About Me

Headshot Crest

Something, something, perfect enemy of the good.

I'm Arthur. This is my website. I threw together a basic structure using GitHub Pages (because tech geek) to get something off the ground quickly.

I have about a million and one things I'm passionate about that I want to get out of my brain and onto proverbial paper.

Some of it is about me personally and my own history, experiences, and growth. Some of it is observations about the world, social and interpersonal dynamics, philosophy, psychology, and other not-about-me-directly things like TV, product design, and project management. Some content is in style of date-specific blog posts, and some content is captured in "timeless", "living" posts...I haven't written any of the latter yet, but I have created a ton of stubs to give an indication of what I want to write about (and there are a ton more I haven't created stubs for yet, too).

Frankly, a huge motive for me here is to create what amounts to an "Arthur wiki" or "Arthur user's guide". Whether you want to get to know me or you're just interested in my thoughts... Buckle up.

On This Page

Recently Added Content

Stubs written or modified in the last 21 days.

Fault and Blame

Stubbed on 2021-10-07

We seem to think of fault and blame as a sort of pie that needs to be divided among actors. This seems like the wrong approach.

Good versus Evil

Stubbed on 2021-04-15 (last updated on 2021-10-10)

Why are we so attracted to the idea of "good versus evil"? How is it helpful, and where do we need to be more careful?

Grammar and Language

Stubbed on 2020-04-21 (last updated on 2021-10-12)

I'm rather particular about grammar and language, sometimes in pretty unconventional ways.

Anger Management

Stubbed on 2020-04-12 (last updated on 2021-10-24)

Could "having a temper" really be a symptom of emotional repression?

Elevator Pitch

I'm a logic-emotions monist, open (almost to a fault), wholehearted, wild, untamed, and disciplined in mind and action. (I wrote a decent stub on Family Arguing that proposes a causality for how I came to be this way.)

I tend to be a generalist and selective specialist, but a huge nerd through and through. I'm a die-hard advocate of induction as the primary mode of human cognition. My superpowers include seeing patterns and untangling nuanced differences. I'm especially good at seeing underlying principles, whether in human behavior or API design, as well as finding general, future-proof solutions to seemingly disparate problems. Check out my Personality and Behavioral Profiles below.

To me, integrity means integrating mind, body, and spirit. It means continuously learning rational (ie, practical) principles, and walking the walk and talking the talk. I embrace consistency and reject compartmentalization. I'm a geek about intellectual pursuits, I'm maniacal about physical fitness (in health, bodybuilding, and diet), and I'm always learning and growing in the areas of mindfulness and empathy (thank you, meditation).

I'm opinionated and curious, willful and flexible, arrogant and aware of my limitations, direct and sensitive/tactful (or, well, I try!). I always have to be right, not necessarily appear right or merely "win" arguments. I worship at the alter of the supreme sanctity of the truth; discovering that I was wrong is a gift that allows me to learn the truth and actually be right. I'm utterly intransigent about certain things (especially more fundamental matters of principle), but really easygoing about a lot of more superficial things. This seems to create a lot of confusion for people, and most people erroneously conclude that I'm just uptight and inflexible. I'm okay with being not understood, but I really struggle with (and get defensive about) being misunderstood.

I love logging things in the spirit of Quantified Self, though it's not an especially social phenomenon for me. Part of my love of it is in bringing order to the chaos of life through data normalization.

What is "The Truth about the Dishwasher"? You'll have to wait until I write about it...

While I buck a lot of social conventions and many of the superficial manifestations of my traits are baffling to a lot of people (believe me, I will write plenty on this), if you really get me, if you really see and understand the core of my being, I am super predictable.

I love children, and I can't wait to be a dad.

I'm a product manager for the Alexa Device SDK for Amazon.

I grew up in Los Angeles, I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly 10 years, I was in Denver "temporarily" for about a year to figure out whether I want to live in Colorado permanently, and I've been living in Bailey, Colorado since the end of August 2021.

Interests, Values, and Passions

Previous Sports

Random Tidbits

Valuable Resources

These are ideas and approaches to various areas of life that I have derived great value from...with some indication of my own viewpoints sprinkled in.

