Vital stats: Berkeley, 57, partnered, three children (M34, M28, F24), married once for 17 years.
Educationally: Ph.D. in evolutionary theory, masters in public policy
Vocationally: MBA professor of strategic foresight, business consultant and communications trainer, academic researcher.
Historically: I've taught over 250k college-student/hours in psychology, sociology, rhetoric, philosophy, advertising, economics, history, English, cultural studies, marketing and strategy. I founded a non-profit environmental lobbying organization in DC, worked as a business consultant and public affairs director for large companies, ran a foundation, designed and implemented water projects in Guatemala. For seven years I lived on the world's largest hippie commune, and was an elected elder there at 24.
I never refer to myself as an expert in anything, but rather a specialist in those questions that interest me (see below). I write with no authority. I read lots but cite rarely in my articles which should be read as opinion pieces, not declaration of scientifically proven fact. I will not pull rank on readers: My ideas are only worth considering only if they're based on good reasoning. I change my ideas over time. Caveat emptor. They say "don't believe everything you think. I'll go one further: I don't believe everything I write, in that for every argument I make, I aim to be able to express convincingly the counterargument. I try to live by the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
Self-expressively: I've written over 600 articles for Psychology Today, coined over 400 psychology neologisms. I write songs and limericks. I play bass and sing in jazz, Latin, funk, and Nigerian groups three nights a week.
Intellectually, yet intimately, my middle-age spread spans several life-sized questions.
* Most cosmically, how did mattering emerge from matter?, life from non-life? mind from chemistry? economics from physics? information from energy, questions I address as a member of a 16 year research project with UC Berkeley scientist Terrence Deacon.
* More practically, though not unrelated, how do and how should we shop among interpretations, deciding what's significant and how to respond to what life deals us?
* Also practically and related, what is a butthead other than someone we butt heads with? since in a free society we should define morals negatively--not what you should, but what you shouldn't do. We say "don't be a butthead," but define buttheads subjectively as people we butt heads with. I seek a more objective distinction between what's morally in and out of bounds.
* How do and should we balance the ambigamist's tensions and what is the underlying structure of such tensions? For this I use the Serenity Prayer as a template, and think about levels of analysis (going meta).
I've written five books, only one published but the rest out soon one way or another.
Negotiate with yourself and win: Doubt management for people who can hear themselves think.
Purpose: A natural history
Doubt: A user's guide; a natural history
Mind readers dictionary: Terms for reading between the lines with greater comprehension.
Executive UFO: A field guide to unidentified flying objectives in the workplace.