Hi! I'm Nathan.

I'm a .

My Story

A Foreword

One of the earliest memories I have is of me at six years old sitting in a chair in the corner of a dark hospital room and my brother (a year older) is standing next to me. Near the center of the room my mother is quietly sleeping in bed with fluids going into her arm. The lights are off but the door is slightly ajar, allowing a sharp ray of light from the hallway to pierce the room. At some point a nurse comes in and asks if we want something to eat — I remember I was starving, but for some reason I said no. Perhaps I thought it might get my mom in trouble, because I knew we didn't have any money. My brother said 'yes' though, and got a tuna fish sandwich. And in an act of selflessness I would always remember my brother by, he gave me half.

That was the last time I remember seeing my mother. Though it was an event that surely shaped who I am today, it was perhaps in a more subtle way than you might think. What I am about to tell you is the complete story of my life up to the present day, as best as I can remember it, in consultation with what few records I have and the people I am still able to talk to. It is the story, from my perspective, of how I became exactly the person I am today.

My name is Nathan James Buckley, and this is my story.

Coming Soon!

(Aiming for end of October 2020)

Projects

Planning for the future

Here are some of the things I am working on or soon to be working on, followed by a list of things I would like to do in the future someday. Swipe left or click a button below for more information.

Writing

Contributing to the world of ideas

Writing (and the research which accompanies it) is my means of structuring my thoughts and verifying the accuracy of my beliefs. We all believe things, but what percentage of people do you think honestly and critically examine their beliefs down to the core? I worry that it's a percentage far less than we would like to hear, which would explain why there is such discord in politics. Personally, I believe it is the responsibility of virtually everyone to examine their beliefs (so far as you can) because those beliefs can and will ultimately affect the well-being of those around you. For example, your belief that X politician is better than Y politician — I hope you're right about that, because if you're wrong and your chosen politician is actually making things worse for us, that's direct harm you inflicted on everyone because you didn't do your homework. That so many people seem to be okay with that is unfortunately a sad reality that we have to live with today, but for me personally, I always want to know that the decisions I make are in the best interest of everyone, and that's why I research and that's why I write.

But more than that, writing is also an avenue for sharing my ideas on the nature of life and how to successfully navigate it. Life is complex — full of a dizzying array of things and ideas we barely understand — and humanity has barely begun to unravel its mysteries, both around us and inside us. Being able to contribute to our global pool of knowledge, even if only in some small way, is an honor and something I've always greatly aspired to.

All of my writing will be available on my blog, but I'm starting fresh with all new articles, each of which I need to research first so nothing is ready just yet. If all goes as planned, the first articles should be available by November 2020.

Videos

More Outreach, More Engagement

Though I am happy writing to share my ideas, YouTube represents another avenue to do so, and perhaps someday I may even do a podcast as well. In concert with my partner, I aim to create short, engaging, and well-researched videos focusing on topics I cover in my writing, which span from everyday life philosophy to major news events and other trending topics. However, like everyone else there are times when we just want to relax and have fun, so there will certainly be a "personal life vlog" aspect of the channel where my partner and we can share everyday life activities, such as travel videos, projects we're working on, or even videos where we're just hanging out with friends.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when we start publishing our primary content.

Relationship App

Fostering Healthy Relationships

The next big project I am eager to get started on: using science to help people form deep, meaningful connections with others. It isn't just about finding a romantic partner, but also finding and creating strong friendships, and perhaps some day other types of connections such as helping employers finding employees with the right kind of attitude and skills to make a perfect team fit. Today, finding a romantic partner either comes down to luck (running into someone in the course of your life who just so happens to be single, where you both happen to find each other attractive, you both happen to have aligned goals and virtues, chemistry, etc.), or you use a dating app to help filter out a lot of those basic things first (but even then it can still be exhausting and many people need to take frequent breaks if they don't give up on apps entirely). Finding the best employee in thousands of candidates is in my opinion in an even poorer state — without belabouring you with the details, let me just say: I think we can do a lot better.

Our relationships with other people form such a critical part of our lives. Imagine the benefit to the world if everyone was in a healthy, positive relationship that allowed them to grow and mature as an individual; if everyone had a strong, supportive friend network they could count on; and if everyone worked in an environment perfectly suited to them — how much more would our world flourish, I wonder? Let's find out!

Future Projects

Can we do them all?

This ambitious list is but a subset of things I would like to accomplish someday; I leave it here as a reminder to myself that there is much work to be done. Of course, there are many other things I think need to be worked on in this world that are far more important than many of the items on this list: For example, it is critically important that we as a global community do what we can to ensure every human has their basic needs met: access to clean water, food, shelter, and medicine. It is crucial that we take steps to reduce world poverty, eliminate child labour and human trafficking, and ensure that every human being has access to a quality education. We should bring those who violate basic human rights to justice and demand transparency and accountability from our government leaders. At the same time, we should be mindful of our impact on the environment around us and make an effort to live in equilibrium with all the other denizens of our planet. However, while all those things are important (and there are many more I could add), my skills lie in research and design so that is why you'll notice my list is slanted towards products and things which require lots of (often challenging) research and planning — it is there where my strengths and abilities are most effectively utilized.

