I'm a geography major in the University of California.
I'm also at Wikipedia as Socal212.
I have an irrational fear of <insert name here>.
I'm a registered Democrat and consider myself pretty liberal. I'm for universal health care, same-sex marriage, stricter gun control, environmental protections, clean/renewable energy, government regulation on abusive business practices, military intervention as a last resort, a progressive tax, stem cell research, strict separation of church and state, legal abortion (through about the first trimester and under certain circumstances), ending the use of capital punishment, making hunting illegal, legalized pot (and taxing it heavily for revenue), getting rid of the Electoral College, somehow making the Supreme Court a more democratic institution, college being affordable, a mild amount of affirmative action, heavy restrictions on lobbying, getting rid of eminent domain, reforming the penal and justice systems, outlawing the draft, perhaps a mulit-party system, and other stuff I'll add when I think of it. I like capitalism but I think it's very important that the government steps in from time to time to ensure fairness and ethical standards. I'd say my three top issues would be health care, the environment, and education.
I'm an atheist. Well, technically I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe God can definitively and conclusively be proven or disproven, but it certainly looks to me like he's not there and that the universe does not require him. If God created the universe then one can always ask where God came from, making, in my opinion, a virtual stalemate. I don't think the universe necessarily came from nothing, and what it could have came from (and what that in turn came from, ad infinitum) is likely something humans can't comprehend well or even at all through just the sheer epicness of it. Anyway, unlike many atheists, though, I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that there's nothing after death (although I would suspect nothing is the most likely possibility); since what "it" is like after death is more or less incomprehensible, I guess it's possible that something could await us on the other side. But then I start thinking about solipsism and I usually just stop there. I have no problem with other people being religious as long as it's not thrown in my face, attempted to be forced onto others or in government or public schooling, or promoting ignorance with ideas like a 6000 year old earth or evolution being a lie. Whether or not religion is a net force for good or evil in the world is hard to say (although I admittedly lean toward it being bad). Although the charitable aspect of it is good, the violence, intolerance, and encouragement to not think for oneself (and, in some circumstances, believe in blatantly false things) are quite bad. Although it would often be nice without it, religion, admittedly, does make things interesting and provides a source for great philosophical thought.
And the irony of this.
I can't say I've ever had a clear personal philosophy about life and I'm always pondering the different purposes of life and philosophy, how they pertain to me, where I stand on them, and which I choose to embrace and abide by. For the most part, though, I believe one should go through life intending it to be personally meaningful. One should approach life as an opportunity to develop one's talents, do what one loves to do, and have fun while being moral, ethical, and empathetic. You're only going to get one, so make it count!
Specifically, I guess you could say my philosophy is secular humanism.
 Interests & Stuff
I'm not really sure about what kind of career I want (on second thought, writing for National Geographic would be pretty awesome). All I know is that it needs to be something I enjoy and is at least a little exciting. I like running; hiking; sleeping; eating; reading; many sports; pondering; being creative; writing; cosmology; astronomy; paleozoology; geography; existentialism; studying religion as a psychological phenomenon; various topics in history, psychology, and philosophy; and some other historical mysteries (such as the Shroud of Turin or the Knights Templar).
 Random, Possibly Interesting Facts
- I can say the alphabet backwards as fast as I can say it forwards
- I once ran a 1600 meter race with a broken collarbone (and set a then-personal best)
- I have a very good sense for telling the relative sweetness or sourness of a kiwi fruit just by cutting into it
- I've been to three different countries outside the US (Great Britain, France, and Mexico)
- I've lived with eleven different pets throughout my life
- I won my elementary school geography bee in fifth grade
- I met, got the autograph of, and had a road race medal given to me by three time 200 meter world champion and four time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix
 On RationalWiki
I mostly perform minor edits nowadays: correcting grammar, adding references, creating redirects, and the like. Hopefully in the near future I'll start writing more articles and contributing more significantly to already existing ones. I'm one of those editors who really likes to see good citations in articles; I think facts and accounts of events need solid, trustworthy sources behind them so readers can be confident that what they're learning is reliable.
I'd be lying if I said I was a wiki-anarchist or full-fledged supporter of wiki-mobocracy. I enjoy the democratic benefits of the RW mobocracy, but I think there do need to be some stricter rules here, just so all the petty drama that frequently goes on here doesn't affect so many people and places on the site. I wouldn't mind seeing the moderators have a bit more power so they can limit a lot of the annoying antics that go on.
While I think we should always assume good faith with new editors and not straight-up ban or censor (I hesitate to use the c-word) people just because of bizarre or incorrect views, I think we need to be a bit harder on those who the community as a whole agree are trolls or are just plain annoying or rude. Maybe allow them to only edit one forum where they can whine or give them a month-long block — as long as it's something.
As RationalWiki becomes a more popular, referenced site, I think we need to ensure we fit our evolving, more respectable role in the online skeptic world. This, I believe, entails stricter limits on ad hominems and excessively rude language in articles. While it can be amusing, I think we should more strictly regulate funspace — it should be more for articles that aren't tiny stubs, stupid jokes, and things that most people don't get, and more for good parody and topics that are at least slightly mission-related. Another step we should take if we really want to be a proper, well-respected skeptic site is to continue to de-emphasize Conservapedia. While it is true that it in effect gave birth to RW and represents a lot of what we debunk, it remains a relatively obscure blog and doesn't really deserve anymore a whole namespace to itself. Needless to say, I wouldn't shed a tear if everything, but the CP and Andrew Schlafly articles were deleted.