About me

What's up with this website?

Well, modern websites are kinda boring with their static looking contents, flat designs, pastel colors and simplistic graphics. Aren't you kinda tired of them? Well I am, that's why this site is inspired on the Web 1.0.

I feel that in the 90's and early 2000's the internet had a lot more personality, especially with services like Geocities. Having your own websites felt a lot more accessible, so ordinary people would have their own and those websites would reflect their personality.

Now people have social media accounts which all look the same aside from the profile pictures and the banner on the top.

I also feel the internet was a lot less toxic in that time period because updating your website required a bit more effort and people would generally focus on the stuff they like.

Social media doesn't give you time to think about what you're gonna post, so it tends to be a lot more toxic.

With that in mind, make sure to try this website out on your retro computer running an old browser such as Netscape 4. I built a mode that is 100% compatible with them.

Anyway, who is this guy and why should I care?

Hi, I'm Eric Mackrodt and I can't tell you why you should care, that's up to you, but here are a few things about me.

MEEEE!

I was born in Brazil in 1988 and I lived there until 2015, when I moved to Australia, where I currently live.

I am also a German citizen because of my grandpa but I don't speak any German and I've never lived there. I have been there twice though, and I love that country.

I have been into technology since I was a kid, I used to disassemble anything I could like TVs, radios, computers and so on.

Growing up we didn't have much money so a lot of the time I would get electronics stuff handed down from my uncles and aunties and if they weren't working well, I would just take them apart.

Because of being relatively poor, there were loads of things that I wanted to have and play with but couldn't.

A few examples were Laptops, Gameboys, Handheld PCs and so on.

Now that I have some disposable income, I am going back and buying those things so I can finally experience them for the first time and I'm also playing with stuff that brings me nostalgia, like retro videogames, retro computers and other stuff that I or my cousins/friends owned, and I played a lot with.

I started The Eric Experiment channel on YouTube, so I can share those things with the world.

Admittedly I am pretty bad at having a consistent upload schedule, especially because I have to work on my channel and my day job.

I am a software engineer and I have been working in the field for 11 years (2021).

Programming is one of the coolest things you can do. You can literally create something amazing by typing on your computer keyboard.

That's why I see programming as more of an art than a science.

I don't know however if I'm going to keep working with it professionally for the rest of my life because there are certain aspects of the corporate world that turn me off.

But I can say for sure that I'll probably keep programming to some capacity for the rest of my life because that's a really cool skill to have if you are a tinkerer.

Another thing I love is music, I grew up listening to Rock of all types (classic, prog, metal and so on) and being in a very artistically minded family I ended up picking up the bass and eventually the guitar and the drums to play.

Now, even though I've been playing guitar and bass for about 15 years, I've always done it for fun and have never been that dedicated to doing exercises and formal classes, therefore I'm not really that skilled in those instruments, but I play enough to enjoy it and record some music, you can check out my SoundCloud

My girlfriend got me an electronic drumkit for my birthday last year (2020) and I started playing that. Again, not a great player but I can play enough to have some fun.

In terms of my personality, I am a fairly agreeable person and I joke a lot, I tend to get along well with everyone, and I can be extroverted.

That's not to say that I'm great at social situations, I do struggle a lot with dealing with large groups of people, especially if I don't know them very well or at all.

I'm the kind of person who gets exhausted if I'm in social situations for too long and I eventually need to go home and hide.

It doesn't help that I struggle with depression as well and that makes it harder to deal with those things as well as getting motivation to work on my projects, day job and so on.

Now, I don't want to be a bummer, but I think it's important to talk about those things openly because a lot of people suffer with mental health issues, and they aren't aware that there are people around them that have the same issues.

The funny thing about depression is that people think it manifests itself as sadness. That can be the case, but that's not true for everyone.

I'm not necessarily a sad person, I'm loud, I joke, and I can have fun. To me it manifests as more of a sense of constant dread and heaviness in my head. When it's really bad it can cause me to be angry, unsatisfied and at its worst completely apathetic.

It might not necessarily be sadness, but it certainly causes you not to enjoy things and not feel the energy to do things that would be fun otherwise.

It can also cause you to have a lot of difficulty having self-control, which in my case manifests as me being fat, I'm technically obese and being obese doesn't help with the mental health issues.

Wow, this got really serious huh?

Animals! I really like animals!

I currently have 3 cats:

Maddy (aka The Boy):

The Boy

This guy is the most lovable asshole in the world, he is really scared of people who he doesn't know, and he hides as soon as someone enters the house, but once he trusts you, you can do whatever to him.

He's a big guy and he has a bald belly which results in some really funny photos.

The Boy

Mercedes (aka Merkees, Merbees, Merbiderbders, Mer Mer):

Merbees

This old girl lived with my girlfriend since she was 2 years old, she didn't do really well in previous foster homes, and she used to overgroom a lot. My girlfriend initially got her to foster for a few weeks, but it was the first time she felt comfortable and stopped overgrooming and my girlfriend ended up adopting her.

Mercedes was hilarious, she wasn't the smartest tool in the shed, and she would get annoyed easily if you try to pick her up or play with her a lot, but she could be very loving when she wanted to, she would jump on your lap, give you headbutts, lie down on you and so on.

She also loved to explore the outside world, she would love when we took her out to the park.

Both Maddy and Mercedes were my girlfriend's cats before she moved in, but recently we adopted another cat.

