Who am I?

You can check out my personal website for my professional face. An important extra detail relevant for here is that I am an ex-creationist missionary kid aiming for a consonant Worldview and Life. My intellectual journey began, as for most, in my adolescence, when my primary interests were the symbolic sciences, most plainly mathematics and linguistics (which would become my two undergraduate minors at NCSU), and later the historical sciences, such as evolutionary biology, geology, and cosmology, which I digested in my reaction against creationism. My academic journey proceeded somewhat in parallel—my undergraduate major was Materials Science & Engineering, and I started a PhD in Bioengineering at Berkeley. That PhD, the most advanced sojourn in my academic journey, was not successful, and one reason was my somewhat clumsy attempt to graft my intellectual journey onto it. I did research in visual cognition while at Berkeley and gained there a significant amount of exposure to the neuroscience and machine learning fields. I made some interesting connections between the historical sciences and statistical computation, but they could not be worked into my dissertation. I landed on my feet in data science after mastering out, and that career continues to interact in interesting ways with my intellectual journey, though I find myself needing an alternative outlet for my thoughts.

As far as my connections to other intellectual currents, I obviously find myself most allied with those that also find their home in the blogosphere. In the twenty-first century, academic intellectual currents are beholden to a very specific set of incentive structures, which are both financial and path-dependent on recent academic history. Currents outside of academia range from neoreaction to effective altruism and others. I have no specific political aspirations here, although my inclinations may sometimes be evident. My main goal in this blog is to seek understanding through the acquisition of incisive concepts (such as “partonomy“), and so I find myself most often in dialogue with rationalism of the LessWrong variety (perhaps most famous for promoting Friendly AI along with memes like Roko’s Basilisk) and its spectators, especially when they engage with structurations bridging the physical and the cognitive (e.g. The Qualia Research Institute).