My name is Dan

I am a human

Dan at Namsan Tower

Hello world

If you are here there's a good chance you read something I wrote on Twitter, or maybe you have seen me riding around Boston on a bike. Now you are here to learn a little bit more about me. My contact information is shown under the menu on the left, and it should be read as a Twitter handle as well as a GMail address. If you add DLK.vcf to the current URL you will have access to a vCard for easy electronic address book import.

Some background: programming

I was in middle school when I wrote my first 13k adventure/magic game in LogoWriter, around the same time when the Mosaic web browser become a fancy alternative to Fetch for Gopher.

I am now a software developer living in the Boston area. I have been here for about 14 years, and have followed my passion for writing software all of my adult life.

How a Human Won is a somewhat whimsical approach of mine to consider the prevalence of, and eventual subservience to, the technology we build for our improved living. This is a personal website, and it has in it personal efforts and views. I present here some of my thoughts and my projects.

Urban transportation

Person on a bike, drawing

When I came to college I relied heavily on walking and taking the T to get around. This suited me because I did not need to have a large area to cover, and being a student I had a lot of time to fill and spending it getting to-and-from places was not a big deal.

In my first year of professional working life I changed over to using a car to get around. Friends were more spread out, I lived outside the city, and having a car made possible a more flexible lifestyle until one day my car broke down on a trip to see my family. Partially as an experiment, and mostly to save money, I went without a car and went back to relying on public transportation and my own two feet again. What I found out was I had been heavily stressed while driving around, and I only realized it because that stress was suddenly lifted. For me, driving a car costs more than the gas and maintenance.

In the last few years I have learned how to get around the Boston area almost solely by bike. I had a coworker who reintroduced me to the fun that could be had by riding a bike, and ever since then I have been amazed at how much my perspective on things has changed. My health has been greatly improved and my quality of life has never been higher, so much so that I have dedicated much of my time to the improvement of conditions and overall safety for cyclists in the area. As much of a difference as I experienced between dropping the car in favor of taking the T, so again did I realize an incredible and positive experience picking up the bike as my primary way of getting around.

I do not self-identify as someone who is anti-car. It was a very personally gratifying experience for me to drop the car and pick up the bike. I have spent a fair amount of time learning about the safety and legal aspects of riding a bike, though I won't claim to be an expert on either because there is always more to learn and experience. I have found a profound joy in getting places while exerting energy, and a focused calm comes over me when I ride. Nothing like this was ever experienced in a car, or while on a bus or train.

The transportation section of my site is not completely dedicated to biking, but a large amount of what I write there will be centered on bikes as that is my primary mode of urban transportation. I have also spent years working for a company that specializes in flight tracking technologies, so occasionally something will carry over from there as well.


This is more of a philosophical observation, or rant.

Our civilization has achieved much, and will continue to, and somewhere in the mix our reliance on technology will become the target of future historians and comedians alike.

I want humans to be less wasteful of their potential. Many of us have chosen to let ourselves remain or become weak, physically and mentally, as we give more of our burdens to technology. Others have struck a complimentary role with our advances, and have achieved new levels of ability.

On the one hand, I can't wait to be able to privately surf the Internet with a retinal display and thought-activated querying. If anyone out there is working on this and needs a *ahem* willing participant, have your robot pay me a visit. On the other hand I am troubled with the loss of some wonderful talents and behaviors that we eagerly traded for our advances in technology. For example: cursive handwriting, an absolute art of communication that could be used to impress someone you had never met through both the content and the presentation; now we have txtspk in Comic Sans.

Humanity isn't perfect, but I think we can choose a little bit better what parts of humanity we are willing to keep. In the end only so much can be explained by errare humanum est. We must be more mindful of our approach to the future.

After all, it's wonderful to be human. Until the robots we build gain consciousness and need to rise up against us.



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