A Thoughtful Goose

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The Author

I am Shawn Marincas, Gooseus is my online alias and pen name (pronounced “goosey-yus”). It’s a Latinized version of my HS nickname (which was not a reference to Top Gun) which I adapted for my Xbox Live handle in college after watching Gladiator. Now I just like how it makes me sound like a real philospher. Yes, I am a nerd.

I’m originally from Brick, New Jersey and am now a resident of Portland, Oregon. My only formal education is a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and I’m employed full-time as a web developer (or fullstack engineer, or whatever the trendy title is nowadays). I consider myself an autodidact and hope that someday I’ll be able to consider myself a polymath, but for now I can only claim to be conversational in many subjects and an expert in very few, if any.

While internet technology is the focus of my job, I usually find my interests tending more toward philosophy, math, science, history, psychology, economics, and pretty much anything else that involves understanding the the myriad ways the Universe interacts with itself.

I now consider myself a poetic naturalist, a philosophy formalized by Dr. Sean Carroll to describe someone who is a naturalist, but also believes that there are many good ways of talking about the world, so long as they are grounded in scientific truth and are useful for within a particular domain.

I am an agnostic at heart, but enjoy useful stories involving metaphorical god constructs. I’ve had what many would describe as spiritual experiences, but rather than become sure of a the existence of a God-intelligence, I am simply more certain that I know nothing.

I believe knowledge is a fundamental unit of life and that self-knowledge would be the goal of any universal God, this aligns nicely with my favorite quote by my favorite person:

“We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.”
~ Carl Sagan, 1990

I’m here to expand and spread my knowledge through thoughful consideration and open, honest, and good faith discussion. If you can dig on that, read some of my thoughts and let me know your own through any of the available channels (see footer).

Full Disclosure

I’m a straight, white, cis, able-bodied, middle-class male and I make no apologies. I acknowledge the privilege of not having faced systemic oppression, but I have spent a good portion of my life dealing with depression and anxiety and other difficult aspects of life that I did not choose for myself. I’ve also dealt with the social consequences of choices I did make, such as caring more for learning, truth and knowledge than beauty, popularity, or financial success. But I’m not here to compare life stories or create divisions, quite the opposite in fact.

This site is pretty harmless, in my opinion, but I wouldn’t consider it a safe space for anyone, least of all for those who do not value knowledge, truth, and compassion as the highest virtues. While it should be clear from my stated intentions that I am not here to offend anyone needlessly, I feel I must assume it as an inevitability and acknowledge I may have already done so while writing this section. If you are sensitive to any kinds of triggers, please find another website to read, the Internet is a big enough place for everyone.

Links to books I recommend or reference will be Amazon Affiliate links, meaning I will get a percentage of any purchases using those links. It is the only form of “advertising” (I have a very Hicksian view of advertising) that will appear on this site and is the only revenue stream I’m planning for now. Honestly, the joy of seeing that people are taking my recommendations will be of much greater value than whatever fraction of a cent I’ll generate from affiliate book sales and if you support a local bookstore that has these titles, please buy from them.

I may borrow quotes and images from these books and other works, some of which may not be licensed for reuse or modification. For this, I will apologize and remove them if requested, though I am committted to doing my best to properly cite all borrowed works while seeking the proper permissions.

The Website

This site was built with Hugo Static Site Generator v0.34 starting with the blank starter theme, normalize.css v7.0.0, and typebase.css v0.1.0. The CSS is optimized using the clean-css CLI optimizer v4.1.10. I’m going to try to maintain additional attributions and links to borrowed code in the relevant sources.

The rest has been hand-coded and is very much a work in progress. I don’t use any trackers or analytics and the only javascript is some vanilla I added to make pages with youtube embeds load faster and transfer less data. I’m a big fan of accessibility and performance so I’m going to try to balance those moving forward. Any suggestions are appreciated.

If you find something broken or wonky, or have suggestions, put in an issue at the Github repo or else drop me a line via one of the contacts in the footer below.

I’m hosted on Github Pages with SSL and caching provided by Cloudflare. Special thanks to my wonderful girlfriend, my Ninjastack peeps, and any other friends that have given me feedback, criticism, or help with code/content creation.

This site is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International and the project repository is under the MIT license.

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