About Steve Gillman


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.


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).

Other Pages

My Quotes

Mountains I've Climbed

My Books

Why I'm an Atheist

About Steve Gillman