John



Physical Stuff


Sex: Male
Born: Monday, March 1st, 1965 (in the wee hours of the morning)
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 237
Eyes: Blue
Hair: 18 inches long, slight natural wave; about as dark as it can be & still be called blond. I've never shaved once ever.



Where to direct communication to me.



Job


Marine Engineer / Electrician (*)
I'm currently at home fixing and cleaning my car and my house after a year of neglect. I have become disenchanted with the commercial fishing industry, and when I finally return to work, I want it to be on a boat that does something else.
For other info please see my resume.


People & Psyche Stuff

Education: BA in Physics from The Johns Hopkins University, 1986 & a year of grad school at U of TX @ Austin.
I have in many ways adapted to being a sort of hermit, and I seldom feel comfortable or enjoy doing social things as a non-anonymous member of a large (>7) group of people unless I'm already pretty individually familiar and comfortable with most of the group's members.
I am single.
I have no children.
I am not monogamous and hate the unhappiness that I see the cultural repercussions of monogamy putting in people's lives. I also don't like the conceptual division monogamy puts between friends & partners. Had I gotten married I would have preferred it to ultimately be in a 5-8 (primary) adult family with large amounts of personal space for all concerned.
I like doing things with people that are enjoyable for all concerned and make an effort for the things I am doing with people to be that way.
I'm something of a nudist at home.
I am heterosexual. I try not to form or act on preconceived notions about those who aren't.
I am a pantheist and want to continue to be one.
The religious writing I feel most in agreement with is the Lao Tzu (Tao te Ching), but I don't consider it to be an exclusive or complete source of religious truth.
I think its ok for friends to be different from each other and to have different opinions on lots of things. I don't think the differences between people should necessarily impede enjoying what shared happinesses do exist.
There's a few of the less mainstream aspects of myself I'd like to change and many I like very much just as they are. The same applies to the more mainstream aspects of myself, also. I think an important aspect of interacting with others is who I become by doing so.
I'm often somewhat fatalistic about things I can't control.
I have what transactional analysts call an internal locus of control.
Regarding food, when I'm at home I try to be a vegetarian + eating eggs (in recipes, not for breakfast) and milk products (cheese & sour cream on sandwitches, butter in recipes, ice cream when the diet allows). An exception to this is ahi tuna which I've been eating at home a lot recently. When I eat out in restuarants I add seafood (especially sashimi and shellfish) to this list. When I'm eating on a boat, however, I eat whatever's available that tastes the least bad. This has often included red meat, chicken, veal, sausage, etc. If there's a selection & everything's good (hah!) I try to revert to restuarant preferences. Recently, I've acquired a lot of burgers via drive-through and cream cheese w/ turkey or ham bagels via convenience store and eaten them in my car. It's a habit that recurs a lot when I'm involved with drive-to-work employment. Recently (Dec 2005) I made up my own personal food pyramid which reflects that when I try to be a vegetarian, it's not for food pyramid type reasons.



Family


Father: John Richard Banister, born in 1932 & raised in Portland, Oregon, an only child.
Mother: Barbra Joyce Long Banister, born in 1933 & raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Pierrepont, New York, an older child in a large farming family
My parents married in August of 1964 and are still married and living in Rowlesburg, West Virginia. Dad has worked for The United States Air Force, Tektronics, The Communications Sattelite Corporation, and AT&T. The last two jobs were at the world's busiest communications satellite earth station in Etam, WV. Dad is now retired. Mom worked for Western Electric before she married, has trained as an Emergency Medical Techician, was owner-manager-cook of a restuarant & a bar, retired from that, and is currently (Dec 2007) in the middle of her third two year term as mayor of Rowlesburg.
Brother: David Scott Banister, born in 1966 & raised in Eastern Washington and rural West Virginia (2nd grade on). David's living near Morgantown WV. He married Nancy Nutt in 1995 and has two children, Nick (born 1982) and Benjamin (born 1995). Dave and Nancy finished getting divorced in early 2007. Nick married Courtney Rouster. At 9:08PM on June 4th 2008, Courtney gave birth to their son, Jack. During the marriage & pregnancy, Nick and Courtney were employed by the Department of Defense. Courtney divorced Nick. Nick has moved on to school and other employment. I'm no longer aware of Courtney's status. David studied zoology at the State University of New York at Oswego and later art at West Virginia University. He's done a lot of work in crane trucks, in charge of teams that pick up the removed railroad ties when the union changes them.
Sister: Raimona Nellie Banister Rowe, born in 1970 and raised in West Virginia. Raimona is living near Cortland, New York. She married Steve Alan Rowe, a programmer working for Syracuse University and specializing in translation software, in 1996 and has two children, Tyler Rain Dingler (born 1991) and Charlotte Gem Rowe (born 3.88 kg, 53.975 cm on Monday, January 11, 2001 at 8:49 AM after about 4 hours of labor). Raimona studied general subjects at Simons's Rock of Bard College and later teaching at the State University of New York at Cortland. She worked as quality control standards author in a Cortland company that fills little sample containers. Currently, she's working as a rehab aid at the JM Murray Center and works preparing income tax returns in the spring. In the Spring of 2006, I started working on a project helping Raimona's family with building a house.
Other Sister: Rebecca Nora Banister, born in 1972 and raised in Seoul, Korea and Rowlesburg, West Virginia. Rebecca has yet to marry or have children. She has graduated from Job Core's secretarial division and is currently living in Rowlesburg and occasionally volunteering as a teacher's aid in the school there.



