In brief: jobbing copywriter and author; Britizen-of-the-world; largely self-taught. (School dropout with a Master’s degree but no Bachelor’s.) Passionate about technology and how it multiplies human talent; in fact, “empowerment of the individual” is my defining thought.
Outside tech, interests include PPE (politics / philosophy / economics), physics, literature, architecture, and “the human condition” – self-actualisation and how to reach a state of health, wealth, and happiness. (I’m neither the richest nor smartest guy you’ll ever meet, but I’m definitely among the happiest.)
Fave media? The Economist. (Actually, it’s the only one that matters.) Movie? Inception. Novel? Ulysses, with a side order of Atlas Shrugged. Emotions? Wonder and thrill. (Extreme sports and adventure travel buff.) Guilty pleasure: animated movies (the best of Ghibli and Pixar are sheer genius). And for some reason I know far too much about shipping containers.
I’m fanatical about my Kindle, but clueless about music and don’t follow sports. And while I can art-direct a decent page layout, I’m the world’s worst photographer. (It takes a special kind of inept to make a Burning Man panorama of explosions, giant sculptures, and vivid skyscapes look boring.) Here’s some work outside my copywriting biz . . .
Philosophically I’m an Objectivist, adopting the set of rules for life defined by moral philosopher Ayn Rand: reality as its metaphysics, reason as epistemology, an ethics of self-interest, and capitalism as its politics. That makes me a libertarian (small ‘l’) and an unapologetic believer in free markets as a force for good – a small state and individual rights, with high social and economic freedoms that allow enterprise and innovation to thrive. Short version: I like free markets a lot, and if you don’t we can’t be friends. (Just joking. I’m a live-and-let-live sort.)
As a minimalist, everything I own would fit into a car, everything I value into a small backpack. (Basics are my laptop, Kindle, and Radius toothbrush: all else is negotiable.) These days, the things that matter most – ideas, knowledge, literature – cost little and weigh nothing.
Daytime to playtime
I’m a trained skydiver and SCUBA diver who enjoys bouldering and snowsports and stays in shape with progressive calisthenics and kettlebells. (Qualified instructor in both, although my only student is me.) How to recognise me in a crowded room: I’m the guy in the black T shirt not doing smalltalk.
I’ve lived in six countries and travelled in over 60, mostly by bus and backpack. Favourite region? The American Southwest (some of my happiest hours have been spent rolling Route 66) but Southeast Asia runs it close. Although my favourite place on Earth has long been New York’s Rockefeller Center: a site of true joy.