32 Norwich, VT
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My self-summary
(this section and the others are work in progress. I wanted to write something coherent but got bored before getting there. I'll come back sometime and add more content. Or maybe not.)

"yea yea I'll write sth in here sometime... or not... I'm really mostly interested in the mathematics of match-making... seeing if it comes up with sth intuitively logical"

That was the original caption for this section... but then I got trapped... answering questions, reading profiles, taking tests... and so, after wasting many perfectly fine hours on this site, I decided I might as well write a few lines here... maybe someone will actually deign me worthy to talk to... who knows? Besides, like most people, I just love to ramble on endlessly about myself to total strangers who couldn't care less. So here goes:

I live in the US, but hail originally from Belgium, which, I might add, beats the former country hands down in the fields of beer, chocolate, any kind of food really, sophistication and detached coolness, bilateralism, wild parties, universal healthcare, relaxed attitude toward illegal drugs and underage drinking ("Can I see your ID, sir?" Grrrr...), staggeringly high suicide rates, summer festivals, beautiful historical downtowns, and several more I forgot, any day of the week. To be fair and not sound like one of those haughty, America-hating Europeans (which annoy me endlessly myself), there are some things to say for the ole US of A: people say hello to you on the street, not one third of the voting population are racist bigots (at least not in New England), it actually matters who wins the elections here, and it is biiiiiig! Oh and one more thing I love about this country: the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny concept. I got so tired of carrying loads of useless eurocents in my wallet back home... And quaint small-town country fairs. And exalted crowds singing "Oh beautiful for spacious skies". And the still pervasive spirit of youth and vitality. And a welfare system that hasn't gone over the edge yet. And televangelists. And skyscrapers. Ah who am I kidding: I love this country! (Don't think I'll ever give up my citizenship, though. There's still some Middle-Eastern countries I wanna visit...)

I'm an atheist by temperament, an agnost by creed and a pantheist by aesthetics. I have a deep respect for believers, but only if it's for the right reasons ('Credo quia impossibile' makes sense to me), and if they are tormented by it, not soothed. "Suffering is God's greatest gift to mankind": if you can think such contrived, perverted thoughts, I honestly respect you.

I walk the thin line between bleak cynicism and sugary sentimentalism. On the one hand, I am seriously in favour of obligatory euthanasia for a large subset of the population. On the other hand, my freezer is stuffed with roadkill I find and could not stand to just let it rot there. See for yourself which side you like better.

I wear exclusively black. This is not because I'm some sort of angsty goth kid with a misguided fascination for death and graveyards, but simply because I only buy and ttherefore only own black clothes. (I did buy a very colourful tie-dye shirt today. But I'll probably save that for a special occasion... like my wedding or so.)

Politically I'm rather progressive, but I also strongly believe in capitalism and a high degree of economical freedom (with some government checks, for example on environmental issues) which would disqualify me as pure Democrat. The whole idea that political ideas can be expressed along a unidimensioanl spectrum and the resulting polarization is idiotic; I mean why should I have to advocate backward socialist ideas if I happen to think guys doing guys is perfectly fine? I guess on the US political chart I would be Libertarian, but it seems unlikely they will provide the next president. Who cares, I can't vote anyway.

I'm a night owl. Worse, I'm not even on a 24 hour rhythm. Usually I'll wake in the late afternoon, then keep going all night and the next day, and turn in after midnight for a nice 16-hour stretch of sleep - but they are many exceptions to that too. One of my claims to fame is staying awake for 69 hours (without synthetic stimulants); on another occasion I slept for 31 (without getting up to use the bathroom).

I used to do quite a lot of drugs (and the fact that I don't anymore is not so much a result of increasing emotional maturity as of decreasing availability after moving into the States - thanks a lot, Richard Nixon!) and still carry the scars: awe at being alive, belief in the relativity of the Absolute, occasional outbursts of spontaneous ecstasy, and such. Paranoid delusions too, but I think that's just me.

