Page 3.14


This time around, we’re interviewing new blogger Coby Beck of A Few Things Ill Considered.

What’s your name?
Coby Beck

What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I am a software engineer specializing in artificial intelligence applications, so that is my bread and butter activity. To avoid being a total geek who works and blogs and communicates on the computer all day, I am a regular hiking enthusiast, visiting trails and mountain tops in and around British Columbia’s lower mainland. I also spend time every day walking my two dogs, Rhapsody the Chihuahua and Einstein the French Bulldog.

What is your blog called?
A Few Things Ill Considered

What’s up with that name?
Why, you don’t like it? ☺ I guess it is a bit of self-deprecating humour, a play on words from the phrase “all things considered”.

How long have you been blogging, anyway?
About a year and a half now. My first post was two months before I really got going, just an attempt at explaining why I was starting a blog in the first place. But I really started in earnest in January of 2006.

Where are you from and where do you live now?
Well, born in the US of A (Minneapolis), I grew up in Alberta near Calgary. But apart from three years living in Australia, I have spent my adult life in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia from Victoria to Yale. Today, I live and work in downtown Vancouver.

Would you describe yourself as a working scientist?
No. But I could play one on TV!

Any educational experiences or degrees you’d like to mention?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Music (B.Mus.). It was a general studies degree (as opposed to history, theory, composition or performance) and my instrument is the flute.

What are your main academic interests, in or out of your field?
My current specialty is in generalized applications that generate other more basic application code, kind of an application generator, I guess. I am also interested in autonomous agents and behavior modeling.

Last book you read?
The Man Who Knew Too Much, by David Leavitt

Who are your favorite writers?
The writers for the new Battle Star Galactica TV show (did I mention I am trying not to be a geek?)

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Don’t know if I really have any. How about Gandalf the Grey?

“Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

Your favorite heroes in real life?
Anyone who puts their integrity and principles ahead of their personal career aspirations, especially in those crunch situations where it really matters.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
A bright but cool day spent hiking in the mountains with a close friend or two. Maybe followed by a nice meal out with a glass of wine and some good conversation. I feel no need for the whole tent thing…eight years of tree planting will do that to a person.

What’s your greatest habitual annoyance?
People questioning my habits or asking what annoys me. Just kidding! Oh, I know. Rechargeable batteries that are easily ruined by a little overcharging, especially $50 cordless handset batteries from Panasonic!

What’s your fatal flaw?
I’m a perfectionist and a workaholic…oh wait, that was from my list of job interview answers. I guess I just don’t know what to say to that on a venue like this!

What would you like to be?

A fine art photographer. It is going to happen, just watch me! I have produced three pieces so far.


  1. #1 doctorgoo
    October 5, 2007

    Does he blog here on Scienceblogs? I can’t find him on the pull-down menu or the list on the scienceblog homepage.

  2. #2 coby
    October 23, 2007
  3. #3 Ginny
    October 23, 2007

    sorry about that! the link’s been added now to the top of the post.

  4. #4 Dave
    November 29, 2007

    Did you (or are you) currently publishing a book?

  5. #5 coby
    November 29, 2007

    Hi Dave,

    No, nothing more than idyll day dreaming in that direction. The How To Talk to a Sceptic Guide was published in an abridged version as a booklet/pamphlet by Blue Practice for the last TED conference.

    It stays on my wish list!

  6. #6 coby
    November 29, 2007

    The Blue Practice link should be this and TED is here.