My name is Aaron H. Cooper, and I am a 24-year-old husband and father. Here’s a little bit of my background:
- I was raised in a middle class household in Virginia, and attended public school.
- Became “Pi King” in Middle School for memorizing 101 digits of pi.
- While in high school, spent three years as a drummer in a professional Drum Corps which performed in competition down the East Coast while participating in school concert band, advanced band, and jazz band.
- Composed many pieces of music and conducted the performance of one by the school’s advanced band.
- Graduated high school with two scholarships in music for my classical compositions.
- Attended community college for a couple years.
- Spent two years as an HVAC helper and one in a Steamfitters apprenticeship where I learned steel and copper piping, soldering and brazing, rigging, and a little bit of welding.
- Worked for a year in a hybrid IT/data center infrastructure position.
- Since March of 2017, I have been working as a Data Center Engineering Operations Technician with Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of the Amazon company and currently the largest “cloud” service provider in the world. AWS hosts much of the global internet and the USA economy’s information infrastructure. My position is to maintain the electrical, mechanical, and life safety equipment which enable, preserve, and perpetuate humanity’s silicon nervous system; humanity’s common brain, an information medium in which ideas flow in and out and interact to produce new ideas which then condense into tangible realities.
- In 2018, I became an associate member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Company http://www.orangevfc.com/. I am hoping that the organization’s bylaws may change in my favor so that I may become a Volunteer Firefighter and EMT (I currently live too far from the station to be an active volunteer).
My wife, Heather, and I have been married since October 18, 2014 (wedding photo above, we got married at an overlook on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park). We enjoy the company of two beautiful daughters, and one (boy or girl) soon to join our crew (due date July 2019). Our small family enjoys traveling, exploring old towns/small towns, and seeking adventure.
I am pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After getting my degree, I intend to move into the aerospace industry. Within the coming years, I also intend to get my Private Pilot’s License. Some of my interests include hiking, rock climbing, high intensity exercise, self-defense, skydiving, mindfulness meditation, evolutionary psychology, exploring the origins and nature of consciousness, all fields of engineering, rocket science, creepypastas, everything steampunk, civil discourse, and having deep personal conversations. I am a firm believer that each person I meet is incredibly more deep and interesting than one may initially perceive.
I consistently seek to find ways to bring individuals, and humanity, up together. In the winter of 2018, I ran a donation drive to collect materials for the homeless of Washington, D.C. and Northern VA. Over 2,000 items were donated https://themindofaaron.blog/2018/11/29/our-initiatives/. My wife and I try our best to be generous when leaving tips, and helping others. We are currently looking into volunteering with the suicide hotline by receiving calls.
- I am Chair of the “IAD South Safety Committee”. The committee is responsible for managing projects oriented toward improving workplace safety and safety awareness in 14+ AWS Data Centers. In my role as Chair, I am responsible for leading safety advocates in the planning and coordination of safety projects, corresponding safety metrics and deliverables with the Senior Manager of Operations, and leading monthly safety committee meetings.
- Myself and a coworker manage a continuous homeless assistance program in more than 60 AWS data centers and corporate sites, called the IAD Homeless Elevation Program (IHELP).
Why the Blog?
This blog was created to share ideas on any given topic of interest, and to act as a database of my thoughts and actions in life, so that my children may read about and know their father through this blog, in the unlikely and unfortunate case that I were to pass before telling them my thoughts and stories.
Any and all perspectives offered are prone to revision given the presentation of sufficient reliable contrary evidence. My thoughts are simply the consequence of a specific natural human brain processing internally stored data and environmental stimuli, including certain bits of mankind’s collective idea bubble. This blog features my thoughts on certain personal, social, and scientific topics, an account of my brushes with death and notable injuries, interesting dreams I’ve had, audio of classical musical compositions and rap songs I have created, and even some poetry. I may post videos at some point.
Check out my LinkedIn Profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-cooper-1625a3143/
Enjoy exploring this labrynth of thought, and comments are encouraged!
Q&A and Interesting Facts
Q: What are your political views?
A: I am a relative centrist who leans libertarian.
Q: What are your future ambitions?
A: Short term: Work persistently hard to maximize my productivity in task completion, project management, and the gaining of technical knowledge, for the purpose of improving myself as a professional and as an individual. Long term: I am considering going into the field of Aerospace Engineering. In addition, I’d like to be an inventor of sorts, consistent with my degree program. See my post “How I Level Up” https://themindofaaron.blog/2017/09/12/quick-personal-motivation/ to get an idea of how I progress toward my ambitions. I become a burden to that which opposes my forward progression. Thus, I obliterate my obstacles.
Q: Favorite Musical?
A: Hamilton, written about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Favorite line: “Just like my country I’m young, scrappy, and hungry!”
Q: Favorite Disney Movie?
A: Moana. I have 2 daughters, what else would it be? And I’m only crying for the emotional support of my girls…leave me alone.
Q: Are you religious?
A: I do not subscribe to any religion, but I regard myself as spiritual in a non-metaphysical way. See my post on the origins of religion (https://themindofaaron.blog/2017/08/30/on-the-origins-of-religion/) which I am writing a short book in favor of, and my take on spirituality (https://themindofaaron.blog/2017/09/05/am-i-spiritual/) to learn more.
