I love to explore, and that includes self-exploration. My life, my body, and my mind are my canvases in the world and I want to see what kind of art I can create.
My personal philosophy was best summed up by the philosopher’s Theodore Logan and Bill Preston in their 1989 treatise, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”:
Be excellent to each other. Party on, dudes!
Take care of each other, be kind, spread love.
Enjoy your life, live in the moment, seek joy.
What more do you need?
Parts of me...
Sometimes lists are helpful. So, here is a list of things that I identify as. They have changed many times in the past, and will (hopefully) change in the future. If my views don't change that means the world has become stagnant and I have stopped learning. That would be sad. If you have book recommendations or want to discuss some of these things please let me know, I'm always open to new information.
In no particular order:
A world where animals do not suffer for my sustenance is better than a world where they do. Animal products are not necessary for my health, and getting pleasure out of consuming them is not a strong enough justification to increase the suffering of other animals.
The less I own, the better I feel. Instead of asking myself what type of house or electronics or toys I can afford, I ask myself what I need. I'd rather travel and work less than own more, and the few things I do get I try to purchase second-hand.
Self-experimentation on your body and mind is a human right and I benefit from it. Using a variety of drugs has increased my empathy and creativity. Altered states of consciousness can be incredibly beneficial for humans.
I am emotionally capable of maintaining multiple loving, romantic relationships at one time. This is not a high priority and I am happy and satisfied in my emotionally monogamous relationship.
People thrive when they are free and humans should not attempt to control other humans. People should be free to do whatever they wish with their bodies and property, as long as they don't harm others.
I am primarily sexually attracted to women but have also felt sexual attraction to men. I am not uncomfortable with same-sex intimacy, even when the act would generally defined as sexual. I think true sexuality is an internal feeling, not an external act.
People would be better off without a government. Most human interaction happens peacefully without the state, and the few areas where the state is involved are the areas where things get messed up the most. Government allows the worst to get to the top and take advantage of the weak. People are meant to be free, and freedom requires anarchy.
I believe we will reach a point where human biology will merge with technology and allow us immortality. I also believe we are closer to that time than many people realize. I think this is a good thing and I am looking forward to it.
I attempt to live my life according to the ten principles of Burning Man. Burning Man is a religious and important experience to me and participating in the event enriches my life and makes me a better person.
Pleasure is a good thing and one of the reasons for living, as long as you don't harm someone else in your pursuit of it. We likely only have one life and it is meant to be enjoyed. Feeling good is a gift.
Our bodies are beautiful and natural things. We should not feel shame when naked, and nudity is not inherently sexual. The world would be a better place if we saw more people naked in our day-to-day life.
Most things in this world are outside of our control and we should ignore them. A large part of happiness is being able to focus on the things that we can actually effect. Spending time and energy on other things is a waste.
Ceremonies and practices that recognize the changing of the seasons and the natural world are important to me. I don't need to believe in the supernatural to get social and personal benefits from this spiritual practice.
I think it is unlikely that there is a supernatural being or beings that interact with us. If there is a powerful being that created us or cares for us, it is the result of natural selection or technological advancement, not divinity.
From the beginning...
I was born and raised in a conservative, Christian home by loving parents who cared for me deeply and tried their best to raise me right. I'm the oldest of six kids (five boys and a girl) and most of my childhood was spent Gresham, Oregon. My schooling years are not very interesting, I went to church, got decent grades, and played Star Trek: The Customizable Card Game. When I was old enough I got a job, first with a grocery store and then later with Papa John's and Papa Murphey's Pizza.
On September 11th, 2001 I walked into an Army recruiter's office and started the process to join the military. I chose to be an infantry paratrooper because I wanted to fight. I always thought I was a pretty smart guy, but I had never been in a position where my bravery was tested. I figured war against some terrorists would do that.
From 2001-2005 I served in the 82nd Airborne Division and deployed a couple of times. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to spend my life in the military and when my contract ended I moved to South Carolina to live with my fiance and go to college.
I ended up getting an Associate's degree while living in Myrtle Beach, SC and, after my engagement broke up, I moved to Charleston to get a Bachelor's Degree. My time at the College of Charleston was a good time, I met a lot of cool people, started a fraternity, and was student body Vice President. I also got a degree in Economics and discovered libertarianism.
After graduating I moved to Washington DC for work. My first job was with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity through the Koch Associate Program. When the program ended I was employed by Students For Liberty as their Internal Operations Manager. In 2011 I went to Burning Man and tried MDMA for the first time.
By 2012, I was tired of living in DC and spent a summer bicycling across the country from DC to LA. Once in Los Angeles, I got a job with a private security firm but it was painfully obvious that I wasn't meant for an office career. I quit in 2014 and started bicycling around the country with my girlfriend. She quickly became my fiance, and then my wife.
From 2014-2016, I rode my bike with my wife and my dog almost 10,000 miles and through 24 states. I spent the 2014 winter in Missoula, Montana and the 2015 winter in Dallas, Texas. In the summer of 2016 we decided to live in Wilmington, NC for the next few years.