EthicalWerewolf
36 Singapore, Singapore
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EthicalWerewolf
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My self-summary
In 2008, I got my PhD and moved from America to Singapore to become a philosophy professor. Things turned out well! My life is full of smart fun people to talk to, including colleagues and students in Singapore as well as philosophers and activists and bartenders I meet on international lecture tours.
What I’m doing with my life
Philosophy! Giving talks on it at conferences, writing books about it, and teaching it to our smart eager students.

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.
I’m really good at
Dancing, at least if you count a sort of hyperkinetic contortionism. If you're curious, see my pictures. I'm not especially good at proper human dances, but if you push me onto an open floor with music playing, people will have a good time pointing and laughing.

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.
The first things people usually notice about me
If they're professors proctoring exams in the same hall as me, it's that I look pretty young. One came up to me once and said "Go back to your seat! Students can't stand there!"

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.)
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
I don't read enough outside of work. All my nonacademic friends are reading a couple novels a month. But a lot of my research work is reading, and when I'm done with that I just want to drink things and make animal noises.

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.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
What counts as good evidence for a moral judgment. I think ethics today is basically the same place physics was back in 1500 -- most people believe what the church tells them. My job is about figuring out the right answers. I think this will actually work.

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.)
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
We were passing by a gigantic glass-walled computer lab at the end of a drunken night, and my friend Mike offered me $50 to pull my pants down and moon everybody inside. I thought about it for a second, and then said "I'll do it, but you have to give the money to Doctors Without Borders." He agreed, and I rubbed my bare ass against the computer lab as he banged on the wall to get everybody's attention.

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.
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