John Pfeiffer, Evil Genius!

My near total disregard for societal norms, and tendency toward ‘mad scientist’ behavior has led me to conclude that I am most certainly Lawful Evil, so I figured…why fight it?  It’s more fun this way, and I like the dress code. (Lab coat and goggles, hell yeah!)

The three words that best describe me arein no particular order:

  • Genius
  • Polymath
  • Eccentric

And while that may sound pretentious, I assure you it is the simplest and most accurate description available.

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 a limitation, 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 not always successfully.) 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. (Especially How It’s Made…because how do you MAKE COOL THINGS if you don’t know how things are made?!)

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

One of my favorite words or phrases in any language I have knowledge of is the Japanese idiom ‘Bakamoichigei’ (場かも一芸 ) roughly meaning ‘Even a fool has one talent.’  Another bit of Japanese I’m rather fond of is ‘Souzou’ (そうぞう / 想像 / 創造 ) which— despite having only one common phonetic spelling ([so][u][zo][u]) and pronunciation —can either mean ‘imagination’ or ‘creativity’ depending on what kanji you write it with.

I have also been known to use science as a verb, and to ‘do science to‘ things.

Danger Is My Hobby

Between electricity, horribly corrosive chemicals, sharp things and objects of not-insignificant mass moving at high speeds (Sometimes unpredictably), and my propensity for doing science to things, it’s really a wonder I’m still alive.  I try to take safety measures very seriously.  Nonetheless, I can tell you I’ve had my share of “Hmm… Whole hand. Kinda…tingling.  Okay, no.  That’s burning.  DEFINITELY BURNING.” and “Woah, what’s that? Oh, I seem to be completing this 110V circuit. I should stop that.” moments.


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

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