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What's up with me?

Brian likes to say that he is an artist and an engineer. Sometimes both are professional, sometimes both are for fun, and ideally both are both. Does that make sense? Hmm … he thinks so. He’s also been known to describe himself, at least in terms of his style, as a modern wizard. Time to switch to first person.

TBJ, the Modern Wizard

Personally, I love activities. Like, really really really love activities. I’ve always been a hobby collector, which sometimes I’m embarrassed about, but I swear I’ve gone really deeply into some of them, and my favorites have been cycling in and out of my life for decades. Singing & playing music, surfing & bodyboarding, fitness of all kinds, photography, engineering & creating things in general, building engaging and loving relationships, diving really deeply into weird topics, writing stuff, researching the features of things I may or may not buy, adventuring and exploring in the woods, in the desert, underwater, in dungeons, through books, around the web… Got a new idea for an activity? Yup. I’ll give it a go. I also like the things everyone likes, for example, hanging out with friends, traveling, watching awesome things on tv, and hugs … really good hugs.

Academically, I studied mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, business in grad school at San Diego State University, and as much as I could before, during, and after. I think of myself as floating in an uncomfortable ether somewhere between the working world and academia. I guess that’s why I write, create, and do Zengineering Podcast. Currently I’m obsessed with the science of climate change and figuring out how the economy really works (in an a way I can apply in general day to day thought). This shit’s dense. But, that’s part of the fun, right?

Professionally I’ve always been an engineer of one type or another. I’ve worked as a manufacturing engineer designing industrial robots, I’ve run and sold a successful web startup in the manufacturing space, and now I’m CTO of a data company where I write a lot of code, analyze a lot of data, and tend to a fully scalable herd of computers. In the future, I will no doubt do other things.

I try to be thoughtful and kind. Sometimes I’m a jerk, but that is almost never my intention. I always play devil’s advocate and I know that can be annoying, but take solace in the fact that the game is being played in my own head, 10 times more aggressively than I’ll play with you. It’s often useful, and also often annoying, so, I get it.

Also, because you asked, I’m 6' 8", and no, I don’t play basketball. Never really have. Always jammed the shit out of my fingers. I do play beach volleyball, though. It’s great … Yes, everyone does ask me how tall I am … No I don’t mind. I’m so many standard deviations away from the mean that it’s reasonable for you to be surprised when you see me and wonder … I bet I scared you a bit. I often scare people coming on and getting off elevators … Yes, it’s been nice chatting with you too.


T. Brian Jones