The wandering rationalist

Hello all. I’m still fairly new to the site and I’ve only posted comments up until now, but this definitely warrants its own topic. Currently I work at Queen’s University in Canada as a postdoc studying motor control, but my funding runs out at the end of November. I don’t have another job immediately lined up, but I’ve been in discussions with CFAR about working for them either directly or through UC Berkeley on doing some research into rationality techniques. I attended the June minicamp and had an absolute blast with the people there.

Why am I telling you all this? Well… I’ve applied for some funding to go work at Berkeley but it won’t come through until July 2013 at the earliest, assuming I’m awarded it. In the meantime, I’ve decided to go travelling through the US, buy a round-the-world ticket from San Francisco and wander for the next few months—and it would be awesome to meet up with some rationalists along the way!

I’ve got some money saved and will have more by the time I leave. To support myself further I intend to take on academic editing work (like this company does), where I can basically work from anywhere and have a little bit of money coming in regularly. Maybe I’ll try for some freelance programming work too. Regardless, it’ll be a lot easier if I don’t have to pay for accommodation, so if anyone could put me up for a night or two along the way I’d be massively appreciative; I intend to couchsurf anyway but it would be great to meet some LWers and have enjoyably rational conversations on my trip.

Here is my (vague) route through the US. This will be December 1st-31st. It has a few random detours as I have friends in Oklahoma and Colorado (though I don’t know anyone in New Mexico, it just seemed like a logical place to visit and I couldn’t resist being able to go through Amarillo), as well as in northern Idaho and Vancouver.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll buy a bus ticket or simply try to hitch rides from the internet; that’s still up in the air. Regardless of what I choose, anyone who wants to drive me some of my route will not be turned down...

After I leave San Francisco I want to head to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia for a couple of months before I go to SE Asia. I intend to be back in Europe (I’m British although I live in Canada) by May 2013 and I’ll hit the North American continent again in June, but this time I’ll be flying across. So it would also be great to meet rationalists in countries along my route.

People like Anna and Valentine/​Mercurial can vouch for me not being an itinerant crazy, probably.

Looking forward to meeting some of you guys in a few months! And reuniting with the Berkeley crowd, of course.