My name is
Michael Westen. I used to be a spy. Andrew Badenoch. I typed this all by myself. Here’s some insight into my potentially relevant biases…
Credentials: None. All I’m working with is a pocket full of library cards, an internet connection, a meager 130ish IQ, and Openness in the top decile. Will Hunting said that all it takes to get a Harvard level education is $1.50 in library fines. If that was the case, I’d earn about 6 degrees per month. Since that is not the case, you may consider me nothing more than a humble journalist. My formal education is in Multimedia and International Business.
Business: Started multiple companies including a hedge fund, ad agency, and marketing company. Served as Managing Partner of a web design/development company and Marketing Director of an SMB (in which I held no ownership stake).
Bio: 6’1″, 193 lbs., never-been-married, thirty-something, hailing from the Pacific Northwest (Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Bend, et cetera, Oregon) of the United States of America. I’ve also lived in Austin, Texas and Panama City, Panama. I currently live aboard a sailboat which is likely somewhere in the waters of the Pacific Ocean as you read this.
Health/Diet/Lifestyle: Adhere to a lifestyle that’s a personal version of what’s commonly referred to as ““paleo diet” or just “paleo”, “primal“, “caveman”, “stone age”, or “hunter-gatherer”. The ultimate explanation of the strategy is that humans are adapted to foods, movements, and environments in which our species evolved. I extend this idea to its logical conclusion by extending it to thoughts, emotions, and biases. The paleolithic/Pleistocene encapsulates the bulk of important human evolution that distinguishes us from other life. Proximately, this suggests pre-agricultural-revolution foods, pre-industrial-revolution movements, pre-architectural-revolution environments, and pre-civilization psychology. In short: eat meat, fruits, and vegetables; exercise without machines; explore the planet under our own power. Addendum: There are arguments for vegetarianism, but none are particularly persuasive (least of all the polemic The China Study). In related fad diet news, “raw” diets are hype.
I’m semi-strict about avoiding all grains, but rarely turn down a beer. I use paleolithic insights as a logical framework for making optimal decisions – a method of cost-benefit analysis – not a religion. I drink coffee with cream. I eat cheese and chocolate (sometimes together *gasp*). My day-to-day life does not involve fossil fuel transportation, but I realize it’s not practical to eschew planes, trains, and automobiles in many instances.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Luddite. I love the city. I’m real quick to blame the happiness I derive from – waterfront offices and houses with a view and high ceilings – on the demands of an evolved psychology. I prefer to hike, bike, or sail. I miss my Land Cruiser sometimes. I miss ubiquitous $2 Panama City taxis most of the time.
“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” -Thomas Paine
- Anti-Partisan, but forced to lean more Anti-Republican due in large part to their subsumation and internalization of the “god, guns, and gays” narrative. I maintain a libertarian stance on those 3 Gs.
- Anti-National: The nation-state is a modern artifact of evolved in-group/out-group psychology. Note: I understand that this sounds radical, but please respect that it is nuanced. I am not an anarchist nor do I support subservience to the United Nations.
- Economics: More Keynes & Krugman than Laffer-nomics. I agree with George H. W. Bush that supply-siders advocate “voodoo economics”.
- Fanatical about maintaining and increasing the wall of separation between church and state.
- The opposite of “liberal” is not “conservative”, but “totalitarian”. I am liberal in this, the “classical”, Liberal-Totalitarian continuum sense.
- Agnostic on the Conservative-Progressive continuum.
- Pro-Green: In relation to energy production and the cleanliness of the totality of human habitat.
- Pro-Blue: In relation to limiting and reducing both toxins and overfishing of the oceans.
Religion: Raised Baptist (various flavors). Sundays of my childhood were spent either in church or pretending to be sick to get out of church. In my late-teens, I began a prolonged engagement in intense theological debates with Jehovah’s Witnesses. After some months, I came to understand various inconsistencies in Protestantism. Through a natural course of deconstruction, I eventually reasoned that the Jehovah’s Witnesses interpretation of the Bible suffered from similar systematic problems and the entire book was inconsistent at best. Eventually, all monotheism seemed untenable. I have read the Bible and the Book of Mormon cover to cover. I have attended Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and other various Christian religious services. I currently find the probability of the existence of god, gods, magical forces, mystical energy, et cetera to be exceedingly low. I do not deny that the interaction between the natural world and the chemistry of the human brain can lead to an amazing range of perceptions. I sincerely support the rights of individual religious beliefs, but am wary of what such beliefs inspire in the way of actions.