On being an introvert

I do talks and speeches to large audiences. I jump up and down, gesticulate and enthusiastically deliver messages on stage. I coach lots of people – from athletes, artists, executives and people off the street. People see me as a highly extrovert personality who loves being in the spotlight and love talking to lots of people.

When Anette got me to answer 20 questions designed to determine if a person is an extrovert or an introvert, I ended up scoring 85% introvert. And it fits perfectly. I am an introvert.

I love being in my own company, doing my own things without interference or external chatter, noise or direction. I love it to bits. Writing books or articles, programming, creating music or digital art, poetry, drawings, stargazing with my telescope or tinkering with my calculator collection. This gives me energy.


While I also love doing stuff on stage and coach people, it takes energy. But I do love that I get exhausted. Thing is – the things that gives energy is my introverted activities. The stuff that cost me energy is my extroverted activities. I still love doing them, but I need my introverted activities to keep me from burning out. It’s just how it is, really. And I like the mix.

I do not fit in the classical introvert category of thinking a lot, planning carefully, keeping a personal distance to others, etc. I’m an impulsive, anarchistic introvert who don’t mind people getting deep under my skin. Bah, the further I try to pin it down, the harder it becomes – almost like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Maybe trying pin people down by labelling is both an unhealthy and futile activity. I believe people should remain fluid – much like Bruce Lee once said, “Be water, my friend”.

Overleaf: Finally LaTeX editing online! & my revised CV

Brendan pointed me to Overleaf – an excellent tool to create high quality documents using LaTeX. It boasts automatic rendering of the output, collaborative editing and lots and lots of templates to start from. I’m crazy happy I found this. And I decided to remake my CV/résumé with one of the templates I found there. And here it is: Geir Isene’s CV.


Check out Overleaf. It’s a real treat.


And, if you have any suggestions for improving my CV, please leave a comment.

Freedom of Religion or Belief

It is not enough to tolerate religions or personal convictions or beliefs. We should recognize the power in beliefs and religions.

Yesterday I attended the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (#IPPFoRB) in Berlin.


Tolerance of religions and beliefs is an important human right. Taking action to stop or limit prosecution based on faith is paramount. But I think we can take this one step further. Beyond stopping oppression of faith, passive tolerance of faith or even promotion of a tolerant society, there is recognition of the power of faith.

Religion or belief gives purpose. Purpose gives strength, and with strength can come accomplishments.

Witness the early civilizations, the building of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Mayans and social structures throughout our history. Religions have given purpose, strength and accomplishments to the benefit… and detriment of many. The strength has yielded the foundations for civilizations. It has also brought oppression, even terrorism. In any case, with conviction comes strength.

Religion or Belief -> Purpose -> Strength -> Accomplishment

This we should recognize and help use for the greater good. Faith can be a basis for individual strength and strong societies. Thus faith should be applauded regardless of what the person chooses to believe in.

The diversity of this conference is amazing. More than 100 MPs from more than 60 countries. All major religions are represented. Academia, NGOs and other interested parties attend.

Having attending this conference, I am left with a couple of questions. Firstly:

How can people with directly opposing purposes honestly cooperate for Freedom of Religion or Belief?

I spoke to people at the conference who have the goal of their religion winning at the expense of others.

Answers to this question could serve also to answer how we could make anarchy work in practice.

Another impression from the conference was that several of the attendants insisted that there was absolutely no connection between religion and terrorism. I believe such a refusal to discuss such a connection is both naive and dangerous. It can obfuscate a possible cause of terrorism. The blunt refusal of a discussion is never healthy.

Then there is the question of a battle of two basic human rights. Which takes rank – the freedom of religion and belief or the freedom of speech? What’s your answer to this potential dilemma?

How to pick up girls (and gain new friends)

After coaching lots of people on this (myself included), I’ve boiled it down to four simple questions that will get you close to most people in a matter of minutes. For this to work, you need to open up yourself and reveal your own answers to these questions along the way. A free two-way flow creates good trust, knowledge of the other and a basis for friendship or beyond. Try it out on some strangers and tell me how it went. But remember, be direct, blunt even – no beating around the bush:

  1. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
  2. What are your 5 strongest sides?
  3. What are your 2 weakest sides?
  4. What have you done in life that has given you the worst conscience?

Get answers to these and share your own and you will both know if you have a potential friend right there.


My computer setup

Here’s a HyperList of my current computer setup – for reference in case someone is looking for inspiration:

PC = Samsung NP900X4C

OS = Ubuntu Linux (16.04) (http://www.ubuntu.com/)

Shell = zsh (http://www.zsh.org/)

Terminal = urxvt (http://software.schmorp.de/pkg/rxvt-unicode.html)

Text editor = VIM (http://www.vim.org/)

Document production = LaTeX (https://www.latex-project.org/)

Programming Languages

Mail User Agent = mutt (http://www.mutt.org/)

  • Mail filtering = mail_fetch (from GMail accounts)

SMTP client = msmtp (http://msmtp.sourceforge.net/)

Instant communication = Weechat (https://weechat.org/)

HP-41 link = pc41 (https://github.com/isene/pc41)

Newsreader (RSS) = Newsbeuter (http://newsbeuter.org/)

Window Manager = i3 (http://www.i3wm.org/)

Information display = Conky (https://github.com/brndnmtthws/conky)

Browser = Qutebrowser (https://github.com/The-Compiler/qutebrowser)

Office suite = LibreOffice (https://www.libreoffice.org/)

Presentation viewer = Impressive (http://impressive.sourceforge.net/)