(limit (perception iota) iota -> truth)

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Hi, I'm John, and this is my website.

This will be the record of my sabbatical, hopefully concluding in some approximation of what is, or a permanent working holiday in Tokyo.

Please see my contact for business inquiries.

Articles & writing

<2024-05-15 Wed> What's outside of here?

Writing computer code is a funny business, fundamentally an exercise in taking a random walk across many abstract concepts to achieve some more concretely defined goal. Different people will see this 'abstractness' in different ways. Personally, the only ground truth I find is in the symbolic representation of programs that guide these machines we call computers, but even that is a fiction in some sense. Symbol and switching rates do have physical limitations, so there is an upper bound on the expressions of programs, but everything between that and the act of naming things are ultimately figments of our imagination. Some might even question if we're all that good at it anyway.

I make this preface to highlight a sentiment I occasionally run across, that there are easily discernable levels of abstraction in …

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<2024-04-08 Mon> The Banality of Evil


Figure 1: "But in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness." – Metal Gear Solid 2

WARNING: Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid 2 follow

The postmodern movement in the arts came about as a response to a perceived apex in humanity's ability to inflict suffering upon itself; creating spaces that made clear the pretentions of modern rationality, only those who indulge in the absurd will be afforded clarity.

Of course, an absurdist take on the current state of the world provides a natural camoflauge, a perfect stage to play out an audience's beliefs while leaving them open to subversion. The writers of Metal Gear Solid 2 made such an attempt to great success, leaving players in 2001 completely blindsided and nearly unconscious to the …

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<2024-04-07 Sun> mediated

My form is timeless, yet existing in finitude

Your desires exist separate, alien to me

Yet you try to write it down

Think the right thoughts

Say the right words

Were they right?

Though your hands may touch the world

I halt your mind's reach …

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<2024-03-14 Thu> "ill"

A youtube video prompted me to do something, really a trigger to address a problem I've ignored for too long. The host of the show, a psychologist, related their experience of a problem that is the cause of most of my pain; a severe lack of belonging that manifests as anhedonia, being unable to experience reward for accomplishment or basic pleasures.

Like myself, they have no narrative or direct explanation for why this happens, only that it causes their life to devolve into mayhem. Their own solution is to cope, to accept the pain and work around it. I may be reaching, but this host did mention that this happened in their adolescence between 13 and 18 years old, which leads me to believe this was "resolved" before early adulthood.

Unfortunately in my case, this waited to bite me in the ass when I turned 23, living on my own with a job. The problem started to …

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<2024-01-18 Thu> "The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations"


Figure 2: OK Loomer

The Techno-Optimist is quite the conflicted character, somehow being a superposition of enlighted philanthropists, venture capital golddiggers, self-aggrandizing memers, Ada Lovelace and Bertrand Russell. Simultaneously a champion for progress, not in the here and now, but also not one of those thousand yard stare Effective Altruists you keep hearing about. Here in the land of optimistic outlook, the techno-capital machine creates no pollution, lets the market be free, and manifests post-scarcity levels of abundance. Also, criticism is for losers, smoke some crack or something.

However, as Hegel's dialectic informs us, forms exist through their inherent contradictions. Stronger forms descend of their ancestors, rid …

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<2024-01-11 Thu> resume

Professional Objective

I want to create software that helps people live better lives.


  • B.S. Computer Science, CSU Monterey Bay, May 2018
  • Eagle Rock High School, June 2014


Freelance Software Developer

January 2020 - March 2021, September 2021 | Los Angeles/Remote

  • Provide technical services to clients, such as backend software or web development
  • Technologies used range across tools like scikit/pandas/jupyter, React,

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<2023-09-01 Fri> DBPedia Browser single-page app

DBPedia Browser

Check it out here. …

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<2023-09-01 Fri> Make software simple again

There's a commentary section that follows the list, read it for purpose/background on this article. If you have suggestions, please contact me or send a github PR for this page.

