About Dave

First and foremost, I’m a dad and husband, but most of the time I describe myself as a professional geek.

I’m passionate about a lot of things, especially the things that enable my family to develop and thrive, as well as the communities of which I am part.

You can find out more about my professional activities on my “day job” web sites at WebFund and Ligntning Lab where we launch online startups, and Think Tank Consulting where I help clients with governance, strategy, sensible exploitation of IT, and lexicography.  My LinkedIn profile provides a good overview of my credentials and colleagues.  I’m an active member of AngelHQ, Wellington’s Angel Investment Club, and am a director in a number of companies including The Appreciation Engine, Domain Name Commission Limited, Publons, Expander, and SWNZ Limited. I’m on the InterentNZ Council, and a strong supporter of Open Source software. I think that software patents are stupid.  I’m also a Councillor (director) at Open Polytechnic because I think distance learning is about to completely disrupt tertiary education, and I believe OP’s non-MOOC blended model is a winner for delivering vocational education in New Zealand and around the world.

If you want to know how I think about business, read my post on empathy and success in business.

I love languages.  I have studied and have a passable knowledge of New Zealand Sign Language, Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew. I can sing in Yiddish.  Oh, I’m also fond of Python, Javascript, Perl, PHP, shell scripting and friends.  I’ve worked on numerous dictionaries, including the Online Dictionary of NZ Sign Language (and its predecessor paper versions), He Pātaka Kupu (The monlingual dictionary of Māori by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the largest reference work ever published in Te Reo), the Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English, the Victoria University Law Department’s Legal Māori Dictionary, and several others overseas.

I’m very involved in the local Jewish community.  I served as President of the Wellington Progressive Jewish Congregation – Temple Sinai from 2004-2006 (there’s a two-year term limit), and later served two years as its Treasurer.  I am the Jewish co-chair of the  Wellington Council of Christians and Jews.  Judaism teaches me that in our lives we make decisions moment by moment that impact the world around us; the trick is to be mindful of these and make informed choices.  I built the Poetry in Hell website with my parents, a monument to the Yiddish poetry in the Warsaw Ghetto.

My main hobby is music. I do lead vocals and play trumpet and recorder in the Klezmer Rebs.  My listening tastes are very ecclectic; I’ll listen to just about anything once.  For relaxation I tend to listen to classical though, particularly Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Beethoven.

I like riding my bike around town, especially in nice weather.  Ever since I got hit by a bus in the Basin Reserve a few years ago, I’ve been more circumspect about the conditions I’ll ride in.  I’ve avoided the Basin since!

I also love cooking; there’s no better foil for intensive mental work or long-term projects than cooking.  There’s something tactile and visceral as well as immediately gratifying about putting together a good meal.  Lately I’ve been perfecting my breadmaking skills, but I enjoy making all sorts of stuff.  One of my aims with this blog is to record recipes from some of my more successful culinary experiments.

I do like political discussions, and was the webmaster of The Yes Vote campaign for the referendum on child discipline. My Facebook profile describes my politics as “off the axis”.  I think that Left and Right as political labels attempt to map a complex multidimensional phenomenon into linear simplicity, and it doesn’t work for me.

If you’d like to engage with me on any level, feel free to contact me.  I always like talking to interesting people who have different ideas and are true to themselves and others.






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