A KIND OF TESTAMENT

I am a citizen of the late American Empire and of its principal city. I was born in what has since become a protectorate of this empire, having been the defacto province of another.

I am a patriot, where patriot means loyal opposition.

I eschew labels. Countries, cities, parties, universities, brands, associations mean little to me. All labels are crutches. Pigeonhole me and I’ll tell you I’m a Hamiltonian: a believer in progress and free markets, albeit policed and fertilized by government.

I believe in the goodness of the individual and in the kindness of strangers. I am skeptical of groups: educated or ignorant, the herd instinct runs strong. But…”When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself”…and “spend yourself in a worthy cause”.

I believe in the veil of ignorance and noblesse oblige, that “…unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

I believe “The variety of all things forms a pleasure.” I loathe homogeneity. I celebrate diversity and delight in idiosyncrasy.

I am an entrepreneur, unsuccessful but unbowed.

I like language–symbolic, verbal, visual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile. I purr for fine prose and good song.

By training and craft, I am a computational linguist, albeit a newbie, and more interested in D than R.

By earlier training, I am an (economic) historian.

I am a dancer, a milonguero mostly.

I believe that: Having distracts from doing and things distract from people. My possessions fit into three suitcases. I am unattached, except to my data, but not indifferent to high thread counts and hot baths.

I am rooted in the people and places I care for, some of whom care for me. In an untethered world, I try to be rooted in the places I live and have lived in, first and foremost. Thinking globally, acting locally.

I believe in the pursuit of power and money, but not for their own sake. Indeed, I prefer the Spanish word, poder, which also connotes ability and possibility. As for money, it affords the luxury of generosity.

I believe there are two principal means of improving this world: power and money. These are primarily vested in civil society.

I believe that–if small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas–the greatest minds discuss next actions. Then execute.

I believe that “Truth springs from argument among friends.”

And I’m happiest in the thick of: arguing, wandering, searching, articulating, driving, creating, and fornicating.

To the best of my knowledge, I am single.

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