Sun, 19 Nov 2017 12:31:19 -0800
I make software.
AGPL3+ whenever I can.
I love my craft; I hate my industry.
37, cis, married, liberal, atheist, dad. he/him.

The name “pho4cexa” does not have anything to do with sex nor Phở.
what pho4cexa means
how to pronounce pho4cexa

what am i

[#introductions toot]:

Hi, I’m pho4cexa. I make software.
It’s my art, identity, and would be my “passion”
if it weren’t also my day job.

I’m good at #python but want to use #scheme, #rust, and #haskell.

I believe #copyleft is essential to freedom and everything should be #agpl v3. #gnu #gpl #fsf #freesoftware

Recent hobby: #3dprinting, #electronics and #embedded programming, building #mechanicalkeyboards.

I want to read more #transhumanist #scifi by #feminist authors. #sciencefiction

I’ve been happily married and monogamous for over 12 years so my sexuality should not really matter to anybody. Regardless: with some variance for definitions and worldview, most would say I’m heterosexual.


why do i exist

I chose the name “pho4cexa” for my digital self in 2017.

The last time I invented a new Internet nickname was in 1999, around the same time I graduated from high school, to replace my embarrassing and puerile America Online username that I picked out in middle school.

I made a careful effort for years afterward to associate my full given name with that handle, to better disambiguate and “own” it online despite having no legal claim to the word.

That way, I reasoned, when I went looking for employment, I might appear first in Google searches for my handle. Or, old friends searching for my name and profession/hobby would be able to locate me. Or, data science start-ups* hoping to acquire the name would find it too difficult to beat my pagerank, and pick a different name.

That effort was moderately successful. The handle has even bled into my irl** interactions. I think it sounds ridiculous but endearing when friends say my silly self-chosen nickname aloud, at work, even to my boss, to refer to me.

But recently I have been feeling suffocated by it.

I wish I had, early on, fractured my identity into (at least) two personalities: an ascetically professional façade, and a disconnected pseudonym who has opinions, political leanings, weird preferences, embarrassing guilty pleasures, body issues, who sometimes makes mistakes and has to constantly apologize for the idiot he was years or months ago. Two decades late, I’ve finally found scraps of time and motivation to begin that fracture. That personality is me, here, “pho4cexa.”

I haven’t gone to great lengths to obtain real pseudonymity—nasty silicon valley surveillance companies will likely be able to link my profiles together—for now I really just want Google searches for my meatspace name to return results as boring and “professional” as possible.

Related: toot

*: though it wasn’t called “data science” back then, nor were “startups” the silicon valley billionaires’ gambling chips that they are now

**: i use irl in nostalgia and irony: to the contrary, digital life is real life; online actions have offline effects.