About Steve Gillman

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A Brief Biography

I was born at a young age–and now I’m so old that I forget where I stole that line from. People say I am a smart ass, and they are at least half right (the first half, in case you’re wondering). To get an idea of who I am you could read some of my books, but then reading 101 Weird Ways to Make Money might give you a different impression than you would get from reading Beyond Mental Slavery or The Thousand Mile Hole or Gay Jesus.

In any case, I am not a good biographer, nor even autobiographer. With that in mind, I'll just lay out the basic outline of my life below, add a few notes about my interests and ever-changing beliefs, and let you figure out the rest from posts on this website/blog.

Steve Gillman

Born in Bay City, Michigan in 1964.

Reading and in being in the woods occupied my childhood.

Traveled across the United States at sixteen-years-old (mostly buses and hitchhiking).

At seventeen I hitchhiked to Mexico. Always one to be prepared, I naturally had a notarized permission slip from my parents in order to cross borders. Perhaps times were different then, but I was also persuasive with my parents (they knew I would go anyhow and that I would have fewer troubles with the paperwork).

Between travels and between the ages of 16 and 20, I lived alone in a cabin for long stretches. I spent my time reading Schopenhauer, wandering the beaches and woods, and sometimes floating on pieces of ice in Lake Michigan (during spring break-up).

At some point I got my high school diploma. After a few college classes I gave up on formal education to spend more time studying and learning about things that matter.

In my life I have had dozens of jobs. In fact, at last count I've made money in about eighty different ways. In a home with no mortgage by my thirties (a mobile home on a small lot), I rented rooms out and lived easily on $7,000 to $17,000 annual income for a long time (the $7,000 year came after the $17,000 one–I liked to take time off).

I traveled to Ecuador in February of 2001, where I climbed to the summit of 20,600-foot Mount Chimborazo, and met Ana, the love of my life. We were married in the fall of 2001. Soon we were traveling the United States looking for a new place to call home. We lived in seven different homes in four different states in the next nine years. Along the way, with Ana as my inspiration, I started to do something with my writing, initially online and later in print.

Our online business has done well. I get to write about brainpower, politics, travel, economics, the mind, backpacking, inventions, and ideas in general, and make money doing so. I like that.

That's Steve Gillman in under 500 words.

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Update for 2012

I should have mentioned that I am by nature skeptical, but not cynical. I tend not to believe things without reason, and any beliefs I have are entirely provisional. I will happily be inconsistent over time if that's what it takes to keep learning and changing for the better.

I love words, but try not to mistake them for the things they represent. Thus, I can feel comfortable saying two seemingly contradictory things, like these statements:

1. I favor laissez-faire capitalism because, according to the philosophical basis of it that I have studied, it's the only system that aims for peaceful exchanges rather than the use of force to get what we want.

2. I think what we call capitalism today is a system designed to exploit the poor and weak, and should be changed as soon as possible.

You can also get an idea of how I think from my posts on why I am unpatriotic, why I call myself an atheist vs agnostic, and why everyone is wrong (I include myself in that group).

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Mountains I've Climbed

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Why I'm an Atheist




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