Nice to meet you! I'm Michael MacLean, a programmer and college student from Michigan. I've loved working with computers all my life. When I was young, inspired by a natural curiosity and a love of learning, I took up web development, learning HTML, and eventually CSS and PHP. When I learned PHP I learned how much I enjoy programming. Now, I do it every chance I get. I find myself motivated by a love for technology and a desire to make things that people will find worthwile or enjoyable.
I grew up in a small town in Michigan with my little sister and my cat. I spent most of my time behind a book or fiddling with devices I found around the house, trying to take things apart and put them back together. Influenced by my father, I became deeply interested in musical performance. I learned the violin in the 5th grade, and in junior high I learned to play the clarinet. Even though, sadly, I don't get enough time during the data to continue with music, I consider my musical background to be a defining piece of my background.
I became interested in Japan during my time in high school. Like most second-language Japanese speakers I have encountered, I first "discovered" Japan through animé. I had decided I wanted to learn a new language, and in the process of trying to decide which one, my cousin had me watch the show she was watching at the time with her, which just happened to be Death Note. As cheesy as it sounds, I was enthralled by both the flow and beauty of the language, and how a culture could produce a concept like Death Note, which seemed so ingenious and meaningful, and yet nothing like shows that my own culture produces. As I learned more about the language, I decided to take a class on it in high school. My Japanese teacher helped us get a real feeling of what Japan was like there, both the good (communalism as the building blocks of society and the societal commitment to keeping tranquility in order through one's actions, "wa") and the bad (like Japan's extremely hierarchial society) though his own personal experiences and tales of others as well.
One thing I've always enjoyed is games. I played a lot of video games as I got older and I find the immersiveness of the whole form of art fascinating. Games can be used to inspired cooperation and let people work together to meet a common goal, or they can be used to tell a story or even make political commentary. Video games are exciting and I hope to get the opportunity to pursue them as a career path in the future. Besides video games, I also really enjoy tabletop games. These games, like Dungeons and Dragons, are really fun in their own kind of way because it takes a whole table of people to come together and make the story—no one can ever tell how something will turn out until after it has happened. Some of the projects I've had the opportunity to work on have revolved around the world of D&D and it has only cemented my love for games like them.
Though I try not to get political in spaces like this, I do find myself very passionate about politics and my political stance is at the heart of who I am. In my political views, I commit myself to virtues of democracy, liberty, and emancipation. I believe that all peoples and nations have a right to life, self-determination, and their own well-being. This includes identity, economics, and any other area of their life. A person has the right to decide their own path without criticism as long as the pursuit of their goals do not interfere with those of anyone else. I believe that involving oneself in politics and organizing is essential because politics is much more than just table talk or small talk; not everyone has the privilege that I do to just "ignore politics" because many people have to live the reality of politics, both in the United States and around the world.