It's been ages since I've gone on a forum using phpbb - brings back memories. As I can see, this is an overused thread and there is a high chance that only a small portion of the users that come here to welcome the newcomers. So much for the "He looks alright"
These comments aside, I should present myself. I will not break the pseudo-veil of anonymity of the internet and follow with vague enough info so that you get a good grasp of what I am rather than who I am.
I'm LithobatesGNU, freshman in Software Engineering at some University. That doesn't mean however that I have a lot of technical knowledge; I'm barely intermediate in a very few languages. I know:
NASM (Horribly beginner).
I'm interested in Comp Sci mainly because I believe programming and computers are everyday's tools and knowing how to use them should be part of every core curriculum. I also believe programming is marvellous in its ability to bring solutions in almost any domain be it management, economics, health, government, etc. And that is a good motivation for me. Because I want to bring change, to improve my society and our lives, and all of this starts with the right ideas and the right tools.
My goal as a programmer is to work one day in Personal AI development before we reach Rey Kurzweil's Singularity. I can't help but dream of the day where we will be able to create a sensible being that will be able to behave ethically in society and learn along with us, since this entails that we may will have succeeded in creating a universal model of ethics.
As you can see, for me there is more to hacking (in the broader meaning) than simply knowledge (or illegal political hack). And there is also more to my life than simply being a programmer.
My goals as an individual are different; I am very politicized and I want to work towards the advancement of society and humanity with the tools I have.
My interests are politics, activism, philosophy, programming, innovation, martial arts, alternative/green lifestyles, gardening.
My reasons for coming here? This place seems thrilling compared to my classrooms. I expect to learn much faster.
I'd also be interested in discussing with you guys about whatever subject you may come up with. You surely have a different worldview than mine, and it makes discussions all the more interesting. I don't expect to be very active on the forum, so if you want a chat you can PM me and I'll join you in the topic of your choice
Anyway, talked too much.
Hope to have interesting interactions with the community!