After a dry and scorching summer, the first autumn rain. As I extend my arms and let the rain drench me, a part of me wonders. The storms will be fierce this year, and it will not be long before the land is covered in frost and ice. We have survived winters before, but this one will be the harshest of them all. I should prepare, but it is not clear what I should do.
But before that, let the rain come. Let the storms come. If they are the last ones that I will see, that much more of a reason to enjoy them.
You can read that as a metaphor on the risks of technological development, if you like. Or as something else entirely.
My name is Kaj Sotala, and on many places online I go by the nick “Xuenay”. Which doesn’t really mean anything, and lately I’ve been wondering whether that nick really feels like “me” anymore.
On my old page, I used to have an extensive page detailing my various opinions and other trivia about myself. Over time, my opinions changed, but I didn’t remember or bother to keep updating the page. Eventually it began to reflect me less and less. Even if most of my opinions didn’t change that much, the ones that did made me feel embarrassed about the page.
I’m trying to avoid that mistake this time around, so I’ll say less about myself. In general, please don’t presume that I believe in anything just because I’ve said that I believe in it.
Some basic information probably won’t hurt, though. I was born in 1986, I’m male, and currently living in Finland. I have a BA in Cognitive Science and an MSc in Computer Science, both from the University of Helsinki.
The blog section of this site contains random somewhat-unfiltered thoughts on a variety of topics. You can view all posts, only English posts, or only Finnish posts. The essay (English, Finnish) and fiction sections contain writings of mine that I’ve for some reason deemed interesting enough to showcase. The about page is the one you’re reading right now, and anything of mine that has managed to pass peer review can be found under academic papers. If you want to get (almost) everything on the site on (almost) one page, just start browsing the main page.
I have accounts on various services, including Academia.edu, BoardGameGeek, Google Citations, Google Plus, Facebook, Last.fm, LinkedIn, Steam, and YouTube. My old blog, to which I still cross-post all of my blog entries, is at LiveJournal. I also occasionally comment and post at the group blog Less Wrong; see my collected LW writings. If you want to reach me, you can send me a message on one of those services, or just e-mail me at [email protected].
There was a bunch of content on my old website, xuenay.net, that I wasn’t happy with and thus didn’t move over, or just didn’t feel was valuable enough to bother with. If you want to see something that I had on the old site, please use the Wayback Machine archive. But do note that I don’t necessarily endorse any of the stuff over there anymore.