BetterTouchTool to set up Keyboard Shortcuts (Switch PC->MAC)

Maybe one of the worst penitences when switching from PC to Mac is about Keyboard shortcuts, especially when you are using a PC keyboard to avoid to avoid that cheesymagic keyboard. Here they are my favs:

  • You will find millions of times you would have used command Key instead of Control. For instance, Control-V and nothing get pasted… mmm mmm… Yay! Again.
  • Start-End keys are a real nightmare. When you intensively used it and you found now send you to the end of the document instead of moving in a single line. Yes, you can use Command-→  y Command-← but is it really someone finding more interesting navigating the extremes of a document than going to the both sides of a line?
  • Screencaptures are really powerful. Screen capture rocks. But I had just a key to do that (That marvelous SCR CAP) and now I need to do finger gymnastics (Control-Command-Shift-3 instead of a single keystroke? Are you kidding! No. :/)
  • Clean the screen aka show your Desktop.
  • And the very best of any of them. Where has gone that friendly Alt-Tab to jump from one to another open Window? Now it is Commend-Tab, but it doesn’t work between 2 opened windows of the same app. In this case, you’ll need… the deeply intuitive Command-` . Great!

This last run out my patience, so I started trying to find something -an App- to make my life easier. And I found it: BetterTouchTool. It’s great. I’ve programmed function keys, cloned Command shorcuts for those friendly Control Key combinations and… I started playing again.

Here it is my setup  -F7’ed- screencapture:

captura-de-pantalla-2016-11-26-01-16-11

 

Awesome en ReactionGifs
Awesome en ReactionGifs

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

   

   

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Scientific journals and Robin Hood ethics.

CC BY flickr.com/photos/holmesjr
CC BY flickr.com/photos/holmesjr

Setting aside the probably unethical basis of scientific publication structure, which is sometimes more interested in protecting the status quo than improving mankind’s living conditions — an old-fashioned legitimation of science — let’s focus on the inequality it promotes. A clear research divide is created between those with access to these journals and those without, between those paying abusive subscription fees and those who are not able. Or, in some other cases, even between those who are able to pay to have their work published in predatory journals and those with no money enough.

So.

What if a researcher in Russia makes 48 million journal articles freely available online?

“For those of you who aren’t already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it’s sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world. It was established in 2011 by neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who was frustrated that she couldn’t afford to access the articles needed for her research, and it’s since gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of papers being downloaded daily..” [sciencealert]

Is this is a pirate act, or a Robin Hood action?

At the end of last year, the site was ordered closed by a judge in New York, so it seems the verdict is it’s piracy.

But this triggered a debate about science. Or, more exactly, about scientific journals. Let me copy here some parts of the open letter the Sci-hub.org operator addressed to the New York court [You can take a look at it here]:

“When I was a student in Kazakhstan university, I did not have access to any research papers. These papers I needed for my research project. Payment of 32 dollars is just insane when you need to skim or read tens or hundreds of these papers to do research.”

“Authors of these papers do not receive money. Why would they send their work to Elsevier then? They feel pressured to do this, because Elsevier is an owner of so-called “high-impact” journals. If a researcher wants to be recognized, make a career – he or she needs to have publications in such journals.”

“we never received any complaints from authors or researchers, only Elsevier [the editor] is complaining about free distribution of knowledge”

So, again the question. Is Sci-hub.org created by an evil stealer-hacker, or by a RobinHoodsonian prominent philanthropist?

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

       

Impact measures, anti-science and ethics.

CCBY flickr.com/photos/phantomleap/5055245466
CCBY flickr.com/photos/phantomleap/5055245466

I remember something about saying impact measures and citation indexes have anti-scientific structures… at least if you think about science as a weapon against the status quo to improve mankind’s living conditions.
The idea of having shamans checking any research article against their standards to validate their inclusion in one of the Mount Olympus research journals could be stomach-churning from the epistemology of science point of view, but at least it smells old. This reminds me of the brilliant point of view of Andrew Spittle about the stupid constraint of printing PhD theses, especially when they are not inherently printable, for instance, those having to do with the Internet, like his, and mine, just to support an authority argument structure born in Middle Ages universities.
But there is a more powerful concern. Pardis Sabeti clarified for me any single doubt I could have in her amazing and inspiring Ted Talk ‘How we’ll fight the next deadly virus’. Let me cite several lines of this brilliant and inspiring talk (remember, she speaks about epidemic disease DNA medical research):

“But the way that science works, the position I was in at that point is, I had the data, and I could have worked in a silo for many, many months, analyzed the data carefully, slowly, submitted the paper for publication, gone through a few back-and-forths, and then finally when the paper came out, might release that data. That’s the way the status quo works.
Well, that was not going to work at this point, right? We had friends on the front lines and to us it was just obvious that what we needed is help, lots of help. So the first thing we did is, as soon as the sequences came off the machines, we published it to the web. We just released it to the whole world and said, “Help us.” And help came.
Before we knew it, we were being contacted from people all over, surprised to see the data out there and released. Some of the greatest viral trackers in the world were suddenly part of our community. We were working together in this virtual way, sharing, regular calls, communications, trying to follow the virus minute by minute, to see ways that we could stop it.”

Pardis Sabeti in How we’ll fight the next deadly virus’ Ted Talk.

Awe inspiring. Isn’t it?

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

       

Meetamattician: Soul for the disperse and the diverse.

It’s just a question of following the right people. For instance, Karen Alma. I found a Matt Mullemnberg quote about distributed working (even if there are some opinions postulating this should be called disperse, that changes essentially nothing here) by reading her blog.

