59High Wycombe, United Kingdom
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My self-summary
For your filtering convenience, I'll start with the larger reasons you might want to stop reading early:

1) I'm not going to produce or raise children with you (childfree, lost 95% of readers already).
2) You won't be my only partner, any more than I'd want only one parent or only one sibling: the instinctive need to own a partner is for joint child raising, and we've already dropped that one (polyamory, 99% of readers gone).
3) Our ages might be badly mismatched, which doesn't particularly matter for people not arranging their life cycles around the next generation (99.9% gone).
4) Well done, survivors, now look at match scores and read words below (99.99999% gone).

Other things:
Chapter One - I am born.
I was raised by wolves (well, Welsh people) so never developed the instincts for dealing with normal people without thinking about it. Fortunately I've thought about it a lot since then and now have a thorough understanding of how people behave and why. In theory. It's unclear whether this does more harm than good.

Chapter Two - what I want and don't want.
I want the same as everyone else: long term relationships with wonderful intelligent, witty, good women - but several at a time. I don't want short-term flings because I don't like the breaking up phase, and I don't want intense LDRs because I don't like the being separated most of the time. (I have in fact crossed the ocean for a heart of gold, but found the glister to be a property of email. Tut.)

The other big thing that explains a lot of my weirdness is my deep-time perspective, for example:

Where others see a narrow strip of land between hills and the Scottish coast, I see an ancient beach gouged flat as the glaciers melted and Britain became an island, then raised up as the slowly flowing rock recovered from having a mile of ice squashing it.

Where others see hand gestures as just emphasis, I see the involuntary muttering of our original language, still latent in the same brain structures we now use for spoken meaning, and only allowed to flower when deaf children invent or learn signing as a native language.

Where others see a wooden table as an inanimate object, I see a distant relative, made from an unbroken line of cell division back to the common ancestral soup of plants, fungus and animals.


Most things in small doses, and a few things in very large doses. Examples of the latter include:

Human language, particularly its relationship with our evolution, leading into evolutionary psychology and paleo-genetics. Those who forget their biological determinism are doomed to be determined by it.

Computer language, particularly inventing new networking languages with increasingly hoopy features.

Game design, turn-based internet, not role-playing and not graphical. I particularly like creating emergent behaviour, where complexity arises from simple rules: more like an ants' nest or a star than modern tax rules.

Science Fiction, mostly about ideas, though I can tolerate human interest in small amounts.

Financial derivatives, I like the endless sequence of made-up ways of trading in other made-up ways of trading. I suspect something so much fun is only legal because no-one can understand it.

History, mainly Roman and then extending out in time and space from there, but the central beauty remains Rome's transition from Republic to Empire: it's just wonderful.

Writing, mainly SF/fantasy/comedy.

And of course my lovely partners, including on here: Pogodragon and Wandra.


Primary 1
Met when we were chasing the same girl, married a month later in an end-of-term prank. Poly from the start in theory, becoming moreso in practice 15 years in. Unfortunately when the music stopped and she went monogamous, I didn't get the chair. Now living happily ever after as a man in Germany.

Primary 2 Pogodragon66
Met via internet when it was proper email with literacy and time to think, nothing too interactive. Converted her to polyamory, been together for 20 years and very happy. Also known as "wife", in a very unreconstructed pre-feminist way that's nevertheless quite endearing.

Mostly computer programming, first for satellite pictures, then financial dealing systems, then emulation of other computers, then getting other people to do the actual work. And now moved on to more useful things.

Odds and Ends

Vegetarian since 1977.
Recently learned to drive cars after 25 years on motorbikes.
Using email since before it was fashionable, when addresses contained '%' signs to control routing.

I'm quite cathemeral, partly because it's such a good word, but mainly because it means "the behaviour whereby an organism has sporadic and random intervals of activity during the day or night in which food is acquired, socializing with other organisms occurs, and any other activities necessary for livelihood are performed."

If you've read this far, or just skipped ahead to see how it ends, you may also want to look at some of my geekier thoughts, try my LiveJournal, or more delightfully front-ended with cat pictures.

I am delightful, endearing, and too clever by 0.51
What I’m doing with my life
Learning and thinking. To get it all done I may need to live forever, which fortunately is one of my plans, if only I can get the bugs out of the software in time.

Today: (for some value of today)
The way that, for tidy objects at least, the first derivative of volume is surface area, as if all matter has been made by endlessly repainting over bits of grit the size of a point. Like making pearls, or too much wall-papering.

