NYE 2015, Seattle, Wa

Life Blog 2015: Things that Matter

Hello World! It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here. This is, indeed, a great tragedy that it’s been over a year since my last post, especially since I have quite a lot I want to say, and have been doing so for over 10 years on this blog.

For the coming year of 2015, I’ve committed (though not for the first time) to use this blog to more meaningfully share my life, my causes, and thoughts on relevant current and upcoming matters. Our age of social media has spoiled us with information tidbits of 140 characters and aggregated social buzz, at the expense of the true introspective voices that the early internet held so highly. I lament the decline of personal blogging as a pastime for all but social media moguls, and intend to bring it back!

What to expect here

I have little aspiration to replicate any of the awesome blogs already out there that employ great writers and social media managers to engage their audience. Nope, this blog is about me and my interests, and for the time being, will be written exclusively by yours truly. =)

credit@xsylns (2014)

I have several causes that are truly dear to me, and I expect these to recur as major themes:

Civilization-scale challenges and what we can all do to help solve them

We have many civilization scale challenges before us–decreasing biodiversity, climate change, resource scarcity, human conflict, etc… and the better we are aware of these challenges, the more we can work to mitigate their effects. Our little planet’s taken a battering since the Industrial Revolution, and despite the exponential gains we’ve secured for society, human civilization is a ways off from sustainable development.

I’m not one to be pessimistic about the potential of individuals and groups to do substantial good to improve the human, and global condition, and there’s great reason to be optimistic about our future. If we do well enough, we may be rewarded:

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 4.57.51 PM

If we mess up, like another World War, I suspect the humanity will be set back a thousand years. Let’s make sure we don’t do that, ok?

Space, Earth, and Life Sciences

Our Earth is a beautiful place, but there’s more out there! While we secure earth at home, we should also work to extend humanity’s reach beyond. Wherever humans go, we will take and extend life’s reach, which I believe is our obligation to safeguard. If we don’t (as humans) mess up in the 21st century, we will live to see proactive commercialization of our solar system, and as we move to becoming a full Type 1 civilization on the Kardashev scale by 2100.

So let’s get on it, for these are among the highest causes that demand our attention this century. Succeed, and we will achieve much, securing our future by breaking free of the planetary boundaries of Earth. How awesome would it be, if by 2100, this could be a reality? Does not require warp drive!

Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Tech and Digital Intelligence: Robotics, Drones, AI, BCI

I love this stuff, there’s so much going on in all these and related fields, it’s hard not to keep being excited about discoveries, applications, and lives that will be changed because of what’s going on in current academic research. I’ll also write about tech in general, and start telling my Microsoft story. My five years there gave me a broad perspective on the company, though my interaction with MSFT has been lifelong. More to come on that.

Millennial-thinking, and my American story

Much noise has been made recently on the generation of Millennial in America, which includes those born in the twenty year span (the Wiki says) between  the early 1980s and early 2000s (currently aged 14-34). It’s clear that we’ve already made our impact known on this world; having heavily disrupted the old ways of doing things across a number of industries, and I expect this to accelerate as we start to move into leadership positions in business, society, and culture. As a millennial myself, and one who loves generational studies, I’ll share my thoughts on what’s important for us to consider as we take stewardship of society and the planet.

On America, I recently became a citizen of the United States, though after having lived 22 years of my life here. Indeed this experience left me with some opinions on immigration, and the meaning of citizenship.

The Pacific Northwest, Western Washington, Seattle

This is by far, the most beautiful region I have ever lived in. The convergence of mountains, water, and sky are like no other, and yes, we get wet at times here, but I wouldn’t trade the Pacific Northwest for SoCal’s drought’s any day, and apparently so do some folks down there!

Vistas like THIS are Seattle’s backyard:


Oh, in our waters, there are SALMON, a favored food of our local orca whale population, and sushi lovers like myself!

Watching coho salmon chug up the Cedar river.

A photo posted by Alexander (@skyrien) on

And Seattle! What a city–on the corner of continental US! Hipster land only rivaled by Portland and San Francisco. I love it!


Among other things I also intend to talk about are the experiences in Washington with the 2012 Initiative 502, aka, the legalization of recreational marijuana. I have a perspective on that as well, which, in time, I’ll be sharing. So, stay tuned!

Asia-Pacific and Korea – Over there

I didn’t live too much of my life in Korea, but my experience and comparisons of life here in America has provided me with a unique perspective that I’d like to share.

Some of these span nations, among which is a task I see for our generation: the unification of the Korean peninsula. The current Korean president has reiterated this as a major policy push for her administration, and there is a better chance of this being achievable if there is US support for which there are already efforts underway. Private citizens should also participate in this process, by educating themselves, and engaging in discussions of feasibility and roadmap. I believe it is feasible to do achieve this goal with proactive effort within 10 years, by 2025.


Asian-America – Over here

The actual experience of Korean culture is not something limited to Korea. In fact, from what I’ve been observing in Seattle, Korean culture is slowly emerging into the mainstream American consciousness, in the form of cuisine, cinema, games, art, capital, pop culture, and more. For a middle-power country, Korea, at least in the early 21st century, is packing some pretty hefty cultural muscle, and there’s a long runway ahead yet!

And it’s not just the cultural machine over there, back in America, Korean-American, reflecting the changing society,  Asian-American culture has become a presence in mainstream media, and I think this is good for all of America. No longer does the sole, isolated, Asian kid out in white America need to wonder if this country can be his own. Indeed, it already is.

Karen Gillian, John Cho (Selfie TV Series – 2014)

And etcetera.

I’m sure there will be other topics as they become relevant to me. For 2015, I’ve also updated this blog with a new commenting system–inspired by Medium, and enabled by the Inline Comments plugin for WP. It’ll be awesome!

With that said, safe new year’s eve to all! Happy 2015!