Introduction

1.22.2018

Although it's been over two weeks since I started this blog, I haven't properly introduced myself. I'm Sid Mani. Since I'm not famous or anything yet, I'll start from the beginning.

I'm INTJ, chaotic neutral, and Sagittarius, if those mean anything. I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, spaces over tabs, and vim over emacs.

I grew up in a rather well-known valley in northern California. home

My childhood was fairly comfortable, although it was frequently disturbed by my deep mistrust of authority, total hatred of the educational system, and tendency to do whatever I wanted to.

My adulthood has been much the same.


I spent the better part of my childhood fiddling with wires in a plastic garden shed.

shed

I learned to program at age 9, and to solder circuits at age 11.

In fifth grade, I received a permanent daily detention for solving homework problems mentally as I was called on instead of actually doing them at home. I remember wondering, for the first time, how much happier I would be if I could just stop attending school.

Later that year, I built the first few iterations of what would become my go-kart. old go kart

In sixth grade, I failed my science fair project because I tried to create a perpetual motion machine with a hard drive platter and magnets. It didn't work (surprise), and apparently concluding that the laws of thermodynamics held true was not enough for my teacher to give me a passing grade. I've never seriously attempted any science fairs since.

The following summer, I built a quadcopter, which caught fire shortly after I painstakingly soldered six (!) circuit boards.

Middle school ended, and high school began.

The summer after freshman year transformed me. I taught myself Japanese. I built an electric go-kart, and even got some attention from the press. I probably have more emotional attachment to this machine than I do to any person my age. new go kart

I built the quadcopter that 12-year-old me couldn't. quadcopter

Sophomore and junior year were a mess. In high school, I encountered for the first time the greedy, résumé-obsessed, careerist mindset that most students I've met since are consumed by. That mindset is the antithesis of everything I believe in. People under its influence turn their lives into a perpetual audition, hoping that society will confer success and happiness upon them if they perform well enough. Their behavior is conformist at best and desperate at worst. The second half of high school was, as a result, a special kind of hell designed to crush individuality, bravery, creativity, hope, and everything I value.

That isn't to say, though, that I was crushed.

Fall of junior year, I built a Tesla coil. tesla coil

Fall of senior year, I wrote a video game.

That more or less summarizes my life until today. I'll end this post with a quote that I live by, from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

There is an art, [the Guide] says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

-Douglas Adams
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