I have a very limited supply of social savviness, although I fancy there has been some improvement since even darker ages (don't we all just wanna destroy every memory from high school?), meaning that my expected genetic fitness would probably end up in the lower quartile. A friend of mine claims he has a personal dating trainer. I think I'll get me one of those, too.

Like any node in the grand network of money flow that is the developed world, I'm mostly defined by my consumption behaviour, but it's a notch different than that of most. There's only so much money to go around (especially on a grad students paycheck) so one has to set one's priorities straight. I guess I spend more than the average consumer on books, coffee and wine. Groceries also add up, but mostly because I'm totally unorganized and buy whatever strikes my fancy without taking nutritional value into account ('Hey, 50 grams of some obscure Albanian goat cheese for $10? Gotta taste that!). I try to travel quite a lot (railroad journeys in Eastern Europe back home, and last minute flights to major metropolises here), but manage to keep it low budget. On the other hand, I make up for the debauchery by spending next to nothing on clothes, CDs (yes I know ripping kills the music industry - it haunts me at night), the heinous plague known as the mobile phone, and gasoline (being carless).

I have been told I can be quite funny actually, but it doesn't show through here, cause being funny and making a point don't go together to well, and I was aiming for the latter. I'm also not horribly unattractive physically, but I do not release recognizable pictures of myself in the public domain as a matter of principle, so you'll have to take my word for it. (Well, I am pretty thin for my height. Combined with the hollow eyes and slightly pale complexion this makes for a nice three-days-dead look.)

I'm loquacious. Well, I'm too timid and socially inadequate to actually talk to people face to face without a drink or eight, but I do write a lot. I like words. I like expressing ideas in a concise and expressive way, even if said ideas in themselves do not amount to much. (Hate to sound like some of these 'smarter than thou' profiles I've read, but this means I do value correct spelling and grammar. Hey, if some dumb immigrant like myself can speak proper English then so can you!). As a result, I sometimes get overly verbose. Hell, I managed to turn a profile for a dating site I might never visit again into a ten-page litany.

I realize that as long as i don't start writing elaborate and funny tests and questions nobody will probably ever look upon this, much less be favourably impressed by it. But I see all this mostly as a personal exploration anyway. Sad as it might sound, this is the stuff we craft our sense of self from.

In case you're wondering where the OKCupid nick comes from: the weka is, beside an endemic New-Zealandese bird, also a data mining/ machine learning suite developed at Waikato University and named after the author's national symbol. When it is calculating, progress is shown by the antics of a little dancing bird. There you go.

I am completely, r, and om
What I’m doing with my life
Good question... the short answer is I'm a grad student at Dartmouth College, and hope to get a Ph.D. in life sciences some more years from now. So far, I have succeeded in avoiding making any real, binding decisions as to the direction to take in this, but I won't be able to hide for much longer. Probably it will be something like computational analysis of biological clocks in filamentous fungi, so if you're into that, message me.

But of course, this is just a cover for my true agenda:

(which I will reveal in due time)
I’m really good at
This will take some thinking.

In the mean time, if anybody knows how to turn on this "things I think about while masturbating" tab I saw on some profiles, please tell me. I have a LOT more to tell on that topic.

Apparently it is some sort of invocation of Math.Random in the underlying applet that gives you a 2 percent chance of getting the opportunity to share your masturbatory fixations with the world. I was not one of the lucky ones. You can always ask me of course, but for now is just the list of things I am really really good at:

* thinking of very strange things while masturbating

* reading while walking/riding a bike (guess that's one of the reason why they won't let me drive a car)

* taking likings to complete strangers, and dislikes to people I've known forever, both for no apparent reasons

* finding unlikely sources of inebriation

* thinking of the perfect reproach, two seconds too late

* improvising ways to keep quality chocolate from melting on hot summer's days

* getting punched real hard in the face when deciding on the wrong blocking movements during karate practice

* finding really great books and other priceless artifacts for less than a dollar

* completely ruining my respiratory and cardiovascular system and significantly decreasing my expected lifespan by an activity I don't even like that much

* taking pictures of cloud formations

* anally retaining every piece of scrap paper I ever touched in any way, and ordering them chronologically, too

* getting in trouble with the law for very silly reasons (public urination comes to mind...)

