About Me

I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Jerusalem, Israel (where I currently live) in 2015.

Some of my first memories are of publishing a family newsletter - The Daniel Times - on an old digital typewriter. It claimed a circulation of one. Other fond memories are of making stop-motion animation videos with a LEGO camera.

I've moved country, gotten married, and 25 years have passed, but my favorite afternoons still involve getting lost in creative pursuits.

My outlets have shifted a bit over the years as I try out new formats: my first creative love is still writing; but latterly I've become interested in videography; and right now I'm exploring how to use visual communication and AI-assisted animation to bring the story of impact investing to life (my efforts are faltering and amateurish but such is the way of learning!).

My career: I've worked in conventional jobs, remote jobs, and spent a few years doing consultancy work. The product of these experiences has been the belief that remote, hybrid, and flexible employment arrangements are the future (although I think 'we' - society - need to think more carefully about how to create community for remote workers).

I love technology and most of my career (to date) has involved working with technology companies. Sectors I've worked in or with have included IoT, cybersecurity and backup and recovery (probably the projects I enjoyed the most. I'm a self-described backup fiend!)

I'm currently working in the non-profit sector supporting an individual and a non-profit to further their storytelling. While the context changes, the challenge of effective communications remains the same. I enjoy the varied landscape. I try to evolve as I pass through.

Speaking of communications: By dint of keeping a blog and YouTube channel going for a few years, I've shared a few thoughts, and picked up the occasional subscriber who, in turn, think of me as different things.

To my tech channel subscribers I guess I'm "the guy who talks about Linux and optical media"; to my YouTube subscribers I blog about Israel; to people who follow me on Twitter, I'm "the guy who goes off now and again about Israel and Ireland". None of those identities really define me.
So what does?

Let me do what us pessimists are always begrudgingly asked to do and start out with the positive (I'm not really that pessimistic):

I care deeply about Israel but primarily on the pragmatic level that I think tends to receive short shrift (permanently) from policymakers.

Like many, I'm enormously proud of Israel's successes but think that we have enormous work to do in ensuring that Israel's huge socioeconomic progress doesn't become a serious threat to its future.

I tend to connect more about Israel with other people who live here (including Israelis) than with passionate supporters who don't.

Sometimes I think of Israel as a big building site (it helps that building sites are literally everywhere here!). Others like the metaphor that Israel itself is a startup (as well as a famous incubator of many of them). Whichever motif resonates the most with you, if you like either, we're on the same page: Making the Jewish State function is an enormous project. I'm just a tiny cog in the system trying to make as big a contribution as I can. More than anything, that's what gets me excited to wake up every morning

As an accidental Jerusalemite (another days' story), I'm particularly passionate about the future of Israel's capital city - somewhere I never imagined I would have the fortune of living in.

But loving Jerusalem, I believe, doesn't mean being blind to its challenges (and yes, its deficiencies).

For one, I would love to see some real focus put into job creation and improving the quality of life of its residents (to the religious, Jerusalem is a timeless symbol of faith. To those who call it home, it's many different things. Including a city with the highest per-capita density of stray cats in the world!).

At the national level, widening inequalities, the cost of living, and the failure of successive governments to prioritise affordable housing are all subjects that get me thinking (and yes, sometimes, aggravated). These are subjects that I look forward to delving far deeper into over coming years.

As one of relatively few Irish Jews in the world I've also used my (albeit small) platforms to highlight the growing acceptance of antisemitism in Ireland (post October 7th this has become a subject of global enquiry, but it's a dynamic that long predates that horrible day).

Irish antisemitism gets under my skin not because I grew up Jewish in Ireland (an uncommon experience), but because it's a particularly pernicious phenomenon that tends to come packaged in mountains of gaslighting which tends to culminate in the flabbergasting insistence that there is no antisemitism in Ireland (full stop).

Needless to say: not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. There are plenty of Irish citizens who feel disenfranchised (many quietly so) by the relentlessly hostile stance of their government towards mine.

But modern Ireland has evolved to be an alarming illustration of the kind of persecutory intellectual climate that can take hold when one narrative is systematically excluded - and when frank antisemitism is left to go unchallenged simply because nobody has the courage to call it out. Although not new, this phenomenon is ugly and troubling. And while I have fond memories of growing up there, while official Ireland remains steadfast in its determination to harm the State of Israel at every possible level, I have little desire to visit.

