CategoryPerspective

These articles include my own personal views or perspectives. These pieces might have a more intimate or personal tone. Sometimes, it might cross over with other categories. If you want to know more about the way I think, this is the best place to get an insight.

What does it mean to be an American?

I can’t help but feel this period in history is significant, if only for what is yet to come of this global political climate. Each day I read the news, a mix of positive and negative connotations blurs through my subconscious: paragraphs of words about people far away, words about events that happened when I was asleep. Heavy paragraphs and words that seem void of emotion, but carry all the weight of a freight train. These articles, paragraphs, and collection of words are the paint of perspective, and as much as they are overwhelming, they are also equally so liberating.

Across this spectrum of bold headlines and addicting scrolling, I began to wonder about identity. What determines how we choose to identify where we originate from? What makes us decide to disassociate from our birthplace? What parts of our culture make us proud and content and what parts are like fresh wounds withheld from time and space needed to heal? I started to wonder about my own identity and what it means to me to be defined as an American.

Continue reading

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, abbreviated to EDS, is a genetic disorder that affects 1 out of 5,000 people across the world. It’s also considered an “invisible illness” since it isn’t clear from the outside whether someone is living with EDS.

This article explains what Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is, its symptoms, how to support someone living with EDS, and simple actions anyone can take to help.

Continue reading

Six months later: 3 things I learned from deleting Facebook

Six months ago, I deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Beyond data privacy concerns, social media became a virtual band-aid applied to moments of weakness and sadness for me. I became more aware of the effects of social media on my mood and general outlook on the world, as I explained in my decision to delete my accounts. Six months passed since I deleted my accounts. Along the way, I learned a few lessons on creating a healthy diet of media and pop culture consumption in a world of constant connectivity and endless media reservoirs.

This article explains some of the changes I made in my life to how I use social media and my smart phone since deleting my accounts. Hopefully you will find these tips useful too.

The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize more how the world uses our phones and the Internet, like Facebook and social media. Photo from SparkXL.

The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize more how the world uses our phones and the Internet. Photo from SparkXL.

Continue reading

2017 – My Year in Review

I can’t remember how writing an annual reflection became a tradition, but after writing them for the last two years, it is now a habit. Every time I look back on all that the last year brought into my life, it is surreal. Many things that happened, I could never have expected one or two years ago. And perhaps now, I see that life is defined by the unexpected moments: the things that surprise us, warm our hearts, sadden us, and remind us of our humanity. Thus, I present my year in review of 2017.

Continue reading

How a smart phone makes time irrelevant

It’s 2pm in the afternoon and the weather is becoming cold after so long. On this brisk November day, an old professor steps out in the corner lobby of the college. The golden rays of the sun cast a warm, radiant glow, leaving a bright, inviting air. This small moment of time is meaningless in an infinite universe of possible moments.

Continue reading

What I discovered in Tirana, Albania

The past few months have brought many changes for me. I traveled throughout Europe to experience some of the open source conferences and communities across the continent. Along the way, I met incredible people with powerful stories about their own communities. However, there is one community that I knew about before I came to Europe. The Open Labs Hackerspace in Tirana, Albania is a special community that I was fortunate enough to discover and meet. Together, they have helped set in motion the open source way in their own city.

Continue reading

2016 – My Year in Review

Before looking too far ahead to the future, it’s important to spend time to reflect over the past year’s events, identify successes and failures, and devise ways to improve. Describing my 2016 is a challenge for me to find the right words for. This post continues a habit I started last year with my 2015 Year in Review. One thing I discover nearly every day is that I’m always learning new things from various people and circumstances. Even though 2017 is already getting started, I want to reflect back on some of these experiences and opportunities of the past year.

Continue reading

2015 – My Year in Review

I originally began drafting this post 900 miles away from my current location. It was an hour until the New Year and I was trying to put together a rough outline of the things that made 2015 such an incredible year for me. However, for reasons I don’t really know, I never followed up on finishing this draft. So now, I’d like to present my Year in Review post looking at my 2015.

My Year in Review

With an hour left until the New Year, there never seemed a better time to begin writing my Year in Review article. While it is a stereotypical kind of thing to do, I also think it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the gifts, changes, and special occasions that this past year has presented to me. 2015 is special to me in many ways because it marks a significant milestone in my life of moving away from home and beginning my journey into full adulthood.

There are many important and special people in my life that have made this year incredible, and I want to reflect and make note of this.

Continue reading

Thirteen Year Legacy: Last.fm Downfall?

Last.fm logo

The Last.fm logo. Source: Xfdr

Last.fm is a web service for users to track and share their music tastes with friends in an easy, simple way. A single play of a song is known as a “Scrobble”. Listening to music and recording the listen with Last.fm is known as “Scrobbling”. This is a service that has existed since 2002, originally under the name of Audioscrobbler. In 2015, Last.fm rolled out their new website beta, originally optional, but later forced upon all users.

Last.fm’s site redesign is criticized widely by users, but nobody seems to be listening on the other side in CBS Interactive London offices. What went wrong with the redesign and what can be learned going forward?

Continue reading

Three reasons I love open source

Open Source User

I am a user of open source software. My earliest experiences with open source software was with the Minecraft server software Bukkit as a kid, when I was attempting to make a cool game server for friends. I started using Fedora in December 2013 with my first laptop, ending a lifetime of using Apple devices. I like to believe that I am familiar and experienced with open source software as an everyday user.

The Open Source Initiative

The Open Source Initiative. Source: opensource.org

Open Source Contributor

I am a contributor of open source software. Despite using it so often, I am still new to contributing and I am learning new things every day about free and open-source software communities. These past three months have passed by seemingly faster than light. And yet, despite being new as a contributor, I am passionate about what I am doing and what others around me are doing. I believe that open source goes beyond just software – it is a culture, a way of thinking, maybe even a way of life. There are reasons why I love open source as much as I do, and while it was challenging, I narrowed it down to three of my favorite things.

Continue reading