Jackson’s love for football blossomed during his time as a Film Manager for the UNC-Chapel Hill Football Team. From studying game footage to observing practices, Jackson gained a deep understanding of the sport’s intricacies, which sparked his fascination for football’s strategic element. Moreover, he couldn’t help but admire the camaraderie and teamwork displayed by each team. Despite a few stray balls that may have hit him in the head over the years, Jackson’s passion for football continues to thrive.
Tom Brady’s journey from a struggling college football player to the most successful quarterback in NFL history is nothing short of inspiring. Despite facing numerous setbacks and challenges, he never gave up on his dream of playing professionally. What Jackson admires most about Brady is his unwavering commitment to self-improvement, his tireless work ethic, and his ability to lead his team to victory time and time again. In Jackson’s opinion, Brady’s impressive record of seven Super Bowl wins and countless individual awards solidifies his place as the greatest underdog in sports history.
Experimenting with Emerging Technology
Jackson is captivated by the seemingly limitless potential of emerging technologies, particularly virtual reality (VR) and generative large language models like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. These cutting-edge advancements have ignited a profound fascination within him, as he envisions the transformative power they hold for various industries.
From the moment Jackson first experienced Google Cardboard, he recognized VR as a game-changer. However, his passion for the medium reached new heights when he had the unique opportunity to create his own immersive VR world under the expert guidance of Dr. Steven King. This captivating experience not only sharpened Jackson’s technical skills but also solidified his unwavering belief that VR is destined to shape the future of entertainment, education, and beyond.
In parallel, Jackson found himself drawn to the realm of generative large language models. The remarkable capabilities of ChatGPT and Google’s Bard to generate human-like text fascinated him. Witnessing the potential for these AI-powered models to revolutionize communication, storytelling, and information retrieval, Jackson’s curiosity was sparked, driving him to delve deeper into their intricacies.
The convergence of VR and generative large language models presents a tantalizing frontier for Jackson. He envisions a future where these technologies work in harmony, creating immersive experiences that blend virtual environments with intelligent and responsive virtual beings. With every advancement in technology and the increasing accessibility of these tools, Jackson eagerly awaits what lies ahead. His burning passion to explore new worlds, push the boundaries of storytelling, and develop groundbreaking applications within the VR landscape and the realm of generative language models continues to drive his pursuit of innovation.
As an active participant in this revolution, Jackson is determined to contribute his expertise and creativity to shape the future of these transformative technologies.
For Jackson, photography is more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life. From the excitement of Kenan Stadium to the serene landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he is constantly on the lookout for moments of unexpected beauty and visual storytelling. Whether it’s experimenting with composition, playing with light and shadow, or exploring new perspectives, Jackson finds joy in the process of capturing the essence of a subject or scene. His passion for photography has led him to undertake a wide variety of projects, from documenting local festivals and events to creating stunning nature landscapes. Through his lens, Jackson aims to share his unique perspective on the world and inspire others to see the beauty in everyday moments.
Jackson is endlessly fascinated by the stories and lessons of the past, constantly seeking out new insights and discoveries. His interests span a wide range of historical periods and topics, from the rise and fall of the late Roman Republic to the daring pioneers of aviation in the 1920s and 30s. He is drawn to the rich complexity of these eras, and is particularly fascinated by the triumphs and tragedies of the people who lived through them. Despite his deep appreciation for the weightier aspects of history, Jackson also has a soft spot for “funny” historical stories – the quirky and unexpected moments that reveal the humanity behind the headlines. For Jackson, studying history is not just an intellectual pursuit; it’s a way to connect with the past and gain a deeper understanding of our shared humanity. Through his studies, he has learned valuable lessons about the cyclical nature of human behavior, the power of resilience in the face of adversity, and the importance of embracing change.
