Daniel Santos

Lifelong learner.

✱ We did it! During this whole week me and my family successfully completed watching the John Wick saga again. We did so by starting last week with the first movies, and this week by watching John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum again, so we could finally watch John Wick: Chapter 4, released earlier this year. That movie was... superb. I read a lot of bad reviews about it, but whomever wrote them probably didn't understand the end (which I won't spoil here in case you haven't watched it yet). The thing is, now that four chapters have finished, there's a lot of controversy online about a fifth movie: with some sources saying Lionsgate confirmed it is in the works, whereas others not so sure about it. Personally, given what's happened so far, I'd really enjoy seeing more movies, but realistically speaking, I guess that'll take at least a couple of years until Keanu Reeves hits the big screen again, as the general consensus is that the (many) ideas the writers and directors have for continuations still don't quite close around a proper story. So let's just wait.

✱ I've come to think of my work colleagues as a real family as, in these 20 months since I've come back to the company I've always worked for, we've developed a strong friendship — something that had never happened to me on such level before. So this week it made me very sad to learn that one of my best friends at work, one that is a real mentor and teacher in so many ways to me, decided to leave the company, effective on the second week of January. He has his personal reasons and career decisions and path, of course, and I'm sure we'll keep on talking with each other and he'll be able to yet teach me much. Still, I'd be lying if I said I'm not feeling blue. It's been hard to process all of this, yet I know my thoughts and feelings will eventually settle down.

✱ Although my Japanese learning is currently down to a halt, my boss surprised me this week with what I can only call a special gift. He knows about my son's efforts to conquer his scholarship to go studying in Japan and how I'm trying to study and learn the language as much as possible so I can try to communicate successfully once I go visit him in Japan in the future. So he called me this week, saying we'd be holding a meeting with one of our Japanese customers, and invited me to participate, what I readily accepted. The meeting took place last Friday and I must say that I really, really, really enjoyed it so much. It's true that I didn't speak Japanese beyond はじめまして (hajimemashite, or “nice to meet you”), おはようございます(ohayou gozaimasu, or “good morning”) and ありがとうございます (arigatou gozaimasu, or “thank you”). Still, being able to be around native Japanese and to immerse a little bit into their culture and customs was not only priceless, but also served as both a reminder and an incentive for me to keep learning and studying 日本語 (Japanese).

✱ Speaking about Japanese, Kanshudo is currently promoting their Holiday Sale. I know this site — which I found by happenstance sometime ago and that intends to teach Japanese to anyone with an approach revolving around how to read kana and kanji, but in parallel grammar and vocabulary — isn't the top one in the minds of many who've been trying to learn Japanese on their own, as it is considered to be not very easy and intuitive. But from what I could see, it's just a matter of getting used to it. So, I'm really interested in taking advantage of this promotion... yet I haven't completely made up my mind. Let's see if I think it over during the upcoming week. If you know Kanshudo or any other resources for self learners of Japanese like myself, I'm so very much inclined to hear tips from you.


Enquanto fazia minha releitura de 1984 hoje pela manhã, me deparei com o seguinte trecho:

Debaixo da janela, alguém cantava. Winston olhou para fora, protegido pela cortina de musselina. O sol de junho ainda brilhava alto no céu, e no pátio ensolarado abaixo, uma mulher monstruosa, sólida como um pilar normando, com braços vermelhos e musculosos, e um avental de juta amarrado no meio do seu corpo, cambaleava para um lado e para o outro, entre um tanque e um varal, pendurando uma série de coisas brancas que Winston reconheceu como fraldas de bebês. Quando sua boca não estava tampada com prendedores, ela cantava num contralto poderoso:

Era apenas um desejo fantasioso
Passou como um dia de abril
Mas um olhar e uma palavra e os sonhos despertaram
Eles roubaram meu coração!

A canção assombrava Londres havia semanas. Era uma das inúmeras músicas similares lançadas para o bem dos proletas por um subsetor do Departamento de Música. As letras dessas canções eram compostas sem qualquer intervenção humana num instrumento conhecido como versificador. Mas a mulher cantou de um jeito tão afinado que transformava aquela porcaria tenebrosa num som quase prazeroso.

— George Orwell, 1984

Foi virtualmente impossível para mim não pensar que George Orwell, sempre à frente do seu tempo, ao criar em sua ficção o versificador— um dispositivo capaz de produzir conteúdo criativo sem que nenhum membro do partido tivesse que se envolver diretamente, incluindo-se filmes, romances de baixa qualidade, letras de música e até conteúdo esportivo, policial e sobre astrologia a ser publicado em jornais —, acabou gerando uma clara alusão aos LLMs modernos.

