This page contains the following material about me, my interests, and the quest.
Regards, and Good Luck to All,
Los Gatos, California
Born in 1959.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, not too far from the blue (sort of) Pacific.
I have two great teenage boys!
My main interests are family, survival, happiness, and ‘the improvement of the human condition.’ To me, these are all related.
My first favorite song was Puff The Magic Dragon. When I was a bit older, my favorite song was Help! Now I have lots of ‘favorite’ songs, spanning the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, the Who, Count Basie, Willie Nelson, Rossini, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Peter, Paul & Mary, and others.
I also love Shakespeare, travel, history, films, and other things. Did I say I love music?
First memory — I can barely remember watching JFK’s funeral.
One of my favorite movies is Man of La Mancha, with Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren (MGM, 1972). In it, Miguel de Cervantes (played by O’Toole) admits to being an idealist, a bad poet, and an honest man. That struck me as a reasonably good description of the way I sometimes think of myself. Of course, I can’t claim perfection in those areas—except perhaps to being a perfectly bad poet.
Elementary school was the most fun, although the rest was fun too. It all eventually led to a degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley—Go Bears!—where I had the good fortune to give the commencement address to my fellow graduates, and to an MBA from Harvard Business School, where I graduated as a Baker Scholar.
Much of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned since then.
After Berkeley, I was a chemical engineer in the oil/energy industry, with Chevron. After business school, I became a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, went from there to marketing toys, and later was an exec at The Walt Disney Company. After that, I worked in a small non-profit associated with the importance and roles of play.
In recent years, I’ve been studying and writing about human morality, mainly from scientific and logical/philosophical standpoints. (Please see below for more on this.)
My view is that we’re all people—not careers, not consumers, not statistics, not plaintiffs, not vice presidents, not SAT scores, not ….
I, for one, think we can ‘do better’ as humans—and still have fun in the process.
My goal is to help improve our understanding of human morality. I’ve been exploring morality from scientific, logical, and philosophical standpoints and trying to bring together understanding from those standpoints into a grounded, holistic, science-informed understanding of morality.
I’m in favor of understanding human social-moral ‘universals’ and using that understanding to try to:
I’m also a bit of a cultural critic regarding certain aspects of modern American culture (using the term in its broad sense, i.e., not speaking solely or even primarily of the arts) that seem to detract from the goals just mentioned, especially when those cultural aspects are practiced to a degree that is blind to these goals and substantially undermines them.
If you are interested in the causes mentioned above or below, please contact me.
In particular, and especially, if you are involved in the causes mentioned above, and if you think we might be able to cooperate in some way (even informally or loosely) to advance one of those causes, please contact me. Sharing views, spreading the news, networking, generating energy and momentum, sharing moral support, and having coffee or other beverages—not to mention funding!—all help.
You can reach me by sending an e-mail using the form on the ‘CONTACT AUTHOR’ page of this Web site, www.ObligationsOfReason.com. If you send me your e-mail address or other contact information, I’ll try to respond as quickly as I can.
Global climate change. Education. Corporate ethics.
International relations, peace, and nuclear non-proliferation.
Political ethics and reform. Human rights. Health care. Legal reform.
Birth of my sons
Playing basketball with my youngest son
Playing music with my oldest son
Doing just about anything with my sons
Being with family at my aunt’s ranch
Christmases at the ranch and Thanksgivings at Bass Lake
Going to the beach (any time!)
Building sand castles
Seeing the sunrise after hiking to the top of Mount Fuji
Watching the first moon landing on TV (at age 10)
Attending the SNACK concert at Kezar Stadium (at age 16)
Being on the Matterhorn (Disney version) at night
Traveling through Europe
Eating in Europe
Some great vacations with some wonderful relatives
Seeing Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in various concerts
Seeing Bob Dylan several times
Meeting Peter Yarrow!
Seeing Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium (at age 14)
Seeing the Rolling Stones at the Cow Palace (at age 16)
Seeing the Who at Winterland (at age 17)
Driving from coast to coast, several times
Living in New England
Being at The Cal-Stanford Big Game in 1982 to see ‘The Play’
Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge on its 50th anniversary in 1987
Experiencing the Boston Pops play the 1812 Overture on the Esplanade on 4th of July
Going to the top of the World Trade Center, NYC, several times before 9/11
Having coffee and chicory, and beignets, at Café Du Monde, New Orleans
Writing songs and poems
Building castles with my sons on a now-peaceful ‘D-Day’ beach in Normandy, France
Visiting Jamestown, Plymouth, and Colonial Williamsburg
What people sometimes do to each other!
Saying ‘no’ sometimes to my sons, or disagreeing with them
Politicians saying one thing and then doing the opposite!
When seemingly smart people persist in doing obviously dumb things
The thought of millions of people in the U.S. (or anywhere) without healthcare
Trends in TV news
When great rock songs are used in advertisements. It wasn’t supposed to be that way!
I’ve listed some of my other ‘favorite’ things below, for those who are interested in one person’s opinion.
Please feel free to contact me by sending an e-mail using the ‘CONTACT AUTHOR’ page of this Web site, www.ObligationsOfReason.com. If you send me your e-mail address or other contact information, I’ll try to respond as quickly as I can.
As Bob Dylan sings—All I really wanna dooo, is baby be friends with you.
Regards, and Good Luck to All,
Los Gatos, California
Mary Poppins. My Fair Lady. The Sound of Music. The Wizard of Oz.
Camelot. Man of La Mancha. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
2001: A Space Odyssey. 1984. Dr. Strangelove. The Matrix.
Festival! Help! No Direction Home. The Lord of the Rings (trilogy).
Hamlet (versions with Branagh, Gibson, Olivier, Burton, and Hawke as Hamlet)
The Godfather. Unforgiven. The Road to Perdition.
The Birds. The Fog (original).
The Party. A Fish Called Wanda. Mars Attacks! Sleeper.
Apollo 13. The Emperor’s Club. Children of Men. Babel.
The Jungle Book. The Lion King. The Little Mermaid.
(Most of my favorite philosophy and science books are not listed here, but are listed in The Obligations Of Reason.)
The Odyssey, Homer
Le Morte d’Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory
Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
Melbourne, by Lord David Cecil
1984, by George Orwell
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
The Fifth Mountain, by Paulo Coelho
Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom
Gift From The Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac
The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran
The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck
First You Have To Row A Little Boat, by Richard Bode
Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling (though I haven’t read them all, yet)
A History of Knowledge, by Charles Van Doren
The Consolation Of Philosophy, by Boethius
San Francisco. Paris. London. Rome. Florence.
The Caribbean. New England.
The Loire region, France. The Romantikstrasse, Germany.
Lake Tahoe. Yosemite. Japan.
The Louvre, the Uffizi Gallery, and the British Museum.
The Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, Rome.
Susan B. Anthony
Neil Armstrong, Ed (Buzz) Aldrin, and Michael Collins
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tenzin Gyatso (The Dalai Lama)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Michel de Montaigne
Sir Isaac Newton
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley
Leonardo da Vinci
Giant Redwood Trees
Beavers and Beaver Dams
Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Gorillas, Orangutans, Baboons, Monkeys, etc.
The fact that some people who lived over 2,000 years ago were much wiser in many important respects than many of our leaders today.