Personal Basics — I’m 51. I’m a happy parent of two children—boys who are in their “young adult” phase. Originally from California, I’ve lived on the East Coast (Massachusetts, New York, Florida) and the West Coast (Northern and Southern California). I've been married, once, for nearly twenty years, and am now divorced.
I graduated from U.C. Berkeley and from Harvard. (There are links to my CV below.) I’ve traveled widely. I’ve been financially well at times—and nearly penniless at others—and I have a great deal of empathy for people in both situations. I’ve been hired by top organizations, and I’ve suffered through layoffs as well.
I’ve been through the births of two children (as much as a male can!) and have experienced the deaths of one parent, many relatives, and friends. I’m a big fan of Thomas Jefferson, Socrates, Albert Einstein, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Bill Cosby, Mahatma Gandhi, Cicero, and many others.
Education — I have an MBA from Harvard Business School, where I graduated as a Baker Scholar in 1986. I also have a science and engineering background from U.C. Berkeley, in chemical engineering, and graduated second in my class in 1981. I gave the Commencement Address in the College of Chemistry that year, titled Life Beyond The Equation.
Career / Business — I’ve been an executive with The Walt Disney Company, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, a marketer in the toy industry, an engineer in the oil industry, and managing director of a small non-profit organization focused on the roles, health, and benefits of play.
(Don’t get me wrong: Not all of that was planned in advance!)
In recent years, I’ve been studying and writing philosophy, in particular having to do with the scientific and philosophical understanding of human morality.
Much earlier in life, I was a paperboy, worked at a pizza parlor, and had summer jobs doing research for Eastman Kodak and on an assembly line, building Peterbilt trucks.
I’ve had a very wide range of experiences—which is part of the reason I can often provide helpful insights—yet I must say, I thank goodness that I’m still sane!
A Few Philosophical Comments — Of course, people must find and choose their own pathways through life. Ultimately, as the Grateful Dead sang, that path is for your steps alone.
It often helps to approach life—and navigate the winding river—with an attitude that suits you, on an informed basis, and in a way that retains wonder and vitality. Often, people benefit from considering the experiences and insights of others. It helps to be aware of all the options. It helps to share and examine perspectives. It helps to avoid avoidable mistakes. It often helps to get help. Although we each lead and "author" our own lives, humans should help each other. That's a core part of my philosophy.
Yes, we humans are presented with a valuable opportunity: to navigate our own paths in ways that reflect and shape our unique selves. To an amazing degree, we are each the authors of our own lives. Yet, in doing so, it helps to understand the terrain, to gain different perspectives, and to be aware of possibilities and pitfalls.
It should also be noted that these are “interesting” times. They present challenges and opportunities, doors that are opening and others that are slamming shut, and new doors that can be opened where none existed before. It’s perhaps more important than ever to know thyself, to look ahead, and to get help when help can be helpful.
I suppose that I encompass some mixture of idealism and pragmatism, although I admittedly give the nod to idealism, on balance, whenever shaping the future seems more attractive than merely reacting to the present or past.
Philosophy means love of wisdom, and wisdom has to do with living life well. That’s the goal, in a nutshell.