On sale at book places. Learn more.

Who am I?

Buster Benson, temporarily human.

I’m a writer and builder of things.

I was born in 1976, the year of the 🐲. Play That Funky Music and Rocky were top of the charts, and Gerald Ford was president. I’m a Gemini, which of course doesn’t mean anything. My mom collected bicentennial quarters to commemorate my birth year, since it was also the 200th birthday of America.

I had a good childhood. My father was a hippie, then an engineer, and wanted to build robots and live in a geodesic dome when he retired, but unfortunately he died from lung cancer when I was in high school. My mom immigrated from Japan in her 20s, is quiet and kind, and now owns a sushi restaurant in the Redlands. My younger sister has two children and lives in the house we grew up in together, in Irvine. I also found out in 2014 that I have a half-brother who’s 7 years older than me and lives in Virginia. He’s cool.

I’ve lived in Irvine, Berkeley, and Seattle. I grew up in Irvine and surrounding areas, moved to Berkeley for college in 1994, transferred to Seattle in 1995, and stayed up there for a long while before moving back down to Berkeley in 2013. My birth name was Erik Keith Benson, and I changed my name to Buster Butterfield McLeod as an experiment for a while, and then changed my middle and last name back when I got married.

I have a family. I’m married to Kellianne, and have two sons: Niko (born 2010) and Louie (born 2016). They are pretty much all I use my Instagram account for. I don’t have any pets, but have had cats and dogs in the past (RIP Roxy, Chubbie, Holden, Phoebe, and Sopor) and like cats and dogs equally.

My personality type is one that loves taking personality tests. According to Enneagram, I’m a 5 (investigator) with a 6 wing (loyalist). My learning style is abstract random. According to the Big Five personality test, I’m in the 54th percentile for Agreeableness, 91st percentile for Compassion, 9th percentile for Politeness (πŸ–•), 87th percentile for Conscientiousness, 95th percentile for Industriousness, 60th percentile for Orderliness, 84th percentile for Extraversion, 86th percentile for Enthusiasm, 73rd percentile for Assertiveness, 24th percentile for Neuroticism, 31st percentile for Withdrawal, 21st percentile for Volatility, 98th percentile for Openness to Experience, 96th percentile for Intellect, and 96th percentile for Openness (bet you couldn’t tell).

I have likes and dislikes. I like: High-quality conversations, quality time, self-improvement, cognitive biases, systems thinking, kids, animals, games, writing, the internet, coffee, wine, morbid topics, stoicism, speculation about the future, sushi, cults, bad jokes, hard problems, tulpas, some romantic comedy stereotypes. I dislike: Heights, busy work, mean people, willfully ignorant people, manipulative/political people, candy, systemic injustice, people who want me to be someone that I’m not, earthquakes, cancer, the idea of space travel, some romantic comedy stereotypes.

I like hearing from people.

Contact me

🧠 What is true?

My life is the sum of weeks I have spent. Each box below represents a week of my past, present, or future life. I've pre-emptively added boxes all the way to my 100th year, just so I can remember what I'm working with.

  • Born in 1976
  • Living in Berkeley, CA
  • Married to Kellianne
  • Father to Niko and Louie
  • Everything else below
❀️ What is meaningful?

In between the boxes I build a map of events and tell a story. I believe my fundamental purpose in life is to optimize for quality time with myself, other people, and shared interests.

πŸ– What is useful?

And then, what do I do with what is true and meaningful to me? Which bets should I make? Which outcomes should I strive for? How should I participate? What does the world think of me?


My first ten years

0 years old in 1976
1 years old
2 years old
3 years old
4 years old
5 years old
6 years old
7 years old
8 years old
9 years old

My teens

10 years old in 1986
11 years old
12 years old
13 years old
14 years old
15 years old
16 years old
17 years old
18 years old
19 years old

My 20s

20 years old in 1996
21 years old
22 years old
23 years old
24 years old
25 years old
26 years old
27 years old
28 years old
29 years old

My 30s

30 years old in 2006
31 years old
32 years old
33 years old
34 years old
35 years old
36 years old
37 years old
38 years old
39 years old

My 40s

40 years old in 2016
41 years old
42 years old
43 years old
44 years old
45 years old
46 years old
47 years old
48 years old
49 years old

My eventual 50s

50 years old in 2026
51 years old
52 years old
53 years old
54 years old