Physical Well-Being

Psychological and Emotional Well-Being

Parenting and Education

A parent's job is to be a guide in a child's development into an adult. A parent is a model, not an authority figure. A child must learn, not obey. A parent should not try to tame their child or desire obedience, but to help the child cultivate the skills of agency, self-determination, self-regulation, independent judgment, internal motivation, and efficacy. "Punishment", ranging from grounding to stonewalling to physical striking, are not effective tools; they teach a child that these are normal modes of interaction between human beings and handicap their future adult relationships. Punishment and "consequences" create power struggles and undermine the possibility of finding win-win solutions. While I wouldn't say it's always wrong to characterize a child as "misbehaving", the more useful framing is to understand that the child is attempting to achieve a value, perhaps ineffectively, and that it's the parent's job to help the child learn more effective ways of achieving values. Regardless, approaching a child with anger or phrases such as "You're bad." and "You're being bad." (which a child is likely to internalize as a matter of basic identity) are disastrous.

Management

Philosophy: Objectivism

"Why does philosophy matter?"
"I don't know, why does science matter?"
"Well because scie-"
"Annnnnnnd you are doing philosophy."

— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) August 5, 2015

Philosophy: Who Needs It

Your subconscious is like a computer--more complex a computer than men can build--and its main function is the integration of your ideas. Who programs it? Your conscious mind. If you default, if you don't reach any firm convictions, your subconscious is programmed by chance--and you deliver yourself into the power of ideas you do not know you have accepted. But one way or the other, your computer gives you print-outs, daily and hourly, in the form of emotions--which are lightning-like estimates of the things around you, calculated according to your values. If you programmed your computer by conscious thinking, you know the nature of your values and emotions. If you didn't, you don't.

Okay, so I feel like I need to offer a fair bit of clarification on this, since I think terms like "selfishness" and "capitalism" can be readily polarizing and misunderstood, given widespread (mis)use in our culture. I'll do more of that clarification in a post at some point. For now, here's a summary of my viewpoints, which I credit to Objectivism and Ayn Rand.

Crest

Crest

More to come on this... But for now, major hat tip to Melissa Cade, who painstakingly implemented and iterated on the design with me!

symbol meaning
wolf wildness, freedom, instinctiveness, control, playfulness, curiosity, intelligence, nobility, loyalty, guardianship, sexual ferocity, aggressiveness, ritual
triquetra integration of mind, body, and spirit; love of magic (via Charmed)
triquetra heart modification whole-heartedness
lyre music
dragons Arthurian legend; power, magic, wisdom, strength, untamed nature, clarity of purpose, guarding material wealth
fire passion, intensity
lotus (pursuit of) enlightenment, growth, perseverance over pain and difficulty
rowing oars discipline, dedication
barbell weightlifting, narcissism
Starfleet emblem love of Star Trek, optimism, technology
Front Range crown love of the mountains and Colorado, firmness, stillness
sun love of heat, energy, clarity, confidence, goodness, peace
wave love of the ocean, change, flow, serenity and turbulence
snowflake love of the snow and snowboarding, uniqueness
flux capacitor love of Back to the Future, time travel, four-dimensional / abstract thinking
The One Ring power, magic
Earth point of origin love of Stargate, exploration
crown symbol orientation geekiness and nerdom on wolf's right brain and nature on wolf's left brain, inverting the traditional left-right brain dichotomy to represent integration of intellect and emotion

Personality and Behavioral Profiles

Myers-Briggs

I'm not sure that Myers-Briggs is especially helpful, but I think it's interesting. I think that the tests are really badly designed (lots of false dichotomies and poor wording that will militate a type in the wrong direction if answered accurately). In 2015, I decided to do my own analysis, reading through the 16 descriptions and bucketing them into (1) identify with strongly, (2) identify with weakly, and (3) don't identify with at all. The results were unsurprisingly consistent:

The interpretation of this, given the premises of Myers-Briggs, is as follows:

One of the many problems here is that N is often characterized as big-picture, abstract thinking (without implying a difficulty in dealing with particulars), whereas S is often characterized as being concrete-bound and unable to deal with abstractions. So that makes my results all the less surprising.

With respect to being type-A (J) versus going with the flow (P), the way I think about that is that I like things how I like them, I like to plan, I like structure and order, and I am selectively flexible, in circumscribed contexts. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but think of it as needing to plan unstructured time on the calendar. A realistic example might be something like J: Today, we're going to go snowboarding. P: It doesn't matter to me which resort we go to or what time we arrive or leave. J: It would sure be nice to know in advance what the plan is. P: But it's no big deal if we wing it.

I tend to test high on E, but that's not necessarily surprising, since I get energy from discussing ideas (and that involves people), even though I actually consider myself an introvert, since people are exhausting. So reading the descriptions, I'm en even split, but I don't think that's really right.

