« on: April 25, 2006, 08:00:29 AM »
Volokh also worked for 12 years as a computer programmer, and is still partner in a small software company which sells HP 3000 software that he wrote. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in math-computer science at age 15, and has written many articles on computer software.
Here is another one,
Seamus, known to our little internet community as Areth/Thera (for short he recommends "that annoying @ # ! * e r"), bucks the trend through his blood relation to a well-known Hollywood couple: Woody and Mia.
"Woody Allen is my brother-in-law. Wait, wait, he's my father," he said. "Isn't it a hoot?"
As one might expect from the complicated relationship Allen entered with his adopted daughter, Seamus doesn't have the most loving affection for his biological father. "Would you be able to have a father-son relationship with a man who's married to your sister?" he said. "For me, on both moral and visceral grounds, the answer was no. He continues to ask, I continue to refuse." Thankfully, though, he has been able to distance himself from this aspect of his life and concentrate on more important matters, such as a blisteringly fast-paced educational track.
"It's not of great significance to me, or a big part of my identity today," he said. On average, most individuals enter college at 18 years old. Not Seamus. Already able to form complete sentences as an infant, a proficiency test at the age of two placed him at the competency level of an 8 year old. Skipping grades left and right, Seamus took the SAT at 10 years old, scoring perfectly on the verbal section and earning a solid math score. "In skipping ahead, I abandoned my entire group of friends. Even those who weren't openly hostile about my choice to leave them were lost by virtue of my shift to an older age group," he said. "It's a terrible cliché, but my curiosity superceded that." Seamus' SAT performance was enough to land him at Bard College, where he recently celebrated his 16th birthday and is currently polishing a senior thesis on US policy on African petro-states.
College, often regarded as less of an educational facilitator and more of a socially enlightening "experience," didn't scare Seamus from enrolling at age 11. "I was well aware that I'd miss an integral component of the "college experience," and had resigned myself to that. And it was worth it. I felt challenged and was kept on my toes," he said. Entering college prior to the teenage years seems like a nightmare waiting to happen, but Seamus found himself surprisingly accepted into the college atmosphere. Guys adopted him as a little brother and girls acted as quasi-maternal figures. Surprising even himself, Seamus now has a circle of friends and even managed a few girlfriends in-between his intensive studying.
Seamus will next enter Yale Law School, and has plans to eventually seek a degree in International Relations alongside his Doctor of Jurisprudence. At home, Seamus lives with fourteen different siblings, some with physical and mental disabilities and others who are much older, currently pursuing their own careers. The sheer number of children means it's a rare occurrence to have everyone home at the same time, but Seamus doesn't have a problem with his complicated family life. "I'm really proud of my family. I grew up around people of every color and age, each with their own abilities and disabilities" he said. "I’m deeply grateful for that." He does admit, however, that in spite of the intense love for his siblings, there are still the everyday common quirks of a "normal" family.
"...it's a lot of people to deal with. And little brothers are annoying even when they're crippled. But it's all good," he said. The unusual number of children is due to his mother's repeated adoption of socially and economically unfortunate children who would otherwise have no chance at a decent life. "My mom found a small way of giving voice and providing opportunities to those who have fallen victim to the world's vast social and economic inequities. That's shaped me," he said. "Maybe it sounds naïve, but I want to find a way to make a contribution." As a way of making this contribution, Seamus has become a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) special representative, where he works on intramural regional reports in Africa and when he's back at home, publicity for youth groups. The experience has allowed him to travel to Angola, Nigeria, and Botswana helping UNICEF. Additionally, he has been through South Africa for Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund.
When it comes to the forum, Seamus, who has been contributing since January 2002, recognizes the forum's addictive properties, going as far as to lock himself from access several times. "Internet communication represents a new frontier in time-wasting low-level entertainment, requiring little effort, accessible from the same browser we all use for work and research, and busy enough to provide instant gratification," he said. "It's a double-edged sword. By virtue of the fact that communities like this one kick so much ass, you're an insidious time-waster of epic proportions." Being as vocal as he is, Seamus catches the eye of the forum's administration. Opinions toward Seamus are undeniably kinder than those expressed toward our previous Meet the Forum subject, SolidSnakeX. "I still haven't forgiven him for asserting that even poor gamers have no excuse for not owning a $1000+ HDTV, but he HAS grown on me" said one Gaming Age administrator. "And not in an unpleasant way, like olimario -- who I consider to be the eczema of the forums -- but more like a benign skin tumor that looks a bit weird but occasionally feels pleasant when rubbed."
Seamus vehemently denies having made the accused comments, but he can't refute the following. "The man's obsession for Oprah clearly justifies the creation of new psychological terminology. "Stalker" doesn't apply, but "fan" fails to properly describe him," said another administrator. "Outside of that issue, he seems no worse adjusted than other forum posters." The obsession over the rich talk show host is justifiably strange, but unlike other forum-centric obsessions, Seamus has actually met the object of his strange sense of humor – twice. "...she was polite, not at all condescending, and on the most recent occasion quite curious about my academic situation" he said. "Both occasions were several years before my (now-tired) joke routine constructed around her visage." As of this writing, Areth has announced he will be leaving the forum, but no one believes him. Members have tried leaving the Gaming Age Forum before, but sooner or later, they return. "Thanks for the time, the laughs, and the insight," he wrote in one of his final forum posts.