What your specialist field is/would be, that you would love to/already do excel in?
- Abstract thought - Seeing complicated imaginary things clearly. Both in mathematics and in algorithms. The first I abandoned nine years ago to go into programming, the latter I still love to do, though I suspect whatever job I end up getting next won't have much of it.
- Computer programming - Ever since my parents brought back the mighty Vic 20 umpteen years ago, and I typed out the first computer program from some crappy magazine and things happened as they should, I knew that this was what I wanted to do, was what I was. It's a great feeling, and greatly missed. Lucky to live in the right time, when this was not only possible (I have 0 idea what I'd have done in the nineteenth century) but a path to riches and fame. Er, for a while anyway. The problem is that it was the wave of the future, and now it's a massive business, which means that it's less important that you do work that is cool and interesting, and more important that someone with a diploma in JSP can pick it up next week if you quit.
- Being interested in people - Admittedly occasionally this is just my boundless curiosity, and may verge on scientist-at-the-microscope. Most people have a strict linear relationship of booze to openness, and I had to learn to get there by the long road. Talking with happy chatty e-heads probably helped a lot here. It's known that I act drunker as the night goes on - this is partly natural societal effects in action, and partly me remembering that the sort of things that people have to be a certain level of drunk to say, they generally have to be that level to hear as well. I have blindsided more than one poor unfortunate who asked me in the street how I was doing.
- Focus, except I don't have any these days.
Do you want to be regarded by your peers as the best in your particular field? If not, why not?
Because it's not worth it. I've been through the impressive part of my life: College at 13, youngest Irish graduate of the 20th century at 18, paper millionaire by 25. It's not that it wasn't worth it, in each case it was better than the alternatives (though haha the blind faith in the company and the belief that Small Companies Can Make a Difference that made me a paper millionaire were exactly the ones that ensured that I didn't transfer to an actual one). But I don't think I have it in me for another run of that, I think along the way I've discovered
Were you competitive or totally un-bothered as a child?
Largely unbothered. I could have been mistaken for competitive, but it was more a voracious curiosity. I can't remember what I was like in the non-maths classes in school. I don't think I ever got as far as sitting an exam, and as soon as I went into home schooling, obviously the concept disappeared. I could have done with being competitive in college, I would have cut my stay short by a year.