About me

Hi, I’m Matthew, a 25 year old software developer based in Weston-super-Mare, UK. The reason you’re reading this page is that I like to find ways to improve myself, and I decided to start a website to improve my writing. The subjects I generally like to write about are philosophy, society, budō and self-improvement – though I will occasionally write about others such as computer science and religion – and the combination of these subjects populate the essay and blog sections of this website.

I’m currently working as a software engineer for GE in the Oil & Gas industry. Prior to this I was a computer scientist at CERN, and before that I studied software engineering at university in Bristol.

One of my principal ambitions in life is to promote the virtues of compassion and rationality; this website has in a way become a manifestation of this, considering that often writing will naturally seek to promote its author’s values. I’d like to write enough to one day consider myself an essayist and, if possible, I’d like to influence others in what little ways happen to be in my power.

Outside of this website I’m active elsewhere online, particularly on the website The Student Room, where I participate in the Model House of Commons, Model United Nations, and as a moderator for the Debate & Current Affairs section.

Offline, I teach aikidō to children and occasionally also to adults. Aikidō is something that has become quite important to me, having transcended the status of a hobby, and I expect I won’t ever part from it.

My other interests include iaidō and jōdō, as well as programming, chess, anime and badminton. I speak Esperanto conversationally, and would like to improve my knowledge of Japanese.

About the website

I started this website to encourage myself to write more. I think writing has a tremendously beneficial use in forcing a person to comb through their thoughts – a process that I believe helps to eradicate internal inconsistencies and to promote the occurrence of novel thoughts, of which I’m particularly interested in the ones that would not have occurred to me had I not spent the time attempting to commit mind to paper.

There’s no intended audience for this site per se, but by making my writing accessible to the general public I can reap the benefit of requiring myself to write properly without cutting corners. Public writing demands a level of rigour that tends not to apply in private, and I’d like to use that as a vehicle to attempt to better my ideas and my ability to express them.

I also believe that truth, insofar as it can be revealed, exists to be shared. Whilst it’s unlikely that much of what I express here will be a definitive representation of reality, I would like to make it so that certain thoughts that occur to me can be caused also to occur in others. By establishing this place to store my ideas, they have a chance to propagate, and perhaps to have a small, yet positive, impact on the lives of others.

Since starting the site, I’ve decided to expand it to also host a collection of software I’ve written that I felt may be of use to the wider public, and also, as it is convenient, to advertise my CV.  I’ve also added a wiki called Budōka – a place for me to store and share my thoughts and understanding of the more technical details of the martial arts I practise.  In the future I may add new sections for material relating to other hobbies and activities I’m involved in.

If there’s one message I’d like to promote with this site, it’s that the only worthwhile things in life are those that promote the well-being of oneself or others, and that we should structure our lives accordingly. When life gets difficult, it might be useful to consider this thought.

I’m very welcoming of feedback from readers and I appreciate any suggestions you might send my way on any aspects of the site I could improve, including writing style, site design or future direction of the content, so please leave comments and use the contact form freely.

— Matt