Introduction

From The Thinkulum
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Version 1.4, 7-29-06

Hello. Welcome to my website. It’s here as a repository for the things that I like, things I think, things I’ve written, collected, created, or experienced.

Content

What you will find here: essays of various sorts, random musings, reviews and commentaries, a weblog, collections of links and other things, reference materials, creative projects.

I am interested in a lot of stuff. This means that I am almost never bored. Distraction is the more typical problem. It also means that there’s a lot to keep track of, so I’ve tried to keep things organized here. The difficulty is that most of my interests are interrelated and could fit into more than one category. So if the organization seems odd, that’s why. I also tend to use my terms broadly for the sake of cramming as much into the category as possible. My interests come and go in phases, so at various times some parts of the site will be updated a lot more than others.

To give you a context for understanding what I post here, I’ve written introductions to most of the sections of the site. These explain basically how I got into the subject, my general take on it, and what my specific interests are.

Updates

My site will be updated very sporadically. To save yourself the trouble of checking my updates page all the time and being constantly disappointed, you can either reading my RSS feed or subscribing to my e-mail updates. If you’re into RSS (and why in the world wouldn’t you be?), you can get my blog’s RSS feed here. I recommend RSS Bandit.

Alternatively, you can have my blog updates e-mailed to you by signing up here:

E-mail:

You’ll get a confirmation e-mail with a link to click, and then you’ll be subscribed. Don’t worry. I hate spam. Your e-mail address won’t be shared with anyone.

If you want to contact me, you’ll have to wait till the bottom of the page to find out how. ;)

Title

What is a “thinkulum” anyway? Um, well, it’s a silly pun. According to Merriam-Webster, a vinculum is a “a straight horizontal mark placed over two or more members of a compound mathematical expression and equivalent to parentheses or brackets about them” or more generally, “a unifying bond.” In Star Trek, it’s the part of a Borg ship that connects the minds of all the drones on the ship and organizes their collective thoughts. The Thinkulum is a web space in which semi-organized and interconnected thoughts are collected in concrete forms.

Me

A little about myself, in bullet point fashion.

Circumstantial

  • My name is Andy Culbertson.
  • I was born on March 7, 1978.
  • I have two parents, a brother, and a sister, who are both younger.
  • I am from Texas, but that is incidental. There is nothing Southern about me.
  • I am a Christian and a conservative one. However, I am not ignorant, intolerant, pushy, etc.
  • I have a BA in Christian Education and an MA in Biblical Studies, both from Wheaton College (IL). I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, possibly teach philosophy.
  • For now I’m an editorial assistant and programmer at a Christian book packager.
  • Some thoughts on the current shape of my life. (added 7-17-05)

Essential

  • I am a ponderer. I mostly live inside my head. I am very curious. I write a lot.
  • I am interested in people. I like to listen to them and understand them. I value close relationships, but I am fairly independent.
  • I am a pragmatic idealist.
  • I am a male.
  • I have a low-key, impish sense of humor. I love irony and absurdity.
  • I have a weird imagination.
  • I am a very INTP-ish INFJ. On the Enneagram I am a 5w4-ish 9w1.
  • A picture of me.

Favorites

  • Musical instruments: Piano and French horn. I have played the piano most of my life. I played the French horn for seven years and soon will again because I now have money to buy one, thanks to my amazingly generous parents.
  • Colors: Green and blue.
  • Fruits: Grapes, oranges, and peaches. Drink Welch’s white grape peach juice. “It’s like a magic potion,” says my friend Jason.
  • Animals: Cats, dolphins, hamsters, hermit crabs, sloths. I’m sure I like others, too. My family has a big, fat cat named Ariel who really loves meowing. I call her Ariel the Blimp.
  • Style of architecture: Gothic is kind of neat. Minimalist, too.
  • Types of clothing: T-shirts and jeans, sweatsuits.
  • Genre of literature: Fantasy.
  • Genres of visual art: Landscapes, surrealism.
  • Type of pen: Gel or liquid ink. I really like Pilot G2s.
  • Types of store: Bookstores, office supply stores, computer stores.
  • Types of weather: Sunny and 75-80, dark and windy if it’s not cold, thunderstorms with lots of lightning if I’m inside.
  • Time of day: The middle of the night.
  • Website: Wikipedia.

I have three overarching goals in life: to understand the world, to help people, and to keep myself entertained. The result is what you find on this site.

Site History

This is the reincarnation of my old website. The site was born in 1996 at Geocities when I was a freshman in college, and it was called Andy’s Alcove. It didn’t have very much on it. Then it went through five other versions, gaining and losing content, most of which was was school papers because it was easier than coming up with original material. In the meantime my ideas, interests, goals, and self-understanding became more and more defined, and this led to my wanting to take my site a lot more seriously. So I pulled things together (over about three years of distraction and procrastination), got paid web hosting, and changed the name to The Thinkulum, and on March 20, 2005, a new site was born.

The title of this layout is “Pages from My Notebook.” Anybody who knows me in person will probably understand it as a reference to my writing habits. I’m always walking around with a blue notebook that contains whatever notes I’m working on at the time. I call these my “thoughts pages.” I write my all my notes on letter-size, white scratch paper (reduce, reuse, and recycle!), which I fold into fourths because I like small writing surfaces, and I use the notebook as my desk. My writing is small and fairly orderly, which is the first thing everybody comments on, and I always use a blue gel ink pen because I like dark, smooth lines. Particular, ain’t I? Well, journaling is my hobby. These thoughts pages are the source of much of this site’s material, at least in spirit if not in content.

Tools

  • The whole site is powered by WordPress.
  • For the parts that aren’t automatically generated, I attempt to code these pages in XHTML and CSS using the text editor Metapad.
  • I check my links with Xenu’s Link Sleuth.
  • My webhost is P4HOST.
  • The color scheme was determined using Color Schemer.
  • I created the background by scanning part of my notebook and then cropping and sharpening it with IrfanView. The section headings are my handwriting.

Contact

I think of personal websites as conversation pieces, so talk to me if you have the inclination.

And that’s all for the intro. Enjoy!