Some things I like (in no particular order)


Computers
Science Fiction / Fantasy Stories & Art
Mathematics
Physics
Mathematical Logic
Food
Music: Traditional, Orchestral, Electronic, alternative rock
Movies with good ideas, plots, comedy, or erotica
Climbing mountains (I don't have equipment for this)
Hiking, playing in unchlorinated water (I am not a good swimmer)
Most outdoors stuff not involving internal combustion engines
Taking photos & developing them
Looking at beautiful photos
listening to water
Reptiles
window shopping in catalogs and online
Tropical fish
Women mathematicians
Eating
artistic expression
Kitchen Utensils & machines
thinking
Technology put to good use
Arguing
Evergreens
the medeterranean diet pyramid
Moss
Sex
Doing things well
Seeing things done well
candles (especially big weird ones)
Sleeping
Some Haiku & other poetry
Making music (which isn't to say I'm proficient at it)
Thunderstorms
Fireflies
Parentheses
gold bullion (donations gladly accepted)
Being kind to strangers
Marine Gastropods and Cephelopods
The way Pipe Tobacco smells when it isn't burning
Pumpkins
Concerti Grossi, Marimba music, and other polyphonic music
The way coffee beans smell
Subcategories (I have more hand made folders per file on my hard drive than many, many people.)


Some things I don't like (in the above order)


Signs & public notices containing bad grammar or spelling or use "less" instead of "fewer" to refer to things that come by eaches
Some "Foods"
The way tomatoe sauce stains plastic containers
Strong emotional confrontation (When I'm really angry with a person & am around the person I'm angry with, I (involuntarily, almost) go to sleep.)
Expressions of absolute truth w/o thoughtful proof
Thoughtlessness that causes unhappiness
Stridentness
Breathing cigarette smoke (or any other smoke for that matter)
Loud parties full of strangers (but only when I'm in them)
Heat combined with humidity at night
Litter
Being requested/expected to eat the remainder of someone else's meal

Being encouraged to eat snacks & treats when I'm trying to diet
Drinking coffee or espresso (which isn't to say that I don't do it)
Regularly hearing expressions of love during or immediatly after sex that I seldom hear at any other time
Keeping mental lists of secrets and whose they are. When people tell me stuff that they want to keep secret, I often just forget what they told me. That way I won't betray their confidence, but don't have to try to remember who isn't supposed to know.
Spending my personal time around people I have to clean up after in order to live in an environment that is (for me) sufficiently clean, and especially being around people who feel like they've scored some sort of dominance points because I'm willing to clean up in order to have cleanliness.
"Reality" shows on broadcast network television, especially anything where people vote one another off or out. (Although, I do think that negative votes for national elections would be a good idea.)


Politics:

For me, when it comes to politics, two general rules apply:

For how groups of ten or fewer people relate to the government, I'm very similar to Libertarians.
Some Examples:

I think that activities involving consent by adults for all persons driectly affected shouldn't be illegal.
More Examples:

I think that any sort of sexual services performed by adults for adults should be legal. I think that government issued licenses that involve mandatory STD checks are a good idea, but I think that the licenses should be of an advisory nature for the customers, not something compulsory for the practicioners.
I think that adults selling and using any sort of recreational drugs should be legal so long as it doesn't involve harm to third parties. Where it might involve harm to third parties, (eg driving, parenting) existing laws regarding alcohol use can be expanded to cover other intoxicants (if they haven't been already).
I think that legal and medical licenses should also be of an advisory nature for the customers, not something cumpulsory for the praticioners.
Building codes: If an adult wants to live in a death trap that adult should be allowed to do so. If an adult wants to sell their death trap, disclosure that it doesn't meet building codes, and that parents won't be allowed to keep children there ought to be made, but with proper disclosure, the sale should be permitted.

