Command Line

A blog and podcast exploring the rough edges where society, public policy and computers meet.

About Me

Thomas “cmdln” GideonMy name is Thomas Gideon, also known by my nickname, “cmdln” (that’s “Command Line” for those unversed in Unix style spelling). I have been programming professionally for over a decade and hacking around with computers of many varieties for most of my life.

Within recent years I’ve developed a couple of meta-interests beyond just the
technology itself.

First, I’ve become increasingly interested in the history of computing and hacker culture. Programming requires a very particular way of seeing problems and solutions. As such, I think it very strongly informs the concepts and language we use to think and talk about it. This unqiue jargon and sub-culture fascinates me know end.

The second is how computing technology is actually changing our society, for good or ill. Its definitely changing the way we do the things we already do. It is also enabling wholly new things. This informs society at all levels, from the individual up through the state and even to international policy. Copyright, in particular, is endlessly fascinating as everything we do with digital media is predicated on the act of copying. Traditional media was the reverse, where copying was exclusive to distribution and just didn’t enter the equation at any stage of production before then, realistically.

Technology also informs how we shop, talk, vote, relate, you name it. I am constantly surprised where this consideration of the intersection of technology and society takes me.

I’ve been blogging my thoughts and findings for a while now at this site, The Command Line. Why “The” when my nickname is just “cmdln”? Do a domain search for any variation on “Command Line” and you’ll see why. So you’ll hear me refer to myself without “The” and the site and podcast, see below, with “The”. This is the way I think, confusing, I know.

Just a few years ago I’ve started a regular podcast discussing not only these issues, but episodes and aspects of the practice and profession of programming, as well. Not too mention any other stories or ideas related to technology that I find equally fascinating.

One Response to “About Me”

  1. There’s a typo in the second-to-last paragraph (“I taught myself noth[sic] AppleScript and Objective-C”)


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