This wick we watched John Week. Wait (lousy pun intended— 🤡). This week we watched John Wick, as my wife and kids wanted to remember the storyline of the three first movies before watching the more recent fourth installment of the franchise. There's nothing I need to say about John Wick, except maybe that I love the series and never get tired of watching it. The only mistake I've made right after watching it was to carry on and watch Knock Knock — hopefully by myself, thus not exposing my kin to all the embarrassment — motivated by Keanu being on it and me liking suspense movies. But that movie is not only horrible, it's unbearable. Completely unbearable, from minute one to the end — so much so that it really surprised me that Keanu Reeves even accepted taking part in the movie. Don't waste your time with it. Keep following, instead, the John Wick path.

✱ This week I was able to take a short, self-training in business case creation. I'll be needing some particular skills soon enough and being able to create good business cases — and business plans — is included in the pack. Now, I have some (limited) experience with the matter but it's just wonderful that our mind can open so well to new takes on subjects that you're already acquainted with. This (online) short course had an instructor who put the ideas and concepts so simply that, despite most of the things weren't exactly new to me, I had two or three insights because of that single approach adopted. I was really satisfied.

✱ Upgrading to iOS 17 this week brought me unexpected – and so very unwelcome — news. The video scrubbing feature, that is, being able to hold and slide anywhere on the screen to move a few seconds to minutes forward and backward, was removed with the update. Now it is only possible to achieve the same result by tapping on the screen, and dragging a finger through the playback bar. I consider that's a counterintuitive downgrade. And judging by this Apple forum thread, lots of unhappy iOS users agree with me. On Reddit, the comment is that this feature seems to have been abolished from the newest iOS version “so it doesn't clash with the other actions that can now be performed on videos, like lifting subjects and visual look up”. I honestly hope Apple rolls back this change — or that it at least turns it into a switchable option, so that whomever didn't like the news can go back to the previous state without having to fall back on downgrading software.

✱ Definitely I've had better weeks. Some months ago I created an account with Bunny CDN. When I did that my idea was to host my omg.lol blog images with them, as Adam had not yet created a means to do it in the service itself. Now that's taken care of, but since then I stopped blogging there and got back to Wordpress. Months passed, until on Friday I received an email from the service telling me I had a negative balance. I. Completely. Forgot. About. That. I have now closed my account because at least for the time being using it doesn't make sense to me. But I had to spend $10 to make things right — and, unfortunately, to my own disgrace, they're not refundable... 🤦‍♂️ 😩

✱ On the bright side, December started last Friday. This means I'm officially 3 weeks from the company's end-of-year break, which is straightly connected to my vacations in January. Time to put an extra effort into things so everything that needs to be delivered this year is, and to make arrangements for the things that need to continue in 2024.


✱ Trying to take max advantage of my NBA League Pass subscription, I've watched at least two very nice basketball games this week. First, the duel between Raptors and Pistons last Sunday, when visitors won the game # 142-113 in an amazing presentation. Raptors are one of my favorite NBA teams, and this specific victory was not only amazing, but also a 44 assists franchise high, besides opening a large 39 point lead in the third quarter. Second, the Heats against Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Friday. Now, this game made me angry as a Heat fan: Miami led the whole. The w-h-o-l-e game. Just to completely throw away a 21 point lead it conquered during the third quarter. I couldn't believe my eyes as that advantage shrank by the minute... it was almost as if Miami was mimicking Botafogo, the Brazilian soccer team that led the Brasileiro Championship during almost all rounds until recently losing its 13 point lead completely and mixing with other 5 teams in an open ended decision for this year's soccer title 4 rounds from the end. Impressive, except that I don't care about Botafogo, whereas Heat losses make me sad.

✱ In preparation for me soon starting to read Julia, by American writer Sandra Newman, I'm rereading 1984 by George Orwell. “Julia” is a retelling of 1984, approved by George Orwell's estate, where the title character, Julia Worthing, is a mechanic who fixes the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department at the Ministry of Truth. A model citizen who believes in nothing and doesn't care about politics at all, her world becomes harder to live in when she becomes intrigued by a colleague from the Records Department named Winston Smith, with whom she commits sexcrime. I didn't know Sandra Newman, but if the New York Times' and The Guardian's reviews of her book can tell me anything, the story is highly readable, innovative, powerful, effective and entertaining. If it lives to the hype, and I'm pretty excited for it to do so, I'll read other books from the author — like The Country of Ice Cream Star, a post-apocalyptic literary epic in the tradition of The Handmaid's Tale, or The Men, where all people with a Y chromosome mysteriously disappear from the face of the earth inexplicably —, both of which I've already added to my “Want to Read” list in Literal, just in case.

