Agreed. I believe that the title of the article is a bit misleading, as Vim can indeed make you more productive! if you choose if for the right task, and know your way around it. The more experienced you are, the broader range of tasks you can do productively.
The last part of your comment is also on point: if there are customization-elements that make your experience easier in a session on a remote/different machine then learning them will make your life easier. It can be even added to my analogy: if you get a bike while you visit someone else, what's the first thing you do? You set the settle to your height, probably change the gear, so that it feels comfortable. You can also drive without doing any of this, sure, but it will be a pain.
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