Tripping the Paradigm Shift

Allan Olley
Well a friend told me I should get a livejournal and so I thought why not. I'm not sure how much I'll update it. At the moment I am trying to do a Phd in the History and Philosophy of Science (at the University of Toronto, Canada). I've been at it for five years now so its time I finish it.

I've lived in the Greater Toronto Area pretty much all my life. I was born in Scarborough and from about age 6 lived in Oakville. After a bumpy start in elementary school (Woodside and Pinegrove) where the only subject I liked was math, I had great success in Junior High (New Central) and continued on in High School (Blakelock) even if I let myself hideaway from things a bit much. In high school I took math, science (physics, chemistry and biology), art, and french through all five years of high school (back then it was still five years of HS in Ontario) plus the mandatory English. Sadly my French is probably not what it should be, but I make the occassional attempt to keep it sharp.

I spent four years in St. Catharines, Ontario (near Niagra Falls) studying Physics and Great Books at Brock University. My first summer I worked at Bericap in Burlington making sure they had enough cardboard boxes to put the bottle caps in to send to the bottling plants (this is more boring than it sounds). At Brock in addition to lots of calculus and physics I took three years of ancient greek. Another language I enjoy and try to keep sharp.

As I was casting about for things to study I discovered the field of the history and philosophy of science, which combined my interest in science with a willingness to engage the subject on a more abstract and conceptual level. I applied to several programs but decided on UofT. My work focuses on the role of the computer in physics, especially celestial mechanics. I had to learn a little German as part of my degree, but I'm afraid I never really practice that at all.

I joined the online world in 1997 when my parents got a new computer and internet access. Since then I have spent years discussing and argueing with a varied assortment of wild internet discussion groups including at times a fan forum for the show Gargoyles, the Palladium Books forum, among others. Currently I post a lot to the Megatokyo forums and occassionally to the irregularwebcomic forum and rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons (a newsgroup I've spent ten years posting to).

Other than on-line discussion I've used the internet to do research on my hobbies, sometimes on my school work and follow a fun array of webcomics including Megatokyo, the Irregular Webcomics, Real Life, MacHall and a few others. About my second or third year at Brock (around 1999) I put up my own homepage on my uni webspace, that I have on occassion updated and eventually transfered to my UofT account.

I happened to keep a link to an old friend from Brock's livejournal page and he told me I should get one so I could keep in touch with people. And so here I am.