Note: Not all of these ideas are of equal importance, usefulness, or difficulty, and while some are certainly more straightforward than others, in my mind they are all obtainable. If it turns out you are interested in working on (or already working on) any of them, don't be afraid to reach out to me as I would love to be able to contribute in any way I can.

I have no doubt that many people recognize that a quality education is valuable — priceless even — but how many truly recognize just how much could be improved with a better education than most (if not all) people have access to today (my own education included!). If they did, I imagine they'd be a lot more vocal about how much funding should go towards education research (in the USA, almost nothing — at best around 0.013% of the Federal budget). This is unfortunate, given that a great education system is in my mind perhaps the single most important feature of a society that flourishes, because it is people — educated people — who push society forward. Someday, resources permitting I would like to create a school — if not many schools all around the world — open to all regardless of age, gender, or wealth, with an evidence-based curriculum in consultation with educational leaders and great minds the world over. It should be effective for the complete range of student learning styles and highly adaptable to changes in understanding and new knowledge with the goal of producing the kind of strong, mindful, conscientious, and wise people we want to see in our future.

If it is not obvious to you that the way our governments are structured today is not nearly as optimal as they could be, then I'm afraid you ought to take a closer look. There are a host of issues big and small which vary from from one nation's government to the next, but one of the most obvious issues that virtually anyone should be able to recognize regardless of political affiliation is that our governments routinely allow people whose only interest is themselves into positions of power — this should not happen! Step by step we need to modernize the structure of our governments and create ones that are transparent in their workings and hold our leaders accountable for their actions. And there's no reason to not start doing this right now, because even if we can't feasibly make any changes on a national level, much could be implemented locally, and that's often the best place to start anyways.

Right now, there are people living on multi-million dollar mega-yachts while others are living in cardboard boxes under bridges. There are people who work very hard every day in order to earn a meager salary that is just enough to scrape by on, while others barely lift a finger and make ten times that amount in the same time. Why are we okay this? When are we going to admit that differences in wealth rarely come down to differences in work ethic or ability? It is simply not the case that all poor people are lazy or dumb or that all wealthy people work hard or are smart. The truth is: we live in a world where there are enough resources to go around for everyone to live very comfortable lives, a world where everyone can flourish, if we simply distributed those resources wisely. It is high time we do so and put an end to the suffering of so many.

In addition to rethinking our governments and how our economies work, we should rethink how our communities work. In my country, it is the part of the "American Dream" to buy a single family home with a nice big yard, plenty of space for the kids and family dog to run around on, a big garage with a toolshed for Dad, an extra guest room for when friends or relatives come over, a big kitchen with plenty of space for Mom to make her amazing culinary creations... what a nice dream, eh? It's a start, but we can do a lot better.

I think the future will bring us a lot more multi-family homes and shared communities. There are a lot of things which see little use from a single family that could be better used by a multi-family situation, such as spare guest rooms, sets of tools, even yard space. In the future I envision more communities working together and sharing resources rather than the very individual family-oriented system we live in today.

Though I recycle everything I can, I'm always struck by how inefficient our recycling system is and how much trash I still produce every day. I see the impacts of a trash-filled world every time I scuba dive, and even though it's often much worse in poorer nations, I still regularly find trash under water in Monterey Bay, California, right here in the USA. We ought to rethink product packaging entirely so that virtually everything we buy and use can easily be recycled. We ought to require that companies make their products so they can be easily disassembled into their recyclable components, and most of all, make it easy to recycle wherever you are — whether at home or walking around town, recycling bins should be as common as trash bins (if not more common!). Funding should go towards both outreach to educate people on these initiatives as well as research so that we are always using the latest recycling knowledge and technologies. Is there really anyone who is against doing what we can to reduce the amount of trash we add to the world?

It is very likely that there are people alive today who will become part of the first generation of immortal beings. Of course, the religious among you may scoff at this idea because you may already believe in an immortal soul within us all, but for all the evidence I can see, this is the only life we get. And unfortunately, for a lot of us, one life does not seem like enough time to do everything we want to do! It is this reason many people have long dreamed of immortality, or more precisely, living for as long as you want to. Realistically, I can't imagine we'll be able to make people immune to all disease and accidental death any time soon, but in the next 50-100 years we might be able to extend the human life span indefinitely, and until then at the very least we should be able to cryopreserve bodies in such a way that they could in theory be successfully revived in the future when technology is sufficiently advanced. No one can guarantee success, but I'm extremely confident that with enough funding, the means to procure an elite research team, and the right planning and direction, that immortality is within our grasp.