Regarding firearms, it seems to me that whenever I hear about crimes or tragic events involving firearms, the people misusing the firearms are almost always people who are already legally barred from having access to firearms. Whenever I hear about proposed remedies for firearms problems, the are almost always primarily restrictions placed on people who are not legally barred from having firearms and are already obeying the law. I think this is wrong. I think that something useful to help out with this situation is software that similar to software that would be successful for internet voting. If the BATF's database of Form 4473 information was organized so that its general information is widely available to law enforcement, but its specific information is available only with individual effort and for a specific need (ie, so that law enforcement can check when they have a specific need, but so that it's impossible to generate the sort of lists that the NRA very appropriately fears). I think this software would be functionally quite similar to voting software that can count the votes and give geographical breakdowns to the polls and can verify my vote to me, but can not tell my specific vote to anyone else. Having this sort of software, and making its source code open for public review might go a long way towards encouraging more information to be (required by the states to be) submitted to that database. Another thought that occurs to me regarding firearms is the notion of the "not batshit crazy" card. This card would not have your name because your name wouldn't be recorded. It would only have biometric data which the sales person could use to determine that the card carrier was the person certified by the card, a number, and an encryped date & confirmation code. The encryption would involve both repeatably encodable biometric data (I'm thinking fingerprints) and a number from the issuer. When a person uses the card, they swipe their fingerprint, and the seller calls the issuer with the card number. The seller gets the decryption number and confirmation code. The encryped date and confirmation code are decrypted. The confirmation is checked, and the issuance date is checked. So long as the issuance date is sufficiently recent, just like an instant background check, the sale goes forward. Of course, this requires the existance of a reliable inexpensive "not batshit crazy" test for issuing the cards, but I bet that such a test is more doable than I might think.
Regarding marriage, I think that, so far as the government is concerned, all marriages should be considered as civil unions, and in matters not pertaining to the immediate direct welfare of childeren, contract law should apply. I think the word "marriage" ought to be left to the Churches, which are free to be as exclusive as they so choose. However, if the government does involve itself in "marriage," then I think that that involvement ought to be the same regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of the persons being married.

For how organizations having 200 or more employees or members relate to the government, I think I'm fairly similar in some ways to Ralph Nader & Howard Dean.
Some Examples:

This relates to my belief that the collective psyche of larger organizations moves backwards down the evolutionary scale. I don't consider that large organizations necessarily have the natural capacity for making moral decisions, and don't believe that they should be given the benefit of the doubt in this regard by the government. I can imagine the possibility that an organizational structure exists which promotes the capacity for moral decision making. And, given the existance of such a structure, I would agree with organizations able to regularly prove that they maintain such an internal organizational structure being given more benefit of the doubt (fewer regulatory restrictions) than other organizations without such a structure.
I think that organizations who bring products or services into my country should be penalized by an import duty if they do not follow the same restrictions regarding environmental & employee safety and employee wages that are imposed on organizations within my country.
Regarding Health care. I think that the government should sell basic medical insurance where the cost of the medical care is paid by those insured, but the administrative overhead is paid by the government. I know that privately owned health insurance companies won't be able to compete with the government. I don't have a problem with that. I think that one of the categories of insurance sold by the government should be "catastrophic only" where the "catastrophic" nature is determined by the income of the person insured, but the rate is the same for everyone. Insurance purchased from this organization for the welfare of the poor, should be done so by such separate governmental and private organizations as perform that service. The top 40% of wage earners should have to pay that portion of the administrative costs that they would pay if those costs were charged to everyone so insured. I don't think that people should be required to buy this insurance. I don't think that there should be an upper limit on the size of health savings accounts (but the income tax deduction would dissappear for those subject to the flat tax mentioned below).
Regarding Bailouts. I think that there should be a Federal Bailout Insurance Company, and that any financial institution that has the privelege of being a primary dealer with the Federal Reserve and any other organization deemed too important to be allowed to fail should be required to buy Federal Bailout Insurance at the rate the FBIC determines based on its evaluation of the potential loss and the riskiness of the behavior that organization. FBIC insurance should also be made available to any other organization that wants to buy it. One rule that then must necessarily apply to those so insured: No debts or other obligations held in secret. When organizations that become large enough that the FBIC determines that they need to purchase its insurance, split up rather than doing so, then Anti-Trust laws should be applied to make sure that the split-up is a real one. Also, record keeping at FBIC insured institutions should be sufficiently thorough and transparent that any of their employees can be replaced at any time, if necessary.
A thought for the stock market. When companies issue stock, in addition to letting them specify whether or not it's voting stock, let (tell) them to specify a minimum trading interval. When that stock is purchased, the minimum trading interval must pass before it can be sold again. The same company can issue stocks with several different intervals. If the company wants to change the interval of its stock, it must first re-purchase the stock. This allows companies to limit their vulnerability to market volatility (at the expense of having to convince buyers of the company's long-term value).

For groups of people that number between 10 and 200 my political thoughts vary from case to case.

Individual income taxes: I think that the top 2.5% of wage earners should pay a flat tax at the rate of taxaion imposed on individuals not in that group, but in the top 2.501% of wage earners.


Plans for the future:

Owning land and building a home on (in) it
Learning how to take better photos
Maybe a telecommuting job
Maybe learning to fly airplanes
Death:

I'm not a fan of funerals, so after I die and all possibly useful organs are donated (maybe not too many as, having had malignant melanoma, I'm not allowed to donate blood) I want what's left of my body to be composted and used to raise vegetables. Those with sufficient desire to attend a funeral can instead come to a banquet later on, where those attending will be required to "eat their vegetables." I'm happy to say that someone else likes the corpse composting concept. The Swedish company Promessa is doing this.


Story

Here's a really short story I wrote for my own amusement one day while attending college.



Here's a link back.