Sunday, October 25, 2015

[jog-journal] I Woke Up Early Today. You Won't Believe What Happened Next

My professor had last day told the story of his friend who finished MBBS, Post Graduation, and some specialty, got married, had a kid, and at the age of 30 something, when everything was "settled" got a myocardial infarction. Don't put health behind anything else, he said. And don't go running from the next day, he said too.

But, selective hearing at its best, when I woke up at 5.45 today, I had to do something useful. First I read one page of my textbook and just as I was about to go back to sleep, I got the idea to be running again. That's exactly 3 months past the last time.

Why do people have so much difficulty in doing what they are supposed to do? I had for a long time believed that people forget what they're supposed to do and get involved in random distracting things. But if that was indeed the case, to-do lists must have worked like magic. But to-do lists don't work. They just grow and grow and grow.

If it's not about remembering, maybe it's a problem with the way we recall what we're supposed to do. A to-do list is a bare short description of what we're supposed to do. It doesn't give us the entire context of what was going through in our mind when we jotted it down. It takes away the motivation.

Maybe that's why multi-tasking doesn't work too. We need to enter certain "modes" to do things. When we're supposed to be learning, we need to be motivated and comfortable to read. That is a different mind set when compared to when we're supposed to be writing something creative. It is probably difficult for the mind to switch from one mindset to another.

That's probably why meetings, community calls, hackathons, etc leads to far more productive output than people left on their own produce. When you invest half an hour or a day to get your mind into a particular situation, it is filled with the motivation, the back-story, and the context of what it is supposed to do. And then, doing what we are supposed to do becomes easier.

I have been learning d3.js since yesterday. It is a cool thing. 

The road to kukralli has changed a lot. There are now beautiful pavements on either side. And kukralli itself has been decorated with flower pots on the sides at entrances.

The pelicans are now floating on the lake. Maybe the pollution has come down a bit. And there was this kid running with loose shoes, not exactly lifting his legs while running, but dragging them. His shoes are probably gonna get worn out much sooner than he wants them to.

And there was this white labrador dog which was so scared to jump across the roadside drain. The owner had to walk parallel till there was a small bridge across. Stupid dogs.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Mozilla Kerala Community Meetup '15

I left for Kochi from Mysore on Oct 1 (the same day I received email from the participation team inviting me to participation leadership cohort and passed third year subjects). After about 8 hours of sleep I woke up at 4 in the bus to be involved in a very active discussion about misogyny/nitpicking in Mozillians telegram group.

After getting down from the bus I visited my brother and grandmother and had breakfast with them. Then, I reached Asset Summit Suites where everyone was getting ready.

Day 1

As usual, people reached late and the event started an hour late with introductions. Late comers had to dance. I was meeting everyone (except Anush and Kumaresan and Abin) for the first time. But Telegram and IRC and emails meant I knew most people and vice versa.

After tea we started talking about how decentralization of powers and privileges should be our agenda and how Mozilla Kerala should be a community based on SOPs. I threw in the idea that Mozilla Kerala should, whenever possible, work inside Mozilla (for example, wiki, discourse, etc) so that it's good for everyone.

Speaking of discourse, we chose to use the discourse.mozilla-community.org discourse's Kerala subcategory as the official discussion medium, IRC #kerala (with Telegram proxy bot and such stuff as required) for meetings, Gitter.im for development discussions, Mozilla Wiki/Kerala for documentation, Bugzilla.Mozillakerala.org for bugs, and so on.

After lunch we talked about what new initiatives to plan, what to focus on, etc.

Then, we developed [SOPs](https://wiki.mozilla.org/Kerala/SOPs) for all things conceivable. Or that's what we thought. There's so much of gaps in the SOPs and this will be a process that goes on for some time now.

After dinner, I learned some meteor from Akhil and slept.

Day 2

Woke up tired, had breakfast, and ran to the conference hall. Today was dedicated for all the tech-work.

There was unanimous agreement that the geeks had to stop working in the background of the homepage and upload a useful homepage. So the geeks went to code straightaway promising a basic page set up by 4 pm. (By 4, vakar did come out with a decent page full of stuff to engage with).

Then came the controversial (and boring for some) discussion on creating a complete portal on Mozilla Kerala. The idea is simple - have a portal where when a Kerala Mozillian joins, they can figure out everything that's going on - upcoming events, leaderboards of various Mozilla activities, and so on. But the problem is that the hours that might have to be spent on it wouldn't be trivial. An easy way out would be to use existing Mozillians API and do very simple manipulation and chaining of API calls to present leaderboards without much technical complexity. This has the added advantage that we'd be reusing Mozillians website and data rather than reinventing the whole wheel and protecting ourselves from NIH syndrome. It'd also go well with what I wrote down on a sticky on the wall "We should try to integrate with the larger Mozilla community whenever possible, rather than trying to break away"

While there were good arguments on both side, all that's now left to be seen is what gets coded in the coming few weeks (or months, who knows?)

Meanwhile, we also wrote down the impact and outcomes we need to have by the end of 2016 (taking a cue from participation team) and that helped put things in perspective.

After lunch there was a discussion about Maker Party Malabar, on the model of Maker Party Kochi. Actually, this discussion was going on even when I left for Mysore in the night. I suggested on adding a net neutrality station in this party. Should figure out a way to make that topic more in line with the maker spirit.

Abin had pointed out that good recognition of contribution is very important in retatining contributors. Binoy shared his experience working with womoz and how they have so many hurdles in even attending a Mozilla event.

Keeping with the unconference style of the whole meet, there was no official end of the meetup. We took enough photographs and left the place when the hotel asked us to clear the conference room for the next event happening there.

We then switched to rooms. Luckily we had 3 rooms next to each other and everyone was doing something in some room. Shine was working on the server. jsx booking tickets to China. I was sharing my ebook collection with psbots. Ruwaiz was learning stuff from Kumaresan. Another group was planning Maker Party Malabar and so on.

Walking by the side of Kochi Metro under construction I didn't even have time to reflect on the two days when I found a low floor AC bus which would take me to Ernakulam bus stand and the bus home.

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