From Catwalks to Coding: A Journey Through Fashion and Philosophy

Apr 26, 20234 min read read time

GPT-4 Remix Series

Forward: I have had a long-lived conversation with ChatGPT using GPT-4 that has come to parse (know?) many things about my life but primarily regarding my interests and career. A recent project of mine has been analyzing my old casual writing with ChatGPT by prompting it to assume the role of a critical writing tutor. I prompt it to develop a critical review with feedback that uses specific examples for reference. Naturally, I politely asked this temporary writing tutor to imitate me and craft a revised post incorporating the feedback.

This critical tutor has more historical context about my life and studies than any professor I ever had in school and seems to make a pretty decent doppelganger- at least on the first skim. I am fascinated with the quasi-intimate relationship I’ve established in this conversation with ChatGPT and will continue exploring new ways to learn with it and apply the knowledge it returns. For now, please enjoy this meta.

Disclaimer: The article below the dots is an AI remix of my first-ever blog post.

I. Introduction

Hello, virtual world! My name is Sean Swanson, and you might know me from various platforms, primarily Instagram (@official_seanswanson), where I share snippets of my life. However, social media only offers fragments of ‘who I am’ and ‘what I do,’ leaving my existential musings behind the scenes. This article aims to expose those musings, focusing on my philosophies and experiences, rather than my diet or gym routine. Let’s dive into what makes me tick.

II. A Dual Life: Modeling and Web Development

It’s November 2018, a year marked by significant changes politically, demographically, and linguistically. But let’s focus on my personal journey instead of discussing these societal shifts.

Most of you may know me as a high-fashion runway and catalog model, strutting for brands like Burberry. However, there’s another side to me. I’m also a web developer, currently apprenticing under industry veteran Ian Gilman in the beautiful city of Seattle, WA.

From working on a wide array of projects to absorbing knowledge from a seasoned professional, this unique role has been both fulfilling and enriching. Fresh from graduating from General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive course in March, I find myself incredibly fortunate to be working on applications that push the boundaries of today’s browsers and reach a vast audience.

III. The Pursuit of Knowledge: Beyond Web Development

When I’m not working or walking the runway, you’ll find me immersing myself in further topics related to web engineering, such as 3D programming in JavaScript, virtual reality, data visualization, and UI/UX design. I also enjoy exploring auxiliary concepts like project management.

However, my learning journey isn’t confined to technology alone. I have a deep interest in philosophy, a passion ignited during my time at the University of Washington. There, I was introduced to Western philosophy, studying the works of Stoics like Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca the Younger. Their teachings profoundly impacted my worldview and shaped my approach to life.

Still, I felt a void in my philosophical understanding, a gap left by the lack of Eastern philosophies in my curriculum. Inspired by my grandparents’ extensive travels in Asia, I took it upon myself to explore Eastern thought post-graduation, delving into the works of Laozi, Sun Tzu, and The Gita.

IV. The Philosophy of Optimism: My Guiding Principle

At the core of my personal philosophy is optimism. Recognizing adversity’s daunting nature, then resolving to rise above it, is a challenging yet crucial aspect of human flourishing. This understanding is rooted in the teachings of the Stoics and is complemented by the wisdom derived from Eastern philosophies.

To operationalize this philosophy, I strive towards the pleasurable and the good in life, which in turn fuels my productivity. By maintaining a positive disposition, I can navigate life’s battlefield effectively, taking calculated decisions and facing conflicts head-on. In essence, my strategy for success revolves around breaking free from the conventional programming and emotional inclinations to achieve my goals with minimal loss.

V. Starting the Day Right: A Peek Into My Mornings

Discipline begins at dawn for me. My morning routine, or what I prefer to call my “hygiene ritual,” is a non-negotiable part of my day. This ritual goes beyond basic cleanliness — it includes a healthy breakfast and exercise.

By the time I step out of my home, I’ve already spent a significant chunk of my morning in a state of deep focus or “flow,” a concept worth exploring if you’re unfamiliar with it. This period of intense concentration before my workday begins contributes to around 80% of my daily productivity. I highly recommend the TEDx talk by Judson Brewer MD, Ph.D., and Tim Ferriss’s podcast episode with Chase Jarvis for more on this fascinating phenomenon.

VI. Reflections on Writing: Why I Penned This Piece

I wrote this piece for several reasons:

  1. To exercise my expository writing skills: Writing is a craft that requires continuous honing, and there’s an undeniable joy in crafting a coherent, engaging narrative.
  2. To catalyze intellectual connections: By sharing my thoughts on philosophy and technology, I hope to engage in stimulating conversations that challenge my assumptions and broaden my perspective. Constructive dialogue is, after all, the cornerstone of successful relationships.
  3. To establish a habit of writing: Consistency is key in any endeavor, and writing is no exception. This article serves as a time capsule, a point of reference to measure my growth as a thinker in the years to come.

VII. Conclusion

This piece is more than just an introduction; it’s a window into my life, my philosophies, and my experiences. Whether you’re a web developer, a model, a philosophy enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a change, I hope my journey resonates with you and sparks some thought. Until next time!

By Sean Swanson on April 27, 2023.

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Exported from Medium on August 21, 2023.