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matthewdaly's Journal

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Created on 2009-05-01 03:48:57 (#143504), last updated 2012-12-03 (254 weeks ago)

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Name:Matthew Daly
Location:Rochester, New York, United States of America
Hello, Dreamwidth. I'm Matthew. You might not know me, so allow me to introduce myself and my journal.

I am a pure mathematician by education and temperament. I am trained as a computer programmer, and am currently in the process of getting a Masters in Education for the purposes of becoming a certified high school math teacher.

If I have a specialization, it is in a recreational appreciation of logic and devising effective proof systems for broadening knowledge. That's a bit of a broad field that touches both rhetoric and what I'd be mildly reluctant to call "artificial intelligence". Other interests include abstract puzzles, classical cryptography, game theory, fairy tales, light philosophy, cooking, and American history.

Politically, I am a lifelong registered Democrat. I am philosophically a pragmatic progressive. Essentially, I believe that the world should undergo dramatic social upheaval so gradually that nobody is happy at the end of the day. At the same time, I am not very political (or perhaps I am very political, depending on your definition). I think that living in an increasingly crowded global community requires even more empathy about the accommodations that others require and summoning greater compassion within ourselves to grant as many of those as we are able. We seem to spend so much energy gathering at the extremes of an issue and shouting insults over a vast and fertile middle ground, wasting both ideological resources and our energy. Thoughtful conservatives are more of a blessing to our society than ignorant liberals and I am angrier when my representatives copy the asinine antics of their rivals when they feel that it suits their short-term needs.

Spiritually, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and my personal Savior, and I will follow him with all my heart, all my mind, all my strength, and all my soul for all of the days of my life. I am currently a Presbyterian, although in the past I have been a member (and at times, perhaps, a lay minister) of the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ, and was essentially an atheist until the age of 22. I tend to be a force for progressive inclusiveness and broadening one's appreciation of the presence and importance of the Mystery even in a modern scientifically ordered life.

Online-ily, I joined Usenet sometime around the summer of 1987. Thankfully, nobody remembers that several years before Penn State undergraduates ruined Usenet (and many years before AOL users ruined Usenet), Carnegie Mellon undergraduates were hard at work ruining Usenet. And by the sheer grace of Providence, Google only displays a small percentage of my early posts, especially as I have always posted under my real name. I was more of a force for virtue around the turn of the century, maintaining the rec.puzzles FAQ for a few years and being a cantankerous but level-headed news.groupie. A few years ago, I posted on LiveJournal as king_tirian until I had decided that virtual communities had consumed my life and self-esteem. I am frequently concerned that it could happen again.

Anything else, you can pick up as we go along.
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As far as this journal goes, who knows? My plan is to not be too deep or reckless with my thoughts, as my name is right there at the top and I should assume that my grandmother and nieces and nephews can find this, to say nothing of future employers. Still, I experience things, and I think about things, and I create things, and that will probably all find its way here in the fullness of time.

I strive to respect the inherent dignity and worth of all people. All people. That includes you, but it also includes Them. You know who I mean. There are two ways that you can help me improve myself in this regard. First, you can help me in identifying my blind spots, and accept my apologies when they are exposed. Second, you can help me to maintain this journal as a respectful place by not going overboard with anger or hatred here. Be angry with me if you must, but if you have nothing but anger for Them, I would prefer that you find another place to express yourself.

I am quite unemotional about subscriptions. We are all people with our own interests and amounts of free time, and those can fluctuate over time. If you wish to subscribe to my journal, then naturally you are most welcome to do so. If you do so and later find that you lack the time or interest to read me, then feel just as free to unsubscribe without an explanation. In general, this is the model with which I will act as well, and you really ought not read too much into whether I fail to echo your subscription or drop your subscription or subscribe to you out of the blue.

I have made some slight use of my private filter, but it is just for highly personal stuff that wouldn't be of interest to people who know me casually. Heh, perhaps it's more of a burden than a privilege to be on that list, so don't be upset if I don't invite you there or don't reciprocate your "trust".

I am also generally unemotional about sharing my writings. That's what it's here for, n'est-ce pas? Attribution would be nice, as would cleaning up any unfortunate grammar that sneaks in. If you'd like to drop me a line saying that you've done it so that I can follow the conversation over to your blog and not be too surprised at guests showing up, that would be likely to make my day. On the other hand, if you're casting a light on my writings because you think I'm utterly wrong on an issue and wish to encourage your readers to come over to my space to pile on me, I'd just as soon you didn't.
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