* believing there is a hidden order of supra-galactic importance in the course of mundane events that only I am entitled to see

* missing the last train/bus and facing the choice between walking 15 miles home or crashing in a public park for the night

* getting annoyed at very basic spelling and grammar mistakes, the idiots who make them, and, most of all, the spelling correctors who automatically assume I am one of these idiots

* crashing headfirst trough windowshields on frontal impact, and getting off the hook with a few superficial scratches and a 'riding a bike while intoxicated' bullshit admonition

* having my cake, and eating it too

* saying exactly the right thing at exactly the wrong time, or vice versa

* unintentionally frightening young children

* devising elaborate philosophies of the absurd

* picking up useless stuff (not to mention roadkill) from the street

* singing along tunes I've never heard before, making the lyrics up as I go

* making quite effective explosive devices from kitchen chemicals (more a childhood thing really... it's been a while since I blew up a mailbox)

* locating free food (arguably a skill every grad student becomes a pro at sooner or later)

* getting seriously, dangerously, ambulatory-medical-assistance-requiring drunk and not vomit or pass out

* phantasizing about becoming the first triple Nobel Prize winner in history (I was thinking medicine - chemistry - literature, but any combination will do really (except the Peace Prize, which I privately refer to as the Pussy Prize))

* being tolerant and forgiving

* being uptight and spiteful

* tossing my little nephew up the air, and catching him too (before he grew too big for that - fortunately I have an even littler niece)

* falling asleep in unconventional and inconvenient places

* screwing up Northern blots (hey, they're hard!)

* saving the horse and riding the cowboy

* starting to write the world greatest epic novel and giving up on page two

* composing real long lists

OK, so maybe I do have qualities and am therefore not an entire waste of space and oxygen. Unfortunately, most of them will probably not significantly contribute to the completion of my Ph.D. degree or the finding of true love and happiness...
The first things people usually notice about me
* from miles away: the big hair. Think hardcore rastafarian meets early Robert Smith from the Cure.

* approaching closer: total, utter, borderline-pathological social awkwardness

* getting to know me better: weirdness. Sometimes in an intellectual, educated sense, sometimes just in the plain weird sense.

* eventually: that I'm a real, essentially loveable individual (well, yeah... eventually... I can hope, can't I?)
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Disclaimer: the following lists (particularly the books one) will come off as extremely dry and show-offish. Deal with it. However, books, and knowledege in general, are so big a part of me that if you have read and liked most of the stuff described below, I will probably like you, even when you are an octogenarian gay-bashing, gun-toting, little-boys-sodomizing-and-stranging, crack-smoking lifetime convict with a homicidal personality and a big swastika tattooed on your back. Just to say that good taste ranks higher on my list than personality or looks, generally.

a) OK, this will be a long list. I'll admit I'm a big time cultural snob, and will generally not read anything unless it's a recognized classic or has a redeeming feature such as weirdness, relevance to something that interests me, or disapproval by someone I disapprove of myself. If I want mindless entertainment, I'll surf the net, watch TV or listen to the voices in my head. That being said, I have abhor pseudo-intellectuals who will only read such works for the sake of having read them, forming informed opinions about them and discussing them over fancy drinks. Anyway, here goes:

Some of my favourite authors (of which I have read the better part of their work, and am of the opinion that anything by them is well worth your time) include Nabokov, Kafka, Musil, Pessoa (several authors for the price of one, really), Borges, Hesse, Burroughs, Vonnegut, Hamsun, Auster, Wilde, Baudelaire, Blake... I could write a whole profile page on any one of those (but I won't). I laughed my guts out with all five episodes of the 'increasingly misnamed' H2G2 trilogy, and love Dr. Seuss.

