Ascent Stage is the personal weblog of me, John Tolva. I was born and now currently live in Chicago.
I do lots of things, mostly involving technology, complex systems, and the built world.
From 1998 to 2011 I worked for IBM, mostly on applications of technology in cultural, social, and environmental domains. This post details a bit about what I did there. There’s also an embarrassingly flattering piece on my former team and I from the Chicago Sun-Times.
In 2007 the small town of Barile, Italy — birthplace of my great-grandparents — recognized me as a distinguished “fellow citizen” for my work to promote the region and cultural heritage in general. I don’t expect you to believe that, because I barely did. But it really happened.
My background is in English literature and multimedia design, bedfellows less strange than you might think. I’m interested in language, literature, music, design, architecture, urban planning, mass transit, spaceflight, genealogy, all forms of technology and travel. I have a family of two sons, a daughter, and alovelywife.
Unless otherwise attributed, the content on this site is by me, John Tolva. There are some restrictions on its use. Oh and, of course, the musings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent my employer’s positions, strategies or opinions. But you knew that, right?
The epigram at the top of the site comes from The Invention of the Zero by Richard Kenney, one of the most original works of poetry I’ve ever encountered.
You can reach me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a comment on this website.
Thanks a lot for reading!