Adiós, 2020

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Poop.

And here we go, into the most predictable post in this blog: the year review.

It’s probably he only constant here that every year I try and do a balance of the year that ends and talk about what I expect from the year that is beginning.

Needless to say, 2020 was a shitty year. Not just because of the pandemic that screwed with everybody’s life, but also because of several other factors.

I’m not in the mood to write up something with different sections, not to say anything about spending a couple of hours checking SEO to see if “all’s good” before posting this. I’ll start writing and whatever comes out, gets published. This is an English translation of what I wrote yesterday, but it’s in the same spirit.

One of the things I enjoy the most about writing is not even the act of putting my ideas to the proverbial paper, but the movement of the hands on the keyboard, watching the words come into existence in the screen as letters appear, in response to the coordinated movement of hands and fingers. I’m even proud of the fact that I can type pretty well, even though I have never taken a typing course (and yeah, I’m old enough to have lived in a time when typing schools, which you can hear a few blocks away, were pretty comon).

Anyway as I was seying, 2020 was a shitty year.

Just the existence of a pandemic that forced people to isolate themselves at home would have been bad enough. Not that I’m bothered by staying at home; I am anti-social anyway. But it sucks to be forced into it. It’s different when it’s not a choice.

But the fact that I live in the only country in the planed where the government thought it would be a good idea to ally itself with the disease instead of fighting it gives the whole situation a very tragic hue. The attitudes of the Moron and his cronies were, at least, fueled by sheer incompetence. I do not discard malicious intent, though. Every single thing they did was to make things worse. They talked shit, antagonized everybody, promoted unproven drugs and bad behavior, made jokes and treated pretty much everyone as trash – and even so there are still people that think he’s right. And that’s probably the most depressing thing: there are people who agree with what he does and says.

I didn’t want – really didn’t – to talk about that kind of stuff here. But I have to put it all into words somewhere. These people threw the country into such a bad situation that it should take several decades to recover the damage – economical and human.

Add to that the disappointment – in the personal sphere – with a few people from whom I never expected anything bad. One of those people had me believe that there was a perspective of a future in a line of work that really enticed me – the fusion between science and computer science. I was let down. I burned bridges that I could have instead built up and that could have led me to much better things, because I believed in the promises made by the wrong person. And I paid dearly for it.

The other disappointment came from a place where I never imagined it would come. Someone I had known for over twenty years, who suddenly became a boastful, presumptuous, arrogant person, incapable of a minimum of empathy or comprehension. I never expected that, but the guy is just no longer the friend I had in the past, with whom I was even roomates for a while. We got through a lot together, supporting each other – but I suppose that sometimes people just change, and if I can’t do anything about how they think or act, the opposite is also true about myself. Too bad. I didn’t think I could lose that friend, but at this point I’m done trying to keep a one-way connection alive.

On the other hand, I like to think that 2020 was also a year of personal growth. After all, it wasn’t all bad things happening last year. I grew quite a bit in terms of personal life, like learning to take better care of my relationships (which is quite ironic, considering the previous paragraph..), and also in terms of what I want for myself moving forward.

I finally started getting more involved with Debian, and I expect to be able to work a lot more on that in 2021. Ideally I’d completely remove Windows from my life, but things like World of Warcraft do not make that easy at all. There is no reliable way of running it under Linux (in that sense, Lutris is less than useless). Unfortunately I keep a Windows partition there, just for that (and yeah, WoW is that important to me). For all the rest I use Linux (yeah, yeah, Kretcheu, GNU/Linux…).

That includes my new plan, which is to try and give some meaning to my life. It’s clear to me that the academic life is over for me. The burnout I had when I came back from Germany took root and wiped out any motivation I might have had to follow that path. Maybe if I once again get the chance of living in a serious country that might change, given the right conditions are met. Anyway, as I was saying, the point now is to try and implement a new path. And that goes through Computer Science.

In retrospect, it’s what I should have done all along. Take a year off after High School, mature a little, and only then take entrance exams. But I was an idiot as a teenager (those who knew me back than can confirm that), and I was really excited about Physics… so I threw myself at it.

Not that it was bad at all… I have always loved Physics, and that’s unlikely to change. But as I see it now, my attraction for CS has always been deeper and older. And I should have paid more attention to that. I can’t rewind and do it over, so I play the hand that I got. That means, at least for now, enrolling in a CS major and, eventually, following that path. What’s going to come out of that, I can’t tell. Sometimes people ask me what I want to do and I can’t answer: it’s not that I’m lazy to think about it. I’m just not able to say “I’m goind to do X and Y”. My brain is just not wired like that. I need to see possibilities, as remote as they may be, to be able to think about choices and/or perspectives. I’m good with operationalizing things; but invention is not really my strong suit. PS: if you’re a potential employer and somehow got here, please take this with a grain of salt. That kind of thing, you probably know, is very subjective and highly contextual.

Anyway, I’ve wrote enough. 2021 is just beginning, and if on one hand it seems like another shitty year (since that’s what we have in Brasília), maybe it could also be a year for discovery and opportunities.

And here we go.

Post Scriptum: I didn’t even cover the elections in the US. What a shitshow that was.

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