Here's a random list of books by miscellaneous authors that I enjoyed more than sex (and that everyone with half a brain most likely will, too)... definitely complete at this stage but I will add more as they pop back into my seriously fragmented memory: The White Hotel (this is the one I read most recently of the list, and I'm still recovering - it will blow your liver out I promise you that), De Avonden (The Evenings, although I'm not sure if it's ever been translated - easily the best novel ever written in Dutch and a reason to learn the language on its own), 1984, The Atrocity Exhibition, Foucault's Pendulum, Neverwhere, The Stranger, Journey to the End of the Night (and Death on the Installment Plan too), Life of Pi, Atlas Shrugged, Flowers for Algernon, Red Earth and Pouring Rain, The Secret History, Eva Luna...

Some very long books that in an ideal world should be even longer are: Melmoth the Wanderer, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, The Magic Mountain, Infinite Jest, and the best modern classic IMO: Gravity's Rainbow. Never managed to tackle Ulysses, though.

If you truly want to understand this weird construct called our Western culture you'll have to go back to the classics - plus they are well worth it in their own right. If you could only send three books in your space ship/ time capsule, take one each of Homer (I'd go with the Odyssey personally; the Illiad is probably equally important, but I got bored with it - it seems that they are only so many body parts a man can have an arrow enter through and take his life-breath), Ovid want to understand every man deepest desires and fears? Read the [[Metamorphoses) and Dante (the whole Divine Comedy, although the Inferno is obviously the most enticing to our modern perversions). Shakespeare should probably be on that list too, but unfortunately I'm virtually illiterate as far as he's concerned.

My philosophy is strongly influenced by Schopenhauer (I read both parts of the "World as Will and Imagination" in high school and it's still a big part of me now) and Nietzsche (like most angry young intellectuals I started reading him way too young and missed the point; now I think that I get it and most other people don't). More recently there's Sartre and the rather obscure Romanian aphorist Cioran that I refer to a lot. And if you're interested in the nature of consciousness we should have a chat sometime.

I read a lot of scientific publications, mostly about my own research of course, but I also love just browsing back issues of Nature or Cell. We live in an interesting age, not so much qua world events (same old shit, generally) as in the exponential growth of scientific knowledge, and the completely new ways of thinking they bring about. Sometimes I get pretty high just reading papers with such topics as "A probabilistic view of gene function" or "Evolutionary algorithms and artificial life". I'm also interested in religion (mostly Christianity, Buddhism and shamanism; I tend to believe all other types of spirituality can be rephrased in terms of these), psychology (not the pop kind), human suffering, mathematics, physical sciences, history (currently getting up to speed with the American part of it - I'm ready for my citizenship exam!), the nature of language... and read voraciously on them (or at least would given an infinite number of hours in a day). I love mythology from all cultures, but am only relatively knowledgeable about the Greco-Latin one, and slightly less with the Norse and Hindu system. One thing I can reminisce endlessly on is how much of them is local, pan-Indo-European (I prefer 'Aryan', but that word has gotten a bad rep since Hitler. The swastika is a beautiful and powerful symbol and it's high time we reclaim it from the Nazi's) or universal. We are the archetypes.

b) I seriously need to brush up on my pop culture. Where I work now most of the conversation consists of witty references to obscure movies, and I feel I'm missing out on the fun. Anyway, here are some movies I can watch over and over: Edward Scissorhands. A Beautiful Mind. Pi. American Beauty. Requiem for a Dream. Dancer in the Dark. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Oh, and I just love the Simpsons. I can probably quote entire episodes for- and backwards. Recently I'm beginning to appreciate Family Guy, after being biased against it as a Simpsons rip-off for years. King of the Hill still stinks.

c) The best band of all time, without a doubt, is Joy Division. A close second is Radiohead, and then maybe the Doors. There you have it: my musical taste spans four decades.

Other timeless bands include: (...)