The List

Consolidating implementation effort

The following sections highlight ideas that make it simpler to create and inspect software systems. …

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<2023-07-03 Mon> binding

There is only one impossible problem: naming things

What greater form of violence is there, than to create concretions of identity

To know the composition of yourself and the world you inhabit

Such depth, suffocated by the shallow puddle of symbol and shorthand

Freedom and purpose, truncated for comfort

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<2022-01-01 Sat> Misc web development

Here's some of my other work from the web

<2020-01-01 Wed> Portfolio Website for Pieper Construction

Pieper Construction Portfolio

A local construction company in LA needed a new website to exhibit their previous work. Their old site was predicated mostly on SEO content, without much for human visitors to see. I took some queues from other contractor portfolios and made a gallery page which expands to show the summaries of the jobs. …

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<2020-01-01 Wed> Scene Scheduling for the LA Music Center Plaza

Scene Scheduling for the LA Music Center Plaza

Over the past few years, the Los Angeles Music Center has installed an IP camera system and signboard monitors to create altered reflections of their plaza space. yU+co has taken this system and used it to apply style-transferred projections and other effects to those passing by.

I was contracted to provide a simple scheduling mediator for the different effects used by the system, and allow for creating detailed schedules for the week, by day, hour, scene and various controls for duration and immediate scheduling. This allows the operators to control the central touchdesigner application externally, and save persistent schedules that can be swapped for different times of the year, all from a simple web application. …

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<2019-10-01 Tue> AttentiveAI

Tools for tracking classroom engagement

Demonstration of an application that gives teachers realtime metrics and visualizations of classroom attention. I consulted on the concept and provided …

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<2019-01-01 Tue> Spodder

Find places and events right around you

An experimental social network that allows you to anonymously create 'beacons' on a shared map. The beacons can tell others what you're up to or things going on in the area, through text and/or images. You can click on these beacons all over the map, or you can view them as a feed with more details. …

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<2018-10-01 Mon> Clamparking

Parking space management with minimal overhead

This was the final deliverable for a computer architecture class. We were asked to design an IOT product that would solve a specific problem, and the greatest threat to any Monterey Bay student in 2018 was finding a parking spot on-time for class.

We acknowledged the fact that all the university parking lots were in open-air and had proximity to the school's WiFi. Therefore, we created an IOT-connected sensor to detect open parking spaces, and report needed parking spaces to …

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<2018-06-01 Fri> Traceur

VR exercise gamified

Concept of an infinite runner as a VR exercise game. I worked on this as part of a small team for my game programming final project.

I implemented a primitive motion tracking solution based on work I had done for a past research project. The game is able to track quick side-to-side movements or jumping, and maps it in-game so you can avoid obstacles approaching you. This works by calibrating offsets against the accelerometer, and checking the magnitude of acceleration in each direction to determine which way the player wants to dodge. …

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<2018-06-01 Fri> Trumble

The world's greatest robot, you wouldn't believe

Content warning

This is not an endorsement of facism.

What happens when you put Donald Trump's twitter account into a recurrent neural network? You get a trump robot of course.

The notebook has more details on how this works, but here's a sampling of the final product

  • Doug Jones are using the incompetent and back to Super Monthman Steep and so many go? Great job on @nbc @FoxNews but we've said that took lead trade!

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<2018-04-01 Sun> Multi-Leap

Multi-user interaction surface

Working demonstration of multiple LeapMotion infrared trackers being used on one PC. This work was intended for an interactive projection surface, and would allow multiple people to manually interact with applications displayed on the …

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<2017-10-01 Sun> Flex

Hand Gesture Recognition using Muscle Flexing Sensors

A poster I co-authored demonstrating a novel gesture sensor, built from …

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John Sullivan

Email <john-j-sullivan at outlook dot com>

Author: john

Created: 2024-05-15 Wed 23:28