Stormy Peak Entertainment was a video game development company I started to create next-generation video games and services. I'm really excited to pick this up again some day but for now it's on hold — other projects (such as my relationship app) are in my mind more straightforward to build with a small team and will also have a greater positive global impact. That said, entertainment is an important part of life; we can't all work 24/7 and it's important for quality entertainment to exist that people can enjoy in their free time. But more than just games, the gaming industry also should also invest in cross-game, cross-publisher services. There are two ideas in particular I would be interested in pursuing someday: multi-platform interaction tracking (being able to easily add to a friends list (or block!), message, and view your interaction history of people you've played with in games [ANY game on ANY platform]) and a cross-game item ecosystem (having an "inventory" that persists across games and publishers, in which studios allow certain types of standardized content to be used in their game [for example: item skins earned from a previous game that can map appropriately to the new game]).

Perhaps the biggest change humanity will face in the coming century is the birth of AGI — artificial general intelligence. Though we can only estimate when it will be invented, many of our greatest minds estimate that there is a 50% probability that it will be invented by 2050. That is not so far, and yet only a small subset of the population is even aware of this possibility, let alone what this means for humanity — I have little doubt it will be a monumental, era-defining event that will completely reshape our civilization as we know it. I plan to write my thoughts on all this in detail at some point, but for now I would like to simply state that general artificial intelligence has deeply interested me since I was a child and I would love to see if my psychological and philosophical perspectives can help us reach new ground in this tremendously delicate but vital field.

As the world becomes more and more connected, being able to communicate is becoming ever more important, and yet language barriers still exist. It's true, translation tools are getting better and better, but would it not be easier if everyone just spoke the same language? Though there are already several existing constructed languages, I wonder just how many other languages were considered in their design so as to capture the full range of expression the every langugae on our planet offers — after all, we would not want to lose any ability to express ourselves in our efforts to streamline our communication. Is the amount of effort this would take — not only to design a universal language of this completeness, but more importantly to require as part of a global curriculum around the world — worth what benefit we would get from it in return? I don't have the answers to these questions, but I am curious to find out.

I would love if there were a multi-platform app which let you read ebooks, watch movies and documentaries, listen to podcasts — consume any form of digital media really — and allow you take notes corresponding to specific [paragraphs / x,y location on page / timestamps] for later reference, and also allow you to read the notes created and shared by other people you elect. How illuminating would it be to read the book notes of multiple people you intellectually admire embedded into your pages as you read? How fun would it be to listen to the audio commentary of a person you find interesting while watching a movie? The world today is all about sharing experiences through social media, and yet none of these allow you to live the experience with them. This idea adds that missing component.

Consumption is a part of life, and as consumers we always want to make the most informed decisions we can. To help us do this, many sites offer the means for products to be reviewed and those reviews shared publicly to help others make better purchase decisions. However, all of these systems that I've encountered are either too simplistic and/or untrustworthy. We need a central review platform that is not-for-profit and integrates into all other websites. Do you want every product in the world to be awesome — amazingly designed, long-lasting, and reliable? Let's create a system where honest, trustworthy reviews steer people towards only the best products, thereby forcing companies who make poor-quality products to improve their quality if they want to stay in business. It's really that simple.

It might seem somewhat silly that this project is on this list with others like "overhaul the entire government" and "build the perfect education system", but not all things worth improving are super serious, and TV remotes fall into that category. Despite the fact that they've been around for the better part of a century, TV remotes today are terrible! They are outdated in design, use archaic technology, and are not very customizable. We can do better. Let's create a universal remote with open standards that works with all TVs that can be customized to each persons needs and preferences. Yes, yes, it's not nearly as important as some of the other items on this list, but it also shouldn't be terribly difficult either.

Another surprising inclusion on this list perhaps, but seriously, why is it so tricky to find rental apartments today in many places? That so many people still resort to Craigslist is a telling indication that there is much work that can be done. Though new apartment-finding websites come along all the time promising to make things better, all that I've seen fall short of their promises. The thing is, it's not enough to design one well, you also have to get people to use it. Are you aware of an apartment-finding website that is well-designed, has all the key features you would want in such a site, and is used by virtually everyone? If so, please do let me know. Otherwise, let's make one and get the word out!

This is sort of random but it occurred to me that there doesn't seem to be an easy-to-use system to help people get information out in the event of their deaths. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be needed but unfortunately we're not quite there yet. People do exist who will kill you for saying things they don't like, and sometimes the only thing that can keep you safe is the knowledge you possess and will release in the event of your death. We need a system where, say, if you don't enter a password every 7 days (or whatever time you set), predetermined files / information is sent out to the people and/or news agencies you choose. This wouldn't be very difficult to create and automate, but it would need to be operated by someone who could be trusted, and that's probably the trickier part these days (sadly).

Connect

The best way to contact me is through email , Discord , or Twitter , but you can also connect with me on any of the various social media platforms below (I might be slow at responding on some of them though! 😛).

The End