✱ Both my sons convinced me to watch How to Become a Mob Boss, a new Netflix documentary series in six chapters narrated by Peter Dinklage, in the same fashion of How to Become a Tyrant, that we've watched as well. I say that they convinced me because the tyrant's documentary, although interesting to a point, wasn't my favorite. And so far, the episodes about the mob bosses didn't convince me: I've watched the first four, from which the only I liked was the first episode, featuring Al Capone. The others were just average and the fourth episode even had me nodding off a couple of times. I know that the closing episode features Pablo Escobar, that I know to have an interesting story. Maybe it will be what saves the series for me. As I'll likely watch the remaining two parts this weekend, time will tell.

✱ This week I worked a lot with my notes. It's been sometime now that I'm experimenting with using Wordpress as my main content hub, and that includes publishing my notes — all written in Brazilian Portuguese, my mother language. As a means to keep these pieces of knowledge in progress interconnected, I've even added a custom feature to the blog posts, to display incoming and outcoming links, that is, posts that are linked from the current post and posts that link to the current post. This way I hope to promote better mobility between linked thoughts, and a better experience to whomever reads them. It's still a test, so I might change a piece here or there, but if anyone wants to give me feedback, it's always welcome 🤗

✱ I have recently signed up for Purely Mail as a paid email solution. As their name says, they only provide e-mail, IMAP and POP3, at a very affordable price: $10 a year, the same amount I pay for another excellent solution, Bitwarden, for password management — or even less, if you decide to use their advanced pricing and pay directly for resources used. And the best about it is that there are no hard limits on users, custom domains, storage, or anything else. It's been a couple of weeks I'm using Purely Mail now with accounts for two domains that I own, and I'm really satisfied. So much more that I wish I had known them before.


The citizens of Schilda possessed a horse with whose feats of strength they were highly pleased and against which they had only one objection — that it consumed such a large quantity of expensive oats. They determined to break it of this bad habit very gently, by reducing its ration by a few stalks every day, till they had accustomed it to complete abstinence. For a time things went excellently: the horse was weaned to the point of eating only one stalk a day, and on the succeeding day it was at length to work without any oats at all. On the morning of that day the spiteful animal was found dead; and the citizens of Schilda could not make out what it had died of.

— Anonymous, German folklore parable, as retold by Sigmund Freud in The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis and during his concluding lecture at Clark University in 1910.

That parable has so many possible interpretations, but my favorite one is that any optimization has its limits.

You can optimize resources in order to save money. You can optimize a process so it becomes faster or has the quality of its output improved. You can optimize your text so it becomes more legible or clearer.

But exceed it a bit and an essential resource might start lacking. Exceed it and the process stalls or outputs defective items instead. Clear too much of the text you're writing and its sense disappears, its message isn't put across.

Knowing when reducing the horse's ration is already enough is a challenge. And one needs to take care so no one starves in the process.


I’ve never made a secret of how much I love to write. The fact I’m keeping this site for as far back in past as 2002 is proof of it. I write my thoughts, my opinions and ideas. I write short stories, and even notes and journal entries here. And I write all of these things without ever worrying about using even a single wordless than I’ve used.

I’m indeed a wordylong-winded person.

I use long sentences all the time but they don’t necessarily come out on purpose. It’s just that when I finish writing a paragraph, there they are. And I don’t have a lot of problems because of that… and that’s what makes me keep on using them.

But what if words cost me money to write? Say, a penny each.

I’m taking this “better business writing” course this week, and the teasing came from the instructor, who said that on her business writing workshops, she always tells her students to think about it. It does make you think twice about what to write, doesn’t it?

After all, you gotta cut on your expenses.

Of course, I don’t do business writing here. But I do it professionally, and that’s why I consider it a good thing to be able to cut to the chase when needed, to put important information first when needed. It’s a valuable skill to have. But the thing is, I’m grateful for written words being free. This way I’m able to speak my mind the way I want, whenever I want. Isn’t it wonderful?

✱ I watched the last episode of Loki last Sunday. Season two was way better than the first one, and this last episode… was… amazing! I didn’t expect the story to turn the ways it turned, but I’m glad it did! The writers seem to have thought the ending and everything else from the first episode in season one — maybe making Loki the best Marvel story ever made to date. Despite knowing that Marvel has no plans for a season 3 because the story they wanted to tell was completely told, I’m going to miss Tom Hiddleston’s character very much. He’s become my favorite (sorry, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man — you’re now #2) and at least I have the fact that he’s certainly become the most powerful being in MCU to comfort me. Oh, and I’ll miss Miss Minutes, as well… ☺️

✱ Back in September we had a very bad heat wave happening where I live. Things got really hot then, to the point of making me think that nothing could be worse than those days. Until this week started. Last Sunday temperatures hit 41°C (105°F) by noon and Monday greeted us with 38°C (almost exactly 100°F). I hate the heat, as I’ve said it already a couple of times… the fans and air conditioning at home have been on most of the time this week and yet it felt we were at the edge of comfort. Too bad.

