probablytom

A library of thoughts and things worth sharing.

Things That Shaped Me

I've been thinking lately about the things that made me the person I am; there's a lot of things I'd like to share, not because I'm enjoying them now but because they've contributed to my becoming the person I am today.

So. This page is intended as a blueprint of the person I am, though some of the things I like. Where appropriate I think I'd like to share stories behind these things that have shaped me, too, in an attempt to get closer to third things.

This is still under construction. I'm trying to keep a similar list of things that I've been enjoying this year here, too.

People

Common Sources

I recommend lots of things to lots of people (that’s why I make these lists now!) and I’m often asked where I find all of this stuff.

A note: some sources I used to use, and now actively avoid. The significant one that jumps out at me is Reddit, which — six years ago or so — seemed to mostly be interesting and supportive communities that couldn’t support themselves in the real world yet, but could build a critical mass and support themselves through the wonder of the internet.

That’s not the case today. Matt Alexander has referred to reddit as “the armpit of the internet” and I couldn’t agree more. There’s still great stuff there, and more power to the people who enjoy it, but I’m sad to say that the site that introduced me to running, fountain pens and birds with arms is something I actively avoid today.

I’m not interested in being the kind of person Reddit encourages you to be. No, thank you.

Projects

Music

Articles

Books & Projects

Webcomics

I don’t read many webcomics anymore, and I don’t get affected by the ones I read, but Tom in his late teens ate this stuff up. These shaped my perspectives on stories and romance and how to live and what was interesting, and it’s telling that I got into them around the same time as I got into ergodic literature.

Poetry

Philosophy

Papers

I am a programmer. On my 1040 form, that is what I put down as my occupation. As a programmer, I write programs. I would like to present to you the cutest program I ever wrote. I will do this in three stages and try to bring it together at the end. [ ... ] In college, before video games, we would amuse ourselves by posing programming exercises. One of the favorites was to write the shortest self-reproducing program. Since this is an exercise divorced from reality, the usual vehicle was FORTRAN. Actually, FORTRAN was the language of choice for the same reason that three-legged races are popular.

Films

TV

YouTube

Games

Podcasts