December 22nd, 2009
I've been thinking about my approach to computing. It's a little strange. I mostly interact with computers remotely over ssh. I use emacs only in terminal mode. I don't use an IDE to program. I prefer tiling to overlapping windows. I prefer mailing lists to forums. I read mail in mutt. I like clicky keyboards. Talking about this with someone a while ago, the best word I had at the time was "luddite". That didn't really fit, though, as I like technology, just not "improvements" that make things worse. (So I like python, chrome's one-process-per-tab, lcd monitors, browser-integrated spell checking, and led bike headlights because these really do improve over the previous systems.) There is a word from bicycling, though, "retrogrouch", that means about what I want. (I'm also retrogrouch about non computing stuff. My bike has rod brakes, a coaster brake, internal hub gearing, an enclosed chain case, and is made of steel. I prefer to play acoustic instruments and listen to live music. I don't like teflon in cookware. I don't like cell phones. Learned music is better than read music.) The goal is not to be misled by new technology as good because it's new. Older technology has had a lot of thought put into it, and the faster new technology comes out the less time it has had to mature.

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