41Mannheim, Germany
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My self-summary
Note: I don't live in Mannheim yet, but I will move there soon - my new job there starts in mid-September.


Physicist by training, project manager in the field of energy efficiency by day, tabletop role-playing gamer on the weekends.

In my free time, I bicycle around the countryside, go swimming, read books (lots of books) on any conceivable topic, hang out with my gaming group, catch up with news on the latest technological and social developments, and otherwise speculate on how the future of our civilization will develop (on which I tend to be far more optimistic than most). Some time ago I also decided to get more involved with politics and joined the German Green party (not to be confused with the American Green party - actually having to shoulder political responsibility from time to time has made them a lot more realistic and pragmatic...).

I have taken up digital painting as a hobby, and I am actually getting fairly decent as of late. I am now willing to take requests for portraits from other OKCupid users, and I will post them on my Journal when I am finished. You can see my latest efforts there - or you can view the most recent at my Portrait Gallery.

I also joined Google+ - you can find my local profile here.
What I’m doing with my life
Now that I have finished my PhD, a major phase of my life has ended. Looking back, my life and career have taken some rather unexpected turns, but these seem to have worked out for the best - better than I expected, even. The lesson I have learned from this is not that planning ahead is futile, but that the best plan is to work hard to improve oneself in body and mind, so that you will be ready to firmly grasp the good opportunities that come your way. I do not know what the future will hold for me (hopefully a family and children, some day...), but I want to say this:

Despite all the problems of our world - the wars, the strife, the pollution and the ignorance and the hatred out there - we do live in a world of miracles and wonders. Every time I turn my head it seems as if some new field of human knowledge and technology celebrates a breakthrough. Every day I read and learn more about the collective achievements of humanity, and I can only stare in amazement. Everything is changing so fast that there can be little doubt that we are at the dawn of a new age, and though it might fall short of the technological Singularity some futurists predict, a new wave is coming that will transform human civilization utterly - with what result, no one can guess right now.

But I do intend to ride that wave.
I’m really good at
Figuring out how systems work. "System", in this context, can mean anything from the growth of crystals to the growth of cities, the interactions in communities (both on- and offline), the dynamics of ecosystems, and anything else that could conceivably be described by numbers. Describe a particularly fascinating problem to me, and I might very well come up with a mathematical model description, and some ideas for simulating it. This might not be the most accurate model, but it's a start...
The first things people usually notice about me
I get mistaken for a student all the time. I guess I have aged well...
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
a) I'm a bibliophile. During my recent move I had to transport 550 kg of books, and that's not even all of the books I own. To reduce this, I have now invested in ebook readers.

A very small selection of my favorite books includes:


- The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett for the usual reasons.
- The Neverending Story by Michael Ende - Ende showed long before Rowling that just because a book is written for children, it doesn't have to insult the intelligence of adults (though the movie adoptions were a huge disappointment for me).
- Zodiac, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - the guy writes intelligently and funnily!
- The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks. I don't normally watch any zombie movies, but these books have just the right amount of deadpan humor and social commentary to be very, very enjoyable.
- The collected works of H. P. Lovecraft. Yes, the guy was racist but his stories about the Cthulhu Mythos are still enjoyable nonetheless...
- I recently discovered the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I strongly recommend to any fan of science fiction.

- Jared Diamond's "Collapse - How Societies choose to Succeed or Fail". It shows that past societies have made huge environmental mistakes that lead to their collapse as well - but that this is not inevitable. His "Guns, Germs, and Steel" also makes for an impressive argument just why the Americas were so easily conquered by Europeans, and why Africa has had a hard time developing advanced city-based civilizations without invoking cultural differences, but merely basing it on the available natural resources.
- Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" was what initially inspired me to study physics. His "Demon-Haunted World" is highly recommended as well, since it shows the many ways that superstition holds us all back even today.
- David Rothkopf's "Superclass" - a look a the 6,000 or so most powerful people in the world, how they live, how they make decisions, and what they have in common. The author manages to maintain his critical distance to most of these people without becoming polemic, and also is able to show why these people act the way they do without suggesting greed or malice at every turn. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to know how the decision makers of the world operate.
- "Wired for War" by P. W. Singer - more than "just" a look at robots in warfare, it is an in-depth look at all facets of the coming robot revolution.

b) Because I spend so much time reading, I have little time to spend on movies and television shows. That being said, my favorites include Ghostbusters, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I am also a fan of the Babylon 5 series, Blackadder, the Simpsons, and Futurama.

c) Usually modern orchestral music and other music where the vocals fade into the background. I listen to music mainly to relax, and I prefer types of music that can be played at low volumes and still sound good.

d) Being German, I should probably mention bread here. Good bread - not the kind of flavorless stuff usually found in the Anglo-Saxon world. These days, I make my own out of self-defense.
Six things I could never do without
- Books, and lots of them. I don't quite read a new book every week, but I come close. As long as I have something to read, I will never be bored.

- Internet access. My constant craving for knowledge and information is not restricted to the printed word - there is a lot to learn and discover out there, and my only regret is that life is too short to learn everything.

- Intelligent Conversation: It's an old truism that it isn't just important what you know, but also who you know. But too many people assume that the latter is primarily important for knowing who can do you some favors. In my opinion, the truly important advantage to knowing the "right people" is that they can stimulate your mind and give you plenty of new ideas - just as you can hopefully stimulate theirs.

- Some device to read electronic books on, whether that's the Amazon Kindle or my tablet.

- Pen & Paper role-playing games: When work and life are stressing you out, you need to blow off some steam. My release are role-playing games, and slaying monsters on the gaming table helps me get rid of any inner demons accumulating from stress at other times.

- The sixth item on this list is left intentionally blank. Feel free to mail me if you want to apply for this position. ;)
I spend a lot of time thinking about
How everything is connected. If you look hard enough, you can find connections between almost everything - and advances in technology are constantly striving to make finding these connections easier than ever.
On a typical Friday night I am
Taking a nap, because I spent the previous night playing pen & paper role-playing games.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I do have a driving license, but I always hated driving and thus have little driving experience. Fortunately, I live in a country where it is perfectly possible to live car-free when you don't have a family, but I realize that at some point in the future I may have to get a car after all...
You should message me if
When it comes to partners, I am looking for an intelligent, educated, capable woman who knows what she wants in life and is willing to pursue her dreams. I am looking for something serious, and while I realize that such things take time, I do want to start a family at some point down the road - and I am willing to take my share of the responsibilities to make sure that we both can pursue what we want to accomplish.

Apart from that, I am always looking for activity partners, friends, and penpals from around the world, so there don't need to be any high expectations for contacting me. Furthermore, if you are a new to Germany: I am always willing to play tour guide or discuss the strange ways of my home country.
The two of us