Weh Antioch Khosrau
Battle of Karansebes
The Reign of Joshua Norton I, Emperor of the United States
Jackson is utterly captivated by the irreverent humor and clever subversion of genre tropes that makes Deadpool 2 such a standout film. His favorite aspect of the movie is the way it pokes fun at post-western style movies, with a particular focus on “Logan.” From the very first scene, where Deadpool quips about needing to one-up Logan by dying twice, to the film’s gleeful skewering of post-western clichés and themes, Jackson found himself constantly entertained and delighted by the movie’s irreverent spirit. Beyond its surface-level humor and satire, however, Jackson also appreciated the movie’s deeper themes about redemption, self-acceptance, and the importance of finding one’s place in the world. For him, Deadpool 2 represents the very best of modern filmmaking: bold, daring, and unafraid to break the rules in service of telling a great story.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Jackson loves Monty Python and the Holy Grail for its clever and irreverent take on medieval story clichés. The movie’s humor and satire never fail to leave him in stitches, especially during standout scenes like John Cleese’s iconic taunting Frenchman routine. But what really makes the movie a runner-up for his favorite is the way it subverts expectations and constantly surprises the viewer with its absurd twists and turns. From the opening credits, which hilariously feature “moose bites” and “self-defense against fresh fruit,” to King Arthur’s comically inept attempts to follow the will of God by lobbing a Holy Hand Grenade at his foes, the movie is a nonstop riot of wit and humor. For Jackson, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a testament to the power of comedy to make us see the world in a new and refreshing light, and a timeless classic that never fails to brighten his day.
Dr. Strangelove is one of Jackson’s favorite movies because of its absurdity. The movie jokes about the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. It jokes about how easy MAD could be triggered and the entire world could be turned into a barren wasteland. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Dr. Strangelove nonchalantly starts spitting out figures about how many men and women could be saved and suggesting that there would be a ratio of ten to one females per male. He’s spitting out all of these facts while fighting not to perform the Nazi salute. Even though the world as we know it was ending, the President and Pentagon were already worried about a gap in mine shafts between the US and USSR to house the survivors.
Favorite TV Show
House of Cards
Jackson considers House of Cards as his favorite TV show, largely due to its ability to create complex characters that evoke both attachment and repulsion. He admires how the show tackles various issues present in contemporary politics, including the role of media in politics, the influence of donors and lobbyists, and how art and theater are employed to enrich the storytelling. One of the most intriguing aspects of the show is its use of art to allude to historical events and stories that resemble the plot. For instance, during a scene where a character discusses the possibility of impeachment, a portrait of President Nixon hangs in the background. Overall, House of Cards is a masterful political thriller that captures the complexities of power and corruption in modern politics.
Favorite Character: Francis (Frank) Underwood
Frank Underwood is an amazing character. He is a ruthless and hypocritical character, but no matter how evil he can be you still are drawn to him. Jackson hopes to one day visit Frank’s grave in Gaffney, SC, while wearing his t-shirt inspired by his campaign.
Gotham is a runner-up for Jackson’s favorite TV show because he admires the show’s overall aesthetic, which evokes an 80s crime drama set in modern times. The level of detail put into the production and storytelling is what captivates Jackson the most. The production team pays attention to every detail, both on set and in the storyline, which makes the show feel immersive and engaging.
Favorite character: James Gordon
In every episode, Gordon is in conflict with himself. His fight between justice and the urge for revenge always makes Jackson question which side of him will prevail in that episode and what the consequences will be.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a runner-up for Jackson’s favorite TV show because of its captivating plot and unforgettable characters. The show kept him on the edge of his seat, constantly questioning who would die next and who would end up on the Iron Throne. Despite the fantasy setting, the show’s exploration of themes such as power, family, and loyalty felt relatable and grounded.
Favorite Character: Tywin Lannister
Tywin Lannister is Jackson’s favorite character in Game of Thrones because of the way Tywin leads. Tywin prefers to play the long game when trying to acquire power in Westeros. He also didn’t seek power exclusively for himself, rather for his son and daughter as well.
Favorite Video Game
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Jackson finds immense enjoyment in playing Sid Meier’s Civilization VI due to its vast array of civilizations to choose from, each offering a unique gameplay experience tailored to different victory paths. Whether assuming the role of a culturally dominant civilization like France or a militarily formidable nation like Vietnam, the diverse options fuel Jackson’s desire to explore and conquer the world in various ways. The specialized abilities and units of each civilization keep the gameplay fresh and engaging, as he strategizes to maximize his chosen civilization’s strengths while mitigating weaknesses.
