- Name: Protesilaos (Protésilaos, Πρωτεσίλαος)
- Birth place: Greece
- Birth year: 1988
- Residence: Cyprus (Troodos mountain range)
- Occupation: Private coach on Emacs, Linux, and Life
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (check the contact page for further information)
In my teens I was a semi-professional football (soccer) player and, at times, an assistant to a land surveyor and a motorcycle mechanic.
During my university years I was employed as a bartender, construction worker, receptionist, waiter, etc. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in European Politics, Economics, and Law.
After my studies in mid-2011 and up until ~2016 I got involved in politics-related fields (parliamentary assistant at the European Parliament, independent researcher and external contractor, etc.), with a specialisation in the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Union.
Now I am providing coaching services on Emacs, Linux, and general Life issues. More details here: https://protesilaos.com/coach/.
Those granted, I am just a philosopher. I spend much of my time doing philosophy, whether that is by thinking or writing. I also program my custom computing environment and generally try to do things my way for their inherent recreational or educational value.
I care about human connections and hope my publications will help in that regard.
As of Spring 2023 I am building a hut (i.e. makeshift construction) in the mountains of Cyprus. I am doing this to address my accommodation woes: I am priced out of the market for rent.
Work on philosophy
I talk, write, and do philosophy. I generally try to express myself in plain terms and make my thoughts relatable to everyone. I consider my theories “practical”, in the sense that I put them to the test and live by those precepts.
My website contains three distinct sections with philosophical content:
- The “books and standalone essays” contains my core work: https://protesilaos.com/books.
- The “general commentary on life” consists of anonymised excerpts from exchanges I have with other people and/or entries from my journal: https://protesilaos.com/commentary/.
- The “interpretations” cover my philosophical commentary on works of art (typically Greek songs which I translate): https://protesilaos.com/interpretations.
As of 2022-10-07, I am doing videos on philosophy where I walk in nature and expound on my thoughts. Find those in the aforementioned “books” section. This effort is made possible by a 500 EUR donation I received which allowed me to buy a smartphone (Samsung A53), its charging adapter, and a selfie stick.
Work on GNU Emacs
I maintain lots of packages for Emacs, including the
which are a part of core Emacs and the increasingly popular
note-taking system. Find all my packages here:
https://protesilaos.com/emacs. And follow my coding blog for
relevant updates: https://protesilaos.com/codelog.
Sometimes I blend programming with philosophy, as made evident by such questions as the one that populates my GitLab/GitHub profile’s description:
At what point does a tinkerer become a programmer, provided no formal background in the latter?
Or in some of the older videos I made which are nominally about a text editor but I actually talk philosophy, such as:
- Why Emacs itself is my “favourite Emacs package” (2020-10-21).
- Moral lessons from free software and GNU Emacs (2021-04-16).
- Live stream: Emacs as a ‘second brain’ and mindfulness (2021-08-31).
- Live stream: Emacs and the Unix philosophy (2021-09-22).
- EmacsConf 2021: How Emacs made me appreciate software freedom (published on 2021-12-21—the actual event was on November 27-28, 2021).
- LibrePlanet 2022: Living in freedom with GNU Emacs (published on 2022-03-22—the actual event was on March 19-20, 2022).
In a manner of speaking, I just talk to programmers about philosophy and to philosophers about programming.
Interviews and other media
My ‘Brown University Interviews’ on Emacs and life (2021-10-29).
A comprehensive interview with InfoQ China on Emacs and life may also prove useful (2022-04-10).
Interview with Syntopikon on Emacs, politics, philosophy (2023-04-15).
Satirical publication by Summer Emacs Zeus and Prot (2023-08-29).
Free Software Foundation entry in the “working together” series that features a brief comment of mine on GNU Emacs. Links to all relevant sources here: https://protesilaos.com/codelog/2023-07-26-my-working-together-page-fsf/.
On 2022-03-19 the Free Software Foundation awarded me the 2021 Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor. I received it in my mail in late August 2022. Here is the announcement, which also includes all links to the backstory, as well as a video of me showing the physical item: https://protesilaos.com/codelog/2022-09-01-emacs-fsf-award/ (pictures too!).
In May 2023 I received the Google Open Source Peer Bonus Program
award for my Emacs
Relevant essay of mine on Accessibility and software freedom:
This website has been online since 2011. It contains more than 1000 entries on a wide range of topics, all of which are available under the appropriate copyleft terms that ensure end user freedom—see the license and resources page. Read, learn, think, and reach your own conclusions.
What I wrote in the past may not represent my current views. I review, change, refine my beliefs as part of a life of research and reflection. If you are looking for consistency, a dogma to follow, a narcissist to idolise, you need to look elsewhere. It is important to understand that you should not follow me, for I am not going anywhere in particular.
- Douyin 抖音 (Chinese TikTok) (or use ID:
- IRC and Reddit:
- My active Git repositories are on SourceHut. For select projects, mirrors are available on GitLab and GitHub.
- The Douyin/TikTok account is not maintained by me (I don’t know Chinese). This is done by friends of mine in China who want to help me by sharing some of my publications.
- I seldom use IRC/Reddit. The username is there “just in case” I ever need it.