John Pfeiffer, Evil Genius!

I suffer from a particular derangement of the mind whereby my head constantly fills up with ideas which—left unexpressed —cause me a not-insignificant amount of emotional turmoil.

Or, to sum it up so that it fits on a T-shirt:
I make things because I get sad if I don’t.

I am an eccentric and reclusive polymath who has spent his entire adult life plugged directly into the whole of collected human knowledge…which, frankly, has proven to be a far more useful and cost-effective education than any other on offer.

It’s been said that ‘half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at’, and as a polymath I’ve taken that to heart.  Not as an admission of my limitations, but more of a to-do list; I don’t not do something because I don’t know how, I endeavor to learn how so I can do it—albeit with varying levels of success. I also absorb information like a sponge, even unintentionally.  Part of the reason I like watching shows like Modern Marvels, How It’s Made, and MythBusters, every chance I get, even if it’s just running in the background while I work.

Ever since I was presented with my first box of LEGO as a child, I have been filled with an insatiable urge to make things.  I have a very strong sense of aesthetics, and an appreciation for the form and function of things… Like the calculated design and solid feel of a good tool or writing implement.

On Language

I have a fondness for obscure words or phrases, especially if they hold some particular meaning for me… Take for instance the Japanese idiom ‘Bakamoichigei’ (場かも一芸 ) roughly meaning ‘Even a fool has one talent.’ which I use as my internet handle. Or the Italian ‘Sprezzatura’, which could most succinctly be explained as ‘practiced nonchalance’…what it describes is the ability to make the skillfully-executed act look too easy, bordering on accidental.

The OED, however, renders it rather dryly as ‘studied carelessness’, which is no doubt partially responsible for its more modern usage in men’s fashion, describing going to great lengths to affect a measured amount of carelessness in one’s appearance.  Adjacent, yet not the same thing. But I digress.

Having the knowledge, the skillset, and the tools, for a near-zero turnaround time when somebody comes to me with a relatively ‘big ask’ is core to my creative identity.

Impossible done daily, miracles require 24hrs notice.

Quotes

Clever is making things you can’t afford. Genius is making things you can’t buy.

John Pfeiffer, 2013

Any sufficiently advanced Maker should be indistinguishable from a sorcerer.

John Pfeiffer, 2015, corollary to Clarke’s Third Law

I just MAKE COOL THINGS, but picture-taking is thing-making-adjacent… After all, if you don’t take pictures, no one will know you’re making COOL THINGS!

John Pfeiffer, 2016, response to “I’m guessing you take pictures for a living?”

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