✱ On the bright side, my father celebrated his 73rd birthday last Tuesday. Me, my wife and my sons joined him and my mother, along with my sister and brother-in-law for a small, cozy and simple night reunion, at it was nice to be around him on such a special date. I love my father and I’m so thankful for his health and happiness. Godspeed him, always.

✱ On Thursday I did something I had not been able to do in sometime now. Me and a couple of good friends from work went out for some afternoon coffee and good conversation. It made me really happy to be able to do it, because it so much helps with making work and its challenges more smooth. It’s really good to have nice friends to be around.

✱ I’m sure I have already mentioned it here that I’m not exactly the kind of person who talks a lot about soccer. But this last Thursday our National Team, Brazil, played against Colombia in a match valid for the FIFA Men Soccer World Cup qualifiers. And their performance was so… lousy. Yes, Gabriel Martinelli opened the score right at 4′, but then, it was just that. We attacked little and defended yet less… so much so that Luis Diaz scored both the tier and the score turner goals, at 75′ and 79′, defining the result as 2–1 for the Colombians. Brazil’s campaign so far is one of the worst I can remember and I’m seriously questioning myself if this will be the unprecedented time we’ll be off the World Cup. That would be a bummer.

✱ I’m pretty excited about this site as of lately. I decided to move my hosting to Pikapods. The performance is so nice so far that I believe this is a decision I should have made much earlier — but better later than never. I have also been able to migrate a considerable lot of my notes to the site from Blot.im, where I still have an account but will close it later this year. More migration and some adjustments before I can do it.


Luke, our cute Yorkshire dog, all groomed up and beautiful.

Luke, depois de ter tomado seu banho e passado por sua tosa regular. Finalmente mais parecido com ele mesmo do que com aquele outro personagem de Star Wars… 😂😂😂

...ou alguns pensamentos sobre a maior festa popular brasileira, enquanto ainda é terça-feira de Carnaval.

Eu sou assim: me digam onde está acontecendo uma daquelas folias de Carnaval, que eu vou imediatamente começar a rumar na direção contrária. Não gosto, nem nunca gostei de muvuca. Então é natural que na hora em que as pessoas pegam o caminho do salão de festas, eu fique na minha.

Que eu me lembre, mesmo quando criança, nunca consegui ver a graça do Carnaval. Eu cheguei a ir a algumas matinês, levado ao clube pelos meus pais — lembro até mesmo de uma fantasia do Homem Aranha que usei. Mas ficar no salão ouvindo marchinha e jogando confete e serpentina pra cima simplesmente não me despertava a emoção que tanta gente parece sentir.

Não me leve à mal, Carnaval. Não é você, provavelmente sou eu mesmo.

Pegar fila em estrada lotada, onde o trânsito para? Enfrentar falta d’água, falta de energia, fila do pão, fila do mercado, crise pra estacionar? Hmmm, não. Eu passo, muito obrigado.

Ficar assistindo desfile pela televisão? Escola de samba após escola de samba? Samba enredo um depois do outro? Ouvir comentarista de desfile? Hmmm, não. Eu passo, muito obrigado.

Para mim há apenas um aspecto bom do Carnaval: já que o país inteiro para por cinco dias inteiros — considerando a quarta-feira de cinzas, e eu paro junto, aproveito a folga do Carnaval.

Nessa folga, faço tudo o que tenho direito, pinto e bordo do meu jeito.

Eu aproveito para recarregar minhas baterias, então durmo bastante. Aproveito para colocar meu consumo literário em dia — entre a sexta-feira passada e hoje, quando estou escrevendo esse texto, por exemplo, consegui terminar de ler dois livros inteiros no Kindle. E continuei um terceiro.

Aproveito para maratonar minhas séries. As do momento são The Last of Us e Spy x Family. Vários episódios assistidos e tempo de tela muito melhor aproveitado por nós aqui em casa do que se estivéssemos “olhando a Beija Flor aí, gente”!

Aproveito para pensar. Me organizar. Me renovar. Aproveito cada minuto a meu favor, da melhor maneira possível. E se você é da bagunça, da folia, da farra... do Carnaval no sentido mais popular e convencional, está tudo bem. Porque se há uma coisa verdadeira sobre essa festa popular é que ela é democrática pra caramba, então tem para todos os gostos.

Aproveita daí, que eu aproveito daqui 😊