philipp's blog

This is the one big place where I can put everything about me, without having to tailor it for others (think professional networks) or otherwise worry about usefulness. I’ve been inspired by Derek Sivers and treat this page as my own mini-autobiography.

If you're wondering what I've been doing recently, check out my /now page. Contact information and other high level info are part of my profile.


I am Restless

I can’t stay still for too long. I love diving down rabbit holes, but I quickly get bored at the bottom of it and move on. I try directing this energy into something meaningful, but that doesn’t always work. If at the bottom of a rabbit hole lies an immersive story, or an intellectually enticing problem, I’d jump in head-first. I have a long list of abandoned projects, and for a long time I regarded my inability to finish any of these as a flaw. I made peace with this, though, and seek no longer achievements or glory with my projects. I've put up something I call a Pet Project Sematary where I put my pet projects to rest.

I Fear Becoming an Addict

At one point in my life, I shared a place with a man who was addicted to online gaming. He would stay up until late to perform raids in Earth and Beyond, and when I got up in the morning I saw him asleep in front of his desk, his head on the keyboard. And I thought: this could be me. Given how easy it is for me to dive down interesting rabbit holes, I avoid anything that is designed to drag me down and never let me out. This includes smoking, drinking, gaming, gambling, eating, you name it. I consider myself lucky to possess abysmal gaming skills and little patience to go beyond a tutorial that is only slightly longer than usual.

I Don’t Care Much about Money

I subscribe to the idea that money is a hygiene factor: like hygiene (think cleanliness in a hotel room), you expect a certain degree, but there is a ceiling after which you don’t mind how much cleaner it is. Given that my initial salary already surpassed the combined income of my parents at their peak, my ceiling is pretty modest. I can already afford more I ever dreamed of, and my wife and I able to offer a life to our kids where they are not lacking a thing.

The Imposter Syndrome and Dunning-Kruger Sometimes Describe me Pretty Well

Every now and then, I question my own abilities and feel that I faked it to where I am right now, and if people just looked a bit closer at who I was and what I did, they would surely find out and everything would fall apart. That’s called the Imposter Syndrome.
Also every now and then, I unironically think I’m the smartest person in the room, and that I know better than even objectively more experienced people. I have suffered a couple epic and cringeworthy failures due to that. That’s called the Dunning-Kruger-Effect. Perhaps the latter feeds the former, I don’t know.

My Atheism is a Strong Opinion, Loosely Held

I am neither superstitious nor religious. I don’t think it’s possible to “jinx it”, I don’t wish upon a star, and there is no otherworldly being watching over us. I follow Buddhist teachings only in the most worldly interpretations, including Karma and Rebirth, and recommend reading What the Buddha Taught. I do acknowledge and sometimes admire the fulfillment religion brings to some people and sometimes wish I had the same to fall back to. But I also draw strength out of the fact that I built everything on my own, the good and the bad, with no one else to blame but myself. At the same time, and I don’t mean to be condescending, all it takes is one inexplicable genuine occurrence to convince me of the opposite. But if said otherworldly being requires me to not use the scientific rigor and logical thinking it supposedly gifted me with in order to believe, then I’d have to pass.

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