About

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I’m Alex Payne. I go by al3x online, hence the weird domain name. I’ve been writing here for many years, much longer than the trimmed-down archive covers.

These days, I spend most of my time writing screenplays and prose fiction. I also support a variety of non-profit organizations, campaigns, causes, and early-stage businesses.

Before focusing on writing, I worked in tech. At age twelve, I was too young to legally hold a work permit for my first software development internship; I hid when customers came by the office. My career from then on was varied and frenetic. I stuck my fingers into the blackened innards of the American financial system as co-founder and CTO of Simple, an online bank. Before that, I was one of the first employees at Twitter, where I launched their developer platform, worked on backend infrastructure, and, most importantly, implemented the first version of the block feature.

Over the years, I pushed tech efforts forward for political campaigns, non-profits, unions, startups, a defense contractor, and open source projects. I coauthored Programming Scala for O'Reilly Media, started the Emerging Languages conference, presented at events and universities around the world, and taught at Recurse Center and Turing School. More recently, I was a founding board member of Business For A Better Portland, a progressive local business association.

I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife, Nicole Brodeur, two cats, and an anxious pit bull. I’m interested in political economy, animal rights and welfare, philosophy, the arts, and systems of all sorts. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, meditating, playing odd records for people, traveling, or tolerating moderate doses of the outdoors. I’m at Hollywood Theatre and The Northwest Film Center a whole lot.

I grew up just outside Washington, DC. I've also lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. The Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto at dusk is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

Tapirs are my favorite animal, followed closely by pigs. I’m vegan for the animals, the environment, and for health. Going vegan was the best change I’ve ever made. If you’re thinking about going vegan, I’m happy to help; just contact me.