42Halifax, Canada
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My self-summary
I'll be visiting my family in Halifax and Chester from August 12 for a couple of weeks (no return date yet). One day I may move back permanently, but not just yet. Meanwhile, do you have a recommendation for a good place to eat or dance? Shall we grab coffee, make music, go sailing...?

I used to believe that I wanted to learn everything. But knowledge is fractal; a universe hides in tiny networks of neurons, in a cacao bean, in the way fingers touch a violin, in a dancer's retelling of a piece of music, in the turbulent air behind a bicycle. I used to find new subjects to learn about every day, but these days I am digging a little deeper. Or perhaps I'm just lazy.

I love human-powered, noncompetitive "sports", although I used to be one of Canada's best swordsmen. I love Colorado's mountains, the highlands of Newfoundland, the Sierra Nevada, and wild places. I love oceans, and have sailed thousands of miles in the Atlantic. I bike more than I drive (update: in Boston I usually just walk everywhere). My other primary interest is music, at which I'm working hard after a long hiatus.

I would like to live for a long time, and be physically and mentally at my peak for as much of it as possible. So I'm learning to build a healthy lifestyle around the kind of work I do. I finally have time to learn about and implement good habits in diet, exercise, sports, sleep, friendship, personal balance, and I'm fascinated by social, eco[logical|nomic], urban, health, and environmental policies that foster societies that maximise social welfare outcomes on all scales and throughout the biosphere.

I'm quiet, contemplative, introverted, often shy, flirtatious and even outgoing under the right conditions. I am always working to make my communication more open, honest, curiosity-driven, rigorous, and compassionate, and highly value that in others.

What am I looking for? Someone who can keep up with me, expand my world view, challenge me, make me smile or scratch my head. Friendship, good conversation, quick wit, some common interests and a similar outlook. Always adventure! A life partner? Possibly, but not necessarily: I will not try to force a relationship to become something it's not, nor end a good one because it's more casual or more serious than I'd first imagined.

What are your local-flavoured analogues of Colorado activities such as walks in wild places, skiing, camping by our own private lake, live music, cello mountaineering, ...?

To quote the immortal Feynman: "Pick meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I am cruel, boring, and smelly.
What I’m doing with my life
Cyborg postdoc: using brain implants to augment learning! Wondering whether I want to be a professor when I grow up. Wondering whether I actually want to grow up. Learning cello. Dancing Argentine tango and blues. Learning to sing Schubert. Studying ancient kung fu/karate. Newly: Corde Lisse (a circus art)! Escaping into the mountains. Learning to top. Shibari. Telemark skiing. Biking more, driving less. Playing Weiqi. Learning to teach. Learning to manage a research team (who put me in charge, anyway?). Travelling. Learning the art of negotiation. Climbing. Cooking. Yoga.

Sometimes I carry a camera. Does any of this look like your kind of fun?

Current logistical trivia:

For now I've put my dreams of living in London, Reykjavik, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Christchurch, Munich, Tokyo, Thimphu, places I've never heard of, etc on hold in favour of Boston, due to a phenomenal postdoctoral research position. However, I would love to travel to meet you. Will you show me your favourite things about your home town? Especially if it is near Halifax, N.S., Canada—my origin, and the location of my family. Or anywhere else that you love and want to share.

I have a hunch that OkCupid might be better than couchsurfing.com for finding intriguing people in intriguing places for adventure and friendship, whether or not sex is on the table (or on the kitchen counter, or in a nearby tree...). If you concur, please say hi! (References available.)

Just how poly am I?

It's important to me to figure out love. What follows are some current observations--perhaps this could serve as a conversational boiling chip?

Humans are not monogamous, but it's common in the modern USA to expect monogamy of your partner. How do you resolve that conflict? One extreme is to agree to minimise the risk of becoming interested in anyone else (with varying degrees of denial and ugliness if that fails). The opposite extreme seems to be to completely embrace compersion--the failure modes seem to revolve around communicating poorly, not making enough time, and running away from problems. Are there other approaches? Where along the spectrum in between extremes do I want to be?

While I tend to have few partners, I've never appreciated the logic behind making enforced monogamy a default. On the other hand, I've seen "polyamory" used both as a cover for some fairly dishonorable behaviours and to describe wonderful lifestyles that are not really my thing, so while I love that ideal, I am still trying to figure out whether I fit into the community, and what I can learn from it.

My experience so far has led me to a new understanding of myself. For me, a good relationship needn't be threatened by a third person. I love the ease with which I can see people (and relationships) not for what I want them to be, but for what they are or could be. I love how each new love enriches my life differently.

