Posted by Ricardo Gonzalez on PLUG:
Congratulations to Dr. Alvin B. Marcelo of the
UP-Medical Informatics Unit for winning the
prestigious 2005 TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) in
the field of Medicial/Health Information.
The TOYM award was given for his use of Open Source
Software in his community health based projects.
I think we now have a new “poster boy” for the open
source movement in the Philippines.
More power and success to Dr. Alvin Marcelo.
Linux advocate disguised as panhandler gives CDs away. Interesting social results: most people don’t read signs, and panhandling is fairly lucrative. <wry grin>
Would be tempted to do something similar if I also had a stack of Ubuntu CDs.
Or—evil thought!—sneak into Microsoft dev event with button that
reads “Ask me about what I geek out about” and a bag full of Ubuntu CDs… ;)
(Convert the world one geek at a time! ;) )
Summary: Until June 2014, I’m focusing on work that’s either public or that reaches an audience of 10,000+.
I’m celebrating my 30th birthday next month. To get a sense of where I’ve come from and where I want to go, I’ve been reviewing more than ten years of blog posts. If I didn’t have my archive, the years would be a blur. The posts help me remember the significant events that happened, and then I can remember other details around those.
Here is something I’m starting to realize: Whatever isn’t written down—whatever isn’t published—gets forgotten. Private notes? Lost in computer migrations and disorganized files. E-mail? Too many to go through. Photos? Few and far between. Things I’ve shared with other people? That comes back, even when I’ve completely forgotten about sharing it in the first place.
There’s this amazing thing that happens when you have an external brain: people make the connections for you. People comment on blog posts years after I post them, which is great at bringing things back to mind. Longest gap between blog post and comment: 3,410 days (a little over 9 years!) on this post on literate programming, which I wrote long before Org Mode made it super-easy to publish websites with code. Google Analytics shows me that a post from 2010 still gets more than a thousand views a month, and quite a few older posts get hundreds of views a month. My oldest source code available on the Web? This fractal-drawing program I wrote in 1997, when I was in high school. People help me remember and inspire me to learn more.
Good things probably also happened with the confidential workshops and projects that I worked on, but it’s harder to point to them and say, “Oh, that’s where those years went.” The things I’ve shared help me feel that I put the time to good use, especially as they keep providing value.
Open = good.
Putting my time where my philosophy is
Now that I’m on my own, I can choose what to spend my time on. One of the decisions I’ve been working my way through is whether I should work (almost) exclusively on open things: ideas, code, and resources that I can share with other people.
What if I stop accepting requests for confidential work, and focus instead on what can be opened up? I have the space to do that, and it makes decisions so much easier.
I can make an exception for work that meets my desire for scale – perhaps directly affecting more than 10,000 people (even with a small effect) in a searchable, semi-public way. For example, I still hear from IBMers who come across the blog posts I shared on the intranet, and that makes me happy. As for small-scale confidential work… other people can handle that, and they can handle that happily.
Considering the opportunity cost
What would I give up by focusing on only open projects?
What are the benefits of focusing on openness?
Okay. I think we can do this. From this time until my 31st birthday next year, I’m going to apply the following decision criteria to the professional work that I accept:
If exceptional circumstances come up (say, something happens to W- and I need to return to work), I can change my mind about this, but let’s give it a try.
SQL query for finding longest time between post and comment in WordPress:
SELECT TO_DAYS(c.comment_date) – TO_DAYS(p.post_date) AS days, comment_post_ID FROM wp_comments c INNER JOIN wp_posts p ON c.comment_post_id=p.ID WHERE comment_type NOT IN (“pingback”, “trackback”) AND comment_approved != “spam” ORDER BY days DESC limit 5;