Q: Eye Color?
A: Deep Brown.
A: I am the youngest of 4.
Q: Any pets
A: Two dogs (lab mix and pitbull), but I’m still having an internal debate over whether or not owning another species of animal may be considered immoral, similar in effect to slavery. Although, morality most of the time applies strictly within intraspecies contexts.
Q: Mountains, or the beach?
A: Mountains all day long.
Q: Favorite genre of music?
A: Jazz……for some light-mooded fun or deeply rich, warm, golden tones. Rap to put myself in a state of alpha-male embodiment. Classical to feel sophisticated. New-age meditation music to induce a greater feeling of oneness and “flow”. Metal to induce or compliment a state of adrenaline such as during weightlifting or hard physical labor. Music like that produced by “Rising Appalachia” (included in this personal playlist of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVQgYIWjViE&list=PLcLTH-jXklCpsB5-bEehSJJAGDoXRmXjj&index=3) to relax, and remind me of my home and family. In conclusion, each is useful for different purposes, and I prefer no particular genre of music over any other as a default, though I may gravitate toward specific genres depending on the current flow of my life (order vs chaos balance), and general emotional states. See my music page (https://themindofaaron.blog/music/) to listen to some tunes I’ve written, and a blog post (https://themindofaaron.blog/2017/08/29/first-blog-post/) to read my views on music with regard to human psychology.
Q: What are your views on substance legislation? Weed, LSD, etc.
A: The libertarian in me prompts me to not care what individuals do on their own property, so long as they are not affecting another against their will. I honestly don’t care one bit if they are smoking weed, eating psilocybin mushrooms, taking LSD or MDMA, etc. I will be writing a more detailed and evidence-based blog post on this issue, but the only issue I foresee is if a substance (injested, etc) causes a person to take harmful actions against others and is shown to do this to a significant degree, or has highly addictive properties, such as opiates, which may be said to strip the individual of their own free will over the (injestion, etc) of the substance. In such cases, legislation is reasonable. Legislation of sale, I think, is certainly reasonable, to ensure only the purest and cleanest sources of the substances are sold, but to not make it exceedingly difficult to apply for the sale of such substances. Age restriction, public intoxication, motor operation, and other such regulations which apply to alcohol should apply to any substance which shifts one’s judgement, or ability to reason or operate machinery, to a significant degree. But for someone to be relaxing at home, taking a walk, or hanging out with friends to desire to simply relax, or to have a life altering experience such as many report with things like LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, is a perfectly acceptable intention. “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.” -Terence McKenna. The first change, I believe, that should be made is loosening regulation on substances such as those mentioned above for the purpose of careful and thorough scientific testing. I truly believe those substances named above in particular possess great potential for helping to fix societal issues such as depression, PTSD, feelings of futility, ect. I want humans to live the most fulfilling lives possible, and believe this to be an important next step in leveling up our quality of life.
Q: Interesting fact #1
A: As briefly mentioned above, I was named “Pi King” in middle school and featured in a local newspaper for memorizing the first 101 digits of pi. I achieved this in a short period of time by treating the numbers like musical tones and rhythms, memorizing in groups of 10, denoting a unique melody per each group of numbers. I can still recite all 101 digits on command: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679. As seen below, it was reported that I memorized 156 digits. Either this was misreported, or I don’t remember that I had memorized so many.
Q: Interesting fact #2
A: I grew up believing I had the right to feel sorry for myself. Once my girlfriend of the time told me to stop feeling sorry for myself, it stung for a short period of time before I promptly grew up. I was no longer a victim of circumstance, but a controlling agent of my destiny. I married her a few years later.
Q: Interesting fact #3
A: I find it exceptionally difficult to grow a full beard, and it bugs me far more than most probably think it should.
Q: Interesting fact #4
A: I hold many certifications, including Medium Voltage Switchgear Operator (34.5kV), Global Critical Switcher with AWS, First Aid/CPR/AED, OSHA 30 Construction Safety and Health, NFPA 70E Low Voltage Qualified, certified to operate Forklifts and Aerial Work Platforms, certified Rigger and Signalman, and certified to operate a Technical Assistance Center. Soon to include EPA Universal Refrigerant Certification (CFC) possibly a certification in C++ programming, and hopefully Firefighter 1 & 2 and EMT certifications.
Q: Interesting fact #5
A: I have been in an emergency situation in which my First Aid/CPR/AED training proved to be useful. It involved assisting a heavily injured (though conscious), drunk, speeding, texting, driving without a seat belt young gentleman who crushed his car like a soda can.
Q: Interesting fact #6
A: I once hiked the entire 9 mile Old Rag Mountain trail in Shenandoah National Park barefoot, to the 3,284″ elevation summit, just for the hell of it (https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/old-rag-hike-prep.htm). To quote the National Park Service, “Old Rag is Shenandoah’s most popular and most dangerous hike. The number of blogs and websites about this hike attests to its popularity. The number of search and rescue missions each year attests to its danger.”