There's a lot more to be said about T "versus" F, but I'll summarize here. The clearest articulation I've read of the essence of the dichotomy is that it's about what your initial reaction is to a situation or stimulus: Do you first have the big emotion and defer analysis until you've calmed down (F)? Or do you first get into analysis, waiting to process feelings later (T)? Now, this framing might mostly apply to most people, so I can see why it might be useful. But it's difficult for me to relate to it. It's why I characterize myself as a logic-emotions monist. I have all the feelings and all the thoughts all the time, always. Something happens, and I'm immediately analyzing it and having/embracing/processing strong emotions. While it's possible to separate out thinking and feeling for analysis, experientially, it's all the same phenomenon for me. (I think that's also related to the connection between emotions and induction.) Thinking and feeling are just different dimensions of the same experience. Of course, because of the way that most Myers-Briggs test questions are framed, I end up scoring as a very high F, but in reality (and I think the type descriptions bear this out), I'm just very high on both. Technically, I think it's a false dichotomy.

By the way, what do you think it says about my likely Myers-Briggs type that I went through all that analysis?

DISC

See Manager Tools Podcasts and summary PDF.

I'm very thing-/fact-/task-/idea-oriented:

The Four Tendencies

2021-07-26:

Questioner

PrinciplesYou

Wow, does this ever need some editorial commentary... sigh...

2021-05-25

TOSCA-3SC

Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman: Kindle, website

Attachment Style

Enneagram

D&D Alignment

Chaotic Good

A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.

Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit.

Chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

While creatures of this alignment view freedom and the randomness of actions as ultimate truths, they likewise place value on life and the welfare of each individual. Respect for individualism is also great. By promoting the philosophy of chaotic good, characters of this alignments seek to spread their values throughout the world. To the chaotic good individual, freedom and independence are as important to life and happiness. The ethos views this freedom as the only means by which each creature can achieve true satisfaction and happiness. Law, order, social forms, and anything else which tends to restrict or abridge individual freedom is wrong, and each individual is capable of achieving self-realization and prosperity through himself, herself, or itself.

Chaotic good characters are strong individualists marked by a streak of kindness and benevolence. They believe in all the virtues of goodness and right, but they have little use for laws and regulations. They have no use for people who "try to push folk around and tell them what to do." Their actions are guided by their own moral compass which, although good, may not always be in perfect agreement with the rest of society.

These characters are basically good, but tend to be selfish and maybe a bit greedy. They tend to hold personal freedom and welfare above anything else. The chaotic good dislikes confining laws, self-discipline, and they distrust authority.

Chaotic goods believe that freedom is the only means by which each creature can achieve true satisfaction and happiness. Law, order, social forms, and anything else which tends to restrict individual freedom is wrong, and each individual is capable of achieving self-realization and prosperity through himself. These characters believe that life has no grand plan, but each creature's spirit is essentially noble and good. Each being must follow his own conscience. By performing good acts the individual can hope to alleviate the suffering and anguish of others, whether caused by random or structured acts.

The chaotic good character has a "beatific" attitude toward existence. In this character's opinion, any laws, social structures, or other such hierarchies that restrict his freedom are abhorrent and to be done away with. The inviolable right of the individual to seek his own pleasures is one of the cornerstones of society; but, being good, the chaotic good being will not tread on others to get his own way, for he feels that every other creature has the right to the pursuit of pleasure as well. Friends of a chaotic good character will find him unreliable in the clutch only if he puts his own well-being ahead of that of his companions. Obviously, almost everyone has this tendency, but it is left up to this individual whether or not he values a friendship enough to risk self sacrifice. The chaotic good being would not, however, take action that could unnecessarily jeopardize the lives of other persons or creatures. Life is valuable, but without sufficient personal freedom it is demeaned. Life and freedom are the foundation of the universe.

A chaotic good character will keep his word to those who are not evil and will lie only to evil-doers. He will never attack an unarmed foe and will never harm an innocent. He will not use torture to extract information or for pleasure, but he may "rough up" someone to get information. He will never kill for pleasure, only in self-defense or in the defense of others. A chaotic good character will never use poison. He will help those in need and he prefers to work alone, as he values his freedom. He does not respond well to higher authority, is distrustful of organizations, and will disregard the law in his fight against evil. He will never betray a family member, comrade, or friend. Chaotic good characters do not respect the concepts of self-discipline and honor, because they believe such concepts limit freedom to act.

Here are some possible adjectives describing chaotic good characters: unpredictable, independent, free spirited, cheerful, optimistic, easy going, carefree, helpful, kind, merciful, respectful of personal liberties, and anarchic.

