My name is Ilya. I’m a twenty-eight year old Londonite who hearts the internet and feels for Kallio. I like sitting inside when it rains, staying up late when everyone else is asleep, cats, dogs, and people who smile — because Jesus is in their hearts! (Just kidding.)

I get headaches in the sun, can fall asleep in under a minute, and used to think fall was my favorite season. Now, I’m not so sure.

Other things

I study computer science at the University of Helsinki, and work for a tiny software company large media company am looking. I used to live in Kallio, Helsinki, with my wife and intermittent sofa-dwellers.

In autumn 2009, my wife and I both quit our jobs and moved to London. (Yeah, I know, great timing with the recession and all.)

I don’t have any pets, and I can’t decide what my favorite color is.

What is this site?

Ilya with diabolos and yes, a mullet
Me, with two diabolos
Fathom this is a weblog. But really it’s a text repository. A place to put all the little bits and ends that I obsessively create and collect. I’ve tried to organize Fathom this into multiple levels (see preferences) so that some of it would make sense to readers; this task has proven to be difficult. Categorization isn’t an easy task.

In fact, it’s so hard, that it’s one of my ongoing goals of Fathom this: to explore ways of programmatically organizing text. My basic idea is to start from a personal weblog, a format that’s not only provenly readable, it’s also highly addictive (and rewarding to write). But a weblog’s not enough: there’s so much other stuff to keep track of. Add to it personal information manager functionality, stuff like calendars, to-do lists, and contact info.

I write a lot of notes. I write them on little slips of paper like receipts. (My favorites are library check-out the receipts; they’re printed on paper that’s glossy on one side and they’re longer than grocery store receipts.) The slips of paper are perfect for jotting down a loose note or even a sentence fragment. They’re not very good to organize or store. So I usually transcribe them on a computer. Only — how to organize them there? In a flat text file? An outliner? I use both, and both have their downsides. Why not dump them into a weblog?

You get the idea: I’ve dumped a lot of junk into a database and exposed some of it on the Web.

There’s also something else I want to do with Fathom this: I want it to create new narratives. I want to cobble together a system that will “intuitively” re-organize the text, draw implicit connections, and give new context to the individual entries. I want to it to help me write new stories and to tell me stories of its own.

This may be a foolish goal. But it’s fun.

A brief note on the history of this site

Fathom this was made public in September 2003. There are, however, archives back to 2000. These are from a previous weblog/journal of mine, Too Many Things Undone. I’ve included them here for completeness’s sake.

There is quite a gap in the archives, though. Between August 2002 and the launch of Fathom this, I didn’t blog. This wasn’t a lapse in my faith of weblogs (as some have surmised), it was mostly because I busy writing on the back of receipts and other pleasantly sized scraps of papers.


There’s one site in particular that never ceases to inspire and baffle me: Paul Ford’s Ftrain. After five years of visiting, I still don’t get the architecture of the site. I love it.