Most of my research deals with ethics -- particularly issues about what moral facts are, and how we'd be motivated to do the right thing. I do some other random stuff too -- my first peer-reviewed paper was on how lonely people in this universe can have romantic relationships with people in other universes. Lonely grad students seem to like it a lot. (I was one when I wrote it.)
I'm also involved in politics. Every year I visit the Democratic Senator whom I give a lot of money. I try to get his staff interested in more federal funding for curing Africans of parasitic worms, as it's a very cost-effective way to help people. The lobbyists sometimes tell me to stop talking about worms while we're eating.
My career involves a lot of travel, which is awesome in lots of ways. It makes it hard to for me to maintain a traditional long-term monogamous relationship, though, since I'll be on the wrong continent half the time. If you want me to be one of many boys who are fond of you, I'd be delighted to have you as one of many girls who are fond of me. Being possessive wouldn't fit well with my life of adventure.
Philosophy -- or at least I got a hiring committee at the National University of Singapore to think so. During my teaching demonstration, the students were kind of shy and weren't asking questions, so I told them that if someone asked a question I'd dance. After that, the questions didn't stop.
When I'm out and about in Singapore, many people first think, "Indian guy, maybe a construction worker, I better not hit him with my car or maybe 200 brown dudes will riot like they did in Little India." And then I say something in my American accent and there's a surprised smile and "Where are you from?" (I was born in Lawrence, grew up in Raleigh, college at Harvard, PhD in Austin with a year in Ann Arbor, six years in Singapore, and now New Orleans. Conceived in Iowa City, after my immigrant dad accepted a chemistry postdoc that would give him enough money to start a family.)
I've done the Tolkien fan thing that all us kids did, and it made me look for heroic quests to go on in the real world. Nietzsche's Zarathustra got me into philosophy. Guns, Germs, and Steel is sort of a tour of awesome explanations for gigantic things. I have a lot of affection for Jane Eyre.
Casablanca is my favorite movie. Silence of the Lambs is really well done, and Heathers is amazing in ways you wouldn't expect if you hadn't seen it.
I'm a big Pogues fan. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel is my favorite album ever. Otherwise I'm big into Stars, The Coup, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a bunch of Irish and Scottish folk songs. Traditional electric-guitar-driven rock&roll doesn't usually do it for me, but I can get into Sleater-Kinney. I think Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade / Sunset Rubdown is kind of brilliant. If you've heard of Mary Prankster, you need to tell me.
I don't watch much TV. But Buffy, Firefly, and season 1 Veronica Mars really impressed me.
I love eating. If I can eat something without causing any creature to suffer, it's a good bet that it's going into my mouth. If you're into eating weird things, we should go find some weird things and eat them together.
Incidentally, I can eat fire. Just ask! And I'll show you.
Ladies who are interested in geeky stuff, possibly including politics. I've generally found myself attracted to practicality, colorful hair, a good vocabulary, pale skin, and narrow noses. (Narrow noses? Yeah, that's totally random.)
That was many years ago. His donation put him on their mailing list, and he gave even more money. I like to think that my naked ass may have saved some poor African's life.