My Five Main Areas of Focus

  1. Quantum mechanics and quantum computing.
  2. Artificial intelligence (AI).
  3. Mental health and mental illness.
  4. American values and social divides.
  5. Foreign policy, security, defense, and democracy promotion.

Reading, researching, and writing

I lump together the three categorically distinct activities of reading, researching, and writing.

Conceptualizing and expressing

I have a passion for working with ideas. Hands-on action doesn’t really interest me. It’s the ideas themselves that get me excited.

It’s the thought that counts

Seriously, I’m much more into the ideas than whether they ever see the light of day or find realization in the real world.

Quantum mechanics and quantum computing

Quantum computing is my main long-term topic of interest, but understanding it deeply and comprehending its capabilities and limitations requires a firm grasp of the underlying science and math of quantum mechanics.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot, popular topic these days, but most of that focus is on what is more properly termed as weak AI, while my main interests lie in so-called strong AI, which is focused on higher-order intellectual activity, which is far beyond what AI systems are capable of today.

Mental health and mental illness

Mental health problems are a key driver of a lot of bad behavior and dysfunction in society, including:

  1. Antisocial behavior.
  2. Severe, debilitating mental illness.
  3. Domestic abuse.
  4. Crime.
  5. Substance abuse.
  6. Radicalization and terrorism.
  7. Gun violence.
  8. Gangs.
  9. PTSD.
  10. Gambling.
  11. Other forms of behavioral addiction.
  12. Postpartum depression.
  1. How to help those with severe mental illness.
  2. How to help those with mild to moderate mental illness.
  3. How to help those with mental health problems which do not rise to the level of a clinically diagnosable mental disorder.
  4. How to enable even relatively normal individuals to enhance their mental health above and well beyond the basic minimums for what is considered normal.
  5. Understanding and coping with the downstream effects of mental illness, including substance use and crime.
  6. Addressing addictions overall.

American values and social divides

People talk about American values a lot, but what are they really?

Foreign policy, security, defense, and democracy promotion

How do nations get along together harmoniously in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world?

  1. International relations.
  2. Geopolitical factors. And actors.
  3. Diplomacy.
  4. Defense.
  5. Military.
  6. Terrorism and counterterrorism.
  7. Intelligence.
  8. Related technology.
  9. Liberal world order and related international institutions.
  10. International finance and related institutions.
  11. Democracy promotion.
  12. Democratization.
  13. Regime change.
  14. Human rights.
  15. Nuclear weapons and nonproliferation.
  16. Civil society and related organizations and actors.
  1. Current geopolitical events in general.
  2. Relations with Russia, in general.
  3. Syria. What will Russia do next? What should the U.S. and Europe do next? What role(s) will Iran and the Gulf States play?
  4. Ukraine. Ditto.
  5. Egypt. What next now that virtually all protest is banned?
  6. Tunisia. Best of the Arab Spring is really struggling with both economics and governance.
  7. ISIS. Where will it pop up next, and in what form?

Other areas of interest

Besides my five main areas of focus, I have many other areas of interest, including but not limited to:

  1. Bitcoin and other crypto, virtual, and digital currencies.
  2. Blockchain technology.
  3. Cybersecurity.
  4. Rockets and space exploration.
  5. Cosmology, especially origin, evolution, scope, end, and nature of the universe. Including black holes and planet formation.
  6. Physics.
  7. Energy sources.
  8. Political science and politics.
  9. Government policy.
  10. Social policy.
  11. Economics. Macro, finance, monetary policy.
  12. Access to opportunity.
  13. Human rights. Natural, constitutional, civil, and other categorizations of rights.
  14. Philosophy.
  15. History. For the lessons, not the stories, but sometimes the stories do have some appeal.
  16. Neuroscience.
  17. Psychology.
  18. Science in general. Hard science, not social science.
  19. Systems thinking. Complexity, complex adaptive systems, and the like.
  20. Data science.
  21. Database technology.
  22. Role of the media in society.
  23. Civil society.
  24. Venture capital. Entrepreneurialism. Startups.
  25. Innovation.
  26. Change.
  27. Early man. His nature and evolution. How similar or dissimilar are we?
  28. Virtual travel.
  29. Global warming and climate change.
  30. Work. It’s nature. Availability. It’s Future.
  31. Euthanasia.
  32. Resilience.
  33. Reconciliation.
  34. Nutrition.
  35. DNA.

Areas of non-interest

Yes, there are areas in which I have very little if any interest.

  • Arts
  • Fashion
  • Style
  • Sports
  • Automotive
  • Classified
  • Education
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Movies
  • Obituaries
  • Real estate
  • Television
  • Theater
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Religion.
  • Hobbies. In general.
  • Reading. Of popular books. Although I did always enjoy the NY Times Book Review for its summaries.
  • Leisure activities. In general.
  • Gardening. Landscaping, etc.
  • Home.
  • Community. The world is my community; I have little interest in local affairs.

Am I a polymath?

No, I am not a true polymath — that would require deep knowledge in many areas, while I merely have a lot of areas of interest and a relatively few of any significant interest, let alone deep knowledge.

Student of phenomena

As a general proposition, I can easily get distracted and interested in any phenomenon that seems difficult to understand and that can use my analytic skills to inquire into its nature.

  1. Definitions of terms. Too often they are too vague, imprecise, and ambiguous to be of much real value.
  2. Elements. As with definitions, the components, qualities, and characteristics of phenomena are too frequently weakly defined.
  3. Nature. The overall and general aspects of phenomena are frequently poorly understood.

Other

I’m always open to consideration of fresh, new areas which I haven’t encountered or focused on previously.

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