I am a middle-aged independent scholar and recovering academic. I am interested in how people learn, but especially in those who do remarkable or even extraordinary intellectual projects without the benefit (or restrictions) of academia.
My projects since graduation include a handful of esoteric papers, working on a venture to design, build and launch the world’s first amateur space vehicle, editing an electronic newsletter for amateur scientists, and co-founding a state approved university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in intelligence, counterterrorism, and personal protection studies. In addition to this, I am also developing a program for setting up amateur nature observatories nation-wide and perhaps around the world.
All this is rather interesting because my academic training is in ancient Near Eastern studies, completing a Ph.D. in that field from Berkeley in 1996. My interests include nature study, mathematics, game design, history, mythology and religious studies, foreign languages, martial arts, intelligence and foreign policy, environmental issues, poetry and great literature, doing watercolor, classical guitar, and a good game of chess or go.