I call this the SOAR blog, to stand for the “Strange Obsessions of Alan Reiner.” This is not only a convenient acronym, but appropriately captures the way I explore new things: obsessively, until I fail or conquer them. And many such obsessions are based around strange or unusual things, sometimes because not many people are exploring it and I want more information. Or sometimes because I just like exploring new ideas, and I don’t like to stop until I have mastered it.
I am a mathematician and software developer. I am a highly analytical person who enjoys solving tough problems, building cool things, and obsessing over things I find fascinating. This is how Armory Technologies Inc. was started: I mined some Bitcoins and wasn’t satisfied with existing software for protecting them. So I wrote a desktop wallet application in my free time called “Armory” which solved my security and usability problems. Predictably, other people found this software valuable, and I received investment money in 2013 to try to build a business around it. Armory is in my past at this point, but it was born out of this need to conquer things.
I love programming, and am particularly interested in pattern recognition and machine learning algorithms. I have used it to play online poker, and evaluate creditworthiness of borrowers on LendingClub.com. I have a 3D-printer, and I am always trying to find problems to solve with it (I post all my designs on the Thingiverse). I also love learning about different ways to use or improve your body. My latest obsessions are Wim Hof (Iceman) meditation the Fasting-Mimicking Diet (FMD) and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). And these are just want’s on my mind right now — over time there’s likely to be a really strange assortment of things posted here!