Better things:

My life was changed for the better a few years ago (enormously so, in fact) by being diagnosed with inattentive ADHD, mild depression, and starting medication for both (you always knew I was messed up, I hear you say..).

Consuming prodigious quantities of caffeine got me through the first 30 years of my life fairly well but I always had the niggling feeling that I was self-medicating something like ... the lack of a neurotransmitter. Being a productive member of society has become unimaginably easier by switching over to real medications that work reliably.

Like lots of people whose life has been shaped in some way by neurodivergence, I'm a huge advocate for better access to treatment (especially for adult ADHD) and for the breaking of stigmas, which is why I'm adding this paragraph or two. A voice in my head (not a literal one!) tells me not to share this part of my story. But why go half way in telling it?

For this reason, I'll sometimes raise my voice to stand up for evidence-based medicine and some of the wonderful things it has done because far few people do so. Drugs like SSRIs aren't perfect but have likely saved countless lives. Oh, and it would be really great if getting ADHD prescriptions filled didn't feel like facing a monthly inquisition. These drugs deserve a little appreciation and respect (I think!)

All these serious things aside, I'm a pretty normal person who does pretty normal things with my time. I have a very sarcastic sense of humor that probably rarely comes across in what I write on the internet

I like travelling in Israel and out of it. But lately (with a war going on) life has been a bit different. So I've swapped sojourns into Europe on Wizz Air for the simpler and more local pleasure of sitting in a bar once a week to drink Guinness and discuss politics (in Hebrew, this is colloquially called holding a 'parliament'; the longer one lives here, the more one appreciates that Israeli society is essentially one never-ending 'parliament'.)

Movies and TV? I love documentaries and have a couple of ideas for ones of my own that I'd love to produce one day.

I think that theater of the absurd was among the high points of literature and used to force my wife to sit through Waiting for Godot at least once a year. I think it captures the zeitgeist of our current era perfectly (unintentionally). I have lots of career ambitions many of which remain unfulfilled but I'm finally mature enough to realise that none matter as much as the goal of being content.

What else did you probably not want to know about me?

I love learning and am currently really enjoying digging into data visualisation. I'm not a "numbers guy", but I love stories and analysis. Finding the narratives that lie behind troves of digits and columns is an exercise that I find engrossing.

Other run-of-the-mill geeky hobbies include things like building computers and home automation. I enjoy technology mostly because it allows me to create things like websites and videos (and home automation is undeniably great. I have a "late night beer drinking" automation that turns on a lighting preset, music, and the television. To trigger it, I move my phone over an NFC tag on the couch. If this isn't the epitome of technology, please tell me what is?)

I also love Indian and Ethiopian food and am finally getting around to learning the drums which is something I've wanted to do for years. I won't get into music but will say that relying on coffee to function for years has given me an unfortunate liking for high-tempo EDM.

Life is busy at the moment and I'm pretty sure my YouTube subscribers think I've fallen off the face of the earth (I just haven't had time to work on the channel. This is usually a good thing!).

Finally, religion - because when I have Zoom calls with random people they're usually intrigued as to how I got from Ireland to Israel and "eh... I'm Jewish and thought it was the place to be" is kind of a weird answer in professional contexts (I've had a longstanding to troll a conversation by claiming that God personally told me to move here but have concluded that while my colleagues think I'm at least someone sane that it's probably a bad idea).

My relationship with religion is fluctuating (whose isn't to some extent?). I'm a believer (I mean ... you typically are when you move to Israel).

But spirituality resonates a bit deeper with me than ritualistic observance.

In religion as in just about everything else in life, I hate labelling and the tendency to reduce people's entire philosophy on G-d to a simple pidgeon-hole. I'm still very much figuring out my place in the world - the rich tapestry of religion included.

I love meeting people who defy stereotypes. Of all places to bump into them, Jerusalem is above batting average, I reckon.

I've met Franciscan monks who make a secret habit of going to sing karaeoke (in the garb of the common man). And Shabbat-observant Jews who have told me very seriously about how they perfected the art of using a cannabis vape in a manner that doesn't violate the strictures of the Torah.

Life is good and fun (right now probably more than ever). Assuming that I merit to stick around this place called Earth for at least a little while longer, I'm excited to see what new adventures it brings.

That's all I've got for now.

If you'd like to follow my journey through life (or just keep up to date with some of my open source projects), please see the 'links' page for my profiles.

© 2024 Daniel Rosehill
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