In a world where at offices, everyone has headphones on and stares at screens anyway, and you have software that enables meetings online — whether that’s Zoom or Google Hangouts or Slack connecting people — you can create not just a distributed workforce, but one that’s more global and diverse. [link]

Bravo! Nothing escapes Matt’s eye. Let’s pinpoint “diverse.”

Let me explain that: the word “diverse” has the same origin as divergent. You need a global mindfulness of divergently challenging points of view to be able to build a product with the aspiration to be global. This is WordPress: a globally conceived tool reaching more than 25 percent of global traffic and with the aim to reach 51 percent.

And diverse also has the same origin as a beautiful Spanish word: “divertir,” meaning “to amuse.” I can assure you that working in WordPress IS amusing. It’s like feeling in real-time how creativity is boiling in a global pot with the rhythm of your colleagues connecting to Slack from each time zone.

There should be a way to bridle all this chaos and creativity.

Not sure if the correct term is “to bridle”; I would use “to take care.” But, yes, it is. You can focus this power, adding soul, with a bunch of soulful proposals.

And here it is: Meetamattician. Thinking about a way to populate tables with people who haven’t yet met in global Automattic meetings is amazing. Implementing it rocks. But, putting the CEO on the list to try to sit him among “newbies”… That’s chocolate topping on the icing on the cake.

Automattic: chapeau. Again.

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

       

Identity is made online or offline?

Sci-Fi has anticipated, sometimes quite accurately, lots of Internet innovations. Snow Crash, Stevenson’s Cyberpunk masterpiece, predicted Google Maps, the existence of ultraconnected-to-the-Internet people (called gargoyles)… and avatars.

CC-BY flickr.com/photos/ssoosay/7003408741/
CC-BY flickr.com/photos/ssoosay/7003408741/

The origin of this word can be found in Hinduism: an avatar is a projection of a God on Earth, what Frau-Meigs calls ‘an outil représentationnel’, a representational tool to take part in a parallel world.

Sci-Fi is full of virtual reality identity/avatar constructions to represent the owner in a parallel world that becomes as real as the original (James Cameron’s Avatar, The Matrix trilogy or the dystopian Surrogates Comic by Venditti and Weldele). I doubt the Web will provide us with such a visual – and picturesque – substitution of people for avatars in personal interactions…

…but it is triggering something more radical. We don’t participate or build relationships on the Internet over a fictional unique character, but using one of the multiple selves – avatars – we generate with each interaction. And, don’t you think our e-identity (irrevocably a part of our identity) is in fact the sum of our avatars’ actions?

In this case Avatar, The Matrix and Surrogates are built upon one-way trip identities. Blue, or with superpowers, those avatars merely replace the owner’s existence in those fictional worlds. Reality is less picturesque, less blue, but deeper. Identity is continuously making two-way trips: offline identity governs online projections and online interactions feed the offline identity definition process.

Consequently identity is determined by e-interactions. Our ontology also contains our online participation.

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

       

Postmodern Narrative in Bourdieu, ‘The reproduction’

Bourdieu is that guy who sometimes speaks about pedagogy or education, the same man who researched about Algeria Anthropology and even wrote articles about the economy. The book he presented with Passeron, ‘La reproduction’, should be included in the top books about education.

CC-BY http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluebuddhastudio/
CC-BY http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluebuddhastudio/

This book is amazing because of what it says and, no less, how it says it. Instead of writing an indigestible paper brick, and by that I mean a regular essay, they make a scheme. They use short phrases in a hierarchy of ideas to clearly point out which is the most important and what is an accessory. They use a numbered ideas list, and they complete it with explanation paragraphs to be read in case you do not completely understand the header. This more than 40-years-old book does not force you to perform boring, attention-consuming sequential reading. It is a neat example of netmodern narrative, ineludible with the Internet.

And, by the way, what does this book say? They explain in parallel to Lyotard’s admonition about science that the educational system hasn’t been built to emancipate people, and not even to discover and transmit the truth. They think empowered classes are using educational system to make the rest of us stupid by assuming indisputable current social schemes that perpetuate them in the superior vortex.

Why is the Internet such a powerful weapon (MOOCS are only an example)? Because it could transform the educational process into learning processes in which the limits are not marked by the educational system but by the learner.

It is our responsibility to take advantage of that!

Raúl Antón Cuadrado

       

Are we Cyborgs?

CC-BY flickr.com/photos/35168673@N03/4778124500
CC-BY flickr.com/photos/35168673@N03/4778124500

Time ago – in the industrialized fragment of our planet – human gender became Cyborg by the integration of technological devices as plug & play extensions of our manhood functionalities. Donna Haraway advanced this fact more than 20 years ago.

‘By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs. This cyborg is our ontology’ (Haraway, Cyborg Manifesto 1991: page. 150)

Not so? Ok: Could you feed and dress yourself without a credit card? Don’t you drive a car when you need to go faster (bus, metro…)? Would you voluntarily decline to use a mobile phone? Those devices are a chunk of our lives, a portion of us and our definition as a postmodern human being is not complete without them. Not yet convinced? What about glasses or contact lenses?

We currently identify a Cyborg as someone who changes his legs to put wheels in place, or who connects a communication device directly to his brain, or… ok! Maybe in a film, but would you accept visiting the surgeon each time you changed your mobile phone? It is much easier to keep it in your pocket, isn’t it?

But this doesn’t mean we aren’t Cyborgs. To be a Cyborg is our ontology.

Raúl Antón Cuadrado