I am happy being a secondary or low-priority partner—I don't demand much time or energy—but I need to connect with someone intellectually and share some creative experiences before I'll seek sex. I am pretty cuddly, though...

If you think there's a chance that we might get along brilliantly, or you just want to chat about stuff, go hiking, make music, experiment with tasty or weird foods, check out a concert, etc, with me, please do drop me a note!
I’m really good at
Sailing. Teaching. Asking the question that needs to be asked. Learning new instruments. Telemark skiing. Margaritas. Fencing. Inventing algorithms. Happy-hour philosophy. Pizza. Looming, swooping, and terrifying small children. Hot chocolate. Bullshitting. Simultaneously taking several sides of an argument. Grilling salmon. Finding buried avalanche beacons. Backrubs. Chai.
The first things people usually notice about me
The consensus seems to be that I "smell really good." I have no explanation for this.

People often think I'm flirting with them. There are two reasons for this: first, that I make eye contact, listen, smile when I make connections, and think about what they are saying; and second, that I'm probably flirting with them.

I remind at least one friend of Tom Bombadill, but that may be anomalous.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
  • Books: Neil Gaiman, Alexander Pushkin, Douglas Hofstadter, Will Shakespeare, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Daniel Dennett, Alain de Botton, Michael Pollan, Orson Scott Card, Steven Levitt, Dossie Easton & Janet Hardy, Franklin Veaux & Eve Rickert, William McDonough, James Gleick, Jorge Cham, J.R.R.Tolkein, E.A.Poe, Dan Savage, Jared Diamond, Mikhail Bulgakov, Galina Vishnevskaya, Hermann Hesse, Phil & Kaja Foglio, Tom Stoppard, Peter Turchin, Patterson/Grenny/McMillan/Switzler, Harvard Negotiation Project, science, historical fiction, history, philosophy, explorer records, detective novels, ...

  • Moving pictures: Akira Kurosawa. Steve Moffat. Some Stanley Kubrick. Some Hayao Miyazaki. Most Jim Henson. Joss Whedon. Babylon 5 was prophetic. Caprica. Game Of Thrones. Doctor Who. What left an impression recently? Some Jet Li or other, Motorcycle Diaries, The Matrix, Delicatessen, Some Like It Hot, Romeo+Juliet, Memento, 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, Casablanca, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Godfather, Fight Club, Wallace and Gromit... but I'm a bit behind on my pop culture consumption. Help?

  • Music: Bach, Shostakovich, Brahms, Kodály, Pugliese, Bartók, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Monteverdi, Chopin, Palestrina, Piazzolla, Mendelssohn, Lassus, Verdi, Kronos Quartet... I play cello well enough to entertain myself and people who like me. I love premeditated jazz but I just don't end up reaching for it very often. Tango and blues are interesting iff I'm dancing; I especially love dancing tango to blues music. Improv jazz and bluegrass I'd rather produce than consume. I love making music with (but not at) friends. Join me?

  • Foods: Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Mexican... bread, chocolate, cardamom, fish, garlic, eggplant, peaches, honey, olives, bacon, cumin, tea, shiitake, habaneros, wine, espresso, scotch... At home I'm about 90% vegetarian (as in, I guess about 10% of my diet is meat). I find that I mostly keep to the Michael Pollan diet. Other foods? Try me!
Six things I could never do without
Ideas, brains, sunlight, music, silence, chocolate, the integers, wilderness, the sound of wind in pine trees, a tardis, a direct telepathic link to the Internet, actinomycetes, world peace, things that I do not yet understand, raw dead fish, people who know when to break the rules...
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Love, friends, work, play, communication, social justice, acknowledging problems but choosing to rejoice, under what conditions "not sustainable" is okay, how to save mankind from the curse of its own success...
On a typical Friday night I am
Dancing, out with friends, in with a good book, playing baduk, singing or playing cello, packing for a weekend adventure, already on a weekend adventure...
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
Once, in order to get laid, I briefly considered learning about some other genres of music. (In all fairness, I think "genres" are bollocks, and admire those who like Good Music in a genre-blind kind of way. But I also know what makes my spine/brain tingle, and what doesn't.)

Also, I quit both porn and sailing dinghies, and am consequently looking for a new ab workout. Suggestions?
You should message me if
You have a really intriguing thought that you want to share.

You can teach me to cook Indian food, or Chinese, or...

You can teach me how to build a cozy snow shelter.

You can show me where to run, away from cars.

You might want to try making music with me.

You know a beautiful spot in the mountains.

You want to help me plant some trees.

You can ski avalanche debris.

You can play the Chaconne.

You spurn makeup.

You can outwit me.

You can tango.

You wish to.
The two of us