About Me
  •  5 min read

For my rather work-focused self-introduction, check out the CV page.

I am interested in many things. Actually, way too many for the restricted amount of effective free time a full-time employed adult has at their disposal. Here I summarize what I usually end up making out of that precious time.

Doing Things

While I gave up on the dream of being a researcher after completing my PhD, I still very much enjoy doing research – in its original and true sense of theoretically or practically exploring new ideas and trying to see where they lead. In that sense science, like art, is to me first and foremost a creative and adventurous endeavour – at least this is the fun part that makes people want to do it at all.

Sometimes I do “hobby research” in areas where I feel qualified or daring enough to dig into, and when believe I might have stumbled on some interesting, possibly new idea waiting to be explored. I still hope to eventually gather enough coherent material to publish another paper or two – to me publishing a paper is like putting your flag on an island you were the first one to discover.

I occasionally tinker on some coding projects, which usually explore some scientific or artistic ideas. My personal Github repositories consist of experiments and prototypes that I accumulated over the years.

Some of the things I did are collected here.

I have a number of creative coding sketches that are not made web-ready and listed there yet. This page is still under revival / construction.

Thinking about Things

When I’m not working or coding, most of the time I am reading or thinking.

What I enjoy most is understanding things. I have an strong affection for theory and rather abstract topics, which is kind of a natural space to end up in if you never stop asking “why?” and “how?” and “what if?”. Consequently, I am interested in a broad range of topics, ranging from logic, math, computer science and theoretical physics, up to psychology, ethics, politics and philosophy.

A non-exhaustive list of topics that my mind regularly orbits and obsesses about:

  • formal systems, computability and complexity
  • lambda calculus, combinatory logic
  • category theory, topology, information theory
  • dynamical systems, chaos and fractals
  • quantum mechanics, special and general relativity, cosmology
  • systems theory, cultural evolution, emergence of complexity
  • philosophy of science, limits of mathematics and knowledge
  • philosophy of language, limits of communication and thought
  • philosophy of mind, models of consciousness
  • systems of ethics as axiomatic frameworks to control population dynamics
  • structural patterns and symmetry, duality in formalisms and concepts
  • eastern philosophy (insights from non-dual, process-oriented thought)

Some non-fiction reading recommendations:

  • The Theoretical Minimum series (Susskind):
    some of the prettiest parts of theoretical physics,
    explained for people who had some math lectures half a life ago.
    Rare gem in the abyss between pop-sci physics and actual physics textbooks!
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach (Hofstadter):
    must-read if you like math, computer science, art and music –
    get fascinated and infected by the ubiquitous strange loop pattern
  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus / Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein):
    get enlightened concerning the nature of language
    understand that half of philosophy is chasing linguistic mirages
  • Daodejing (Laozi):
    short and poetic entry-point into non-dualistic eastern thought
  • Capital (Marx):
    learn about the dialectical dynamics of capitalism,
    and how it did not change much in over 200 years
  • Thinking Fast and Slow (Kahnemann):
    learn about some omnipresent human biases in economics
  • The Righteous Mind (Haidt):
    learn how our moral values affect our political views

Other Things

A few times a week I am dancing (latin), because physical health is important, and dancing is both fun and an amazing workout that engages body, mind and soul.

Often I listen to music, which is mostly prog rock, prog metal, jazz fusion or ambient, depending on my mood. Once in a while I sit down and play my own sad and criminally neglected instruments (drums, piano or guitar) and regret my lack of musical practice discipline. I hope to eventually come back to writing and playing more music in the future.

When I’m not reading a book or blog post about some interesting topic, I might also pick up a nice book of fiction, typically some hard sci-fi (like Greg Egan or Peter Watts) or something mind bending (like Borges).

Sometimes I also watch movies or series, or play a computer game (things I did a lot more when I was younger and had much more time). In recent years I came to prefer board games and interaction with real people, though.