Whether to write a book for submissives, called "Buy this, and don't put it down". I think it would sell well and be unputdownable.

Last time it was today:
Pondering emergent self-awareness in the metazoa. I find it deeply unintuitive that I feel consciousness that must be distributed over billions of neurons, as if I were a single entity rather than a colony of cells stuck together for historical reasons. Zany.

Another day:
Noticing how civilisations from the first water empires to modern oil powers obsess over the interactions of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen, just like the cells that make them up. It would be nice to think our preoccupations derive from the wants of the individual human brain, but respiration seems to have more to do with it :-(

Another other day:
Being pleased at how our ears include tiny delicate bones derived from ancestral reptile jawbones, so we can appreciate music with what the tyrannosaurus used on its crunchy prey.

Days out of mind:
Being pleased we're descended from lobe-finned fish, rather than the more common ray-finned sort, so we have nice fleshy arms for cuddling and soft bottoms for sitting on, rather than nasty spiny limbs.
I’m really good at
I don't like this section: let's change it to If I googled for your real name, what would I find?

You'd get 2040 hits, of which the highlights are:

Postal games I made up in the 1970s. These are odd not only because they're online text that pre-dates the internet (originally published on my hand-cranked Roneo duplicator), but because someone I've never heard of has a joint credit with me for the top one: who is this guy?

Modern computer games I invented in the 1990s and left running on someone else's server, still popular with players long after I've stopped paying attention. This is how Dr F must have felt.

Games I've played and won, most recently the European Dreamblade grand tournament. It happens a lot if you like analysis, planning and talking people into things. The crucial part is not to use my special powers in real life, as that would be unethical.

My TCP port (and the UDP port that came free with it). I'd like people to be impressed with this, but realistically I'd settle for bewildered.

Arguments about the computer languages I've made up, mostly with people who unaccountably prefer to stick with their old ones.

References to other people with the same name, clearly trying to make themselves more interesting by pretending to be me. At least they have the grace to be well down the Google rankings.

And you'd think after 25 years working in the computer industry there'd be something about that, but no, the cloaking device is holding up well.
The first things people usually notice about me
That I'm online rather than a physical presence, closely followed by the way that I write in complete words and sentences, which don't say what they expect.
Six things I could never do without
My partners, ideas, computers, knowledge, the ability to count to six.

Or for a more exotic but practically truer answer, symbolic representation in all its levels. From the DNA that allows complex life by encoding biology as chemistry, through human language that creates consciousness and self-awareness by encoding meaning into biology, to computer language that encodes adaptive behaviour into inanimate objects with numbers, and creates the modern world.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
You're only young once, but at least it lasts a very very very long time.

The evolutionary roots of sexual dimorphism in human behaviour, and how to fix it. For example, I'd guess the men on OKCupid fall into three groups based on which type of animal provided the genes for their mating strategy.

The first, and oldest strategy is based on the alpha male instincts that serve well in most reptiles, small birds and human hunter-gatherers, who can all raise their young cheaply enough that they need little more than genes from the father. Males in this group do best by mating with any available female, so their emphasis is on impressive tail feathers (peacocks) or showy property (bower birds) and quantity over quality.

The second strategy better suits emus, giant penguins and early farmers with the invention of monogamy, for whom raising offspring is too expensive in time and energy for the mother to succeed unaided. This is much better for most males than polygamy, since they do at least get one partner, but it means having to choose that one very carefully as all the eggs are in one basket. Here the emphasis is on choosing the best available mate and then ensuring she doesn't produce any other males' offspring by keeping her captive.

The third group have no animal role models, having looked at their own inherited instincts and decided not to follow them. These people aren't motivated by urges passed on by what worked for fish and dinosaurs, so could do anything. They might even be nice to you.
On a typical Friday night I am
An existential epiphenomenon. On an atypical Friday night, it's the day after Tuesday.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
As a child I learned about genetics before sex, which was rather puzzling, and may have set a pattern. No, that's too geeky, try again:

I've encouraged people to believe I'm a marine biologist, rather than admit I'm taking a bucket and spade (but no children) to the beach to engage in small-scale sand-based civil engineering works. Actually that's a bit geeky too, one more go:

My secret plan for world domination is going well as no-one yet suspects anything. Oops, where's the delete button on this thing?

PS and I include the word "search" here merely to exploit a bug in the OKCupid search UI.
You should message me if
You only ever use the word "ur" when talking about the Mesopotamian city. The occasional adverb would be nice too. And if you could possibly be older than my cat, it would be just super.
The two of us