Bio and Stuff

I grew up wanting to be an astronaut. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of crunching the odds as a kid. When you’re born in Sri Lanka and have less than 20/20 vision, being an astronaut is a bit of stupid idea. So I decided if I couldn’t visit worlds, I’d make them up in my head.

As it turns out, I was much better at that. I’ve been a tech journalist, a political blogger, a game designer and a competitive gamer; I’m now a researcher, looking for ways to leverage big data and economics for the greater good. My specialty is social and information networks.

For what’s been written about my work, here’s a list of some writeups – from the most recent to the oldest. There are a few appearances that are either only in print, or on TV and radio, that are lost in the ether – this is what can be found easily.


SCIENCE FICTION, BOOKS AND WRITING:

FactorDaily:  When Big Brother meets Big Data, we get to live in glass houses! by Gautam Shenoy

Groundviews: Thoughts on Numbercaste by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, by Sanjana Hattotuwa

Sunday Times: Showing the world we too can write Science Fiction, by Smirti Daniel

Huffington Post: Yudhanjaya W on books and writing, by Taylor Dibbert

Lanka Comic Con: The Sri Lankan Scifi Novel ‘Numbercaste’ just dropped, and it’s hot, by Navin Weeraratne

Roar Media: How Digital Publishing is challenging the traditional print game, by Dilina Amaruwan

The Sunday Leader: Icarus Weeps no More, by Tia Alas Gunaratne

JR Handley: SciFy Shenanigans: Yudhanjaya Wijeratne


DATA AND CIVIC WORK:

Eldiaro: El discurso del odio en Myanmar se disparó en Facebook durante la crisis de los rohingyas

South China Morning Post: In Sri Lanka, Facebook struggles to curb hate speech

Los Angeles Times: Muslims faced hatred and violence in Sri Lanka. Then Facebook came along and made things worse

Buzzfeed: “We Had To Stop Facebook”: When Anti-Muslim Violence Goes Viral

ReadMe: Where’s my Facebook? Legal implications of the ban in Sri Lanka

Groundviews: Namal Rajapakse, bots and trolls: new contours of digital propaganda in Sri Lanka

Sanjana Hattotuwa: Technology in Parliament: Opening Pandora’s Box or enabling citizens?

Daily Mirror: Social Media and General Elections 2015, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Nalaka Gunawardene: [Op-ed] Investigative Journalists uncover Asia, one story at a time


Before I started writing fiction I maintained a prolific output of tech journalism and political commentary – for what I’ve written, check out Readme, Icaruswept, the Sunday Times, the Nation, Colombo Telegraph and the Sunday Leader.


I don’t know if I can list down my biggest inspirations, but here are that have left me stunned:

  • Wuthering Heights
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
  • Final Fantasy VII,
  • Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
  • William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy
  • The Count of Monte Christo
  • Deus Ex (the whole series, from the 2000’s JC Denton days)
  • Dianna Wynne Jone’s Chrestomanci and Hexwood
  • TES V: Skyrim
  • Descent: Freespace

-deep breath-

  • Bioshock
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • the Divine Comedy
  • Yan Lienke’s The Explosion City Chronicles
  • and a little game called Ahriman’s Prophecy that briefly had me coding and producing indie videogames.

I love each and every thing here and wouldn’t have it any other way.