Well known chaotic good characters from film or literature include: Han Solo (Star Wars), Batman (DC Comics), Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter), and Robin Hood.

Equivalent alignment in other game systems: Unprincipled (Palladium), Light Side (Star Wars), Good (Warhammer), Gallant (Alternity).

The Ten Chaotic Good Commandments

A list of Ten Commandments for a chaotic good religion may look like this:

  1. You shall lie in the pursuit of goodness.
  2. You shall not harm the innocent.
  3. You shall not murder.
  4. You shall help the needy.
  5. You shall honor those who promote freedom and goodness.
  6. You shall break the law in pursuit of goodness.
  7. You shall not betray others.
  8. You shall avenge the acts of evil-doers and enemies of freedom.
  9. You shall not place duty above personal desire to do good.
  10. You shall seek unlimited good for others and freedom in society.

Ten Chaotic Good Sins

Likewise, a chaotic good religion may list the following as sins. This list is given in the order of least severe infraction to most severe.

  1. Failing to perform a random act of kindness when appropriate.
  2. Failing to pursue a new form of pleasure.
  3. Placing duty above personal desire.
  4. Failing to assist allies or good beings in need.
  5. Causing harm to an essentially good being.
  6. Following a law when you feel that it unnecessarily restricts your freedom.
  7. Turning down a chance to trick, cheat, or harm an evil being for personal gain.
  8. Betraying an ally or friend for evil reason.
  9. The murder of an innocent.
  10. Aiding the servants of Order and Evil.

Chaotic Good and Society

A chaotic good being...

A chaotic good government influences the community by helping the needy and opposing restrictions on freedom. In a chaotic good society, The people mean well and try to do right, but are hampered by a natural dislike of big government. Although there may be a single ruler, most communities are allowed to manage themselves, so long as their taxes are paid and they obey a few broad edicts. Such areas tend to have weak law enforcement organizations. A local sheriff, baron, or council may hire adventurers to fill the gap. Communities often take the law into their own hands when it seems necessary. Lands on the fringes of vast empires far from the capital tend to have this type of alignment.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

as of 2013-01-02

  1. Individualization
    People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.
  2. Strategic
    People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  3. Competition
    People who are especially talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
  4. Responsibility
    People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
  5. Achiever
    People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

Sanity Score

Autism Test

PsychCentral Autism Test

2020-08-03: 19 (No Autism / Asperger's Likely)

Timeline

Bear with me here...eventually, I want to make this table autogenerated in JavaScript from JSON data files that contain not only these "big ticket" items, but also more granular time-based data points, like location checkins, exercise logs, food diary, media consumption, etc! For now, it's just a plain table to communicate some basic information about stuff in my life.

Year Location School Work Love Miscellaneous
1984 West Hollywood, CA
1985
1986
1987 Sister Jacqueline is born
1988 St Thomas the Apostle Preschool
1989 Parents legally changed my name from
Arthur Igor Zey
to
Arthur Igor Lechtholz-Zey
Temple Israel Kindergarten
1990 Brother Andrew is born
Brentwood Science Magnet
Elementary School
1991
1992
1993 Caroline (one-sided)
1994
1995
Walter Reed Middle School Self-employed Tech Consulting
1996
1997
Brentwood, CA
1998
Palisades High School
1999 Sister Elizabeth is born
2000
Santa Monica College
2001 Duckett-Wilson Development Company
2002
UCLA
Rieber 5 South
UCLA Undergrad
Math of Computation BSc
2003 Nick
UCLA
Hedrick 7 North
2004 Drew
Mar Vista, CA "Wyatt" (protecting his privacy)
2005 Parents get divorced
UCLA School of Law
2006 Acquire step-family (Masha, Emily, Michael)
Westwood, CA Ayn Rand Institute
2007
Sara
2008
Brentwood, CA
2009
2010 AZEY Design
Santa Monica, CA Legally changed my name from
Arthur Igor Lechtholz-Zey
to
Arthur Zey
Mountain View, CA CDNetworks
2011
2012
Delphi
2013 CDNetworks
Twitter
San Francisco, CA
2014
2015
Daly City, CA
Autodesk
2016 Sam
2017
Amazon:
Alexa Core Services
2018 Adam
San Francisco, CA
2019
Amazon:
Alexa Tech Docs
2020
Denver, CO
2021 Amazon:
Alexa Voice Service Device SDK
Bailey, CO Bought my first home!