Hi, this is Cassandra.
My name: it’s complicated.
In Greek mythology, Cassandra is a prophetess of doom. People still refer to those who give dismal predictions as “Cassandras”.
Jane Austen’s best friend is her elder sister Cassandra, and quite a number of authors and writers share my namesake, such as novelist Cassandra Clare.
In the beginning of the 21st century, we witness the rise of non-relational database management systems, one of which is called Apache Cassandra. When you query a Cassandra database, it returns data before it ensures everything is up to date — we call this “preferring availability over consistency”. Major social media websites operate on Cassandra; I won’t mention which ones.
Me? I combine my love of literature, art and music with my background in science, tech, engineering and maths, and I want to inspire people. Success is not fame, fortune or status, but a life lived with passion and purpose.
Update, 23 October 2019: It turns out that “Cassandra” is the female form of “Cassander”, one of the four generals who split up Alexander the Great’s kingdom after the ruler’s death.
“Cassander” means “light of man”. No wonder my mum’s admonitions to me NEVER TO BE FAMOUS didn’t work. This Bible verse speaks to me personally: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” — Matthew 5:14 (KJV). In other words, I cannot be hidden. It’s also no coincidence that I’m born at a time when anyone with tech savvy and grit can dig up information about us. Nobody is hidden anymore, not even Luddites. Everyone is out there to discover everyone else’s secrets.
Therefore, the next time you read that the meaning of “Cassandra” is unknown, you’re looking at an untruth. Lamentably, in this age of female empowerment, almost everyone has taken for granted that “Cassandra” is a girl’s name and never considered that, historically, some girls’ names were derived from boys’. I can think of Victor/Victoria, Eric/Erica and Julius/Julia. Your examples may be better than mine.
Heads-up for skimmers or superficial readers, because you’ll need to read this paragraph many times lest you take my words out of context. This sorry revelation easily suggests a claim, which I duly hope is erroneous, stating “females don’t matter without males”, which, as we can see from recent history, has been challenged time and time again. On the flip side, how many men’s names are derived from women’s, how many names are unisex, and, most importantly, is gender supposed to be a point of contention and division, or a reason for unity, community, cooperation, mutual “put down your weapons” vulnerability, and, above all, love?
I stumbled across “Cassander” as I was studying Daniel 8’s prophecies today, and I wondered about its fulfillment in history, since verses 8 and 22 mention the split of a great power into four, and that reminded me of Alexander the Great. Thankfully, it’s rare for a man to be called “Cassander” now, lest someone mishear and disrespect him.
Update 5 March 2020: If you’re looking for my email newsletter, you won’t be able to sign up for the “writing tips” version anymore. On the bright side, now you can get email updates whenever I post on this blog (see sidebar). Thanks for your kind attention.