Letter to Lawrence III

Hi kid,

you are now at that stage in life that you are not a small baby anymore, but a beautiful happy young kid!

Learning (more absorbing like a sponge) the environment. You are quite an observer, sometimes you just stop and keep watching, figuring stuff out, and when that eureka moment arrives it’s just magic and pure joy.

Like most kids in the world of ours today, you have quite an exposure to technology with always connected phones and tablets. With this comes the dopamine rush hits associated with the instant gratification of searching, installing and playing a new game in less than one minute, playing Youtube videos on demand and so on…

So… and I have to tell you this, sometimes it’s a battle to keep you offline and away the omnipresent screens… the good news is that you enjoy a lot the outside. You love to ride your bicycle, and you ride it pretty good for your age. We explore the lovely neighborhood (and some times beyond),  go to the playground, the gardens, the riverside, the supermarkets, well practically everywhere with our pedal space ships.

You like stargazing and can easily identify Mars and Jupiter (yes they are planets 🙂 ), and to learn about the solar system and the magnitude of our magical universe. You find meditation quite intriguing, you also are developing taste for non commercial music, like classic Indian music, and more ecstatic  rhythms to jump and dance to.

Not everything has been perfect an joyful, but guess what? That is the way of life, there is no light without the dark, no day without night, no yin without yang.

Unfortunately you experienced episode of violence at school, it shouldn’t have happened much less at this young age, much less at school, but unfortunately it did. Beyond the normal parents / school meetings you receive a pair of boxing gloves and bag, and once in while we do some basic drills. You like it, but in reality I’m tricking you, it’s really not about training to throw punches, it’s about training self confidence and paradoxically the right mindset to avoid violence. But beware, I don’t want you to be the weak victim, but oh boy, I sure also don’t want you to be the aggressor bully.

Also the last year and half was clouded by the  Covid-19 pandemic. So sorry, for the endless time at home, the playgrounds, and parks closed.  The good news is that it seems the vaccines are working, life nowadays (besides the omnipresent mask) is 99.9% normal. The best news is nobody that we love was lost to Covid-19.

As Covid-19 is clearing up, another health storm arrived this summer to make life difficult for us. My long term “relationship” with glaucoma took a significant dip. I’m sorry for so little quality time this summer compared to the previous ones, but this problem hit really hard kid and it took quite a lot of medical care, effort and interventions (we must give a special big thank you in this process to Dr. Feranado Vaz @HFF) to be now in a situation of hope. The most important thing is that everything possible to manage and tackle this problem is being done.

With a bit of luck will not be an impediment to this beautiful walk of life.

Love you infinty^2,
Marco Gonçalves

Letter to Lawrence II

Hi Lawrence,

700 days have elapsed since you were born, so now you are a very happy (and big!) 20 month baby. And boy… you warped the space time continuum to a incredibly fast pace.

It’s such a big joy to see you move around and discover the world. And you do move, explore and interact a lot. One must always keep a close eye on you, because you like to touch everything and climb stuff…  the cherry on top of the cake, is that at night time usually you are so tired that you fall asleep in minutes.

You are starting to talk, you know the normal stuff “mamã, papá, sim, não, água, papa”, but also some really cute things: usually when something is done you say loud and clear “Já tá”, another personal favorite is when you pursuit the house cat with a great smile on the face and say “Piiii, Piiii, Piiiiiiiii” (it’s a hard life for the cat…).

You still smile a lot (you practically born smiling…), and with your smile you make many people smile also, some that I actually never saw smile before you. Please don’t ever loose that inner happiness, it’s awesome.

In these months I have learned many things about life with you kid, children are really the best thing in the world because they change adults to a better version, more calm, more optimistic, with more inner strength.

You know, my biggest wish is just to be remembered as a good father.

I love you,
Marco Gonçalves

My bite on Apple

Love it or hate it, it’s the kind of company that leaves no one indifferent. It showed the world (at least to the masses) the personal computer, the graphic interface, the decent portable music player, a real smartphone and what a tablet should be like. All very nice and disruptive. All products are incredible well made, beautiful design and taste, and they just work out of the box like no other in the market. I should love it. But the sad true is i don’t.

Company culture runs top down, and Steve Jobs was indeed a visionary and incredible smart person, but also a manipulative, control freak, indifferent to his own child’s, cruel kind of person (probably a big jerk). Unfortunately a lot of that spilled over to Apple.

Lot’s of (unnecessary) proprietary stuff.
Long story of conflicts with other companies and standards. Adobe, Google, just to name a couple.
Closing the market with all kind of patents and legal tricks.
Mac OS X has a huge portion of FreeBSD on it but i don’t see a cent donated by Apple (list of donors include Cisco, Google, Juniper, NetApp, McAfee, Dell, etc).
I see Google doing some incredible work at a social level, Google foundation, X-Prize. In counterpart is there an Apple foundation?
One buys an Iphone/Ipad and must pay a developer account or jail brake. The SDK is only available for Apple computers.
One must get his OWN files to his OWN device trough Itunes…

And the list goes on and on… does the profit, a vision, or whatever justify this kind of policies? Do the ends justify the means? For Steve Jobs sure, for Apple sure, but not for me. So me choices are rather obvious (check here, here and here).

FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM bitch!

One more thing 🙂 … it’s kind of sad that all those geeks that were upset some ten years ago by Microsoft monopolistic actions and autism, most of all switched to Apple, giving their love and support to an even worse company in that matter. You can get in a meeting with IT staff and 90% of those that were running Windows laptops some years ago now proudly show their Apple gear… talk about brainwash… i can only recall the old Apple motto “Think different”… probably will glue this to my Linux laptop one of those days.