I come from a pretty dark environment, and I can't count the times when the access to the internet and information created by brilliant people have literally saved my life. And, perhaps more importantly, made it worth living.
I am thankful for Owen Cook, Paul Graham, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Ayn Rand, Dan Harmon, Randall Munroe, Louis CK, and countless other brilliant and bright people. They are my heroes, they have created things that inspired me, and taught me about the world, and brought a lot of joy into my life.
I am also very thankful for the fact that I have discovered 3D graphics at a very early age. It showed me what it feels like to be extremely passionate about something, and how awesome and fun it can be to create things. It taught me to think and to learn things and to care about my craft, and to pursue mastery at what I do. It drove me to learn English language and, ultimately, opened to me the world of everything else that I love and care about.
She taught me to face reality and deal with it rationally, instead of flinching away from it and trying to ignore/rationalize things. To solve problems by thinking about things deeply, determining the best course of action, and then pursuing it. To think for myself, from the first principles, to rely on my own judgement, to have the courage to believe in what makes sense to me. To take responsibility for my life(for my choices and their results).
She taught me about determining my values and optimizing for them, choosing a purpose and pursuing it, stepping on a path to mastery and striving to become an expert at what I do.
She inspired my interest in engineering, science, entrepreneurship, rationality.
Her heroes(Dagny, Hank Rearden) gave me a vision for the kind of person I want to be.
The massive impact Atlas Shrugged had on my life, and the amazing quality of her writing, made me want to become a good writer.
My family, who was supportive of me quitting my first job from stress and depression and gave me the time to recover.
My childhood friends, who all grew up in SV together and still remain close friends (just went on a morning hike together on Thanksgiving day). We definitely keep each other sane amidst the insanity, anxiety, and hypercompetitiveness of modern SV.
My social situation, which spares me from the fear that many peers feel regarding the upcoming presidency and the emboldened vitriol of the hateful.
I use futureme.org to write diaries to my future self, and when I went into college after dropping out of high school, I wrote one that said I'd drop out of college too if a job were to offer me 40k/yr.
4 years later I graduated and moved to SF for 140k, and it didn't stop there.
I wish I could say I knew it would go this way, and was destined for greatness, yadda yadda, but I was as surprised as anybody.
The thing I was passionate about happened to explode into a darling of basically every company.
I'm thankful I was in the right place at the right time.
I am thankful that both of my daughters are healthy and smart young women.
I am thankful for the AT&T team who created UNIX.
I am thankful for the programmers who work on the Linux, GNU, *BSD, Plan 9, and FreeDOS operating systems.
I am thankful to all the programmers who make free software possible.
I am thankful for the ACLU, the EFF, the CBLDF, and the NRA.
I am thankful to Edward Snowden for revealing that our government has been breaking the law.
I am thankful that there are things like Pinboard and Tarsnap out there, where building something good is the goal.
I am grateful for Project Gutenberg, Wikipedia, Hacker News, and Lobste.rs; all for providing me interesting things to read.
It wasn't all pretty but I have grown and challenged myself in many ways that I otherwise would not have been able to!
I'd be glad to discuss with anyone interested in doing the same either over a Tokyo beer or email (:
Once I spent my holiday trakking in Turkey and was reading HN during a pause on a mountain. I stumbled upon the link https://sivers.org/book. I used my kindle to by some books about stoism and read them on my jurney. In English, which I mainly practice on online forums. I came back home with a different view of life. Now I know that happines is not measured in the PS of my car, the area of my flat, my bank balance or the jealousy of neighbours. OK, a high bank balance is still a fine thing but I stopped caring about the rest. And I become a better person.
This couldn't have happened without the "information age" being reality.
I am thankful for being born in this era.
I am thankful to everyone who is in Open Source.
I am thankful for your time reading this.
I am thankful for my kids who think of me as their 'rock'.
I am thankful for my relationships and experiences.
I am thankful that I have Asperger's and think logically about everything.
I am thankful that I live in the age of information, which will (hopefully) make the world a better place.
and I'm thankful for living in the country with the most liberty! http://patrickrhamey.com/saturday-research/2016/5/24/2016-st...
I'm thankful for my friends and family who's support I couldn't do without.
I'm thankful for all of the strangers and community members that have helped me along the way, asking nothing in return. I hope I can do the same for many others.
I'm thankful for all of the great people who stand up for others and do good when they have nothing to gain.
Internet and programming: opportunities and possibilities that it provides is unprecedented.
Those are my heroes, small and big.