Life: Introduction

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

-- Bertrand Russell

Gold rule

One thread that has run through my life, both personally and professionally, is activism devoted to the public interest. If I see something that needs to be done, I do not wait for someone else to do it. I get others to join me in working towards finding solutions.

At Vanderbilt University, when the chair of the drama department refused to present musicals -- haughtily declaring them not to be "real theatre" -- I founded the Vanderbilt University Musical Theater Troupe and produced its first show, "Hello Dolly!".

I became a paralegal in the formative years of that profession during the 1980s. I believed strongly that paralegals had a unique opportunity to bring about an end to lawyers' monopoly on the practice of law and in so doing benefit the public interest. In particular, I felt that paralegals, not the American Bar Association, should accredit paralegal training programs.

In 1996 when I was charged with creating the abuse and security department at one of the earliest large commercial ISPs, I saw that spam was a tremendous problem which would grow quickly if not brought under control. For the next 11 years I was a professional anti-spam and privacy activist.

I was one of the 25% of those who were unaware of their HIV status when -- quite literally on the verge of death -- I was rushed off to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance in November 2007. It is now my mission in life to do everything possible to ensure that others do not face a similar fate.

The world has not heard the last of me yet. I intend to die of old age, not AIDS, having lived a life committed to social justice.

Gold rule


Gold rule

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Last revised: June 5, 2015.

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