Umberto David Panda (UDP) is a concoction of different names I have been known by.

I was born in 1981. I am a man from birth and I’m British by nationality and still live in the UK.

As well as writing blogs I also enjoy playing guitar, keyboards and piano, watching Formula 1 and playing the occasional video game.

I work in financial services in payments technology and have done so since for over 16 years, holding roles with various companies mostly based in London.

My education level is relatively poor. I hold a HNC in business and information technology but never went to university and did not complete a full degree. I recognise my limitation sometimes in writing/talking about some of the things I do, in that I have no formal education or qualification in certain topics.

I’m introverted. I need people, particularly their love and affection and praise – but I need regular breaks from them and to be alone or I become (sometimes physically) unwell.

I’m often extremely anxious and nervous, although hide it well with humour. People who don’t know me well describe me as “confident” and “positive.” I am neither.

Politically I lean left/center left (although I’m sceptical of the terms “left” and “right”) yet I struggle with all the new/latest “woke” views that have filled the “left” space in the last 5-10 years. I consider the far left to be as bad as the far right. I feel somewhat politically homeless and often very alone in my opinions and views. I like nuance. I believe debate should be “clean” and as fair as far as possible.

Whilst I’m sceptical of capitalism, I accept the idea that it’s necessary in some form. I also struggle regularly with what I do in my day job in the city of London and how this fits with my political/philosophical views.

I voted remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum and spent some significant time afterwards campaigning and attending rallies/demonstrations related to the UK’s exit from the EU after signing up to be part of Open Britain.

I am critical of social justice theories. I don’t like to see the world as just “groups of people” but rather, individuals, who have opinions and feelings about things across spectrums. I’m not a fan of categorizing and pigeon holing. I dislike the idea of a “ranking of oppression” based on sex, gender, age, race or other matters. It doesn’t seem very helpful in the long term to me. Whilst I accept sometimes for pragmatic purposes it’s necessary to apply rules and regulations to groups/categories of people – I believe this should be reserved only for specific cases where it’s needed. On the whole, I believe strongly that people should be seen and treated, as individuals, with as much blindness to race, colour, sexuality, gender, sex, age or whatever other tag you wish to apply as is humanly and pragmatically possible.

Actions are more important than thoughts. Outcomes are more important than ideology. It’s for this reason that I dislike racism, sexism or all other forms of discrimination based on where a person is from, how they look or “what” they are. Diversity and equality covers many things, not just gender and colour – and I find diversity of thought is one area often overlooked.

The most import things to defend, in my opinion, are freedom of thought and speech, closely followed by democracy. As to me, it’s only with these things that all other ideas principles and to an extent civilization itself, can flow. Whilst there are people I passionately disagree with, or may even be offended by – I support their right endlessly to speak about their ideas as they wish and to try and convince others of their ideas too. I understand that it’s only by virtue of me allowing them to think and speak as they wish that I am also allowed to think and speak as I wish. They should be, as far as possible, free from threat or consequence also for doing so.

I see life as a struggle and a process of suffering. I am an atheist. I know of no goal in life other than to just “get through it” as best as possible. The point seems to be as a challenge, to endure suffering. Like some kind of endurance marathon or trial.

To do this, one must find ways of limiting the suffering, or finding things with give brief moments of joy or distraction. I reason that the things that achieve this are different for different people – and that I should not stand in the way of other people doing the things they need to do in order to “get through it” , providing it does not unfairly impact others. Equally, they shouldn’t stand in the way of mine.

My views on many things then stems from this view – including sexuality, religion and gender. I would summarize it as – “Do what you need to do to get through, whatever it might be. It’s not my place to stop you or judge you (unless its harmful or non consenting)”.

Specifically in relation to sexuality, I’m a kinky person but “in the closet” in my day to day life. This is a painful and difficult area of my life where I’ve struggled with a great deal of shame and guilt. This no doubt informs a great deal of my writing.

I am somewhat of an anti-natalist, consider myself unfit to be a parent and therefore have never had children.

I’ve lived with my (female) partner for the last 10 years. I believe marriage is anachronistic, sexist and of no benefit (and comes only with financial/economic risk), hence I have never married.

On the whole I’m generally nihilistic, of low self esteem, unhealthy (my body is a theme park, not a temple) and at times, probably prone to depression.

But this is always tempered with an underlying sense of hopefulness and the knowledge that things can always be better (it just frustrates me that they often aren’t).

I’ve been described by others as everything from “one of the nicest people I know”, “a never stopping idealist” and at the other end of the scale “opinionated”, “a bully” and a “miserable and unpleasant bastard.”

These are my ideas. Take me as you find me.