Wants to Meet Up
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Thrive in Dakar
Write something unvarnished and true
Run away with the circus
I'm been couchsurfing since 2008 and have had the privilege of staying with very kind people and paying it forward by hosting others. I believe strongly in the power of hospitality exchange to open people up to new perspectives and opportunities for kindness, and I'm excited to see more and more people join the movement.
I currently live in Dakar, Senegal, with my girlfriend, who works at a technology company here. I spend my days learning French and Wolof, training with Sencirk, the local circus troupe, and doing my best to spend time alone reading and writing—a difficult task for an extreme extrovert.
I previously lived for six years in San Francisco, where I spent my time working in technology, practicing acroyoga, cultivating communal living with my co-op The Goat Hole, and participating in the local Burning Man scene. I worked for five years taking hospitality exchange mainstream at Airbnb. (I'd be glad to expound on what I think of the similarities and differences between the two projects, and what they each offer to travelers and hosts.)
My educational background is in cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence, and I also dabble in creative writing, particularly essays, cartoons, and graphic novels. I spend a lot of time hanging out with friends, listening to music, going to concerts, and wandering around the city.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Host people, couchsurf and hang out with people when I'm travelling, rhapsodise about the beauty of hospitality exchange
information organisation, content curation, writing, music, product design, creative nonfiction, media criticism, stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, satire, virtual reality, Internet communities, software, critical theory, debate, outlandish adventures
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: I like it a lot, and I love to learn about new genres I've never heard before and to learn more about the historical trends that shape what I listen to today. Here are the genres I like: power pop, twee pop, chamber pop/baroque pop, noise pop, dream pop, shoegaze, post-rock, neo-psychedelia, classic rock, prog rock, punk, new wave, third wave ska, P-Funk, alternative hip-hop, downtempo, turntablism, Asian Underground, ambient, glitch, Afrobeat, and Indian filmi/classical.
Movies: I treat movies the same way I treat music: learn to love all kinds. I particularly dig heist movies. Other types of movies I enjoy: whimsical dramedies, dialogue-heavy comedies, mockumentaries, documentaries, mindfucks, contemporary movies that really dig into and exemplify or deconstruct a classic genre (think Quentin Tarantino or Coen brothers stuff)
Books: I like memoirs and creative nonfiction, graphic novels, and stylistically excessive novels. I also read a lot of graphic novels. Favourites of all time are probably the Alice novels by Lewis Carroll and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I once pissed off the entire global community of Harry Potter fans by writing an essay satirically suggesting that the only way for terrorists to get the attention of the American populace was to kidnap J.K. Rowling before she finished the seventh Harry Potter book. I received loads of hate mail and threats to cast curses on me. A good summary of the incident can be found here: http://wiki.fandomwank.com/index.php/The_Leaky_Cauldron#TLC_vs_Stanford_Daily I suppose you ought not check it out if you are prone to think things in poor taste — otherwise, enjoy!
Teach, Learn, Share
I've been practicing acroyoga for a few years now and am always happy to share that with others. It's a real thrill to be lifted in the air or to balance upside down for the first time, and I'd love to give you that thrill! (Acroyoga is a form of partner acrobatics where one person lies on the ground and lifts the other in the air, then performs all kinds of acrobatic tricks and therapeutic yoga-style poses.)
I'm a coder by trade and super involved in the Internet, so I can talk lots about data analysis, the future of the web, and human-computer interaction. I did research in college on the psychology of virtual reality environments, and I'm down to talk about that if you're interested. I've found that people often find VR talk fascinating.
I'd especially love to convince you of the value of technology if you're wary of its influence on the way we live our lives. I find that my having one foot in hippie values and one foot in thoughtful practicality often puts me at odds with both types of people. I'd like to bring you to the center.
I spent a lot of time in high school and college both participating in and coaching debate, so I know a good bit about public speaking, rhetorical techniques, and political philosophy, and would be totally down to talk about any of that.
I really like sharing slang from different parts of the world and creating messed-up syncretisms. For example, we in Northern California use 'hella' to mean 'very' or 'to a great extent,' as in 'hella good' or 'hella fast.' I once learned from a girl that people from her part of Australia use 'kuda' to mean 'cool' or 'good.' Thus was born 'hellakuda,' which I think is an awesome-sounding word.
On a more practical note, I like cooking, especially stir-fry dishes, though I wouldn't profess to being particularly good at it. I also actually enjoy doing dishes, as long as it's a lot of them in one large batch and they aren't insanely gross, so maybe you'll get some mileage out of that.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Most of all, I love a good conversation, ranging from the nature of art to the future of technology to how our society can address income inequality. Or we can just riff and banter. I'm happy to take you out for this over dinner or a drink. I'm also happy to cook or clean around the house — I actually enjoy doing dishes, so feel free to take advantage of that!
Countries I’ve Visited
Burundi, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Senegal, United Kingdom, United States