I love the pain of striving towards my goals.
I would publish a blog post 3 months after writing it when I want to reference it in another blog post, because it's hard for me to do work whose use I can't immediately see. I face this problem notably when learning theoretical math (or math in any context that's not during coding), but also when trying to work on apparently pretty much any goal (??) because the 4th rule of thermodynamics states that you'll always reach an empty answer if you ask why enough levels down.
Software engineering is intoxicating because it gives me a clear goal to focus on, unit tests to anchor myself to, well defined bugs to fix. It passes me out of the world of the whys and into the world of hows, where nothing matters except for the current line of code in front of me. I don't have to ask myself why it's valuable, I just know that we're pushing features and that's enough.
For 12 days in Berkeley this summer, I learned I love electrifying foreign opinions. I love when someone disagrees with me, insults me even because some of my highest-growth belief-changing moments were when I felt attacked. I ache for more exhilarating environments like the Atlas summer program.
I'm self-aware and spend a non-trivial amount of time reflecting, either on paper because writing helps me think better or in my head because too much writing keeps me stuck in my thoughts. Some of these notes end up containing quite interesting ideas and I've experimented with publishing them in the past, but no longer do. You can probably find a bunch of these microblog posts scattered across various platforms that I won't list here.
I turn to Epictetus' handbook when I'm stressed, sad, or missing Atlas. Words such as "If you regard things which are in the power of others to be your own... you'll have cause to lament" slap the anguish straight out of me. I read philosophy for free therapy.
I love the emotional connection that can be made between me and another person during intimate/"deep" conversations. Talking to others is the primary activity I do for the purpose of fun.
At 4 years old, I mentally calculated the powers of 2 up to 2^16=65536 during naptime. When I was 11, I tried to self-study calculus, with only a foundation of basic algebra. (I didn't succeed.) Today, I admire proofs like I admire paintings. Rigorous formalization of abstract logic is beautiful. I'm thinking of math-majoring purely because quaternions and topological manifolds never fail to spark joy.
I walk to let out angst as I drill French audiobooks, angst that makes my legs jiggle up and down, up and down in an office chair. I walk because blood flowing gets brain juices flowing, gets words flowing out of Emma's mouth and into my ears. I walk because I can just exist, away from laptops and notebooks that subliminally tell me to stop relaxing. Others have shower thoughts, I have walk thoughts.
I'm lying in bed and Le Précepteur drones in my earbuds. My plan: listen to unintelligible French sounds for an hour daily. Within 4 months of self-studying (Feb-June 2022) , I went from not understanding the audio of Three Little Pigs in French to holding a 30 min conversation with a native speaker.
I want this personal website to be about more than my work, but also illustrate who I am as a person (??) The work I do makes up a large amount of who I am (existence precedes essence), but portfolios fail to capture the intricacies of why talking to me is interesting. Every paragraph in this section above this one could be its own blog post, containing ideas I've thought about for hours -- either ideas I'd handpicked to be part of my worldview or flaws that shape a non-trivial number of my actions. Perhaps this helps you understand more about who I'd be as a conversation partner or friend. Or perhaps, it's a total flop and doesn't resonate if you don't already know me.
Last updated Oct 8, 2022