Some contemporary ones that get me humming along: (...)

And then there are some genres I seriously dig but do not have any specific favourites in: melodic metal (don't know if that's the right term for it; I'm thinking of any kind of 'metal' that has intelligent lyrics and where the singing does not sound like a cat being killed - think Tiamat, Tristania, Therion), punk (not what passes for it nowadays (I heard Avril Lavigne described as punk somewhere - comon now,people!) - late 70's, Sex Pistols kinda punk, and preferably even from East of the Iron Curtain), some types of industrial and new wave - oh, and I love Goa and psychedelic trance, mostly dating back from a short period in my life when I was peripherally involved with the rave scene (a period which also gave me a profound appreciation for dreadlocked, vegan, anorexic-looking girls with fluorescent clothing, far left leanings and a tendency to overindulge in E - if you're one of them, do message me!)

d) I don't enjoy food all that much and mostly see it as a necessity to prevent that gnawing empty feeling in your stomach and sustain healthy bowel movements. Some things I like though are: bread with nothing but olive oil and coarse salt (this is pretty much my staple food), artichokes, all kinds of mushrooms, big bloody steaks, fries (the ones served in Belgium, not what passes for them here), chocolate (same caveat there), kebab... I also have an unhealthy preference for all things extremely hot, and habitually smother most everything I eat with tabasco (or clones with such mouth-watering names as 'Temporal Insanity' or 'Radioactive Iguana'), probably having killed the better part of my taste buds and stomach lining by now.
The six things I could never do without
1) books!!!

2) illegal drugs, or, lacking those, at least alcohol

3) endless, boundless, all-pervasive, mind-numbing, heart-wrenching doubt

4) people (I hate to admit this, but it's true - not so much anybody specific, but I think even our most private endeavours would lose their meaning if there wasn't anybody to, at least potentially, watch them)

5) big cities (NY comes in first - I always wanted to know somebody who lives there - *hint*)

6) the idea that it's still not too late to do something useful with my life... if I start working on it... seriously... now!

6bis) brominated vegetable oils: without them my Mountain Dew would not look as if it were made with real citrus juice

6tris) capsaicin

6quater) my Fields medal
I spend a lot of time thinking about
mostly very trivial stuff pertaining to noone but me... but the following are of more general interest and of themselves sufficient to keep me from sleeping most of the nights:

* that a hundred years from now, nobody on earth will be aware I once existed, or care about it

* that at this very moment, almost nobody on earth is aware I exist, or would care if I stopped doing so

* that I really should've gone to the bathroom before going too bed, but that's it way to warm and cozy to get out now

* that I know next to nothing about almost anything

* related: that they are thousands of interesting places in the world that I will never get to visit in the short time allotted me on earth

* that we all pretty much know the answer to such questions as the meaning of life or the way to find happiness, but keep on stumbling and blundering nonetheless

* that the loonies will take over
On a typical Friday night I am
* getting drunk

* sitting home and grudge about not getting drunk

* saying 'screw it' and just get drunk at home
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I actually smoked crack once. Just once. Didn't like it.

I ask for the 'washroom' in stead of the 'restroom' so people think I'm Canadian.

I have a persistent phantasy about sodomizing and strangling little boys. I can't decide which one to do first.
You should message me if
* you think I might be interesting to talk to, and at least some people consider you interesting to talk to, too

* you're boring but the voices in your head aren't

* you found a spelling or factual error in my profile

* you think I have an absolutely bland, mainstream taste and want to give suggestions to change that

* you are looking for raw, bestial, commitmentless sex with a random stranger (only girls need apply for this one)

* you like endless discussions on the nature of life, the universe and everything

* you have some weed you want to share (I'm fresh out)

* you are a night owl yourself (or live in a very different timezone) and sometimes have trouble finding someone to blabber with at 6 AM Eastern Time

* you are smarter than me

* you have vital intelligence on an upcoming terrorist attack

* anytime really - I don't have much of a life...