About polyGeek

Dan Gardner“What” you may ask, “is a polyGeek?”

That is an excellent question. Let’s break the word down into its component parts. First there’s poly– which means “many or much” from the Greek poly- meaning “many or much“. It is clearly a prefix that has remained steadfast in its meaning.

Then there is the word “Geek” meaning person of great creativity and learning in many diverse subjects or fields of study.

Many people use the word geek and nerd interchangeably. There is however an important distinction between the two. A nerd is someone who intently focuses on one subject to the point of being deficient in all others. A good example of a nerd is of the stereotypical sorority girl who focuses all her energy on fashion and conformity to her sisters to the point that she is oblivious to even basic concepts necessary for being a functional adult in modern society. Someone who can give you a detailed explanation of why pink fingernail polish went out of style last Spring yet does not know that the United States are in North America is clearly a nerd.

Contrast that with a geek who can carry on conversations with experts in a variety of fields all the while understanding the core concepts and asking cogent questions. To sum up concisely a nerd is primarily interested in just one thing; a geek is interested in many things. Therefore you might say that the term polyGeek is redundant. However I choose to think of  polyGeek as something akin to a modern day Renaissance Man.

About polyGeek

Birthplace: Bisbee, AZ – 1967
Turn-ons: BitmapData, Generative Art, non-linear dynamics, working on personal projects
Turnoffs: Closed minds.
Hobbies: Writing sci-fi, long walks
Favorite Authors: Douglas Adams, A.C. Clark, Azimov, J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite Musicians: Peter Gabriel, Hans Zimmer, Pink Floyd, Massive Attack
Favorite TV Shows: BSG, FireFly, Farscape, West World, GoT (except the last season)

Qualifications for being a polyGeek
My education is a combination of mathematics, astronomy, physics, history and philosophy. While I don’t have a college degree I do have the necessary credits for a double major in History/Philosophy and nearly enough for a degree in Mathematics. While I might struggle to solve some complex problems in mechanics I understand the concepts of Special and General Relativity well enough.

My hobbies include wood work — I build most of my own furniture, and I designed and built a small two story cottage for my mother  — writing – mostly science fiction, geology, geography, astronomy and photography. My reading interests run from evolution to the Gnostic Gospels. My favorite science fiction authors are Douglas Adams, A.C. Clarke, Asimov, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card and many others.

I’m the founder/developer/CEO of RunPee: the app that tells you the best time to run and pee during a movie without missing the best scenes. That as been my, mostly, fulltime project for the past 10+ years.

I have spoken at the 360Flex conference twice now and enjoy public speaking. I have been interviewed countless times on radio, and a few TV shows, regarding RunPee.

I have lived in mary places, including: la’Aquila Italy, Wales Great Britain, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Jiaxing China, many places in the US Southwest, Seattle, etc. I have also twice been homeless. First while attending Northern Arizona University. I lived in a tent in the woods for the Fall semester. Then again I lived in my Nissan Pathfinder for 4 months while working at XBox. I parked and slept at night in the parking lot of the Bellevue public library. I was also working on Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

I enjoy long walks and hiking. I’m a decent basketball player for someone only 5’10”. A better racquetball player. I played wide receiver and cornerback for the Guntersville Wildcats High School football team in Alabama – Roll Tide!


  • recursion/self-reference: the former gives us beautiful mathematics that the later consciousness.
  • philosophy: logic and epistemology, I think.
  • asking questions: my definition of philosophy is, “the art and science of asking interesting questions.”
  • exploring and creating: both physical and mental landscapes.
  • photography: specifically, patterns of light and dark.
  • science fiction.


  • closed systems
  • People that are selfish and close-minded.
  • ignorance: especially those who take pride in not knowing things (anti-geeks).
  • quitting.

40 thoughts on “About polyGeek

  1. Are you serious, you live in a car?!

    I love recursion, have you ever programmed in Haskell? It uses a lot of recursion which is neat.

    And I hope if you watch Sci-Fi you’ve watched all the FireFly episodes! :-)

  2. Yeah, I lived in a car for about 4 months. Honestly, sometimes I think back on those days with fondness as I lay on my couch on the 8th floor of a brand new high rise apartment building.

    Recursion is fun to work with. It solves a lot of problems but my PC would probably wish I didn’t enter so many infinite loops. :-)

    FireFly rocks. My wife and I just watched the commentary of the first ep last night. Joss and Nathan were great commentators. Lots of insults back and forth. Just a pleasure to listen to. Oh, my wife is going to the last FireFly convention in a few weeks down in LA. She has a VIP pass so hopefully she’ll get to hang with the cast a little. I can’t wait to hear her stories.

  3. Yeah how awesome is firefly, we just got it out a few weeks ago as i’d heard it was a hit in the US – 12 episodes in it suddenly finished and i was like ‘what the? what happened’. Quite depressing, but still if I’d known beforehand i might not have watched them and then that would have been a cryin shame!

    What did you guys think of the movie ‘Serenity’?

