About Steve Gillman
By Steve Gillman
A Brief Biography
I was born at a young ageand now Im 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
youre 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.
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
oneI 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
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).