TheJach.com

Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Name

You can call me Jach or Kevin. "Jach" is technically shortened from "Jachyra" but no one (not even me) uses the long form anymore, it's from a book. I usually pronounce it like "Jack", but other options are fine, whatever floats your boat. I like a French "Jacques", especially with a soft J (like the "ge" in "garage"). If you can do a "ch" like a Scottish/Welsh "Loch" (Ness Monster), that sounds nice, go for it. Apparently "Jach" is a common last name in Poland, I don't know how it's pronounced in Polish. "Ja-Chi" (like cha-ching) is also fine (邪知 is 草), and sometimes I use Jachy (Jackie normally to myself). "Jatch" like "Thatch", "Jash" like "Mash", are both ok if odd. Sometimes I've used Jachad which I say like Jackal but with a d instead of l.

Contact

Send email for any purpose to jach shift2 thejach d0t com. (Technically I'll get any email sent to whatever string at this domain...)

If you want to IM me instead, I'm on Matrix (Jach:matrix.org) and Libera IRC (Jach, sometimes Jachy).

I'm also on Discord as Jach#9107.

I'm also on Twitter.

I have a Steam profile, you can add me there too if you want. Maybe we can play games, though I'm more of a single player gamer.

Secure Contact

The best way to securely contact me is with an encrypted chat on Matrix, but PGP also works. And if you contact me with PGP, I guarantee a response.

Here is my public (2048 bit) key:

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My "root" email is associated with that key, basically all my email aliases end up there.

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Hash: SHA256

You can test you imported it correctly by verifying this message.
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Comment Policy

I read everything. Write what you please, but if the law I'm subject to requires me to remove something, I will, though I'll try to make it explicit that's what happened. If spam gets past my 'advanced' captcha, or there's some user error that resulted in multiple comments, I'll probably delete the spam/duplicates shortly. Sometimes I may edit a link to be clickable, but don't expect it.

I have the power to delete/edit something by whim, which I might exercise if your comment is really sucky (though again I'll try to be explicit -- like, don't use my site to store your doxxing info on someone please, publicly doxxing someone isn't cool, but if you just put an id to a pastebin I might leave that alone since it's basically too late). At the end of the day I'm a free speech absolutist at heart, though I'm not going to take on the burden of publicly hosting all speech myself. Consider cryptographically signing your comments to ensure neither I nor anyone else has tampered with them without notice.

Copyright

I try to Keep It Chill around this since I find the modern embodiment of copyright nonsense abhorrent, but for those with legal concerns, all written posts here are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License unless otherwise noted.

Any program source code you find on this site is in the public domain (I relinquish any copyright interest) unless stated otherwise, use it as you please.

Feel free to contact me if this is not satisfactory to your lawyers for some reason.

Personality and a few life details

I used to have a much more verbose About page here, but I figured shorter may be better. It's still kinda long... Words words words. If you want to read the longer one for some reason, consult the Jedi archives, or ask me for a copy. You may also find insight or entertainment looking through my quotes file. (I only append to it, so it's sort of a chronological guide to what I've found interesting, but some even recent quotes I didn't get around to adding until many years after I first encountered them.)

I don't like to bucket myself with group labels, but I must admit they're a pretty convenient shorthand and can at least give someone directional correctness through stereotypes if not specific correctness that probably only comes from conversing with me. So I'll start by mentioning that I'm kinda shy and introverted, a nerdy engineer/programmer type, and have some "weird" (non-majority) philosophical beliefs. I'm generally laid back and laissez-faire, somewhat stoic, sorta spergy in the vague internet sense. I enjoy dry and dark humor and joking around, despite some appearances I don't take myself that seriously. I like a lot of kinds of music.

You're free to ignore how I'll take something emotionally, i.e. I "operate" under Crocker's Rules which just means I take full responsibility for my own feelings and you can optimize your messages for information, not for being nice to me, or avoiding some topic because I might get sad thinking about it (as, being human, sometimes happens). I prefer honesty, even if it's difficult to hear. I try to remember most other people don't think this way and so I try to default to being nice, polite, supportive, and constructive in any criticisms I let out, unless they tell me (or I infer) that they like directness and frankness, but if I fail, or I miss important cues or body language or don't realize small-talk or reassurance or encouragement was desired more than my actual honest thoughts, I'm sorry in advance for my mistake, I almost certainly didn't mean to make anyone feel bad. (I do sometimes wish randos (mostly online) the worst and think mean things like "go die in a fire", but it's just lazy exaggeration and being inarticulate about my own negative thoughts.)

It may be helpful to list some of the major influences on my beliefs, conscious and subconscious, per my own rough ranking of their importance (some are about the same). They are: computer programming stuff, Bayesian stuff, the Tao Te Ching (Taoism), my childhood upbringing and finished (i.e. grandparent or parental death, parental divorce) or ongoing family dynamics (especially extended family during my youth, it was nice having so many cousins around), my friends and acquaintances (online and offline) over time, various fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Redwall, Shannara) and sci-fi books, all the other books (fiction and non-fiction) or blogs or papers I've read and non-book media I've consumed (video games, anime, movies, music (still like rap), TV shows, talks, interviews, commercials...) over my life, ideas of Self-Reliance (and things like Walden -- transcendentalism?), some other -isms like Objectivism/libertarianism/royalism/Mormonism/atheism...

