Who is Adam Wiggins?
- A computer programmer. As a lover of logic and information, some might say I get along better with computers than people. I am a user and strong proponent of Open Source software because it offers powerful tools coupled with a strong ethic of freedom. Strangely, I don’t have the technical fascionation one associates with typical geeks - that is, a love of the technology for its own sake. My interest in technology stems from what it can do, not its intrinsic nature.
- An entrepreneur. I have been a founding member of four corporations, all of which have become multi-million dollar ventures within their first two years of operation. (Owning a chunk of a company worth millions is not as great as it sounds. Non-public companies have very low liquiditiy, so it is difficult or impossible to turn what I own into its cash value.) I am uniquely suited to this line of work because of my broad, non-specialized approach to skills and my goal-oriented, practical approach to problem-solving. Plus, my severe distrust of authority means that I never did very well working for other people. This is even a problem running my own businesses - I dislike not only being told what to do, but also telling other people what to do. But you kinda have to when you’re the boss.
- A psytrance DJ. Psychdelic trance is a very powerful force in my life. It stimulates my intellect with its sophistication and complexity; it moves my feet with its powerful rhythms; and it touches my soul with its dark and unworldly aesthetic. I didn’t believe I had a spiritual side until I encountered trance. Now it is a core part of my being; and could easily be called the most subjective, emotional, and human aspect of my personality.
- A creator of worlds. Before I was an entrepreneur, I worked in the video game industry. Now I build online games as a hobby. Blood Dusk is the culmination of many years of hard work. I built this living, breathing world almost entirely from scratch. It is probably my greatest work to date and has been an oportunity to express many of my views and ideas about the world and its workings in an artistic form. For this reason, playing Dusk is probably the easiest way to get inside my head.
Additionally, the god-like perspective of world-crafting has given me unique insights into human nature and motiviation. In particular I have learned that it’s really, really difficult to make people do anything. You’re vastly better off setting up processes which encourge people to behave in a desired manner by appealing to their own self-interest. This has further reinforced my belief in Libertarian political approaches as the best way to produce a happy, healthy society. Oh and, making a game is a whole lot of fun - maybe even more so than playing one.
- A political activist. I don’t put as much time into this as I might like, primarily because I find the slow pace of progress in the public realm to be frustrating. Therefore I can only visit it in brief spurts. My primary focus has been ending the War on Drugs, as I consider it to be the most illogical, wasteful, and socially damaging practice of our time. Like the state of racial relations and civil rights four decades ago, this anacronistic practice will no doubt be looked upon with both horror and confusion by our future society.
My efforts on this front have included letters to the editor and financial contributions to important drug reform and harm reduction groups. As an active Libertarian, I strongly support all freedom-oriented policies such as privatization of most government services, reduced taxes and government spending, and anything which enhances the freedom and personal responsibility of the citizenry.
- Polyamorous. Polyamory is a philosophy of relationships that throws off the shackles of conventional wisdom and suggests that you define your relationship in the way that is the best fit for you and your partner(s). Primarily this relates to the ability to love more the one person at a time. Although taboo in our society, I find it surprising that anyone could think that having more love in one’s life is a bad thing. It’s way too much to explain in this space, but let me just say this: it’s not what you’re thinking.
The truth is that I am not polyamorous by nature, but my girlfriend (who I would call my “soul mate” if I didn’t think that term was silly, and who would be my wife if I did not oppose state-santictioned marriage on philosophical grounds) is. She has shown me the value in questioning the core beliefs of what constitutes love and a relationship. The process of breaking down and examining these beliefs has been both rewarding and enlightening; and as a result, we have a stronger relationship than most monogamous couples. Plus, we get the fun and excitement (and heartbreak and disappointment) of dating, something one normally gives up when one enters a long-term relationship.
For most people - and I was no exception - it’s a long and challenging road to come to fully understand and then eventually practice the principles of polyamory. But even if you decide that multi-partner relationships are not for you, there is incredible value in questioning your core beliefs on love and relationships. Doing so will teach you about yourself and what you want from a relationship, which in turn will make your romantic endeavours more rewarding.
- A critical thinker. Critical thinking is a method for handling the flood of information that humans cope with on a daily basis. It provides tools of thought for sorting out the most worthwhile information, and ultimately using it to make the best decisions in one’s life. If more people would put just a bit of critical thinking into practice in their daily lives, we would live in a much happier and healthier place. I do understand that this approach comes naturally me due to my pragmatic and dispationate nature; and that it is much harder for others. Nevertheless, the benefits it has to offer make the effort well spent for anyone.
- An atheist. There is no god; get over it. Ok, that’s a bit harsh - let me back that off a bit. I am generally respectful of people’s beliefs, and I certainly understand the power of spirituality in one’s life. I also know that no being on this planet, including me, has any real evidence one way or another about a divine creator or creators; and as a critical thinker I certainly know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Nevertheless, I find that most organized religion functions as a cage for the mind. Subscribing to this or that brand of faith effectively walls off the vast majority of the world. This produces the desired effect: making the world a small, safe, approachable place - instead of the big, scary, and mind-bogglingly vast place that it actually is. I understand the desire for this comfort zone, but it is too much to give up all the wonderful possibilities that await out in the larger world.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no phenomenon known to mankind that requires a divine creator or other supernatural hocus-pocus to explain. Science has exposed far greater wonders over the past few centuries than can be offered by the uninspiried (and obviously human-created) myths presented by various religions. I acknowledge that religion is a positive force in many people’s lives. But too often ignored is the limitations it places on thought and deed - and countless opportunities to know the true worth of life and human existence are lost.
- A burner. Burning Man is one of the most astonishing and awe-inspiring phenomena of modern times. This week-long event held in the desolate environment of the Black Rock desert is an art festival and tribal gathering which describes itself with the tagline: “Radical self-expression.” This event simply cannot be described, but it is a powerful and life-changing experience for all who attend. Burner culture is now beginning to penetrate out into the rest of the world, and is likely to work some profound and wonderful effects on our culture over the coming decades. The best way to get a feel for life on the Playa is to browse the Burning Man photo galleries, which show art installations, people, vehicles, and landscapes from past years. Here are my past projects.
- A lover of life. Many take my rational, stoic exterior to mean that I am unhappy or disatisfied. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love life. I love exploring the seemingly limitless cornucopia of interesting places, people, and activities the world has to offer. I have a thirst for learning and knowledge that brings me fresh joy with each new discovery. My only regret is that life is so short: a mere 40 or 50 years of my adult life remains, which seems a pittance when I consider all that remains unexplored. This is why I choose who, where, and what I spend my time on with great care.
This world is a wonderful place, and I feel both disdain and pity for those that choose to wrap themselves up in the minutia of life, a microcosm of their own making, never allowing themselves to experience all that is out in the wide wide world. Some have called me “mellow” because I rarely am bothered by the little bumps of life, whether it be an undeserved insult, car trouble, or a mean-spirited landlord. The truth is that I don’t feel like wasting my time and energy on such things, because there is simply so much living to be done.