About Me

I grew up both overseas (in Tunisia, Indonesia, and Korea) and in the US.  I have a BS in Engineering Arts from Michigan State and a MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford.

The problem I concentrated on during my studies was: how does one model the future of the world?  I believe we are roughly 25-35% of the way through a century long economic and social transformation that will give rise to a world middle class and world culture.  Back in the early 80s, when I talked to various professors about my work, many of them laughed at me, telling me the notion that India or China, for example, would be in the midst of becoming middle class societies by the early 2000s was utter nonsense... ;-)

I think the biggest challenge facing the human race is how to manage this global transition, particularly with regard to the environment and global warming.  On one hand, it is clear that too much government control over economies (i.e. command economies) leads to slow growth and rampant corruption.  On the other hand, it is also clear that prices which don't properly reflect long-term environment costs (i.e. externalities) fail to create incentives to both protect the environment and develop viable substitutes with less adverse effect on the environment.  Humans must craft a social consensus -- including the necessary laws -- to reflect these externalities in prices, despite the huge, vested interests in not paying these costs in the short term.  Failure to do this will result in enormous dislocations over the next 75 years.

For a bit of futurism closer to my current activities, I've been involved in both conventional roleplaying and live roleplaying (or interactive literature) for several decades now.  I believe that the currently separate worlds of computer games, online games, MMOs, roleplaying, online social games, and strategy games will gradually merge over the next decade (though separate games will still exist in each of these areas).  One critical component in making this fusion happen will be understanding how to efficiently manage content creation and dynamic story arcs.  I would enjoy being involved with a cutting-edge endeavor in this area.

My other interests include: theater, travel, history, ballet, art, music, and most anything involving the water (such as scuba diving, canoeing, and river rafting).  Some favorite things include: A Man for all Seasons, Air Baron, Astaire, Astro City, Auden, Austen, Bujold, dark chocolate, desert wines, Equus, Forsythe ballets, free style waltzing, Hepburn, Hillbillies from Mars, London, L5R, movies, Noises Off, Paris, pasta, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Rodin, Sayers, seafood, teaching, The Real Thing, Tichu, Vermeer, and Wild Asparagus.

Thanks for reading this far!  Take care.

Private Faces in Public Places,
Are Wiser and Nicer,
Than Public Faces in Private Places.

--W. H. Auden

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tom lehmann,
Mar 12, 2010, 9:44 PM