa coisa não pode ser. Mas se alguém por quem eu me interesso não se interessar de volta… Well, now we’re talkin.

Posted in Epifanias, Sociedade | Leave a comment

Year of the storm – by The Pirate Bay

Em tempos de SOPA e PIPA é difícil não ver o mundo de forma maniqueísta. As coisas ficam tão preto no branco que é quase inevitável. E nesse mundo maniqueísta cheio de siglas, em um canto do ringue estão os grandes detentores/produtores norte-americanos de propriedade intelectual (adquirida de forma lícita ou não), amparados pelo governo através de leis escritas com o intuito de proteger essa propriedade.

No outro canto estamos nós, os interessados nessa propriedade e que desejamos adquiri-la (de forma lícita ou não). O lícito a gente conhece, é do ilícito que queremos falar. Quando você procura um filme, seriado, música ou programa de TV num torrent, mule ou serviço de hospedagem anônima de arquivos, você já está do lado de cá, você já é adepto da filosofia. Mas você jamais teria acesso a esse mundo de conteúdo farto e “gratuito” se não fosse pelas ferramentas criadas por gente disposta a comprar essa briga por nós.

Pra encurtar a história pros alienados: os cachorros grandes (não se esqueçam, gringos apoiados pelo governo) jamais gostaram de ter seu trabalho distribuído de forma, uhhhh… filantrópica. Mas por menos que eles gostem, o fato é que isso é inevitável e essas ferramentas e protocolos P2P de troca de arquivos são cada vez mais populares. Então esses cães, aborrecidos que ficaram, começaram a tentar tentar dificultar o acesso ao conteúdo distribuído dessa forma caçando os criadores e tirando do ar suas ferramentas. Foi o que fizeram com o megaupload.com e o que estão tentando fazer com o The Pirate Bay, que resiste bravamente.

E quem gosta de apanhar quieto? Bom, deve haver quem goste, mas não é o caso deles. Esses dias chegou ao meu conhecimento um post que publicaram em seu blog a respeito disso tudo, que é no mínimo inspirador. Vamos a ele:

Year of the storm

2012 is the year of the storm.

The Pirate Bay will reach an age of 9 years. Experiencing raids, espionage and death threats, we’re still here. We’ve been through hell and back and it has made us tougher than ever.

The people running the site has changed during the years. No sane human being would put up with this kind of pressure for 8 years in a row. An insane hobby that takes time from our families, our work (sorry boss) and our studies.

What binds us all together is a strong belief that what we do is good. That it is something we one day can tell our grandchildren about with pride. People from all over the world confirm this. We read testimonials from people in Syria longing for freedom, thanking us for what we provide. We receive more than 100 visits daily from North Korea and we sure know that they need it. If there’s something that will bring peace to this world it is the understanding and appreciation of your fellow man. What better way to do that than with this vast library of culture?

With this said, we hear news from our old admins that they have received a verdict in Sweden. Our 3 friends and blood brothers have been sentenced to prison. This might sound worse than it is. Since no one of them no longer lives in Sweden, they won’t go to jail. They are as free today as they were yesterday.

But what enrages us to our inner core is that the system, the empire, the governments, are still allowed to try to boss you and us around with one law crazier than the other. Do you think they will stop with SOPA/ACTA/PIPA? They will not. Because you won’t stop sharing those files. Because we will not stay down. Because no one can turn back time. Together, we are the iron that hardens with each strike.

In this year of the storm, the winners will build windmills and the losers will raise shelters. So flex your muscles, fellow pirates, and give power to us all! Build more sites! More nets! More protocols! Scream louder than ever and take it to the next level!

Aqui está o link pro post original. Aliás, enquanto terminava de escrever esse post, eles já tinham outro em seu blog sobre a mudança de TLD de .ORG pra .SE, também uma boa leitura.

Esse é um assunto que ainda vai se desenrolar por muito, muito tempo e apesar dos cachorrões terem perdido a batalha, a guerra está longe de terminar.

Posted in Sociedade, Tecnologia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E com vocês, Ice Cream Sandwich!

Também conhecido como Ice Cream Sandwich, o novo sistema operacional para dispositivos móveis – de celulares a tablets, finalmente unificando a plataforma – do Google, Android 4.0, foi oficialmente lançado agora há pouco. O primeiro dispositivo que virá de fábrica com a nova versão é o Galaxy Nexus, ainda não disponível.

A turma no Google deixou tudo bem sincronizado e junto com os anúncios oficiais do sistema operacional e do novo aparelho, também disponibilizou os novos pacotes para desenvolvedores no Android SDK (API 14), que pode ser baixado através do Android SDK Manager. O link para desenvolvedores falando da nova versão é esse aqui. A lista de mudanças, tanto da interface quanto do core do sistema, é enorme e promissora.

Tem também o video oficial! Bem legal diga-se de passagem:

Espero que não demorem muito pra liberar a atualização pros Nexus S… Quero muito ver o meu rodando na versão atualizada!

Posted in Tecnologia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Por Steve Jobs.

Esse é o famoso discurso de Jobs aos alunos da Stanford University, em 2005. Inspirador.

E a transcrição do discurso, pra quem tá sem áudio:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Steve Jobs

Posted in Sociedade, Tecnologia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Adeus à Jobs

Não sou mac-maníaco. Tenho um lap e um desk-top pessoais rodando Windows e Ubuntu e meu smartphone roda Android. Mas independente disso e, creio eu que como grande parte das pessoas que usa e depende de um computador diariamente, ontem, após saber da morte de Steve Jobs, me senti (e ainda me sinto) vazio e triste.

Pode ser que grande parte do que de ruim se diz a respeito dele seja verdade. Mas tudo o que se diz de bom e tudo o que é notório a respeito dele também é verdade. Steve foi foda e o mundo seria mais tedioso e mais tons-de-cinza se ele tivesse seguido outro caminho.

Minto. Creio, na verdade, que qualquer que tivesse sido o caminho escolhido, ele seria tão foda quando foi. Odeio o lugar comum, mas nesse caso é inevitável: Jobs foi um gênio e estava fadado a reescrever a história dos lugares por onde passaria, qualquer que fosse ele.

RIP, Steve Jobs.

Posted in Sociedade | Tagged , | Leave a comment