Welcome to my website! I’ve put this together to motivate myself to polish and finish my long list of projects. Anything I share here can inspire others to finish their projects or convince others to help me improve mine! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to work together!

Check out my CV. Contact me via format!("{last_name}{first_initial}@gmail.com").

Now strap in for some philosophizing

I’m not yet at the age to talk about “the good ol times”, but I can point to an earlier time in history and contrast how people produced things for themselves. If someone wanted a chair, they find a rock to sit on or cut down a tree and craft a well-balanced, hefty stuhl. Fortunately, our civilization has optimized ways to produce chairs relatively quickly, and I don’t need to fell trees myself. I can head down to the nearest Swedish warehouse and pick one up in minutes. There aren’t a ton of secrets to the chair; I can examine the joints and the flexure in the back and assign a value to it. What I can’t do, easily at least, is examine the supply chain and labor processes that built the chair. How do I assign a value there? Should I care?

My software development journey has pushed me to think about how opaque the modern information economy is. Almost all software applications will help you do something but at the cost of your personal data. Phone apps that collect location data are so ubiquitous that something like a bubble-level app asking for location permissions has become a meme. It’s way easier for me to download an app than it is to buy a chair (but you can’t sit on an app… yet)! Like chairs, we don’t always know how software is made (I’m getting to open-source, please wait). Unlike chairs, which sit peacefully in the world, we have no idea what software is doing in the background after we attain it. I’m sure there’s a fun term for the erosion of the barrier between a user and their data.

I am the age to have heard of the danger of posting things on the internet from my parents. What they (and most other people) did not predict was the mass accumulation of implicit and explicit real-time behavioral data. Someone 20+ years ago would have asked, “So what if people know I look at plushy blue chairs 300ms longer than handmade hardwood ones?”. What a time traveler would tell them is that there are amazing statistical methods capable of ingesting a massive corpus of data to determine what your next actions will be and how to change your subsequent actions. I’m writing this in 2023, what can a Large Language Model do when you’re reading this?

What to do?

All this tinfoil-hat-wearing, doom, and gloom is not to shame anyone for their technology use but to inspire others to protect themselves from an unknown future and contribute to a world that values useful products. See the footer for how this website gathers useful data in a privacy respecting way and how to protect yourself from more malicious websites.