Hair Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Red
Computing Platform of Choice: Mac + iOS in the Home/Office, Linux in the Cloud
Favorite Band: Tangerine Dream
Favorite Movie: It’s a tie… Back to the Future + The Matrix
Favorite City: Portland, OR
Favorite Coffee: Case Study in Portland, Taylor Maid in Sebastopol, CA
Favorite Programming Language: Ruby
Religious Views: Hipster Jesus 🤓✝️
Political Party: Independent 🇺🇸
Preferred Internet Policy: Open, Free, Neutral
Weird Skill: Can play the Scottish Border Bagpipes
Favorite Activity: Hiking through the great Pacific Northwest!
I’m Jared White, and this is my website on the internet. I write about topics that I care about and believe are important. I try to bring my authentic voice every time I set out to type, and I strive to share a viewpoint that gets you thinking and inspired to dig deeper.
What are some of the topics I write about? Generally you’ll see me covering:
- The Open Web and the Future of News and Social Media
- Geek Culture
- Apple Devices & Ecosystem
- Mindfulness & Spirituality
- The Politics of American Evangelical Christianity
- Creative Computing Tools
- Obscure 19th-Century Realist Art
- Anything else that strikes my fancy
- And yes, I have a tag cloud
My tagline says that I’m a writer, musician, open web advocate, programmer, designer, sci-fi nerd, and family man. Let’s unpack that a bit, shall we?
When I first arrived on the internet in 1994, it wasn’t very long before I discovered that anyone could create their own website. All you needed were some HTML skills and the ability to conjure up a few decent image files for backgrounds or logos. And so in 1996 I created my first website, Jared White’s Internet Review, which featured reviews of cool things I found on the internet. (Essentially what everybody was doing back then!) After a while the site was redesigned and renamed iReview, and I also wrote for several other tech publications in the late 90s (most notably MyDesktop and Paul Thurrott’s Internet Nexus).
After some time passed I shut down iReview and focused on my burgeoning career as a web designer and software developer. But throughout the 2000s, I always had some sort of blog up and running, writing about tech, design, or spirituality topics. (What a surprise!)
The funny thing is it wasn’t until around 2012—just a few short years ago—that I came to the realization that I am a Writer with a capital W. You see, I had always considered my “calling” to be in music, and my “profession” to be in the software space, but writing was just something I did because…well, that’s what everybody online did. Except I finally realized that assumption was faulty—lots of people don’t write frequently, don’t have blogs, don’t try to communicate with an audience of readers on a regular basis. In other words, writing and publishing online felt so natural to me, I didn’t realize it was actually a valuable skill!
Fast forward to 2018 and the time has come to take the next step in my writing journey. I have decided to become a professional writer. What does this mean? It means two things: (1) I am actively seeking out established publications I can write for and make real money, and (2) I am planning to launch a Patreon campaign later this spring to support my blogging here at JaredWhite.com. I am under no illusion that this will be hugely lucrative. But I’m optimistic that my writing will finally get the chance it deserves to grow into a genuine career.
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I took up piano at age 5, recorder at 10, and soon after picked up a variety of ethnic wind instruments including bagpipes.
I joined my mother’s Celtic and Early Music band Distant Oaks in 1993. I began recording professionally from the tender age of 11, and toured with the band across several states and in Scotland and Ireland from 1995 to 2005.
One of my greatest honors was to perform music at a private dinner function held at Robert Mondavi Winery. The Mondavi family themselves were present, and they along with their fellow business partners saluted us musicians, much to our amazement. And to top it all off, the staff invited us to partake of Napa-quality food and wine. Quite a classy bunch!
As part of Distant Oaks, I was fortunate to collaborate with incredibly talented musicians in the Folk and Early Music genres, including David Douglass, Cheryl Ann Fulton, Jerry O’Sullivan, Barry Phillips, Kit Higginson, Julie Jeffrey, and Shira Kammen.
After my mother passed away in 2005 and Distant Oaks disbanded, my focus graduatly shifted to electronic music production and performing on synthesizers. I recorded two albums along with my brother Shayne as Binary Sea in the late 2000s, before embarking on my solo career as Yarred.
Over the past 8 years, I’ve developed a signature sound with influences ranging from classic 80s electronic music to ambient to downtempo to progressive house. My performance style combines DJ-inspired live groove production with virtuosic keyboard playing on analog and digital synthesizers.
Visit Yarred’s website to listen to and purchase my music. Thank you for supporting indie artists!