What truly captivates Jackson about Civilization VI is the constant challenge it presents. The game demands his unwavering attention and critical thinking as he navigates the ever-evolving circumstances of his empire. Whether managing his economy, fostering spiritual faith, progressing scientifically, cultivating cultural allure, developing industrial capacity, or bolstering military strength, each decision carries weight and consequences. Jackson revels in the intricate balance of these elements, as they force him to adapt his strategies to the ever-changing dynamics of the game.
The most exhilarating moments in Civilization VI come when Jackson competes against his friends. Their familiarity with his playstyle adds an extra layer of excitement as they anticipate his moves and counter them. This intense competition pushes Jackson to think on his feet, innovating and devising new solutions on the fly. The challenge of outsmarting his friends and the thrill of being outmaneuvered by them fuels his passion for the game, creating a dynamic and engaging multiplayer experience.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI encompasses the joy of exploration, the satisfaction of strategic decision-making, and the thrill of competing against friends. Through its diverse civilizations, intricate gameplay mechanics, and the stimulating multiplayer aspect, the game continues to captivate Jackson, providing endless hours of immersive and intellectually stimulating entertainment.
Fallout: New Vegas
Jackson’s adoration for Fallout: New Vegas runs deep, rooted in the game’s rich narrative and the myriad paths it offers players to explore. The game’s captivating storylines, each branching out in unique directions, allow Jackson to experience the consequences of his choices firsthand. Whether siding with powerful factions, pursuing personal vendettas, or navigating moral gray areas, the game’s intricate web of missions never fails to engage his imagination.
Beyond the gameplay, Fallout: New Vegas carries profound messages within its missions. Jackson finds himself enthralled by the thought-provoking themes woven into each quest. The game tackles issues of power, corruption, and the consequences of humanity’s actions in a post-apocalyptic world. The thoughtfully crafted storylines prompt him to question his own values and explore different perspectives, immersing him in a philosophical journey that transcends mere entertainment.
The cowboy-dystopia aesthetic of Fallout: New Vegas adds another layer of allure to the game. Its unique blend of Western frontier elements and the gritty, desolate atmosphere of a dystopian future creates a distinct and captivating visual experience. Jackson revels in the juxtaposition of rugged cowboys and futuristic technology, as the game seamlessly weaves these contrasting elements together to create a truly immersive and evocative setting.
Jackson’s love for Battlefield 4 runs deep, stemming from the exhilarating experience of being part of its highly anticipated launch. It was the first game he ever preordered, eagerly counting down the days until its release. As he stepped into the virtual battlefield on day one, a sense of excitement and anticipation enveloped him, marking the beginning of a remarkable gaming journey.
One of the standout features of Battlefield 4 that captured Jackson’s imagination was its dynamic maps. The ability to witness the landscape change in real-time with the impact of well-placed shots brought a level of immersion that he had never experienced before. Buildings crumbled, terrain shifted, and strategic positions altered, making every match a dynamic and ever-evolving battlefield. This dynamic element added an extra layer of strategic depth and excitement to the gameplay, as Jackson adapted his tactics to the changing environment.
The perfect blend of vehicular warfare and boots-on-the-ground combat in Battlefield 4 was a key factor in Jackson’s enduring admiration for the game. The ability to seamlessly transition between piloting helicopters, driving tanks, and engaging in intense infantry firefights provided a diverse and exhilarating gameplay experience. The balanced integration of these elements ensured that no two matches were alike, keeping Jackson consistently engaged and on his toes.
Perhaps the most cherished aspect of Battlefield 4 for Jackson was the memories made while playing it with friends. It marked the beginning of his multiplayer gaming journey, and the camaraderie forged during those virtual battles remains etched in his heart. Nostalgia seeps in whenever he reminisces about the countless hours spent strategizing, laughing, and overcoming challenges alongside his trusted companions. Battlefield 4 holds a special place in his gaming history, symbolizing not only an exceptional game but also the bonds and memories shared with friends.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Jackson finds great affinity and inspiration in “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, which has played a pivotal role in his adoption of Stoicism. The book’s profound teachings have resonated deeply with him, especially during the early days of COVID-19. Drawing parallels between Aurelius’ leadership during the Antonine plague and the COVID-19 challenge, Jackson was inspired by the emperor’s courage and resilience in guiding Rome through tumultuous times.
