My musical tastes tend towards the eclectic. Perhaps a good expression to use in characterizing them is “college radio.” The stuff you hear on college radio at 3 in the morning gives a good example of what I listen to. Pop music from Africa is horrifyingly cool. Also, despite being a geezer, I have a special fondness for politically driven rap music and the atmospheric/electronica/techno music pouring out of Europe. Good friends have recently introduced bhangra music to me and I’ve always been a big fan of ska.
I’ve always, always, always had an inclination towards the scientific. I’d like to believe Huygens’ enlightenment ideal of the world being my state and science my religion. I read the latest advances voraciously. Among other fields, I’ve focused on mathematics, molecular biology, physics, cosmology, neurology and occasionally, artificial life and intelligence. I am an ardent skeptic, atheist and a big fan of James Randi. Open minds are great just make sure your brain doesn’t fall out.
I don’t read science fiction nearly as much as I used to. I think it’s kind of a dead genre. Recent developments in computers, cognitive science and chemical engineering have made even the most lurid of tales too conservative for what is actually to come. Even physics is getting a little too weird.
Upon discovering this pastime in high school, back during the days of the Great Personality Cult of Gygax, I immediately fell into addiction with it. To this day, despite many of my peers growing up and moving on to more passive forms of entertainment, I guiltily waste hours of my fast disappearing time in playing these games. I still try to rationalize it many ways–the godlike, creative urge to build worlds, the exploration of alter-egos, tribal story telling, improvisational theater, interactive literature, psychodrama–but in the end I can’t shake the feeling that I’m is a middle-aged adolescent who refuses to give up playing “let’s pretend.”
If you read the site, you’ll see I love to rant and nitpick about things that seem trivial and hopelessly obscure. These things raise hackles no end. From matters like “Why the Extroprians simplify things too much,” to “The global market needs a global government or, how free-market worshipers will find a new set of regulations to whine about.”
I am a mercurial sort and seem to prefer being a generalist than a specialist. What happens is I occasionally express great curiosity in a thing, learn what I can about it and then discard it as uninteresting. As such my head is a huge trash heap of trivia. I seem unable to focus myself long enough on anything to become particularly successful at it. If my life has a purpose it appears to be to soak up knowledge and eat curries. Perhaps this is a prelude to greater things, but veteran Pace-watchers aren’t laying any money on it. In times past, I’ve has toyed with making animated films, puppetry, writing, scratch model building, cartooning and improvisational comedy. Now it’s computers and Web development, this appears to be persisting so far.