It's an introduction! It's a landmark thread! It's a floor wax AND it's less filling.
Well, I've taken just over three years to make five hundred posts, making me possibly the least prolific here. In that time, I've gradually gotten a little more open and personal (somebody with too much time on their hands could easily find my name and address from what I posted), but I never really introduced myself. The main reason is that when I started posting, I was fifteen, and was warned repeatedly not to give out any personal information on the internet. Well, times have changed, and paranoia has diminished. I'm Aaron Weiner (pronounced Wiener), as of this fall a first-year student at University of Chicago. I live on the ground floor of Burton-Judson dormitories, alone, and the security guard will let you through if you wave something, anything, small and white and card-shaped, such as the business card to Carson's: The Place for Ribs.
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, in a neighborhood my parents thought was liberal and Bohemian when they moved there. They didn't discover otherwise Mom made a crack about Oliver North at a community barbecue.
The interesting part of my biography is that I spent three years outside the school system before entering college. For various reasons, I got fed up with formal education and decided to essentially teach myself. My parents were never exactly supportive (they believed I'd made a terrible mistake until the day I got the acceptance letter from my first choice college), but they helped me in many many ways, including finding and mostly paying for a few tutors for subjects I wasn't sure I could teach myself, like calculus. For the most part, though, I just used the internet and library books. I'd sleep in, then wake up and read in bed, then just hang out at home or in town and read about whatever was interesting to me that week. Every so often I'd write about what I'd been thinking, and occasionally I'd show that to people. Then I'd stay up late playing games with friends or on my computer. This went on for three years. I gloated a lot, too. I really felt blessed.
I really recommend this path for smart, dissatisfied, introverted high school kids from white-collar backgrounds. I suspect there are a few here. You don't need to give your time, loyalty, and money to somebody just so they can force you to learn. Leave. Follow your nose. The alternative is four years of complaining about everything, or acquiring habits of submission and stifling your creativity.
Exactly 18 years and 11 months old. Jewish/Caucasian, third generation Lithuanian.* Political philosophy: Big-government liberal. Religious philosophy: I won't believe anything globally until scientific consensus says it's true. But science has given its sanction to introspective, personal spirituality. I was active as a Reconstructionist Jew until about four years ago, and am now an atheist. 5'10", hazel eyes, dark brown hair.
*My mother's father came from the small, predominantly Jewish village of Vilkovisk. For reasons that defy comprehension, their main industry was pig bristles. They earned a place in history when Napolean and his army quartered there while preparing to invade Russia. He stationed his cavalry in the synagogue. After three days, Jewish leaders asked him to leave, as a holiday was coming up and they needed to clean out the synagogue. Napoleon, oddly, consented. In addition, he made a speech saying that in thanks for their hospitality, if some day he were to conquer Israel he would allow it to become an independent Jewish homeland. I enjoy mentioning this story in conjunction with the fact that I look very similar to how Napoleon looked at my age.
Posts: 535 | Registered: Sep 2000
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quote: For reasons that defy comprehension, their main industry was pig bristles. They earned a place in history when Napolean and his army quartered there while preparing to invade Russia. He stationed his cavalry in the synagogue. After three days, Jewish leaders asked him to leave, as a holiday was coming up and they needed to clean out the synagogue. Napoleon, oddly, consented.
Maybe he just got sick of the smell of pig-bristle...
Posts: 4389 | Registered: Aug 2003
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Welcome and congrats on 500. I wasn't aware that scientific consensus had proven the non-existence of God. I'd better throw away all my technology! My brother in law is from Philly and went to U of C. That's awesome.
Posts: 11002 | Registered: Apr 2003
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Hello, Aaron. I like your histocracy theories on your home page. Many theoretical weighted voting systems have been thought up. To the best of my limited knowledge, none has been widely applied. Your theory could work out, and seems promising. But it would require an enthusiastic and highly educated electorate, it seems to me.
Besides corporate applications, I would guess that academia would be the best bet to find people willing to apply weighted voting. Or perhaps a town or city in Silicon Valley.
Best of luck with histocracy and your studies at U. of Chicago! The smartest man I ever met was a professor there--he could lecture indefinitely without notes on number theory, and knew many languages.
Posts: 6316 | Registered: Jun 2003
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For the record, pooka, I meant that scientific consensus didn't assert the existence of God, not that it asserted the nonexistence of God.
, Imogen. Vilkovisk was occupied so many times, by so many invaders, that they may have decided to be as unpalatable as possible. Of course, the Nazis pretty much destroyed the place. I guess they did more for Zionism than Napoleon ever managed.
Edit: Forgot to say that I am hoping to work on histocracy as my main course of study at U of C. I'm not sure whether it will end up being more of a mathematical, political, or philosophical project.