Welcome to my blog!
To understand where this blog will be going, you have to get to know me first. Let me introduce myself briefly. I’m a poly-faceted and multi-interest person – and I am a typical “multipotential” person (which has advantages but also drawbacks if not aware of it).
Here is a list of my top interests:
- Science in general. I have a variety of interests in Science and Technology, including Astronomy, Geology, Climatology, Nanotechnologies, 3D printing, and many others, along with the philosophical aspects that come with science, which are getting trickier every day (AI – Singularity, anyone? Trans-Humanism, Genetic Tampering, etc.). “Doubt” is my core philosophy. Some people find it may cause anxiety for them. For me, it is quite the opposite, I find doubt very liberating! The flip side of the coin, “absolute certainty”, to me is a prison that causes one to be constantly on alert, in case something challenges that certainty and destroys this carefully-crafted static world. The result of all those blind beliefs is a buried and unconscious anxiety while feeling some sort of self-confidence on the surface, which in reality is only a mask for deep-rooted fear and dread.
- Computer Science in particular. I’m a Computer Engineer, so Computer Science is definitely on my top list. As a child, I was always attracted to computers and especially how they can be programmed to do an endless number of tasks. My main area of interest, though, is Artificial Intelligence. I made a PhD in the 1990’s in that domain, and I’ve always kept myself up-to-date since then. In recent years, we’ve seen quite a number of breakthroughs in that area. So for sure, this blog will contain a lot of articles about technology. One other area of interest is the storage of data and how to keep it safe, which is a topic most people disregard too often until some irreparable damage happens. Not only should your data be safe, but also be kept private. On this topic, I have been introduced to cryptography at an early age by my father, who was giving me coded messages to decipher, so I know the technology and its thrilling history. Security is also obviously at the top of the list.
- Libre Money and money in general. Not long ago, I considered money to be an extremely boring and pointless subject. However, I came to get more interested in it through technology. I understood that the “blockchain” can free us from the limitations and flaws of the current banking system and of centralized authorities in general. Not with Bitcoin or many other cryptocurrencies, but with a unique type of currencies called “Libre Currencies”. In fact, one such currency already exists, it is called Ğ1 and is powered by Duniter. I’m participating in the effort to translate some of the material there, including the Relative Theory of Money, which is the underlying theory for Libre Currencies. I have also written a program to help animators of the game Ğeconomicus (which is a good introduction to Libre Money).
- Board Games. My father taught me Chess at age 5 (although I haven’t played for most of my life and have resumed playing only in recent years), and I’m a big fan of board games in general. The main point here is to never keep the brain still, and always learn from playing. I know a large variety of games, from Shogi to Checkers and from Go to Hex. You can see me regularly at littlegolem and I sometimes play Arimaa as well. I used to play RPG games (and was leading big teams in some) but I’m past that now.
- Foreign Languages. I’m French and I’ve been in a bilingual school at an early age. I speak French (obviously), English (obviously again!), Spanish and German quite well, and I’ve studied a number of other languages to various degrees. These include Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Russian, Turkish, Danish, Arabic, Chinese, and some Irish, which I find the most difficult of all. You can find me on duolingo. I’ve started an effort to help English speakers to learn French.
- Cultures and Geography. Learning other languages is opening doors to other cultures. So I love to learn about different cultures all around the world.
- History. Knowing a culture (including the one that came to me at birth) needs some knowledge about history. I love to learn about the history of the world.
- Genealogy. Knowing your history comes with the search for your roots. I have worked on my genealogy tree, it goes back to the 18th century in many branches, and one branch goes as far as the 15th century.
- Music. Cultures and history are filled with music. I stand by Nietzsche’s famous quote: “Without music, life would be a mistake”. I love music, especially classical European music, but also folk music from all over the world, Ireland and Scotland, Flamenco (¡Olé!), Indian Ragas, South American music, Chinese Traditional (Guzheng and Ehru), and many more. As an amateur pianist, I play mostly music from the Classical and Romantic eras but as a harpsichordist, I focus on Baroque music. I do have recordings on the Internet, check them out! I’ve also recently started composing. I also know how to play a number of other instruments and have taken a growing interest in tongue drums and handpans. Check the link to my youtube channel to listen to my improvisations.
- Movies. My wife and I watch a lot of movies. We don’t watch TV, but we do sometimes watch a couple of selected TV series. It’s always interesting to see how stories are written and designed to keep the suspense going.
- Reading. Of course, I also read books, both fiction and non-fiction. I’ll probably post here some summaries of my readings along with my impressions. I’m currently more focused on non-fiction books. My father told me that real life generally has a much better imagination than novel writers, and I find he was quite right!
- This leads to a long-lasting passion: writing. Actually, I don’t understand why I didn’t start this blog earlier. I have written several (unpublished) novels during my teenage years and more in my 20’s, which I’m currently publishing on Wattpad (under a pen name). I have gone back recently to writing and am a published author (also under a pen name).
- Rubik’s Cube. I have a strange history with this thing!
- Psychology. I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve been learning a lot about it from my wife who has some academic background on that topic. It’s a fascinating subject.
- Health. I’m definitely not a doctor, but I also gained quite some knowledge from my wife in that area. Health comes with food. So pesticides and GMOs vs permaculture is something I know quite a lot about, even though I can’t call myself a specialist. I have a feeling that these subjects will be at the heart of the public debate in the years or decades to come, and we have to get ready for it.
- Ecology. We have to take care of our planet. If not for the planet itself, at least for the sake of our species. I try to reduce my environmental impact as much as I can, but I’m no extremist either.
- This brings me to one of my life’s mottos: extremes are always bad, whatever they are. It is never black and white. It’s not gray either. It’s a rainbow.
- Self Improvement. Although there is a common hoax that tells us that when we’re past our 20’s we start decaying (I’m exaggerating a little, but it sounds like a commonplace), I believe we can always improve ourselves. This comes with a deep understanding of who we currently are, and that life is always changing. Accepting change and embracing change are at the core of my life. This is why I like meditation and Buddhist philosophy. I also use tools to enhance my memory. Back in the 1990’s, I invented a spaced-repetition learning program to learn vocabulary in other languages, although I had no idea that it was actually called a spaced-repetition learning program! Then Anki appeared and I’ve been using it since then. I strongly believe that tools like Anki and others such as the Loki Memory Palace (to memorize series of words) or the Major System (to memorize numbers) should be taught in school at an early age. As an advanced species, we should also get rid of the “Qwerty” keyboard (or “Azerty” in France), especially on touch screen devices, I’ll write an article about this.
- Teaching. Sharing my knowledge with others has always been a passion. In my university years, I spent a lot of time teaching children who had problems in school. I was also a teacher at the university and my engineering school during my PhD. This blog is definitely about sharing knowledge with you.
- Many more subjects that I would like to develop. I have found out that every single subject becomes more and more interesting as soon as you learn more about it. Even football teams or cars can get interesting, but I still try to keep some priorities and those are at the very bottom of my list.
As you can understand, my main problem in life is that days only have 24 hours and I get to do only what I can do within that limited time frame.