- Yarred — Redwood Coast (2016)
- Yarred — Cross Space (2013)
- Yarred — Garden Journey (2011)
- Binary Sea — Land Ho! (2010)
- Binary Sea — Compass (2008)
- Distant Oaks — Gach Là Agus Oidhche (2003)
- Barry Phillips — Cello (2000, guest musician)
- Distant Oaks — Against the Tide (1999)
- Distant Oaks — Empty Your Heart of its Mortal Dream (1996)
- Distant Oaks — Dance to Bright Steel (1994)
Open Web Advocate
In 2010, Wired Magazine famously published an article titled The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet in which the authors describe a world where we’ve all succumbed to using proprietary apps and closed platforms to read news and communicate online, and the web itself has devolved into a dumb transport layer for all these apps. Who needs private servers, open source code, domains, URLs, or HTML? We’ll all be quite happy using Facebook and Google and The New York Times and the like for darn near everything.
Now here we are in 2018 and, thankfully, I don’t see the dying embers of a forgotten web lying around me. Quite the contrary—I see a bigger backlash against proprietary platforms and closed content networks than I have in nearly a decade! News outlets are doubling down on paywalls and establishing vital relationships with readers directly using, you guessed it, the open web…and even—gasp!—email newsletters.
As someone who came of age at the dawn of the web, and whose entire career was made possible by the open web, I am a fierce advocate for keeping the web vibrant, lively, diverse, free “as in speech”, and completely and radically open. The greatness of the web, the sheer genius of it, is it’s a content and application platform which allows anyone to join in and participate—no gatekeepers, no approval processes, no commercial stipulations. The only “limits” are what is considered legal by local/national governments. There has never been and perhaps never will be anything else like the world-wide web in human history.
As a defender of this open technology, I am staunchly in favor of net neutrality and oppose any sort of “firewalls” at any level that blocks citizens from accessing and publishing the content they desire. While I approve of web services (news outlets, apps, etc.) that charge users directly for access (either one-time or via subscription), I am strongly against the deployment of aggressive targeting and analytics scripts, and I decry any attempts to invade user privacy and compromise data integrity and security. I believe it is the fundamental right of every computer user to have access to strong encryption and exist in relative anonymity online should they so choose.
I have decided to curtail my participation in closed social networks—especially Facebook—and support the rise of open source, federated networks that use free protocols. For example, you can follow me here on Mastodon. And, of course, I encourage everyone to set up their own homepage on their own domain name—preferably on a server you control. (Psst…I can help you with that! It’s my job!)
Programmer & Designer
As a teenager in 1997, when most kids were trying to figure out how to skip class and go skateboarding, I was starting my own website design & development company.
It’s all music’s fault. Our Celtic band_Distant Oaks_ needed a website, and since I was the most adept at graphics design and general computer geekery, it seemed like a slam dunk. So I cobbled something rudimentary together, and then refined it, and refined it again…and then the inquiries started coming in. “Hey, that’s a cool-looking website. Can you build one for me? Oh, and how much do you charge?”
What? You’re going to pay me to build you a website? You’re on!
Eventually my interest in designing websites grew into an interest in building software applications, and over time I became proficient in setting up databases, spinning up Linux servers, and coding in a variety of programming languages. Over the past several years, my love of Ruby has caused me to settle on a career as a Ruby developer—utilizing the Rails framework as well as Jekyll for website publishing (including this one)—and for most of this whole time I’ve been fortunate to be able to work as a freelancer. My business is called Whitefusion.
Beyond programming, I’ve always maintained a love for graphics design and typography, so I seek out projects where I can make a difference visually as well as at the code level. And if I have the opportunity to write and edit content also, so much the better!
I never really got into comics as a kid, but I’ve always had a thing for science fiction and was a big-time Trekkie growing up. (Captain Jean-Luc Picard continues to be an influential figure in my life!) Over the past decade or so, as sci-fi has taken over the world of movies and TV shows and online streaming services have exploded, I must admit I have gotten completely sucked into this universe of superheroes and spaceships.
I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and I consider Doctor Strange to be one of my all-time favorite movies. I also love the “arrowverse” shows on The CW and am reasonably caught up on most of them. Arrow is probably still my favorite of the bunch, although newcomer Black Lightning has really been crushing it right out of the gate.
I’ve also been geeking out with the revitalization of the Star Wars franchise, and the Jedi Council show on YouTube is what introduced me to the broader world of movie news and fandom. Hardly a day goes by without me tuning into hearing the latest from John Campea.
As of this writing, Avengers: Infinity War is about to drop—the culmination of the entire MCU to date—and I am wild with anticipation. It’s a good time to be a geek.
Coming up on the 10th anniversary of when I first began to date my wife, Rosemary, I’m struck by a feeling of comfortable satisfaction in knowing how far we’ve come on this journey together. Now parents of two young children (girls) and living in a whole new part of the country from where we originally met, our lives are wild, wacky, and terrifyingly awesome. Of course, like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs. Life’s not always a bowl of cherries. But the more we strive to stay original, honest, and compassionate, the more we enjoy every moment.
Kudos for making it this far! So glad to know you share a passion for independent internet writing and culture. I always enjoy hearing from people online – that is, if you’re nice to me. 😜