Sort of included with computer programming I suppose is an enjoyment for logic. I liked Chess as a kid, and putting together puzzles. I'll still enjoy a game (though I like Go more now) but I'm not very good. Still, programming has continued to feed my enjoyment for logical thinking, and has served as an entryway to many other things like the Bayesian stuff (Overcoming Bias/later Less Wrong) which I came to through AI/AGI interest (SL4). It has also served as an accelerant of sorts -- I never really thought of myself as 'nerdy', though signs were certainly there, until I was 13/14 and started to take a bigger interest in computers and the internet (and the people I found on it) and in late 2004 I officially started to learn programming with PHP to make my own website. Programming later became my career/job, which is important to one's life too, so I think overall it's fair for programming to have such high importance on my life, even if other things maybe led to it.

Before programming I thought I might go into neuroscience, maybe be a neurosurgeon. When I was even littler I thought I might want to "grow up to be" a "billionaire", whatever they did (interpreting a childhood drawing, selling tickets/other things?), or maybe if I grew tall enough, an NBA player (who would at least make millions).

My job experience is mostly programming, contributing further to my influences. I started working as a grocery store bagger for a while when I turned 16, did a bit of freelance/contract work doing web design, then some programming part-time/summer-full-time for a guy's startup for about a year while I finished HS and before I left for college, then more part-time/full-time-during-summer-or-breaks programming for about 3 years for another startup during college, and after college 6 years at a BigCo doing Enterprise Software Engineering. The last was enough to let me save up enough money to "quasi-retire" indefinitely, and I've been enjoying that since late 2020. If/when I do something for money again, it'll probably be programming related. I'd like to make more games, and make or be a part of at least one that actually ships for real. I have some open source stuff on github. Java is my BigCo breadwinner but I know a bunch of languages; Common Lisp is my favorite.

I was born in 1990 in Utah, and have a lot of the same tastes and influences of a typical "90s kid". Interestingly I never got into anime until I was an adult (around 2011). I had watched and enjoyed Pokémon and DBZ, of course, but sorta categorized them as just more cartoons I liked. (My favorite was Extreme Dinosaurs.) In the past few years I've watched too many vtuber streams instead of anime, but I've been trying to learn Japanese and learn more about Japanese culture and want to visit Japan again. I wish I hadn't have been anti-Japan in my youth since then I may have learned Japanese by now, or at least know a lot more. Instead (for various reasons) I took 5 years of French (which I retain a lot of) and (mainly for the reason of "intellectualism") 3 years of Latin (retaining not so much).

I was raised LDS (Mormon, a type of Christianity) and still remember what it felt like to have faith and believe, not just believe in believing. I'm pretty familiar with the culture and practices from a child's and to lesser extent teen's viewpoint, the 'brainwashing' is powerful and has surely influenced me in ways I don't even now understand, and if I'm honest with myself I still like/miss some parts of it. But I'm in no hurry to move back to Utah without a driving external reason.

I'm not a Mormon now though, nor have I ever been as an adult. I credit exposure to Taoism and reading the Tao Te Ching as a teen (not sure how early, maybe 14 or 15; no later than early 16) as the nail in the coffin to "losing" and rejecting my faith and eventually arriving at atheism, or more specifically, a lack of belief in anything supernatural, and indeed a positive belief that supernatural things don't and can't exist. (Note all my beliefs are subject to Bayes' rule, they are not absolute.)

I try not to make differing religions or lack thereof an issue but the surface level of my point of view deserves to be mentioned because for some people it is very important, and regardless of present importance it's obviously an influential part of many people's childhoods. Also it's sort of a "safe" if tiresome thing to talk about in Current Year. And also a sort of pons asinorum -- if you find these three little paragraphs which barely dig into matters and nuance "too much", or utterly uninteresting for reasons unrelated to being old trodden ground, we might not get to talking deeply about other more interesting or novel things. (Like Lord of the Rings lore, or cringe poetry? But whatever, it's fine.) Anyway, to me, atheism is ultimately a consequence of my epistemology framework which not even many so-called atheists share, so it's not worth being frustrated at religion or religious people in particular; that aspect of someone isn't that important to me so long as they're not trying to force me into participation/submission.

I'm currently living in Bellevue, WA but I hope to move to Casper, WY this year or next. I'm not fixated on living in a particular location but I do like the rockies and want to try a sort of cabin-on-the-mountain life for a bit.

On the off chance anything comes of it, I'll overcome some embarrassment and put it out there that as of this writing I'm currently single! Feel free to reach out if you'd like to explore the possibility of a relationship or hook me up with someone you know. (Should I be like That Guy On Twitter and offer a financial incentive if you find me someone who becomes my wife/long term partner? I still find that bit funny but on the other hand, if it works, seems better than dating apps...) I've been told I should include some "stats" as if I were an RPG character... Well, a few: I'm 6'4", have dark hair, white skin (British ancestry), hazel eyes, I like animals, don't smoke or drink, can cook (yay cast iron), am adequately strong (deadlift 315 lbs/3 big plates on each side), have a sort of "research things and figure something out" mentality that makes me try to solve problems, I've got a nice chunk of money saved up such that if it's just me continuing in my frugal ways I don't need to make more so I've been enjoying a lot of free time "quasi-retired", yet I'm still quite capable of making more if needed (for what?), I have no allergies, and artichokes are my favorite green vegetable.