about

Shane Alexander Sevy

These sites are created by that one weird redheaded guy from Ohio, as you may have noticed. I’ll take a moment here to talk a bit about myself, just in case someone out there wants to stalk me.

My favorite season is spring, but my favorite weather is a calm gray winter sky with notable snow accumulation. Some other random things that I like include: wooded plants that flower (e.g. sakura, ajisai/hydrangea), aluminum (aluminium), melamine (a thermosetting plastic resin used to manufacture brightly-colorful dishes and countertop surfaces, among other things), polyethylene (a thermoplastic, processed from previously-worthless petroleum refining byproducts by Earl Silas Tupper, an employee of Dupont), and devices that are designed by competent people that are not trying to force their values on me.

I tend to be a natural collector. The objects in which I tend to have an interest usually fall into the following three categories: “communications equipment” (electronic and electrical devices), “things a school would have owned” (despite the fact that I would not now send my young children to the public school), and “Japanese culture” (often junk-culture). For example, clock systems and PA systems fit into both of the former two groups; and modern (mid-century western) architecture and manga often fits into some version of both of the latter two groups. (When I was in college, my style of “interior decorating” was once described as “mid-century middle school”. This is a fact.) The electromechanical chime instruments previously used in Japanese schools are the only single unique type of item (that I know about) that fits firmly into all three groups, hence why I would really like to have one of those.

Otherwise, I have strong interests in independence and self-sufficiency. I will someday own and maintain a self-sufficient homestead that I will have designed and built with my own hands.

I prefer to disregard (not own or use) equipment that I cannot fix myself. I believe that most people these days suffer from what I call “Professional Reliance Syndrome” (PRS), an unfortunately expensive and inconvenient condition that tends to progressively degrade knowledge acquisition and retention, turning its victims into helpless idiots (consumers, or “sheep”).

Politically, I am a “libertarian anarcho-capitalist” (or “ancap” for short). What this means, in short, is that I believe in the ultimate importance of personal freedom, personal responsibility, and individual ownership of private property—that is, freedom from government control, freedom from having outsiders’ problems forced on me, and freedom from being forced to buy/own or not to own something. I have, actually, just described what it is like to be on the far-“right” side of these things. I believe that what anyone else does behind their closed doors is their own business and not something for me to be concerned about. Any issues involving money or business should be determined by the free-market. Any issues not covered by the previous statements will at least be under the following belief: “the government shall not be involved in that.”

All the above said, I tend to be against the following ideas: socialism and all politically “left” (collectivist, or government-centered rather than individual-centered) ideas, consumerism (especially the idea that a manufactured object is not expected to last forever, see “planned obsolescence”) and other forms of wastefulness, anything that puts me in a position to do busy-work (especially for someone else), and anything else that constitutes destructiveness or ugliness (as defined by me). My standard of aesthetic beauty, however, is often (but not always) at-odds with what people are told they are supposed to like nowadays.

Note that, since I consider consumerism to be negative, anyone who dares to refer to me as a “consumer” had best be prepared to not enjoy access to my money, as I consider that term to be highly offensive. A customer is a “customer”. Why people are not visibly angry about being called such an offensive word by their so-called leaders is entirely incomprehensible to me.

Those who are paying attention will notice that I have claimed to like Japanese culture but dislike collectivism, a seeming contradiction. I think there are many useful points in Japanese culture—points that I freely rip-off and incorporate into my own life as I see fit. I think that the traditional version of that society is a good example of how collectivism can actually work, but it was ruined by an influx of western ideas (in order for collectivism to work, everyone has to willingly follow the same rules and take care of everyone else). The idea of collectivism (as with organized-religion) falls under the category of things that are fine for people who want to be involved, so long as nobody tries to force it on me. And it simply won’t work if you try to force it on reasonably intelligent unwilling persons, as those people like me will ruin the system.

I have been accused of having Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of high-functioning autism, which is apparently no longer used as a diagnosis). I can rather see that in myself; except that I do not consider myself to have poor physical coordination (I do enjoy soldering and such, after all, and I only dislike sports because it feels like busy-work to me), I rather enjoy writing fiction, and my groups of interests are not as narrow as these incomplete little nonfiction sites may lead one to believe. Nonetheless, just for fun, I took the autism-spectrum quizzes that are commonly available online. Results: Autism-Spectrum Quotient 37 out of 50 (where 32 is the upper threshold of normal); Aspie quiz 149 (AS) and 52 (NT/normal) out of 200 each (unsure of the thresholds, but I assume a normal commoner would have an oppositely-balanced ratio). Not too bad. That second one is rather fun to take and so I recommend it (grab the pdf at the end).

As I believe that all individual humans are necessarily unique, I also find that the “science” of psychology is fundamentally flawed, being based on the idea of a “normal” model personality range in which everyone is expected to fall (or else!). Therefore, I consider psychological terms to be in the same category as popular astrology (zodiac signs) and blood-type personality descriptions. These descriptions are, however, useful for cursory introductions—or designing fictional characters—but are always to be considered fundamentally inaccurate.

I will now additionally identify as follows: Pisces (same birthday as Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel—and we were both looking at Standard clocks in high school, apparently) and type-AB (personality, not medical).

There; I have now done enough editorializing about myself to last a lifetime.


桜米学園

Oubei Gakuen (私立桜米学園; lit. Oubei Private Academy) is the official name that I gave my private residence. It is not currently tied to a permanent piece of land, but someday will be.

The “oubei” in Oubei Gakuen is written with the kanji meaning “sakura” and “America” (with this reading; otherwise means “rice”). The Japanese-language dictionary word “oubei” (欧米), with the first kanji “Europe”, means “the west” (as though we’re all one country!). This is intended as a pun, a bad one.

In Japan, sakura (cherry blossoms) is associated with the season of spring, and represents a fresh start and the constant impermanence of life. Also very common in the names of fictional schools. Now, while I do especially like sakura trees, I prefer more of a sense of permanence about things in reality; so my usage of sakura in the name is somewhat ironic.

The word “gakuen” (学園) can mean “academy” (institution, name) and/or “campus” (place, noun). In a school name, it often signifies an institution that is spread out over an impressively large campus, rather than contained in one building or small area.

In so many words: I’m so weird that I named my residence in the style of a school—a Japanese school, even. But it’s just “Oubei Gakuen” in English; don’t say the translated version!

Also, the official Oubei Gakuen logo (sakura-maru) that I tend to stick everywhere is a rendition of a standard Japanese mon called “maru ni neji yamazakura” (丸に捻じ山桜; lit. spiraled wild-sakura, encircled). Now you know what that is, stuck on the top and side of all the pages. And the official colors of Oubei Gakuen are “102-blue” (000066 in hex RGB; otherwise navy-blue), “sakura-pink”, and bright-white.


ihbusboy

I am sometimes known under my old (possibly first ever) username, ihbusboy—specifically referencing the classic International Harvester Loadstar series of medium-duty trucks (1962-78), which includes school bus chassis models (the name icon logo appearing on the side of the pages on these sites features a Loadstar with a Blue Bird coach from a 1970 IH brochure, by the way). I came up with this circa-1999, as a junior-high student.


contact Shane

I may be contacted through regular email <ihbusboy@gmail.com> (preferred), or my YouTube channel or facebook profile (note that my personality has not fit-in with the overall tone of facebook for some number of years, and so I may decide to disappear that profile at any time).