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Hi there. My name is Mike.
Everybody's got a home page, and most of them are solely there to feed somebody's ego or to be a toy or curiosity. I'd like my web site to actually be purposeful, both to myself and to other folks. When used properly, the two things that the web does really well are communicating and organizing information. This site attempts to do both, with a focus on myself as the subject matter. "Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Mike Caprio, But Were Afraid To Ask."
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Check my LinkedIn for more details. I am currently employed at Ask.com, the site that answers your questions. I work on a number of social good projects on the side, like the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. I'm also a conductor for StartupBus, a global alumni network of innovators out to change the world and disrupt the status quo.
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I was born on August 22nd, 1974. I lived in New Haven, CT until about third grade (1982), then grew up in North Branford, CT until I left for college (1992). I went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute and began study there as a Physics major. Halfway through my Sophomore year I realized I wasn't cut out for the life of the physicist, and I started pursuing Computer Science instead. I eventually graduated with a BSCS.
My parents (Mike and Laurel - yes, I am Mike Jr.) split their time between their home in North Branford, Maui / Hawaii, and New York City. My mom retired in the early 2000s, but her last position was as director of human resources at Softwax, a peer to peer software company. She's currently at home painting erotic female nudes. My dad retired in 2013, but he worked for United Illuminating, and he is currently pursuing an active career as a star of stage, screen, and radio. All of my friends seem to think that my parents are totally cool, and I tend to agree with them nearly all of the time.
I started out having one older sister (Rose), but she got married to a wonderful woman named Autumn, and they are currently living in Queens, NY. So now I have two sisters, and I love them both dearly. They met out in Arizona, where Rose went to school for her two degrees in Fine Arts and Multimedia - she is working as a textile designer while she and Autumn work on building a hot sauce business. Autumn's specialties are photography and graphic design, and her current artistic vision involves macro-zoom imaging of vegetation (cool stuff).
I'm mostly Italian, with a little Irish and German mixed in somewhere. But I was raised in about as Italian a fashion as you can get, with a large and caring immediate and extended family supporting me every step of the way. We celebrated with around 30 people on the major holidays, and had 100 or so over for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
My family is Catholic, but they don't practice. I've never been much of a religious type myself, and though I made it through Communion, I never got Confirmed. I have no religious beliefs in any traditional sense, but there are things that I believe should be revered and honored, and of course, celebrated constantly.
So what do I believe in? Well, I'm no hedonist, but I think the most important things in life revolve around eating, sex, and writing (in no particular order). I may be an Existentialist, but I seem to keep stumbling into Buddhist territory by accident. I believe in Hygge.
Let's see, what else... I got hit by a truck. I came out with a badly broken left leg, but no other real damage except for the emotional scars. I had another run-in with a 16 year old less than a mile from my residence on September 10th, 2001 - he blew right through a stop sign. sigh
I picked up the nickname "Zen" from being seen in the Wedge (a common area between two dorms at WPI) with a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. I read it for my introductory philosophy course, and I really got into what he had to say... with so much ardor in fact that I became known to one and all as a philosopher, which really fits me well anyway.
Isaac Asimov once wrote: "You don't need schooling to be a philosopher; just an active mind and experience with life." I believe in that sentiment quite strongly - that philosophy is an inherent part of us all, and comes out every time we ask ourselves a question we can't answer. For the most part, I am a humanist and a believer in balance, and somewhat (though not completely) in Eastern mysticism.
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A little bit about my writing.
I am what I write. I write what I feel. I have a drive to express myself, and a small amount of talent that lets me do so fairly well. Everything I have ever put pen to paper for has a small part of me inside of it; every poem, every essay, every love letter. Consequently, I've adopted the tendency to lose my identity every once in a while, which can sometimes result in embarrassing reality checks or in bouts of existential angst and general poutiness. Most of the time I'm not so tempermental. Really! And if you believe that, you might enjoy some of my writing; this section contains a selection of my works since the late 1980s / early 1990s.
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