Hello everyone. I’m Stephen West. I’ve sat down to write this about me section a few times now and whenever I scan my brain for something interesting to tell you I always just end up kind of staring at a spot on the wall for a couple minutes instead. I got nothing. From the emails it seems like the thing most people want to know is:
Q. Are you a 55 year old philosophy professor with a prosthetic hip that does this show as a labor of love?
A. No. I am 28.
Q. Then why do you look 13 years old?
A. Horrible Genetics.
Q. Was that hard in High School?
Q. Has years of people pointing at you, chanting things that make fun of your aesthetic condition caused you to have a terrible inferiority complex that you desperately try to undo by chasing the admiration of people via a philosophy podcast?
Q. Your voice sounds old.
A. Thank you.
I got into podcasting because I wanted to help bring to others what philosophy has done for my well-being. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for what the listeners of the show have made possible for me.
I am an agnostic on every issue of substance I can think of. It’s the only honest way of living I’ve come across so far.[steve AT stephenwestshow DOT com].
1. What is your full name?
2. Where were you born? When were you born (birthdate)?
3. What country/countries did your ancestors come from?
Africa isn’t a country.
4. Do any of your living relatives currently speak a language other than English?
My great grandfather is a horse whisperer.
5. Who is in your immediate family; what are their ages?
6. Do you have any pets?
7. What are your favorite television shows? Why?
Kitchen Nightmares. It masquerades as a show about food when it is more of a show about human psychology. It is fascinating.
8. What are your favorite magazines? Why?
I would make fun of people that still read magazines if I wasn’t in the middle of answering a list of 50 questions probably first published in Tiger Beat.
9. What is the best book you ever read? Why?
I don’t read. But if I did it would be The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley. Not because it is revolutionary for everyone, but it was revolutionary for me. I’ve never looked at the world the same way since I read it. Wish this was a list of ten books, but since it isn’t I have to go with the one that impacted me the most.
10. Who is your favorite music artist or group? Why?
Justin Bieber. His hair and fashion sense.
11. What is your favorite movie? Why?
The Social Network. It won best picture that year and is STILL underrated in my opinion.
12. What do you like to do on the weekends or when you get home from school?
Well, after I finish my homework my mom and dad usually let me have a snack. Who wrote this list?
13. What are your favorite sports?
MMA, Basketball and Football
14. Do you play on a team? What sport(s)/what team(s)?
I roll Jiu Jitsu and train at an MMA gym.
15. What activities/clubs do you participate in?
I go on a lot of walks thinking about stuff.
16. Do you collect anything? What is it? Why?
No. There are hunters and gatherers in this world. I am a hunter.
17. What are your hobbies?
I have a sick obsession with the world of MMA. Other than that and the podcast, I like to watch ironic TV shows and make fun of them. My therapist says it is because it makes me feel better about myself.
18. Have you been on any trips? Where have you gone?
Too many to list. I’m not big on material possessions. I love having experiences and meeting awesome people.
19. What was your favorite vacation? Why?
A road trip I took down the west coast and then across the desert to Las Vegas to see UFC 189. I was surrounded by my favorite people in the world. I’ve never laughed or felt that much ever in my life.
20. Where would you like to travel to that you haven’t been? Why?
Hawaii for the paradise. England because they seem like my people.
21. What is your favorite school subject? Why?
This is why I am a miserable person– all I can think of right now is how ridiculous it is that philosophy is not taught in schools.
22. What is your least favorite school subject? Why?
Geography. Because I have Google Earth and Siri.
23. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
Carneades. He is honest.
24. Who is your family hero? Why?
Donald Trump because he’s the best uncle ever.
25. Tell an interesting or funny story about when you were little (age 5 or younger).
One time I was taking a nap and I woke up and it was really dark in the room I was sleeping in. I couldn’t see anything so I started reaching around in all directions, trying to prod and get any kind of information about my surroundings that I could– I was really young and it was the best idea I could think of. All of a sudden I started feeling sick. I felt this strong feeling of nausea. I tried to yell and get somebody to help but it felt like something was blocking my mouth, like I had been gagged. My first thought was that I was being held for ransom; that I had been drugged, kidnapped and tied up in a dark room. The feeling of nausea eventually subsided and I had this intuitive sense that I had to escape whoever had kidnapped me and get out of this room they were holding me in. They had definitely tied me up because my mobility was severely limited. I could hear the muffled screams of whoever the kidnapper was from the next room over. They didn’t sound happy. Methodically I forced my way through the room. It was so dark I couldn’t even see where the door was or if there even was a door to this room. I started to think maybe I wasn’t in a room at all, but a cage. For nearly an hour I struggled to move throughout this room when I saw a faint crease of light. With every ounce of strength I had I ran towards it. I was not going to be a statistic. I refused to be a story on the five o’clock news. When I finally opened the door and left the room a guy with a stethoscope wrapped me in a fluffy blanket and but a blue hat on my head. It was the scariest day of my life.