The Agony of the About Me page

A Picture of Alan Yates

Just how does one write a summary of themselves for their website?

In the many versions of my website I've made over the years, the "About Me" page has generally been absent, or relegated to a single paragraph somewhere. That single paragraph frequently contained the word "geek", whatever that actually means.

Why do I choose to write one now? I am not completely sure.

Like many things, beginning is the hard part. Do you start with the basics, like the fact I was born in the late 1970s, mid-year in the local hospital of a coastal part of Australia? Yet another instance of humanity, one of the 6.6 billion or so of us (4.2 billion back then). Doomed like all of us to live out their days on this rock with some clinging gases orbiting a minor star in a relatively quiet part of the local cosmic clump of matter.

I'm a human, just like anyone else that is likely to be reading this page (some amazing leap in AI or ET dropping by not considered). Like all anatomically modern naked apes I am bipedal, I make and use tools, and communicate with language. Unlike my poor ancestors and unfortunately many of my peers, I have the freedom (and curse) of going to the supermarket to purchase food. I need not fear being something else's lunch for many years and I am relatively free from deleterious parasites. Instead I need only seriously fear damage from accidents or the very affluence itself that my ancestors slaved to create for me. Ironic that one of the most important inventions of our species, agriculture, has led us to the point where my individuality can be expressed in this technological media while simultaneously being such a tiny voice in an ocean of the billions of us currently living.

Genetically pre-disposed to have some talent for our various technologies and to find the reductionist faiths more appealing than the alternatives, I spend my life studying the learnings of roughly 96 billion souls that have had the opportunity to experience life. More engineer than true scientist, I build, I observe, I tinker. Basically passing the time productively until the machinery that implements my consciousness fails or senescence is finally mastered by our species.