  4. I was glad Serenity was as good as it was. It tied up the River arc, which was their main mystery. The movie gave us some actual Reavers, their origins story, and some hints about the future. It was disappointing to see that some characters were given short shrift (ie – Inara, Book). Their parts were more like cameos than anything else. And the deaths, one in particular, was very painful! I was astounded that Joss actually killed off that character, whom I adored (spoiler free…).

    I would love to see the series revisted, but the actors are otherwise engaged at this point. Maybe we can look forward to a movie trilogy. There are several still-unresolved storylines.

  5. I thought Serenity was excellent before I’d seen firefly, but after that I felt like some of the feel of the show had gone :-( I also felt the same about Inara and Book!

    I’d like to know what the heck those two by two hands of blue people are doing, so I do hope they make it a trilogy, theres plenty of story left in there!

  6. I know that Joss wants to do a trilogy. Hopefully he’ll get back to it after WonderWoman. I saw the movie Serenity after seeing the series. While I enjoyed the movie I would have rather seen 2 extra eps made instead.

  7. holy crap, joss whedon is making wonderwoman? Now THAT is weird. Damn, of all the superheros, i just can’t imagine anyone being able to make wonderwoman cool *apologies to any wonderwoman fans out there erm, i’m sure she’s really nice*

  8. You notice that you two – girlGeek and collis – are going on about Joss and FireFly here on my “about” page. What’s up with that? You couldn’t pick one of my posts that is actually about Joss to talk him up? :-)

  9. Anyone called J-Flo needs to release a rap album, I’m sure thats like a life rule or something. So unless you want girlGeek to start wearing large gold chains and busting lyrics after dinner…

  10. Hey Dan!

    Just trawling the net when your site popped up – a blog post from the start of your year in Swansea in house 69, what a blast from the past!

    Hope all is well with you – looks like you’re doing some cool stuff. Next time you’re in South Wales, drop us a line, it’d be great to meet up again.


  11. @Tom, Dude, how cool. I popped over to your blog. Your hair is, um, a bit longer these days. It’s great to hear from you.

    I’m hoping to go to Flash On The Beach next year. Maybe I’ll see you there.

  12. Im a nerd, im a gamer, im a band geek, When adobe released the new cs4 programs, I got all excited lol. I watched your tutorial on flash media server and it helped me out ALOT. I really appreciate that. If your every in Georgia, look me up. Ill be in the computer or game section of any store

  13. I'm pulling what hair I have left out and you're site seems to be the only one out there that has anything to do with matrix3D and rotations for flex. Do you have any tutorials or help for how to rotate a container (any object really) around an arbitrary point.

    I seemed to have tried dozens of different approaches and all have failed which is really annoying. I do not wish to use a container that has the clipping turned off and another container/box offset so that it sits over the registration point.

    Hope you have something, cheers

  14. @Kenneth, yeah, working with Matrices isn't something that you do before having a lot of caffeine. At least I don't. :-)

    Absolutely you should blog. It's been a boon to my career.

  15. hi

    im incorporating flex poll widget im my project with oracle , java and flex..

    can u help me find the code.

    or else help me with ur php code for poll

    thanks and regards


  16. @avish, you know what? I think I'm going to do a little cleanup on that poll and submit it to FlexDen.net for sale. I plan on putting up a handful of components and I'll blog about it when I do.

    I won't be able to do anything to help you with the Oracle/Java thing. Don't know anything about that. Sorry. But I'll supply the PHP files needed to make the poll work.

  17. Hi Dan,

    My name is Melinda James and I host a radio program in Australia called Hair of the Blog on ABC radio. I'd love to do an interview with you about runpee.com! Can you send me an email on both [email protected] and [email protected] or give me a call on +61 402 332 534 if you're interested. The program goes to air Sunday morning Australian time. We could do a pre-recorded interview at a time that suits us both this week.

    Thanks, Dan and love the site.


  18. Hi Dan,

    My name is Faith Jarvis I produce a radio show here in Brisbane, Australia. Would love to get in contact with you to invite you on to our show to chat to us about Ipee- if you could let me know a number to contact you on to invite you on that would be great. Thanks!

  19. Hi: I am looking for complete AS code that can read a simple text file like below and assign the values in array, string is OK.

    2, My Title, Go This Way

    4, 60, 40, 75.3, 67

    3, 99, 107.5, 80

    And I want to make it work in Flex 3. Will greatly appreciate your help.



    1. @Jack In most cases. If someone is a nerd at many things then they are by definition a geek. However, I suppose that if someone like this were still devoid of social skills then the term polyNerd might apply. I’ve just not run across such an animal. :)

  20. I entered my website URL but I got a red box saying, ‘Please enter a valid URL.’ I don’t understand. Hopefully this post will make it through besides. I came across your site when searching for info on Adobe air. I must say you are very much like myself. I was once called a ‘renaissance’ man and it really hit home with me as I never knew what the word meant. i also have a Nissan Pathfinder, a ’99 and I love it and hope to buy a new one not too far off in the future. Your selfless posts of knowledge is what I like to do also. It odd that that in real life I do not come across our type of people. I think I have made more friends on the internet since the days of BBS’es than I have in real life. I hope to connect with you as a friend on Facebook now. You are a real inspiration to a myself and a lot of others. You give us hope and direction. Thank you for all!

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