41Manhattan, United States
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My self-summary
Try as I might, I don't think I can compress myself into this box.

If you'd like to get a better sense of who I am, spend a little time comparing our answers. I really went bananas with the questions, answering over 2,000 (so many, in fact, that virtually all the ones left are intended for Brits.)

I have to add that OkC has misjudged my personality. They say I'm far worse-mannered than average, but in truth I'm actually very polite. For example, I couldn't bring myself to ignore someone who's taken time to write me a message. I think the problem is just that algorithms don't understand self-deprecating humor yet.

As you'll see from my comments on various answers, I have strong opinions, and many are considered eccentric or unconventional in this neck of the woods. But I'm a thoughtful person, and I don't mind strong opinions that differ from mine. There's hardly anything I enjoy more than trying to figure out the world, to identify laws and patterns, and to understand how things work. I love to share that quest with others who find it pleasurable, whether we incline toward the same kinds of conclusions or not.
What I’m doing with my life
Thinking about what to do next. I've just left academia, and there are a few interesting directions I might take. The main one is an idea for a startup that would be aimed at helping math and science teachers do their jobs better and more easily. It's an idea I had when I was a high school math teacher, but I haven't had the free time to develop it until now. But I'm also considering going back to school to study engineering. There are a couple of other, more unusual possibilities as well, but I think I'll save those until you know me a little better.
I’m really good at
Mathematics. Survival and primitive living skills. Thinking and rethinking issues, being able to change my mind when the evidence calls for it. Building and fixing things. Getting over inhibitions. Solving problems, both mathematical and "secular". Helping people out (especially with moving --- which I've done about ten or eleven times now!). Collecting power tools and terrible action movies. Enjoying myself and enjoying the people around me. Appreciating small pleasures, and the quiet spaces between the notes of life. Taking a cold-eyed view of reality, but dreaming of a better future. Being there when I'm needed. Unpacking complicated issues, and not needing to put them back together again. Forgiving and forgetting, moving on from the past. Questioning my assumptions. Doing the right thing, or worrying about whether I am. Being a calm presence, a stabilizer. Giving and appreciating warmth.
The first things people usually notice about me
I think it's a certain kindness in my face.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
These things always get so oddly specific. Maybe people should learn each other's tastes in smaller doses. But here goes.

BOOKS: A long time ago I made the decision not to read any fiction (with a few exceptions). My literary friends tell me this makes me a philistine, but at least I'm a philistine who knows a little bit about how the world works. My reasoning was that (1) I really enjoy learning about reality, and (2) there's only so much time and mental space one can give over to reading. So I read nonfiction pretty much exclusively, dividing my time more or less equally between technical math and physics, analytic philosophy and philosophical logic, popular accounts of contemporary science (mostly biology, economics, and psychology), works on technology, engineering and the future, reconstructions of the early human past, episodes of recorded history, and anything on survival, primitive living skills, and permaculture (small-scale, self-sustaining, closed-cycle agriculture). I also read lots of news/analysis sites, blogs, and specialty sites (particularly about nuclear energy and space exploration, two subjects I find extremely fascinating).

MOVIES: Movies are just entertainment for me. I'll risk admitting, a bit sheepishly, that I have a weakness for terrible martial arts movies, and I own every Steven Seagal movie ever made (including and especially the ones that went straight to DVD, which all contain a love scene in which Seagal goes to bed with his wife wearing a long leather coat). Some recent favorite movies have focused on the early 1960s, which I see as a kind of golden age. To mention one, I really like "Thirteen Days", about the Cuban Missile Crisis (JFK is one of my heroes). It features Kevin Costner doing an even worse Massachusetts accent than his English accent from Robin Hood, but somehow despite that it manages to be one of the best movies I've ever seen.

SHOWS: I don't have a TV or particularly like TV (it was so much better in the 70's... where have you gone, Columbo?).

MUSIC: I have unusual taste in music. As a kid, I lived for blues and classic rock (Clapton, Beck, etc.), which led me to pick up the guitar. I never got very good at that, but the lasting effect was that it strongly colored the way I hear and appreciate music. Most of what I listen to now is guitar-driven or string-driven in some way: from Bach lute suites to medieval harp music, to percussive acoustic guitar instrumentals, to my current favorite: sexy 80's fusion jazz (that's right, I did say "sexy 80's"). Here's a piece I really like, which builds gradually in intensity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X48DXt8Jn7M. I also listen to Israeli jazz, Pakistani pop (Coke Studio Pakistan is one of the best things ever made), Coltrane, Haydn, Native American flute songs, etc. It's all weird, but I think all good.

FOOD: Basically, I just like all food. Some favorites: Middle Eastern (best of all Turkish), Mexican, Indian, German (a good bratwurst with sauerkraut and beer is heaven for me), Vietnamese, French, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Ethiopian.
Six things I could never do without
Air, clothing, shelter, fire, water, food --- in that order. All else is luxury.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Liquid fluoride thorium reactors. Loop quantum gravity. The Apollo program. Philosophical logic. Retiring on Mars. The global energy crisis. Beautiful engineering. Differential geometry. Fusion reactors. Fusion jazz. Interstellar space. The female form. The perfect cup of coffee. The less-than-perfect cup of coffee. History and prehistory. Evolution. The future.

By the way, "F-Li-Be" is a chemist's shorthand for a solution of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride. It's a molten salt solution in which nuclear fuels such as thorium can be dissolved and burned up in a beautifully efficient and inherently self-stabilizing reaction. I believe this reaction could be the key to the next chapter in the development of technological civilization. I guess it's pretty strange for a dating site username, though.
On a typical Friday night I am
Reading, web surfing, listening to music, running around with my dog, maybe having a beer or a coffee with a friend, or some "shabbos pork" with my brothers. Nothing too crazy.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I want to live on Mars. Also, I lament the absence of the em dash from the standard keyboard.
You should message me if
you feel like saying hello. I don't have any formal requirements. And of course, I promise to answer every message I receive, without fail.
The two of us