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The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)
24 October 1963

Where I Come From -or-
Tom Sawyer

There’s not much to say about how I look. I’m 6’2" tall, with hazel eyes, straight, nondescript medium brown hair (length varies), and a short, crinkly van dyke with threads of blonde and red running through it. I have a stocky build, and that’s all to which I’m admitting. I’m descended from French Canadians, Scotch, Irish, English, and Native American (Blackfoot) strains, which means I look like the typical white, U.S. Mid-western, mongrel. I wear a gold and opal ring on my right hand and a digital watch on my left wrist. Most of the time, I wear loafers, Dockers, and oxford shirts, with the top two buttons open and sleeves rolled up past the elbow when it gets warm.

I’m originally from Chillicothe, Ohio, where I was born and raised. I have a suburban/semi-rural background. I went to college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and graduated in 1990 with a degree in computer science, after changing majors from chemical engineering, which I did not like as much, and at which, to be honest, I did not fare as well.

All I Need

In 1991 I married my college sweetheart, whom I met winter quarter of 1986. I have two wonderful daughters: Jackie, born in 1990 and Shannon, born in 1993.

A Change (Would Do You Good) -or-
It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

In September of 2003, after having a somewhat problematical relationship with me for some number of years, my wife of twelve years packed up our daughters and a goodly portion of our common assets, and moved into an apartment with someone else, after she decided that she wanted a divorce.

It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)

So, why do I call myself Montecristo? Well, I've always been a romantic, a fan of swashbuckling, and I've always been a fan of Alexandre Dumas. In addition to this, I am a big believer in self-improvement, perseverence, initiative and self-discipline. The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of a man who loses everything but his will to survive and his ability to learn. He gradually recovers himself and learns to be more than he has been before, to overcome his losses and achieve even greater values than those of which he had previously imagined himself capable.

For what my personality is like, well, I had taken the Advanced Global Personality test, but the HTML formatted table that gave a statistical summary of the results was not friendly on the profile page, (the LJ interpreter hates DIV tags; who knew?) so I moved it to an LJ entry, for the curious. Here's the text summary:

Stability results were moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Orderliness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.

Extraversion results were moderately low which suggests you are reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.

Trait snapshot: messy, tough, disorganized, fearless, not rule conscious, likes the unknown, rarely worries, rash, attracted to the counter culture, rarely irritated, positive, resilient, abstract, not a perfectionist, risk taker, strange, weird, self reliant, leisurely, dangerous, anti-authority, trusting, optimistic, positive, thrill seeker, likes bizarre things, sarcastic

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So, how do I roll?

Jack -- relax.
Get busy with the facts,
No zodiacs or almanacs,
No maniacs in polyester slacks,
Just the facts,
Gonna kick some gluteus max.
It's a parallax -- you dig?
You move around,
The small gets big. It's a rig.
It's action -- reaction --
Random interaction,
So who's afraid,
Of a little abstraction?
Can't get no satisfaction,
From the facts?
You better run, homeboy --
A fact's a fact,
From Nome to Rome, boy.

What's the deal? Spin the wheel.
If the dice are hot -- take a shot.
Play your cards. Show us what you got --
What you're holding.
If the cards are cold,
Don't go folding.
Lady Luck is golden;
She favors the bold. That's cold.
Stop throwing stones --
The night has a thousand saxophones.
So get out there and rock,
And roll the bones.
Get busy!

We go out in the world and take our chances,
Fate is just the weight of circumstances,
That's the way that Lady Luck dances,
Roll the bones.
Neil Peart, Rush: "Roll the Bones"

What I Am (Is What I Am -- Are You What You Are or What)

According to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator personality theory, I am an INTP, which means an Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiver. We're a rather scarce breed, representing only about 1% (although we're over-represented online due to our attraction to computers and technical fields). One MBTI web site has this to say about INTP’s:

INTPs are pensive, analytical folks. They may venture so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them.
Precise about their descriptions, INTPs will often correct others (or be sorely tempted to) if the shade of meaning is a bit off. While annoying to the less concise, this fine discrimination ability gives INTPs so inclined a natural advantage as, for example, grammarians and linguists.
INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to most anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.
A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure. They spend considerable time second-guessing themselves. The open-endedness (from Perceiving) conjoined with the need for competence (NT) is expressed in a sense that one's conclusion may well be met by an equally plausible alternative solution, and that, after all, one may very well have overlooked some critical bit of data. An INTP arguing a point may very well be trying to convince himself as much as his opposition. In this way INTPs are markedly different from INTJs, who are much more confident in their competence and willing to act on their convictions.
We INTP's have our own website at There is also an INTP mailing list there which is open to anyone and everyone -- INTP's and the people who have to deal with them. It generates a prodigious amount of mail, but if you want to know something obscure (and more than likely useless) the INTP Brain Trust will surely know it.

Yeah, that fits. As for philosophy, I’m an individualist Objectivist (reformed). I agree with much of what Rand had to say, but doubt the infallibility of the Pope of Objectivism. I believe that existence exists, and that reason is the most effective tool for apprehending it. I believe that enlightened self-interest, rightly understood, is the proper ethical behavior. One place where I differ with many Objectivists is politics. I am an unabashed anarcho-capitalist. I believe that structured anarchy in a capitalist market framework can be made to work and that government itself is something of a contradiction. I think George Washington was onto something when he said, "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." I will go him one better and say this: The exent of government, the domain of the political sphere, delineates the failure boundary of imagination in society. For those who do not have a well-grounded understanding of where I am coming from, my beliefs put me somewhat in the Libertarian camp, but I really don’t think politics is the answer to the world’s problems and I think the term "limited government" is an oxymoron similar to almost pregnant.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; 'these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions'; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit: 'the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life... for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.'"
Will Durant, The Lives and Opinions of the Worlds Greatest Philosophers, 1926, on Aristotelian thought.
"Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done."
-- Russell W. Davenport
William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul
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