2023 in Retrospective

The year is ending in a couple of days, and I wanted to leave a public note about how it went for me.

2023 was an interesting year. I spent a lot of time getting used to my new life, and to be honest, it went well. I’m happier than ever, and learning to handle my life in this new chapter.

The biggest change was how I allocate my time during the day. This nudges me to learn to downscale and manage my time better or be more efficient in how I accomplish things in general. This part of my transition is not over yet, I’m actively downscaling in both physical and digital ways. For example, I don’t have a personal desktop computer anymore, but living with a single laptop. I have almost completed my move to cloud storage, converging and simplifying it in the process. I’m trying to reduce the number of my physical belongings, however that part is going slower than I dreamt of. 2023 brought minimalism with all its peculiarities, but it’s not a failure by any means.

Another small yet important change was finishing transitioning to fountain pens for note-taking. I have disposable pens, but new ones are not being added much. In the end, I’ll need to have a couple because I use rulers sometimes, and there are special-purpose ones, like pigment markers, that I’ll need to stock, but all the grunt work is handled by fountain pens, which bring joy and do not create waste except the glass bottles you empty, which can be recycled. I can say that I’m more mindful of the amount of plastic I consume, and I try to actively recycle it (whether it’s done or not is another issue). I’ll be talking about note-taking and fountain pens in the soonish future.

I continued learning Go. I wanted to be able to have something between Python and C++ and Go filled that gap perfectly. Simpler than C++, compiled, garbage collected, and fast enough. It’s open source and has a GCC implementation, which is crucial for me. All in all, I love the language and its ergonomics. It proved itself to be a great companion for my automation and downscaling efforts. I may write what I think about Go in a future blog post.

I continued implementing and almost finished one of the tools I wanted to have with my newly acquired Go knowledge: Nudge, a small command line tool to interface with Pushover for sending push notifications to devices from the Linux command line, which is a crucial requirement for “lights-out operations” which I want to move towards for the mundane things I routinely do in front of a computer because I want to have more time for myself and people I care.

Lastly, with the AI revolution, I became way more mindful of how these systems are trained, and its effects on our privacy and free software. As a result, changed my trajectory towards services and systems which do not devour your things for their profit without your consent. During that transition, I also left Google search for Kagi, which is something you pay for to use. However, this payment makes sure that you don’t become the product during the process, at least for now. I’m pretty happy about this decision, and I recommend you to give Kagi a try.

2024 will bring the next step in many of these endeavors and will add new ones on top of it. I’m hopeful that the new year will bring better things upon us since 2023 was enough both for me and our planet as a whole.

Until next time,

Be kind.