About the author

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Video still of Everard

I am a hang glider pilot, photographer, and amateur philosopher.

My profession is software engineering. My last job was leading a team of technical authors tasked with writing online help for automotive software.


The future of humankind

I have always seen myself as the thin, freckle-faced, intelligent boy; the star of the movie of life, faster, stronger, and cleverer than most everyone else. A member of a superior race.

When I was very young I drew better spaceships than the other boys. When I was older I built better plastic model airplanes. (In retrospect I realize that they weren’t better, but I assumed they were at the time.) I could run faster, jump higher, do more dangerous and spectacular things on a bike.

The one in front was an angular, gray-haired woman who dipped her head briefly in an automatic gesture of respect when she saw him. He opened the inner door and motioned them inside, moving aside so that they would not brush against him as they went.

— from Lifeboat by Harry Harrison and Gordon R. Dickson, 1977

I and others like me were expected to excel and to set an example to the common people. (Nobody ever explained why.) In provincial Britain during the 1960s, heavily-built types were assumed to be mentally dim. The occasional exception, like the science prodigy at our school who was a big lad wearing spectacles, paradoxically seemed to reinforce the stereotype, as did the one girl in our physics class who challenged the assumption that girls’ minds are ill-equipped for reasoning.

The discarding of those prejudices has undoubtedly improved society. However, there is a down-side. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and men are supposed to be ‘hunky’ rather than slim and have ‘social skills’ instead of intelligence of the technical kind.

The goalposts have been moved. (Who moved them?) Is it a side-effect of democracy? How do we correct it?

It is imperative that we fix this problem. Although humans are uniquely cultural among living things, we are nevertheless primarily genetic beings. Women who select gangsters and businessmen (or other dodgy geezers with ‘social capital’) as the fathers of their offspring cannot expect the panacea of education to stand in for technical intelligence. Neither should they expect artificial aids (automatically focusing spectacles, varipulse pacemakers, multiple heart bypass valves, and mobile phones that are more intelligent than they are…) to turn their sons into the proverbial brave men worthy of beautiful women living in sunny uplands. The genetic quality of humanity is at stake.

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5 Responses to About the author

  1. Fly with hanglider is also my pasiion.My name is Luca, I like your story about your flight and I am happy that in England there are people like you. I fly in italy where there are a lot of mountain and it is very simple to reach a good place to fly and you show me more passion than a lot of people to fly and write about flight. I hope to fly with you and could you send me some gps coordinates for the place where you fly?

    Have fun
    Luca Silvestri

    • I don’t have a GPS, but the info is available in the club sites guide. We do not have many hang glider pilots in Britain now (lots of paragliders though). Visitors are always welcome.

  2. proamatrice says:

    Hello Everard,it’s not easy to read about you, my English is not enough trained:/
    I’m a computer scientist, too. What does your job consist in, more precisely?
    If your socialisation level is not in a bad moon at the moment, you could even answer me:)
    PS. Why do you let tv to violate your privacy?
    Best wishes L.

    • I write and edit documentation for complex computer systems.

      I do not really have a concept of privacy. I live in a society where deviousness and dishonesty are the norm. The main defense against it becoming like an African corrupt state is its free press. People who hold privacy as a high value have something to hide. If we are to evolve into the proverbial race of brave men and beautiful women living in equally proverbial sunny uplands, we must leave those people behind.

      • proamatrice says:

        So you like to let Google and Facebook, under the false pretenses of the “completely free”, collect billions of data about you? They don’t care whether you have something to hide or not, they want to earn money with the information you provide.
        Could you link me some pages where I can read something more in detail about your work? Which kind of complex systems you deal with? I work in an environment in which documentation is the evil for productivity! Even if I don’t agree this idea of documentation in general..

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