Eric ArmstrongEric Armstrong is an accomplished author, ex-athlete, and former software designer who dreams of publishing his books, selling his inventions, and someday owning an orchard.

A confessed “skills junkie”, Eric lives in Mountain View, California, where he writes, cycles, plays golf, and spends time working on his billiards game.

One day, he plans to grow up and have a family.

Brief Backgrounds

So many hats! So many ways to slice and dice a lifetime! Eric’s interests are varied, and change often (although he frequently circles back around to them). And it seems there is always something interesting to learn, and to share with others. So there are multiple “brief summaries” of his background, each suitable for a different area of activity:

Activism

  • Eric Armstrong is computer systems designer, writer, and philosopher. He uses the principles of General Systems Theory to explain the complex interactions between nutrition, corporations, American politics, health, and the environment. Those principles explain how average Americans have come to suffer at the hands of corporations — financially, with respect to the environment, and with respect to their health — not so much as a result of malicious behavior, but as a natural consequence of uncontrolled greed and a government that has come to be controlled by those factions, producing a system in which no one has incentive to solve the problems we face. All of which serve as motivation for the kind of Voting Advice System he recommends.
    Learn more: How I Became a Health and Political Activist

Health and Fitness

  • Eric Armstrong has been investigating nutrition since he was in high school, and has been an active participant in sports since graduating college. He publishes articles on health, nutrition, and fitness at treelight.com/health, as well as essays on society and politics.

Personal Note:
I am not a doctor. I am a computer programmer, writer, and investigative analyst who has been student of nutrition and the body’s physiologic response to it for most of my life, off and on, since I first read Adelle Davis at age 15. I have an eye for the literature and the ability to formulate theoretical models of systems based on my literature research and background in computer systems modeling. I have been skinny as a kid and overweight as an adult. I’ve dealt with fatigue, depression, sinusitis, anxiety attacks, and severe overtraining. I have had occasion to experiment and find things that work.

Music

  • Eric spent 10 years learning to play and sing music. During that time, he picked up an average of 2 instruments per year. The problem, of course, is that after those 10 years, he had 6 month’s experience on each of 20 instruments. Had he spent those 10 years on any one of them, he would be a rock star! Ah well. That’s just one of the many lessons learned through his study of music and dance.

Philosophy and Political Theory

Eric attended Ohio State University in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, accumulating 5 minors of 20 hours each in the areas of Philosophy, Political Theory, General Systems Theory, Mathematics, and Psychology. For his undergraduate degree, he wrapped up them under the banner “Techniques of Analysis: A collection of useful methods for solving problems.”

As a student of General Systems Theory, he became fascinated with the computer’s potential to model problems and help us solve them. So he did graduate work in computer science, after which he spent his entire career in that arena — first as a programmer, then as a “wantreprenuer”, and later as a technical writer.

Along the way, he became a health nut, then a health activist, and eventually a political activist in a progression described more fully in How I Became a Health and Political Activist.

Once retired, he began devoting his time to writing books and expanding his website (treelight.com), where he advocates a variety of political reforms aimed at restoring the American Dream, and in which he explores the potential of using filtered social media (a voting advice system) to deliver voting advice, make campaign contributions virtually irrelevant to elections, and restore representative democracy in America. 

Software

  • Eric Armstrong has been programming and writing professionally since before there were personal computers. His programming experience includes AI programs, system libraries, real-time programs, and business applications in a variety of languages. His programming experience includes business applications, expert systems, system libraries, real-time programs, artificial intelligence applications and, of course, tools. His past clients include Sun Microsystems, Rolm, DEC, and Data General.

Writing

  • Eric is the author of The JBuilder Java Bible, published by IDG Books in 1998, as well as the XML tutorial originally published at java.sun.com/xml. He was a contributing author at JavaWorld, and published many articles on software technology at a variety of blogs listed in the Publications page. He created TreeLight.com in 1998. Originally devoted to health and nutrition, it has since expanded into political activism and multiple other areas of interest. In 2015, he launched an independent book publishing venture, TreeLight PenWorks.

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