Hi! I'm Ola.
I'm a polyamorous, atheist geek. I'm shy and not very social (but that's something I want to work on – in particular, by blogging). Recently, I've turned my life around in many aspects: first, I finally finished my Ph.D. (yay!) which invoved mostly game theory and some machine learning. But I decided not to stay in the academia, and instead applied for a job of a software engineer at Google. My partner Danny and I both got accepted (double yay!!) so we are now Nooglers. Oh, and we also left Israel and moved to Canada :-) Lots of changes... I basically feel like I am now starting a new life.
Among my hobbies: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu -- although the sport is such an important part of my life that I doubt if "hobbie" is the right word for it. Unfortunately, I discovered this amazing art very late (aged 28); also unfortunate is the fact that I completely lack any sort of talent or natural instinct for it... :-(
Other stuff I like: books, board games, talking with friends, learning.
I started this blog in the beginning of 2009. Warning: it is about ME ME ME ME ME – and my opinions on all kinds of stuff. Its main purpose is to offer a glimpse into my soul to anyone interested. It is intended primarily for people who are already for some reason curious about me and want to get to know me better.
My reasons for blogging are mostly internal:
- When I write something down, I'm forced to clarify and structure it, which really helps to see loopholes in my arguments; that way I can reevaluate my opinion and/or construct a better defense.
- Writing down thoughts has the advantage of keeping them around. Otherwise, I simply forget.
- I expect my opinions to evolve with time, and for this reason it is particularly important for me to keep them around – in order to force me to confront my mistakes, so I could understand what caused them. There is a strong unconscious bias to change opinions "retroactively" in order to avoid ever admitting being wrong; I want to fight that bias.
- Often, it is important to write down something that I feel strongly about simply in order to get rid of it and let go. If I don't, it just keeps circulating in my head – very annoying…
- Being able to express myself in writing is a value to me. Clear writing and clear thinking are, in my opinion, mutually reinforcing. And the only way to learn how to write is through practice. Currently each post takes me agonizingly long to write.
But there are also a few good reasons to publish my writing:
- First of all, it allows me to put my ideas to a test. No matter how hard I try, I cannot play a good opponent to my own thoughts. In that aspect, nothing can replace a real, smart person who disagrees with me.
- Some of my opinions are far from the social norm, and it is important for me to be out of the closet and to stand for what I believe. I won't shove my opinions down anyone's throat, but I won't hide them, either.
- In general, it is important to make unorthodox opinions heard – so that other people who share them see that they are not alone. With time, this is what causes social norms to shift.
- And finally, having a blog might help me to connect with people and to make new friends. At the very least, I intend to work in that direction… :-)
Important: what this blog is probably NOT going to be is a journal (as funny as it sounds, this being LJ). The question that this blog is trying to answer is: "Who are you, Ola?" rather than "What's up, Ola?" For the latter question, I use Google+ (used to be Facebook, but not anymore :-)). The purpose of this blog is to allow people to determine if they should care what's up with me in the first place. So, I'd recommend to use tags to browse it. I use tags to categorize my own posts, and memories to categorize posts by other people that I liked.
I don't expect many comments (if you actually read this far, you're an exception… :-)), but if you want to say something, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment on any post, no matter how old; especially if you disagree. I know, I'd love most to hear from people who agree with me; but what I need is to hear from people who don't.