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A few months ago, I started to shave using a straight razor1.

Straight Razor

It's… quite different from the disposable razors that I used up until recently.

It takes concentration to not slice your face open. Even once you've become proficient in the mechanical aspects of shaving with a blade, momentary lapses in your attention span can result in drawing blood.

Considering that a properly honed straight razor is just a few notches below a scalpel in terms of sharpness, it goes without saying that taking your time is imperative.

Consequently, I end up spending quite some time staring at my own reflection in the mirror, and thinking. On one of those mornings, while stretching the skin on my neck with one hand to ensure I didn't give myself a tracheotomy with the blade held in my other hand, I realized that I need to approach software more like I approach shaving.

Spend more time thinking about what you're about to do, before you do it.

Learning how to use your tools effectively takes patience. Patience requires time.

Mistakes might not be apparent immediately, but can become painful in short order.

Newer isn't always better.

Master the process.


Shaving with a straight razor has become fashionable again, but my reasoning is more boring: disposable razors (and blades) are not easily recyclable. I live in a rural enough area that I'm responsible for transporting my own waste and recycling to a county depot, and it's made me very conscious of what gets thrown in the garbage.