Maple (aka mini girl):

Maple

This one is still a bit of a question mark in terms of personality because she's pretty much still a kitten.

She is hilarious, running around the house cause mischief.

She loves to suckle on blankets that we're using to cover ourselves, which makes us think she was removed from her mom too early. I don't know if this is a behavior, she's going to carry for the rest of her life.

She can be a bit of a nightmare with food, she meows really loudly and constantly when it's time to eat.

These are my current pets, and you might be thinking: Oh, he's a cat person, he probably hates dogs.

No, I love both cats and dogs equally, they are different animals, and they are both amazing in their own ways.

This is Manuela, my childhood dog:

Manuela

I had her from when I was 4 up until I was 18 when she sadly died.

She was an amazing dog, a very loving creature. She's pretty much the iconic mixed breed dog that we have in Brazil.

When she was a puppy, she was very naughty, she would steal food and stuff but as she grew up, she became a calm and loving dog.

She died 15 years ago (circa 2006) but I still have dreams that she's around every now and then.

In 2010 we adopted this guy:

Walter

His name was Walter, and he was a mixed breed dog as well, but he had some Greyhound in him.

We used to live with him in an apartment and we'd take him for a walk twice a day and he would always wait for his walks to "go to the toilet".

It was hilarious because as soon as we got downstairs in our building's parking lot, we'd release him from his leash and he would bolt, he ran so fast, just like a Greyhound.

Sadly he recently died, it was very sudden.

He's was really happy and loving guy, I miss him a lot.

Another guy I miss a lot is my cat Sheep.

Sheep

Yes, his name was Sheep because of the Sheep in the big city cartoon.

Big City

We got him in 2001 and he was a great boy, he was very loving, but he had some rough periods. Around 2006 he became a very angry and irritable cat and I think it's because he didn't like the place we lived in around that time period as well as some family issues we were having.

After we moved out from that place, he went back to being a very loving guy.

He died from cancer, he had a big Tumor on his chest that became exposed twice which required surgery.

He eventually couldn't handle it anymore and he died a few months after I moved to Australia in 2016.

When I left Brazil, we had 7 cats. Both Sheep and Emily died since I moved to Australia, but the other 5 (Dudinha, Pitica, Lolita, Pepe and Mia) are still there rocking.

There were many other pets in my life that came and went, some of them with really sad stories, but I'll save those for another time.

Eric, if you like animals so much why do you still eat meat, do you think Cows are lesser than dogs and cats?

No, I don't, cows are awesome, chickens are fascinating, all animals are great.

But yeah, I do eat meat and honestly, it's mostly out of weakness, I love meat and it's really hard for me to avoid it.

I get and agree with all of the arguments from Vegetarians and Vegans, and I wish I had the willpower to be one. But I don't.

Because of that I respect and don't judge cultures that eat dogs and other animals that we consider pets, because in the end of the day, it's the same as me eating a chicken or a cow.

For a lot of Indians, for example, it's absurd that we eat cows, the same way that for westerners it's crazy that some people in China eat dogs.

In the end of the day each culture has a definition of what is a pet animal and a food animal and in ideal world we wouldn't cause suffering to any of them anymore.

I can't wait for the day that artificial meat becomes readily available, if it's the same taste and texture as animal meat, I'll be the first one to jump in that bandwagon.

But everything I said above are things that are common in our society to describe a person, but I think saying definitely what makes you... you is a lot harder to do than that.

How can you actually define who someone actually is, what does define me? What makes me, you know, me?

That's a question that is really hard to answer.

Is it your sexuality, gender, ethnicity or nationality?

I don't think so because there are many people who have those exact same characteristics.

Is it our physical body?

I don't think so. This is a bit like the Ship of Theseus because humans replace all of their cells every 7 years or so, so I have no cells in my body that were there where I was 18.

Is me the things I like? No, because there are probably hundreds or thousands of people who enjoy the exact same things I do.

Is Eric my personality, the way I behave and the way I feel?

We're probably getting closer here, but there are again hundreds or thousands of people with similar personalities and behaviors.

Some people would say that you are your memories and I think that's closer to it but at the same time I'm 33 now and when I was 18, I hadn't had many of the experiences I've so far therefore I have a lot more memories than I had then.

But that means that 33-year-old me isn't the same person as 18-year-old me.

And what if I got amnesia for the rest of my life and I didn't remember ANYTHING from my life before that?

Is that still me or is that a different person?

Or what if I have serious Dementia, Alzheimer or something else when you get old? Is that still me or am I gone at that point?

And what if I got cloned right now, would the second Eric be me as well? Definitely not after with had our first experience from different perspectives after the cloning, but could you argue that as soon as the second Eric appeared we are both the same person for a few milliseconds until our brain can register the stimuli coming from the outside world?

Like, if I got teleported and the process for teleporting was me being destroyed on one side and being perfectly reconstructed on the other side. Is that person on the other side still me or is that someone else and I did just die when you entered the teleporting machine?

Or, what if my mind was uploaded to a computer as I was dying, would that uploaded me still be me?

What about the parts of my personality that are tied to my DNA and stuff? Even if those things were emulated on the computer, would that still be me?

Is it even possible define who a person really is?

I don't know, I can't answer any of those questions and it's probably a mix of all of the above.

And this ended up becoming more of me pouring my thoughts out.

Well, I guess those crazy thoughts also kind of define who I am as well... so...

Anyway, if you read this whole thing... I'm so sorry, but at the same time, thank you!