Immersing himself in the wisdom of “Meditations,” Jackson seeks to learn from the lessons imparted by Marcus Aurelius. The emperor’s reflections on virtue, inner strength, and navigating life’s adversities have become guiding principles in Jackson’s own pursuit of personal growth. He aspires to embody the same steadfastness and wisdom exhibited by Aurelius, with the ultimate goal of becoming a man of remarkable character and virtue.
In a world marked by uncertainty and challenges, “Meditations” has become a treasured companion for Jackson. The book’s timeless insights serve as a compass, providing clarity and resilience during turbulent times. Aurelius’ stoic philosophy offers valuable tools for maintaining tranquility and embracing life’s uncertainties with grace and courage. Jackson looks to Marcus Aurelius as a role model, striving to emulate his virtues and forge a path towards becoming a person of strength, wisdom, and integrity.
“Meditations” continues to inspire Jackson, providing solace and guidance in his quest for self-improvement and navigating the complexities of the world. Through the teachings of Marcus Aurelius, he finds purpose, meaning, and a steadfast commitment to embody the virtues of stoicism in his daily life.
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
Jackson finds a deep appreciation for “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers, primarily because of its exploration of the human mind’s susceptibility to forbidden knowledge and the ensuing descent into madness. The book’s underlying theme resonates with his fascination for the delicate balance between sanity and insanity, the allure and dangers of uncovering forbidden truths.
One aspect that particularly captivates Jackson is the open-ended nature of the King in Yellow’s concept. The elusive nature of this enigmatic figure allows for multiple interpretations, each with its own captivating allure. Whether the King in Yellow is an eldritch horror within the Cthulhu Mythos, a metaphor for the perils of decadence, a warning against placing faith in false idols, or a testament to the corrupting power of forbidden knowledge, the possibilities ignite Jackson’s imagination and invite lively debates among fellow enthusiasts.
Engaging in discussions and debates about the varied interpretations of “The King in Yellow” is a source of great delight for Jackson. Exploring the different perspectives and arguments surrounding the book’s symbolism, themes, and underlying meanings invigorates his intellectual curiosity. Unraveling the mysteries presented by Chambers becomes a collaborative endeavor, where ideas clash and new insights emerge.
Jackson playfully asks fellow readers if they too have “found the Yellow Sign,” an iconic and important symbol associated with the book. It serves as a playful nod to the mystique and allure of “The King in Yellow” while inviting fellow enthusiasts to reflect on their own interpretations and experiences within the fascinating realm of Chambers’ creation.
Suddenly We Didn’t Want to Die: Memoirs of a World War I Marine by Elton E. Mackin
Jackson found immense fascination in the book “Suddenly We Didn’t Want to Die: Memoirs of a World War I Marine” for several compelling reasons. The opportunity to explore the First World War, a topic rarely discussed in American society and classrooms despite its profound global impact, captivated him. He was drawn to uncover the untold stories and delve into the historical significance of this transformative conflict.
The horrors witnessed by Mackin, a young Marine, during his brief time in combat left a profound impact on Jackson. The vivid and unfiltered descriptions of the battlefield and the immense sacrifices endured by soldiers deeply shocked and moved him. This firsthand account prompted Jackson to embark on a personal exploration of the war, seeking a deeper understanding of its historical context and consequences. It awakened a sense of empathy and a desire to recognize the importance of learning from the perspectives of those who lived through such significant moments in history.
The memoir, with its powerful narrative, reminded Jackson of the significance of reading firsthand accounts to truly comprehend the magnitude of historical events. Through Mackin’s poignant words, Jackson gained a newfound appreciation for the struggles, sacrifices, and resilience of the individuals involved in World War I. The book reinforced the notion that personal narratives offer unique insights, allowing readers to connect with history on a deeper and more personal level.