Paul A. Clayton
My most prominent interest is computer architecture, but I have some interest in science and technology more generally and in technical and creative writing (both verse and prose). My curiosity is not constrained to these subjects; if I had unlimited resources, I would probably add history and economics to my interests. Anyone who has browsed an encyclopedia recognizes that fields of knowledge are so interrelated that absolute exclusion of any general field is incompatible with broad knowledge of a chosen field of interest.
I might not consider Christianity an interest as such, though significant mental and emotional resources are applied in that area. I have Presbyterian leanings (being a member of Wallace Presbyterian Church) and have enjoyed reading some of the Christian classics both for their theological insights and their devotional benefits (from both self-revelation and encouragement). My writings include some theological verse and other Christian content).
From even a modest sample of my Internet postings, one would notice my analytical and verbose tendencies, often generalizing and expressing tangential aspects. While the quality of my writing is typically good, concision is not one of my strengths. I am also inclined to be argumentative, not in the sense of getting angry but in the sense of being inclined to play devil's advocate. This seems related to my analytical tendencies.
I am generally introverted, but my affection for understanding involves me in social interaction as does my desire to be useful. I have significant tendencies toward people-pleasing (in both the positive and negative senses), which intensifies my sensitivity to failure. Falling short of one's aspirations is not pleasant; adding others' disappointment or inconvenience does not reduce the unpleasantness. Avoiding opportunities to do good — and so to fail — or trying to hide failures can be attractive but not productive strategies.
My moderate inclination toward gift-giving seems related both to people-pleasing and self-conceit (a.k.a., self-esteem, positive self-concept); this also makes receiving gifts more difficult for me. My keeping of various compliments from others (some of which I have posted on this site) demonstrates a need for affirmation. However, I generally do not handle praise well, too often regarding praise as misguided or feeling burdened by others' expectations. I not infrequently self-sabotage, likely as a protective mechanism against failing under a whole-hearted effort or to prove that expectations or praise were misguided (reducing their burden, reminiscent of Miles Vorkosigan's comment on cynicism in "The Borders of Infinity" — "If nothing can be done, then you're not some kind of shit for not doing it").
I have experienced other symptoms associated with mild to moderate depression, though such rarely descends to major depression.
As can be seen from the above, I also tend toward openness. This may be an indication that I am not far off the autism spectrum (having a poor understanding of social boundaries) but may also be related to people-pleasing.
As you can see from this site, I am worse than average in color coordination. (I have made significant effort to choose colors that at least would be visible, but the colors selected do not provide an enjoyable reading experience.) I may be slightly better than average in conceptual visual imagination (selecting and arranging symbolic images to form a cohesive whole greater than the parts) as evidenced by the image I developed for the Behold Your God poetry reading. However, I am not skilled at drawing.
I am better than average at dramatic recitation; my two poetry readings (Love Sonnets: 33 Selections from Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Sources and Behold Your God: A Perspective through Poetry) were well-received and several people have affirmed this ability. I do hope to record some short works for Librivox someday.
While this page is not the best example, I would also claim that I am better than average in writing, though the little fiction that I have written (little of which is extant) was of middling quality. None of my verse writings are great, but a few have perhaps approached publishable quality. My expository and persuasive prose appear to be above average but not of professional quality.
I would like to "win some victory for humanity". Though I have made no significant contribution to humanity, I have probably brought more encouragement than exasperation, communicated more knowledge than falsehood, and presented more beauty than vileness.
I would love to be the source of a computer architecture idea implemented in hardware, but that seems unlikely. (At least one of my ideas was implemented in hardware, and I am proud of this. However, I have never even been the first to discover such a proven-good idea.) I suspect the highest realistic aspiration would be to write a book that is used as a supplement to the primary textbook for some university course.