Steve Barrera's Page
Steve Barrera lives, works and plays in the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina.
Hi, my name is
Steve Barrera. Thanks for visiting this page, where you can learn all about me, as well as visit some of the other web pages I've made.
I've been living in the Triangle area of North Carolina for nearly twenty years, working as a software tester. In my spare
time I read, watch TV and movies, and play RPGs and boardgames. I also like to write, to travel and to see shows with my BFF. She lives in Philadelphia, so
I get to travel a lot.
I came to the Triangle
during ye olde dot com boom to work as a tester for a small software company. There are a lot of IT jobs here, so this area was a big draw for me.
That particular job lasted a few months before the company was swallowed up by a competitor and
the office shut down. Since then I've continued to advance my career as a software tester, sometimes working contracts,
and sometimes full-time positions.
When I'm reading, it's usually a history book, or a biography, or maybe a work of philosophy or social commentary. Netflix has sucked me
into its gravitational well and I spend an inordinate amount of time catching up on movies and TV shows. I also enjoy cooking, and gardening
when the season is right, in my happy little town house.
I love to play table top boardgames and roleplaying games, and
if you live in the area and are a game geek too you will probably run into me sooner or later. The Triangle area is great since it has so many wonderful game
stores and gaming groups.
Recently I joined a choir, because I've always loved music, and wanted to be more involved with it.
And I've started blogging again, after a ten-year hiatus.
In The Zeitgeist
My latest blog, where you can stay up to date on my adventures in these times.
My profile on Linkedin
My profile on BGG
If you'd like, you can
send me an e-mail,
or find me on facebook.
More about me
When I was a child, my father worked in the foreign service (U.S. State Department), which meant we travelled the world, and lived in
different countries as a family. I like to think that my exposure to other societies and cultures helped me to develop into a tolerant
and open-minded individual. As Mark Twain said, "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." I highly recommend to
everyone that they get out and see the world - it will help you become aware of the big picture of human existence, and to see your
own familiar milieu in a new light.
The Barreras eventually returned to the United States, and moved to Virginia, where I attended South Lakes High School in Reston. Then
I pursued a Bachelor of Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. While doing so, I participated in the University's work-study program. Another recommendation
of mine is for young students to get work experience as early as possible - you will develop skills and knowledge that you will
not pick up in an academic environment, and you will get a head start on building your resume/CV.
That being said, I did linger in Blacksburg for quite a few years after graduating. I just wasn't ready to give up the college lifestyle. No doubt
my best memories of good times come from that era of my life. But I had to move on, to make something of myself, and that's how I ended
up where I am today.
Influences on my thinking
Since sometime in the '90s I have been very interested in the generational theory of William Strauss and Neil Howe. Their
book 13th Gen really struck a chord with me.
Then I read Generations,
and before long I was an active participant on the
T4T discussion forum (now defunct - but it lives on here). For several years I had a generations blog where
I posted news stories and commentary relevant to the theory. I stopped updating the blog some time ago, but I'm keeping another site up
with my latest ruminations on generations.
Steve's Saecular Pages
My latest material based on the Strauss and Howe
Another big influence on my thinking has been the work of Amit Goswami. That started when I read
The Self-Aware Universe at the
recommendation of an old friend. The book opened my eyes to a new way of understanding the spiritual dimension
of life. Now I own most of the books Goswami has written.
Goswami uses quantum physics as a starting point to explore a consciousness-based science of
reality. As such, he reintroduces spirituality into scientific thinking. He describes a model of the world we experience
which affirms the beliefs of the perennial philosophy; there is an excellent synopsis of his theory
of the self-aware Universe here: The Self-Aware Universe Synopsis.
His ideas make sense to me in light of some of the stranger things that have happened to me in my life.
I really think there is a synergy to be found between the consciousness-based ontology described by Amit Goswami and theories of
history, sociology, and other so-called "soft sciences". The idealist paradigm of the perennial philosophy recognizes that higher-order
things like ideas, beliefs, and choices are real, whereas the materialist paradigm brushes them off as mere epiphenomena.
I also believe that acknowledging that higher orders are not mere trappings, but rather are substantial realities, helps one
to see that there is a progressive evolution in the cosmos. Life is not a meaningless struggle for existence; we really are going
somewhere. To paraphrase Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, if we can't accept that there are further stages in the development of
consciousness, then all that we've come to so far has been pointless, and the universe is absurd. But if we can believe in higher
orders yet unattained, then we can have full faith that a brighter future awaits.
More web sites I've made
Big Steve's Big Site
This is a web site where I rant about life, the universe and everything, and collect links and stuff.
A Real Live Gaming Workshop
This my web site with some game ideas - board and card game variants and PC game scenarios and add-ons.
I've made one complete but flawed text adventure game.
My original generational theory blog. It records my struggles to figure out
what was happening socially in the 2000s era.
In 2004 I had a seizure while driving,
so I wrote a sort of a blog about it.
Book and DVD Reviews
Here I have some reviews of books and DVDs, often written with a touch of social commentary.
Thanks for visiting and have a nice day!